An imminent vote for the secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union will determine the future of the world’s oldest U.N. body—and possibly the internet itself.
Lindsay Gorman is the Emerging Technologies Fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy and a consultant for Schmidt Futures. Her career at the intersection of technology development and national security policy has spanned government and industry, including in the Office of U.S. Senator Mark Warner, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Academy of Sciences. A physicist and computer scientist by training, she previously ran a technology consulting firm, Politech Advisory, advising start-ups and venture capital and has developed cybersecurity tools in Silicon Valley. Lindsay is an awardee of the U.S. State Department Speaker Program, a member of the Truman National Security Project, and has been an expert contributor to U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Lindsay holds an A.B. in physics from Princeton University and a M.S. in applied physics from Stanford University.
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The chaotic American response to TikTok could have unintended consequences. But there is a better way.
Authoritarians’ use of influence operations must be understood as part of a larger strategy to reshape the information space into one that is less democratic and more friendly to despots.
The United States—along with its democratic allies—should increase representation at international standards bodies and actively monitor China’s coordinated efforts to advance particular technologies or actively promote authoritarian internet governance objectives.