Background Readings


U.S. Const. art. 1 §4 cl. 1

47 U.S. Code § 230 (c) (1996).

Exec. Order No. 13848 83 Fed. Reg. 46843 (Sept. 14, 2018).

31 C.F.R §579 (2019).

Department of Defense Documents

Summary: 2018 Department of Defense Cyber Strategy, U.S. Dep’t of Def., (Sep. 2018).

Joint Statement from DOS, DOJ, DOD, DHS, ODNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA on Preparations for Super Tuesday, U.S. Department of Defense (Mar. 2, 2020).

1225 Report Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan, U.S. Dep’t of Def., at 23-30 (Dec. 2019).

DOD Has Enduring Role in Election Defense, U.S. Dep’t of Def., (Feb. 10, 2020).

Congressional Documents

Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Activities Measures and Influence Campaigns: Hearing before the S. Comm. on Intelligence, 115th Cong. 30-41 (2017) (statement of Clint Watts, Robert A. Fox Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute).

Congressional Research Service, Election Security: Federal Funding for Securing Election Systems (Mar. 12, 2020).

Russian Intervention in European Elections: Hearing before the Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. Senate, 115th Cong. (2017).

Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election Volume 2: Russia’s Use of Social Media with Additional Views, S. Rep. No. 116-xx (2019).

Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines Act of 2019, S. 1060, 116th Cong. (2019).

Securing America’s Federal Election’s Act, H.R. 2772, 116th Cong. (2019).

Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy Act, H.R. 4617, 116th Cong. (2019).

Honest Ads Act of 2017, S.1989, 115th Cong. (2017).

PAPER Act, H.R. 3751, 115th Cong. (2017).

Secure Elections Act, S. 2261, 115th Cong. (2017).

Other Government Documents

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, ICA 2017-01D, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (2017).

Scholarship & Other Research

Laura Rosenberger & Thomas Morley, Russia’s Promotion of Illiberal Populism: Tools, Tactics, Networks, Alliance for Securing Democracy (2019).

Christopher Dornan, Science Disinformation in a Time of Pandemic, Public Policy Forum, (2020).

Michael N. Schmitt, ‘Virtual’ Disenfranchisement: Cyber Election Meddling in the Grey Zones of International Law, 19, Chicago Journal of International Law, 30 (2018).

Hunt Allcott & Matthew Gentzkow, Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election, 31, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 211 (2017).

Deen Freelon & Tetyana Lokot, Russian Twitter disinformation campaigns reach across the American political spectrum, 1 The Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, 1 (2020).

Ashley C. Nicolas, Taming the Trolls: The Need for an International Legal Framework to Regulate State Use of Disinformation on Social Media, Geo. LJ Online (2018).

Manuel Rodriguez, Disinformation Operations Aimed at (Democratic) Elections in the Context of Public International Law: The Conduct of the Internet Research Agency During the 2016 US Presidential Election, Cambridge University Press (2020).

Michael A. Specter & J. Alex Halderman, Security Analysis of the Democracy Live Online Voting System, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Michigan (2020).

Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, Successfully Countering Russian Electoral Interference: 15 Lessons Learned from the Macron Leaks, Center for Strategic and International Studies (June 2018).

Eric Manpearl, Securing U.S. Election Systems: Designating U.S. Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure and Instituting Election Security Reforms, 24, B.U. J. Sci & Tech. L. 168 (2018).

Drew Marvel, Protecting the States from Electoral Invasions, 28, William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 197 (2019).

Defending America’s Election Infrastructure, Brennan Center for Justice (Oct. 23, 2019).

Christina Nemr & William Gangware, Weapons of Mass Distraction: Foreign State-Sponsored Disinformation in the Digital Age, Park Advisors. (Mar. 2019).

[Paywall] Franziska B. Keller , David Schoch , Sebastian Stier & JungHwan Yang, Political Astroturfing on Twitter: How to Coordinate a Disinformation Campaign, Political Communication, 37:2, 256-280 (2020).

[Paywall] Michael Alvarez & Thad E. Hall, Point, Click, and Vote: The Future of Internet Voting, 1-15 (2003).

Danielle Root, Liz Kennedy, Michael Sozan & Jerry Parshall, Election Security in All 50 States, Center for American Progress (Feb. 12, 2018).

Scott Shackelford, Bruce Schneier, Michael Sulmeyer, Anne Boustead, Ben Buchanan, Amanda N. Craig Deckard, Trey Herr & Jessica Malekos Smith, Making Democracy Harder to Hack, 50 U. Mich. J. L. Reform 629 (2017).

Kristofer Goldsmith, An Investigation Into Foreign Entities Who Are Targeting Servicemembers and Veterans Online, Vietnam Veterans of America (Sept. 17, 2019).

Daniel Funke & Daniela Flamini, A guide to anti-misinformation actions around the world, Poynter (2018/19).

Ukrainian Election Task Force Rep., Atlantic Council (May 2019).

