The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT), a cybersecurity think tank, has launched the Center for Cyber-Influence Operations Studies (CCIOS) to study the "weaponization" of the internet to use 'fake news' and propaganda by nation states such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
CCIOS will study the digital applications of, among other things, "information warfare and other forms of digitized propaganda, psychological warfare, political warfare and Other forms of perception steering."
The idea is to get Congress and the intelligence communities to think less in terms of brick and mortar, or even aging digital defense strategies, and more in terms of next-gen cyber-defenses.
"Legacy digital defenses and antiquated legal frameworks are not equipped to prevent a single unsophisticated 'troll' from digitally manipulating public perceptions," said ICIT. "Without a quantum-renaissance in the study and delivery of research into influence operations, America has limited chances of thwarting resourced and sophisticated information warfare attacks from adversaries such as Russia and China."