IndiaKeyboard by Shutterstock

Net neutrality’s passage to India

One of most bizarre twists in the ongoing saga of net neutrality is the emergence of this squishy concept in India’s debate about Internet policy and regulation.  If net neutrality makes any sense at all, it’s a classic first-world problem: when advanced broadband service is effectively universal for both wired and mobile networks, speeds are doubling every two to three years, data volumes are rising and everybody who isn't old is using the Internet on a regular basis, marginal complaints come to the fore. Why, then, is this issue now at the forefront of Indian politics? Despite intense development in urban areas, India is still much less developed than the US.  While 85% of Americans use the Internet, India is a mirror image in which 80% of citizens do not use the Internet at all. Internet use in India is lower than it is in South America, Ghana, Senegal, or Indonesia. Brazil, Russia, and China are supposed to be economic rivals to India, but they average more than three times the Internet adoption rate of India.
Payment cards by Shutterstock

Reimagining payment security in the US

It’s easy to recognize that credit and debit cards have revolutionized the nature of consumer spending and business, but the importance of payment cards and related technologies to the Internet economy is a little more subtle. The digital economy is largely enabled by payment cards; try to conduct an online transaction almost anywhere and a card number is a prerequisite. The convergence of payment technologies and the Internet is bringing the digital and physical worlds together: modern credit card terminals use the Internet to process transactions, and cards in turn facilitate the online shopping and business that we know and love. Innovations in payment technologies like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Square, and Venmo also continue to enter our vocabulary. As goods and payments are increasingly transmitted instead of transported, it should come as no surprise that cyber criminals are increasingly targeting credit cards and payment technologies. Luckily, American businesses and innovators are not sitting idly by in the face of this threat.
Information Sharing by Shutterstock

Information sharing: Congress steps up to cyber legislative agenda

This is cybersecurity week in Congress. Both the House and the Senate are expected to take up two important pieces of cybersecurity legislation: an information sharing bill and a revised version of the USA Freedom Act. My AEI colleague, Shane Tews, has described the urgent rationales behind the information sharing bills: “The fundamental purpose of information sharing legislation is to reduce liability risks, encourage beneficial conduct, safeguard the networks American companies and consumers use and ultimately strengthen America’s cyber readiness.” This post and a follow-on will look at the evolving political coalitions both for and against the two bills. Last year, a version of the USA Freedom Act overwhelmingly passed the House, only to fail by a two-vote margin in the Senate. Congress has been working on information sharing legislation for almost five years. This year, as previously, the major political actors include the Obama administration, the high-tech business community, and NGO privacy advocates.
Cyberattacks by Shutterstock

Congress can help American companies better protect themselves against cyber attacks

The drumbeat of high-profile corporate cyber-incidents shows no sign of slowing down. Target, Anthem, JPMorgan Chase, Sony Pictures…the list goes on. There is an array of perpetrators of these cyber attacks, including state-sponsored actors, elements of organized crime, and other sophisticated cyber-criminals, and the threat they pose to American companies has become painfully apparent. It’s no secret that securing American enterprise networks and electronic information systems will require cooperation within and between the private and public sectors. To its credit, Congress is currently taking a hard look at how legislation can enable cyber threat information sharing that will help level the playing field for American companies as they defend themselves against cyber attacks.