A picture taken on October 17, 2016 shows an employee walking behind a glass wall with machine coding symbols at the headquarters of Internet security giant Kaspersky in Moscow.
/ AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV
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Richard Stengel, a former Time editor who became the State Department's undersecretary for public diplomacy, writes that he was once an information "idealist".This book carries a blunt and frightening message: America is losing the fight for what Russians call the "information space". The cruel paradox of the internet, once hailed as a liberating force, is that it empowers governments that control information and enfeebles those that let it run free.This is a tale of how government bureaucracy, inertia and, most of all, the inherent constraints of an open, democratic society made America so vulnerable to covert action via the internet.Stengel was Time's managing editor and a widely respected journalist, so when he joined the Obama administration in 2014 to oversee State Department communications, it looked like laudable risk-taking on both sides.Stengel frankly admits that the Obama administration was slow to react to Russia's 2016 election manipulation.There's only one force powerful enough to save the day (one too little mentioned these days), and that's the readers and viewers who consume information.
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