Politico: How Facebook Changed the Spy Game

Law enforcement agencies strive to thwart propaganda and disinformation campaigns, but social media has opened up a new frontier in shaping public opinion. Facebook reported deleting hundreds of accounts based in Russia and paid to promote polarizing material during the 2016 US presidential campaign. “The rise of social media platforms makes the pervasiveness and impact of these operations today exponentially greater,” explains Asha Rangappa, associate dean at Yale Law School and a former special agent for counterintelligence with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “And it leaves the FBI without the legal tools to stop it.” Social media users and journalists may not realize that they have been targeted to spread propaganda. US authorities may expect more individuals acting on behalf of foreign interests to register as foreign agents with the US State Department, but companies and individuals generate massive amounts of information online and people from anywhere in the world can mask their identities and join conversations. Russia is skilled at using US freedoms to stir anger and counter US goals and values. Solutions include laws requiring social media companies to cooperate with counterintelligence officials, devoting more effort toward authenticating accounts or flagging troll farms. Rangappa concludes, “Any solution that we create will require a balance between national security interests and constitutional rights.” – YaleGlobal

Politico: How Facebook Changed the Spy Game

Social media is a new front in propaganda wars, and Investigators will need help from educated citizens and social media companies to fight foreign campaigns
Asha Rangappa
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

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Asha Rangappa is an associate dean at Yale Law School and a former special agent in the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI.