• PerspectiveThe U.S. needs an industrial policy for cybersecurity

    Industrial policies are appropriate when market failures have led to the under-provision of a good or service. The cybersecurity industry’s growth has been held back for several reasons, including intractable labor shortages. Vinod K. Aggarwal and Andrew W. Reddie write in Defense One that both the United States and United Kingdom suffer from a documented shortage of skilled programmers and computer scientists working on cybersecurity issues, and the U.S. alone is projected to have a shortage of 1.2 million professionals by 2022, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The market has also been hindered by so-called “information problems,” as firms are often not aware of their own vulnerabilities and avoid sharing information about data breaches given the reputation costs associated with disclosure. So what can the government do about it?

  • CybersecurityHackers seek ransoms from Baltimore and communities across the U.S.

    By Richard Forno

    The people of Baltimore are beginning their fifth week under an electronic siege that has prevented residents from obtaining building permits and business licenses – and even buying or selling homes. These types of attacks are becoming more frequent and gaining more media attention. Every user of technology must consider not only threats and vulnerabilities, but also operational processes, potential points of failure and how they use technology on a daily basis.

  • SurveillanceWhatsApp's loophole reveals role of private companies in cyber-surveillance

    Last month, WhatsApp’s latest security flaw was discovered, a flaw which allow governments to spy on dissidents, activists, and journalists. An Israeli cyber company is reportedly behind the loophole — and not for the first time.

  • SurveillanceBig tech surveillance could damage democracy

    By Chase Johnson

    Data is often called the oil of the 21st century. The more tech companies know about their users, the more effectively they can direct them to goods and services that they are likely to buy. The more companies know about their users, the more competitive they are in the market. But this business model – what I consider spying machines – has enormous potential to violate civil liberties. Big tech is already being used abroad to enhance the power of repressive regimes, as my work and others’ has shown.

  • Post-disaster scamsScam contractors preying on victims of natural disasters

    Following a natural disaster or strong storm like Hurricane Florence, there is usually a second wave of potential destruction – scam artists looking to line their pockets. “After any major weather-related incident, insurance adjusters and contractors swarm the affected area and, unfortunately, some are looking to take advantage of those in distress,” says one expert.

  • PerspectiveSilicon Valley’s scramble for China

    In August 2012, China launched one of its first major “smart city” projects for the remote oil town of Karamay in the autonomous province of Xinjiang. “Information technology is not just about technology. It should be integrated with all aspects of life in our city and make people’s lives more convenient,” said then Karamay Mayor Chen Xinfa. Nafeez Ahmed writes in Coda Story that A report released last year by subsidiary Deloitte China, titled “Super Smart City: Happier Society with Higher Quality,” celebrates China’s drive to build “super smart cities” which integrate data across services like health care, transport, education and public safety. Billed by Deloitte as a virtual utopia, China’s smart cities represent the biggest and most intrusive surveillance architecture ever built by any single nation, according to experts and analysts.

  • PerspectiveHuawei and the U.S.-China supply chain wars: The contradictions of a decoupling strategy

    In two dramatic policy announcements last month, the Trump administration effectively barred U.S. companies and government agencies from buying telecommunications equipment or services from – or selling any components to – Chinese technology champion Huawei. President Donald Trump signed a broadly phrased executive order restricting any transaction of information communication technology (products or services linked to a “foreign adversary” deemed to pose an “unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States”), while the Commerce Department placed Huawei the company and its affiliates on its Entity List – a designation that requires U.S. firms and foreign companies selling products that contain American components to acquire a license from the U.S. government before trading with a blacklisted company. Darren Lim and Victor Ferguson write in War on the Rocks that these moves represent the latest steps towards “decoupling,” the unwinding of the interlocking supply chains and trading relationships that have made the U.S. and Chinese economies so deeply interdependent over the past two decades. Whether deliberate or not, the restrictions on Huawei have prompted some to argue that we are witnessing the collapse of an open, global market for information communication technology goods and services. Others cite the new policies as the latest confirmation of an emerging “economic” or “technology” Cold War between China and the United States.

  • Private securityExelon / Clinton nuclear officers ratify their first contract with NUNSO/LEOSU

    Clinton nuclear security officers working for Exelon at Clinton Power Station have voted on 8 May 2019, to ratify their first contract with the National Union of Nuclear Security Officers NUNSOLEOSU.

  • PerspectiveThe 5G fight is bigger than Huawei

    The latest salvos in the Trump administration’s campaign against Huawei may prove, at best, to be a Pyrrhic victory—or, at worst, directly undermine U.S. interests and objectives. At the moment, it remains unclear how the recent executive order, which creates sweeping authorities to bar and exclude companies or technologies linked to a “foreign adversary” from the United States, and the addition of Huawei to the government blacklist known as the Entity List will be implemented in practice. Elsa B. Kania writes in Foreign Policy that it is not too late for U.S. President Donald Trump to recalibrate toward the smarter approach needed for such a complex challenge. In the process, the U.S. government should also pursue more proactive policies that concentrate on ensuring future American competitiveness in 5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks.

  • PerspectiveChina raises threat of rare-Earths cutoff to U.S.

    With a simple visit to an obscure factory on Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping has raised the specter that China could potentially cut off supplies of critical materials needed by huge swaths of the U.S. economy, underscoring growing concerns that large-scale economic integration is boomeranging and becoming a geopolitical weapon. Keith Johnson and  Elias Groll write in Foreign Policy that Beijing could slam every corner of the American economy, from oil refineries to wind turbines to jet engines, by banning exports of crucial minerals.

  • Climate risk mitigationProfitable climate change solution

    A seemingly counterintuitive approach – converting one greenhouse gas into another – holds promise for returning the atmosphere to pre-industrial concentrations of methane, a powerful driver of global warming.

  • China syndromeGoogle cuts Huawei access to Android software updates

    Google said on Sunday it was rescinding Huawei’s license to use Google’s mobile phone operating system Android, and Google services such as Google maps and YouTube. The move will force the Chinese technology company to rely on an open-source version of the software. The move follows a presidential executive order prohibiting American companies from using telecommunications equipment made by “foreign adversaries” viewed as posing a threat to U.S. national security.

  • China syndromeWhy Huawei security concerns cannot be removed from U.S.-China relations

    By Sascha-Dominik Dov Bachmann and Anthony Paphiti

    Huawei’s role in building new 5G networks has become one of the most controversial topics in current international relations. The U.S. is exercising direct diplomatic pressure to stop states from using the Chinese telecoms giant. The U.S. government regards Huawei as a clear and present danger to national security and argues that any ally opting for Huawei will compromise vital intelligence sharing among these countries in the future.

  • ImmigrationAdministration’s immigration plan prioritizes skills, merit over family

    President Donald Trump is scheduled to announce his long-awaited proposal on immigration Thursday, a plan that aims to move the immigration approval process away from family-ties and humanitarian needs. Administration official said the plan will bolster border security and create a merit-based system, insisting that it is a “competitiveness issue.”

  • CybersecurityHow to break our bad online security habits – with a flashing cyber nudge

    By Emily Collins and Joanne Hinds

    The number of cyberattacks is estimated to have risen by 67 percent over the last five years, with the majority of these data breaches being traced back to human error. The potential risks of such attacks are vast and can have a serious impact on both organizations and individuals. But protecting ourselves against cyber security threats can be extremely complicated.