Digital Policy

ISD’s digital policy work seeks to create a safer online space that encourages free speech whilst championing human rights.

ISD’s digital policy work helps to connect and inform national governments, regulators, tech companies, international organisations and researchers to develop coordinated regulatory and policy responses to a range of online harms, from terrorism and extremism to hate and disinformation.

We provide cutting edge research insights and policy analysis to key stakeholders such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, and multilateral organisations such as the European Union, the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF), the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UN-CTED), the New Zealand-led Christchurch Call and the Global Internet Forum to Counter-Terrorism (GIFCT).

Digital Policy Lab
ISD’s Digital Policy Lab (DPL) is a new inter-governmental working group focused on charting the regulatory and policy path forward to prevent and counter disinformation, hate speech, extremism and terrorism online. It is comprised of a core group of senior representatives of relevant ministries and regulators from key liberal democratic countries. The DPL is intended to foster inter-governmental exchange, provide policy makers with access to sector-leading expertise and research, and build an international community of policy practice around key regulatory challenges in the digital policy space.

Informing Legislation & Regulation
Through initiatives like the DPL, ISD engages with key stakeholders and civil society partners to inform the development of digital regulation and policies such as the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) and European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP), as well as country-level legislation such as the upcoming UK Online Safety Bill.

Good Web Project
Governments around the world are pushing for changes to internet governance and regulation to safeguard democracy from disinformation, and citizens from online harms. However, without a principled vision for the internet, democratic governments risk falling behind authoritarian states and technopolistic industry giants in the race to reshape the most important international political, cultural and social space in existence. In doing so, our democratic traditions, values, governments and societies are put in jeopardy.

ISD, alongside partners Demos, Arena at Johns Hopkins and the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, have launched the Good Web Project to lay out a vision the future of the internet that is compatible with liberal democracy. The project seeks to measure and build public support for an internet that resists the authoritarian alternative, and inform and empower policy-makers to create a credible human rights compliant alternative.

Alongside our network of government, civil society and academic stakeholders, ISD and our partners will use our expertise to define, measure and advocate for an internet that strengthens liberal democracy. We will convene and build consensus on the principles required for a better internet and build the evidence base required for change, moving the debate beyond a narrow focus on countering online harms and towards proactively defining an open, liberal and democratic model for the future of our online spaces.

Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF)
With the support of the GCTF and the Governments of Australia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, in 2019 ISD launched a Policy Toolkit to build on the Zurich-London Recommendations on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism Online we developed in 2017. The Toolkit, available in English, French and Arabic, was formally presented at the GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting in September 2019 on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. It outlines approaches for governments to efficiently and sustainably collaborate with private sector technology companies and civil society organisations based on shared responsibilities, while ensuring that policies are respectful of human rights and the rule of law, and are context-specific and gender-sensitive.

Sasha Havlicek speaking at the CVE Summit, Washington, DC, 2015

Jacob Davey testifying on the far right before the UK Home Affairs Committee, London, 2018

Latest Digital Policy Publications

ISD’s Digital Policy team

Sasha Havlicek
Read Bio
Sasha Havlicek

Co-Founder and CEO

×
Sasha Havlicek
Sasha Havlicek

Co-Founder and CEO

Sasha Havlicek is Co-Founder and CEO of ISD, having spearheaded ISD’s pioneering research and data analysis, digital education, policy advisory, training, tech and communications programmes. With a background in conflict resolution and an expertise in extremism, digital information operations and electoral interference, she has advised a range of governments at the highest levels and has spearheaded partnerships with the UN, EU Commission and Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. She has also worked with the private and civil society sectors to promote innovation, including developing major programmes run in partnership with Google, FB and Microsoft. Sasha serves as an expert advisor to the UK Counter-Extremism Commission and the Mayor of London’s counter-extremism programme, and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Sasha previously served as Senior Director at the EastWest Institute where she led conflict resolution programming. Sasha has testified before US Congress, the UK Parliament and is a regular commentator in the media (CNN, BBC, Channel 4 News and other networks).
Huberta von Voss
Read Bio
Huberta von Voss

