Disinformation is not a new phenomenon – but through technological advances and the speed at which information travels, we are looking at a much more complex environment. While online platforms play an important role in tackling disinformation because of platform's popularity, it is essential to keep the whole information environment in mind. Bots are still being employed to spread disinformation, but the challenge has evolved far beyond this, e.g. with the phenomenon of deepfakes on the horizon. Disinformation is also spread via more traditional forms of communication, such as the radio and television. Even poster campaigns and real-world discussions can be used as means to spread disinformation. To understand the entirety of the challenge and to design effective responses on all necessary channels, research is needed on all of those channels and the overarching context of hybrid threats needs to be kept in mind.
- Lutz Güllner, Head of Division, Strategic Communications, EEAS
Lutz Güllner works in the European External Action Service, the EU's diplomatic arm, where he is Head of Division for Strategic Communications and Information Analysis. He leads a team of about 35 persons dealing with issues related to disinformation and foreign manipulative interference. In his work, he focuses on addressing disinformation threats for the EU and for the EU's neighbourhood region. Prior to his current position he served as Head of the EEAS's foreign and security policy communication team (2017-2019) and as Head of the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade's communication team (2013-17). He was also Deputy Head of the Trade Strategy Unit and responsible for the coordination of EU-US trade and economic relations. In 2009 and 2010, Lutz Güllner was spokesperson for the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton. He was also the Commission's spokesperson for trade policy. In previous positions, he was in charge of economic relations between the EU and Russia. Prior to joining the European Commission, Lutz Güllner worked as public affairs consultant in Brussels. He studied political science and international relations at the Free University of Berlin and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. He is teaching trade policy and EU foreign affairs at the post-graduate studies programme for European studies in Berlin.
- Raimonda Miglinaite, Russia expert, East StratCom Task Force, EEAS
Title of the presentation: Question even more: disinformation in the pro-Kremlin media
Raimonda is coming from East Stratcom Task Force, EEAS Strategic Communication and Information Analysis division. She has joined the team in November 2018, and together with her colleagues they track, expose and address pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns.
- Lukas Andriukaitis, Research Associate, Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) at the Atlantic Council
Title of the presentation: Digital Sherlocks
Lukas Andriukaitis is a research associate at the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) at the Atlantic Council. In this capacity, he researches Russian disinformation in Syria, as well as the conflicts in Syria and Donbas. Additionally, he is an associate analyst at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis (VIPA). Prior to this, he worked as the deputy head of the Strategic Planning Branch in the State Railway Inspectorate under the Ministry of Transport of Lithuania. A lieutenant in the Lithuanian military, he served in the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces Special Purpose Service as a support officer. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science.
- Ruben Arcos Martin, Lecturer, Rey Juan Carlos University
Title of the presentation: Digital communication-enabled actives measures/reflexive control and the democratization of the production/dissemination of disinformation and AI-forgeries (deep fakes)
Dr. Rubén Arcos is a lecturer and researcher in communication sciences (accredited as non-civil servant tenured lecturer) at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid since 2007. He is a co-founder and co-director of IntelHub, an international joint initiative between the American Public University System (APUS), the University of Leicester in the UK, and King Juan Carlos University. He is a freelance contributor of Jane’s Intelligence Review and Deputy Editor (handling editor) of The International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs (Routledge). He is a member of the Hybrid CoE's information expert pool and has been a contributor of Hybrid CoE Strategic Analysis Papers.He is currently a member of the research group Ciberimaginario and a researcher in the project CRESCEnt – Mind the gap in media coverage and strategic communication in case of security threats, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. His research focuses on intelligence/intelligence analysis and strategic communication. His latest book (edited with William J. Lahneman) is The Art of Intelligence: More Simulations, Exercises, and Games (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).
- Päivi Tampere, Head of Communications, Hybrid Center of Excellence
Title of the presentation: Disinformation - one element of hybrid threats
Dr. Päivi Tampere was working as Strategic Communication Adviser to the Government of Estonia and a lecturer at Tallinn University prior to joining Hybrid CoE in January 2018. She has also worked as Press Officer at Estonian Police and Border Guard Board and Helsinki Police. Her doctoral thesis is in Communication Management from Tallinn University with a focus on construction of citizen-authority relationship during crises in social media. Her main professional interests include psychological resilience, crisis communication, counter- disinformation activities, information influencing.
For more sessions on "Tackling online disinformation" please have a look at the full programme. This initiative is jointly organised by DG CONNECT and DG COMM.