PODCAST: How Democracies Can Defend Themselves From Disinformation Campaigns

As the United States enters its next election cycle, American democracy is still extremely vulnerable to disinformation campaigns from Russia. Other democracies, particularly in Europe, are also vulnerable to this kind of threat and, indeed, have also been the target of Russian meddling. So how can countries protect themselves against nefarious attempts to sow illiberal discord?

A new report from The Atlantic Council identifies some concrete ways that the United States and Europe can defend against foreign propaganda, disinformation, and election related hacking. On the line with me to discuss this report and its findings is one of the report’s co-authors, Ambassador Daniel Fried. He was a longtime US diplomatic who’s career largely focused Russia and central and eastern Europe. The report was co-authored by Alina Polyakova of the Brookings Institute.

The report provides a useful heuristic for understanding the problem: it breaks down and categorizes the various kinds of election meddling we’ve seen thus far. Also, what makes this report particularly unique is that the authors’ propose that countering this kind of election meddling can be a platform for transatlantic cooperation; that is, in response to this Russian meddling Europe and the United States have an opportunity to form a new kind of strategic alliance.

If you have 20 minutes and want to learn how Russian election meddling can be a catalyst for international cooperation, have a listen.

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