The New Weapons: Propaganda, Misinformation and Fake News

National Security College | Professional course
The New Weapons: Propaganda, Misinformation and Fake News

Summary

A host of global actors, state and non-state, are increasingly leveraging technology to harness the power of information – and using it as a weapon. What are the implications for global and national security? And is Australia prepared?

Course date: 
9am–5pm 28 May 2019
Venue: 
#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Cost: 

A fee of $1,300 (GST ex) applies to this course for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $1,600 (GST ex).

Course overview

In February 2018, a US Federal grand jury indicted 13 Russians for interference in the 2016 US national elections. This reflects the extent of state-directed propaganda and misinformation targeting democratic institutions of a major western power. At the community level, extremist narratives are proving difficult to combat, demanding more of both government and society. A host of actors across the landscape of global technology are finding new ways to exploit the value of information – and using it as a weapon. This breaks down the distinctions between what is personal and what is political, using new avenues to seek advantages, and new ways to cause harm.

This course critically considers whether Australia is sufficiently prepared for and resilient against weapons of propaganda and misinformation trained on our institutions, and our communities.

Scope and content

This course explores the rise of propaganda and misinformation as weapons and considers the implications for Australia’s national security and the wider region by: - providing a strategic overview of the risk environment, incorporating hostile state actors, organised criminal syndicates, rogue businesses, terrorist organisations and other malicious network actors - evaluating the type and nature of harm that each of these actors poses to business, government and society, and - identifying ways to enhance resilience: whether this is protecting critical
systems, combating disinformation or safeguarding information holdings.

Who should attend?

This course is for staff working across government, including in strategic policy, social policy, communications, intelligence, assessment, cyber security and those responsible for data holdings.

Course details

  • One day, non-residential, fully-catered program
  • An ANU parking permit will be supplied.
  • Course timings 9:00am - 5:00pm

Enquiries

Places on this course are limited. To secure your place, or obtain further information, please contact us at nsc.epdnominations@anu.edu.au.

Course convenor

Mr Brad Fallen

Brad Fallen joined the National Security College as Manager, Executive and Professional Development in March 2018, on secondment from the Department of Home Affairs. Brad’s professional national security experience includes international relations, intelligence, Cabinet and ministerial decision-making, and policy development and delivery. As Senior Adviser International Cyber Policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) from 2014, Brad was part of the small team who delivered Australia’s 2016 Cyber Security Review and Strategy. He then implemented the Strategy for 18 months from the Office of the Cyber Security Special Adviser. Brad led PM&C’s National Security Committee Secretariat between 2011 and 2014, supporting Prime Ministers Gillard, Rudd and Abbott, and before this the Department of Defence’s Cabinet and Freedom of Information teams from 2008 to 11. He was Defence Adviser to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, the Hon Bruce Scott MP, in 2000-01. Brad studied South Pacific history at the University of Queensland before joining the Department of Defence’s Graduate program in 1988. Brad’s career in Defence focused on Australia’s regional relationships, and included three years as First Secretary (Defence) at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, and two years seconded to the New Zealand Government in Wellington.

Course presenter(s)

Associate Professor Matt Sussex

Associate Professor Matthew Sussex is the Academic Director at the National Security College. His main research specialisation is on Russian foreign and security policy, but his interests also cover: government and politics in Eurasia; strategic studies; terrorism and counter-terrorism; energy security; and Australian foreign policy. He is particularly interested in contemporary trends in violent conflict, especially in ‘hybrid’ warfare and in the evolution of propaganda. Prior to joining NSC Dr Sussex was Director of Politics and International Relations at the University of Tasmania. He has served on the National Executive of the Australian Institute for International Affairs and has been Associate Editor of the Australian Journal of International Affairs. He is also currently a Non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Dr Sussex’s research has previously been awarded funding by the Australian Research Council (Discovery Projects), the Australia-US Fulbright Commission and the International Studies Association, amongst others. Dr Sussex’s recent solo or collaborative book projects include Eurasian Integration, Central Asia and the New Geopolitics of Energy (Palgrave, 2015); Power, Politics and Confrontation in Eurasia (Palgrave, 2015); Violence and the State (Manchester University Press, 2015), and Conflict in the Former USSR (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Australian Government logo
‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  21 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator