CFR Presents

Net Politics

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

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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Takeaways From a Trip to the National Security Agency

by Adam Segal Wednesday, December 21, 2016
CFR Cyber Net Politics NSA An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland. (NSA/Handout via Reuters)

A few weeks ago, I was part of a “National Thought Leaders” visit to the National Security Agency. Famously secretive and opaque (see, No Such Agency), the NSA started conducting this type of outreach after the Snowden disclosures in an attempt to correct what it saw as misunderstandings about its surveillance and intelligence roles. The day consisted of briefings from high level officials involved in NSA operations, information assurance, legal authorities, industry partnerships, and privacy and civil liberties oversight. We also spoke with Cyber Command officials. The briefings were conducted according to Chatham House rules, and below are some of my takeaways, unattributed to any one official. Read more »

How to Think About a State’s Cyber Capabilities

by Guest Blogger Monday, December 19, 2016
CFR Cyber Net Politics Buyan, a 15-year-old male Siberian brown bear, walks in its enclosure as he wakes up after winter hibernation at the Royev Ruchey zoo in a suburb of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk March 22, 2015. (Ilya Naymushin/Reuters).

Tony Craig is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University. Brandon Valeriano is a Reader at Cardiff University, the Donald Bren Chair of Armed Politics at the Marine Corps University, a fellow at the Niskanen Center, and author of Cyber War versus Cyber Realities on Oxford University Press.

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On Cybersecurity, Take a Lesson from Israel  

by Robert Knake Thursday, December 15, 2016
Cyber CFR Net Politics Dr. Yaniv Harel, General Manager of Cyber Solution Group at EMC, at the Globes Israeli Business Conference, December 11, 2016. (Robert K. Knake).

The debate over where “the Silicon Valley for cybersecurity” will be located is over. For some time now, the answer has been Tel Aviv. The Startup Nation has been producing new cybersecurity companies at a breathtaking speed. Boston, long a prospect in the race, seemingly has decided to settle for the consolation prize of being the preferred home from which to take Israeli startups public.

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