Business Standard

US govt launches $40 mn plan to counter anti-US campaign by China, Russia

To be led by the Department of State, the announcement of such an initiative comes in the wake of the massive anti-US campaign

US President Donald Trump waves to journalists as he arrives during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Photo: AP/PTI)

US President Donald Trump waves to journalists as he arrives during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Photo: AP/PTI)

Press Trust of India Washington
The Trump Administration today announced a $40 million initiative to counter propaganda and initiatives from foreign countries.

To be led by the Department of State, the announcement of such an initiative comes in the wake of the massive anti-US campaign on various social media platforms and other platforms by countries like North Korea, Russia and China.

The Pentagon, which under the Trump Administration has seen substantial increase in its budgetary allocation, has transferred $40 million to the Department of State to bolster operations to expose and counter foreign propaganda.

"This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation and that we can leverage deeper partnerships with our allies, Silicon Valley, and other partners in this fight," Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein said.

"It is not merely a defensive posture that we should take, we also need to be on the offensive," Goldstein said, adding that the transfer of funds reiterates the US' commitment to the fight.

One of those initiatives is the creation of an Information Access Fund to support public and private partners working to expose and counter propaganda and disinformation from foreign nations, the State Department said.

Under the Information Access Fund, civil society groups, media content providers, non-governmental organisations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, and academic institutions will be eligible to compete for grants from the Global Engagement Center (GEC) to advance their important work to counter propaganda and disinformation.

The State Department said it plans to award an initial $5 million in grants from the Information Access Fund.

In consultation with Congress, this funding will include $one million in initial seed money from the Department of State's public diplomacy account in order to kick-start the initiative quickly.

The fund will be a key part of the GEC's partnerships with local civil society organizations, NGOs, media providers, and content creators to counter propaganda and disinformation. The fund will also drive the use of innovative messaging and data science techniques, it said.

Separately, the GEC will initiate a series of pilot projects developed with the Department of Defense that are designed to counter propaganda and disinformation. Those projects will be supported by Department of Defense funding, the State Department said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 26 2018 | 10:47 PM IST

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