The revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm hired by the Trump campaign, exploited Facebook data from 50 million Americans should be a wake-up call. Our government is failing to protect us online. Foreign intelligence agencies need only check social media user-agreement boxes to harvest our data and run influence campaigns. Meanwhile, as everything from hospitals to nuclear power plants to Wall Street are connected online, America is increasingly vulnerable. Yet compared with our allies, there is little urgency to tackle the problem.
This is a surprising role reversal. European weakness in the face of national security threats has been a bipartisan headache since the end of World War II. Yet, when it comes to the newest digital threats to the West, like those emanating from Russia, Europe is charting the way, adopting whole-of-society methods for dealing with this new challenge.This article was originally published in Defense One.