The New Geopolitics Of The Internet
7:33PM Jan 27, 2021
Gotta be the one that
maybe we can get him an internship on the committee.
A few years maybe.
All right, I'm leaving and
taking given to you, Jim. Good luck.
Hi, everybody. My name is Jim chronographs, and I'm the president of Galway Strategy Group. I'd like to thank like to welcome you to this panel, which is titled, new geopolitics of the internet. How will the Biden State Department navigate them? Now, that's what it says on the website. And that's what you were led to believe that we were going to talk about, but as we're doing for the planning for this session, a couple of days ago, we decided it probably would be best if we had, you know, four different people talk about the same topic. So we're going to take a slightly different take, we are going to touch on the title, but thankfully not repeat ourselves or hopefully not repeat ourselves. So we're not only going to explore the geopolitics around these issues, but also the players, the issues and the technologies. And what we also hope to do, you know, seeing there's still a couple 100 people who are with us, we do want to leave a good chunk of time for some questions and answers and hopefully make this as interactive as we possibly can, considering the limitations of the q&a pod for zoom. And if you know none of us like a session where we have three or four panels who just talk on and on and on and on. So So don't wait till the end to get your questions into the q&a pod. Otherwise, we're going to have to listen to horror stories from Danny, Bruce and Rob for the remainder of the session. So speaking of speakers, let me introduce you to our panelists. If you look at their short files in the in the agenda, you'll see that three of the four all referred to in their former capacities. What I hope to do is catch you up on what they're actually doing today. Josephine wolf, the only panelist who is not virtually based in Washington DC, is an assistant professor of cybersecurity policy at the Fletcher School of Tufts University. Prior to her teaching a tough she was an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, and a fellow at the New America cybersecurity initiative and Harvard's Berkman Kline Center for Internet and Society. She has a PhD and a Master's from MIT, and an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Princeton, so she and Bruce can trade some horror stories from Princeton.
Never once. Not once.
Danny sonova was the deputy assistant secretary of state and us coordinator for international Communications and Information Policy during the Obama administration. For that he held several positions in and around DC including senior advisor to senator john kerry, serve as an assistant Trade Representative and work for them Senator Obama and Senator Boxer. Today he is the Senior Vice President for policy and advocacy for mediamath a global advertising and marketing technology company. Robin Rob Strayer was the deputy assistant secretary for cyber international Communications and Information Policy during the Trump administration. Prior to that, he was General Counsel for the US Supreme Court and Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then spent time at the Bipartisan Policy Center working on cybersecurity issues. He also served as a deputy staff director on the us senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. And today few months into his new gig. He's the executive vice president of policy at the Information Technology Industry Council better known as it AI. And then finally we have Bruce Melman, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy, the US Department of Commerce during the George W. Bush administration. Before commerce, he worked as the lead tech and telecom lobbyists for Cisco Systems. He was policy director and general counsel through House Republican conference, Chairman JC watts, and he was general counsel to the National Republican congressional committee. Today, he's the founder of Melman Cassidy, Nettie Rosen and Thomas and the author of the infamous or famous quarterly infographic analyses that are so popular amongst beyond Washington DC, actually, across the country. So Bruce wanted to kick us off and sort of give us an overview of some of the issues you think the new administration is going to have to deal with in the weeks and months
ahead. I'm happy to Jim and Thanks for the introduction. And Josephine I'm both a lot older than you and would never have gotten near the departments where you were majoring. So we haven't met previously. Given that it's a very international flavor to the panel to my colleagues on the panel, and to what we set out to do. I'm gonna offer my overlay but what's important to understand is the tech policy issues that we're going to talk about our challenges both within each country or region and between the countries and regions. And so it's a it is truly a 3d chess system. Where some tech companies and products are loved in some places in there, and their concerns and others, when I try to make the Li group the the huge panoply of issues, I end up dividing them into three categories where technology is seen mostly as the answer, where it's seen as the problem, and where it hangs in the balance. And so just in 2021, where it's clearly part of the solution, first and foremost, healthcare, telehealth has been an extraordinary home run, but you're also going to see and things like wearables, and the use of AI and therapeutics and immunotherapy. Tech is a huge part of the answer. And education. You know, it's being in school, there's no substitute for being in school, but as between nothing. And being in school, what they've been able to do on zoom is certainly better than not on climate. There's been it's been under discussed, I think the future is going to be much more hybrid and we're going to see a lot of decarbonisation by people who realize that you can have conferences that include more people that reach more geographies, and that generate a lot less carbon. When the economy clearly Tech has been part of what's kept it afloat, and tech will be critical to keep all economies around the world growing. And then even on some of the social justice issues where technology can enable enable and empower activists. That's one of the reasons you just saw a letter to go cautious on on section 230 by so many civil rights groups to the administration, where tech is considered the problem. You know, that's where both within countries and between countries you've got issues. So competition policy, data is the new oil and there's a new Rockefeller and a new Carnegie and you know, in the new robber barons of our Gilded Age, are almost all within tech enter generally a small number of data dominant players, and there's a lot of look at the state level, at the federal level, the global level, a lot of questions on consumer privacy, and how do we protect, whether it's consumer protection, whether it's consumer privacy, or content, moderation or digital addiction? Questions on inequality, broadband is awesome, unless you don't have if it's not available, or you can't afford it, it's further distancing you from the people you've already been trying to catch up with. There will be a lot of discussion as there needs to be about digital inclusion questions such as algorithmic bias, or just the diversity within the workforce of tech companies. And then finally, as we've been seeing mistrust, you know, it's it's, on the one hand, the opportunity for platforms to empower civil rights groups is great, but it's also leading to a post truth world where everybody starts with their own facts, even though things such as climate change aren't really subject to quite honest dispute. Finally, text check is in the balance, you know, and I know we're gonna hear from Daniel and the Biden folks from Rob, on some of the International divergences and josefin on some of the texts itself. But here's where it really could go either way, we're at a crossroads start with infrastructure, smart infrastructure makes all the difference. It can make a country far more productive, but it also enables a surveillance state. So how do you get the balance right? on things like crypto on trade, trade makes for faster growth, but it's led to increased inequality. We're seeing data protectionism, we know, there's manufacturing by American, you know, the kind of the populace by local thinking, on workforce, you know, immigration has made all the difference. That's why America's tech sector is the best in the world, we also need to do a better job at retraining. At the same time automation is going to accelerate. And outsourcing has been a challenge for a lot of the manufacturing workforce. Finally, last point, I'll make that I'll stop, Jim. The last issue that I see hanging there in the balance is crypto, we're on the one hand, all of us having quality encryption makes all of us safer. And I know the congressman was just in the last conversation with Shane talking about, you know, the need for all of us to up our cyber hygiene game, which is true. At the same time, law enforcement has a tough enough job to do. And if they have a warrant, but they can't get at things, you know, that's what you see on gab or parlor that creates real systemic risk, and trying to figure out how we're going to manage that domestically and globally is a hot issue.
