Contacts: Michael Mosser, Executive Director / Sally Dickson, Lab Manager

Austin, 17 April 2023 The Global Disinformation Lab (GDIL) at the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce that the “Cyber Pacific” team received a grant of $250,000 from the Army Cyber Institute (ACI) of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Led by Dr. Michael Mosser (Executive Director, GDIL and Associate Professor of Instruction, Government / IRG / European Studies) and Kevin Lentz (MA/MGPS dual-degree graduate student in Asian Studies and the LBJ School of Public Affairs), the team will use the grant to conduct research on current cyber-defense policies of U.S. partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region, create a literature review and database of these policies, and craft a series of policy prescriptions to enhance multilateral cyber defenses in the region.

To achieve this objective, the project will clarify both public/open cyber threats to the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea, as well as operations taking place in the “gray zone” where such threats are hidden or exploit legal and legislative gaps in the United States and its democratic allies/partners in the Indo-Pacific region. It will also assess the strengths and weaknesses of American and allies/partners’ cyber defenses in both the traditional politico-military sphere and those in “gray zone” areas such as commerce, finance, and other overlooked but no less threatened areas.

In addition to the academic products, the grant will finance a Fall 2023 workshop forecasting cyber threats in the region, which will bring in participants from across the country to conduct intensive scenario planning and idea generation on ways to improve Indo-Pacific cyber defenses.

“We are excited that the Army Cyber Institute at West Point has chosen to fund the important work needed to advance scholarship in this area,” Mosser said. “We look forward to working with our partners at ACI to help craft informed policy choices for policymakers in the United States and our partners and allies in the region.”

The one-year grant will fund a full-time graduate assistant position, one part-time graduate assistant position, numerous undergraduate student hourly positions, and cover some administrative costs for the program.