Ballistic Books: Disinformation

Ballistic books is a series to present literature of interest. Each edition is dedicated to a specific topic. I found it challenging to discover and distinguish good from great literature. With this series, I aim to mitigate that challenge.

tl;dr

I am currently reading Active Measures. Thomas Rid authored the paper Cyberwar Will Not Take Place which stirred up excellent controversy during my studies. I will write a review in due time. The Hacker and the State caught my attention for its unique position at the intersection of cybersecurity and geopolitics. Ben Buchanan became known to me for his contributions to the Lawfare Blog. And Infowars emits an intriguing combination of current global affairs and psychological warfare. Stengl describes the battle with Russian disinformation while countering terrorist propaganda. Without having read the book, I wonder if Operation Glowing Symphony came across Stengl’s desk as Undersecretary of State to President Barack Obama. 

1. Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare by Thomas Rid

Active Measures is a term coined by the Soviet and Russian intelligence services to influence foreign nations, collect intelligence and subvert public opinion in favor of Russian interests. The term received global attention after it was linked to successful influence operations during the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. It is also the name of a widely circulated documentary. Though it seems Thomas Rid wasn’t interviewed for it.

Thomas Rid is a professor for strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University. Born in Germany, Rid is best known for his contributions to political science at the intersection of technology and war studies. You can find Thomas Rid on Twitter at @RidT

2. The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics by Ben Buchanan

Ben Buchanan is an assistant professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where his research and teaching is focused on the intersection of cybersecurity and public affairs. You can find Ben Buchanan on Twitter at @BuchananBen

3. Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It by Richard Stengel

Richard Stengl is an American journalist, former government official and served as president and CEO for the National Constitution Center. You can find Richard Stengl on Twitter at @Stengl

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