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Beware perpetual cyberattacks, and protect education data

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Experts want us to stop using the term "cyber 9/11". Why is that?

Well, indeed many cybersecurity experts, including my brilliant Stanford colleague, Jacquelyn Schneider, have pointed out that a "cyber 9/11" is not the metaphor that helps people understand the actual nature of the threats. You may have also heard politicians warning for a "cyber Pearl Harbor," and indeed experts are also pushing back against this metaphor. Cyberattacks happen often and are maybe more like massive shots of hail. By trying to probe many vulnerabilities and sending multiple phishing emails, criminals and state entities are trying which digital door might open, trying over and over again, and then can help them achieve their criminal, intelligence or geopolitical goals. The notion of a perpetual shot of hail may also make people realize that the attacks can be closer to them, and then empowering them to be part of the solution instead of feeling defeated by the notion of a massive terrorist attack, targeting a landmark far away, and causing major physical and human suffering.

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El Salvador’s risky move to Bitcoin; future of Singapore patrol robots

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

El Salvador becomes the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Is this a risky move?

Well, it is unclear who ought to benefit most of the President's move to adopt Bitcoin. Poor shopkeepers, wealthy investors, or he himself. With arguments that remittances are expensive and the future is digital, President Bukele leapt forward. But the immediate value drop of Bitcoin was a live reminder of the cryptocurrencies' volatility. One silver lining is that others can learn from the lessons that El Salvador will learn under this new spotlight.

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Is a Huawei ban possible in Brazil? Poly Network cryptocurrency heist

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

The US warned Brazil about China's Huawei equipment in its 5G telecoms network. Would it be possible to ban Huawei in Brazil?

Now in theory, yes, but in practice, that will be very difficult. If not Huawei, the Brazilian mobile network infrastructure is largely sourced from China, and China is the country's most important trade partner overall. But as always, much depends on political leadership. President Bolsonaro, after all, did go along with President Trump in opposing Huawei while he was facing pushback for that decision at home. So the lesson to learn is that it is easier to prevent risky 5G telecoms equipment to come into the country than to cure when it's already there.

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Will there be a decisive US response to Russian cyber attacks?

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

After an attempted hack of a Republican National Committee contractor, is cybersecurity at a breaking point between the US and Russia?

Well, that breaking point has been a long time coming. There was the attempt to manipulate the 2016 elections and now we see a series of ransomware attacks that are escalating. So the question is, what the US can do to decisively change the calculation on the Russian side? Making clear that there will be sanctions and other consequences that hurt should be a start. But it will only be credible if these promises are followed through and enforced.

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Report: China's cyber security a decade behind the US, despite hype

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Question one, a recent study suggests China's cyber capabilities are a decade behind the United States. Is China really that far behind?

Well, the IISS report assessed that China is behind in cyber security, making it relatively vulnerable. But that does not change the cyber capacity and most of all, the willingness to use its tools to gain access to information through stealthy intrusion. At the same time, China benefits from an image of having great digital and cyber capabilities and of being on the cusp of global dominance. This notion of a race between China and the US we often hear about when discussing A.I., greatly benefits those who are able to gain more investments and government support from this image. So in light of opportunistic hypes, reality checks and independent research are most helpful.

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Bitcoin's volatility may dim its appeal; China's crypto crackdown

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Should Bitcoin enthusiasts be alarmed at its plunging value?

Well, I can only imagine it makes them a little less enthusiastic, although the value of Bitcoin is still a lot higher than it was a year ago. So I guess the level of concern much depends on when the enthusiasts started to invest in this volatile currency, which is also seeing more and more regulations coming its way. So if people choose to get out now, it further pushes down the value and so on. I'll be watching what happens next.

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Combating cybercrime a focus at G7 and Biden-Putin summits

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Cyber issues took center stage at the G7 summit. Is there a consensus among world leaders on how to handle cyberweapons?

Well, depending on who is included, there is a growing consensus that the escalations of conflict in cyberspace must stop. And G7 leaders that are now all representing democracies did call on Russia to hold perpetrators of cybercrime that operate from within its borders to account. So, I guess hope dies last because laws in Russia prevents the extradition of suspects to the US, even if Vladimir Putin answered positively when Joe Biden asked for cooperation on that front. And when it comes to limiting the spread of tools that are used for hacking, surveillance and infiltration, the EU has just moved ahead and adopted new dual use regulations which reflect the concerns for human rights violations when journalists are targeted the way that Jamal Khashoggi was. So ending the proliferation of systems that are used to attack would be an urgent but also obvious step for democratic nations to agree on.

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Cloud computing and US cybersecurity

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

What is cloud computing?

Now it's not that easy to answer but let me give it a try. Cloud computing is the capacity to store or process data over the Internet on servers away from a device like a laptop or a mobile phone. And it actually allows for software, databases, and the storage of data to be sold as a service.

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