U.S. leadership critical in privacy protection, Warner says

Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., spoke about the importance of ensuring the U.S. continues its leadership on data privacy, at a Nov. 1 conference sponsored by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

If the United States continues to cede leadership on data protection and privacy laws, China could start to set the rules, said Warner, the vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus. “That worries me, and it should worry us all.”

Warner said Russia, China and other foreign adversaries would like nothing more than to see the United States continue to distance itself from democratic allies and surrender America’s leadership position in a rules-based international order that has kept the world peaceful and prosperous since World War II.

“We know Russia intervened in our 2016 election … and used social media in ways that were unprecedented” in spreading misinformation and disinformation, Warner said, adding that he expects to see more election interference in the future.

Warner said the nation should recommit to the notion that America leads by adhering to the rule of law and “no one, not even the president of the United States, is above that rule of law.”

Warner also said the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a warning sign. “When we move away from the notion that America stands for a free press everywhere and human rights everywhere, then the world wonders.”


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