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Battlefield Internet: A Plan for Securing Cyberspace

Contrary to Cold War fears, states are using cyberwarfare not for large-scale destruction, but to undermine trust within the Internet. This has turned a global tool for commerce into a battlefield that threatens economic growth and political norms. The United States must assert its leadership in this arena and hold malicious states and independent actors accountable for their actions. A government-led approach is deemed necessary for this purpose. This piece describes several examples of foreign adversaries (namely, Russia, China, and Iran) using cyberattacks to undermine trust in Western political systems – such as via election meddling – and suppress dissidence. It also discusses the theft of intellectual property and its impact on the global economy.
Michèle Flournoy and Michael Sulmeyer
Foreign Affairs
Domains-Issue Area: 
Industry Focus: 
Internet & Cyberspace