Understanding How The Chinese Government Leverages Social Media To Influence Public Policy & Political Opinion Abroad

The following isn’t necessarily an article so much as it is an opportunity for informational download. But, without burying the lead any further, earlier today I managed to come across a new report published by researchers at Recorded Future entitled “Beyond Hybrid War: How China Exploits Social Media to Sway American Opinion,” explaining the subtle differences between how the Chinese Government and Kremlin utilize social media as a means of swaying public opinion abroad. While the report is interesting in its own right, it reminded me of a separate report published by Harvard University in 2017 entitled “How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument” – explaining how the Chinese Government goes as far as to literally employ thousands of employees just to scavenger social media and make pro-China comments on outlets like Facebook and Twitter, solely just to troll news/information painting China in a negative light, or make political policies seem more popular/unpopular than they otherwise would be.

Now, I could write thousands upon thousands of words on this subject here for Rogue Media Labs, but I’m not paid per word or to write articles in general like everyone else in the main stream media. For this reason, I would rather just have you waste your time reading/consuming the actual educational studies for yourself. Happy clicking!

Beyond Hybrid War: How China Exploits Social Media to Sway American Opinion:

Download Full Report Here: https://go.recordedfuture.com/hubfs/reports/cta-2019-0306.pdf

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How the China Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument:

Download Full Report Here: https://gking.harvard.edu/files/gking/files/50c.pdf

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New Study: Only 24.1% of Yemeni Citizens Currently Have Access To The Internet

Earlier this week, along with the help of Citizen Lab, Shodan, VirusTotal, Censys, ReversingLabs and Rapid7, Recorded Future published their latest research paper. Officially entitled “Underlying Dimensions of Yemen’s Civil War: Control of the Internet,” the paper chronicles the devastating effects of years of War on Yemen internet infrastructure, usage and connectivity. Among other topics, the report details how control of the internet in the country has shifted over the years, as well as how the internet landscape has shifted as different Waring factions have taken control over different portions of the country.

Key Findings/Statistics:

  • Since taking Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, in September 2014, the Houthi rebels have controlled YemenNet – Yemens main ISP.
  • Houthi rebels continue to use what’s left of YemenNet’s IP infrastructure to host Coinhive mining services in order to generate revenue to fund their War effort.
  • The Houthi Government controls about 500 “official” Yemeni Government websites through the .ye domain.
  • In June 2018 the Hadi government created an entirely new ISP called AdenNet to counteract Houthi internet controls.
  • Only a small percentage of internet users in Yemen have the skills or knowledge to utilize VPNs, Tor, or routers with DNS recursion to circumvent government controls/surveillance.
  • Major international players, including the United States, Russia, and China have deployed malware/spyware as a means to supplement military efforts and/or leverage political opponents/dissidents.
  • Dating back to 2015, the “Yemen Cyber Army” has emerged as a major player launching attacks against government agencies.
  • Yemen ranks 50th global in population, but 148th in domain registrations.
  • The Houthi Government continues to block public access to WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Since the Yemeni Civil War first began, roughly 80% of all fiber optic cables have been destroyed.
  • Only 24.3% of Yemeni citizens currently have access to the internet in 2018, up from 19.1% in 2014.
  • Roughly 50% of Yemeni citizens have access to cellular phones and/or landlines.

Download Full Research Paper Here: https://go.recordedfuture.com/hubfs/reports/cta-2018-1128.pdf

Read Full Study:

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How The Kim Regime Has Circumvented Internet Restrictions & Economic Sanctions To Advance The Nations Cyber Agendas

Earlier this summer I was explaining North Korea as a country of “Macgyver’s” in that, due to the extreme economic sanctions, military blockades and restrictions enforced upon them, many of the countries intellectual elite often times has to learn how to make something out of nothing. Unlike in the United States for example, North Korea’s Government and scientists can not afford to waste a single dime, and every operation undertaken under the general scope of their Government must be allocated as proficiently as humanly possible – they have no other choice. However, for these same reasons, extreme economic hardship often times has a way of producing some of the worlds most innovative work, because countries like North Korea often times have to find new ways of doing things or circumventing obstacles that other countries simply do not have to deal with.

To this effect, a new study by Recorded Future has analyzed the inner workings of the North Korean Government and the movements of their computer scientists over the course of the last year and a half. While North Korea remains literally THE hardest intelligence agency to penetrate, researches have managed to uncover some interesting facts about them nonetheless. Dating back to 2017, what researchers have uncovered is that North Korean data/computer scientists are turning to crypto-currencies en masse to do business with one another, or outside countries. This is done simply to circumvent the harsh economic sanctions imposed on them by outside countries, such as the United States. Additionally, according to the report featured below, Recorded Future has found that North Korea’s Government is implanting advanced hackers and computer scientists in different countries throughout the world – though primarily in Asia. Essentially, scientists and internet engineers are being disguised as manual laborers whom go to work in construction during the day, and then return home to run cyber orations at night. In order to maximize the damage their hackers or scientists can do, the North Korean Government knows that it has to export them to outside countries in order to get past internet restrictions as they exist inside North Korea.

As Recorded Future‘s executive summary reads, “The Kim regime has developed a model for using and exploiting the internet that is unique, and leadership are quick to embrace new services or technologies when useful and cast them aside when not.” Adding that “We discovered that North Korea’s ruling elite are technologically savvyuse a full range of older and cutting-edge computers, phones, and devicesuse the internet as a tool for sanctions circumvention, and recently shifted to embrace Chinese social networking services over Western ones.” It is an interesting and unique study that you do not come across everyday, certainly worth taking a look at.

Read Full Study:

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