As offensive cyber activity becomes more prevalent, policymakers will be challenged to develop proportionate responses to disruptive or destructive attacks. Tobias Feakin outlines the variables that each state should consider in determining the appropriate response to a state-sponsored cyber incident.
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.
National People's Congress of China released this draft text on July 6, 2015, and it will be available for public comment through August 2015. The law outlines the Chinese government's goals for security standards for technical systems, networks, and user data. It requires companies with operations in China to comply with government requests for regulating and restricting technology use. See also the broader National Security Law passed on July 1, 2015.
The use of social media and other Internet-enabled communications by the self-proclaimed Islamic State is pushing the United States and other democracies to react to the abuse of liberal freedoms by illiberal forces. CFR Visiting Fellow David P. Fidler outlines ways to counter the Islamic State's online onslaught through policies anchored in free speech, transparency, and accountability.
Ambiguity in cyberspace—in terms of who is responsible for and the intent of a cyberattack—poses a growing risk of unnecessary military escalation in and outside the cyber domain. Benjamin Brake details how the Obama administration can strengthen its ability to correctly and efficiently attribute an ambiguous attack, reduce the likelihood of its escalation, and mitigate the consequences.
The first Department of Defense strategy report on cyberspace was released on July 14, 2011 and an update to the strategy was released April 23, 2015. The strategy outlines the three missions in the cyber domain: to defend Department of Defense networks, systems, and information; to defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. national interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and to provide integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.
U.S. efforts to promote its preferred norms for cyberspace—Internet openness, security, and free speech—suffered a significant setback in the summer of 2013 with the Snowden disclosures. Henry Farrell identifies three steps the United States can take to reinvigorate its norm-promotion efforts.
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.
President Obama spoke at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford on February 13, 2015. He announced a new executive order for private and government sectors to better share information about cyber threats.
This press release previews the Obama administration's proposed legislation on cybersecurity issues, including increasing information sharing between agencies, modernizing law enforcement capabilities to address cybercrime, improving consumer protection online, and funding cybersecurity information at historically black colleges.
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.
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.
Adam Segal, CFR senior fellow for China studies, and Scott A. Snyder, CFR senior fellow for Korea studies, discussed the cyberattack on Sony Pictures and the studio's decision to cancel its release of The Interview, a comedy that reportedly depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
This report argues that the lack of sustained attention to energy issues is undercutting U.S. foreign policy and national security.
CFR Experts Guide
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 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 »