INFORMATION WARFARE PREVENTION
The Alethia platform will provide users with a set of free-to-use educational resources including the fundamentals necessary for in-depth study. Moving forward, more advanced tools such as a media financing tracking map will be available to users. In addition, the platform will collect all available relevant news and research conducted by academia, government organizations, think- tanks and expert communities in order to prepare easy-to-read, SparkNotes-style summaries in an interactive news feed.
Based on an expert review, the platform will publish recommendations for specific groups that may be affected by disinformation campaigns. Special attention will be paid to newsrooms,
blogger communities, and influencers in anticipation of the 2020 election.
Registered users will be able to download a free browser extension that analyzes media pages and websites of major media outlets. Proprietary software will scan several essential metrics such as government/business affiliations, an imbalance between subscribers and activity per page, bot presence, etc. Based on these factors, Alethia will send a notification with a preliminary assessment of the reliability and credibility of the media or specific social media group. In the future, the number of metrics for analysis will increase, and the focus will become narrower.
FOCUSING ON THE US, EASTERN EUROPE, BALTICS AND BEYOND
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Victor Oleynik is an undergraduate student studying Global Politics within the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. His background is in journalism. For several years, Victor has worked as an International News Editor for the world’s largest newspaper Metro International in Moscow, Russia. In 2018, Victor launched an open database-style project of those responsible for beating up opposition in Russia. By cataloging the names, organizational affiliations, and actions of such people, the project aims to pave the way for potential sanctions from foreign governments — thus providing a measure of accountability, they lack at home. As a result of his work, Victor was forced to seek political asylum in the United States. Besides that, Victor is a member of Russia’s largest human rights organization, Open Russia, and has interest in e-democracy and e-governance. Among his strengths, real work experience in the field of disinformation and Kremlin’s hybrid warfare, deep cultural awareness of the Post-Soviet area, and fluent knowledge of Russian and Ukrainian languages.
Anton Gromov is a graduate of the Russian State University for the Humanities and political scientist with interest in political public relations, as well as Russian foreign & domestic policy, defense, and information warfare. In May 2018, Anton co-founded the Astrea non-profit and bewareofthem.org project, which investigates street violence & human rights violations in Russia and identifies participants of Russian hybrid warfare abroad with a primary focus on Private Military Companies, government-affiliated illegal activities, trans-border corruption, and disinformation. As a result of his work, Anton was forced to leave his country and seek political asylum in Latvia. As an activist of the civil democratic movement in Russia with more than 10-years on-hands experience, Anton took part in the work of the Russian Opposition Coordination Council and Free Russia Forum as a political consultant for the sanctions group. In 2012, Anton founded an analytical platform and non-profit organization European Russians aimed to unite Russian-speaking supporters of European and Euro-Atlantic integration and NATO in Latvia through countering destructive activities of Kremlin, such as propaganda and subversion, and ensuring cooperation between Western democratic institutions and Russian civil society.Anton also runs a network of influential media projects analyzing Russian social and political life. One of the most significant political blogs on Russian politics in Telegram, Politota, has more than 15.000 active users. He was also a member of the editorial board of the Rufabula project and led a column on Russian domestic policy and European security issues. Besides, Anton is a security expert and domestic and foreign policy commentator for the Russian Television Network of America (RTN). In June 2019, Gromov participated in a special program on countering Disinformation, Media Influence, and Propaganda organized by the U.S. Mission to the OSCE.
