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Net Politics

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

Cybersecurity Legislation in Congress: Three Things to Know

by Robert Knake Thursday, April 30, 2015
NCCIC POTUS Cyber CFR DHS Net Politics U.S. President Barack Obama talks next to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson (L) at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia, January 13, 2015. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

The debate over cybersecurity is heating up again in Washington. Congress is considering multiple pieces of legislation intended to enhance the ability of the private sector and government to share information about digital threats. Meanwhile, the White House has put forth its own proposal, which diverges from those measures on major issues. 

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The Global Forum on Cyber Expertise: Its Policy, Normative, and Political Importance

by David Fidler Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders at the Global Conference on Cyberspace. (Evert-Jan Daniels/Courtesy of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

The big idea emerging from the Global Conference on Cyberspace 2015—the latest iteration of the London Process—is the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE). According to The Hague Declaration, the GFCE will facilitate “inclusive and greater collaboration in the area of capacity building and exchange of expertise in the cyber domain.” These purposes, and the language describing them, suggest the forum will target low-hanging fruit. Although skepticism might eventually prevail, the GFCE reflects policy needs, normative principles, and political interests that make it potentially significant.

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The Global Conference on Cyberspace: Putting Principles into Practice

by Guest Blogger Thursday, April 23, 2015
GCCS Koenders Cyber Net Politics Global Conference on Cybersapce Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders at the Global Conference on Cyberspace. (Evert-Jan Daniels/Courtesy of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Christopher Painter is the coordinator for cyber issues at the U.S. Department of State. 

Last week I traveled to The Hague for the Global Conference on Cyberspace, hosted by the Dutch government. This was the fourth in a series of conferences, sometimes called the London Process because the series started in London in 2011, aimed at promoting practical cooperation across the broad suite of cyber issues, from security to economic development.

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Europe v. Google: A Dispute About Competition, Political Power, and Sovereignty

by David Fidler Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Google EU Cyber Net Politics CFR antitrust Competition Google and European Union logos are seen in Sarajevo, in this April 15, 2015 photo illustration. (Dado Ruvic/Courtesy Reuters).

The European Commission’s accusations that Google has violated EU competition law by abusing its dominant position in the Internet search market generated significant attention. This case is important, but not just for the EU and Google. This case involves many economic, political, and tech layers, including three different, but overlapping, disputes about competition, political power, and sovereignty.

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India Could Use Its Historic Free Speech Judgment to Reset Its Position on Internet Governance. Will It?  

by Guest Blogger Monday, April 20, 2015
Modi India CFR Cyber Net Politics Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for selfies with Indian students during a visit in Toulouse, France on April 11, 2015. (Adrien Helou/Courtesy Reuters).

Mahima Kaul is the head of the cyber and media initiative at the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank in India. You can follow her on Twitter @misskaul

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The UN GGE on Cybersecurity: What is the UN’s role?

by Guest Blogger Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Cyber CFR Net Politics Conference on Disarmament UN GGE The Conference on Disarmament in 2012. (Eric Bridiers/Courtesy U.S. Mission Geneva)

This week, Net Politics is taking a look at the work of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, which is meeting this week in New York. 

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

The Great Cannon and the Globalization of Chinese Internet Companies

by Adam Segal Tuesday, April 14, 2015
CFR China Net Politics Great Cannon Cyber Paramilitary policemen fire cannons from Tiananmen Square during an official welcoming ceremony for Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, June 3, 2014. (Petar Kujunzic/Courtesy Reuters).

In the mid 1990s, as a grad student, I went to do my fieldwork in Shanghai and Beijing ready to ask the wrong questions. At the time, sinology was heavily influenced by questions of civil society and how it might emerge in China. I was sure that new technology startups (called minying keji qiye, or non-governmental technology enterprises) could be a significant source of opposition to the Chinese Communist Party and the state. Read more »