In a new challenge to Russia, China, and North Korea (among others), the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) published an invitation to propose research that sheds light on ways in which totalitarian regimes control the transfer of information, and thus act against them. The research will be carried out under a program called MICE, which stands for Measuring the Information Control Environment.
During the project, researchers will try to develop a prototype open-source, AI-enabled software and algorithms that will "measure how digitally authoritarian regimes repress their populations at scale over the Internet via censorship, blocking, or throttling," the description by DARPA said.
"MICE-developed technology will continuously and automatically update and feed into easily-understood dashboards in order to develop comprehensive, real-time ground truth understanding of how countries conduct domestic information control," DARPA said. "MICE will also try to determine the technical capabilities that countries use to enable such repressive activities."
The proposals must detail how and in which environments they will monitor information control, and explain how government and civilian agencies interested in the freedom of the internet could use technology that will be developed for these purposes. Proposals will be accepted until the end of June, and the winners will receive up to $1 million for development of the project.