Daniel Busch & Maciej Kurzynski, Poland: Presidential Election 2020 Scene-Setter, Stanford Internet Observatory (Jan. 2020)

Kathleen Hall Jamieson & Dolores Albarracin, The Relation between Media Consumption and Misinformation at the Outset of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in the US, 1 HKS Misinfo. R. ++ (Apr. 2020)

Erik Brattberg & Tim Maurer, Russian Election Interference: Europe’s Counter to Fake News and Cyber Attacks, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (May 23, 2018).

News Articles, Magazines, Blogs

Edward-Isaac Dovere, Why Americans Might Not Trust the Election Results, The Atlantic (May 28, 2020).

Kaleigh Rogers, How Bad Is The COVID-19 Misinformation Epidemic?, FiveThirtyEight (May 21, 2020).

Ruth Reader, As COVID-19 misinformation and politics collide, social networks face a choice, Fast Company, (May 2020).

Jessica Brandt, Depoliticizing Foreign Interference, LawFare (Nov. 3, 2019).

[Paywall] Nathaniel Persily, It’s Not Too Late to Save the 2020 Election, The Wall Street Journal (June 12, 2020).

Talib Visram, These behavioral science tweaks could boost voter turnout during a pandemic election (even if it’s voting by mail), Fast Company, (Apr. 20, 2020).

Andrew Westrope, Cybersecurity and Democracy Collide: Locking Down Elections,, (Nov. 2019).

Matt Vasilogambros, Election Experts Warn of November Disaster, Pew Charitable Trusts (July 8, 2020).

Katie Scofield, The U.S. Needs to Protect Free and Fair Elections, Public Seminar (June 23, 2020).

Clint Watts, Banning Bots, Punishing Troll Farmers, and Hardening Voting Machines: Here’s How to Stop Russia From Wrecking Election 2018, Daily Beast (Feb. 20, 2018).

[Paywall] Julian E. Barnes, U.S. Begins First Cyberoperation Against Russia Aimed at Protecting Elections, The New York Times (Oct. 23, 2018).

[Paywall] Twitter raises the curtain on disinformation. Other companies should take a tip., The Washington Post. (Oct. 19, 2018).

[Paywall] There’s another expert player warming up to online election interference. We should worry, The Washington Post (Sept. 22, 2019).

David Graham, The Damage of Trump’s Voter-Fraud Allegations Can’t Be Undone, The Atlantic (June 19, 2020).

[Paywall] Kim Zetter, The Crisis of Election Security, The New York Times (Sept. 26, 2018).

[Paywall] Callum Borchers, What we know about the 21 states targeted by Russian hackers, The Washington Post (Sept. 23, 2017).

[Paywall] Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel & Nicole Perlroth, Tech Giants Prepared for 2016-Style Meddling. But the Threat Has Changed., The New York Times (Mar. 29, 2020).

[Paywall] Richard Fausset & Reid J. Epstein, Georgia’s Election Mess: Many Problems, Plenty of Blame, Few Solutions for November, The New York Times (June 10, 2020).

[Paywall] Mattha Busby, Russia Report: UK MPs Condemn ‘Utterly Reprehensible’ Delay, The Guardian (June 20, 2020).

Michael Morley, Election Modifications to Avoid During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lawfare (Apr. 17, 2020).

Elaine Kamarck, States and localities are on the front lines of fighting cyber-crimes in elections, Brookings (Aug. 15, 2019).

Guy Rosen, Katie Harbath & Nathaniel Gleicher, Helping to Protect the 2020 US Elections, Facebook (Oct. 21, 2019).

Alexis C. Madrigal, How Russian Operatives Targeted Black Americans, The Atlantic (Dec. 18, 2018).

Josh Berthume, 7 Hours in November, The Experiment (June 26, 2020).

Timothy E. Wirth & Tom Rogers, How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President, Newsweek (July 3, 2020).

Pam Fessler & Elena Moore, Signed, Sealed, Undelivered: Thousands Of Mail-In Ballots Rejected For Tardiness, NPR (July 13, 2020).

Eileen Donahoe, The Rights and Responsibilities of Internet Platforms, The American Interest (July 10, 2020).

Margaret L. Taylor, Combating disinformation and foreign interference in democracies: Lessons from Europe, Brookings (July 31, 2019).

Hans Kundnani, Foreign Interference Starts at Home, Foreign Policy (Feb. 24, 2020).

Alejandro De La Garza, How American Elections Got So Vulnerable—and What We All Can Do Now, TIME (Mar. 27, 2020).

Recommendations to Defend America’s Election Infrastructure, Brennan Center for Justice (Oct. 23, 2019).

[Paywall] Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Adam Entous & Karoun Demirjian, Russian ads, now publicly released, show sophistication of influence campaign, The Washington Post (Nov. 1, 2017).

Phil Muncaster, Google Bans Ads Linking to Hacked Political Content, Infosecurity Magazine (Aug, 4, 2020).

Other Sources and Media

Transition Integrity Project, Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition (Aug. 3, 2020)

LastWeekTonight, Voting Machines: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), YouTube (Nov. 3, 2019).

Intelligence Matters, 100 Years of Foreign Interference: Author David Shimer, CBS News Network (July 1, 2020).

To the Point, How Russian Cyberwar Elected Trump, KCRW (Oct. 2018).