WASHINGTON (Nov. 10, 2021) – Georgetown Law’s Center on National Security has launched its National Security & Technology Innovation Incubator and convened a high-level Task Force to address future threats in the social media landscape and emanating from emerging technologies.

“Social media and its related technologies have transformed global society so rapidly and ubiquitously that both government and the private sector have struggled to keep pace and mitigate risks,” said the Center’s director, Professor Laura Donohue. “The NatSec Tech Incubator’s first project connects cutting-edge research, pedagogy, and a high-level Task Force to develop a governance approach to social media. Going forward, the NatSec Tech Incubator will also examine the security implications of other emerging technologies in order to propose practical and creative solutions.”

Task Force members, who are contributing in their individual capacity, include experts from diverse backgrounds, including from the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the US government, technology companies, traditional and next-generation media, law, finance, civil society, and academia. The Center will convene the Task Force over the next year, starting on November 16, 2021, to develop actionable recommendations. Members include:

  • Matt Abrams
  • Gerrin T. Alexander
  • Leonard Bailey
  • Whitney Kimball Coe
  • G. Marcus Cole
  • Laura Donohue
  • Sharon Bradford Franklin
  • Doowan Lee
  • Hon. Margaret McKeown
  • Saiph Savage
  • Amanda Shanor
  • Rep. Lori Trahan
  • Irene Wu

Former longtime Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler and Justice Department cybersecurity unit leader Leonard Bailey have joined the Center as the NatSec Tech’s inaugural senior fellows.

The NatSec Tech incubator’s first project – Social Media & Tech 360: Innovation, Security, & Governance – will address threats including disinformation campaigns, online extremist organizing, regulatory gaps and the privatization of public oversight. It was the recipient of a 2020 Public Interest Technology Challenge grant and has three components:

  • A high-level Task Force made up of venture capitalists, technologists, ethicists, policymakers, influencers, representatives of marginalized communities, and other thought leaders, who will help identify future risks and opportunities associated with next-generation social media and how best to address them in ways that benefit the public interest.
  • A virtual social media simulation is under development by the Center and the MIT Game Lab. It will allow users to test and develop potential solutions to emerging social media threats in real-time. These may include decentralized networks or new regulatory frameworks, and the new platform will be used in the classroom to better prepare our future national security and technology decision-makers.
  • A Research Consortium with 15 scholars and practitioners producing new scholarship and policy papers on a range of related topics: blockchain and cyber currencies; augmented reality; biometric microtargeting; social network analytics, artificial intelligence and deep learning; Constitutional law, antitrust and privacy law; standards setting in the global regulatory environments; international security threats emanating from Russia, China, and Iran; and philosophical and ethical concerns raised by the current and next-generation media ecosystem.

Learn more about Social Media & Tech 360: Innovation, Security, & Governance.