The Digital Equilibrium Project

Press Release by The Digital Equilibrium Project: “Cybersecurity, government and privacy experts are banding together as part of The ‘Digital Equilibrium Project’ to foster a new, productive dialogue on balancing security and privacy in the connected world. The project aims to address the underlying issues fueling acrimonious debates like the contentious court order between Apple and the U.S. Government.

  • The diverse group includes current and former leaders of some of the world’s largest cybersecurity firms and organizations, former officials in the NSA and national law enforcement, and leaders of some of the nation’s most influential privacy organizations. These individuals believe new thinking and collaboration is needed to avert potential catastrophes as the digital and physical worlds become more interdependent.
  • The group will release its foundational paper ‘Balancing Security and Privacy in the Connected World’ on Tuesday, March 1st at the RSA Conference – the world’s largest cybersecurity conference.
  • This project and related paper, months in the making, seek to end the kinds of standoffs we are seeing between Apple and the U.S. Government, addressing the underlying lack of social norms and legal constructs for the digital world.
  • They will convene a mid-year summit to craft a framework or ‘constitution’ for the digital world. The intent of this constitution is to help guide policy creation, broker compromise and serve as the foundation for decision making around cybersecurity issues. Senior executives from the Justice Department, Apple and other technology firms will be invited to participate…..

Next week the group will publish its foundational paper, crafted over extensive meetings, interviews and working sessions. The paper is meant to foster a new, collaborative discussion on the most pressing questions that could determine the future safety and social value of the Internet and the digital technologies that depend on it. In addition to releasing the paper at the RSA Conference, members of the group will discuss the paper and related issues during a main-stage panel session moderated by Art Coviello, former Executive Chairman of RSA Security, and James Kaplan, a McKinsey partner, on Thursday, March 3rd. Panel members will include: Michael Chertoff, Executive Chairman of The Chertoff Group and former Secretary of Homeland Security; Trevor Hughes, President and CEO of the International Association of Privacy Professionals; Mike McConnell, former Director of the NSA and Director, National Intelligence; and Nuala O’Connor, President and CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology.

The paper urges governments, corporations and privacy advocates to put aside the polarizing arguments that have cast security and privacy as opposing forces, and calls for a mid-year summit meeting between these parties to formulate a new structure for advancement of these pressing issues. It poses four fundamental questions that must be addressed to ensure the digital world can evolve in ways that ensure individual privacy while enabling the productivity and commercial gains that can improve quality of life around the globe. The four questions are:

  • What practices should organizations adopt to achieve their goals while protecting the privacy of their customers and other stakeholders?
  • How can organizations continue to improve the protection of their digital infrastructures and adopt privacy management practices that protect their employees?
  • What privacy management practices should governments adopt to maintain civil liberties and expectations of privacy, while ensuring the safety and security of their citizens, organizations, and critical infrastructure?
  • What norms should countries adopt to protect their sovereignty while enabling global commerce and collaboration against criminal and terrorist threats?

The Digital Equilibrium Project’s foundational paper will available for download on March 1st at