Ideas. Action. Results.

The Global Digital Challenge Initiative
May 18, 2016 - 8:00 to 11:45 a.m. ET

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May 18, 2016
8:00 – 11:45 a.m. ET
Bipartisan Policy Center
Washington, D.C.

What is the issue? Today’s global economy is increasingly driven by digital technology and associated services. From big data analytics and cloud services to the emergence of the Internet of Things, the digital economy has the potential to add an additional $1 trillion to global growth by 2020.

Achieving this goal depends not only on continued innovation, but also ensuring that the online world remains safe, secure, and uninhibited. Intellectual property theft, unclear or contradictory international data regulations, and restrictive national Internet policies all impede the growth of the global digital marketplace. Identity theft, online organized crime, and nation-state backed cyber attacks, make the digital world more dangerous and extremely costly to businesses and consumers.

Prosperity and security are two sides of the same digital coin. Yet a gap between industry and government persists: in understanding, in language, and in dialogue.

Now is the time we must come together as leaders—in policy, in technology, in business, and in government—to break down the growing divisions, embrace the mutually dependent goals of fostering growth, mitigating risks, and protecting America’s economic assets; to have the difficult conversations; and to move towards actionable solutions.

To overcome these differences, the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs and the Bipartisan Policy Center hosted The Global Digital Challenge Initiative.

The initiative brought together leaders in the policy, business, and technology communities to discuss critical issues facing the United States and the global digital economy. It offered participants a unique opportunity to engage with peers and counterparts, hear from leaders in industry and government, and network during a forum designed to begin working towards alignment of interests.

Who spoke?

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce

Who attended?

Policymakers, thought-leaders, and experts in technology, government, academia, and security. The goal of the initative is to bring together experts from Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., and all points in-between to recognize each other’s interests and identify an alignment of interests towards strengthening the future of America’s digital economy.

Event Video

Introduction and James Clapper's Keynote Address [bc][/bc] Penny Pritzker's Keynote Address [bc][/bc] First Panel Discussion [bc][/bc] Second Panel Discussion [bc][/bc]

Advisory Council


Mike Rogers
Founder, Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs

Jason Grumet
President, Bipartisan Policy Center

Council Members

Alfred Berkeley
Former President and Vice Chairman, Nasdaq

Chris Crane
President and CEO, Exelon Corporation

Don Dixon
Managing Director and Co-Founder, Trident Capital

Kevin Mandia
CEO, FireEye

Paul Otellini
Former President and CEO, Intel Corp.

Julie Sweet
Group Chief Executive-North America, Accenture

Ellen Tauscher
Former Representative and Deputy Undersecretary of State

Affiliated Experts

The Digital Challenge Initiative draws input and analysis from a diverse group of experts including members of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s national security team, current and former senior staff members of the House Intelligence Community, staff from Sandia National Laboratories, and members of academia.

What was discussed?

Our discussions focused on two critical areas:

Growing the Digital Economy: Today’s digital economy transcends borders in ways unimaginable just five years ago, let alone a decade ago. Data respects no national boundaries and technological progress continues to outpace policy.

Data Integrity, Accessibility and Protection: Individuals, companies, critical infrastructure, and government are all at risk from unsecure networks, but there is little agreement about how to protect from a growing range of threats.

Latest News

The Encryption Debate
By Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes

“The argument over encryption between Apple and the FBI reminds us that the world is facing a far more tech-savvy terror threat. While not that long ago al Qaeda often handled its communications by going back to the Stone Age relying on mules and couriers, the Islamic State, or ISIS, proved it can be done with just a push of a button using everyday tools of 21st century teenagers: the latest smartphones and messaging apps.”

Shedding Light on ‘Going Dark’: Practical Approaches to the Encryption Challenge
BPC Event

BPC held a conversation with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as they rolled out their legislation creating the McCaul-Warner Digital Security Commission followed by a panel discussion highlighting the need to take action on this critical issue.

Apple vs. FBI is a sign of a dangerous divide
By Mike Rogers and Jason Grumet, CNN

“Apple’s decision to fight a court order to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino, California, attack last year is just the latest example of the dangerous divide between Washington and Silicon Valley.”

Fostering an open, secure digital economy
Interview – McKinsey Global Institute

“US secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker discusses efforts to make the Internet a free, open, and available asset—while respecting user privacy and providing security.”

Government reveals details about energy grid hacks
By Jose Pagliery, CNNMoney

“Newly released documents from the Department of Homeland Security are finally shedding some light on what exactly hackers are doing when they sneak into the American electrical grid. The DHS intelligence assessment — originally dated January 27, 2016 — was published by Public Intelligence, a research project that shares secretive documents to educate people. Some of the attacks described in the report are potentially serious.”

Losing Privacy and Security
By Daniel J. Rosenthal and Jamil N. Jaffer, U.S. News & World Report

“In moments of true national crisis, Congress has often answered the call, demonstrating true leadership and courage by identifying solutions to some of our nation’s most challenging problems. For all its current failings (and there are many), Congress needs to engage now, in a meaningful and bipartisan way, to broker a sensible solution between the tech sector and the government.”

Decrypting Our Security: A Bipartisan Argument for a Rational Solution to the Encryption Challenge
By Jamil N. Jaffer, George Mason University Law School; and Daniel J. Rosenthal, Kroll – Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology

“Recent terrorist attacks in Garland, Texas, Paris, France, and more recently in Brussels, Belgium, and San Bernardino, California, have vividly demonstrated the increasing threat the United States faces at the hands of international terrorism. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the U.S. government has taken major steps, over the course of years, to bolster its ability to detect and thwart attacks on the homeland. These tools—in particular the collection of content of overseas communications pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008—have proven critical to the government’s ability to protect the homeland from terrorist threats.”

The Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs

The Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs builds upon Mike Rogers’ reputation for building coalitions on the most difficult issues. As chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rogers successfully shepherded the intelligence community through some of its most difficult challenges and regularly crossed the aisle to build bipartisan coalitions on key security issues facing America.

For more information, email [email protected].