I get asked for recommendations a lot. This page is a pretty random, and far from complete, sampling of some of the resources I find useful. Standard disclaimers apply. I obviously don't necessarily agree with every opinion or policy recommendation you'll find on the sites in this list but these resources can serve as a decent starting point for your own research.
If you have thoughts about what is, or isn't, on this list drop me a line.
Last Update: 11/23/22 | Change Log
Table of Contents
- Support the Defense of Ukraine
- Russia-Ukraine War OSINT Tools
- Russia-Ukraine War News/Analysis
- Chinese Espionage
- National Security
- Investigative Reporting/OSINT
- Security Apps and Tools
- Election Security
- Domestic Extremism
- Mastodon and the Fediverse
Russia-Ukraine War OSINT Tools
- Russia-Ukraine Monitor Map: The Russia-Ukraine Monitor Map is a crowdsourced effort by Centre for Information Resilience, Bellingcat, Conflict Intelligence Team and the wider open source community to map, document and verify significant incidents during the conflict in Ukraine
- Liveuamap: Another map-based effort to track events
- FlightRadar24: Flight tracking
- ADS-B Exchange: The world’s largest source of open unblocked unfiltered flight data
- websdr.org: Web interface for controlling software defined radios based in Ukraine, Russia, and other countries in the region
- Planet: Satellite imagery
- Putin's List: The database “PUTIN’S LIST” is created by the Free Russia Forum in order to search, consolidate and unify data on those responsible for creating and running a system of unchecked power and suppressing civil liberties both in Russia and abroad
- NASA FIRMS Map: Can be used to detect battlefield fires. Near real-time fire data are available within approximately 3 hours of satellite overpass and imagery within 4-5 hours
Russia-Ukraine War News/Analysis
- Ukrinform: The National News Agency of Ukraine
- Kyiv Independent: The Kyiv Independent is Ukraine’s English-language media outlet, created by journalists who were fired from the Kyiv Post for defending editorial independence
- Kyiv Post: The Kyiv Post is the oldest English-language newspaper in Ukraine
- Hromadske: non-profit, independent Ukrainian media
- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established
- Meduza: a Russian- and English-language independent news website, headquartered in Riga
- Tracking NATO During the Ukraine-Russia Crisis: Dozens of links to NATO publications, Twitter accounts, and related media
- Blogs of War Russia-Ukraine Updates: All posts related to the February 24th invasion
- Council on Foreign Relations
- Associated Press
- The Cipher Brief: Broad coverage of emerging national security challenges - especially where they intersect with technology
- Lawfare: Deeply engaged in the most challenging security polcicy debates
- RealClear Defense: National security news aggregator
- TSC Intel Brief: Newsletter that covers the most important current events stories related to national security
- Just Security: Progressive views on national security
- Divergent Options: National security analysis, options without advocacy
- Strategy Bridge: A community blog focused on the development of people in strategy, national security, & military affairs
- Philwalter1058: Collected thoughts on national security and intelligence from Phil Walter
- Small Wars Journal: Counterguerilla/counterinsurgency strategy, tactics, and doctrine
- INTEL.gov: Recruiting and education hub for the U.S. intelligence community
- Christopher Burgess: 30+ year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. Excellent perspectives on counter-intelligence
- Studies in Intelligence: Unclassified extracts from CIA's Studies in Intelligence journal.
- Clearance Jobs: News and career advice for intelligence professionals
- International Spy Museum: State of the art exhibits and outstanding public education on intelligence matters in Washington D.C.
- The Intelligence Cycle: The fundamental process of intelligence
- First Draft: First Draft is a global non-profit that supports journalists, academics and technologists working to address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age
- DFRLab: The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab
- Misinfocon: A global movement focused on building solutions to online trust, verification, fact checking, and reader experience in the interest of addressing misinformation in all of its forms
- Kremlin Watch: Kremlin Watch is a strategic program of the European Values Center for Security Policy which aims to expose and confront instruments of Russian influence and disinformation operations focused against Western democracies
- EU vs Disinfo: A project of the European External Action Service’s East StratCom Task Force. It was established in 2015 to better forecast, address, and respond to the Russian Federation’s ongoing disinformation campaigns
- The Atlantic: The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President
- Buzzfeed: All stories related to misinformation
- Poynter: A guide to anti-misinformation actions around the world
- Motherboard: The Bots That Are Changing Politics - I was a contributing author to this piece that we published after working on the topic at Jigsaw
- Oxford Internet Institute: A multidisciplinary research and teaching dept at University of Oxford, dedicated to the social science of the Internet
- Digital Communication Methods Lab: Focuses on innovative work on methods, and practices critical to Communication Science
- Graphika: Works with academia, businesses and philanthropic orgs, and create new tools to analyze information flows
- Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society: Harvard University group exploring cyberspace, sharing in its study, and helping to pioneer its development
- Inoculate Yourself Against Russian Disinformation - And Its Amplifiers: Organizations tracking and countering Russian disinformation narratives
- Bellingcat: An independent international collective of researchers, investigators, and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigations to probe a variety of subjects
- Novaya Gazeta: Investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs
- OCCRP: The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project connects 45 non-profit investigative centers in 34 countries, scores of journalists and several major regional news organizations across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America
- Re:baltica: Based in Riga, with journalists and board members from all Baltic states: Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia
- MANS: Devoted to fighting corruption and organized crime in Montenegro
- Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: CISA is the nation’s risk advisor, working with partners to defend against today’s threats and collaborating to build a more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future
- Schneier on Security: Bruce Schneier's blog - strong focus on privacy and encryption angles
- Stilgherrian: Information, politics, media, and cyber from an Australian perspective
- Krypt3ia: Scot Terban's blog
- Dark Reading: Infosec news for a technical audience
- Hacker News: Y Combinator's social tech news aggregator.