Great, thanks, Bruce. Definitely a lot on the plate, both positives and negatives. But I do like the emphasis on the positives for sure. So Danny, you know, the by by demonstrations working as quickly as they possibly can fill key positions. It seems like every day there's a new one announced, especially for the you know, the portfolio folks are going to have responsibility, not only for the issues that Bruce mentioned, but probably some of the technologies and issues that Josephine will bring up. Once you give us your thoughts on sort of what's been announced so far, and any insights you may have on what we might expect to see future announcements.
Thank you very much. for having me, I want to thank Tim for inviting me as well. It's good to see friends. Um, you know, Bruce has one of the most organized minds in Washington DC and the way that he presented and bucketed those issues I actually have absolutely no disagreement with, it's a very well formulated way to look at the challenge. And so for the Biden ministration, these tasks are cross functional, they will touch on multiple agencies, they will touch on various constituencies and areas of expertise. And what we've seen so far gives me an obviously unbiased, an immense amount of, of hope, and faith. So we've seen take solva name that the NSC, and he's named a team of cybersecurity folks to help him with the international issues. They're just feeding those some of those people well, and can speak to that. My old friend Brian DESE, who is at the NSC now and has brought on a team of folks to think about how to build back better and ensure that we are injecting innovation r&d in the tech community into solving some of the economic restoration problems and some of the global economic challenges that we have. at the State Department Secretary Blinken is now in position as the Secretary I worked with Secretary when I was at State Secretary Blinken has the full attention of the president of his full faith and confidence. The degree to which these issues are international. And I know, he brought in Derek Sholay, for example, who was one of the favors number two at the German Marshall fund, and has done a lot of work on the transatlantic digital relationship and transatlantic tech issues along with Karen Kornbluh over there. So there is really a very, very strong team. I would vary number of people. I would add
to that. The
governor Raimondo, who has just went through her nomination, hearing and commerce and hopefully will be confirmed soon we'll be taking the lead at commerce on issues around section 230, privacy and other issues. Quintin Palfrey, who served in the Obama administration and worked on the Obama initiatives then, is working over there now as the acting General Counsel. So there this is, I think, was wrong claim and said, we're not building a team of rivals, we're building a team of teams, the kind of people that have been brought in or people who have experienced working with each other, have faith and confidence in each other are familiar with the interagency process are familiar with a consensus driven process. And I think that you're going to see a lot of deference to expertise across the agencies and a reliance on expertise across the agencies, as well as an effort to ensure that all voices are heard on any given challenge. So at stake in addition to all of the people I met, I mentioned, Linda Greenfield, Thompson has been named ambassador to United Nations is a legend within the State Department, she will be able to have her pick of anyone she wanted the State Department to come to the UN, she is well known within the UN system. Our re the President Biden's reengagement with a multilateral community and a recommitment to cooperative and collaborative engagement abroad with a focus on democracy and a focus on human rights will be critical to restoring leadership in the world. So that's where we are. And I'm very pleased with the team has been built and happy to answer your questions.
Great, thanks, Danny. And I'm going to come back to something a little later on what you talked about, but just to, you know, the reengagement You know, one of the first moves by the administration is reengage with the who, and I think that's, you know, something a lot of folks are gonna want to talk about going forward. So Rob, with every new administration, there, there does come a change of players. But I think one of the things that does not change as quickly as sort of a geopolitical challenges that are waiting for, you're probably more familiar with them than anybody else having most recently having to deal with them. And it seems like now more than ever, technology is a big driver of some of these challenges. So once you give us sort of your top take on, you know, the top three or four geopolitical challenges that the Biden ministration is going to have to deal with. And if anybody would listen to you, maybe give them some of your advice as well.
