WASHINGTON--()--Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US), the Oxford-style debate series, an initiative of The Rosenkranz Foundation, presented its first-ever debate outside of its New York City home base. On Tuesday evening, a standing-room-only crowd at Washington, DC’s Newseum heard four of the country’s leading cyber experts discuss key issues related to the threats and challenges of the nation’s cyber security as they debated the motion “The Cyber War Threat Has Been Grossly Exaggerated.”
“...so if there is a war…cyber attack would be mounted. Now, based on the positions I've occupied inside and outside of government, I can assure you that nation states are preparing for cyber war...”
The team arguing against the motion carried the day. Prior to the debate, 24% of the audience was in favor of the motion, 54 % were against it and 22% were undecided. At the debate’s conclusion, the audience voted again and this time 23% supported the motion, 71% rejected it and only 6% remained undecided.
The evening’s winning team included Vice Admiral (ret.) Mike McConnell, Director of the NSA 1992-96; Director of National Intelligence 2007-2009; currently senior VP at Booz Allen Hamilton and Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; co-founder and faculty co-director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
Marc Rotenberg, Exec Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center and Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist and author and Chief Security Technology Officer of BT argued for the motion.
The debate was produced with underwriting support from Neustar, Inc. WAMU 88.5, the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in the greater Washington, D.C., area, worked with IQ2US and will broadcast the debate, along with the 220 NPR stations that regularly carry the series. Intelligence Squared U.S. debates are also broadcast internationally by the Bloomberg Television network.
John Donvan, correspondent for ABC News Nightline, is moderator of IQ2US debates. Dana Wolfe is the executive producer.
Among the debate’s highlights:
“...so if there is a war…cyber attack would be mounted. Now, based on the positions I've occupied inside and outside of government, I can assure you that nation states are preparing for cyber war...”–Mike McConnell
“The threats are real; the threats are serious; cyber space is not a safe place, but these are not war threats.” – Bruce Schneier
“…let us be truth-tellers about the state of vulnerability in our networks and our endpoints, and then deal with it from there, neither exaggerating nor understating it.” – Jonathan Zittrain
“When we talk about war… we're talking about one nation state going after another nation state with the intent to decimate its economy… overrun its land…threaten its people. That's what war is about.” – Marc Rotenberg
To view transcripts and videos, download audio or video clips or learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. please visit: http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org.
ABOUT INTELLIGENCE SQUARED U.S.
Launched in September 2006, the goal of Intelligence Squared U.S., an initiative of the Rosenkranz Foundation, is to raise the level of public discourse and promote a realization that, on contentious issues, those who challenge the conventional wisdom have intellectually respectable and often persuasive viewpoints. We encourage citizens to “Think Twice” about their opinions and participate in the conversation, and we provide a forum for balanced discussion that transcends emotion and ideology. Through an annual series of 10 live Oxford-style debates, IQ2US brings together experts and audience around public policy and cultural issues.