Can Decentralization Save the Internet?


Since nearly all smartphones in America use Google or Apple operating systems, the joint Google-Apple coronavirus Exposure Notification API was an important tool in the fight against the coronavirus. It took privacy seriously: the Bluetooth information it collected could only be stored locally on smartphones and could not be combined with GPS data. Though over 20 state governments eventually used...

On Electric Vehicles, Congolese Cobalt and Corruption


International security experts and climate change activists have long hoped to replace gasoline vehicles with Electric Vehicles (EVs), to curb society’s oil addiction and combat climate change. Due to recent engineering breakthroughs, EVs will begin to replace gasoline vehicles in the next few years. The plummeting price of lithium-ion batteries – which dropped by 85% between 2010 and 2020 – is a...

Solarium Exercises Compared: 1953 and 2020


By the time the US Cyberspace Solarium Commission released its final report in March, global attention had turned toward containing a real-life virus and its economic fallout. While renewed emphasis on human security is overdue, cyber issues will remain central to the coronavirus response, to improved public health surveillance and to international security. So, did the Commission’s report live...

Var Shankar is a digital strategist and an attorney. His writing focuses on global technology ethics. Var previously practiced law at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was a Senior Editor of the HLS National Security Journal.