• U.K.: Tory MPs Rebel against Government’s Huawei’s Plan

    The U.K. government has launched an all-hands-on-deck effort to contain a growing rebellion by Tory MPs who want to ban the use of Huawei’s equipment in the U.K. 5G telecoms network, arguing that allowing the Chinese company, with its close ties to China’s intelligence and military establishments, any access to the country’s communication infrastructure would be like inviting a fox to guard the hen house.

  • American Observers Threatened over Guyana Election Results

    Tensions are rising in newly oil-rich Guyana with nearly 100 percent of the votes now reported from Monday’s national election. The governing APNU party appears to have lost to the opposition Peoples Progressive Party (PPP). International elections observers – mostly Americans – are now being menaced and threatened by APNU to leave or face arrest. Guyana’s election is being watched closely because the winner will be in control of a coming oil boom which will transform Guyana. In December Exxon began commercial exploitation of a huge 2016 oil discovery off the coast, and production is expected to grow from 52,000 barrels per day to over 750,000 by 2025.

  • Lawmaker Presses Clearview AI on Foreign Sales of Facial Recognition

    Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts earlier this week raised new concerns about Clearview AI’s facial recognition app. Markey initially wrote to Clearview in January 2020 with concerns about how the company’s app might violate Americans’ civil liberties and privacy. Clearview is marketing its product to users in foreign countries with authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia. The company might also be collecting and processing images of children from social media sites.

  • Extreme Weather Events Could Bring Next Recession

    Physical climate risk from extreme weather events remains unaccounted for in financial markets. Without better knowledge of the risk, the average energy investor can only hope that the next extreme event won’t trigger a sudden correction, according to new research. Experts say that the market needs to plan for weather risk, or face extreme correction.

  • Bipartisan Bill Would Reimburse Telcoms for Replacing Huawei’s, ZTE’s Equipment

    New bipartisan legislation aims to protect American communications networks from threats presented by foreign suppliers like Huawei and ZTE. The “rip and replace” part of the legislation would offer relief to reimburse smaller telecommunications providers – largely in rural areas – by reimbursing them for the costs of removing and replacing untrusted foreign equipment.

  • “Surfing Attack” Hacks Siri, Google with Ultrasonic Waves

    Ultrasonic waves don’t make a sound, but they can still activate Siri on your cellphone and have it make calls, take images or read the contents of a text to a stranger. All without the phone owner’s knowledge.

  • Could Coronavirus Really Trigger a Recession?

    Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy. The worry is understandable; viruses are scary things. The 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, also known as the Spanish flu, killed at least 50 million people worldwide, with some estimates putting the number as high as 100 million. In the U.S., almost 1 of every 3 people became infected, and 500,000 died. Even for those who survived, there were numerous cases of long-term physical disability. Fortunately, the adverse economic impacts were short-lived. With today’s more mobile and interconnected world, however, some suggest any large-scale pandemic would be much more severe, with costs in the trillions. Even if the death rates are relatively low, the economy can still suffer. These economic impacts would likely come in four forms: shortages of products from China, reduced sales to China, a drop in consumer spending based on fears about the virus and falling stock prices.

  • Sen. Rubio Wants Review of Sale of AT&T Unit Operating in Central Europe to a “China proxy”

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is asking U.S. officials to review the national-security implications of AT&T’s planned sale of its majority stake in Central European Media Group Enterprises (CME) to PPF Group, a Czech-owned conglomerate, because of PPF’s record of acting as “China’s proxies” inside the Czech Republic. Rubio charges that PPF has “supported China’s malign activities abroad.”

  • U.S. Mine Produced $86.3 Billion in Minerals in 2019

    U.S. mines produced approximately $86.3 billion in minerals in 2019 –- more than $2 billion higher than revised 2018 production totals. The U.S. continues to rely on foreign sources for some raw and processed mineral materials. In 2019, imports made up more than one-half of U.S apparent consumption for 46 nonfuel mineral commodities, and the U.S. was 100 percent net import reliant for 17 of those. The domestic production of critical rare-earth mineral concentrates increased by 8,000 metric tons (over 44 percent) in 2019 to 26,000 metric tons, making the U.S. the largest producer of rare-earth mineral concentrates outside of China.

  • Identifying the Greatest Risk to U.S. Mineral Resource Supplies

    Policymakers and the U.S. manufacturing sector now have a powerful tool to help them identify which mineral commodities they rely on that are most at risk to supply disruptions. The risk tool identified 23 mineral commodities whose supply poses the greatest risk, including those used in consumer electronics, renewable energy, aerospace, and defense applications.

  • Growing Tory Opposition to Boris Johnson’s Huawei Decision

    David Davis, a leading Conservative MP and a former Brexit Secretary, has warned that allowing Chinese technology giant Huawei to build some of the infrastructure for the U.K. 5G communication network could be seen as “the worst decision made by a British prime minister.” The government Huawei move represented the “worst intelligence decision since MI6’s recruitment of Kim Philby,” Davis said, adding that if the government allowed Huawei access to the U.K. 5G infrastructure, then “We are handing the keys to large parts of the country over to China.” Davis was blunt: “This is the ground on which future wars will be fought.”

  • How Bad Are Cyberattacks for the Economy? Assessing the Damage

    Anna Scherbina, an associate professor of finance at Brandeis International Business School, served from 2017 to 2019 as a senior economist on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, where, among other things, she wrote the chapter on cybersecurity in the 2018 Economic Report of the President. She drew particular attention to data breaches and concluded with her colleagues that malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, or upwards of 0.58 percent of gross domestic product.

  • 5G Choices: A Pivotal Moment in World Affairs

    It is disappointing that the Brits are doing the wrong thing on 5G, having not exhausted other possibilities. Instead they have doubled down on a flawed and outdated cybersecurity model to convince themselves that they can manage the risk that Chinese intelligence services could use Huawei’s access to U.K. telco networks to insert bad code. But if your telcos have a 5G operation and maintenance contract with a company beholden to the intelligence agencies of a foreign state, and that state does not share your interests, you need to consider the risk that you are paying a fox to babysit your chickens.

  • Protecting Anonymity of Glassdoor Commenter

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is asking a state court to protect the identity of an anonymous Glassdoor commenter who is being targeted by their former employer. EFF filed a motion to quash a subpoena for identifying information of its client after the cryptocurrency exchange company known as Kraken filed suit against several anonymous reviewers seeking to identify them based upon a claim that they breached their severance agreements. Speakers’ opinions about their former workplace are protected by the First Amendment, EFF says.

  • Sea Level Rise to Cause Major Economic Impact If No Climate Action Is Taken

    Rising sea levels, a direct impact of the Earth’s warming climate, is intensifying coastal flooding. The findings of a new study show that the projected negative economy-wide effects of coastal flooding are already significant until 2050, but are then predicted to increase substantially towards the end of the century if no further climate action on mitigation and adaptation is taken.