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Team Aurora - 2021 Technology, Innovation & Great Power Competition

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Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition,TIGPC, Gordian knot Center, DIME-FIL, department of defense, dod, intlpol 340, joe felter, ms&e296, raj shah, stanford, Steve blank, AI, ML, AI/ML, china, unmanned, autonomy, Army venture capital

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Team Aurora - 2021 Technology, Innovation & Great Power Competition

  1. Original Problem Statement How can the U.S. employ its cyber capabilities to provide the populace of China with unrestricted Internet access? How can it use this access to bolster civil society against CCP crackdowns, in order to pressure the PRC, spread American liberal values, and uphold U.S. freedom of action in the information domain? Total Interviews: 18 Laura Bocek - BA Int’l Rel. ‘24 Fátima Ptacek - BA Political Science ‘22 Jay Meier - MSx ‘22 Pierce Lowary - BS Comp. Sci. ‘22 Final Problem Statement How does the USG leverage a soft-power information campaign to support Hong Kong residents’ right to self-determination and democratic governance without placing individuals at undue risk (of prosecution as foreign agents under the National Security Law)?
  2. Week 2 Original Problem Use cyber capabilities to uncensor internet access for Chinese citizens Week 3 Week 5 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 China Offensive Cyber Professor on China Support democratic values in Hong Kong through activists Hong Kong Activists Big Tech causes lots of problems for activists Activist Interviews Big Tech and International Policy Google Policy Lead The US does not set norms for freedom of speech Public Diplomacy Department of State Department of State Employees Solution Validation Project Trajectory
  3. Week 2 Week 3 China Offensive Cyber Original Problem Use cyber capabilities to uncensor internet access for Chinese citizens Week 5 Week 8 Week 7 Week 9 Initial Interviews
  4. Interview: Cyber Professor @ CISAC ● Investigate offensive cyber operations & info ops ● Great Firewall of China Idea: Offensive Cyber Operations + info ops ● Degrade censorship ● Disrupt enforcement Crack the Great Firewall
  5. Interview: Chinese Censorship Professor ● Too aggressive, provocative ● Support HKers seeking free info Idea: HK Activists = Consumers ● HKers value free info ● Primary stakeholders ● PRC: less demand Initial Hypothesis Challenged Activists as stakeholders?
  6. Week 2 Week 3 Week 5 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Solution Validation Hong Kong Activists China Offensive Cyber Professor on China Support democratic values in Hong Kong through activists Original Problem Use cyber capabilities to uncensor internet access for Chinese citizens Pivot to Activists
  7. Both are reliant on Big Tech to maintain information flows Internal Activists in HK ● More concerned with safety ● Worried about Hong Kong becoming a black hole Activists in Exile ● Less concerned with safety ● See exiled activists as security threat Activists Not Monolithic
  8. Week 2 Week 3 Week 5 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 China Offensive Cyber Professor on China Support democratic values in Hong Kong through activists Hong Kong Activists Big Tech causes lots of problems for activists Activist Interviews Big Tech International Policy Original Problem Use cyber capabilities to uncensor internet access for Chinese citizens Leveraging Tech Policy
  9. “Google has to respond to legal requests in jurisdictions that it works in… we either comply with the law or we don’t.” ● Easier to push back with extrajudicial requests ● Limited options for recourse ● Western democracies NOT on the same page on freedom of speech and censorship. Overwhelming international consensus required… not realistic. Tech Policy - Dead End
  10. Week 2 Week 3 Week 5 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 China Offensive Cyber Professor on China Support democratic values in Hong Kong through activists Hong Kong Activists Big Tech causes lots of problems for activists Activist Interviews Big Tech and International Policy Google Policy Lead The US does not set norms for freedom of speech Public Diplomacy Department of State Original Problem Use cyber capabilities to uncensor internet access for Chinese citizens Pivot to Public Diplomacy
  11. CCP leverages “foreign interference” to pass additional restrictions. CCP increases restrictions on HK civil society. Hong Kong citizens protest / USG offers overt support to HK activism. Existing CCP Censorship Cycle Don’t Grant CCP More Leverage
  12. Any solution MUST: - - Minimize perception of “foreign meddling” - - Avoid US vs China narrative - - Build awareness of the “democratic option” Play the Long Game - Soft Power “All of these can be accomplished through existing DoS programs… when properly resourced and implemented.” - USEMB Beijing Public Affairs Official
  13. Week 2 Original Hypothesis Cyber operation to disrupt the Great Firewall Week 3 Week 5 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 China Offensive Cyber Professor on China Support democratic values in Hong Kong through activists Hong Kong Activists Big Tech causes lots of problems for activists Activist Interviews Big Tech and International Policy Google Policy Lead The US does not set norms for freedom of speech Public Diplomacy Department of State Department of State Employees Solution Validation Solution Affirmation
  14. US Soft Power Campaign - Democracy Pros: • Light impact over a long period of time • Less likely to see CCP pushback Cons: • Requires time and space Direct Support to Activists Pros: • Increased resilience Cons: • Could make them easier to target • Strengthens CCP’s assertions of US meddling Leverage Big Tech / Tech Policy Pros: • Bolster free speech Cons: • Limited leverage / could play into CCP’s hands • Western democracies divided Offensive Cyber Operation Pros: • Powerful in event of military action Cons: • Overt, attributable • Implications for activists • Anti - China Solution Silos
  15. Implementation Concept Increase Resourcing for Public Diplomacy Increase DP PD (0113.7) funding for messaging activities Push additional funding to Embassy level Create new appropriations as required 1 Delegate Messaging to the Country Teams Broad Themes from DOS HQ Local Knowledge Drives Messaging Resourcing for Market Research 2 Bring in Outside Expertise Authority / Funding to hire SMEs Public Affairs / Journalism Support FSOs with Experts 3
  16. QUESTIONS / DISCUSSION
  17. International Platform for Freedom Ultimate Goal - Horizontal connection between democratic activists - multinational platform - add value, not compete with, traditional forms of aid Providers of Aid - Foundations - NGOs - Professors - Private Individuals Seekers of Democracy Assistance - Ideas - Money - Training - Infrastructure Marketplace for Democracy

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