- Hak5: Long running YouTube show that makes technical news and projects accessible to a wide audience
- The Register: Cheeky UK based site with a global view. Uses the term "boffins" a lot.
- The Angry Staff Officer: Personal blog with a focus on Army doctrine and history
- The Modern War Institute: A national resource within the Department of Military Instruction at West Point that studies recent and ongoing conflicts to prepare present and future leaders to win in a complex world
- The Military Writer's Guild: Exists to gather writers committed to the development of the profession of arms through the exchange of ideas in the written medium
- NATO.int: Homepage for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- NATO @ DIPNOTE: NATO related posts on the U.S. State Department's DIPNOTE blog
- StratCom COE: Multinational effort to contribute to the strategic communications capabilities of NATO, NATO allies and NATO partners
- #NatSecGirlSquad: Promoting gender diversity in U.S. national security circles
- National Security Action: Former national security professionals who believe that the "United States is stronger, safer, and more respected in the world when we use our power wisely, stand strong with allies and partners, pursue principled diplomacy, and remain true to the values that have long defined us at home and abroad."
- Committee to Protect Journalists: Promoted press freedom globally
- Nieman Journalism Lab: An attempt to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age
- Reporters Without Borders: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the world’s biggest NGO specializing in the defense of media freedom
- Columbia Journalism Review: Essential venue not just for journalists, but also for the thousands of professionals in communications, technology, academia, and other fields reliant on solid media industry knowledge
- Poynter: Explores the intersection of journalism, technology and the public interest
Security Apps and Tools
- ProtonMail: Encrypted email
- ProtonVPN: VPN services by the ProtonMail team
- Signal: Encrypted messaging
- Tresorit: Encrypted cloud storage
- Keeper Security: Password management
- KeePassXC: Open, free password management
- Yubico: Security keys
- Defend Our Elections: The Brennan Center is a nonpartisan law and policy institute, striving to uphold the values of democracy
- Election Security Best Practices: Developed by the Center for Internet Security
- Election Security in All 50 States: A comprehensive overview of election security prepardness and gaps in all 50 states prepared by The Center for American Progress
- EFF Election Security: The Electronic Frontier Foundation's position on election security and articles on the subject
- MotherJones: Researchers Assembled over 100 Voting Machines. Hackers Broke Into Every Single One
- Dark Reading: The ABCs of Hacking a Voting Machine
- Recode: The Iowa caucuses app won’t be the only new tech this election cycle, but Congress hasn’t been funding voting security the way it should.
- DHS CISA: Homeland Security's Cybersecurity Infrastructure & Security Agency offers a variety of free services to help states ensure both the physical security and cybersecurity of their elections infrastructure
- Southern Poverty Law Center: Monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and exposes their activities to the public
- Anti-Defamation League: The ADL works to counter antisemitism and extremism in an effort to secure justice and fair treatment for all
- Counter Extremism Project: Combats extremism by pressuring financial and material support networks; countering the narrative of extremists and their online recruitment; and advocating for smart laws, policies, and regulations
- RAND: Addresses national security and critical infrastructure needs through objective research that helps government agencies prevent and mitigate terrorist activities and improves disaster preparedness, response, and recovery
- National Institute of Justice: NIJ is the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice
- Wikipedia: Entry for domestic terrorism in the United States
- Zeroing in on Domestic Extremism: A collection of useful resources for those tracking domestic extremism including a number of new deep dives on extremist orgs, their TTPs, and strategies for countering them.
Mastodon and the Fediverse
- JoinMastodon: Project site. Includes documentation, downloads for official and third party apps, and server lists.
- @email@example.com: Follow Blogs of War on Mastodon.
- All Blogs of War Mastodon Posts: Includes several HowTo videos, thoughts on the service, and how I'm using it.
