Atlantic Council Report Recommends Ways of Countering Disinformation

The top minds at the Atlantic Council will be releasing a report that will present the possible options the United States and the European allies have of countering disinformation from foreign adversaries.

According to The Hill, the report represents the latest effort in Washington to address Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and positions countering disinformation as a global challenge that will only grow larger with the evolution of the digital realm.

Several recommendations were presented by the experts of the council, explaining that they can be applied to a variety of future disinformation campaigns, hinting that the problem is “broader than Russia” because other foreign entities are already looking to deploy digital disinformation tools.

The Hill reported that among the recommendations, the paper calls for the creation of a so-called “Counter-Disinformation Coalition” comprised of government and private sector representatives that would develop “best practices” for defending against disinformation, such as standards for social media companies to voluntarily adhere to.

One of the recommendations is that the White House needs to establish a high-level interagency operation in order to coordinate activities to counter disinformation between the FBI, CIA, Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. The experts proposed that the organization needs to be led by an official at the level of undersecretary or higher who would report to the Director of National Intelligence and the president.

The paper is also suggested that the White House should set up an office within Homeland Security which will share all sensitive information on emerging disinformation threats with the private sector companies. The report will be released at an event in Washington Wednesday morning,

Daniel Fried, a State Department official who served in both the Clinton and Bush administrations and is one of the authors of the report said that “it was designed to be operational rather than theoretical.”

“We’re at the stage where people say, we know there’s a problem, what do we do? We try to give operational suggestions.”

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