Cyberconflict and Cybersecurity Initiative

Cyberconflict--the use of computer power for intelligence gathering or to attack the computer, communication, transportation, and energy networks of states or non-governmental groups--is now a major arena of political, economic, and military contest. Fending off cyberattacks has become a costly preoccupation of governments, corporations, and non-profit organizations. Cyberattacks could ultimately lead to massive financial loss, economic disruptions, or even war.

Despite this potential for harm, little agreement exists on how to respond. One problem is the lack of understanding, especially among policymakers, about how interconnected and vulnerable our increasingly sophisticated computer networks are. Beyond this lies a whole host of thorny analytical questions: What is our ability to track the source of attacks? How susceptible are we to "false flag" attacks where the attackers deliberately seek to "frame" another actor as carrying out an attack? What responsibility should governments bear for attacks carried out by their nationals on foreign governments or entities? How should the responsibility for defending against cyberattacks be apportioned between government and the private sector, between national governments and the international community? Can deterrence work in cyberspace?

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is actively engaged in helping U.S policy makers, business leaders, and the general public better address these and other questions at the nexus of cybersecurity and foreign policy. CFR has hosted some of the most important practioners and thinkers to speak at general meetings and roundtable seminars.

In January 2011, CFR will host a one-day workshop focusing on some of the trade and economic issues involved in cybersecurity including supply chain security and corporate espionage. Future meetings and research will focus on the relationship between cyberwar and the existing laws of war and conflict; how the United States should engage other states and international actors in pursuit of its interests in cyberspace; how the promotion of the free flow of information interacts with the pursuit of cybersecurity; and the private sectors role in defense, deterrence, and resilience.

Five CFR Research Fellows work on cyber issues, and they publish in numerous outlets and comment frequently in the media. And CFR's membership and corporate programs have a unique ability to draw expertise from government, industry, and academia to address an issue that will require greater public-private cooperation, both domestically and internationally.

Initial funding for the Cyberconflict and Cybersecurity Initiative has been provided by IBM and Thomson Reuters.

Publications

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Meetings

Academic Conference Call

Understanding Cybersecurity as an Instrument of U.S. Policy

Speaker:

Daniel Gerstein, Deputy Under Secretary for Science & Technology, Department of Homeland Security

Presider:

James P. Dougherty, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
April 29, 2013

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Legal Challenges of U.S. Cyber Policy

Speakers:

Michael N. Schmitt, Chairman and Professor, U.S. Naval War College, Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Matthew C. Waxman, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Law and Foreign Policy, Concil on Foreign Relations; Profeesor of Law, Columbia Law School
April 26, 2013

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting ⁄ New York

The Path Forward for Cyberspace in India

Speaker:

Subimal Bhattacharjee, Country Head, General Dynamics in India

Presider:

Adam Segal, Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
May 16, 2012

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Roundtable Meeting

Death by a Thousand Cuts? Defending the Nation Against Real Cyber Attacks

Speaker:

Eric Rosenbach, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy, U.S. Department of Defense

Presider:

Adam Segal, Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
February 13, 2012

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Revolutionizing Big Data: From the Intelligence Community to the Fortune 500

Speaker:

Alex Karp, Palantir Technologies

Presider:

Richard A. Falkenrath, Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Adjunct Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, Council on Foreign Relations
January 17, 2012

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Harnessing Private Sector Drive and Innovation to Protect America's Cybersecurity

Speaker:

Mike Rogers, Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Presider:

Richard A. Falkenrath, Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Adjunct Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, Council on Foreign Relations
December 9, 2011

This meeting is on the record.

Workshop

People, Power, and CyberPolitics

December 8, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Cyberwar: Overhyped or Over Here?

Speaker:

Stewart A. Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson

Presider:

Richard A. Falkenrath, Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Adjunct Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, Council on Foreign Relations
December 7, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Chinese Cyber Espionage: Significant Threat to U.S. Economic and National Security

Speaker:

Dmitri Alperovitch, President, Asymmetric Cyber Operations LLC

Presider:

Adam Segal, Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
October 25, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Cybersecurity and Freedom of Speech: Limits of Sovereignty in a Digitally Interconnected World

Speaker:

Andrew McLaughlin, Executive Director, Civic Commons

Presider:

Matthew C. Waxman, Council on Foreign Relations
October 18, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Workshop

Cyber Statecraft: Addressing Strategic Cyber Instability

September 7, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Does Cyberspace Matter in International Relations?

