284. The Convergence: Disinformation, Revisionism, and China with Doowan Lee

[Editor’s Note:  Mad Scientist is pleased to announce our latest episode of “The Convergence” podcast, featuring Mr. Doowan Lee, discussing disinformation, changes over time in approaches to information warfare, and revisionism and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  Please note that this podcast and several of the embedded links below are best accessed via a non-DoD network due to network priorities for teleworking — Enjoy!]

Today’s episode of “The Convergencepodcast features a conversation with Mr. Doowan Lee, Senior Director from Zignal Labs.  Mr. Lee is a National Security expert in influence intelligence, disinformation analysis, data analytics, network visualization, and great power competition. Before joining Zignal Labs, Mr. Lee served as a professor and principal investigator at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he executed federally funded projects on collaborative information systems, network analysis, and disinformation analysis. His article entitled The United States Isn’t Doomed to Lose the Information Wars explores Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns and was featured in Foreign Policy last month.

The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview with Mr. Lee:

      • Our adversaries see disinformation as just an effective tool that provides strategic and global reach. We see it as irregular warfare when it is anything but irregular.
      • Disinformation, or the historical term propaganda, has been around forever.  COVID-19 has accentuated this threat vector or surface.

– Nations talking about the spread of open societies are attempting to undermine the CCP.

– The CCP will maintain positive control of all media.

– The CCP will professionalize information operations.

This policy resulted in the development of the “Great Firewall,” the “Golden Shield” project, and the PLA’s Strategic Support Forces.

      • The CCP and the Kremlin are increasing their coordination on national security activities and, in some cases, are increasing their collaboration. This resulted in a recent joint statement that stated the two governments would work together to undermine disinformation that seeks to destabilize the Russian and Chinese governments.
      • How is our Great Competition strategy working to prevent Chinese and Russian collaboration?
      • Slaughtering the “Golden Calf”

– Information Operations are not irregular warfare. DROP THE ADJECTIVE! There is nothing irregular about these operations and they are probably the most regular or everyday form of competition we face.

Embrace our doctrine. We are not using our tools such as international or bilateral exercises for advantage, while our adversaries are using these exercises, oftentimes in the same contested space, to their information advantage.

– Stop trying to make perfect decisions. Instead, work to perfect decision making using rapid experimentation, learning, and implementation.

      • When engaging the younger generations, we need to discuss data and civil liberties, the philosophy of science or acquiring knowledge, ethics, and critical thinking.
      • What keeps me up at night? Technologies that create strategic latency between offense and defense. Deep fakes is one of these technologies. It has a high first mover advantage and identification tools do not prevent them from getting into the “wild” and impacting our society.

Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next podcast with three panelists from the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC)Ms. Jacqueline Tame, Acting Deputy Director, Chief Performance Officer; Ms. Alka Patel, Head of AI Ethics Policy; and Dr. Jane Pinelis, Chief, Testing and Evaluation, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) — as they discuss the ethics of AI and ML, integrating these emerging technologies into the Joint Force, and the future of talent management in this space on 3 December 2020!

If you enjoyed this post, read these related “The Convergence” blog posts and listen to the associated podcasts:

The Convergence: The Next Iteration of Warfare with Lisa Kaplan and the associated podcast

The Convergence: True Lies – The Fight Against Disinformation with Cindy Otis and the associated podcast

The Convergence: Political Tribalism and Cultural Disinformation with Samantha North and the associated podcast

… and check out the following:

Insights from the Mad Scientist Weaponized Information Series of Virtual Events

Russia: Our Current Pacing Threat

China: Our Emergent Pacing Threat

… as well as all of the videos from our Mad Scientist Weaponized Information Series of Virtual Events and the associated content.

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