Chris Krebs

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Aiming to address disinformation he says is “upending our society and literally killing Americans,” Christopher Krebs, the federal cybersecurity official who challenged the president on election disinformation, will lead a new Aspen Institute commission he said will take a careful approach to an urgent problem. 

“America needs to pay attention to what’s unfolding right now and work to ensure that we’re not on the verge of a significant breakdown in democracy and civil society,” Krebs told Insider in written remarks.

Krebs will chair a new, bipartisan commission announced Wednesday by the Aspen Institute think tank — called The Commission on Information Disorder — and funded by a $3.25 million grant from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. This new group intends to help connect the private and public sectors to help find solutions for these most complicated of policy issues.

Krebs said the commission will pull different segments of society together so that government, tech, and industry can come together to study, discuss, and collaborate on the issue. “The way forward requires industry, government, and civil society taking a hard look at the deep divisions that allow these falsities to propagate, and to recognize that each has a core role to play. That is one of the primary goals of this new commission.” 

‘America is on the verge of a pretty significant breakdown of democracy’

Over the past week, tech companies including Facebook, Twitter, and Google-owned YouTube have taken down or suspended  President Donald Trump’s social media accounts and dropped support for the social network Parler in the wake of the deadly siege of the US Capitol. The Trump-supporting mob was driven by unfounded claims of election fraud and other conspiracy theories spread on social media.

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At the same time, critics including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders have blasted tech for its sudden, broad action against Trump’s online presence.   

That difficult situation must be approached urgently and carefully, says Krebs, who was fired by Trump via Twitter in November after leading the agency that took the first government steps to counter rhetoric from the White House falsely claiming the election was rigged in favor of President-elect Biden. 

“America is on the verge of a pretty significant breakdown of democracy. The insurrectionists at the Capitol last week were incited by years of lies, disinformation, and propaganda,” Krebs, the founding director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in written remarks to Insider.  “We need thoughtful short- and long-term planning, not just knee-jerk reactions to national crises.”

“Last week’s events at the Capitol, and all that we’ve seen over the last year on issues from election security to the pandemic make clear how disinformation is upending our society and literally killing Americans,” Krebs said. “Disinformation can’t be ignored, and we must tackle it head-on.”

That approach must pull together public and private sectors and look at fundamental causes, he stressed. 

‘Too pervasive to stop entirely’

“Disinformation and misinformation today are too pervasive to stop entirely. Instead, we need to look to the government and …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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