Americans love speed. It is buried deep in their psyche. The good news is we move information fast. The bad news is we sometimes move it too fast. The news of the recent Boston Bombings spread as quickly but far more broadly through social media. The dizzying volume and speed of information was breathtaking. So was the misinformation, rumor and desire to be the first – right or wrong. Thus the challenge of the Internet Age begins – can news be speedy and accurate?
PR, Social Media and Govt 2.0
April 23rd, 2013 - by Ronald Marks
April 22nd, 2013 - by Justin Hienz
In a democratic society, the government’s job is to serve the people. The same can be said of the press. Of late, however, both pillars in the American experiment have fallen short of their raison d’etre. At the recent National Association of Government Communicators Communications School, I met some government public affairs officers and journalists having a frank and friendly conversation about how we can do better.
With the recent heat waves and storms that have impacted millions of people throughout the United States, much is being written about the nation’s inability to prevent and recover quickly from destructive events. I am not yet ready to start placing blame – there are lots of things I should have done to be prepared. Individual responsibility leads to community preparedness. Here are some thoughts the disruptions bring to mind.
A recent Twitter exchange between the Taliban and the U.S. military shows how social media is evolving and how its current stage of development involves the use of Twitter to wage war on an ideological level. Over the past several years, social networking sites have become a catalyst for users to achieve political objectives. The U.S. Government and its security forces need to be constantly aware of how the enemy’s use of social media is evolving and proactively plan for ways to win the social networking battle.
May 17th, 2012 - by Steven Bucci
A panel at the MilBloggers Conference provided a very interesting discussion earlier this month. The main point of the meeting is that the news media covers the military differently. Social media is driving fast reporting online and has created a constant drumbeat for information NOW. The panel was asked if this effect has created a tabloid-type, low quality product today. The reporters agreed blogs add a valuable corrective and much positive context to the media landscape.
May 9th, 2012 -
For several years, Security Debrief contributors have joined Francis Rose on Federal News Radio to discuss security issues and the role of the Federal government. For the homeland and national security crowd, In Depth with Francis Rose offers insightful and informative discussions, and there is a growing audience of listeners outside the Beltway. Recently, the news and talk radio magazine TALKERS added Francis Rose to its annual list of the top 250 talk show hosts in America.
Throughout history, wars have often turned on the success or failure of seizing the high ground. Waterloo, Gettysburg, the Battle of Hastings, D-Day all depended on taking the heights, and the results of these battles changed the tides of wars and history. Today is no different, but the high ground looks much different on the Internet.
For better or worse, social media is the billboard of our lives in today’s digital world. Recent news stories detailing how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was monitoring media outlets, news sites, and other social networking platforms have raised some eyebrows, but it would be completely irresponsible for DHS, intelligence, or law enforcement authorities to ignore these valuable resources and the information and insights they can provide.
January 20th, 2012 - by Chris Battle
I just worked my way through multiple social media feeds from federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies. I wanted to stick a paper clip in my eye. The lack of thought put into the posts and clear lack of interest in engaging community members is obvious. The continuous desire on the part of government agencies to “control the message” is self-defeating. Guys: You’re not controlling any message.
December 5th, 2011 -
Here’s hoping TSA has a sense of humor in the stressful holiday travel season.
August 24th, 2011 - by Chris Battle
Ever tried to get on Twitter only to find that frustrating white whale floating in a sea of blue with the message that the network is overcrowded and you should come back later? In the social media world, this is known as the Fail Whale. During yesterday’s mini emergency in Washington, when a 5.8 earthquake shook the city and sent scared and confused folks fleeing from buildings, we experienced a Fail Whale on the part of the Washington DC, government. Increasingly, citizens aren’t turning to government officials for disaster management but to one another. And they’re doing it through social media.
August 24th, 2011 - by David Olive
One of the best descriptions of what it is like to work in Washington, DC, can be summed up with the old canard, “After all is said and done, there will be a lot more said than done.” I have every confidence that will be the situation following the earthquake we experienced early Tuesday afternoon. Less than 24 hours from the event, it is presumptuous to draw final conclusions, but there are some things that need to be addressed immediately.
August 18th, 2011 - by Chris Battle
The Bay Area Transit Police, amusingly known as BART, show that law enforcement still doesn’t understand the value — and challenges — of social media. The police force reacted to planned flash mobs by shutting down cell phone service in the BART stations. Hey, if you can’t talk to one another, how are you going to organize, right? Thank God BART wasn’t around when the Founding Fathers were trying to hammer out the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps the transit agency would have drummed the unruly bastards out of Philadelphia before they could dream up the First Amendment.
April 22nd, 2011 - by Chris Battle
I understand today is the last day for Sean Smith, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. He leaves under a bit of a cloud for having threatened to decapitate staff in the press and legislative affairs shops at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). So it makes me a little nervous to write this post; I don’t want to end up getting pistol-whipped with a stapler.
Washington’s Cyber Security landscape has two tribes. One is the Wooly Headed Wonks. This tribe’s members are into policy, law and regulations. The other tribe is the Propeller Headed Geeks. This tribe’s members are scientists, computer engineers and software architects. The growing cyber threat that we all face is such that the two groups MUST learn to cooperate. If they do not, we are in big trouble.
February 23rd, 2011 -
A panel discussion on how the digital revolution sparked the popular uprising that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be held Monday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the National Press Club Ballroom.
We now have an Iron Triangle of Cybersecurity. At the points are security, privacy and information sharing. Each one is enabled by the other two, and each one is, at the same time, in conflict with the other two. How can we achieve the balance that we so badly need?
February 3rd, 2011 - by Steven Bucci
One of the most successful (I did not say perfect) cybersecurity programs in the Federal Government is being run by the Department of State. That is because they have about as close to a continuous monitoring system as possible. They are an example for the rest of the government. How has State done this?
Every man, or nation, for themselves might be the best mantra for cybersecurity. The recently released results of a cyber summit organized by the EastWest Institute concluded as much. In short, an international treaty might be unattainable. The right approach to cyber governance is to begin with the premise that all national security challenges are a series of actions and counteractions between competitors, and inquiring how these competitions might progress in the future.
The Cyber Market writ large is well over $15 billion. Despite the seemingly well-informed and well-intentioned efforts of the Obama Administration, the large contracts (or lots of medium sized ones) most of the experts thought would begin to flow in 2010 quite simply did not happen. I expect this to break lose this year.