Baker Institute expert available to comment on 2013 Internet Governance Forum


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Baker Institute expert available to comment on 2013 Internet Governance Forum
Bronk: Snowden leaks make it no longer permissible for the US to exert global Internet leadership

HOUSTON – (Oct. 22, 2013) – This week diplomats, academics and policy activists are convening in Bali to discuss the future of Internet governance. While the outcome of the 2013 Internet Governance Forum is still unclear, it will not go well for the delegation from the United States, according to a cybersecurity expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.


Christopher Bronk, a fellow in information technology policy at the Baker Institute and a former U.S. State Department diplomat who specializes in cybersecurity issues, said the leaks by Edward Snowden make it no longer permissible for the U.S. to exert global leadership regarding the governance of the Internet.

“Snowden’s leaks add up to a fairly significant invalidation of two core tenets of the intelligence operations undertaken by the United States,” Bronk said. “First, that the individual privacy of citizens of those nations isn’t infringed upon by their intelligence activities, and, second, that those countries are above conducting some form of economic espionage via cyberspace. This is an enormous reverse for the United States, the chief setter of norms for cyberspace, an area of economic and social activity largely constructed and built out by firms concentrated in Silicon Valley.”

Bronk concluded, “While we should worry about a cyberattack that makes the lights go out, we should accept the magnitude of the Snowden leaks and the degree to which the desire for intelligence at any cost has damaged the United States’ capacity to continue as the ultimate steward of the Internet.”

Bronk holds additional appointments in the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies, Rice University’s Department of Computer Science and the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media who want to schedule an interview with Bronk. For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.


Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Bronk biography:

Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.