Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity

The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity

The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity will seek to fill a critical gap by fostering a more transatlantic and collective approach to prevent the next wave of election interference. It will raise awareness of public and governments on what foreign powers, especially Russia, are doing to undermine liberal democracies. The Commission will recommend concrete actions to governments, traditional and new media actors, private sector and non-governmental organizations. Transatlantic and bipartisan in nature, the Commission will seek to share lessons learned between decision-makers and institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. The Commission includes former NATO Chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, US Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff, and heads of state and senior political, media and tech figures.

Interviews with members of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity

Mission Statement of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity

The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity helps advance solutions to protect integrity of democratic elections.

Election interference is a major threat to the universal right of people to take part in democratic elections. Still, democratic governments and technology companies around the world are scrambling to meet the challenges of the latest election meddling tactics and technologies.

This is a global phenomenon, with instances of election interference seen in countries from Mexico to North-Macedonia, Ukraine to Kenya, Taiwan to Turkey.

Yet attacks and coordinated manipulations are no longer coming from foreign malign powers alone: increasingly, the cross-border disinformation playbook is used by domestic actors trying to sow divisions and polarisation in both authoritarian and democratic contexts.

The TCEI brings together eminent persons from different backgrounds with one shared goal: to ensure people decide freely, based on independent information, who should represent them.

Our priorities for 2020

  • Advocate for the Pledge for Election Integrity during the run-up to the national elections in Georgia (Europe) as well as the US presidential election in 2020
  • Continue to provide a global platform for the debate on election interference and disinformation with our #DefendDemocracy webinar series
  • Highlight the importance of media literacy initiatives in the fight against foreign meddling, e.g. with our game „The Disinformation Diaries“
  • Monitor technological innovation and promote policy solutions to address the challenge of election meddling and synthetic media like deepfakes

#DefendDemocracy Virtual Series

How to put the disinformation genie back in the bottle - lessons learned from the 2020 elections in Taiwan, Georgia and the USA

On November 30th, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation in partnership with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, DoublethinkLab and the US Embassy in Denmark hosted an event.

2020 has seen millions of voters headed to the polls in democracies around the globe.  What new patterns of election interference and disinformation were discernable and have new foreign meddlers being spotted on the scene?

In Asia, China has demonstrated its increasing capabilities and willingness to interfere in its neighborhood, starting with Taiwan’s Presidential elections in January 2020. In Europe, Russia’s influence in the Georgian elections in October was permanently present, but so was civil society responses to curb both foreign and domestic disinformation. US authorities and watchdog institutions have identified plenty of foreign state-actors like Russia, China or Iran trying to manipulate the public discourse in the run-up to the Presidential elections.

The Alliance of Democracies Foundation has been actively engaged in all three elections in Taiwan, Georgia and the United States this year. We are delighted to have a group of experts discuss these questions from their regional perspectives and provide a learning space on best practices from Asia, Europe and North America on curbing disinformation around elections.

Speakers:

  • Poyu Tseng, Researchers, Doublethink Lab (DTL)
  • Min Hsuan Wu “Ttcat”, Co-founder and CEO, Doublethink Lab (DTL)
  • Michael Chertoff, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, The Chertoff Group, Co-Chair, Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2005 – 2009)
  • Ketty W. Chen, Vice-President, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy
  • Nino Rizhamadze, Head of Social Media Monitoring Project, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
  • Moderator: Jonas Parello-Plesner, Executive Director, Alliance of Democracies Foundation

Watch the event here

Statement

Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden.
We've been proud to work with the President-elect as a founder member of our Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity.
We look forward to working with the Biden/Harris Administration to #DefendDemocracy around the world.

Watch the full video here

#DefendDemocracy Virtual Series

Resilience against Election Interference- Parliamentary Elections in Georgia 2020

On October 28th, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation and Microsoft's Defending Democracy Program hosted an event discussing the resilience against election interference ahead of the Parliamentary elections in Georgia. Over recent years, foreign interference – including from Russian state and non-state actors - in democratic elections and political processes of other countries has become a concern for democracies worldwide. In Russia’s immediate neighborhood, however, this phenomenon is not new. In Georgia, in addition to military action, the Kremlin has been waging information warfare, targeting democratic processes and the citizens that participate in them.

