In April 2018 I wrote a memo and draft executive order intended to help the current administration address foreign information warfare and advance “information statecraft.” It was socialized at the highest levels of national security but ultimately didn’t go anywhere.

I wanted to share it here in case any administration, current or future, wants to use it. I still believe there’s a need to address these issues across the government and strengthen our defenses. Let me know your thoughts!

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April 21, 2018

I believe there’s an opportunity to advance “information statecraft” as a positive and enduring…

Journalist Tim Pool on Joe Rogan

On the Joe Rogan podcast Tuesday night, independent journalist Tim Pool told Twitter execs: “As a private platform you’ve become too powerful to not be regulated if you refuse to allow people free speech.”

He later elaborated on Twitter.

As the debate rages on over social media censorship and political bias, it occurred to me how unanchored these conversations are in data.

Are social media platforms too powerful in shaping our discourse, as Tim suggests?

In an effort to advance the conversation, I’ve pulled together some stats to put these issues in perspective. My intent isn’t to advocate for…

It’s not an easy time to be a fan of journalism in pro-Trump circles.

Fake News. Enemy of the people.

It’s not just the President using these words. Many of my staid, sober-minded friends have embraced this rhetoric too. The anger is palpable.

Harvard Law School professor Adrian Vermeule recently compared the media to the meth industry, tweeting: “Layoffs at BuzzFeed and HuffPo strike me as roughly equivalent to a downturn in the methamphetamine industry, and I have no more sympathy for the participants.”

Really, Adrian?

Rhetoric aside, I understand the frustration. Our political media is so skewed left, so…

Exclusive Release from Jeff Giesea

The following is a leaked copy of the secret after-action report from the Alabama Senate disinfo campaign known as Project Birmingham. The New York Times broke the story in a December 19 article. The Times article refers to this report, but it hasn’t been publicly available until now. The images have been tweaked to remove watermarks and metadata.

UPDATE: A January 6 Washington Post article corroborates the authenticity of these documents. It says the entire document is 12 pages, labeled “Project Birmingham Debrief,” and dated Dec. 15, 2017. Six pages are listed below, which means…

What is the relationship between power and truth?

I recently came across a 1977 interview of Michel Foucault in which he speaks directly on the topic. I wanted to share it as food for thought.

Note Foucault’s focus on the “regime of truth” and systems of production of truth. These strike me as in flux in our society and may be helpful in understanding how our information environment is impacting geopolitics.

Here’s the excerpt:

The important thing here, I believe, is that truth isn’t outside power, or lacking in power: contrary to a myth whose history and functions would repay…

After a chemical attack was reported in Douma, Syria in April, many of us weren’t sure how much to trust the narrative we were hearing from the New York Times and US government officials. They reported that Assad’s government was behind the attack, while Assad and his allies in Russia and Iran claimed it was a hoax. Multiple narratives circulated that seemed credible, and I found myself feeling disoriented in my search for what really happened. It wasn’t important enough to me to spend hours investigating, so I shrugged it off.

If you’d asked me then or now, I’d defer…

I agree with Jordan Greenhall that we are already in the midst of a new world war. It’s a war on sense-making.

Rather, it’s a war over sense-making. As in: who or what determines how we make sense of the world?

This is a meta take on McLuhan’s vision of World War III:

“World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.”

— Marshall McLuhan, “Culture Is Our Business”, 1970, p. 66

What are some active battles in this war? I see three:

  1. The most sweeping battle to shape sense-making is over the…

The following are my introductory remarks for a panel at NATO’s Riga StratCom Dialogue. I entitled these remarks “Global Non-linear Memetic Warfare Is Here — Practical Recommendations for NATO Members”

Thanks for the opportunity to be here with you. My name is Jeff Giesea. I’m an entrepreneur by background, living in Washington DC. I’ve written two papers on the topic of memetic warfare. The first, “It’s time to embrace memetic warfare” was published in 2015 in the first edition of Defence Strategic Communications (see pg 68). …

It is a confusing moment in the world. Many of us are sorting out where we stand and how to navigate it.

As I engage more politically I often ask myself, what’s constructive? Like many of you, I try to create value in everything I do. I try to operate from a place of good intentions. But sometimes it’s confusing. Sometimes I’m not sure what’s constructive. Sometimes I go to the edges and find things that are true but outside the mainstream. Sometimes I mess up.

How do we stay true in today’s polarized political environment?

Here is a quick…

Jeff Giesea

Musings on media, technology, national security, and personal development.

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