• The Russia connectionFBI, FTC asked to examine whether FaceApp is a Kremlin’s data-collection tool

    FaceApp is a selfie app designed by a Russian programmer, which uses AI-like techniques to apply various changes to faces, making them look older or younger, adding accessories and even changing their race. On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) sent a letter to the FBI and Federal Trade Commission to investigate the data-collecting and data-retention mechanisms of the Russia-based app — and whether the “personal data uploaded by millions of Americans onto FaceApp may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government.”

  • Perspective: CybersecurityFour Ways Blockchain Could Make the Internet Safer, Fairer, and More Creative

    The internet is unique in that it has no central control, administration or authority, but in recent years internet services such as search engines and social media platforms have increasingly been provided by a small number of very large tech firms. The internet is slowly turning into something like the current financial system, which centrally monitors all transactions and uses that data to predict what people will buy in future. Bitcoin, which surfaced on the internet in 2008, sought to break the influence that large, private bodies have over what we do online. The researchers had finally solved one of the biggest concerns with digital currencies – that they need central control by the companies that operate them, in the same way traditional currencies are controlled by a bank. People researching Bitcoin – and blockchains which undergird it — may have overlooked one of its most useful applications – making the internet better for everyone who uses it.

  • Perspective: TechnologyDo Patents Protect National Security?

    On 12 June, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. had asserted more than 200 patents against Verizon Communications Inc., reportedly demanding more than $1 billion in licensing fees. On its face, this would seem to be a private patent dispute. But, in fact, it is an important turn of events for national security: The Verizon-Huawei dispute contradicts a view espoused by many experts, and even the Trump administration, about the relationship between national security and intellectual property rights such as patents.

  • Perspective: China SyndromeThe Chinese Influence Effort Hiding in Plain Sight

    The 80 Chinese student associations in Germany, which represent 60,000 students from the People’s Republic of China, are pieces of a Europe-wide puzzle of organizations. Perhaps numbering in the thousands, and meticulously fit together by Beijing, these associations support the Chinese Communist Party’s ideology and goals—and its narrative about China—among both Chinese and Europeans, and try to ensure that its overseas citizens, and others of ethnic Chinese descent, are loyal.

  • PerspectiveFormer Heads of DHS and NSA Explain How the U.S. Can Keep Huawei at Bay

    On Wednesday, the FCC opened additional mid-band spectrum to support 5G mobile communications in the U.S., reducing reliance on short-range microwave spectrum that comes with high deployment costs. This move will help to ensure the U.S. doesn’t fall further behind other countries in the adoption of 5G, which is expected to spark $12 trillion in new economic activity by 2035, especially in enabling the internet of things.

  • PerspectiveA New Idea for Fighting Chinese Theft of American Defense Technology

    China is engaged in an organized effort to mass-produce counterfeit goods for resale abroad. This counterfeiting and copyright and trademark infringement harms America’s business owners, consumers, inventors, investors, and workers. China’s campaign of theft simultaneously seeks to obtain U.S. military technology to gain a decisive material advantage in a future armed conflict.

  • China syndromeItaly’s Risky Realignment

    By Etienne Soula

    The Kremlin actively helped two Italian populist parties – The League and the Five Star movement – to reach power in Rome. The goal: Weaken the West and undermine the U.S.-created post-WWII international order. The Italian government is now repaying its supporters, formally endorsing China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is meant to anchor an increasingly proselytizing authoritarian regime as the center of the global economy. Italy is thus helping the world’s most powerful authoritarian state establish a beachhead in southern Europe, threatening European strategic sectors, and publicly distancing itself from the EU’s efforts to respond to a “systemic rival.”

  • Truth decayTruth decay People Who Spread Deepfakes Think Their Lies Reveal a Deeper Truth

    By Mark Andrejevic

    While photographic fakes have been around since the dawn of photography, the more recent use of deep learning artificial intelligence techniques (the “deep” in deepfakes) is leading to the creation of increasingly credible computer simulations. Because the problem seems to be a technological one, it’s tempting to cast about for technological, rather than social or political, solutions. The flaw of such solutions is they assume people and platforms circulating fake information will defer to the truth when confronted with it.

