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We have submitted written evidence to the UK Parliament Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) scrutinises the structures for Government decision-making on national security. They have called for evidence on ‘defending democracy’, to better understand how threats to the UK’s democracy may evolve and be addressed.

Our submission focusses on the risks presented to the UK’s democracy by disinformation online, particularly in the light of developments in Generative AI.

The main points of our submission are:

– Disinformation online poses a significant threat to the UK’s democracy
– AI-generated content, especially deepfakes, poses a particularly potent threat
– Disinformation must be countered with the pursuit of a socio-technical approach
– Public awareness, digital literacy, and media regulation should be strengthened
– Researchers’ access to data should be made a priority to ensure that the National Security Strategy is adequately informed
– Article 12 of the National Security Act 2023 can be a tool to combat disinformation
– The free speech and civic participation of women and marginal groups in democratic processes should be strengthened
– Political speech must be protected and balanced with the need for maintaining a functioning public sphere; voluntary codes of conduct across parties should be welcomed.

Our submission was prepared by Dr Ann Kristin Glenster, Stefanie Felsberger, and Professor Gina Neff.

Follow the links to read more.