Jay Rockefeller, the former chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will join the Council on Foreign Relations this month as a distinguished fellow. His research will cover Japan, East Asia, cybersecurity issues, and other topics. He will be based in CFR’s Washington, DC, office.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has launched Net Politics, a blog on cybersecurity, Internet governance, digital trade, and privacy. It will provide original insight, highlight notable research and analysis, and introduce new voices on the emerging politics of cyberspace.
Since the 1990s, U.S. law enforcement has expressed concern about “going dark,” roughly defined as an inability to access encrypted communications or data even with a court order. Silicon Valley companies are rolling out encrypted products that allow users alone to access their data, and in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attacks, law enforcement officials argue that their fears are being realized.
Hackers are often mistakenly portrayed in popular culture as inarticulate geeks donning hoodies or ninja suits. However, the opposite is true, and policymakers in Washington could benefit from a deeper understanding of who hackers are and what they have to offer.
Writing in Foreign Policy, Emerson Brooking argues that, given ISIS’ strategically significant use of social media for recruiting and messaging, any comprehensive plan to defeat the terror network must also neutralize its online presence. He proposes the creation of a bounty system that would pay hacktivists in anonymized Bitcoin to flag ISIS social media accounts and disrupt its websites.
While Sony may have dominated the news toward the end of 2014, three major cyberattacks against U.S. companies shook the corporate world earlier this year: Target opened the year by announcing in January that hackers had stolen personal information from an estimated 110 million accounts; hackers accessed approximately 83 million J.P. Morgan Chase accounts in August; and Home Depot confirmed that its payment system was breached in September, compromising an estimated 56 million accounts. Here’s a look back at the details of each of those attacks, and how they affected the conversation about cybersecurity in the United States and the corporate sector.
The free flow of information across borders is essential for the modern economy, but a growing number of countries have erected restrictions curtailing a free and open Internet. Karen Kornbluh discusses what diplomatic and policy steps the United States can take to safeguard the free flow of information worldwide.
"For the last fifty years, Washington has assumed the scientific dominance of the US. This assumption is now in question as scientific capabilities become more widely distributed," especially to China, writes Adam Segal.
In preparation for President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama's meeting in California on June 7-9, Adam Segal writes, "The presidents won't come to any agreements next week, but over the course of the two days, they should try and dispel the growing mistrust by explaining their national interests and intentions in cyberspace."
Blake Clayton argues that cyber attacks on oil and gas operations are the new face of energy insecurity, with vast potential for crippling effects on global energy prices and nations far beyond the Middle East.
Richard A. Falkenrath discusses how the modern American police department must balance its information technology needs--including cloud computing services--against the unique legal framework within which it operates.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »