Nitin Agarwal Gets $2.4M for Cybersecurity Grant - Southern Business Review

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Nitin Agarwal Gets $2.4M for Cybersecurity Grant

 Southern Business Review - Nitin Agarwal, director of the Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. (UA Little Rock/Ben Krain)

Nitin Agarwal, director of the Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been awarded a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop ways to track online threats.
UA Little Rock said the money will also support the development of research infrastructure to assess social media and blogs in real time and "respond to the growing weaponization of online discourse." The infrastructure will include development of models, software applications and training programs.
"We appreciate the support from Sen. John Boozman for the social networking research at UA Little Rock," Agarwal said of the three-year grant. "The senator recognizes the importance of developing new approaches, software tools, and training programs for national security in cyberspace, and this grant was enabled through his support of funding for the Navy's Social Networks Analysis program."
Boozman is chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. He's also on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
"UA Little Rock continues to be an outstanding partner in the Navy's efforts to track and counter our adversaries' use of social media to bring harm to American interests at home and overseas," Boozman said. "This award will expand capabilities at UA Little Rock and create opportunities for students to develop new skills and expertise in this important area of information science."
Agarwal said the project aims to " examine, evaluate, measure and predict the threat level" of "adversarial information campaigns." The research aims to identify key actors, groups, narratives, media integration strategies and tactics by those who disseminate disinformation and conduct influence operations, according to the university.