Our Takes

The weaponization of genuine election administration mistakes fueled Texas’ takeover of Harris County’s elections. It is not the only place where simple errors such as long lines and insufficient numbers of ballots are being used to cast doubt on US elections, writes Senior Elections Integrity Fellow David Levine in the Election Law Blog

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News and Commentary

Chinese Government Information Operations Evolve: Recent reports from Microsoft and others reveal that Chinese information campaigns are using content generated by artificial intelligence, influencers, and state media to target audiences around the world, including by pushing disinformation about domestic US issues, such as the Hawaii wildfires. Senior Fellow Bret Schafer said, “China’s adoption of AI has the potential to sharpen their influence campaigns targeting US citizens, which in the past have suffered from a lack of cultural nuance. At the same time, as noted in the recent Facebook report, China’s covert campaigns continue to struggle to build audiences in the West, so the threat, at least now, should not be overblown.”

Italy to Quit China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni signaled to Chinese officials that Italy will withdraw from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but that it aims to maintain constructive economic relations with Beijing. Research Analyst Etienne Soula told the Dispatch, “As tensions escalate between China and Italy’s closest economic partners and security allies, Rome’s earlier decision to participate in Beijing’s flagship geoeconomic initiative has become increasingly untenable. At the same time, a majority of Italians currently believes that China will be the most influential actor in global affairs in the next five years, a view likely shared by at least part of Meloni’s government. So, while Rome is exiting the BRI to satisfy its allies in the short term, it is also keen to preserve what it sees as a crucial relationship in the medium to long term.”

In Case You Missed It

  • United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned Chinese interference in his country’s democracy after British police arrested a parliamentary researcher with ties to several conservative members of parliament on charges of spying for China.
  • The White House announced that eight technology companies—including Adobe and IBM—agreed to adopt voluntary commitments on the secure development of artificial intelligence.
  • The United States sanctioned 150 businesses and individuals across multiple countries—including Turkey, Georgia, and the United Arab Emirates—for enabling Russia to circumvent sanctions and obtain technology and financial resources.
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced an investigation into Chinese state subsidies for electric vehicles, a move that could open the way for restrictions on the vehicles’ access to the European market.
  • A prominent Russian journalist and dissident’s iPhone was hacked with Pegasus spyware while she was meeting other Russian journalists in Germany, the first known case of the spyware being used against a high-profile Russian target.
  • The US National Security Council is urging all governments participating in the International Counter Ransomware Initiative to issue a joint statement declaring their refusal to pay ransoms to cybercriminals.

ASD in the News

Quote of the Week

“I believe Europe, together with partners, should lead the way on a new global framework for AI, built on three pillars: guardrails, governance, and guiding innovation…. Our AI Act is already a blueprint for the whole world.”

  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during her annual State of the Union Address in Strasbourg on September 13.


The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.