A top cyber official at the Defense Department called digital authoritarianism a threat to national security and said the U.S. must invest in partnerships and development of indigenous technology alternatives. 

The U.S national security enterprise is moving its focus away from countering terrorism and toward competition with so-called great power or near peer adversaries. With China rising to the fore as a “pacing threat” for the U.S., it’s status as a state that relies on surveillance of its own people is drawing scrutiny over the national security risks posed by digital authoritarianism.

Digital authoritarianism is a term that describes regimes that use technology to control and repress their populations. While China is certainly not the only purveyor of digital authoritarianism, it is certainly the largest. 

During day four of Defense One’s Tech Summit event Thursday, Mieke Eoyang, deputy assistant defense secretary for…

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