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Revenge of the Nation-State: Borders, Sovereignty, and Cyberspace

Conventional wisdom holds that cyberspace is borderless. That assertion is wrong.  Borders exist everywhere in cyberspace, generated by firewalls, network interconnections, or other control points. However, those borders do not line up with the physical boundaries of nation-states and information often flows across those borders with ease. Yet, as cyberspace has become critical to almost every aspect of modern life, nation-states have begun to try to assert control over this domain. Many countries claim that, like land, water, or air, some portion of cyberspace represents their sovereign territory. The tension between a global Internet and nation-state imperatives generates many of the cybersecurity problems we face today.

Michael Daniel, President & CEO of the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), will explore the implications of nation-state sovereignty in cyberspace, including the potential effects on cybersecurity, crime, and national security.

About the Speaker
Michael serves as the President & CEO of the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), a non-profit organization that improves the cybersecurity of the global digital ecosystem by enabling high-quality cyber threat information sharing among cybersecurity providers.  CTA’s mission is to better protect end-users, enable the disruption of cyber adversaries, and elevate overall cybersecurity.  CTA’s members include more than 36 cybersecurity firms headquartered in 12 countries around the world. 

Prior to CTA, Michael served as Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator on the National Security Council Staff. In this role, he led the development and implementation of national cybersecurity strategy and policy, focusing on improving cyber defenses in the public and private sectors; deterring and disrupting malicious cyber activity aimed at the U.S. or its allies; and, improving the US’s ability to respond to and recover from cyber incidents.  Michael also helped craft the government’s response to significant cyber incidents, such the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the intrusion into the Office of Personnel Management, and the Russian efforts to meddle in our electoral process.   

Before joining the National Security Council Staff, Michael served for 17 years in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), including 11 years as the Chief of the Intelligence Branch in the National Security Division, overseeing the Intelligence Community and other classified Department of Defense programs. Originally from Atlanta, Michael holds a Bachelor’s in Public Policy from Princeton University, a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard, and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces. In his free time, he enjoys running and martial arts. 

Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies

Start Date: April 18, 2024
Start Time: 4:30 pm
Location: Physical Sciences Building