2013 was the year of cybersecurity

Cybersecurity came up so many times in 2013 that it was easy to miss how quickly and completely it became a central feature of how we think about U.S. foreign policy and national security. Partly, this was an inevitable result of technology becoming more pervasive. And partly it was just an extension of things that had begun in earlier years, such as the U.S. use of cyberattacks on the Iranian nuclear program, which started in 2010.But there was something more than that. Cybersecurity was everywhere in 2013. It played an unusually significant role in big, important stories such as the U.S.-China relationship and the Syrian civil war. At times, it was the story: the rise of the “hack back” industry or, most famously, the revelations of National Security Agency snooping leaked by Edward Snowden. Countries are trying to figure out how to navigate a world in which hacking plays an increasingly important role — and so, for that matter, are regular Internet users around the world. You might say that 2013 was the year that cybersecurity became, like it or not, an enduring and major feature of foreign policy and national security writ large.

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