Great, great question, Jim. Yeah, I mean, at this moment in time, there's probably certainly in the internet era, there's more on the plates of the individuals going to the State Department and those that are going to do international engagement at the various agencies at the National Security Council and National Economic Council, by anytime before, we're just seeing an increasing number of issues as Bruce laid out. And of course, you know, technology is also the driver of the solution. I mean, we could not have gotten through the pandemic in a manner that we have without global loads of data, and real risk with the way that some of these issues could be dealt with in the end is that they will act in ways that cause further fragmentation of data flows of the internet and of digital services. Well, you know, we don't have a treaty that governs the internet, there's no global law behind that. We have technical understanding about how the internet works. You know, through the work of technical experts, we have a Internet Engineering Task Force, the I triple E, they've designed the protocols for the internet. But everything else, almost everything else related to the internet and digital services relies on global cooperation. And that's where the State Department's diplomatic folks at the department as well as across the federal government are absolutely essential to helping solve the range of challenges. And, you know, the tools they use are more formal, multilateral tools, like institutions like the World Trade Organization, or the OECD. They also have more informal multilateral frameworks that they can set up. Just a few years ago, we had the Czech Republic host the Prague conference on 5g security and financing. That was an informal gathering that stablished principles that have been adopted by a large number of countries now. There's also the G 20, which is more of a formal mechanism. But it also sometimes deals with visual issues. One of the overriding challenges is going to be concerned about how countries can further their own technological sovereignty, some some refer to that as their strategic autonomy. All countries at the end of the day are sovereign by definition. And to maintain that sovereignty they need to decide and chart their own future, their own course, challenge in the digital sphere is how we can ensure that there is that sovereignty and that self determination occurring in their digital policy, while at the same time ensuring that we have that cooperation and interoperability between borders that facilitates data flows, and the internet. And that is most often borne out in policies related to privacy, where we see an increasing number of countries adopting privacy frameworks that can cause data to be localized. We've seen that occur in India, and their proposal with their proposal of a personal data protection law. We've seen the disruption potential soon disruption likely soon disruption of data flows with Europe because of the poor decision there, which was very much focused on how the US is intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies could obtain access to European individuals beta, in other words, violating their privacy. So the privacy issue is fundamental and one that needs to be dealt with in different jurisdictions around the globe in ways that can continue to allow interoperability while allowing each country to adopt slightly different standards. In the EU, we're also going to see a whole new suite of regulations coming forward. In the last couple months, we've just recently seen something called the Digital Services Act, which governs content moderation. They've also proposed a digital markets Act, which focus on competition policy, there's major concerns with how those are going to be worked out in the coming couple years to go here. But how do we maintain the internet in the way that it functions say that we have the best quality of services, and we're really only focusing on the true problems to the internet and still allowing competition and innovation to occur. One area that the administration is likely to take up is one proposal is that Europeans have proposed a US EU trade and Technology Council a framework for dealing with a number of digital policy issues to iron out bilateral regulatory frameworks, as well as to work on global trade policy in digital goods and services. So that trade and tech council something that binary search is likely to pick up and when I would urge them to, to pick up as it is proposed in the last week or week or roughly a week ago. So I'll just close by thanking all of you for participating. Your voices are so important in this this overall debates and thank Jim for being our moderator and save the net for having me again.
Great, thanks, Rob. Josephine. Bruce, Danny and Rob talked a lot about sort of the the issues that are here and now in the present, so to speak, but from your perspective, what are the issues and really the technologies coming down the road that you think the the administration the new administration should be looking at and preparing for whether it be this year, two or three years down the road?
Thanks, Jim. I think it's a great and really hard question to sort of focus on when it feels like there are already so many pressing issues of tech policy as my colleagues have just brought up. I'm going to bring up three very quickly that I think we don't talk about enough in the policy space and are worth trying to plan ahead for you. If they don't feel like the most urgent piece of what this administration has to deal with, right off the bat, one comes back to the encryption issues that Bruce brought up, we get closer and closer to various forms of quantum encryption. We've seen sort of several significant breakthroughs in the past year or two. We don't know exactly what the timeline for that is going to look like. But we know that it's going to really challenge all of our existing infrastructure on how we protect data that's pulling over the internet at many layers of that infrastructure, and that we're going to need to be sort of prepared with some of the standards that groups like NIST and others have been thinking about, but also prepared in an international context to think about how are different countries responding to this? What are the different priorities? What are the different technical ideas that different governments are preparing for I was very struck, I will say at the end of the last panel by the congressman saying that he thought diplomacy and cybersecurity were often not a good mix, because that's something you hear a lot in the technology realm, right. A lot of technologists feel that if you want to secure something, you shouldn't be talking to policymakers about it, you should just go code it. And I think that sort of when we look at things like the future of encryption in this space, there's a real need to understand that it's not just about who's going to come up with the first quantum encryption algorithms are the most effective ones, but also whether we're going to be able to sort of continue the collaboration and the interoperability that Rob was just bringing up in a space where everybody's encryption landscape may be changing that quickly. Another area that I think is sort of imminent, if not here, already, and worth paying some more attention to is around adversarial artificial intelligence. And the question of sort of what we do as machine learning algorithms become easier to manipulate or our adversaries become better at manipulating them, whether that's through tricking the inputs, or actually manipulating the algorithms themselves, and what our sort of preparations are, whether that's for economist vehicles that are relying on computer vision machine learning algorithms, whether that's for some of the biometric recognition algorithms that we're using now, and will probably continue to use more in the future, and trying to understand whether there are any sorts of international norms, cooperation agreements that we can come to around the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in that adversarial manner and what that might look like. And I think that will also tie in to sort of thinking about the future of supply chain attacks and thinking about things like solar winds and cyberespionage. In a forward looking perspective, how are we going to try to use diplomacy as another tool beyond just the technical tools, we have to set some ground rules about what we do and don't think is appropriate use of some of these technologies and where we should be going. And the final one, I'll flag our Internet of Things devices and the questions of sort of whether there are going to be any security rules, Are there going to be any assessments, whether they're going to be certifications, and we've seen a number of countries go and sort of some directions towards trying to set some of that up the UK has been fairly aggressive and trying to roll out some some infrastructure in that area. I that's another sort of not quite here in a really immediate way, but certainly in the next few years going to become increasingly pressing.
Great. Okay. Thanks, Josephine. And I already I see that we've already got a few questions in the q&a pod, but I'm going to get you warmed up with hopefully some softballs before we go to the real, the real meaty ones in the pod. So sort of jump off or wants to jump at it. You know, with any new administration, there's always talk about the first 100 days, what are you going to get done coming out of the gate? So, you know, what do you think on the international front, particularly dealing with technology related issues? What do you think the Biden administration needs to get done in this next 100 days?
I'm happy to start I think one of the first things that's on the front burner for them is post the threats to decision. How do they replace the Privacy Shield agreement with the European Union sure that we continue to have data floats that benefit European companies as well as US companies. I think that's one of the first things that they'll be working on that came up in Governor Romney's confirmation hearing yesterday.
