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.
Question two, what is the outlook on global cyber competition in the next decade?Well, I'm expecting competition and confrontation in the quest for the leading role in setting norms and standards through technologies and markets. But the flip side will be the effort towards democratic regulations, updating international law, and fostering responsible behavior. Now, I hope that will be the race, which will create an upward spiral towards the rule of law in cyberspace, de-escalation of conflict, and towards greater accountability.