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War in Ukraine has spurred transatlantic cooperation in technology

A Command center Scan the digital domain for global disinformation campaigns. Standardized plugs for electric vehicles that work in both the US and the European Union (EU) And reduce the cost of building the infrastructure needed for decarbonization. Cross-Atlantic teams scout attempts by China and others to favor the world’s technical standards. This kind of initiative sounds common sense, but it’s difficult in a world where even allies have competing regulators for technical control. Fortunately, transatlantic diplomatic business, which most people haven’t heard of, is trying to change it all.

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A group of problems called the “Trade Technology Council” (TTC), May 15th and 16th in Saclay, a suburb of Paris.A constellation of magnificent officials from both sides of the Atlantic-American Secretary of State, Secretary of Commerce and the best trade negotiators, and EUTrade and Competition Commissioners will meet for the second time. The first meeting in Pittsburgh in September was primarily aimed at getting to know each other, while the meeting in France evaluated the progress of work so far and over the next two years. Set a goal.

It’s a big job. The TTC It is a Western reaction to the efforts of China and others (especially Russia after the invasion of Ukraine) to build and control the physical supply chain that underpins the autocratic digital world. “The big question is whether the democratic government can develop meaningful alternatives,” explains Marietje Schaake, Stanford University’s Cyber ​​Policy Center.With America EU Other countries also need to take the lead in resolving technological differences. According to consultancy Gartner, the pair occupies 55% of the global information technology market and is expected to reach an astonishing $ 4.4 trillion this year.

The TTC In the words of Paul Triolo of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a foreign policy consultancy, it was founded last year as a “transatlantic ministry”.It should be America and the main venue in America EU Adjust policies in the digital domain. Both sides have created 10 working groups, ranging from “technical standards” and “safe supply chains” to “investment screening” and “climate and clean technology”.

Structure of TTC Brussels and Washington agencies and experts can build partnerships that go beyond the occasional encounters that have long dominated cross-Atlantic policymaking. It’s a practical forum where they can resolve their digital differences. Officials once knew little about who was in charge of a particular topic on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Now they can just jump into a video call. ” TTC Has become many conduits of we――――EU “Cooperation,” explains one chair of the council’s working group.

The TTC It has already helped to negotiate in several areas. In particular, regarding the new version of the “Privacy Shield,” an agreement to create a clear legal basis for the flow of personal data across the Atlantic Ocean. The original was withdrawn by the European Court of Justice in 2020. The agreement ruled that US law enforcement agencies did not adequately restrict access to personal data of European citizens.

There are no official negotiations to reform the “Privacy Shield” TTCOn the agenda, they include many of the same officials. One of the major reasons President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were able to announce in March that they had finally reached an “in principle” agreement with each other. I was familiar with it.This provides the basis for more progress TTC..With America EU Attempts at transatlantic cooperation in technology policy would have been futile, according to another official, who couldn’t even agree on data flow.

Another project that benefited from TTC The “Future Declaration of the Internet” announced on April 28 and signed by more than 60 countries.Complement TTCThis document sets out the priority of the “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure” Internet. This effectively describes an alternative to the increasingly dictatorial techniques of China and Russia. Still, it does not primarily target those two forces, and neither is certain to ignore them. Instead, it acts as a warning to other countries trying to copy some of the authoritarian methods of pairing.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spurred the efforts of the council and proved its usefulness. Authorities needed to decide, among other things, how to export blocking technology, how to strengthen cybersecurity defenses, and what to do with Russia’s online disinformation campaign. “It gave us something to cooperate with,” says another. TTC participant.

Not surprisingly, in the light of the war, the strongest proposal in the leaked draft of the “Joint Statement” to be released at the end of the meeting in Saclay is related to security. Both sides want to share more information and harmonize regulations. This is a step that could one day lead to a common list of confidential technologies that keep them out of the hands of the dictatorship. As for the supply chain, the idea is to develop an early warning system, among other things, to avoid the types of bottlenecks that are leading to the current shortage of microchips. Both sides will also pledge to refrain from further “subsidy competition”, which is an obvious danger in the semiconductor industry.

But in most areas, the council’s wool pledge suggests the challenges of the future.of AI, the EU Aims to develop a shared hub / repository of metrics and methodologies for measurement. AI Reliability and AI risk “.In climate change and clean technology, both are “working towards a common common methodology. EU-US Recommendations for selected carbon-intensive products. ” In technology investment, the pair is thinking of holding a “tabletop exercise” to learn how the other side reacts when a Russian or Chinese company knocks to buy a local company. In other words, authorities are still trying to find a common language.

If there are few concrete “deliverables”, it is the United States EU When it comes to regulating big online platforms like Facebook and Google, we still live on a variety of digital planets. The EU Is finishing a series of radical laws, including the Digital Markets Act, which aims to intensify competition, and the Digital Services Act, which manages harmful content. Equivalent bills are unlikely to pass the US Congress. Optimists note that ordinary Americans appear to be open to the idea of ​​such rules, even if they are not elected representatives.

This is partly a function of America’s political impasse, but partly economic nationalism, and many regulated businesses are more American than Europe. The EU Sin of similar protection trade principles: American negotiators TTC Speed ​​up the deployment of two new ways to build a mobile network called Open RAN (Abbreviation for Open Radio Access Network) and “Virtualization”. These should facilitate the emergence of new providers of telecommunications equipment and will intensify competition for Chinese information technology giant Huawei, who has been accused of working closely with spies in Beijing.But open RAN Virtualization also undermines two major European companies, Ericsson and Nokia, which have the same business as Huawei. And they create opportunities for major American cloud providers, especially Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, to join telecommunications.

Once more such conflicts may appear TTC It focuses more narrowly on its original purpose, the challenge to China. “Negotiating Russia’s export controls, which have very little economic impact, is one thing, but it’s much harder for a giant like China to do this,” said Martijn Rasser of the Center for a New American Security. Says. tank. China is at the heart of most technology supply chains.With America EU There is a big investment there.

Another problem is that neither side can really trust to keep that promise. If Donald Trump is reelected in 2024, or if another Trump-like president enters the White House TTC It may be forgotten soon.teeth EU, The European Court of Justice may also withdraw a new version of “Privacy Shield”. Similar proceedings are possible in the United States. “This is a legitimate Rubik’s cube,” says Peter Swire of Georgia Institute of Technology, who helped create a new contract that hadn’t been announced yet.

Count chips

The TTCAdmirers argue that the logical response is to be more ambitious while the council is still possible.They admire their bold purpose, such as creating common rules. AI Strengthen transatlantic cooperation on cybersecurity. Another way to strengthen the group is to involve other like-minded countries in its deliberations, such as Japan and South Korea, as well as large corporations and other organizations. (Major technology companies and other entities informally participate in Saclay’s Pow Wow.)

Some people TTC Democratic “Technology Alliance” Evolves to Digital NATO Biden was asked when he was elected in the second half of 2020. Recent developments suggest that the more likely outcome will be a network of bilateral projects. In April EU We have agreed to such an agreement with India and embarked on a process similar to Japan. Technology is also being discussed in Quad, a security dialogue between the United States, Australia, India and Japan. “The international system is beginning to reflect the industry they are trying to tackle, just as regulations tend to reflect the regulated industry,” said Tyson Barker of the German Foreign Relations Council, another think tank. Says. “Expect the alliance ecosystem.” ■■

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War in Ukraine has spurred transatlantic cooperation in technology

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