I'm happy to add, you know, I think for the BI demonstration, it's COVID COVID COVID, for their first 100 days, you know, it's everything else that they want to do follows from their ability to be successful. You know, and the whole the whole pandemic feels like it's on the knife's edge, where will vaccines or variance define what happens in 2021? So I think rejoining the World Health Organization on day one was appropriate, and I thought it was secretary or incoming Secretary Blinken, who said they're joining Kovacs, which is a vaccine sharing approach, which is smart. I noticed the the administration's buying 100 million more moderna shots, which is good. When they figure out how to make sure Americans are getting vaccinated, I think it'd be pretty prudent for them to have As fast as they can figure out how to take the excess supply we bought at a really try to start building our soft power back up by helping first responders and people around the world, the International Chamber of Commerce suggests that it's a $9 trillion hit, if only the developed nations get vaccinated, and the rest is left behind. Last while I might mention that I think they, as with any new administration coming in, you're in a honeymoon, play for time. So I think things like what Rob described about a counselor to talk about being filled, jammed Digital Services Tax through, but rather take a pause and see if there is an opportunity to dialogue with the United States, the end of the day, the only way the state driven Chinese approach can effectively be countered, is if you end up with something like a D 20, or a D 10, I'm sorry, digital 10, where you take the g7 throw in Australia and India and Japan, you know, and we find ways to coordinate on a lot of these technology policy issues. Before all of the scary things that Josephine described. I happen doesn't mean I was scared about murder Hornets. But happily, you took my mind off that with quantum encryption. So thank you,
I, you know, some combination of what Bruce and Rob said, I think are right. So the President has said it has been quite clear in the rollout. COVID is the first priority COVID relief is first priority. The second is building back better the economy before the crisis. The third is dealing with climate change. And the fourth is dealing with racial inequality. And we're going to be doing them all they're going to be doing them all at the same time. Right? Yes, COVID is the first priority, but there will be we will be the administration will be running parallel tracks on these these other matters. And the technology community is going to play a key role in that in that process. And these particularly COVID COVID climate and economic inequality and restoration are global issues. And I agree with, with Bruce, that we need to build a coalition of democracies both developed and developing to address these issues with the first and highest priority being restoring transatlantic cooperation and trust.
Like the only thing I've add
less international focus, but it will eventually have a really strong international component is that coming in to a government that's been so thoroughly owned in ways that we have never seen before, the need to sort of review and overhaul all of the computer networks understand exactly how deep this other wins, compromise goes, make sure that you really feel confident in the various networks and digital infrastructure you're relying on is also probably something that needs to happen in those first 100 days.
That's a great point. Jim, just real quick, on Danny's point, the core cross cutter is we need universal broadband. It's gone from what might have been a luxury 20 years ago to a necessity. If you want to reduce inequality, you need universal broadband. If you want to make us more resilient, you need universal broadband. If you want to have a less carbon intensive economy, you need universal broadband. I suspect you find bipartisan support. The deal perhaps is Republicans have investment in in rural access. And Democrats have investment in less rural affordability. There's a deal to be had, and there is an imperative to get it done.
Great. So. So first, I'm going to pick up on something you said because it relates to a question that's in the q&a pod. It's from Kevin Allison. He said, it's been a lot of talk about the potential for a US EU cooperation on tech policy issues, or other structures such as a D 10 group of democracies to present a more common front on these technology issues. We used to be China. How realistic is this? And what are likely to be the hardest issues to find common ground on? And where's the low hanging fruit?
I think it's realistic. I'm going to do something that anybody on this video watching me has never seen me do. I'm going to hand off the ball. This is sprayers This is what Rob's one of the best on the planet. And he's been thinking a lot about it. And within the United States NGO context, there's no group more on the lead than it is so Rob, I'm calling you calling you out, call phoning a friend put you on the spot, but you're you're a better answer on this than I am.
Thanks, Bruce, I owe you a check for that that promotion really way beyond my capabilities. And and I think we should ping Danny at the end of this to see if he's getting thoughts. But you know, the important thing to remember is that so much of what happens in the tech space is still going to be done through international standards bodies. So we're going to have international standards created on continue to be created in a number of areas including as we move from 5g to six g but the areas where there can be a lot of good quality on export controls, we should have a multilateral Export Control Regime so that when the US says we're not going to export a certain technology that is not backfilled immediately by another country that disables and hurts the American manufacturer of that, that technology because they're being undercut by somebody else. That's one of the easiest ones, I think, for us to say, That's what I'd be tend to focus on. There's other sort of game changing transformational technology, like not just having 5g as a communications technology for, for the consumer, but for the internet of things for advanced manufacturing, for autonomous vehicles. That kind of game changing r&d should be done in collaboration with a number of countries. And that gets at the concern that the Europeans have about tech sovereignty and wanting to raise up their tech sector, they should do that in partnership with us and other Western companies that are in Korea, and Japan and Australia and other places. So I think those are the two areas that I would highlight as front burner topics for the detailer, broader group of like minded democracies. Danny, do you have anything?
Um, yeah, the The only thing I would add to that is that our and i think i think Rob probably experienced the same thing I did when we were at state that we were on a global stage where we sit on the same side of the table as our transatlantic colleagues, on issues of human rights and speech, ma cracy. So the distance between us is narrower than it is between the rest of the world, when we're on a one on one basis, those distances obviously become accentuated. And I do think that getting that relationship, right, and trying to establish interoperable mechanisms for ensuring that that the internet not just the worldwide web, but the internet as a whole, and communications continue to enable commerce and discourse across the Atlantic, and that we're facing the challenges together in an outward way against what are different ways of viewing the use of technology, both in markets and in democracy.
Josephine, do you want to add anything?
Well, I guess I would say, and I have you have far less experience in government than everybody else on this panel. So you should trust them over me if I were going to guess what was going to be the hardest stuff to agree on versus what was going to be the low hanging fruit, I would say broadly, the software is going to be the hardest piece to agree on visa v. China and the hardware is going to be the easiest piece, right? I think you can get at this point, a number of those countries together with some fairly clear consensus around what they are and aren't comfortable with in terms of building Chinese or Huawei hardware into their networks. I think when it comes to things like Tick tock, where you're looking at a software application, and you're thinking about a different layer of the network, the question of what are the risks, how able are individual countries to sort of protect themselves against those risks is more all over the map. And I think that's going to be potentially a little bit of a trickier place to find consensus. I also think it's going to depend a lot on what the Biden administration's policy towards technology coming from China is right, we don't have a very clear sense yet of how they're going to feel about the proposed Tick Tock ban or other things. And so it's a little hard to know how to line they'll be with some of the other countries they might want to try this with.
