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  • MALE SPEAKER: Welcome, everybody,

  • to yet another Authors@Google Talk.

  • Today with us is best-selling New York Times author Peter

  • Singer.

  • He wrote a very important book on cyberwar.

  • Our own Eric Schmidt says, "this is an essential read."

  • My dear colleagues, I will repeat this for you.

  • This is an essential read.

  • So we do have copies of the book on sale.

  • This is the way it looks like.

  • Please go and buy the book, even if you've seen this talk.

  • Peter is a great author in many respects.

  • But what he did for cybersecurity and cyberwar

  • for, in particular, is he expanded

  • on a field that is growing.

  • And that we know is becoming increasingly important not only

  • from the infrastructure standpoint,

  • but also for international relations.

  • I'm going to let Peter actually take it from here.

  • Thank you, Peter.

  • PETER SINGER: Thank you for the kind introduction.

  • So it's a little bit daunting to be

  • talking on this topic at a company like this,

  • because I remember the very first time

  • that I ever saw a computer.

  • My father took me to a science center down in North Carolina.

  • And I got to see a Commodore, if you remember those.

  • And I took a class on how to program,

  • learning an entire new language for the sole purpose

  • of making a smiley face out of the letter m that printed out

  • on one of those old spool printers

  • that you tore the perforated paper off the sides.

  • Remember that?

  • Now since then, the centrality of computers to my life,

  • your life, the entire world, it's

  • almost impossible to fathom.

  • We live in a world where more than 40 trillion emails

  • are sent every single year.

  • The first website was made in 1991.

  • Now, according to your own analytics,

  • there's more than 30 trillion individual web pages out there.

  • Moreover, the internet is not just

  • about compiling and sharing information.

  • It's also having impact out on the real world via the emerging

  • Internet of Things.

  • According to Cisco, we'll see more than 40 billion devices

  • internet-enabled over the next five years,

  • as everything from thermostats to cars to refrigerators

  • to technologies literally not yet invented or imagined all

  • come online and all start to carry

  • on conversations without us.

  • So in short, domains that range from communication to commerce

  • to critical infrastructure to even conflict.

  • 98% of US military communications

  • goes over the civilian-owned and operated internet.

  • All of these spaces are dependent on it.

  • So we're in an age of cyber dependency.

  • But in the short history of the internet,

  • I would argue that we've reached a critical turning point.

  • And it's because while the positive side of cyberspace

  • is rippling out, so too are the risks, the negative side.

  • There's all sorts of ways you can illustrate this.

  • You can illustrate it with the raw numbers.

  • Every second, nine new pieces of malware are discovered.

  • 97% of Fortune 500 companies know that they've been hacked.

  • And the other 3% have been, too, they just

  • aren't willing to admit it to themselves.

  • More than 100 governments have created some kind

  • of cyber military command, some kind of military unit designed

  • to fight and win wars in cyberspace and beyond.

  • And indeed, the very first Pew poll to kick off 2014

  • found that Americans are more afraid of a cyber attack

  • than they are of North Korean nuclear weapons,

  • Iranian nuclear weapons, the rise of China, Russia,

  • or climate change.

  • So these fears, they've coalesced

  • into one of the most rapidly growing industries

  • in the entire world.

  • They've also driven a massive bureaucratic growth

  • at the national governmental level

  • not just in the United States.

  • Just earlier today, France announced

  • that it was spending another $2 billion

  • in its military on cybersecurity issues and cyberwar.

  • But also we see it at the state level.

  • And even at the local level, where

  • you see cities like Los Angeles, for example,

  • creating cybersecurity centers.

  • What all this together means is that for all the hope

  • and promise of the new digital age,

  • we also live in an era of cyber insecurity,

  • if we're really being honest about it.

  • And so before I go much further, it's

  • at this point I'm going to try and do

  • something that's a little bit counterintuitive,

  • but will maybe help make that point about cyber insecurity.

  • And a lot like the challenge of trying

  • to write a book about cybersecurity

  • and make it interesting, you also

  • have the challenge of how do you give a talk about it

  • and give visuals that make it interesting.

  • So what I did-- and with Boris's help,

  • hopefully it will play for us here

  • --is I've assembled what I think are

  • some of the best illustrations of cyberwar art,

  • and some of the worst illustrations of it.

  • And it's going to play in front of me.

  • I'm not going to speak to it.

  • It's just going to continue to flash for a couple reasons.

  • One, to tell that story of cyber insecurity.

  • But also because data has found that you're

  • 60% more likely to retain what I'm

  • saying if you look at a picture.

  • Even if the picture has nothing to do with what I'm saying,

  • it's just the way us humans work.

  • And that actually goes to a broader lesson

  • that the book explores, and we'll talk about it later on.

  • Which is that we're humans, we're strange, we're weird,

  • but that's what drives all of these things.

  • So let's pull back on all this and wrestle

  • with the question of why a book on cybersecurity and cyberwar,

  • and why now?

  • There's two quotes that motivated

  • me that basically encapsulate this.

  • The first is from President Obama,

  • who declared that cybersecurity risks pose quote,

  • "The most serious economic and national security

  • challenges of the 21st century."

  • The second quote is from the former CIA director,

  • who said quote, "Rarely has something been so important

  • and so talked about with less and less clarity and less

  • apparent understanding."

  • And you can see, I really do want to talk to this one,

  • but we'll keep moving on.

  • So let's explore this gap.

  • We see it in all sorts of fields.

  • From the 70% of business executives--

  • not 70% of CTOs, CSOs, CIOs --but 70%

  • of business executives in general, in any industry, who

  • have made a cybersecurity decision for their company

  • despite the fact that no major MBA program teaches it

  • as part of your normal business management

  • training and responsibility.

  • That same kind of gap in training

  • happens at the schools we teach our diplomats, our lawyers,

  • our journalists, our generals.

  • Or anecdotes.

  • And there's just an array of funny,

  • but in a certain way sad, anecdotes that

  • populate the book.

  • From the opening of the book where a Pentagon official is

  • telling us how important this all is,

  • but he describes it as "this cyber stuff."

  • When you can only call something stuff,

  • but you know it's important, that's

  • not a good place to be in.

  • Or the former Secretary of Homeland Security,

  • the agency that is ostensibly in charge of cybersecurity

  • on the civilian side for the United States--

  • who has actually now taken over as Chancellor of the university

  • system out here in California --who proudly talked

  • to us about the fact that she doesn't use email.

  • And in fact hasn't used social media for over a decade.

  • Not because she doesn't think it's secure,

  • but because she just doesn't think it's useful.

  • That same phenomena is happening on the Judicial Branch.

  • Where, for example, a Supreme Court Justice

  • talked about how they quote, "Hadn't yet

  • gotten around to email."

  • Now this is obviously worrisome to folks

  • here working on the Gmail account.

  • But there's a broader question of what

  • does this mean for Justices that in the upcoming year

  • are going to