Director of Cyberspace and Digital Policy at Council on Foreign Relations
Adam Segal has testified before Congress and briefed the Joint Chief of Staffs, State Department, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Department of Commerce on Chinese cyber espionage. The Director of Cyberspace and Digital Policy Program at Council on Foreign Relations, his talks discuss the intricacies behind U.S./China cyber relations—can the two countries break out of a dangerous cycle of competition and find areas of cooperation?—and what we as individuals and companies need to know and do about privacy, surveillance, and cybersecurity.
He was project director for CFR’s Independent Task Force report Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, and is the author of the books Digital Dragon: High Technology Enterprises in China and Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge. His new book, The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age, exposes how the Internet has ushered in a new era of geopolitical maneuvering, and reveals its tremendous and terrifying implications for our economic livelihood, security, and personal identity. His other writing has appeared in The Economist, the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs. He writes CFR’s Asia Program blog, Asia Unbound, which is carried by Forbes.
Cybersecurity: The Threat to You, Your Company, and Our Nation
We are, as individuals, companies, and countries, becoming ever more dependent on the web. We are generating so much data—some consciously by searching and posting to Facebook, some unconsciously just by carrying our cell phones around with us—and hackers, corporations, and governments all want to access it. We are also connecting more things to the internet (power grids, industrial control systems, home, cars) that are poorly protected. In this illuminating talk, Adam Segal breaks down the hype around “cyber Pearl Harbour” and “cyber 9/11,” describes what the real threat of cyber attack is, and lays out what is being done to protect us. He describes the rush for solutions at the national and international level, the emerging arms race in cyberspace, and the growing divide between countries who are pushing for an open, global internet, and more authoritarian states that want the UN to have greater sway over the internet. And, he gives hands-on advice on what we should be doing right now to defend our information—especially if you are a company focused on innovation.
The United States and China in Cyberspace: Competition or Cooperation?
The New York Times has described an "escalating digital cold war" between Beijing and Washington. Chinese hackers attack the U.S. government, American technology companies, the New York Times, Bloomberg, and other members of the press, as well as human rights groups. The NSA has hacked Chinese universities, companies, and the defense ministry. Yet there is a growing concern in both countries about whether it is possible to protect the critical infrastructure on which we all depend and a desire to develop stronger economic ties between the world's two largest economies. In this talk, Adam Segal discusses the intricacies behind these issues and answers the essential question everyone is asking: are the US and China doomed to ever more dangerous competition in cyberspace, or can they find common ground for cooperation?
The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age
The Internet today connects roughly 2.7 billion people around the world, and booming interest in the "Internet of things" could result in 75 billion devices connected to the web by 2020. The myth of cyberspace as a digital utopia has long been put to rest. Governments are increasingly developing smarter ways of asserting their national authority in cyberspace in an effort to control the flow, organization, and ownership of information.
In The Hacked World Order, Adam Segal shows how governments use the web to wage war and spy on, coerce, and damage each other. Israel is intent on derailing the Iranian nuclear weapons program. India wants to prevent Pakistani terrorists from using their Blackberries to coordinate attacks. Brazil has plans to lay new fiber cables and develop satellite links so its Internet traffic no longer has to pass through Miami. China does not want to be dependent on the West for its technology needs. These new digital conflicts have as yet posed no physical threat—no one has ever died from a cyberattack—but they serve to undermine the integrity of complex systems like power grids, financial institutions, and security networks.
Segal describes how cyberattacks have the potential to produce unintended and unimaginable problems for anyone with an Internet connection and an email account. State-backed hacking initiatives can shut down, sabotage trade strategies, steal intellectual property, sow economic chaos, and paralyze whole countries. Diplomats, who used to work behind the closed doors of foreign ministries, must now respond with greater speed, as almost instantaneously they can reach, educate, or offend millions with just 140 characters.
Beginning with the Stuxnet virus launched by the US at an Iranian nuclear facility in 2010 and continuing through to the most recent Sony hacking scandal, The Hacked World Order exposes how the Internet has ushered in a new era of geopolitical maneuvering and reveals its tremendous and terrifying implications for our economic livelihood, security, and personal identity.
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