  • PerspectiveHuawei CVs Show Close Links with Military, Study Says

    A study of the employment information of thousands of Huawei staff has revealed deeper links with the Chinese military and intelligence apparatus than those previously acknowledged by China’s biggest telecom equipment maker. The findings are likely to add fuel to the debate among governments around the world over whether to block Huawei’s gear from the rollout of 5G telecoms networks for security reasons.

  • Perspective: ExtremismTransnational Organized Crime and National Security: Hezbollah, Hackers and Corruption

    American law enforcement efforts have become increasingly multifaceted as the government attempts to combat the continuing ingenuity and sophistication of transnational organized criminal groups. Eric Halliday writes in Lawfare that the U.S. government has announced several significant actions taken against transnational organized crime groups. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) promulgated a slew of sanctions against the financial networks of both Hezbollah and Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). The Justice Department announced takedowns of drug trafficking rings spanning the U.S. and Mexico as well as a large-scale organized cybercrime ring composed of members from several Eastern European countries.

  • Perspective: China syndromeHuawei CVs Show Close Links with Military, Study Says

    A study of the employment information of thousands of Huawei staff has revealed deeper links with the Chinese military and intelligence apparatus than those previously acknowledged by China’s biggest telecom equipment maker. The findings are likely to add fuel to the debate among governments around the world over whether to block Huawei’s gear from the rollout of 5G telecoms networks for security reasons. Kathrin Hille writes in the Financial Times that The findings are likely to add fuel to the debate among governments around the world over whether to block Huawei’s gear from the rollout of 5G telecoms networks for security reasons. “Huawei has gone to great lengths saying they have no links with the Chinese military and security institutions,” said Prof. Balding. “The narrative they spin is false — military connections quite clearly run deep.” Analysts said the systemically close ties documented in the study reflected a pattern far beyond Huawei. One expert said such sharing or co-ordination of personnel across defense and commercial research activities was consistent with China’s national strategy for military-civil fusion.

  • Perspective: TradeClosing Pandora’s Box: The Growing Abuse of the National Security Rationale for Restricting Trade

    Over its first two years, the Trump administration has aggressively reshaped U.S. trade policy. One of its most controversial initiatives is the expansive use of national security to justify imposing tariffs and quotas. Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 gives the president authority to restrict imports on this basis after an investigation by the Department of Commerce. The administration has already done so for steel and aluminum and is now threatening similar actions on automobiles. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has a special exception for such measures, so there is at least an argument that they are permitted under international law. The CATO Institute’s Simon Lester and Huan Zhu, in a new Policy Analysis paper, write that the administration, however, has taken what was previously considered a narrow and exceptional remedy and broadened it to serve as a more general tool to protect domestic industries.

  • China syndromeLawmakers fume as Trump allows select U.S. firms to supply Huawei

    National security hawks who normally side with U.S. President Donald Trump on foreign policy issues are up in arms over his announcement on Saturday that he would indefinitely delay the imposition of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods and relax restrictions on U.S. firms doing business with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

  • RansomwareSecond Florida city pays ransom to hackers

    A second small city in Florida has agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom to cybercriminals who disabled its computer system. Days after ransomware crippled the city of about 12,000 residents, officials of Lake City agreed this week to meet the hackers’ ransom demand: 42 Bitcoin or about $460,000.

  • CybersecurityGlobal cybersecurity experts gather at Israel’s Cyber Week

    By Naama Barak

    The magnitude of Israel’s cybersecurity industry was on full show this week at the 9th Annual Cyber Week Conference at Tel Aviv University. The largest conference on cyber tech outside of the United States, Cyber Week saw 8,000 attendees from 80 countries hear from more than 400 speakers on more than 50 panels and sessions.