• CybersecurityThwarting Cybersecurity Attacks Depends on Strategic, Third-Party Investments

    Companies interested in protecting themselves and their customers from cyber-attacks need to invest in themselves and the vendors that handle their data, according to new research. To mitigate risks, the researchers recommend companies that are typically competitors become allies in strengthening cyber security supply chains.

  • PerspectiveGermany Chooses China Over the West

    Over U.S. and European Union objections, the German government is poised to put in place newly drafted security requirements that do not set clear limits on the Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE supplying technology for German fifth-generation cellular networks. Berlin’s refusal to shut Huawei out of its 5G networks weakens Europe’s prospects of standing up to Beijing.

  • Perspective: California powerPG&E Warns of Ten Years of Power Shut-Offs. California Officials Don’t Like It

    California residents face up to 10 years of widespread, precautionary forced power shut-offs until Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., the bankrupt utility giant, will be able to prevent its power transmission lines from sparking fires, the company’s top official said. Howard Blume writes for the Los Angeles Times that the sobering projection came from company Chief Executive William D. Johnson at an emergency meeting Friday of the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco.

  • Perspective: Post-disaster reconstructionBans on Rebuilding in Disaster-Prone Areas Ignore Homeowners Preferences – Raising Costs Works Better

    As California’s wildfire season intensifies, a growing number of residents in the state want to ban people from building in areas at greatest risk. That’s because taxpayers bear the burden of protecting homes in dangerous areas when fire breaks out – and they often help foot the bill when it’s time to rebuild. A recent assessment showed that 1 in 4 Californians live in an area at “high risk” of wildfire. And people tend to want to rebuild in the same spot that was hit by a disaster. Alexander Smith writes that as a behavioral economist who studies the psychology of decision-making, he tries to understand people’s motivations before taking a position in a policy debate. He believes there’s a better way for policymakers to achieve the same goal of getting people to avoid building in disaster-prone areas without forcing people from their homes.

  • Perspective: China syndromeA Healthy Fear of China

    “I have seen the future, and it works,” the left-wing journalist Lincoln Steffens famously declared, after observing Bolshevik Russia in its infancy. What was intended as a utopian boast soon read as a dystopian prediction — but then eventually, as Stalinist ambition gave way to Brezhnevian decay, it curdled into a sour sort of joke. Today, though, there is a palpable fear in the liberal West that Beijing is succeeding where Moscow failed, and that the peculiar blend of Maoist dogmatics, nationalist fervor, one-party meritocracy and surveillance-state capitalism practiced in the People’s Republic of China really is a working alternative to liberal democracy — with cruelty sustained by efficiency, and a resilience that might outstrip our own.

  • PerspectiveU.S. Blacklists 28 Chinese Organizations and Companies over Xinjiang Camps

    Twenty-eight Chinese companies and organizations have been blacklisted by the U.S. for their alleged roles in the running of camps where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Muslims are being detained. The groups have been sanctioned for their alleged roles in facilitating human-rights abuses at the camps in China’s Xinjiang region.

  • Perspective: Economic sanctionsTrump’s Use of Sanctions Is Nothing Like Obama’s

    Two and a half years into Donald Trump’s presidency, there is no doubt that economic sanctions are his administration’s foreign-policy weapon of choice. From China to Iran to Venezuela, sanctions and other coercive economic tools are central to Trump’s maximum pressure campaigns against U.S. adversaries. But he is not only rolling out sanctions more aggressively than his predecessors: He is also using them in new ways. Have Trump’s sanctions worked to advance U.S. national security interests? Peter Harrell writes in Foreign Policy that the record so far is mixed, but that the use of economic sanctions as a policy tool should be informed by history. “Studies of sanctions suggest that they are successful in causing regime change or other major policy changes only about one-third of the time.” Harrell writes. “Regimes have historically shown a significant capacity to dig in and resist economic pressure while letting their people suffer if they deem it necessary for regime survival.”

