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Event Information:

  • Mon

    NPWG Hosts Matty Golub

    5:30 pmRSVP at

    Join us in welcoming Matty Golub, who will be presenting “Who’s to Say? Technical Dimensions of Nuclear Disinformation?"

    Nuclear deterrence and the nuclear non-use norm (AKA the “nuclear taboo”) are built on the assumption that nuclear use would be readily observable and its occurrence an incontrovertible fact. The expanding envelope of influence and disinformation operations in the context of intensifying Great Power Competition raises the of the upper limit on what they can hide, muddle, mire in factional disputes, or otherwise obscure. Nuclear weapon use poses the extreme test case and is the subject of the paper. Its driving question is if and to what extent effective disinformation about nuclear weapon use (“nuclear disinformation”) is possible. Approaching the modern conflict landscape from the perspective of the “Postmodern Condition,” wherein narrative competition transforms nearly everything into a matter of opinion, the inquiry examines modern disinformation operations. It then presents the features of a nuclear detonation, which is referred to as various types of detonation “signal,” and explores how these characteristics could be obscured in the information environment. It closes with a discussion of the nongovernmental and somewhat informal open-source intelligence (OSINT) enterprise, highlighting its strengths and limitations of gathering and disseminating conflict and nuclear event-related data.

    Matty Golub is a PhD candidate in Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, studying advanced computational methods for policy development and intelligence. In 2019 he was a Nuclear Security Working Group Congressional Fellow working in the office of Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, serving as a bridge between STEM and policy. He spent five and a half years in the US Navy as a Surface Warfare Nuclear Propulsion Officer, which equipped him with a strong foundation in nuclear engineering and military operations. Matthew received his B.S. in Water Resources Engineering with Honors in International Affairs from Penn State University, where he also completed a graduate certificate in geospatial intelligence analytics.

    If you’re a member of the UC Berkeley community interested in joining this meeting, we’d love to have you! Please fill out our contact page for additional information.
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