On January 26, at 13:30 PM Moscow time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club hosted a discussion, titled “The Battle of Technological Platforms: Is Multilateral Regulation Possible?” together with the presentation of the report “International Competition and Leadership in the Digital Environment”.
The technology sphere has become one of the most important in the struggle for power in the 21st century. The current situation in the world is similar to the time of the invention of nuclear weapons and the beginning of space exploration, when technological changes began to directly affect the international behaviour of states. By the beginning of the 2020s, we see the formation of two main “technological ecosystems” — the American and the Chinese — both of which are contending for global leadership. The other states are faced with a choice: to connect to one of the existing platforms or start developing their own.
In today’s world, the Internet is becoming a key source of new threats. States do not have uniform approaches to define the concept of “sovereignty in cyberspace”, and international agreements similar to the treaty on outer space, on Antarctica or on delineating airspace are not under development. The dominance of tech giants in the dissemination of information is already a threat to democratic governments. The decisions of the American IT giants to block and delete more than 70,000 accounts, including the accounts of the former US President Donald Trump, can be regarded as an open attempt to remove management tools from states.
How promising does the formation of an independent digital sphere for Russia look like? How can European countries maintain digital sovereignty? How likely is the emergence of global norms for cyberspace regulation? The participants in the discussion answered these and other questions.
Andrey Bezrukov, Associate Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the MFA of Russia (MGIMO); member of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policy; President of the Association for the Export of Technological Sovereignty;
Maxim Suchkov, Director of the Centre for Advanced American Studies, IMI, MGIMO, Russian Foreign Ministry;.
Andrey Sushentsov, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.
Working languages: Russian, English.