By James Stavridis and Frances Townsend

Technology and technological advancement have become increasingly important in the day-to-day lives of Americans, especially during the global pandemic. That’s why it is more critical than ever to protect America’s technological advantage against threats from foreign adversaries whose interests do not align with our own when it comes to privacy, national security, and a free and open internet.

For years, the United States has been viewed as the authority on technological innovation, but according to a new poll from the American Edge Project and Ipsos, a large number of American voters believe the U.S. is in danger of falling behind foreign adversaries in this space, and that countries namely China, Russia, and Iran represent a threat to American competitiveness and technological leadership.

According to the poll, the vast majority of voters (81 percent) view it as dangerous for the U.S. to fall behind other countries when it comes to technology, and 71 percent believe the Defense Department, too, will fall behind its rivals if it does not leverage technological innovations from domestic tech companies. With the upcoming elections, concerns about cyberattacks have also grown, with 80 percent of voters noting their concern about an attack on our critical infrastructures.

These sentiments reflect an unavoidable truth — foreign interests have been moving aggressively into American and global markets through platforms that collect and misuse user data and eschew privacy. These same interests are making large investments in technological research and development, intensifying the battle for global tech leadership, and threatening the strength of the United States’ national security and its position on the global stage. What’s more, U.S. intelligence officials recently discovered hacks by Russia into state and local computer networks that could allow broader access to America’s voting infrastructure. These officials have pieced together details of Russia’s potential plans to interfere in the presidential race in its final days.

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