Protecting Sovereignty of U.S. Telecommunications Backbone

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Cipher Brief Expert and former Senior Director for Cyber Operations at the National Security Council, Thomas Donahue, provides critical perspective on the strategy needed to protect the sovereignty of the U.S. telecommunications backbone.

The U.S. Government – by blocking the sale of U.S. high technology firms to foreign companies for national security reasons and through trade sanctions that cite unfair trade practices – seeks to create time and space for U.S. industry to innovate and be competitive in global markets including those for information technology.  While arguably necessary, these actions will not be sufficient to overcome a U.S. deficit in the marketplace for high-end telecommunications integration.  Overcoming this deficit will be essential not only to U.S. economic prosperity but also to national security, which depends on telecommunication to serve as the “nervous system” for controlling critical infrastructure and military defensive systems.

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