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
Victor Oleynik is a member of ASU's Luminosity Lab, majoring in Global Politics, and has extensive experience with Russian disinformation and propaganda in journalism and as a watchdog. Prior to arriving at ASU, Victor worked as an International News Editor for one of the world's largest newspapers, Metro International in Moscow, Russia, and in May of 2018 founded bewareofthem.org, a web-based, grassroots intervention shedding light on human rights abuses in Russia, Belarus, and other Northern Eurasia countries. Victor's project was featured by The Washington Post, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America and was widely supported by Russian opposition. Using his comprehensive knowledge and on-hands experience, Victor and his team have been providing consulting services to expose pro-Russian proxies abroad and put pressure on the Kremlin through foreign sanctions.
Mertay Dayanc is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University majoring in computer science. In the past he has worked in developing a mobile app for Native Americans to understand their psychological well-being. After that he worked 2 years as a Teaching assistant at Arizona State University for Data Structures and Algorithms class, which is the most fundamental class in Computer Science department. Now he is working on disinformation field by using novel machine learning algorithms. He is working with Dr. Huan Liu at ASU to develop an algorithm to identify Machine Generated text articles using Hierarchical Attention Networks (HAN). Besides that he will interning with GoDaddy as a Cyber Security Engineer at Summer 2021.
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.
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.
DR. ANDREJS BERDNIKOVOS
Dr. Andrejs Berdnikovs 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.