Hillary Clinton gave her first speech on internet freedom 10 years ago today. How does it read after a decade of increasing skepticism about whether the internet is good for the world?
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Across the United States and Europe, the act of clicking “I have read and agree” to terms of service is the central legitimating device for global tech platforms’ data-driven activities. In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation has recently come into force, introducing stringent new criteria for consent and stronger protections for individuals. Yet the entrenched long-term focus on users’ control and consent fails to protect consumers who face increasingly intrusive data collection practices.
If Congress had done in almost any other setting what it’s done to online speech, the unconstitutionality would have been immediately apparent.
I. Embrace Reality and Deal With It
Last week, a controversy in the National Basketball Association (NBA) ignited widespread public conversation about the perils of doing business in China. In a now-deleted post, Daryl Morey, who is the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted a picture of an image that said “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” The Rockets’s owner pushed back, tweeting that Morey “does not speak for” Houston’s team.
Recent years have seen sustained calls to “unleash” the private sector to more assertively combat cyber threats. The argument has gained some sympathy in Congress, where Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) recently reintroduced the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act (ACDCA).
Cybersecurity is a bit like obscenity. It seems that we know it when we see it, but we have a great deal of difficulty describing it, categorizing it or counting it. Much as with obscenity, there are some obvious answers on which all can agree—having an “internet of things” system with a hard-coded password of “123456” is insecure by any measure—but there is a vast gray area in between the poles where tradeoffs, cost-benefit assessments, and issues of practicality and scalability lurk.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.
The New York Times reported on June 15 that “the United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin.” In particular, the Times reported that the United States has deployed code “inside Russia’s grid and other targets”—that is, “potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system, ...
In April, the Hewlett Foundation hosted the 2019 Verify Conference, an annual event on cyber issues in national security, tech and the media. This year’s conference focused on increasing cyber threats from other nations, the expanding role of tech companies, how to build global cybersecurity norms and cyber threats to civil society among other topics. Audio of the on-the-record discussions is available below:
James Comey on Law Enforcement, Technology and Emerging Threats