REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS AT A PANEL DISCUSSION ON DIGITAL AND TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES
La Grande Halle de la Villette
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Again, thank you, President Macron, for hosting this forum and this very important meeting.
It is an honor to be here with these distinguished leaders, of course, from government, business, and civil society.
Earlier this evening, I spoke about how we are at the start of a new era in our world. And indeed, as we discussed, the pandemic has been a turning point and a tipping point.
As I have said, our world is more interconnected and more interdependent than ever before. Nowhere is that probably more evident than in the digital domain.
I grew up in California with Silicon Valley literally in my backyard. And I watched, as we all did, the rapid shift from analog to digital technology. We all watched the rise of the Internet and of social media.
And it is undeniable: Technology has the power to unlock opportunity for the people of the world. There are people using the Internet to share information and opinions, activists using social media platforms to speak out for justice, scientists using satellite images to mitigate the impact of climate change, innovators using technology to help low-income nations leap forward.
Mobile banking is giving more people the opportunity to participate in the global economy.
And, of course, as we’ve seen in particular during the pandemic, telemedicine is giving more people the opportunity to consult a healthcare professional.
But just as technology has created more opportunities, it has also created more risks and threats. As a former prosecutor and years as an elected official, I have seen firsthand how women and children have been exploited online and privacy
has been compromised.
I have seen firsthand how hate and violent extremism is stoked online and misinformation can be spread, threatening democracies.
And, of course, we have all seen how autocrats are using technology to crack down on journalists and activists, how hackers and ransomware attacks disrupt critical infrastructure, how foreign interference has undermined democratic elections.
To address these risks and these threats, I am clear that our world must join together. And that is why I am honored to announce that the United States, President Macron, supports the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.
The Biden-Harris administration is committed to working to advance security in cyberspace, to promote stability in cyberspace, and to ensure shared prosperity.
This commitment extends from what we do at home to what we are doing in solidarity with the world.
At home, we have made significant progress. In May, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to make bold improvements to our cybersecurity.
And just last week, our Congress passed a historic bill to upgrade our digital and physical infrastructure.
Similarly, with the world, we have made strides. Together with other nations, our administration has named those responsible for malicious cyber activity. I firmly believe that there must be consequence whenever security and stability are being threatened in cyberspace.
Our nation has also joined the Christchurch Call. And we are determined to work with our allies and partners to eliminate terrorist content online.
For the United States, our approach to the digital domain
is rooted in our democratic principles. We will continue to advocate for an open, secure, and interoperable Internet, and work to ensure that technology helps, not harms, the people of our world.
And I’ll conclude with this: Gathered here tonight — leaders of government, business, and civil society — at the start of this new era, we are all pioneers, standing together in the dynamism of the present, on the brink of the unknown.
It is up to us — all of us — to strengthen our nations and protect our citizens. It is up to us — all of us — to realize the opportunities of technology and minimize the threats.
In a world that is more interconnected and interdependent, let us go forward together.
Thank you. (Applause.)