The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a Washington, D.C., nonpartisan think tank, announced it is establishing the Center for Cyber-Influence Operations Studies.
CCIOS will expand ICIT’s focus on critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity and online privacy to include information warfare. Potential topics of future CCIOS research include digital propaganda, psychological warfare, political warfare and other forms of perception steering.
ICIT and CCIOS Senior Fellow James Scott said, “This is an advisory that studies the weaponized digital applications used by foreign nation-states for influence operations.”
In recent years, nation-states have been employing unconventional methods to advance their agendas. The most prominent example in the U.S. has been Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. In recent weeks, Facebook, Twitter and Google discovered advertising allegedly bought and run during the 2016 election cycle by groups associated with Russia intelligence. The advertising’s intent is said to have been increasing U.S. political divisions and undermining trust in the election system.