Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Senior Fellow Amb. David Smith, (Ret.), is the Director of the Georgian Security Analysis Center in Tbilisi, Georgia. Amb. Smith writes and lectures extensively on cybersecurity, and his presentation at the International Cyber Defence Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in May of 2011, was entitled "Russia, Georgia and the Shape of Cyber Wars to Come."  On Thursday, December 1, he took questions in a live chat forum on “'Friending' the Enemy: Social Media, Foreign Threats and Deterrence in Cyberspace."  Click here to access the archived chat on our Live Event Chat page.

Amb. Smith notes that attempts by nations to spread influence and propaganda into other countries by various media are nothing new, and include such time-honored methods as dropping leaflets and broadcasting messages behind enemy lines. But he notes that with the rise of electronic media, and social media in particular, "For the first time, states can 'reach behind' a foreign government and talk directly to their people,"  without necessarily making the infiltrators' identities or agendas known.  Amb. Smith says this changed paradigm calls for a new approach to deterrence in cyberspace, one that  the US and allies are only just beginning to figure out.


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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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