37 minutes | Oct 7th 2020

Disinformation and Misinformation with Morgan Wright

With the 2020 elections right around the corner, do you know who is trying to influence you and how they’re doing it? Listen on to learn about the ins and outs of disinformation, misinformation, interference, and influence. 

Morgan Wright is an internationally recognized expert on cybersecurity strategy, cyberterrorism, and advanced technology. His landmark testimony before Congress on healthcare.gov changed how the government collected personally identifiable information. He has made hundreds of appearances on national news - radio, print, and web - and has spoken to audiences around the world. 

Show Notes:
  • [1:21] - Morgan Wright shares his background, including his childhood in a military family and his original college major as music. He moved into law enforcement and then shifted in computer crime.
  • [3:26] - Morgan moved into cybercrime because of his interest in both people and technology.
  • [4:40] - On 9/11, Morgan was supposed to be in the Pentagon but was in the Reagan building instead. Because of the attacks on 9/11, he was thrown into cyberterrorism as well.
  • [6:11] - Morgan also worked for Cisco and was the technical advisor for the show America’s Most Wanted.
  • [7:35] - Another facet of Morgan’s career is even working on cold case homicide files.
  • [8:36] - The next generation of leadership needs to be educated in technology. Every company is a software company whether you like it or not.
  • [10:36] - Disinformation is information that is intentionally changed to achieve a particular objective. The person spreading the information knows it isn’t true, but wants to incite public outrage against someone.
  • [11:06] - Misinformation is when someone hears something and believes it to be correct and shares it, to then later find out that it wasn’t accurate information.
  • [11:40] - Twitter was monitored to see how quickly disinformation and misinformation spread and it spread faster than legitimate truthful news.
  • [12:23] - Russia has been targeting people’s biases by spreading disinformation since 1917 and they understand how to take advantage of how a system works.
  • [14:56] - The real danger is when people or organizations understand how news spreads and take advantage of these algorithms to influence major decisions, events, and even human lives.
  • [16:42] - Chris and Morgan discuss Pizzagate as an example of spreading disinformation and misinformation and how the use of social media spreads it extremely fast.
  • [17:35] - Interference is a sovereignty issue. Morgan gives an example of how interference is even considered an act of war in some places.
  • [17:59] - The United States has spent a great deal of money in the influence field.
  • [18:58] - Influence is a massive social engineering operation.
  • [21:03] - Disinformation runs so deep that sometimes even trained professionals miss it.
  • [21:52] - You do not have to react to every single post you see. Take a moment to digest what you are seeing before you react to it as truth.
  • [22:44] - Parents have to be vigilant about what their kids see and read on the internet. You need to curate what your kids view and what you yourself view as well.
  • [24:08] - It is important for adults to be adults. Even with opposing views, you need to be able to be an adult and have a respectful conversation with others.
  • [25:13] - It seems that we have lost the ability to get things done with others who have opposing views.
  • [27:31] - It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has all the data. What happens is you twist facts to fit theories instead of twisting theories to fit the facts.
  • [28:13] - Nobody wants to do their own research. They just want information spoon fed to them.
  • [29:31] - The danger of conspiracy theories is that you are fed just enough kernels of truth to make it believable.
  • [32:00] - Chris and Morgan discuss a few 9/11 conspiracy theories and why it is easier to believe them than to believe the truth.
  • [33:47] - If you listen to the news, don’t believe a thing you hear. Do your own independent research before you share something on social media.
  • [35:00] - The oxygen this disinformation and influence operation needs to spread is you. It's you clicking that link and sharing it.

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