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.”
Please join the Intelligence Project for a conversation with Sir Alexander Younger, former Chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, on "Spying in the Digital Age".
In his talk, Sir Alexander will explore how human intelligence (HUMINT) agencies must evolve and adapt to new social, technological, and geopolitical challenges posed by the digital age. Questions that will be addressed include:
- How are HUMINT agencies thinking and operating in the age of data abundance, machine learning, and AI?
- What is the role of intelligence in democracies in the face of open source competition and ubiquitous surveillance?
- How do intelligence agencies address mis- and dis- information and effectively counter influence operations?
This seminar is open to the Harvard Community, including students, staff, faculty, fellows, and alumni. Advance registration is required.
Sir Alexander Younger KCMG was for 30 years a career intelligence officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. Throughout his career he served in Europe, the Middle East and Afghanistan. He was appointed as Director of Counter Terrorism in 2009, and as Chief from 2014 to 2020. Prior to SIS, Alex served in the British Army as an infantry officer. He attended St Andrews’ University.