The Internet

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  • Capt. Sarah Miller and Tech. Sgt. Carrol Brewster discuss options in response to a staged cyber attack during filming of a scene for an AFRC mission video at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, June 1, 2019, photo by Maj. Christopher Vasquez/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Combating Foreign Disinformation on Social Media

    Jul 19, 2021

    Disinformation campaigns on social media pose a nuanced threat. But much of the U.S. response remains ad hoc and uncoordinated. It's unclear who has the edge moving forward, because disinformation techniques and countermeasures are evolving simultaneously.

  • SpaceX Starlink mission, <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex/47926144123/">photo</a> by SpaceX/ <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>

    Commentary

    Satellite Internet Services—Fostering the Dictator's Dilemma?

    Apr 12, 2021

    The ability to provide relatively low cost internet access outside of government control is both a challenge for authoritarian states and an opportunity for democracies. What are low-altitude, low-latency satellites and why are authoritarian states so concerned?

Explore The Internet

  • Two men looking at a phone and wearing face masks, photo by ozgurdonmaz/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Contain the Disinformation Virus

    Like COVID-19, disinformation spreads only if we help it spread. While we have all been asked to stay at home as responsible citizens to contain the virus, we should also feel responsible for making it harder for disinformation to spread.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Green glowing qubits, computer generated abstract background, 3D rendering, photo by sakkmesterke/AdobeStock

    Report

    Securing Communications in the Quantum Computing Age

    Quantum computers are expected to revolutionize computing. But hackers may be able to use them to crack the encryption system that protects all digital communications. How soon could this scenario become a reality? And what can be done to prevent it?

    Apr 9, 2020

  • A man wearing a face mask looks at his phone at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, March 12, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Q&A

    Truth Decay in the Coronavirus Moment: Q&A with Jennifer Kavanagh

    Jennifer Kavanagh, who wrote the RAND book Truth Decay about the diminishing role that facts play in making important public policy decisions, calls the unfolding situation with the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 a worst-case scenario.

    Mar 17, 2020

  • A magnifying glass on a digital human hacker image, photo by monsitj/Getty Images

    Report

    Detecting Malign or Subversive Information Efforts over Social Media

    The United States has a capability gap in detecting malign or subversive information campaigns in time to respond before they influence large audiences. A novel method can now detect these efforts.

    Mar 16, 2020

  • Blog

    Coronavirus Outbreak, Drones, the U.S. Power Grid: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the intensifying coronavirus outbreak, cyber threats from drones, the vulnerabilities of the U.S. power grid, and more.

    Mar 6, 2020

  • A woman holding a newspaper and a cell phone, photo by izzetugutmen/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    American News Habits and the Challenge of Truth Decay

    RAND researchers asked people where they get their news, how reliable they think it is, and whether they seek out viewpoints that are different from their own. The results provide some new clues to help diagnose and treat Truth Decay.

    Mar 4, 2020

  • Blog

    Russian Subversion, Truth Decay, Supervised Drug Consumption Sites: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on responding to Russian subversion, how the media can help fight Truth Decay, the first supervised drug consumption site in the United States, artificial intelligence, and more.

    Feb 28, 2020

  • Panelists discuss how media organizations can help address "Truth Decay," the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life, at the RAND Corporation office in Santa Monica, CA, February 25, 2020, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    How the Media Can Help Fight Truth Decay

    "Truth Decay" is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in U.S. public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. What could media organizations do to address this?

    Feb 25, 2020

  • Blog

    New START, Trump's Middle East Peace Plan, New Tobacco Products: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on why the United States should extend the New START agreement, the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan, new tobacco products, and more.

    Feb 21, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Fighting Disinformation Online: Building the Database of Web Tools

    This report describes a database of online tools that are developed by nonprofit, civil society organizations and are designed to reduce the spread of online disinformation.

    Feb 18, 2020

  • People waiting to board a subway train, photo by william87/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Our Actions Determine What We Read and See Online. Algorithms Are Only a Part of That Process

    As social media has increasingly become the main outlet for people to acquire news and opinion, there are concerns about the effect of algorithm-driven services on the spread of misleading information. But the issue doesn't merely lie with how social platforms use algorithms to deliver content.

    Feb 7, 2020

  • Two digital faces facing each other, photo by wildpixel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Artificial Intelligence and the Manufacturing of Reality

    Humans carry flaws in deciding what is or is not real. The internet and other technologies have made it easier to weaponize and exploit these flaws. And artificial intelligence will likely be used to exploit these weaknesses at an unprecedented scale, speed, and level of effectiveness.

    Jan 20, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    One-Third of Americans Use News Sources They Consider Less Reliable

    One-third of Americans rely on news platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly social media and peers. The other two-thirds of the public consider their primary news sources trustworthy, mainly print news and broadcast television.

    Dec 10, 2019

  • Man looking at his phone on the subway, photo by Westend61/Getty Images

    Report

    How Americans Consume the News

    Where do Americans get their news? What news sources do they view as reliable? And how are choices about news consumption linked to demographics or political affiliation? Results from a national survey provide insights into these questions and more.

    Dec 10, 2019

  • Blog

    Disinformation, Drug Policy, Artificial Intelligence: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on tools to fight disinformation online, the negative consequences of punishing pregnant women for drug use, how to ensure public trust in artificial intelligence, and more.

    Nov 15, 2019

  • Woman using smartphone

    Tool

    What's Being Done to Fight Disinformation Online

    With the rise of the internet and social media, false or intentionally misleading information can spread further and faster than ever before. What tools exist to fight disinformation online?

    Nov 12, 2019

  • Woman reading the newspaper on a tablet

    Tool

    Fighting Disinformation Online: A Database of Web Tools

    RAND researchers created a database of web tools that aim to fight the spread of disinformation. These include fact-checking tools, bot detectors, media literacy applications, and more.

    Nov 12, 2019

  • Cybercrime concept of handcuffs icon on a digital background, photo by blackboard/Adobe Stock

    Report

    What Could Help Law Enforcement Deal with Crime on the Dark Web?

    Crime in traditional online forums often leaves a trail of data that can be followed. But on the dark web, the process of collecting those data and turning them into evidence can be difficult. A panel of law enforcement practitioners and researchers identified ways to address this challenge.

    Oct 29, 2019

  • Concept of artificial intelligence winning at chess, photo by JohnDWilliams/Getty Images

    Report

    The Emerging Risk of Virtual Societal Warfare

    Living in an information society opens unprecedented opportunities for hostile rivals to cause disruption, delay, inefficiency, and harm. Social manipulation techniques are evolving beyond disinformation and cyberattacks on infrastructure sites. How can democracies protect themselves?

    Oct 9, 2019

  • The entrance to Lakhta-2 business center, which reportedly houses news organizations and internet research companies known for trolling on social media, in St. Petersburg, Russia, February 20, 2018, photo by Anton Vaganov/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Translation Troubles Can Tell Us About Russian Information Warfare

    Russian information warfare has attracted significant international attention since 2014. But little research has focused on its apparent shortcomings. Most notable are the confusing translation mistakes that undermine Moscow's attempts at covert influence efforts.

    Oct 4, 2019