Moving Forward: Fragmentation, Polarization and Hybridity in Cyberspace | Online Conference | 10-12 November 2020
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Panel 3

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Information warfare, emerging technologies, and military strategies

Ronan Ó Fathaigh

Ronan Fahy is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam, specialising in online platforms, disinformation and fundamental rights (freedom of expression and privacy). He is a member of the Digital Transformation of Decision-Making research initiative at the Amsterdam Law School, examining the normative implications of the shift toward automated decision-making, and the effect on democratic values and fundamental rights. Ronan has published widely on these topics in international academic journals, and co-authored reports for international institutions such as the Council of Europe and European Parliament. He recently co-authored a report for the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations on the legal framework applicable to online disinformation and political advertising.

Website: https://www.uva.nl/profiel/f/a/r.f.fahy/r.f.fahy.html.

Tom Dobber

Dr. Tom Dobber (@TomDobber) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). His research focuses on political microtargeting, disinformation and electoral pledges. He is a member of ICDS (Information, Communication in the Data Society) and part of the MiMac project: an international research project about political pledges.

Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius

Prof Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius (@FBorgesius) is Professor ICTand Law at Radboud University Nijmegen, where he is affiliated with theinterdisciplinary research hub on Security, Privacy, and DataGovernance: the iHub. His research interests include privacy anddiscrimination, especially in the context of new technologies. More info at: https://www.ru.nl/personen/zuiderveen-borgesius-f

James Shires

James Shires is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Security and Global Affairs, University of Leiden, and a fellow with the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council. He is also a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. He holds a DPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford, an MSc in Global Governance and Public Policy from Birkbeck College, University of London and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. His research examines cybersecurity in the Middle East, focusing on the interaction between threats to individuals, states and organizations, new regional dynamics, and the development of cybersecurity expertise. He has written many articles, policy papers and blogs on cybersecurity and international politics, and has won awards from the Hague Program on Cyber Norms, the German Marshall Fund and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. More info on this website at: https://www.thehaguecybernorms.nl/team/james-shires

Abstract

Keynote

Microtargeted propaganda by foreign actors, an interdisciplinary exploration

This paper discusses a problem that has received scant attention in literature: microtargeted propaganda by foreign actors. Microtargeting involves collecting information about people, and using that information to show them targeted political advertisements. Such microtargeting enables advertisers to target ads to specific groups of people, for instance people who visit certain websites, forums, or Facebook groups. This paper focuses on one type of microtargeting: microtargeting by foreign actors. For example, Russia has targeted certain groups in the US with ads, aiming to sow discord. Foreign actors could also try to influence European elections, for instance by advertising in favour of a certain political party. Foreign propaganda possibilities existed before microtargeting. This paper explores two questions. In what ways, if any, is microtargeted propaganda by foreign actors different from other foreign propaganda? What could lawmakers in Europe do to mitigate the risks of microtargeted propaganda?