Weekend Roundup: Protecting the Cloud — At the Bottom of the Ocean

This week, a new 21st century debate surfaced: How do we protect the data cloud we have all come to depend on when it is physically composed of cables running across the bottom of the ocean? The issue came to light after it was reported that Russian spy ships were operating near key cable routes.

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis writes that, “Well over 95 percent of everything moving on the global Internet passes through 200 or so highly active cables, some as deep underwater as Mount Everest is tall.” Lixian Hantover offers a profile of what the undersea cloud looks like and what its vulnerabilities are. Carl Bildt, former Swedish prime minister and chair of the Global Commission on Internet Governance, calls for a new digital diplomacy to maintain the free flow of information across borders. “The solution to privacy concerns,” he writes, “lies not in data localization, but in the development of secure systems and the proper use of encryption. Data storage actually means the continuous transfer of data between users, with no regard for Westphalian borders. Security in the digital world is based on technology, not geography.”

In our continuing series on The Third Industrial Revolution, Jeremy Rifkin lays out the vast potential of the “Internet of Things” and “the zero marginal cost society.” Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian prime minister and a key EU parliamentarian, addresses the obstacles to creating a digital single market in Europe: “We need to end, once and for all, the European aberration in which markets of the past are given preference over markets of the future.” Nobel laureate Michael Spence sees great promise in the emergent “sharing economy.” Guy —> Read More