Leveraging New Tools for Verification in the Facebook Era

There may be a greater role for the public to play in verifying future nuclear arms control agreements, NTI experts say. Information gleaned from satellite imagery, commercial trade data, Facebook posts and even tweets may help paint a clearer picture of what a state is doing with its nuclear arsenal and whether a state is attempting to cover up illicit activities.

In a new paper, Societal Verification: Leveraging the Information Revolution for Arms Control Verification, Corey Hinderstein, NTI Vice President International Program and Kelsey Hartigan, NTI Program Associate, explore how these “societal” tools could help bolster confidence that a state is living up to its commitments.

"International verification needs will demand an increasingly diverse set of capabilities and tools. Creative approaches that utilize societal verification instruments and input could provide an additional layer of assurance and insight if leveraged appropriately,” write Hinderstein and Hartigan.

The paper was presented at the July 2012 Institute of Nuclear Materials Management conference in Orlando, Florida.

This work is part of NTI’s ongoing Verification Pilot Project, which is designed to bring together experts from a wide array of technical backgrounds to build capacity for international verification objectives – and to support the wider goal of working toward a world without nuclear weapons. For the past three years, NTI has been exploring these and other issues related to how states and their citizens can help verify, monitor and enforce a nuclear weapon-free world.

Read the paper.

September 26, 2012
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NTI’s Corey Hinderstein and Kelsey Hartigan co-authored a new paper on the public’s role in arms control verification, analyzing how satellite imagery, commercial trade data, Facebook posts and even tweets may expose what a state is doing with its nuclear arsenal.

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Kelsey Hartigan
Kelsey Hartigan

Senior Program Officer, Material Security and Minimization