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Net Politics

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

New Report: China’s Internet Is Pretty Big

by Guest Blogger Thursday, July 30, 2015
china internet mobile cyber urban rural netizen A migrant worker looks at his mobile phone as he waits for his train at Beijing Railway Station, October 12, 2014. New Internet users in China are increasingly from rural areas and primarily use mobile devices to connect to the web. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

Lincoln Davidson is a research associate for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. You can follow him on Twitter @dvdsndvdsn

The number of Internet users in China has grown to 668 million, according to a report released last week by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a state agency that administers China’s domain name registry and conducts research on the Chinese Internet. Below are the main points from the agency’s annual Internet development report. Full text of the report can be found here. Read more »

Can the TPP Launch a New Era of Governance For Digital Commerce?

by David Fidler Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Froman TPP Net Politics Cyber CFR U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman (L) speaks at a press conference during the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) meeting of trade representatives in 2014. (Jason Reed/Reuters).

With Congress passing trade promotion authority, negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is entering its final stages. In the authorizing legislation, Congress recognized “the growing significance of the Internet as a trading platform in international commerce” and instructed President Obama to achieve objectives concerning digital trade in goods and services and cross-border data flows. The Obama administration wants “digital trade rules-of-the-road” in the TPP agreement. These rules could mark a turning point in the global governance of digital commerce.

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Cyber Week in Review: July 24, 2015

by Adam Segal Friday, July 24, 2015
Unit 61398 Cyber Net Politics CFR China Part of the building of 'Unit 61398', a Chinese military unit, on the outskirts of Shanghai in February, 2013. The unit is part of the People's Liberation Army's Third Department, which is responsible for a large part of China's cyber espionage activity. (Carlos Barria/Courtesy Reuters).

Here is a quick round-up of this week’s technology headlines and related stories you may have missed: Read more »

Cyber Norm Development and the Protection of Critical Infrastructure

by David Fidler Thursday, July 23, 2015
Pipeline Critical Infrastructure Cyber Norms CFR Net Politics An engineer oversees the gas distribution system of s Hungarian gas pipeline operator in 2014. Some states are promoting norms to protect critical infrastructure, such as pipelines, from cyberattacks. (Laszlo Balogh/Reuters).

In cybersecurity, protecting critical infrastructure has long been important. In the early days of this policy area, the Clinton administration identified the need to protect critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. The Obama administration’s Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity highlights the importance of protecting critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Other governments exhibit similar concerns. Recently, Germany passed legislation mandating critical infrastructure operators improve their cybersecurity. Read more »

The Challenges Facing Computer Security Incident Response Teams

by Guest Blogger Monday, July 20, 2015
NCCIC US-CERT CSIRT Net Politics Cyber CFR U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees work during a guided media tour inside the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia in June 2014. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

Tim Maurer is the director of the Global Cybersecurity Norms and Resilience Project and Head of Research of New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative. Isabel Skierka is a research associate at the Global Public Policy Institute.

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Legislative Proposals on Terrorist Use of Social Media Raise Policy and Legal Questions

by David Fidler Thursday, July 16, 2015
ISIS CFR War Crimes Net Politics Cyber A fighter of the self-proclaimed Islamic State holds its flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. (Stringer/Reuters).

On June 16, the House of Representatives passed an Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which requires the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to produce a report on terrorist use of social media (Section 344). On July 7, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee approved an intelligence authorization bill that does not include the House bill’s mandate for a DNI report but does require social media companies to report terrorist activity to the federal government (Section 603). These proposals are new developments in the growing efforts to counter terrorist use of social media.

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India’s Internet Diplomacy: Reading the Tea Leaves

by Guest Blogger Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Modi Putin Rousseff Xi CFR Net Politics Cyber Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) as they walk for a meeting during the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, July 9, 2015. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters).

Arun Mohan Sukumar is a lawyer, journalist, and former senior fellow at the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi. You can follow him on Twitter @arunmsukumar.

The declaration inked by BRICS leaders last week in Ufa, Russia, as it relates to Internet governance, strikes a dissonant chord with India’s recent overture towards the multistakeholder approach. What explains India’s apparent back and forth? And is there a new opening for U.S.-India cooperation in cyberspace? Read more »

Cyber Week in Review: July 10, 2015

by Adam Segal Friday, July 10, 2015
Comey encryption going dark cfr cyber net politics U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates (L) and FBI Director James Comey are sworn in to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy" in Washington, D.C. on July 8, 2015. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

Here is a quick round-up of this week’s technology headlines and related stories you may have missed: Read more »