Lots of good questions coming in. So we'll just go to the next one that's in there. So for Melinda Clem, do you anticipate the by the administration following examples of other nations, particularly Australia, in the UK, with regards to expanding cyber incidence response requirements, and disclosure of foreign investments and companies operating critical infrastructure? jump ball, whoever wants to take it go for it.
Well, I'll start although Josefina was watching for your mute to go off because you're our your expert and a lot of the a lot of the cyber stuff here, but I do think post solar winds in particular, there's going to be a lot of more scrutiny on on supply chain. And part of supply chain will include software and try to just get a better understanding of what's what's being supplied, who's being supplied by what is the stream by which it can be reviewed or audited. You know, I do think I suspect there'll be a nuance within the new administration. And so, you know, Huawei gear in your network has a meaningfully greater cyber threat than an app that you know lives and dies on your phone by the grace of the of the gatekeepers iOS and Android anyway. I suspect they'll take a look at that. They'll distinguish that but they'll want to have more transparency and more awareness, less monoculture in the vendors and the technologies that the government's using. last thought, by the way Congressman catco was right at the same time what's with solar winds? What always interested me is, is the NSA not doing this. And that was an espionage thing they didn't know so far at least they haven't leveraged it that we're aware of to knock anything down. I've always assumed that our cyber spies are in lots of networks that they weren't invited into. It feels to me therefore, that it's going to be up to Robin and some of the NGO types to ultimately help us push for what is what Brad Smith would have called a rigid a cyber Geneva Convention, no nations are going to have to no company is going to be able to withstand the best hackers from a nation state is just going to have to be like with chemical weapons and agreement of what the red lines and what the boundaries are. And then we all started with us are going to have to abide by
I agree with that Bruce effect is a little bit of a tangent here. But I think that we do need to have a global discussion about the norms that we've already been having for some time. But when it comes to activities that are are largely espionage related, are there certain lines that we want to draw in that area that we'd say you can't, you can't, you should not take troves, you know, millions of personal data records, as we saw with the OPM hack or, you know, potentially in solar winds where it's just indiscriminate. Does that align that's too far, but that the the boundaries around that need to be decided through diplomatic channels. It's not something that's, I think, obvious on its face.
So I think that would be a great thing to have some lines, I think the US government has not sort of been great at suggesting ones that it's willing to abide by. So I'm not wildly optimistic. I think the one kind of effort that that I've seen in recent history was around economic cyber espionage, and trying to pressure for a norm to conduct political espionage, but not economic espionage. And I think that that was, first of all, not wildly successful. And second of all, most of what we're talking about now, solar winds, Equifax, falls more into the political espionage bucket anyway. And so we would have to sort of revisit whether the revisit, you asked whether the US was willing to cede any forms of that kind of espionage and agree not to conduct them itself, or you want to come back to the question that was initially asked about cyber incident reporting requirements? I think, yes, absolutely. If this administration is able to get through a Data Protection Law, then a very significant component of that, I would guess will be about incident reporting requirements. I don't know the extent to which they're going to look like Australia in the UK, I think the things that we've seen sort of pushed for in the US are going to be more around cost data more around things that could perhaps aid the insurance industry, potentially a little bit around sort of thinking rethinking the timelines for notification and trying to standardize that a little bit across the country. I think that's very likely the other part of the question about foreign investment and whether there are going to be new requirements around that. I think they're I'm much less certain whether that's a priority. And that will depend a lot on sort of how this administration sets up its view on foreign investment in technology, and whether they view that as a threat or not. Jim, I
am a little bit struck
the the kind of growing consensus around the ideas of like an EU US trade and technology working group but geneva convention for cyber these sorts of very, and not because I think they're bad ideas, I think they are definitely ideas worth considering and maybe even moving on, particularly the transatlantic ones. But because when I was working at the State Department, there was a general consensus against having governments come together to work on sort of unified consensus views around Internet governance issues, right. So we've come with, we've come a little bit further toward the idea that there needs to be some greater collaboration and cooperation around what what governance looks like and what's what's within the parameters of what's okay. In terms of the Geneva Convention on cyber while it sounds good. It has it has a has the benefit of having the worst Geneva Convention in it. The challenge is is that China has to be there. And so do a whole bunch of folks who aren't going to agree with you on the proper use of cyber tools or lack thereof relative to speech and a number of other issues and the likelihood of coming to a consensus treaty. Traditional negotiation on these issues is very, very small. I'm not even sure there's senate support for anything like that. But we do need to and I would start smaller with with more like minded countries, a D 10. Sounds into transatlantic collaboration sounds interesting, and then build out from there.
Great. Thanks. So another question. This one I'm presuming is from Wolfgang climb doctor, just judging by the nature of the question. And he's the only Wolfgang, I know. I've got two questions. One that Danny. Oh, Danny and, Rob, do you expect at the Biden administration, one will continue with complejos clean network initiative. And two, we'll come back to the G 20 OECD beps negotiations on digital taxation, and join the agreement until mid 2021 to avoid a European digital tax.