Speakers:

Nazli Choucri, MIT, Daniel Goldsmith, MIT Sloan School of Management, Michael Siechrist, Harvard Kennedy School

Presider:

James P. Dougherty, Council on Foreign Relations
June 15, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Corporate Meeting

The Business Impact of a Changing Cyber Landscape

Speaker:

Edward Amoroso, Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer, AT&T Services, Inc.

Presider:

Adam Segal, Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies Council on Foreign Relations
June 15, 2011 6:30-7:00 p.m. - Dinner Reception
7:00-8:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

Watch

Roundtable Meeting

Understanding Cyberattack as an Instrument of U.S. Policy

Speaker:

Herbert S. Lin, National Research Council of the National Academies

Presider:

Adam Segal, Council on Foreign Relations
May 9, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

The Developing Legal Framework for Defensive and Offensive Cyber Operations

Speaker:

Steven Bradbury, Dechert LLP

Presider:

Richard A. Falkenrath, Council on Foreign Relations
April 18, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Cyber-Warfare: Law and International Conflict in the Digital Domain

Speaker:

Bryan Cunningham, Morgan & Cunningham LLC

Presider:

Richard A. Falkenrath, Council on Foreign Relations
April 12, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Cyber Security for the Future: A Conversation with Peter Weinberger

Speaker:

Peter Weinberger, Google

Presider:

Richard A. Falkenrath, Council on Foreign Relations
April 11, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Legal and Policy Implications for Cyberspace

Speaker:

Catherine Lotrionte, Associate Director, IInstitute for International Law and Politics, Georgetown University

Presider:

Adam Segal, Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
January 28, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Workshop

Workshop on Cybersecurity, Foreign Policy, and Business

January 11, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Intelligence Community Meets Foreign Investors

Speakers:

Stewart A. Baker, Former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Major General John Landry, USA (Ret.), National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues, National Intelligence Council

Presider:

Adam Segal, Ira. A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
October 12, 2010

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Defense Turned Inside Out: The Radical Effects of Cyberattacks

Speaker:

Scott Borg, U.S Cyber Consequences Unit

Presider:

Adam Segal, Council on Foreign Relations
June 16, 2010

This meeting is not for attribution.

Corporate Meeting

CEO Speaker Series: A Conversation with Ivan Seidenberg

Speaker:

Ivan Seidenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Verizon

Presider:

Alan S. Murray, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor, Online, The Wall Street Journal
April 6, 2010 7:45-8:00 a.m. - Breakfast
8:00-9:00 a.m. - Meeting

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Corporate Meeting

Framing a Cybersecurity Foreign Policy

Speaker:

Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Presider:

Daniel B. Prieto, Vice President, IBM Global Business Services
January 29, 2010 12:00-12:30 p.m. - Lunch Reception
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is not for attribution.

Corporate Meeting

U.S. Internet Policy: Implications for Competitiveness

Speaker:

Yochai Benkler, Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies and Co-director Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

Presider:

Daniel F. Burton Jr., Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Salesforce.com
January 13, 2010 12:00-12:15 p.m. - Lunch
12:15-1:15 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

China's Rise and Cyberspace: Strategic Challenges for the United States

Speaker:

James Mulvenon, Defense Group Inc.

Presider:

Adam Segal, Council on Foreign Relations
November 2, 2009

This meeting is not for attribution.

Corporate Meeting

Cybersecurity: A Critical Infrastructure Challenge and the Need for Global Cooperation

Speaker:

Massimo Sarmi, Chief Executive Officer, Poste Italiane

Presider:

Stephen E. Flynn, Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
October 28, 2009 7:45-8:00 a.m. - Breakfast Reception
8:00-9:00 a.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

Cyber Threats and Security

Speakers:

Timothy Brown, CA Security Management, Mike Cote, SecureWorks, Myles Trachtenberg, Register.com

Presider:

James P. Dougherty, Council on Foreign Relations
September 23, 2009

This meeting is not for attribution.

Cyberconflict and Cybersecurity Initiative Fellows