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US, Australia Defend Democracy With Cyber Center

In collaboration with the US, Australia is endeavoring to fight the threat of fake news with the creation of a new cybersecurity center, according to The Lead.

The Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security and Governance in Adelaide, Australia, is named after Jeff Bleich, special counsel to former President Barack Obama. From 2009 to 2013, Bleich served as ambassador to Australia. The ambassador will also be named a Flinders University Professorial Fellow.

South Australian researchers will work with the US to improve cyber-intelligence capabilities that will combat both the threat of deep fakes and the potential for foreign adversaries to meddle in national elections. 

According to the center’s website, it will provide “an Australian research hub, focused initially on social science research, for government, industries and NGOs to address current and emerging issues of digital technology, security and governance, especially in relation to the US-Australia Alliance.” 

The center will also enable Australia to strategically collaborate with and establish partnerships among and between academia, industry and defense both at home and abroad. 

Commenting on the disruptive cost of cyber-threats on democracy, Ambassador Bleich said, “We know that the advent of digital technology has fundamentally changed the way we each work, eat, shop and live. But it has also changed our societies and how we defend ourselves.

“Our nations – both separately and together – must operate in new ways to preserve our values and protect our people and allies in new battle spaces. This is the mission of the Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security and Governance. Flinders is the ideal home for the center with its long-term track record in American studies, its focus on disruptive technologies and its successful binational programs," Bleich said.

“The center aligns with the South Australian and federal governments’ cyber-security plans and will further strengthen South Australia’s position as Australia’s defense state. It will consolidate Flinders University’s research expertise and strengths in digital technologies, security and governance and build upon Flinders existing strengths in US policy studies and the university’s strong US alliance.”

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