  • Perspective: Lyme vaccinationWhy There’s Still No Lyme Vaccine for Humans

    There is no vaccine for Lyme disease, and Valneva, a French biotech company focused on developing vaccines for infectious diseases, hopes to change that. Valneva’s Lyme vaccine isn’t the first designed for people. Twenty years ago, Reeder could have been immunized. From 1999 to 2002, SmithKline Beecham—now GlaxoSmithKline—sold a Lyme vaccine called LYMErix. But the company pulled LYMErix off the market after a public backlash and a spate of lawsuits. If the new vaccine does make it to market, will it fare any better than LYMErix?

  • PerspectiveHow Restricting Skilled Immigration Could Spur Offshoring

    The federal government has long allowed American companies to offer temporary employment to highly skilled foreign workers through its controversial H-1B visa program. Proponents believe the program gives firms a competitive edge in pursuit of innovation, while critics contend it pushes aside American workers in favor of immigrants. The H1-B Reform Act of 2004 capped the number of visas available and prompted other changes. Wharton Assistant Professor of Management Britta Glennon says: “U.S. multinational firms have this alternative choice. If they can’t get the skilled immigrants that they want in the U.S., they can just hire them abroad at one of their foreign affiliates. If it’s true that they are just going to hire skilled immigrants elsewhere, then those policies restricting them can backfire.”

  • China syndromeWhat’s at Stake in Trump’s War on Huawei: Control of the Global Computer-Chip Industry

    By Clinton Fernandes

    Silicon Valley may now be more popularly associated with software companies such as Google and Facebook but it takes its name from the material most used to make semiconductors. Semiconductors – or computer chips – power everything from mobile phones to military systems. The semiconductor industry sits at the center of the modern world. This point is key to appreciating what’s going on in the US government’s battle with Chinese technology giant Huawei.

  • PerspectiveA Federal Backstop for Insuring Against Cyberattacks?

    The effects of warfare can be felt well beyond the battlefield. Businesses are interrupted, property damaged, lives lost—and those at risk often seek to protect themselves through insurance. The premiums that insurers charge, however, rarely account for the immense destructive capacity of modern militaries, making wartime claims a potentially existential threat to their fiscal solvency. For this reason, insurance policies routinely exclude “acts of war” from their coverage, leaving it to governmental authorities to decide whether to compensate the victims of such acts while focusing the insurance sector on other, more conventional risks. But what happens when the battlefield moves into cyberspace?

  • Perspective: The Russia connectionDisinformation for Hire: How Russian PR Firms Plant Stories for Companies in U.K. News Outlets, Social Media

    The staples of Russian misinformation campaigns—fake news and social media propaganda—are turning up in a new place: the private sector. Jeff John Roberts writes in Fortune that for a small fee, companies can pay Russian operatives to boost their image or smear their competitors, employing some of the same tactics used by the Kremlin to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election. “The range of services offered by the Russian PR firms is startling,” “Not only do the firms deploy fake accounts on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, but they offer a service to plant news articles in English-language media outlets.”

  • Western hemisphereGuyana: Ethnic Politics and a Coming Oil Bonanza

    Guyana’s president David Granger on Wednesday announced that the earliest day for the delayed parliamentary elections will be 2 March 2020, around the time that ExxonMobil plans to launch offshore oil production which will transform the country’s economy. The ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) party faces a tough challenge from the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), which runs on a platform that promises to toughen the terms of the large oil production contract.

  • PerspectiveChina’s Access to Foreign AI Technology

    Within the pages of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Report, presented in January of this year by former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, is a section titled ‘Emerging and Disruptive Technologies and Threats to Economic Competitiveness’.  The assessment summarizes the Intelligence Community’s concerns about AI and Autonomy. In an example of just what the U.S. Government is worried about, the Justice Department recently filed a criminal complaint against a Chinese government official and associates accusing them of trying to get U.S. universities to sponsor visas for people they described as Chinese research scholars, when in fact, says DOJ, the people had been sent to recruit American scientists. 

  • PerspectiveTech Fight against Online Extremism Gets Overhaul

    Facebook fulfilled a long-standing demand from policymakers and advocacy groups this week when Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced that a coalition of the country’s most powerful tech corporations will be formalizing its counterterrorism efforts into an independent organization with a dedicated staff. As the companies face ramped-up criticism from regulators and lawmakers worldwide, they are expanding the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), which they originally formed to deal with Islamic terrorism online in 2017. The founding members were Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft.