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Net Politics

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

Cyber Week in Review: January 6, 2017

by Adam Segal Friday, January 6, 2017
U.S. Defence Under secretary for Intelligence Marcel Lettre (L), Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and National Security Agency Director U.S. Navy Admiral Michael Rogers testify before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on foreign cyber threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 5, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters). U.S. Defence Under secretary for Intelligence Marcel Lettre (L), Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and National Security Agency Director U.S. Navy Admiral Michael Rogers testify before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on foreign cyber threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 5, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters).

Happy New Year! Here is a quick round-up of this week’s technology headlines and related stories you may have missed:

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President Obama’s Pursuit of Cyber Deterrence Ends in Failure

by David Fidler Wednesday, January 4, 2017
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland June 17, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland June 17, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

The Obama administration responded to Russia’s cyber operations against Democratic National Committee officials last week. The punitive measures seek to deter Russia, and other adversaries, from cyber-related interference with U.S. elections. This strategy connects to the importance President Obama placed on deterrence in cybersecurity. His administration tried to strengthen cyber defenses (deterrence by denial), clarify international law’s application in cyberspace and develop international cyber norms (deterrence by norms), and threaten punishment for hostile cyber operations (deterrence by punishment). However, the election hacking episode highlights how the president’s efforts to achieve deterrence for cybersecurity have failed.

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The Year in Review: Russia and the 2016 U.S. Election

by Adam Segal Thursday, December 29, 2016
CFR Cyber Net Politics Russia Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia on September 21, 2016. (Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via Reuters).

Move over Comment Panda and Putter Panda, make way for Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear. 2016 was the year Russian hackers pushed their Chinese counterparts out of the limelight, becoming a major focus of the presidential election and transition, and driving policy discussions about attribution, norms, deterrence, and countering information operations and fake news. How the United States responds to the hacking of the presidential election, or doesn’t, will have a far-ranging impact on domestic cybersecurity and state behavior in cyberspace.

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The Year in Review: Major Setbacks for Digital Trade in 2016

by David Fidler Wednesday, December 28, 2016
TPP e-commerce chapter Net Politics Cyber CFR A worker gathers items for delivery from the warehouse floor at Amazon's distribution center in Phoenix, Arizona November 22, 2013. (Ralph D. Freso /Reuters)

What a difference one year makes. When 2015 ended, prospects for digital trade looked good. In bilateral, regional, and multilateral contexts, initiatives were advancing that were, in part, designed to increase opportunities for digital commerce and strengthen rules for it. The European Union launched its Digital Single Market strategy and was negotiating the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement with the United States. In addition to TTIP, the United States concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with eleven countries, and was negotiating the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) with over twenty nations and the European Union.

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Year in Review: Militaries Got More Cyber in 2016

by Guest Blogger Monday, December 26, 2016
CFR Cyber Net Politics Smoke and flame rise after what fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) said were U.S.-led air strikes on the mills of Manbij where Islamic State militants are positioned, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria June 16, 2016. (Rodi Said/Reuters).

Alex Grigsby is the assistant director for the Digital and Cyberspace Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. 

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