On October 31, Georgia is going to the polls, and it is anticipated to be a pivotal parliamentary election. However, democratic elections present prominent opportunities for bad actors to undermine the trust and belief of a country’s people in their state institutions. This exclusive session invited representatives of Georgia's government and parliament, international tech companies, local and international civil society groups and election management organizations to asses and discuss election resilience on the eve of the Georgian election.
The session featured opening remarks by Jonas Parello-Plesner, Executive Director, Alliance of Democracies Foundation and moderated by Mariam Chikhaldze, Election Integrity Fellow in Georgia, Alliance of Democracies Foundation.
The session featured experts including:
- Keti Maisuradze, Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
- Nino Rizhamadze, Head of Social Media Monitoring Project, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
- Dave Leichtman, Director, Defending Democracy Program, Microsoft Digital Diplomacy

Disinformation Diaries Relaunch

On October 31, Georgians will go to the polls to determine their future. These Parliamentary elections will happen  at a pivotal moment. To disrupt Georgia’s democratic development and the process of European and NATO integration, also foreign powers are targeting the upcoming elections.

  The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI) initiated the Pledge for Election Integrity to encourage political parties and candidates to commit to their voters that they will not aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy. Ahead of the elections, we translated and adapted the Disinformation Diaries into Georgian to help improve the media literacy of political candidates and their staff especially as it pertains to election integrity by helping them develop practical skills for navigating disinformation.

Check out the Georgian version here 

Pledge for Election Integrity

Support from Members of the European Parliament Anna Fotyga and Marina Kaljura

Political parties and their candidates are on the front lines of democracy and election interference. For this reason, we appreciate the clear messages by MEP Marina Kaljurand and MEP Ana Fotyga to all Georgian officials ahead of the elections in Georgia on October 31 to deliver on their commitments to hold fair, open and transparent elections.
Since its independence, Georgia has proven its commitment to democratic development and became a valued member of the global family of democracies. The upcoming parliamentary elections will happen at a pivotal moment in time. The risk of malign election interference and targeted disinformation activities to exploit the vulnerabilities of Georgian society during the campaign period must not be underestimated!
Visit www.electionpledge.org for more information.

Launch Event

One month prior to the parliamentary elections in Georgia, The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI) initiates the Pledge for Election Integrity to encourage political parties and candidates to commit to their voters that they will not aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy. See the pledge at electionpledge.org 

The chairman of the Commission, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, joined by other members of the TCEI together with the chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Archil Talakvadze, officially launched the initiative and invited all political candidates presenting themselves for the parliamentary elections to take the Pledge.

The virtual event featured the following high-level speakers:

  • Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Chairman of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, Chair of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, Secretary General of NATO (2009-2014), Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009)
  • Mr. Archil Talakvadze, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia
  • Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Member of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, President of Estonia (2006-2016)
  • Ms. Natalie Jaresko, Member of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, Executive Director of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto, Minister of Finance of Ukraine (2014-2016)

Watch the full event here

Statement

Statement by the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity on US Presidential Elections 

In the lead up to the US Presidential Elections, members of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity have issued a statement warning how election interference stands as a major threat to democracy and outlining steps needed to protect and secure election integrity.
Statement signed by TCEI Co-Chairs Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Michael Chertoff and TCEI members: Eileen Donahoe, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Natalie Jaresko, John Kerry, Tanit Koch, Jeanne Meserve, John Negroponte, Allan Rock, Marietje Schaake, and Joanna Shields.

Read the full statement here

Media Game

Test your media literacy skills

The Disinformation Diaries is a game-based media literacy tool players can use to understand how disinformation and deepfakes can interfere with democratic elections.

The goal of the project is to increase the media literacy of political candidates and their staff especially as it pertains to election integrity by helping them develop practical skills for navigating disinformation.

The Disinformation Diaries was designed and developed by Ora D. Tanner, an Election Integrity fellow with the Alliance of Democracies Foundation and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity. This unique mini-course was part of her research on ways new media can be used for disinformation education and to increase media literacy as it relates to elections interference by deepfakes.

Test your skills here.