So on the first question,
I don't I don't know the answer to it. There's the team is going to have to talk internally with experts in the security field about how to proceed. I would assume that if they did proceed, they would at least rename it or something else. On the second question, you know, I believe and please correct me if I'm wrong, that the Trump administration withdrew from those EC OECD conversations. As part of our reengagement of the administration's re engagement of multilateral institutions, I suspect, they will re engage them, in addition to being a good way to open the door with Europe to help have them rethink their digital service taxes as constructed and try to deal with this question not as one in which you are specifically targeting a specific industry or specific companies relative to questions of profit gained from companies within a jurisdiction that doesn't have a physical presence there. Because that can be true among multiple types of industries and companies, but to start to think about holistic rules that are non discriminatory to ensure that you're not getting, you know, companies, whatever jurisdiction they're in, trying to get out of what would be legitimate taxation. Yeah,
if they can just follow on that. Yeah, Dan, you're exactly right. On the OECD, you know, we're very hopeful that the Biden ministration will fully participate in the OECD process to lead to an outcome by late spring and solve the taxation issues that have allowed these DST to proliferate and be very disruptive to the global economy and all kinds of digital services. If those taxes, gain more traction, and we don't have a global solution. On the on the
on the clean networks initiative,
I agree with you that the administration's like is going to look at that policy and what it is, and unpack it further. I think there's a lot of things that people put into that stack of networks, you're talking about secure 5g networks, I would anticipate that they stick with that. But there's a number of other things related to software into who who has access to consumer data around the world, should there be standards of trust? Should they have some kind of controls of by companies that are headquartered democracies with rule of law with independent judiciary is where you know, there's constraints on the intelligence services, unlike in China, where there's a national intelligence law, and there's no limit on the Communist Party's ability to access data, that's going to be debated. And, you know, there's there's a lot to unpack under that category. And I think there's far more discussion to be had. Great,
so I'm going to the next question up. I'm going to summarize part of it just because it's rather lengthy, but it seems as though Rick lane, there's growing international concern as well as domestic concern about I can't handling it, but who is issue in particular, from law enforcement and from Consumer Protection standpoint? Is the bind administration going to be able to work with Congress to ensure that who is available to help protect consumers and America's cybersecurity?
Well, I'm happy to start though, in the world of transparency and unmasking. Rick and I are on opposite sides of lobbying this very issue, he's lobbying on behalf of a bunch of folks that want to, to a so called thicker, who is and I've represented ICANN for more than a decade. The challenge here is that under the GDPR, which is you know, obviously European law, the prior American approach to having more information on who is which represents the copyright community, and they're always interested in understanding who everybody is because they want to protect their IP, understandably, it's put ICANN in the vise of there's competing norms and competing laws and they are trying to have their their job is to have a single phone book so that when you enter an IP address, it doesn't go to potentially two places and everybody can agree on one. It's the ultimate bottom layer of infrastructure. And it's pretty critical that it possible we leave them out of the fights over You know, our way or the Europeans way, the negotiations are ongoing to try to find ways to make sure law enforcement, as well as the copyright folks can get the information they need, while the while the GDPR privacy mandates are upheld, you know, it, frankly, might be an opportunity for the administration to try to help find a way to accommodate the two. I've always thought that. And again, I'm paid to think this but the shooting at ICANN is misplaced and unfair. You've got two national systems that don't agree with one another. And they're not a political body. We don't want them to be one either. So I take issue with the premise of the question, but also acknowledged Rick and I are paid to fight each other on that question.
Experts. Moving on, we've got a question from Barlow keener. And this sort of feeds into one that I had lined up for this sort of thoughts on creating a digital platform agency is proposed by Tom Wheeler.
I'm going to go ahead and take this one. Um, I've worked with Tom for many, many years, he's a friend and a mentor, I have an immense amount of respect for him. And I think that some consideration at some point of an agency specialized on digital platforms, depending on size and scope and reach, is, it's certainly possible. It's not a sort of first 100 days kind of question. I think some of the conversations that you're going to see in Europe are going to consider this sort of question. I'm not at this point. Personally, I'm not personally convinced it's necessary. I think we have, you know, agencies, for these purposes, the FTC, possibly at the FCC, and you could, you know, bulk up those agencies and both have existing infrastructure to deal with the challenges that are posed by by new digital platforms, myself, but I but I've remained completely open to the idea. And I think that the way the comments presented is both intellectually sound and should be heard. Danny,
just picking up on something you said there, you know, there's multiple agencies, one of the, you know, the way the US government as a whole is organized around tech issues is particularly on the international front, which is the focus of this panel, or state has some responsibility. Commerce has some FCC is, you know, from your experience, is that really the most efficient way to handle this? Or, you know, should there be a reorg or consolidation of sorts to try and, you know, improve the interagency process and make us even more effective on, you know, advocating our policies abroad. You know, at the risk
of sounding, making myself, sound or Rob sound inadequate, I do think that these issues have to be elevated within each of these agencies, in the interagency process, and I think that the National Economic Council, National Security Council have to take a stronger role of stronger centralized role ensuring coordination across the agencies. But I do believe that different agencies bring different expertise and different counterparts to the to the table, and leveraging all of that expertise in all those relationships is critical. As long as you have a well coordinated and objectives based policy process by which to achieve whatever success it is you're hoping to achieve.
So from Mike Nelson, what can the new administration do to use it in the internet to crack down on corruption around the world? It's brocket, and blocking progress on some key issues like climate COVID economic growth and the other problems we face.
I'll just take part of that. Mike Nelson asked some of the best questions out there. So you know, if I had that in advance, I still couldn't give a good answer to. But let me just take just one piece of it. And that is on the corruption point is blockchain could be a real way that we can you know, when the promise of that is that it's, you know, distributed ledger that's public and available. So it sort of works against corruption, because corruption can participate when it's when it's hidden. So when it's all exposed, you can see the transactions, whether that's customs duties being taken, or some kind of other government payments or other regulatory transactions when they're exposed to the public, you can help get up get out the corruption. So walking is an area of it that government should be using more and more to provide services to the public. And I think Josephine Matson mentioned that it monetization I think across the board, we all see great value in that.
And a great and important nuance of what Rob just said is I'm sure some folks heard him and thought, you know, but don't terrorists or or or others finance transactions with Bitcoin. blockchain is a technology Bitcoin is a single application of it. And obviously, making sure you can follow the money is pretty important in international criminal activities. But that doesn't therefore apply to all of blockchain. blockchain is an unbelievable powerful and promising technology for the reason Rob described.
