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Edward Lucas

speaker location icon U.K.

Independent Expert in European and Transatlantic security

Author of ‘Cyberphobia’ and ‘The New Cold War’ and ‘The Snowden Operation’

Award Winning Journalist, Political Commentator and Broadcaster

“If you need a convincing argument for a joined-up EU foreign policy, look no further”
— Guardian

Edward Lucas brings a wealth of experience and a sharp and insightful take on the key issues affecting international security today.   His expertise also includes energy, cyber-security, espionage, information warfare and Russian foreign and security policy

He is also an acclaimed author and versatile speaker.   He gives keynote speeches, moderates conference sessions and takes part in panel discussions at high-level international events.

Formerly a senior editor at The Economist, the world’s foremost newsweekly, he is now a senior vice-president at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He writes a weekly column in the London Times.    He concluded his time at The Economist as the editor responsible for the daily news app Espresso.  He also wrote a weekly syndicated column that has appeared in English and other languages since 2005.

In 1992 he co-founded an English-language weekly in Tallinn, Estonia: the Baltic Independent.  For many years a foreign correspondent, he was based in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Moscow and the Baltic states. He now lives in London.

In 2008 he wrote the  The New Cold War, a prescient account of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, followed in 2011 by Deception, an investigative account of east-west espionage. His latest book is Cyberphobia.

An experienced broadcaster,  he is a regular contributor to the BBC’s Today and Newsnight programmes, and to NPR, CNN and Sky News.   Edward has given public lectures at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and other leading universities.

Lucas is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations. He was also the first foreigner to receive an Estonian electronic identity card. He studied economics at the London School of Economics and Polish at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. He speaks five languages — German, Russian, Polish, Czech and Lithuanian.


Spycraft Rebooted: How Technology is Changing Espionage

 

Technology is turning spycraft upside down. Once, intelligence operations could employ James Bond-style forgeries and disguises to infiltrate a target, but modern-day spies must succeed at the seemingly impossible: to hide in plain sight in a world where everything is visible.

Our technology-reliant lives are a trail of electronic interactions; from card payments to CCTV, we leave involuntary and often unwitting digital footprints. Faking this online trail is hard, while the lack of one is dangerously conspicuous. When even an expertly forged ID has little chance against biometric databases and facial recognition technology, how can open societies’ intelligence agencies continue to operate undercover?

In this gripping, meticulously researched study, drawing on numerous real-life cases, Edward Lucas, an acclaimed espionage expert, tracks the changing landscape of international spycraft—and highlights the West’s growing disadvantage against its autocratic adversaries.


Cyberphobia, Identity, Trust, Security and the Internet

 

Crossing the road, we look both ways. Riding a bicycle at night, we use lights. So why is our attitude towards online security so relaxed? Edward Lucas reveals the ways in which cyberspace is more dangerous than we expect, how passwords provide no significant obstacle to attackers, and how anonymity is easily accessible to anyone — malign or benign — willing to take a little time covering their tracks.

The internet was designed by a small group of computer scientists looking for a way to share information quickly. In the last twenty years it has expanded rapidly to become a global information superhighway, available to all comers, but also wide open to those seeking invisibility. This potential for anonymity means neither privacy nor secrecy are really possible for law-abiding corporations or citizens. Easily faked identities erode the foundations on which our political, legal and economic systems are based. Businesses, governments, national security organisations and even ordinary individuals are constantly at risk and with our ever-increasing dependence on the internet and smart-phone technology this threat is unlikely to diminish—in fact, the target for cyber-criminals is expanding all the time.

Not only does Cyberphobia lay bare the dangers lurking on the internet, it also explores successful defensive cyber-strategies and options for countering transgressors.


The New Cold War, Putin’s Threat to Russia and the West

 

In late 1999 when Vladimir Putin was named Prime Minister, Russia was a budding democracy. Multiple parties campaigned for seats in the Duma, the nation’s parliament. The media criticized the government freely. Now the country is under a repressive regime. Human rights abuses are widespread. The Kremlin is openly hostile to the West. Yet the United States and Europe have been slow to confront the new reality, in effect, helping Russia win the New Cold War.

A prescient and best-selling analysis of the threat posed by the Putin regime in Russia, The New Cold War, originally written in 2007, has been regularly republished and updated as events have vindicated its warnings of Russia’s trajectory under Vladimir Putin: repression at home and aggression abroad. It offers a harrowing portrait of developments inside Russia as well as a sobering political assessment of what the New Cold War will mean for the world

Drawing on new and hitherto reported material, The New Cold War brilliantly anticipated what is in store for the new Russia and what the world should be doing.