Executive Director, ISD Germany

×
Huberta von Voss
Huberta von Voss

Executive Director, ISD Germany

Huberta von Voss is Executive Director at ISD Germany, where she has led the expansion of ISD's German office since 2019. She has previously been part of the leadership team of the New York based NGO Seeds of Peace. Her efforts as Director for Public Affairs and Communications led to steep digital growth, new media engagement, a Podcast series as well as a series of high level events in New York and Washington, D.C. Huberta is the author of "Portraits of Hope: The Armenians in the contemporary world" (Berghahn Books) as well as "Arme Kinder, reiches Land" (Rowohlt) on child poverty in post-reunification Germany. She has appeared on various German and international TV shows and is fluent in English and French. She serves on several boards, among them United Ways Germany, to foster social cohesion. Huberta was awarded the Leo Baeck Medal (2018) and the BGA Medal of Honor by the British-German Association. She is a member of the Young Leader network of the BMW Foundation and an alumni of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
Francesca Arcostanzo
Read Bio
Francesca Arcostanzo

Director of Digital Analysis Unit

×
Francesca Arcostanzo
Francesca Arcostanzo

Director of Digital Analysis Unit

Francesca Arcostanzo is Director of Digital Analysis Unit at ISD, working to ensure our research methods, tools and approaches in the digital analysis space remain consistent and innovative. With a decade of experience in digital research, she is an expert in digital methods, including text network, and statistical analysis of large-scale datasets. Recently, she has been involved in the development of Beam, the ISD-CASM technology that exposes, tracks and confronts online information threats, from disinformation to hate, extremism, information operations, harassment and harmful conspiracy theories. Francesca also holds a PhD in Public Opinion, Political Communication, and Electoral Behaviour from the University of Milan, an MA in Government and Public Communication, and an MSc in Intelligence & ICT. Previously, she served as a Digital Analytics Specialist at the European Central Bank, where she monitored and analysed conversations, disinformation and threats related to ECB policies. She is also a partner at CASM Technology.
Milo Comerford
Read Bio
Milo Comerford

Director of Policy & Research, Counter-Extremism

×
Milo Comerford
Milo Comerford

Director of Policy & Research, Counter-Extremism

Milo Comerford is Director of Policy & Research, Counter Extremism, leading ISD’s work developing innovative research approaches and policy responses to extremism. Milo regularly briefs senior decision makers around the world on the challenge posed by extremist ideologies, and advises governments and international agencies on building effective strategies for countering extremism. He was previously Senior Analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, where he led major research projects on Salafi-jihadi propaganda, international educational responses to extremism, and the transnational far right. His writing and research features frequently in international media and he has made recent broadcast appearances on BBC News, Sky News and Al Jazeera.
Jiore Craig
Read Bio
Jiore Craig

Resident Senior Fellow, Digital Integrity

×
Jiore Craig
Jiore Craig

Resident Senior Fellow, Digital Integrity

Jiore Craig is a Resident Senior Fellow at ISD with focus on Digital Integrity. Her work focuses on safeguarding democracy globally and the wider impact of online harms on society. Jiore advises global leaders on mitigating online harms including work to advance tech policy reform and tech accountability at a global scale. She has extensive international experience, previously spending eight years helping elected officials, political leaders, media organizations, academic institutions and civic society organizations across five continents to research, measure, and effectively mitigate the impact of disinformation and influence operations on public opinion and elections. She previously built a digital research and communications practice serving Europe, Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and the US at a global political consulting firm. Jiore’s work informed the design of major coalition efforts to counter disinformation in the 2020 US and 2019 European Parliament elections. In 2022, Jiore testified for the U.S. Congressional House Administration Elections Subcommittee Hearing on “A Growing Threat: Foreign and Domestic Sources of Disinformation”. She is a member of Issue One’s Council for Responsible Social Media. Her work is cited in The Washington Post, New York Magazine, The L.A. Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and she has been a featured guest in election broadcast programs around the world, including the podcast Pod Save America.
Jennie King
Read Bio
Jennie King