So just for those who are looking at the, at the time, we've been told that we do have some time to fill afterwards, I guess there's some scheduling issues that are following us. So we're gonna keep going. So I'd encourage folks continue to put questions into the chat pod. So I'm going to, I'm going to throw one at you, you know, and I'm not going to own this phrase, but I'm going to use it because it's been kicked around in the media a lot. And that is, you know, some have said that the Biden ministration is looking a little bit like a third Obama administration. And if you accept that premise, what lessons can Obama three, learn from Obama, one and two, when it comes from dealing with issues, the technology issues on the international,
I'm gonna go ahead and
take this one. If I know both men, I know President Obama and President Biden fairly well, and most people who've worked and lived in Washington, may not know them personally, but know that they're vastly different politicians, their approach to public policy, their approach to governance is somewhat different. And I think that the way that you've seen President Biden organize his administration, and organize the transition, does rely on a significant portion of the expertise that comes from the Obama Biden family and builds on it. And I think that's good. But the world is different today than it was when the officials that you're seeing come into the administration now left it four years ago. And we've those people have learned a lot in that time you see that in the transition. And you see an elevation of folks from what they served in previously to where they serve now, and it creates different opportunities. You know, we're facing different challenges or similar challenges that have been accentuated. And I think, I think if you look at how well the transition was managed, how efficiently and how capably it was managed, I think it sends a really strong message about how well the administration is going to administer its tasks. And, and I don't think that that reflects the third Obama administration, but really an evolution of where we as a party were then and within those Biden officials were then as people and professionals, and where we are now. And I think that the vice president by making issues like the centrality of climate change, to some travesty of racial equality, those are really an elevation of issues that were that were not as high on the priority list under the Obama administration than they are today.
I might I might add on I don't know, both men of the way Danny does, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night. It's Danny, the other big difference, I think, is that entering, you know, where we were in the world, first, tech was seen as generally an all encompassing thing at the start of Obama, and it was the launch of the social media revolution then. And I think now at the start of President Biden's tenure, there is a recognition that technology is not exactly the same as platform social media all the time. In fact, you know, when you took a look at the Edelman trust, information barometer that just came out, the most trust detector sector was technology and the least trusted sector they had with social media. You know, there are obviously ways in which all of those grand challenges can be addressed by constructive use of social media. But we've also seen that, that there are there are reasons to be more concerned. So I think, whereas when Obama started, tech was good, the internet was good. Now at the start of the Biden era, it depends. And I think that's probably a more honest acknowledgement of technology in the world in 2020, as contrasted to where things were in 2009.
You know, I had the risk of turning this into the Bruce and Danny show, I agree with that, and kind of live the evolution of that. So when we as as as Democrats started looking at these issues, you know, with the growth of the internet and 98, and then all the applications that came on top of it, the goal here was to democratize civic participation and democratize commerce, ensure that innovators and in newcomers to markets and ideas could challenge existing incumbents and do so on a relatively frictionless playing field. And what we've learned over time that is that is that is true. But it's true, just as true for bad ideas as it is for good ideas. And it's in there are vulnerabilities to manipulation of both platforms and technologies that we have to guard against and have a responsibility to do so as public leaders and that evolution is now fell through to where you're going to see Amy Klobuchar talk. Senator Klobuchar talk later today about her evolved thoughts on where the government should be relative to competition version.
Okay, go ahead, Rob.
I would just say that this is not so much about the the men that are the Presidents but about the time that we're in, and it's about China. far there's a there's a bipartisan consensus, that window deal with China in ways differently than we did just over four years ago, that, you know, further economic integration in itself is not going to lead to the breaking down of market access barriers to what we've just seen in the last several months coming out of China, which are data security law, the Personal Information Protection Law, under somewhat up to standards that can make it very hard to move data in and out of China, as well as on the human rights front. ticularly, regarding the weekers, those are issues that VA ministration, or the by ministers are going to wrestle with now that are that are in a different place than they were, you know, just over four years ago. So I think that will also shape some major policy areas in the digital environment that we're all, you know, well aware of, and it's going to be a challenge. And you know, they're also going to inherit what was left from the Trump administration, which is more than $300 billion of goods that have tariffs on them, as well as the phase one deal, they need to decide what they want to do with that, how they're going to use that type of leverage to achieve the end for the American people. I was gonna take
a little bit
more literally and think about the things you might take from the first or the first to the to Obama terms, and try to learn from moving forward. And two that come to mind. One is sort of be an advocacy of the naming and shaming strategy that began under the Obama administration and continued during the Trump administration in which our response to several and not all major cybersecurity attacks was to file an indictment and sort of make a big fuss mockup wanted posters for foreign officers of the Chinese military at the Russian military and sort of on the hope that this would dissuade them from initiating similar types of attacks or espionage efforts in the future. And I think that, you know, while I think that's an interesting effort, and I don't necessarily think it should end, I think it's been pretty clear that that hasn't actually served as the kind of deterrent that we might have hoped it would. And the other sort of related thing I would say is one of the hallmarks for people who study cyber security and cyber conflict, under the Obama administration was a real sort of forbearance, a real desire on the part of the United States not to use any kind of cyber power with the sort of one exception. And that there's also, I think, a stronger sense today that that's not actually a way to deter other countries from using their own capabilities and their own offensive sort of cyber tools that we perhaps might have hoped it would. And I think those are both perhaps useful lessons. Great. So
some more questions from a pod. We've got one from an anonymous attendee, what your view needs to occur to get countries such as the US to participate in global standards and norms, of information sharing and governance.
I can start on that and let other supplement. You know, right now, there's a very active participation in technical standards bodies, the ones that created 5g was called the third generation partnership project or three GPP. You know, you've had active participation from a range of companies, including Qualcomm and others that are very involved in creating the standards for 5g. And companies purchase standards all the time. That separate issue is the norms, the norms about responsible use of artificial intelligence, norms about cyber tools, you know, what, when when it's not appropriate to undermine critical infrastructure with cyber meet by cyber means or to steal intellectual property. Those are ones that the US has been working with other governments on for roughly the last decade. Those kinds of government, the government norm, it's painstaking slow work to get get those off the ground and get agreement. And as Danny mentioned, it's important at the end, really, that we get agreement from Russia and China's of the world, that they are also going to live by those norms, but it helps to have all your friends with you first, when you go to take on those others that might be acting in contravention of those norms, which most of us think are common sense. So the OECD is one of the key places I think we've seen really good normal development, there were ones made on AI in May of 2019, that were later endorsed by the G 20, about trustworthy use of AI that should be human centric, and it should be consistent with our democratic values and with principles of fairness in mind. So I think there's there's more to be done in the norms, norms front, rather than at the technical standards. But when we make sure that technical standards mean, vibrant bodies were all global companies are really active participating, and we're getting the best ideas coming to the surface and dominating the standards.
