The World Unpacked

The Trouble with Governing Cyberspace

Episode Summary

Jon Bateman joins Laura to discuss last week’s Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and the challenge of establishing international norms and governance structures in online spaces.

Episode Notes

The recent Colonial Pipeline attack was yet another example of the escalating threats in cyberspace as many Americans experienced long lines at gas stations amid fears of shortages after a ransomware attack. This incident just comes months after the likely Russian government-sponsored SolarWinds hack that compromised thousands of government and company platforms. Meanwhile, the Facebook Oversight Board recently upheld its ban on former President Donald Trump. 

With all these disruptions in the digital realm, the line between what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior online—and who should manage cyberspace—has never been blurrier. Companies are exercising their private authorities, paying off ransoms and managing challenging content moderation decisions. Have governments ceded too much ground to the private sector, and is there a way to build a more organized structure to make these groundbreaking decisions in cyberspace?

Jon Bateman, a fellow at Carnegie’s Cyber Policy Initiative, joins Laura to tackle the growing governance challenges in the technology sector.