As noted in David Ignatius’s July 21 op-ed, “Russia and China become Internet allies,” there are serious national security implications behind Russia and China’s recent move to form a strategic alliance based on their “unity of positions on the management of the Internet.”
It’s no secret that both countries have been trying for years to establish cyber dominance; however, this latest accord suggests a greater strategic alliance is being formed when both have been linked to a string of ransomware and cyberattacks against the United States and other Western entities.
As the former White House Homeland Security adviser, I strongly urge U.S. leaders to pay attention. As foreign adversaries ramp up their efforts to control the Internet, we cannot afford to be complacent. Allowing bad actors to dominate the global digital landscape will threaten our national security while undermining our nation’s influence in critical geopolitical matters. We must remain vigilant against Russian and Chinese efforts to seize on the current political landscape in that mutual quest for control. Lawmakers must carefully consider the unintended consequences of recent anti-competition proposals against the reality we are facing today. We cannot afford to have China, Russia and other foreign adversaries dominate the digital landscape and weaken the United States’ technological edge.
Frances Townsend, Vienna, Va. The writer is National Security Advisory Board co-chair for the American Edge Project.