In the 21st century, the nature of warfare is evolving – taking place on both the physical and cyber battlefields. Adversaries can harm enemies from thousands of miles away without risking military resources or personnelby attacking opponents’ cyber infrastructure and security. In an increasingly connected and digital world, these methods are becoming more and more common for nations like Russia and China who are constantly jockeying for more power and influence on the world stage.
We are also seeing this new battlefield unfold in Ukraine. As Russian forces began their physical invasion of Ukraine, data-wiping software was simultaneously launched against the country’s computer networks. Whilethe Kremlin has denied it, signs point to Russia as the culprit of the attack.But the risks span beyond cyber-attacks alone. Reports have shown that Russia is spreading disinformation both home and abroad, abusing the internet to promote Putin’s agenda. And China is reportedly helping Russia do this.
Given this current landscape, we cannot overlook how vital it is to ensure that democracies, not autocracies like Russia and China, are exporting technology across the world. This is especially important as technology increasingly envelops global affairs – militarily, economically, and politically.
As tech continues to revolutionize our world, foreign adversaries like Russia and China are trying to rewrite the rules of the internet to exert more control over the web and digital platforms. Thankfully, American and Western tech companies and digital platforms have been stepping in to support Ukraine, intensifying efforts to bolster cyber capabilities and identify and stop disinformation campaigns. Imagine if Ukraine had to rely on technologies from Russia or China.
The Russia-Ukraine war has given the U.S. and our allies a renewed sense of importance of uniting around common interests like promoting a democratic and open internet and strengthening international tech partnerships. It is vital that the U.S. maintain its leadership role in technological advancement so that we can protect these values and interests against autocracies that seek to weaponize the internet for their own purposes.
That is why it is It is particularly alarming when legislation is brought up in Congress that would thwart progress and innovation in our tech sector. Problematically, some lawmakers are pursuing anti-innovation legislation that would undermine America’s technology innovators while at the same time giving a leg up to authoritarian countries.
We should be taking every opportunity to ensure that American tech remains the strongest in the world, not promoting anti-innovation legislation that hamstrings tour domestic companies’ ability to innovate in the face of aggressive adversaries.
How the U.S. responds to these shifting standards and norms in the global tech arena now will undoubtedly shape the internet and economy of the future. Washington must stand strong in supporting our homegrown innovators and advancing our technological interests at home, if they do not, we risk falling into a disadvantaged economic position and decreasing our influence over geopolitical affairs.
As anti-innovation legislation is considered in Congress, we are urging Senators Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore Capito to strongly oppose these bills. Now more than ever, it is vital for our leaders to support policies that will strengthen our domestic tech industry and sharpen America’s technological edge.
Do we want the leading tech companies of the future to hail from China or Russia? Just think of the damage that could do to democracy.
Former West Virginia Delegate and new District #94 Republican candidate Larry D. Kump (Husband of Cheryl)
P. O. Box 1131
Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131