Former DARPA program manager and now senior scientist at RAND, Dr. Rand Waltzman has become a prominent voice on so-called “cognitive security” and information warfare. In a recent interview with the online magazine TechWorld, Dr. Waltzman warns us about the weaponization of information and the growing risks of psychological propaganda in the internet age.
Allegations of Russian election meddling have of course dominated headlines for many months now, but Dr. Waltzman emphasizes that these issues are much broader in scope that one event, or one adversary. “Chinese, Russians, Hezbollah, the Mafia..” the US is losing the social media war. In fact, Dr. Waltzman has been championing this line of thinking for some time. In 2015, he wrote a piece for Time magazine highlighting the emerging challenges of information warfare, and detailing how and why the US government lags behind. Poorly conceived U.S. policies and antiquated laws have resulted in a misalignment between regulations and intelligence operations.
It is today’s imperative to counter cognitive hacking and preserve the medium of the free press.
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