Underestimating the digital power of Russia's intelligence operations

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth


In an internal memo to CIA employees last December, CIA Director John Brennan complained that some members of Congress he had briefed about the agency’s assessment that Russia interfered in the US presidential election did not “understand and appreciate the importance and gravity of the issue.

Given how much of Russia’s activity is online rather than through more traditional political manipulation techniques, I can’t help wondering if this is another example of powerful people of a certain age still not realising how powerful and pervasive digital is in our society – and our polity.

If that’s the case, America is ill-protected against the subtle warfare of the 21st Century. And I suspect things aren’t much better in the UK.

digital culturePoliticsrussiaUSAworld politics

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.