Critical Read

Can Trump mend fences with Silicon Valley?

  

WHAT: “Rebuilding Trust Between Silicon Valley and Washington” from the Council on Foreign Relations

WHY: President Donald Trump inherits a damaged relationship between the federal government and Silicon Valley, according to the report’s author, Adam Segal, the Ira A. Lipman chair in emerging technologies and national security and director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy program at the Council of Foreign Relations.

Segal argues that the Trump administration faces a number of linked challenges: improving the federal government's cybersecurity posture; reviving the global trust in U.S.-based tech vendors and curbing the trend toward data localization; finding a compromise in the current battles over commercially available strong encryption and blocking the attempts of state-sponsored hackers to infiltrate U.S. government and commercial systems.

Many of the people and institutions with the skills and experience to address these challenges, Segal notes, feel burned by the revelations of Edward Snowden about the extent of intelligence community surveillance of commercial networks, the approval of compromised cryptographic algorithms by trusted government institutions and the ongoing battles over law enforcement backdoors to encrypted communications.

Segal advocates continued administration support for the U.S. Digital Service and more forceful attribution of cyber breaches to foreign actors among other measures. He also wants to see hacking by U.S. law enforcement against approved targets be put on sounder legal footing.

VERBATIM: "Congress is considering legislation that would extend the operations of USDS until at least 2026. The Trump administration should also create a time-limited fellowship program specifically focused on cybersecurity, modeled on the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a two-year training program focused on fieldwork. Fellows in a cyber intelligence service would serve for three years and be deployed to areas of the federal government where breaches have occurred and be tasked to fix and implement corrective measures to prevent future breaches. The specialized service would develop important in-house expertise and esprit de corps that could help with recruitment and, even more important, retention of talent within the government."

Read the full report.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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