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President Obama attempted to portray a tone of power and confidence at the G-20 summit in Beijing, but his message was conflicted when it came to the Internet.
While Obama emphasized the digital strength of the United States, he also called for international agreements to stop hacking each other’s governments.
President Barack Obama called for a series of international agreements to regulate activity on the Internet, citing his preference not to start an arms race in cyberspace.
“What we cannot do is have a situation in which suddenly this becomes the Wild, Wild West,” President Obama said during a press conference in China on Monday after the G-20 Summit, referring to every country using the Internet as they wished, including using it to hack into other countries’ data.
Of course, multiple government agencies -including the NSA itself- have been reportedly hacked in the past year. Most recently, it was discovered that hackers (possibly Russian) have accessed American voter rolls.
But still, Obama insisted regulations were needed to establish general standards for digital behavior, not because the U.S. specifically needed the hacks to stop.
Obama asserted, however, that America was winning the Internet battle, despite repeated hacks into the data controlled by the United States.
“Frankly, we’ve got more capacity than anybody, both offensively and defensively,” [Obama] said, referring to a growing escalation of cyber capabilities from other governments.
I’m sure Obama was just, ahem, “asking for a friend.”