News

Pushing back against disinformation is more needed than ever

In early March, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation- led by Co-chairs of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI), Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Michael Chertoff- visited Silicon Valley together with commission members, Eileen Donahoe and Marietje Schaake. The delegation met with tech companies to discuss the preparedness prior to the 2020 elections. One thing is clear from the visit - pushing back against disinformation is more needed than ever.

Read more

News

Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity goes global

In the beginning of the new year, the TCEI participated in the Raisina Dialogue in Delhi, India. Co-chair Anders Fogh Rasmussen and TCEI-member Marietje Schaake attended South Asia’s most important international conference to raise awareness towards election interference and to engage with stakeholders from around the world.

Watch Anders Fogh Rasmussen statement

Live tweeting

News

How Taiwan's successful democracy deals with election interference

Executive Director, Jonas Parello-Plesner, led a Danish ‘Freedom and Democracy’ delegation to the Taiwanese elections in early January by invitation of the Taiwanese government. They met with the government, civil society, and social media platforms with a special focus on election interference during the days leading up to the elections.

Read more

Press release

The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity taps Aspen Tech Policy Hub fellows to fight deepfakes and disinformation

We are pleased to welcome Erica Greene & Ora D. Tanner as nonresident Election Integrity fellows who will boost our efforts to counter election interference!

Read more

Conference about foreign election interference

How can democracies protect their elections from external interference?

On December 2nd, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation hosted an event in the Danish Parliament about election interference. We welcomed the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod, and many other Danish and international speakers for speeches and interesting roundtable discussions. Watch and read our live coverage on facebook, youtube and twitter.

Recap

Watch here (first part)

Watch here (second part)

News

The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity hosts conferences in Kyiv

On September 23rd and 24th, the TCEI organised two conferences in Kyiv, Ukraine, engaging journalists, NGOs, and women organisations, sharing the evidence found and discussing ways to improve their resilience to outsider interference. Since April 2019, the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity has engaged in real-time monitoring of social media, assessing and flagging interference as it is happening around Ukraine’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

The picture is from the roundtable discussion with Ukraine’s National Institute of Strategic Studies.

Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2019

Work shop on Deep Fakes

Interactive work shop session on deep fakes with Faculty
and Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center

Watch here

Press Release

John Kerry joins transatlantic fight against elections meddling

68th US Secretary of State John Kerry has joined the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, a body created to counter the next wave of election interference.

Read more

News

The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity launches Pledge for Election Integrity

The Pledge for Election Integrity calls on candidates for the upcoming European elections in May 2019 to take a stand against election interference by increasing transparency and fight the use of disinformation in campaigns.

Take the Pledge

Column

For election hackers, a new and more dangerous tool

Commissioners for the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity Michael Chertoff and Eileen Donahoe write for Reuters about the threat deepfake technology poses to our democracies.

Read here

 

Video

The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity's work to fight deepfake technology

How does deepfake technology affect our democracies? The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity is examining this crucial question and coming up with solutions to fight disinformation and foreign election meddling.

 

Latest news

We must defend our democracy as robustly as we would defend our borders

Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaking at a European Commission conference on preventing election interference.

Press Release

Macedonia referendum: Twitter bots up their activity

As Macedonia’s name referendum approaches, the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity has uncovered evidence that automated Twitter accounts have swung behind an effort to suppress voter turnout.
 

Read more

Latest news

Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks about election interference at YES Conference 2018

Co-chair of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, Anders Fogh Rasmussen explains the challenge of election meddling by foreign actors, and how it is likely to evolve in the coming years. Introducing the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, he describes just a few ways in which we plan to raise awareness of the challenge and develop tech tools to monitor and inoculate against foreign meddling in the future.

Watch the video here

Press Release

Transatlantic legislators unite to step up efforts against election meddling

Despite the recent bizarre election meddling double-denial from Presidents Trump and Putin, lawmakers from both sides of the Atlantic joined forces to demand stronger action against meddling and foul play. Governments, legislatures, social media companies, and civil society are all called upon to step up their efforts. 

Read more

BBC News

Election interference to be sniffed out by early-alert system

An early warning system to spot attempts to subvert elections is being developed by the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, which was created to combat efforts to skew election debate. Its software scours social media and other parts of the net to hunt out attempts to seed subversive content. But experts warn nation states may answer with more sophisticated tactics. "We're trying to create high reliability and easy-to-use tools for civil organisations to use and see what's happening in real time so they can counter it," said Fabrice Pothier, a spokesman for the commission.

