• China syndromeRejecting U.S. Pressure and Security Concerns, U.K. to Give Huawei Role in 5G Development

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears set to give the go-ahead for Chinese telecom giant Huawei to play a role in the development of Britain’s 5G wireless network — a move that risks jeopardizing intelligence-sharing between Britain and America, according U.S. officials.

  • China syndromeLetting “A Fox Loose in A Chicken Coop”: U.K. Intel Anxious about Huawei Deal

    High-level officials at the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British equivalent of the U.S. NSA (and Britain’s largest intelligence agency), said they were concerned about the imminent decision by the government of Boris Johnson to allow Huawei access to the U.K.  new telecoms network infrastructure. A high-level GCHQ source told The Times that handing Huawei access the U.K. telecom networks would be akin to “letting a fox loose in a chicken coop.”

  • PerspectiveAn Open Source Effort to Encrypt the Internet of Things

    End-to-end encryption is a staple of secure messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal. Such encryption ensures that no one—even the app developer or the device manufacturer—can access the user’s data as it travels the web. “But what if you could bring some version of that protection to increasingly ubiquitous—and notoriously insecure—Internet of Things devices?” asks Lili Hay Newman.

  • SurveillanceIsraeli Court to Hear Case against Spy-Software Company NSO Behind Closed Doors

    On Thursday, a judge at Tel Aviv’s District Court begin hearing arguments as to why Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) should revoke the export license of NSO Group. The firm’s Pegasus software has been used to target journalists and activists in several countries – including in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Costly disastersTropical Cyclones Causing Billions in Losses Dominate 2019 Natural Catastrophe Picture

    Natural catastrophes cause overall losses of $150 billion, with insured losses of about $52 billion. Severe typhoons in Japan cause the year’s biggest losses. Hurricane Dorian, the strongest hurricane of the year, devastates the Bahamas, but the U.S. mainland was largely spared. Humanitarian tragedy caused by cyclones in Mozambique, with more than 1,000 deaths.  – Better protection is urgently needed

  • ArgumentWhy Britain's Spooks Are Wrong to Downplay the Risks of Huawei

    The U.K. wants Huawei’s 5G technology because of what John Hemmings correctly describes as the company’s “laughably cheap prices” (Huawei’s prices are cheap because the company is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government). Hemmings writes that it is this desire for inexpensive technology which leads British decisionmakers – among them Sir Andrew Parker, the outgoing director of MI5, Britain’s spy agency — to ignore the geopolitical context of an increasingly authoritarian China, which is funding Huawei’s expansion across Europe, and also ignore the reason behind China’s promotion of Huawei: The fact that China is the leading source of global cyber espionage.

  • PerspectiveLatest “Intrusion Truth” Data Dump Peels Back Layers on Chinese Front Companies

    Intrusion Truth, the anonymous group which gained a name for itself by publishing detailed blog posts about suspected nation-state hackers, released new information last Thursday detailing how Chinese technology companies are recruiting attackers working on Beijing’s behalf.

  • Nuclear powerThe Costs of Closing Germany’s Nuclear Power Plants

    Many countries have phased out production of nuclear energy because of concerns related to nuclear waste and the risk of nuclear accidents. A new study explores Germany’s decision, after the 2011 Fukushima accident, to replace nuclear power with fossil-fuel power generation, finding that the switch to fossil fuel-fired power resulted in considerable increases in pollution at an estimated annual social cost of about $12 billion.

  • PerspectiveRussian Spies Hacked Ukrainian Gas Company at Heart of Trump Impeachment Trial, Company Says

    Operatives of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service which orchestrated the hacking and social media campaign in 2016 to help Donald Trump win the election, have hacked Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company which is at the center of the upcoming impeachment trial of Trump. In 2019, Trump withheld congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Ukraine to help him undermine the candidacy of former vice president Joe Biden by having Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’a president, announce that Ukraine was launching an investigation of Burisma, on whose board Joe Biden’s son served from 2014 to 2019.

  • China syndromeU.S. in Last-Ditch Effort to Sway U.K.’s Huawei Decision

    The government of Boris Johnson will today (Monday) face last-minute lobbying blitz by the Trump administration to exclude Huawei from the U.K. 5G network. Johnson’s decision is expected before the end of the month, and the U.S. has threatened that intelligence sharing with the U.K. would be restricted if Johnson did not block Huawei. The U.S. intelligence community has evidence that Huawei is using its technological reach to serve as the eyes and ears of the Chinese intelligence services.

  • SuperbugsTackling the Problem of Antimicrobial Resistance

    The CDC recently announced in its latest report that each year 2.8 million Americans are infected with a drug-resistant organism, and that 35,000 of them would later die. The antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is not new, though, and the problem has been growing for decades, but now it seems that we’re starting to truly take it seriously.

  • Rare earth mineralsSustainable Supply of Rare Earth Minerals Key to Low-Carbon Energy Future

    The global low-carbon revolution could be at risk unless new international agreements and governance mechanisms are put in place to ensure a sustainable supply of rare minerals and metals, a new study has warned.

  • 2019: Looking back: Cyber4. Chinese Firms Secretly Own Leading VPNs

    China’s efforts to implement its persistent surveillance approach outside its borders go beyond helping Huawei to make the company’s 5G technology more competitive, and thus more appealing, to Western and non-Western countries. A recent study found that almost a third (30 percent) of the world’s top virtual private network (VPN) providers are secretly owned by six Chinese companies.

  • Perspective: Terror financingISIS Is Experimenting with This New Blockchain Messaging App

    The Islamic State has discovered blockchain. The technology which powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum promises to revolutionize almost all facets of society, from payment processing to online voting. David Gilbert writes that now ISIS is actively testing a blockchain-based messaging app that could provide everything it needs to thrive: secure, anonymous communication, a tamper-proof repository for beheading videos and other ISIS propaganda, and perhaps most ominously, the ability to transfer cryptocurrency anywhere in the world.

  • Perspective: Online killer marketClick Here to Kill

    The idea of an online assassination market was advanced long before it was possible to build one, and long before there was anything resembling the dark web. Susan Choi writes that a threshold had been crossed: advances in encryption and cryptocurrency make this dark vision a reality: Journalists at BBC News Russia confirmed that on 12 March 2019, the first known case of a murder being ordered on the dark web and successfully carried out by hired assassins. The FBI and DHS are worried.