Director of Climate Research and Policy

×
Jennie King
Jennie King

Director of Climate Research and Policy

Jennie King is the Director of Climate Research and Policy, leading efforts to translate ISD's digital research into frontline programming and response. Through ISD, she helped found Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD), a coalition of over 50 organisations working to identify, analyse and counter climate disinformation worldwide. She has spearheaded investigations on climate denialism and ‘discourses of delay’ in the contexts of Australia, Canada, Central Europe, Germany, South Africa, the US and UK, as well as co-authored a number of ISD’s flagship reports on this issue. Jennie also helped design, and currently manages, the COP Intelligence Units on behalf of CAAD, leading over 15 partners to produce real-time monitoring of mis- and disinformation around climate summits.
Henry Tuck
Read Bio
Henry Tuck

Director of Digital Policy

×
Henry Tuck
Henry Tuck

Director of Digital Policy

Henry Tuck is the Director of Digital Policy at ISD, where he leads Advisory work on digital regulation and tech company responses to terrorism, extremism, hate and dis/misinformation online. Henry oversees ISD’s Digital Policy Lab (DPL) and engagement on key digital regulation proposals in Europe and Five Eyes countries, advises key governments, international organisations and major private sector tech companies, and collaborates with ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit to translate research into actionable digital policy recommendations. Having joined ISD in 2013, Henry has previously worked across a variety of ISD’s Analysis and Action programmes, including education, on- and offline counter-extremism interventions, and civil society networks. Henry holds a Masters in International Conflict Studies from Kings College London, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Durham University. 
Mauritius Dorn
Read Bio
Mauritius Dorn

Senior Digital Policy and Education Manager

×
Mauritius Dorn
Mauritius Dorn

Senior Digital Policy and Education Manager

Mauritius is a Senior Digital Policy and Education Manager at ISD Germany, where he coordinates ISD’s digital policy recommendations on election-related online harms and presents them to political stakeholders at EU level and in Germany. He conducts disinformation trainings with political parties and candidates, coordinates with other stakeholders from academia and civil society, and assists in the design of awareness campaigns. Mauritius is also involved in the Digital Policy Lab (DPL), a new intergovernmental working group focused on policy responses to prevent and counter online disinformation, hate speech and extremism. Previously, Mauritius worked as a public affairs consultant in Berlin, advising clients from the public and private sector on their lobbying strategies in the area of digital policy and digital economy. Mauritius holds a MSc double degree in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences and Fudan University, and a BA in Sociology, Politics and Economics from Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen.
Helena Schwertheim
Read Bio
Helena Schwertheim

Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager, ISD Germany

×
Helena Schwertheim
Helena Schwertheim

Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager, ISD Germany

Helena Schwertheim is Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager at ISD Germany, where she leads the Digital Policy Lab (DPL), a new intergovernmental working group focused on policy responses to prevent and counter disinformation, hate speech and extremism. Helena also leads a team of analysts studying digital threats posed to democracy by disinformation, hate speech and extremism.  Previously, Helena managed digital policy and research projects at Democracy Reporting International. She also has experience working in risk and political analysis in international organizations and think tanks, including at the UN World Food Programme in Rome, and the think tank International IDEA in Stockholm.
Christian Schwieter
Read Bio
Christian Schwieter

Fellow

×
Christian Schwieter
Christian Schwieter

Fellow

Christian Schwieter is a Fellow at ISD and a PhD candidate at the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University, where he investigates the impact of European platform governance efforts on far-right activity on social media. Between 2020-2023, he led ISD Germany’s research on the migration of right-wing extremist actors to Telegram and other smaller platforms in response to increased content moderation on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. At ISD, he also co-led the pilot phase of the Digital Policy Lab, a new intergovernmental working group focused on charting the online policy path forward to prevent and counter disinformation, hate speech and extremism. In his role, he has advised the German Ministry of Justice, the German Foreign Office and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, among others. Before ISD, Christian worked as a researcher for the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute and was Specialist Adviser on Disinformation Matters for the DCMS Select Committee at the UK House of Commons. He holds an MSc (Dist) in Social Science of the Internet from the University of Oxford and a BA (Hons) in World Politics from Leiden University.