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Net Politics

CFR experts investigate the impact of information and communication technologies on security, privacy, and international affairs.

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A man wearing a face mask checks his mobile phone while riding a subway in the morning REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

Cyber Week in Review: Feb 21, 2020

Multiple countries attribute cyberattacks against Georgia to Russia; China tightens internet controls in response to coronavirus outbreak; Iran targets VPN providers to breach target networks; Bharatiya Janata Party uses deepfake technology for first time in Delhi Legislative Assembly election; Bloomberg campaign blurs line between advertising and organizing online; and European Union unveils plan to reassert “technological sovereignty.” Read More

United Nations
From Multilateral to Multistakeholder? New Developments in UN Processes on Cybersecurity
The United Nations hosted the first intersessional consultation session between UN member states and non-governmental actors interested in peace and security in cyberspace. International law, norms, and capacity building in cyberspace were important dimensions of the discussion. While this was a meaningful opportunity for non-governmental participants to provide their insight, is it unclear what the future holds for multistakeholder participation in UN discussions on cybersecurity.
Elections and Voting
Cyber Week in Review: January 24, 2020
Cyber Command documents detail campaign to counter ISIS in cyberspace; Conflicting arguments surround the alleged hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone; Suzhou uses facial recognition to shame pajama wearers; Tech companies volunteer cybersecurity expertise to presidential campaigns; and Pentagon intervenes on Huawei.
Digital Policy
Forget Saving the Post Office—I Just Need to Save My Job
It is easy for people to obfuscate their identity online and even falsify metrics, like page views. The U.S. government needs to develop a system to verify that people online are who they claim to be.
  • Robots and Artificial Intelligence
    We Need a Drastic Rethink on Export Controls for AI
    Before export controls for AI are codified, the U.S. government needs to assess its past controls on technology and understand the challenges that AI poses to traditional export control practices. 
  • Cybersecurity
    Cyber Week in Review: January 17, 2020
    National Security Agency reveals major vulnerability in Microsoft Windows 10; Senators urge $1 billion plan to loosen China’s grip on 5G; India to ease some internet restrictions in Kashmir; Federal Reserve Bank of New York warns a cyberattack on banks could cause major disruption; and Amnesty International suit against NSO Group heads to court.
  • Digital Policy
    A Multistakeholder Meeting at the United Nations Could Help States Develop Cyber Norms
    In December, the Open-Ended Working Group of the United Nations held a three-day informal intersessional consultation to discuss security in information and communications technologies. December’s meeting is the first time that UN deliberations on cyberspace governance and state behavior have been held in a multistakeholder format, whereby businesses and civil society groups could submit their views to UN member states.
  • Cybersecurity
    A New UN Cybercrime Treaty? The Way Forward for Supporters of an Open, Free, and Secure Internet
    Last month, a Russian-led resolution on cybercrime that could pose challenges for countries that support a free and open model for the internet passed in the United Nations.
  • China
    Cyber Week in Review: January 10, 2020
    Trump administration pressed Dutch government to cancel sale of chip equipment to China; Congressional commission mulls new private sector reporting requirements; DHS warns of cyberattacks following Qasem Soleimani’s killing; Brazil to reject U.S. pressure on Huawei 5G bid; and New report suggests Chinese companies are recruiting hackers for Beijing
  • Social Issues
    Invisible Workers on the Global Assembly Line: Behind the Screen
    In her new book, Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media, Dr. Sarah T. Roberts reveals the inner workings of the world of content moderation on social media platforms. 
  • Technology and Innovation
    2019: The Beginning of the End of the Open Internet Era
    In the next decade, China will establish a separate root system for their share of the internet. This will mark the end of the global internet era. When the root splits, the United States and its allies should establish a coalition of democratic nations that would offer a stark choice and clear alternative to the Chinese internet governance model for the rest of the world.