Research • Security & Resilience • Internet Governance Policy Development
Reporting, auditing, data-visualisations, big-data analysis, education, training, media contributions, and more.
Offering a unique blend of internet related legal, technical and cyber security expertise for those seeking to improve cyber security and GDPR compliance. Reviews, auditing and strategy formulation.
Providing internet governance expertise to key participants in the domain name industry, governments and the European Commission. Contributing to policy standards.
Social media platforms have come under increasing scrutiny for spreading mis-and-disinformation about COVID-19. Research has shown that citizens who are misinformed about COVID-19, or who consume highly partisan news about the virus, are less likely to adopt preventative measures, like wearing a mask, and are less likely to get vaccinated against the virus. To understand how Canadian audiences find and discuss COVID-19 news on social media, we examine the structure of Canadian news and information networks on YouTube, the most popular social media platform used by Canadians. We examine the differences across local, national, alternative and “junk” news channels on the platform to explore how audiences watching these channels discuss COVID-19, measuring the extent to which conspiracy and partisanship are a part of Canadian discourse about the Coronavirus on YouTube. We found that most citizens watching news on Canadian YouTube channels used neutral frames, discussing the virus without a conspiratorial or partisan tilt. However, the distribution of neutral comments was not even across the dataset, with 77% of comments on junk news channels representing partisan commentary about the virus. Despite early debunking efforts by health authorities and government officials, many conspiracies about the origin of the virus continued to permeate discussion about COVID-19 in local and national news comments on YouTube.
by Emily Taylor
Increasing global connectivity has brought with it a new range of security threats that were unfathomable just decades ago. Global reliance on the internet and on virtual networks has revealed a range of new cyber vulnerabilities and threats, including to critical infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT). Cyber technology has brought with it a new security focus on outer space, which has become key to the functioning of national and international infrastructure on the ground. Furthermore, technologies using the electromagnetic spectrum, which are increasingly integral to military operations, create new challenges and adversarial threats including the prospect of electronic warfare. These challenges have expanded geographically too, as countries explore new physical frontiers, like the Arctic, as regions of strategic interest. This conference report, comprising of four expert essays and a meeting summary, draws upon Chatham House’s December 2020 conference ‘Security at the Frontier’,1 to examine the latest developments in cyberspace, outer space, the Arctic and electronic warfare, and considers how best the UK and Japan might respond to these challenges.
by Emily Taylor
Emily's chapter on the UK track and trace app has been published today in Chatham House's 'The COVID-19 pandemic and trends in technology', edited by Joyce Hakmeh. The issues encountered during the development of track-and-trace apps as part of the fight against COVID-19 have highlighted significant differences in levels of accountability and transparency between the public and private sectors. This has underlined the areas of tension between corporate power and the authority of democratically elected governments, and the capacity of tech companies not just to deploy ‘soft’ power in the form of lobbying, but also to block access to essential technologies. The fragmented response to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed focus on the lack of internationally agreed technical standards that are both privacy-respecting and secure by design. Such standards could potentially offer interoperability if individuals travel overseas, while at the same time guarding against overreach by some governments.