America’s Mistake: Open to Disinformation

With the rise of Russia’s Information Revolution, the security establishment of Moscow bears some responsibility for the contamination of the country’s system of public order and order of information, Michael Weiss wrote in his…

America's Mistake: Open to Disinformation

With the rise of Russia’s Information Revolution, the security establishment of Moscow bears some responsibility for the contamination of the country’s system of public order and order of information, Michael Weiss wrote in his column for Fox News.

The first: Russia’s penetration of both the web, via the servers of the major web service providers, and the nation’s social networks, whose activities were a total distraction from the nation’s needs. For the latter, Moscow established a dividing line between an open, pro-corruption internet and an artificial one, where a personality cult is allowed, as per Kremlin demands. An anti-social system, whereby the harmful content of extremism and wrongdoing, as well as state secrets, have become a major information weapon to infiltrate Russia.

Two: Moscow’s use of “civic engineering,” to bring many segments of society together on the basis of equal access to information and to gain broader influence in public life. It looks as if Moscow used massive digital data banks and globally integrated technologies to attract part of the youth to its own propaganda on a single language, the postmodern one. Moscow thinks that Western nations have the capacity to keep its population up to date with world events via such social media which are cyber-friendly and in which information can be gathered, and disseminated among a mass audience. According to the Kremlin’s thinking, the tech that can be imported from the West is good enough to defeat the enemy.

Great Progress in Information Technology Challenges the US

Once upon a time, Russia had no information revolution. Now there is, and Russia has Russian entrepreneurs among the top five in the business of “advancing the power of information technologies.” Russia is the only country in the world that uses the infamous ATMs in shops; it has twice as many banks as the U.S., in which funds cannot be withdrawn in cash, but rather 24/7 via the internet. Digital identity is available in all Russian regions, through the “digital public sphere,” upon which information is being constructed and built. With this, the Russian population is being subjected to simulated conversations. Moscow is collecting copies of the communications of the whole population, both with foreign individuals and with the internal communications of its own authorities, in what is called what was the First Digital State. I personally use this system, and I have many professional friends, both in the public sector and within the private sector, who also use it.

The USSR’s innovation was to acquire the information, some 20 percent of the “digital market,” through the information technologies created by China. The U.S. is in a third-tier position now. The challenge that the U.S. faces is that it has turned a blind eye to Russia’s transfers of technology, to be delivered through cyberspace, which further compromises security in the country.

In Russia, tech-driven distortions can disappear as easily as new ideas can appear, and it is up to the political class to break this technology madness. The battle for the Russian mind is just beginning, the only concern should be Moscow’s epic geopolitical ambitions which must be defeated through diplomacy, understanding, and democracy.

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