- How to Get Started on Mastodon: An excellent Wired magazine primer from @firstname.lastname@example.org
- An Increasingly Less-Brief Guide to Mastodon: A very comprehensive, yet accessible, explainer from @Noelle@elekk.xyz
- Security & Privacy: This primer by @email@example.com is essential reading for all new users
- Debirdify: Allows you to search the people you follow on Twitter for possible Mastodon/Fediverse accounts and then export those lists as .csv files that can be imported into Mastodon's bulk follow tool. Twitodon and Fedifinder can do the same.
- Fediverse.info: Fediverse users can add themselves to a searchable directory of users and topics. It's a great way to discover new people to follow - and to be discovered by others.
- Fedi.Directory: Another directory of users sorted into over 100 different topics of interest. You can submit your account as well.
- Fediverse.Space: Fediverse.space is a tool to visualize networks and communities on the Fediverse. It works by crawling every instance it can find and aggregating statistics on communication between these.
- Metatext: My favorite iOS app for Mastodon. Toot! is quite good as well. Tusky is popular with Android users.
- Fedi.Tips: A massive guide with tips for both newcomers and more advanced users alike.
- Everything I know about Mastodon: An extremely well-written guide by Danielle Navarro (@firstname.lastname@example.org) aimed at data science folks (or anyone else) trying to navigate the fediverse.
- Mastodon.help: A detailed yet very accessible guide for new users.
- r/Mastodon: The Mastodon community on Reddit.
- Masto.host: Dedicated hosting for Mastodon. I use this company to host the Mastodon instance at social.blogsofwar.com.
- Fediverse.party: Learn about the Fediverse and explore the many apps that connect to it.
- Fediverse Explorer: Explore popular hashtags from Mastodon and beyond.
- Social Search: Search for social accounts across multiple Mastodon / Fediverse instances. Discover content for the open source social network.
- Mastodon on GitHub: Submit a bug, see if others have submitted one for an issue you've encountered, or suggest new features.
- Trunk: Hundreds of cool people to follow sorted by dozens and dozens of topics.
- Journalists on Mastodon: Download a .csv and import the list to follow these accounts. Add yourself via this form.
- Tech, Cyber, & Defense Policy Mastodon: Download a .csv and import the list to follow these accounts. Add yourself via this form.
- Mastodon: A guide for the lost Eurasia-watcher: A list of academics, think-tankers, journalists, and others who focus on Eurasia. Curated by @email@example.com.
- InfoSec Mastodon: Download a .csv and import the list to follow these accounts. Add yourself via this form.
- Academics on Mastodon: Find interesting new people to follow with this massive compilation of academics from dozens of disciplines.
- #LawFedi: Lawyers and Legal Academics on Mastodon. Download a .csv and import the list to follow these accounts. Add yourself via this form.
- #Crimodon: "Criminologically relevant" Mastodon accounts. Download a .csv and import the list to follow these accounts. Add yourself via this form.
- #Asianists: Scholars, teachers, and graduate students with an interest in Asia. Download a .csv and import the list to follow these accounts. Add yourself via this form.
- #Histodons: Download a .csv and import the list to follow these accounts. Add yourself via this form.
- Political Scientists on Mastodon: The list managed by @firstname.lastname@example.org looks to be a few hundred strong and growing. Add yourself via this form.
- Lit Mags, Presses & Publishing Venues: This is a working master-list of Mastodon pages on which submission calls and print/web issues will be shared. Managed by @email@example.com
- Wikidata: A massive list of over 1,000 researchers and their Mastodon handles. Use the menu on the left side of the screen to download the list as a ,csv and import it into Mastodon.
- Fediverse.Observer: Explore the servers in the Fediverse via lists, proximity, maps, software type, and all kinds of interesting statistics.
- Fediblock Archive: List of servers that have been blocked by many Mastodon admins for hate speech, racism, trolling, and even more terrible things. Also see also recently maintained lists here, and here.
- Setting up a Personal Mastodon Instance: An excellent guide on setting up a cloud hosted instance from @firstname.lastname@example.org. This is much more complicated than standing up an instance with someone like Masto.host but it gives you complete control if you're technically proficient enough to handle it.
- Legal Matters for Admins: Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the law, both local and beyond, before standing up a Mastodon instance. Having or hosting a presence on the internet, even for something as simple as a blog, may subject you to certain legal requirements (GDPR for example). This is especially true if your project hosts other users. I can't give you legal advice on this topic but this thread aimed at U.S. instance admins is an informative read.
- Guppe Groups: Guppe brings social groups to the fediverse — making it easy to connect and meet new people based on shared interests.
- Mastodon Migration: A step by step guide to moving your Mastodon account to a new server by Patricia Aas (@Patricia@vivaldi.net).
- How to Write an Image Description: Mastodon thoughtfully allows users to add image descriptions in their posts. This guide, informed by feedback from blind, low vision, visually impaired people will help you do it well.