The “Crystal Ball” of Ukraine’s Information Warfare

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A Google executive warned the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that cyberattacks, disinformation and other forms of information warfare in Ukraine are a “crystal ball” for future problems elsewhere.

Jared Cohen told a council meeting on hate speech, incitement and atrocities in Ukraine: “Countries must find a way to lower the volume and define some kind of cyber domain theory of deterrence.”

He argues that while tech companies need expertise, “there is no magic algorithm or single solution” and finding a solution requires a lot of experimentation.

Cohen is the head of Jigsaw, part of Google that builds technology to fight online disinformation, censorship and extremism.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine “has been a disproportionate target for advanced cyberattacks,” he said, adding: “It’s basically our crystal ball for what might happen.”

The Ukraine war has increased pressure on tech companies to work harder against hate speech, disinformation and other harmful content online.EU is Commitment to comprehensive new rules That would require Google, Facebook’s parent company Meta and other tech giants to more strictly regulate their platforms.

Western powers in the Security Council have accused Russia of a propaganda, disinformation and hate campaign aimed at undermining Ukraine. a recent report An investigation from cybersecurity firm Mandiant found that Russia used disinformation, fear and propaganda to demoralize Ukraine and divide its allies.

“Hate speech can also be a war crime,” Britain’s deputy U.N. ambassador, James Kariuki, said on Tuesday, calling on Russia to “stop making such speech.”

Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia reiterated the country’s counterclaim that Ukrainian authorities’ rhetoric, encouraged by the West, poisoned citizens against Russia and Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population.

“From our perspective, we see real violence and Russophobia in Ukraine,” he said.

Albania, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the council, called for Tuesday’s meeting.

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