About the Program
The Digital and Cyberspace Policy program addresses one of the most challenging issues facing the country in the twenty-first century: keeping the global internet open, secure, and resilient in the face of unprecedented threats. Digital technologies have become ubiquitous; nearly five billion people use a cell phone, and approximately 4.5 billion are on the internet.
These trends have generated immense wealth. According to one survey, the internet accounts for 5 to 9 percent of gross domestic product in developed countries. The ubiquity of the smartphones allows people to access a world of knowledge from their fingertips, buy and sell goods instantaneously, and connect with loved ones.
However, internet access has also created new vulnerabilities for nations, corporations, and individuals. Internet-enabled devices can be exploited to allow unscrupulous actors to surreptitiously monitor communications, track someone’s location in real time, steal proprietary and confidential data, disrupt elections, influence public opinions, and undermine trust in institutions.
The program informs policymakers, business leaders, and the general public about the politics of cyberspace through briefings, reports, interactives, the Cyber Brief publication series, and the Net Politics blog. The program also encourages exchanges between the public and private sectors to shape U.S. policy and the emerging global rules and norms of cyberspace. Current projects focus on cybersecurity; online disinformation; and data, privacy, and trade.