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Online Influence and Hostile Narratives in Eastern Asia - Report

By Hannah Smith

ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre wrote a report for the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence that examined online influence and hostile narratives in Asia.

Eastern Asia — which we define as including East and Southeast Asia — is a region of increasing geopolitical competition with many racial, cultural and societal fractures. With the rapid expansion of inexpensive internet access, these fractures and tensions mean that many states in the region are both vulnerable to, and a source of, hostile information activities that are being used to achieve strategic goals both inside and outside the region.

This report documents examples of hostile information activities that have originated in Eastern Asia and have been targeted in the following countries:

  • Taiwan
  • The Hong Kong-based protest movement
  • West Papua
  • The Philippines

Because these activities often target social media, they have been difficult for law enforcement and national security organizations to police. Across the globe, countries are pursuing different methods of tackling the spread of hostile information activities with differing degrees of success. These approaches can range from law enforcement, temporary internet shutdowns, and attempts to legislate against ‘fake news’ or disinformation, through to wider societal media literacy initiatives.

Read this report, authored by ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre researcher Hannah Smith, here.