The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
In Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence, Dr. Zegart draws on hundreds of interviews with current and former intelligence officials to examine topics such as how technology is reshaping the U.S. intelligence community, and how the rise of "spytainment", along with gaps in intelligence education at the university level, are fueling conspiracy theories and misperceptions of intelligence. The book, published this year by Princeton University Press, traces the history of congressional oversight of intelligence and examines prospects for the future, as well as examining how threat actors are engaging with cyberspace, and the challenges this poses for the intelligence community.
Dr. Amy B. Zegart is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor of political science, past co-director of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, a contributing writer at The Atlantic, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affairs. She has previously served as a national security analyst for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, and National Public Radio. In September 2021, The Atlantic published two pieces by Dr. Zegart on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.