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Warfare: The New Rules – The Cyber Threat to States, Businesses and All of Us

Our panel discuss the new rules of cyber war, where terror, crime and state hostility all intermingle on the same battlefield.

We are at war: cyberwar. Cyber attacks are becoming the weapon of choice for states, terrorists and criminal organisations. Through the fragile, interconnected structure of the web, anything can be hacked – from national infrastructure to an individual’s identity. The recent worldwide Ransomware epidemic, for example, affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, targeting individuals and global companies including Fedex. The nightmare scenario of an entire city’s physical infrastructure being brought down by cybercriminals is well within the realms of possibility. As tensions escalate, will they explode into traditional military conflict? Or – almost as frightening – will countries wall off their internets to protect themselves, bringing the dream of an global, open worldwide web to an end?

To discuss this pressing topic, Intelligence Squared brought together a panel of the world’s top intelligence professionals and cyber experts: Jeh Johnson, former Homeland Security Secretary under President Obama, who led the agency during Russia’s cyber attack on the 2016 election and Jamie Bartlett, renowned digital technology expert and author who presented the recent BBC series “Secrets of Silicon Valley”, and Angela Sasse, a cyber security expert with a special interest in how humans interact with technology. Chairing the discussion was Radio 4’s Today presenter and former BBC political editor Nick Robinson.

How should the West respond to cyber aggression from hostile states? In the new fog of cyberwar, terror, crime and state hostility are all intermingled on the same battlefield. How do governments and international institutions set about regulating this complex new landscape?



Nick Robinson

Presenter on Radio 4’s Today programme

Presenter on Radio 4’s Today programme and former BBC political editor.

Jamie Bartlett

Author and expert on the politics of the internet. The Missing Cryptoqueen is his latest book

Author and expert on the politics of the internet. He is Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, a collaboration between the University of Sussex and the think tank Demos. He is the author of The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld, Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, and The People vs Tech. He presented the BBC series ‘Secrets of Silicon Valley’ and in 2019 he wrote and presented the hit BBC podcast series ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’, which exposed the biggest ever cryptocurrency scandal. He has also turned the story into a book, which will be published in June 2022.

Jeh Johnson

Former Secretary of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security from 2013 to 2017 under President Obama. In his role, he was responsible for counterterrorism, cybersecurity, border security, nuclear and biological threats, national disasters and the protection of America’s critical infrastructure.

Angela Sasse

UCL Cyber security expert

Professor of Human-Centered Technology in the Department of Computer Science, University College London. She is also director of the GCHQ-funded national research institute for the Science of Cyber Security.