I can tell another piece of this, which is really important is recognition by the United States government, that they do not have the Far and away best cyber capabilities in the world, and that they're sort of have really, really serious adversaries with really sophisticated technology. And I think that, you know, has already in May, in the future, even more so drive some recognition that they need to be willing to cooperate with some of these international processes, and think about the ways in which some of those agreements might benefit them.
Jim, if I could raise something that we haven't talked about yet, but I think it's super important in light of sort of what Josephine just said, and what we've been talking about, is that at the root of all of this, all of this great, incredible technology, as well as the challenges we're facing from abroad from adversaries is, is the talent and capabilities that you have to build these tech these tools and technologies. So the degree to which we are not bringing the best and the brightest from the world into the United States, welcoming them here to participate both as creators as wealth creators and innovators, the harder it's going to be for us to lead on issues like security, the harder is going to be for us to lead on issues like AI. And I think I think that's one thing that there, there's a political agreement in within the tech community on as well as in the in the academic community on the need for us to ensure that that we're doing what we can to attract the best and the brightest into into investing in talent at home.
Great point, I agree.
All right. I know I think I believe we have about six more minutes till the next panel gets going. So we'll get one sort of wrap up question. And it's a little cheesy all admit, but gives you a chance to stuff a lot of of what you want to say into it. And that is around the inauguration, there's always attention paid to the letter that the departing President leaves to his successor. And you know, if you could leave a letter to the person who is filling your role, or what is close to what your role was, in the current administration, what would it say? And what would you tell them success looks like, you know, three years from now, Josephine, I'll let you go last. But you can address your letter to whoever you want. Who wants to go first?
I'm happy to start didn't know that my letter should be subject to revision later. It's almost when you're speaking to natural language, software, and it's going to be all kind of garbled, but I think having most recently come from government and the folks on the panel, it may be easier for me to say that I think that continued to build these partnerships of the like minded about norms, on responsible use of cyber tools, you know, and then developing additional consequences that go with those as Josephine noted, you know, that the Trump administration were using indictments and the public declaration of who committed these cyber acts that were beyond the pale. But there needs to be a coalition of countries that bring similar consequences against those aggressor cyber nations to change their opinion about whether or not it's worth taking on those those malicious cyber activities. So let me continue to build a coalition of like minded and routinize it, which is one thing we were doing in the Trump administration, and that's process started back in the Obama administration, but I think it's something should continue forward. And then the second part of this would be working together as I said before, in the in that question about the D, D 10. That would there's so much that can be gained that we can grow the scale that we need among like minded countries and companies that have the best values in mind without responsible use of artificial intelligence, about about the next generations of 5g when it when it's feeding it that kind of technology is feeding into all kinds of applications. that that is something that we want to see democratic countries get behind and guide forward. So building like minded Coalition's in that area as well.
I'll make mine a little quicker because it no longer exists. Ben Wu headed after me he was the last guy to have it. But the two things I feel like I took away that I'd want to apply in a future role. First, how important it is to listen to all sides, the political environment so hyper partisan, that the instinct is just listen to the people from your own team or the people who supported your boss. It's such a mistake. You know, it's you need to understand what RS DS, progressives, the establishment moderates, all hear all sides out, if you want to give the best advice to your boss and come to the best answers. Number two, in some ways, the importance of being contrary. And so you know, knowing everything we know now 20 years ago, 15 years ago, our mistake was kind of believing the the techno optimist, nothing bad will happen. The Internet solves every problem. It's all going to be good. And I do think folks who are stepping into the role today now have the run the opposite risk of you know, everything sucks, the internet's terrible. It's wide open with all the ways in which technology is actually the key to so many critical solutions to make the world a better place. And I think 20 years from now, when we read about this time in history, what people are going to recognize is, we're so busy worrying about murder Hornets, we missed a Cambrian explosion of innovation and investment that was catalyzed by response to the challenges of 2020.
So to whomever would take my mind and Rob's job, or hopefully, if it's elevated, it's someone more senior than us that would take that job, I would say to lead as Secretary Blinken has said with with humility and competence and to recognize that it is an immense honor to serve your country. And it gives you the capability to surface ideas from so many different sources, you don't have to know everything, that there's greater capabilities in cooperation and collaboration, that there's almost always a zone of agreement, whether it's across the aisle with our friends, on the Republican side, or it's across the Atlantic, with our like minded friends, in those jurisdictions, or in Brazil, and India elsewhere, that there is an immense of opportunity to to do good. And that this is this is a critical time to try to find that kind of incremental progress I can do as much good as possible. And it's a critical time to engage process. And I have
never run the NSA and certainly never will run the NSA. But I think I'd be inclined to leave a letter for general Nakasone, and ask, Is there anything you can live with that? Are there any things the United States would be willing to not do in the cyber domain would be willing to sacrifice for the purposes of trying to forge an international agreement that would allow other countries to feel that they were getting something out of it as well, and not just being bent to the United States as well, that might actually benefit the US, as well, that might actually serve serve a better purpose than just keeping all of our capabilities and tools in the chest?
Well, great, all all wonderful answers. And, you know, I always like ending these panels on a positive note. So thank you very much for your time, a very interesting discussion covered a lot of topics forward looking as we wanted to, and, you know, unfortunately, couldn't be there in person to carry on these conversations in the hallway after we're rushed off stage, because we're running long, but hope everybody continues to stay safe and be told I should turn it over to Tim now. So thanks for everyone. Thanks.
Thanks for being Danny.
Bruce. Rob, appreciate
it. Thank you so much. Moving right along to our next topic, a bit of a gear shift, I think a bit we've got our last panel ism antitrust in the last decade. And to host that conversation for us and facilitate it is Lee nylund, who she's covers the antitrust beat for political the past year or so. But Lee has been you know, she was a huge background, a lot of years of covering antitrust, decades of antitrust experience. So we're thrilled that she's agreed to moderate this panel on