Read the full article here

Press Release

Elections still face risk of foreign interference on both sides of the Atlantic, high-level commission warns

A transatlantic, bi-partisan group of political, tech, business and media leaders are warning that neither side of the Atlantic is adequately prepared for the next wave of election meddling coming their way in 20+ major elections before 2020. The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI) includes a former NATO Chief, US Homeland Security Secretary, US Vice-President, heads of state and senior political, media and tech figures.

Read more

Bloomberg News

The West Still Isn’t Prepared to Stop Russia Meddling in Our Elections

It’s not just the United States—European countries aren’t ready, either.

In POLITICO Magazine, Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Michael Chertoff, the two co-chairs of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, makes the case for transatlantic cooperation to ensure the protection of the 20 elections in the next two years, and the integrity of our institutions as such. Looking at recent cases of election meddling in both the U.S. and Europe, and the patchy responses from our democratic institutions, there is every reason to believe that these elections provide 20 ripe new targets for Russia and others to interfere.

Read the full article here

Latest news

Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity

The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity will seek to fill a critical gap by fostering a more transatlantic and collective approach to prevent the next wave of election interference. It will raise awareness of public and governments on what foreign powers, especially Russia, are doing to undermine liberal democracies. The Commission will recommend concrete actions to governments, traditional and new media actors, private sector and non-governmental organizations. Transatlantic and bipartisan in nature, the Commission will seek to share lessons learned between decision-makers and institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.

Read full press release here

Statement of Support

Senator Chris Van Hollen

"This is an important step in defending our elections at home and abroad. I’m calling for the same kind of coordination in the DETER Act, and Congress should pass it without delay. We must work with our European allies to protect our democracies and deter Russian aggression."

Read Twitter statement here

Statement of Support

Senator Angus King

“Democracies rely on an informed citizenry – but successful information warfare undermines that foundation by heightening national divisions and shattering the people’s faith that governments truly represent them. Foreign interference in free elections is a grave and ongoing challenge that threatens all Western democracies, which is why the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity is so vital. By raising awareness of outside involvement, sharing knowledge on how to combat the dangers and pursuing technological approaches to block and deter bad actors, this organization can play a major part in defending the integrity of the elections that allow our governments to function.”

Commission members

The Commission brings together around a dozen prominent public figures from both the U.S. and Europe with government as well as private sector and media backgrounds.

Co-Chairs

Anders Fogh
Rasmussen

NATO Secretary General (2009-2014), Founder, Alliance of Democracies Foundation, Rasmussen Global

Michael
Chertoff

United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2005-2009)

Members

Felipe
Calderon

President of Mexico (2006-2012) 

Eileen
Donahoe

Executive Director, Global Digital Policy Incubator, Cyber Policy Center at Stanford University; U.S. Ambassador to UN Human Rights Council (2010-2013)

Toomas Hendrik
Ilves

President of Estonia (2006-2016) 

Natalie
Jaresko

Executive Director of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, Finance Minister of Ukraine (2014-2016)

Tanit
Koch

Managing Director n-tv and Editor-in-Chief Newsroom, RTL Germany; Editor-in-Chief of German newspaper BILD (2016-2018)

Jeanne
Meserve

Moderator and Writer; Anchor and correspondent at ABC news and CNN (1984-2011), Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (2011-2017); Winner of two Emmy Awards

Victor
Pinchuk

Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist, founder of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation

Marietje
Schaake

International Policy Director, Cyber Policy Center and International Policy Fellow, Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence – Stanford University; President of CyberPeace Institute; Member of the European Parliament (2009-2019)

Joanna
Shields

CEO of BenevolentAI; UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security (2015- 2017); Prime Minister's Special Representative on Internet Safety (2017-2018); Member of House of Lords

John
Negroponte

United States Deputy Secretary of State (2007-2009), Director of National Intelligence (2005-2007)

Allan
Rock

President Emeritus at the University of Ottawa (2008-2016), Canadian Ambassador to the UN (2004-2006) and Canadian Health Minister (1997-2002)

John
Kerry

United States Secretary of State (2013-2017); U.S. Senator (1985-2013)