Keeping the Internet Safe—and Free


As the Internet economy grows at a rapid pace, so do the online underworld threats of cyber attacks and data thievery, according to a new report from the Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored Independent Task Force.

But the Task Force warns that many governments are leveraging the threat of cyberattacks “to justify restrictions on the flow of information, data, and knowledge and are territorializing the Internet based on narrow national interests.”

The report notes that the population of Internet users is likely to double by the end of the decade, to about five billion people, and the fragmented nature of national Internet controls threaten a “decline in global free expression.”

Democratic governments have to straddle a fine line between protecting free expression and protecting against cyber criminals.

Although governments have warned of the possibility of catastrophic individual attacks that could cripple the Internet, the Task Force concluded that greatest risk lies in “a proliferation of attacks that steal strategically important or valuable data and destroy confidence in the safety and trustworthiness of the Internet.”

The Task Force encourages the Internet's leading nations to agree on shared principles for online engagement and enforcement.

Read the full report HERE.

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