“Lies have consequences” according to Justin Nelson, immediately after a judge announced a US$787.5 million settlement in the Dominion defamation lawsuit. Proximity is meaningless. The lengths of distances are not obstacles. Contiguity of cause and effect has faded. Misinformation travels without itineraries, destinations, reservations, addresses, fences or border control.
Threat Intelligence Centres expand the threat detection and analysis capabilities of nation states. Threat Intelligence Centres address viral disinformation networks, misinformation strategies and surfacing cyber-attacks. They illuminate the ways in which domestic and foreign actors “bury the truth with lies”, and use information operations in conjunction with new cyber-attacks strategies to achieve their aims. Threat Intelligence Centres fracture blinkered information bubbles and iridescent balloons that are floated to distort, twist, and colour perception.
At the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, President Joe Biden referred to “truth buried by lies”, in a reference to the machinations that emerged after the 2020 election. The President of the United States of America was vivid in his reference to, “Lies told for profit and power. Lies of conspiracy and malice repeated over and over again, to generate a cycle of anger and hate and even violence.” But above the truth buried by lies, is the propensity to distribute details of queries, which at the time of publication are yet to result in any specific charge to balloon dark clouds of doubt and distrust. Clouds that destroy.
In the landmark case of Sir Cliff Richard OBE, Mr. Justice Mann opined that the press overstepped the mark. He adjured that a citizen has a right to privacy. That the deprivation of privacy coupled by public humiliation can never supersede claims of public interest. The judgement impaled the Media tradition of factually reporting details of pre-charge inquiries by redrawing the boundaries of media law.
Sir Cliff was awarded £210,000 in damages; £190,000 in damages with a further £20,000 in aggravated damages. Unbeknownst to Sir Cliff he was under investigation. All of this while still actively at work. The devastation of his life was instantaneous and global. His rights were violated both in privacy and under the Data Protection Act, 1998. His life folded in a deliberate delight in destruction perpetrated by others.
Justice Mann concluded that, while a reporter may not be a dishonest citizen, they seem capable of letting their eagerness push them in pursuit of an exposé, and to twist matters to paint a picture that could only be described as dishonest. An uncovering saturated with phrases and expressions that arouse and excite the public into a cycle of anger, and hate. In the UK, a parliamentary committee has started to look into the democratic-crisis created by Open Data, targeting of pernicious views, probing the effect of digital disinformation, and ways to build resilience against disinformation.
Misinformation must be contained as it can also affect the competitiveness of economies. Misstatements of published profits create volatility. Habitually overstated profits increase the risks in credit markets. Overstated RoEs encourage high hurdle rates. This in turn reduces investment. Misstated profits contribute to asset bubbles. This in turn affects the amplitude of cyclical economic swings. Banks are now components of critical infrastructure. Especially Neobanks that specialize in financing technology startups, and technological innovation.
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) did not experience a bank run. It experienced the world’s first Twitter-Fuelled “Bank Sprint” in the age of Agile. Shares in banks plummeted. But there was no banking crisis. Only a deregulation crisis and a supervision crisis. The velocity of the jitters around the world forced regulators and supervisors to move with unprecedented swiftness: US authorities guaranteed all deposits in SVB – and Signature – 48 hours after it collapsed. Within hours Credit Suisse’s share price tumbled and the Swiss central bank intervened with a $54bn loan. Nothing new.
But what is new – is how “platforms” fuelled the panic. In the end it was a bank sprint, not a bank run. Some venture capital firms advised clients to consider moving their money out of SVB. The news spread like a fire in a sugarcane field at crop time in Couva. Depositors withdrew $40bn – one-fifth of SVB’s deposits – in just a few hours. The CEO of Mangrove Capital, in a Tweet, cautioned that venture capitalist firms should be advising shareholders to pay attention to the situation if they are in fact judicious governors.
First Republic struggled after the collapses of SVB and Signature Bank and had grown increasingly worried it might not survive because of vulnerability created by its high amount of uninsured deposits, and exposure to low interest rate loans. Buoyant with deposits from the well-heeled, First Republic saw total assets more than double from $102 billion at the end of 2019’s first quarter.
First Republic also experienced a “Bank Sprint”. Depositors withdrew more than $100 billion in deposits following the failure of Silicon Valley and Signature Bank. Unlike bank runs throughout history, First Republic’s demise was fuelled by the velocity of social media and digital withdrawals that were made in seconds from a cell phone while standing on a pavement or commuting on a train. Threat Intelligence Centres build resilience by providing updates on Mobile Privacy, Targeted Attacks, and Skewness in Data.