US Opinion and Commentary

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Tweet Less, Talk More

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 11:23 am (UTC-4)
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World and political affairs, like close personal relationships, cannot be mediated through tweets, texts, or Facebook postings. During this year’s presidential debates, for example, candidates seemed more eager to utter bite-size quotes suitable for YouTube than engage with each other’s ideas in back-and-forth conversations.

Ways to be Free

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 10:44 am (UTC-4)
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I don’t know if the world is freer than a half-century ago. On paper, it is. The totalitarian Soviet Imperium is gone. The generals who bossed Latin America are gone, generally. Asia has unshackled itself and claims this century as its own. Media has opened out, gone social. Yet minds feel more crimped …  

How a Digital Surge Can Help Beat Islamic State

Posted December 15th, 2015 at 4:25 pm (UTC-4)
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To wage a digital counterinsurgency, we need to understand the structure of this enemy’s digital army. Unlike Al Qaeda’s cluster of isolated cells, Islamic State is centralized. Its hierarchy, in fact, resembles a corporate pyramid…

Terror on Twitter

Posted December 15th, 2015 at 3:25 pm (UTC-4)
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There’s a growing consensus in Washington that technology firms, especially social media companies, need to do more when it comes to fighting terrorism. During his Oval Office address on terrorism, President Barack Obama told Silicon Valley to make it harder for terrorists to evade detection using technology. Congress also joined in: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) quickly reintroduced a bill that would require social media firms to report “any terrorist activity” — vaguely defined — to the authorities. That Twitter is a favorite tool of Islamic State recruiters is not news. But after the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, the call to fight ISIS on social media has become more urgent than ever.

The US is Losing the Social Media Wars

Posted October 16th, 2015 at 9:40 am (UTC-4)
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The use of social media and the Internet is rapidly becoming a powerful weapon for information warfare and changing the nature of conflict worldwide. Because of misaligned U.S. policies and laws, we continue to largely rely on only conventional warfare techniques, which puts us at a severe disadvantage.

Yes, the U.S. Military Uses Social Media to Target ISIS

Posted June 12th, 2015 at 4:29 pm (UTC-4)
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Last week Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle regaled an audience about how the U.S. military used the social media accounts of ISIS members to pinpoint and destroy an ISIS facility. Good work, Air Force. Well-done. Now please shut up.