Giving Compass' Take:

• In this story from the Hudson Institute, author Robert Spalding discusses the role that government should play in designing the digital world as 5G internet becomes a reality.

• What role can the nonprofit sector in designing the digital landscape of the future? How can the nonprofit sector help society research and understand the implications of 5G internet?

• To learn more about digital security across civil society, click here.


The entire wireless world descended on Barcelona this week for the annual Mobile World Congress. Amidst the fancy new gadgets like folding phones it is important we maintain perspective on the forthcoming transition to 5G. The convergence of big data, AI, and 5G brings benefits, but the societal costs may be steeper than at any time in the history of communications.

On Page 19 of the National Security Strategy (NSS) there is a single line – “We will improve America’s digital infrastructure by deploying a secure 5G Internet capability nationwide.” This has been misinterpreted to mean we just wage war on Chinese telecom manufacturers. Such a plan would have been foolhardy. Instead, the line was meant to rediscover the principles that led to our unprecedented success as a nation, imbedding those characteristics into a redesigned Internet.

When considering how to govern the digital world it is important to remember it is the only manmade domain. The underlying technology defines the laws that must be obeyed and sets the conditions for the kind of digital society we want to live in. Unlike the Constitution, this cannot be written on paper. Rather it must be designed into the technology. Therefore government and not industry should be the starting point for saying what kind of digital world we want. Fortunately, this is no longer a question of technology, but of national will. If built correctly, with no back doors, a secure encrypted nationwide 5G network can restore confidence in data and strengthen our democracy for the Information age.

Read the full article about 5G internet by Robert Spalding at Hudson Institute