US-EU Alignment on Tech Policy Shaky in Face of Russian Aggression

simon2579/Getty Images

The conflict in Ukraine is reinforcing an industry-friendly argument for how the government should regulate cybersecurity.

As Russia uses technology to advance its invasion of Ukraine, the goal of aligning U.S. and European policy approaches has taken on new urgency but remains—as ever—beyond reach.   

“I'm arguing with Europeans these days on whether cloud services providers in Europe should not only have to localize data, but [also] be 61% European-owned, right when this whole idea of an open and universal and interoperable internet is really under pressure on many fronts,” said Peter Harrell, senior director for international economics and competitiveness at the White House. “I think it's important we have this conversation today … the kind of crisis in Russia really crystallizes what's actually a broader and longer, longer-term challenge.”

Harrell spoke at the annual State of the Net conference Monday during a discussion of ‘internet governance in an increasingly authoritarian world.’ His comments—and those of other participants at the conference, including a key member of Congress—dovetailed with arguments big tech companies recently made in opposition to a Commerce Department proposal for securing the supply chain of information and communications technology from foreign influence. 

The Commerce proposal, which started under President Donald Trump and was relaunched for public comment by President Joe Biden in June 2021, suggested there might be a need for third-party reviews of ICT equipment sold in the U.S., including “connected software applications,” to require inspections of their source-code, logs and data.

In response, the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents major cloud services providers like Microsoft and AWS, said such a policy would set a dangerous precedent for authoritarian regimes to ask the same of U.S. companies operating in those markets.

That concern has resonated more deeply with policymakers and other stakeholders in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the threat of authoritarianism.

Also speaking at the conference, Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, a co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted a bipartisan letter he and other lawmakers sent to President Biden last week voicing concerns about the Digital Markets Act. McCaul said the European Union’s proposed DMA would essentially “localize the cloud to only the EU. You couldn't have this free flow of information.”

“That’s the danger,” he said. “We don’t want countries starting to have their own cloud that has no internet connectivity to the international world.”

Last fall, the Biden administration announced the formation of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council. The TTC is the most recent iteration of a forum for the allied governments to get on the same page about their regulatory approach so they could, in part, provide a unified front in the face of adversaries. ITI took credit for playing a key role in creating the TTC, but other industry representatives at Monday’s conference were not optimistic about the council’s outlook.

“There may be conversations we can have on cooperation, vis-a-vis, China, cybersecurity, some of the other agenda items, but on the core regulatory issues that are going to govern data governance and the digital economy, Europe has decided the path they want to pursue, and I don't think it is interested in listening to the United States or discussing where the United States has views,” said Sean Heather, senior vice president for regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “And, unless Europe is going to sit down and have conversations like that, I think the TTC is going to have a rocky agenda.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.