A senior adviser at the Stanford University Center on Geopolitics and Technology and former news policy lead at Google lays out the high-stakes global cyberwar brewing between Western democracies and the autocracies of China and Russia that could potentially crush democracy.
A worthwhile meditation on this so-called gray war might reflect on how we often wage such a war on ourselves ... Alas, Mr. Helberg focuses only on the foes outside the gates. He is correct that malign foreign powers view the internet as a battlefield on which to wage asymmetric war. He offers a comprehensive, if often jumbled, account of the forms such warfare can take ... Mr. Helberg, a senior adviser at Stanford University’s Center on Geopolitics and Technology, has little new to offer about the contours of these conflicts. This is especially irritating given his past as a Google senior manager ... Mr. Helberg’s caginess about what Google and other tech companies know about such malign online activities (and what they are doing about it) undermines the author’s policy recommendations, which boil down to 'trust us elites more.'
... a chilling study of how 'techno-totalitarian' regimes are seeking to control the hardware and software of the internet ... Though Helberg’s call for democratic nations to form a 'compact to resist authoritarian aggression and subversion' is on-point, his argument that breaking up Big Tech would threaten U.S. national security is less persuasive. Still, this is an informative and often harrowing wake-up call.
Helberg is entirely correct in his assessment that this will require overhauling science and engineering education and expanding government-business cooperation, all of which will lead to a modern 'Sputnik moment' ... Unnervingly convincing evidence that time is running out in the 'gray war' with the enemies of freedom.