Information is now the world’s most consequential and contested geopolitical
resource. The world’s most profitable businesses have asserted
for years that data is the “new oil.” Political campaigns—and foreign
intelligence operatives—have shown over the past two American presidential
elections that data-driven social media is the key to public
opinion. Leading scientists and technologists understand that good
datasets, not just algorithms, will give them a competitive edge.
Data-driven innovation is not only disrupting economies and societies;
it is reshaping relations between nations. The pursuit of information
power—involving states’ ability to use information to influence, decide,
create and communicate—is causing states to rewrite their terms of
engagement with markets and citizens, and to redefine national interests
and strategic priorities. In short, information power is altering the
nature and behavior of the fundamental building block of international
relations, the state, with potentially seismic consequences.

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