DR. ANDREJS BERDNIKOVOS
Dr. Andrejs Berdnikovs comes from the community of Old Believers that is a traditional ethnic and religious Russian minority in Latvia. Andrejs is Assistant Professor at the Baltic International Academy and Editor at the European Journalism Observatory (EJO). For many years, he has been involved in social integration policy: for example, in 2011, he was serving as Adviser to Minister of Culture and as Chairman of the Advisory Council on National Identity and Social Integration Affairs at the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia. As Senior Researcher or Research Fellow, Andrejs has participated in more than 15 fundamental or applied research projects, as well as has taken part in numerous social and media projects. In 2015, he began to shift to data-driven scientific research approaches and, in several recent projects, he has been increasingly using the Python and R programming languages for scientific computing. Andrejs was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in 2008-2009. In the framework of the Fulbright Scholarship Program, he was conducting the research project “The mobilization of protest movements: the role of new information and communications technologies” at the Department of Communication of the University of Washington, Seattle. He was also a participant in the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation’s Baltic-American Security Exchange (BASE) program, working in the project titled “Resisting the Kremlin’s propaganda targeted at Russian-speakers in Estonia and Latvia: the use of political humor” (2017-2018), was a grantee of the European Social Fund (ESF) in the framework of the project "Support of doctoral studies at the University of Latvia” (2009–2010), and was a member of the European Commission-funded Regional Innovation Cultures Expert Group (RICEG) in 2006-2008. As a strategic communication and media expert, in recent years, Andrejs has been a speaker at many U.S. and European universities, including the George Washington University (2017), the New York University (2017), the University of Washington, Seattle (2018), the University of Mississippi (2019), Universita della Svizzera italiana (2016), ISCTE – Instituto Universitario de Lisboa (2016), the Charles University (2017), the University of Tirana (2018), among others.
Josh Chang has a B.S.D in Industrial Design, with a minor in Sustainability, B.A in Design Management and is also a trade certificated Mechanical Designer. He specializes in the ideation and development of products by drawing and modeling designs, using a spectrum of digital and analogue techniques. Having been a student of Herberger Design, Josh specializes in rapid prototyping, ergonomics and product development, emphasizing the use of drawing as a communication tool. Josh is a holder of the Herberger Design Excellence Award, winner of the Biophilic Design Competition and more recently, a team lead in Arizona; collaborative for Amazons HQ2. Coming from a background in traditional arts and drawing, he has won art shows in the past including a Congressional art award for illustration, and the Air Academy Art award for sculpting and still from time to time enjoys featuring in local art shows. Josh has freelanced his design and CAD work to a variety of companies around the valley aiding in the development of products in the athletics, entertainment, small arms and aftermarket automotive industries and even promotion for the city of Phoenix. Josh is currently a design lead of the Luminosity Laboratory, and a design consultant for the Center for Ubiquitous Computing, working on a handful of patents around the products for the medical industry.
Maxwell Flanagan is a researcher at The Luminosity Lab, working on a variety of technical and policy projects and collaborations in areas surrounding disinformation, criminal justice reform, and the future of work. Maxwell is also a research fellow at ASU’s Global Biosocial Complexity Initiative conducting interdisciplinary research on narrative economics, specifically on popular narratives structures of wealth inequality, financialization, and innovation and how these formulations affect the economy themselves. He has also collaborated with various think tanks to create policy proposals while in Washington DC, using data analytics and visualizations to forecast how paradigm shifts such as automation and globalization are altering racial and gender divides in different employment sectors and leading to increasing levels of structural unemployment. Maxwell has also worked on political campaigns on both the local and federal level, working on communications strategy, website development, and policy analysis(Science and Technology, Economic, Criminal Justice Policy) Since arriving at ASU in 2017 Maxwell has engaged in internships and student worker positions coding and doing data analysis for NASA, Goldman Sachs, and Google Cloud. He was also a Fully Funded Summer Research Fellow at MIT’s New England Complex Systems Institute engaging in theoretical complex systems research on institutional scalability.
Jeremy Liu is currently a researcher in both the Luminosity Lab and the Blockchain Research Lab at Arizona State University (ASU) focusing on innovative educational experiences for a variety of emerging technologies and topics. Jeremy has been in the blockchain space since 2015 and has worked as a portfolio manager and solution architect for a local blockchain company, developed an online graduate-level course on blockchain technology for ASU, and has contributed to scalability and governance research efforts for open-source decentralized cryptocurrency networks. Jeremy has written multiple grant proposals for various organizations resulting in over $1.5 million received in total funding for expenditures such as academic scholarships, research funding, and a cryptocurrency ATM network.