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A New Battlefield: Defining a Cyber Strategy in the 21st Century

March 10, 2018 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Senator Mark R. Warner, Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will join Bobby Chesney and Jamie Metzl for a discussion on what we’ve learned from the 2016 election, the latest on the threats facing our nation, and where we go from here.

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A 2011 Russian operations manual suggests that disinformation “acts like an invisible radiation,” silently and covertly pushing you in the direction that the Kremlin wants. Our nation’s most recent presidential election saw this unleashed on the American public, as Russia mounted an attack on our democracy unlike attacks we’ve experienced before.

Russian influence operations – or “active measures” – in the 2016 presidential campaign have brought to the forefront a new era of conflict, in which missiles are replaced by misinformation, bombers replaced by botnets, and troops-on-the-ground replaced by trolls operating on the far side of the world. The Kremlin took these tools, amplified their effect using social media, and unleashed them on the American public, preying on discord and division already existent in our society.

One thing we’ve learned since the election is that the U.S. was not prepared to defend against this type of operation. Major malware attacks attributed to nation-states, like the WannaCry and NotPetya outbreaks, have further emphasized that absent a coherent doctrine of response, the inability of the U.S. to deter, and therefore prevent, these kinds of attacks, will only encourage their continuance.

About Senator Warner
Senator Mark Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008 and reelected to a second term in November 2014. He serves on the Senate Finance, Banking, Budget, and Rules Committees as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is the Vice Chairman. From 2002 to 2006, he served as Governor of Virginia. The first in his family to graduate from college, Mark Warner spent 20 years as a successful technology and business leader in Virginia before entering public office. An early investor in the cellular telephone business, he co-founded the company that became Nextel and invested in hundreds of start-up technology companies that created tens of thousands of jobs.

About Bobby Chesney
Bobby Chesney holds the James Baker Chair and also serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas School of Law. In addition, he is the Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, a University-wide research unit bridging across disciplines to improve understanding of international security issues. In 2009, Professor Chesney served in the Justice Department in connection with the Detention Policy Task Force created by Executive Order 13493. He also previously served the Intelligence Community as an associate member of the Intelligence Science Board and as a member of the Advanced Technology Board.

About Jamie Metzl
Jamie Metzl is a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council, technology futurist and geopolitical expert, novelist, blogger, syndicated columnist, and media commentator. He previously served as Executive Vice President of the Asia Society, Deputy Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senior Coordinator for International Public Information at the U.S. State Department, Director for Multilateral Affairs on the National Security Council, and as a Human Rights Officer for the United Nations in Cambodia.


RSVP required.

Open to non-SXSW badge holders.

The event will take place on the 16th floor at Capital Factory, in the ACL room.

Press Inquiries, please contact info@austintech.org.


March 10, 2018
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
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Capital Factory
701 Brazos St., 1st Floor
Austin, TX 78701 United States
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