“Some dismissed this book as scaremongering. They should re-read it now.”
— Radosław Sikorski, former Foreign Minister of Poland

“It is little comfort for those of us in NATO’s frontline states that this book’s message has been vindicated.”
— Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia

“The only book of some international standing that deals with this issue”
— Jüri Luik, International Centre for Defence Studies

“An outstanding piece of research and a testimony to its author’s thorough knowledge and understanding of Russia in general, and its last seventeen years in particular.”
— Oleg Gordievsky in the Literary Review

“Highly informed, crisply written and alarming … Wise up and stick together is the concluding message in Lucas’s outstanding book”
— Evening Standard

“An impressive polemic arguing that the West still underestimates the danger that Putin’s Russia poses … A useful appeal for vigilance”
— Sunday Times

“Perceptive and accurate … the KGB regime is attempting to restore the Soviet Empire”
— Vladimir Bukovsky, former Soviet dissident

“If you need a convincing argument for a joined-up EU foreign policy, look no further”
— Guardian

“Brilliantly reported, morally unflickered look at what has happened to Russia under Mr. Putin… For bringing the nature of the threat so vividly tolight, Mr. Lucas has performed a public service.”
— Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal

“More than timely — if our politicians had read it and acted when it first came out the West would’t have been caught with its pants down when Russia invaded Ukraine.”
— Adam Zamoyski, Author and Historian

“A remarkably prescient and insightful book about the true nature of Putin’s regime and the threat it poses to Europe, and a gripping read to boot.”
— Philippe Legrain, Former Advisor to the President of the European Commission

“Putin’s turn to the past has vindicated Edward Lucas’s arguments about the nature of the Russian regime. He understood it better and much earlier than the majority of us. Shrewd analysis, brilliantly written — and a sad story.”
— Lilia Shevtsova, Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, Moscow

“Georgia’s recent skirmish showed the Kremlin’s divide and rule tactics in exploiting dithering western multilateralism; Lucas convincingly shows how this bullying, coupled with historical revisionism and the corruption surrounding Russia’s huge gas reserves, is a potentially explosive combination.”
— Financial Times

“The title…The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West, was treated by some reviewers as a bit of a stretch when it first appeared in 2008; since the conflict in Georgia and this winter’s natural gas crisis, though, it has looked more like prescience.”
— The New York Review of Books


The Snowden Operation, Inside the West's Greatest Intelligence Disaster

 

In his sensational book,  Edward Lucas lays bare the naïveté, hypocrisy and sinister background surrounding Edward Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor now living in Moscow. The Snowden Operation, demolishes Snowden’s claim to be a whistleblower. Drawing on 30 years’ experience observing the world of intelligence, Lucas depicts Snowden as at best reckless and naïve, and at worst a saboteur. He stole far more secrets than were necessary to make his case and did so in a deliberately damaging matter. Any benefits to the public debate about issues such as meta-data and encryption are far outweighed by the damage done to the West’s security, diplomacy and economic interests.

The Snowden Operation highlights the inconsistencies and puzzles in the account of events given by the “Snowdenistas”. It explains how Russia could have sponsored Snowden’s data heist — the greatest disaster ever to hit Western intelligence, and one whose effects have neatly suited Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

“An excellent and clear-headed overview of what was valuable to the public in the Snowden leaks, what was damaging about the leaks, why we cannot assume that the undisclosed portions of the cache of documents eluded Russian intelligence operatives, and why why the value of the leaks does not remotely justify the damage they did.”
— Lawfare

“A fascinating and easy-to-read brief look at the greatest intelligence disaster the West has ever experienced….an excellent antidote to that most distressing tendency of liberal societies: masochism.”
— Kyle Orton


Deception, Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West

 

From the capture of Sidney Reilly, the ‘Ace of Spies’, by Lenin’s Bolsheviks in 1925, to the deportation from the USA of Anna Chapman, the ‘Redhead under the Bed’, in 2010, Kremlin and Western spymasters have battled for supremacy for nearly a century.

In Deception Edward Lucas uncovers the real story of Chapman and her colleagues in Britain and America, unveiling their clandestine missions and the spy-hunt that led to their downfall. It reveals unknown triumphs and disasters of Western intelligence in the Cold War, providing the background to the new world of industrial and political espionage. To tell the story of post-Soviet espionage, Lucas draws on exclusive interviews with Russia’s top NATO spy, Herman Simm, and unveils the horrific treatment of a Moscow lawyer who dared to challenge the ruling criminal syndicate there.

Once the threat from Moscow was international communism; now it comes from the siloviki, Russia’s ruthless ‘men of power’.

“This important book is a sequel to the author’s last indictment of the Putin regime, ‘The New Cold War’, which came out four years ago. ‘Deception’ is, if anything, even more devastating.”
— Daniel Johnson in Standpoint

“Putin [and] his friends … are gangsters on a scale that makes Al Capone or the Corleones seem small-time. By forging a partnership between the Kremlin, Russia’s intelligence services and organised crime, they have institutionalised theft and fraud as their country’s principal economic activities. Lucas is right to castigate our folly in treating all this so lightly.”
— Max Hastings in the Sunday Times

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