• Truth decayOut-of-Context Photos Are a Powerful Low-Tech form of Misinformation

    By Lisa Fazio

    When you think of visual misinformation, maybe you think of deepfakes – videos that appear real but have actually been created using powerful video editing algorithms. The creators edit celebrities into pornographic movies, and they can put words into the mouths of people who never said them. But the majority of visual misinformation that people are exposed to involves much simpler forms of deception. One common technique involves recycling legitimate old photographs and videos and presenting them as evidence of recent events.

  • Election securityResearchers Identify Security Vulnerabilities in Voting App

    By Abby Abazorius

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest in using internet and mobile technology to increase access to the voting process. At the same time, computer security experts caution that paper ballots are the only secure means of voting. Mobile voting application could allow hackers to alter individual votes and may pose privacy issues for users.

  • PerspectiveU.S. Charges Huawei with Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, Racketeering

    Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei and a number of its subsidiaries were charged with conspiracy to steal trade secrets and racketeering in a federal indictment made public Thursday. The charges also accuse the company of flouting U.S. sanctions by operating subsidiaries in North Korea and Iran. The indictment represents the latest U.S. effort to clamp down on a Chinese telecom company that American officials say has plundered the intellectual property of its rivals in a bid for market dominance.

  • PerspectiveSenior Huawei Official Acknowledges Ability to Clandestinely Access Mobile Networks

    A senior Huawei official has conceded that the company can clandestinely access users’ mobile networks. “Huawei itself has provided evidence that it builds backdoors into its products,” Herb Lin writes. “In particular, the [Wall Street] Journal [on 12 February 2012] quoted a senior Huawei official as saying that network access without operator permission ‘is extremely implausible and would be discovered immediately.’ This statement is extremely significant in understanding what Huawei equipment can and cannot do.” Lin adds: “Huawei has not said that network access without operator permission is technically impossible—only that it is implausible and would be discovered immediately. These are very different claims.”

  • PerspectiveDigital Authoritarianism: Finding Our Way Out of the Darkness

    From Chinese government surveillance in Hong Kong and Xinjiang to Russia’s sovereign internet law and concerns about foreign operatives hacking the 2020 elections, digital technologies are changing global politics — and the United States is not ready to compete, Naazeen Barma, Brent Durbin, and Andrea Kendall-Taylor write. The United States and like-minded countries must thus develop a new strategic framework to combat the rise of high-tech illiberalism, but “as a first step, U.S. government officials need to understand how authoritarian regimes are using these tools to control their populations and disrupt democratic societies around the world.”

  • PerspectiveElection Security after Iowa

    The Iowa caucus debacle offers an illustration of election security failure in action, and the failure was followed by public anger and the spreading of conspiracy theories. Simon Handler writes that “If the Iowa caucus delay is any indication of how the public may react to an electoral snafu, a great deal more mayhem could arise from a far more serious threat.” In 2015 Russian cyberattacks shutdown power stations in Ukraine, causing blackouts in parts of the country. “Disrupting power distribution at the right moment in the right portions of the U.S. grid, targeting a few select states or counties, could cause just enough disruption to bring on a level of chaos that would dwarf what happened in Iowa,” Handler writes.

  • China syndromeU.S.: Chinese Government Hackers Behind Equifax Breach

    Chinse government hackers stole the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans in 2017, when they successfully hacked Equifax. China has been using its vast network of intelligence agencies to conduct a sustained campaign aiming to collect data on the citizens of the United States and other countries, and systematically steal scientific research and innovation, in order to weaken Western economies and accelerate China’s march toward global scientific and economic hegemony.

  • The Russia connectionSenate Intel: Obama Admin “Frozen by ‘Paralysis of Analysis’” in Its Response to Russian Election Interference

    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday released the third volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russian election interference. The report examines the Obama administration’s reaction to initial reports of election interference and the steps officials took or did not take to deter Russia’s activities. The 2016 Russian interference in the elections on behalf of Donald Trump was unprecedented in the history of the United States, but “Frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived, Obama officials debated courses of action without truly taking one,” said Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina).

  • Truth decayBioweapons, Secret Labs, and the CIA: Pro-Kremlin Actors Blame the U.S. for Coronavirus Outbreak

    By Eto Buziashvili

    The Russia (earlier: Soviet) practice of spreading disinformation about public health threats is nothing new. During the Cold War, for example, a Soviet disinformation campaign blamed the United States for the AIDS virus. While epidemiologists work to identify the exact source of the Wuhan2019-nCov outbreak, pro-Kremlin actors are already blaming the United States for supposedly using bioweapons to disseminate the virus.

  • PerspectiveRussia Unleashes New Weapons in Its “Cyber Attack Testing Ground”: Report

    “Ukraine is, by and large, a Russian cyberattack testing ground,” Vitali Kremez told Forbes’s Zak Doffman. “One of the inherent cyber dangers with Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, but particularly with Russia, is the potential for state actors to sharpen their tools and techniques on neighboring countries,” Doffman writes. And Russia “doesn’t have Ukraine in its sights with this costly approach, it is looking much further west.”

  • ArgumentBritain Knows It’s Selling Out Its National Security to Huawei

    Allowing Chinese telecom company Huawei access to a country’s 5G infrastructure makes that country vulnerable to espionage, sabotage, and blackmail. Yet, last Tuesday, in defiance of sustained U.S. pressure, Britain said it would allow Huawei to be involved in rolling out the U.K. 5G mobile network. “Upon closer inspection, the British government’s reasoning, and the basic assumptions underlying it, are eerily lightweight and sometimes openly self-contradictory.” Thorsten Benner writes. “London’s justification for cooperating with the Chinese telecommunications company is riddled with obvious contradictions.”

  • China syndromeU.S. to U.K.: Reconsider Huawei Deal or Risk Intelligence Sharing

    Following the U.K. government’s decision on Tuesday to allow Huawei access to Britain’s 5G communication infrastructure, the United States, in no uncertain terms, has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reconsider the decision. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Chinese company – subsidized by the Chinese government and with close ties to China’s intelligence and military establishments — posed a “real risk” and that United States would have to evaluate the consequences for intelligence-sharing. “This is an extension of the Chinese Communist Party with a legal requirement to hand over information to the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo said. “American information only should pass through trusted networks, and we’ll make sure we do that.”

  • China syndromeHuawei and 5G: U.K. Had Little Choice but Say Yes to Chinese – Here’s Why

    By Greig Paul

    For the time being, the British government can hardly be enjoying the fallout from its Huawei decision. To date, much focus has been on the confidentiality of communications over mobile networks, and risks of spying. A bigger issue is the need to keep the mobile phone network running. We are in an era where everything from Uber and Deliveroo to most credit card machines cannot function without it. The nightmare scenario is a hostile state-affiliated actor shutting down or damaging the mobile networks. It may have effectively been impossible for the U.K. to say no to Huawei, but the current compromise is far from ideal.

  • ArgumentAllowing Our Infrastructure to Be Infected by Huawei Is a Far Bigger Risk Than the Coronavirus

    The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, defying heavy pressure from the United States, on Tuesday announced that it would allow Huawei access to the U.K. 5G communication infrastructure. “Imagine the situation the other way round,” Charles Moore writers. “Would China allow a British or American company to get itself near the heart of its secret systems? Of course not. The Huawei case is actually worse than that, because whereas British or American companies have independent lives of their own, a country like China does not. Huawei is an arm of the Chinese state, and Beijing would never allow it otherwise.”

  • China syndromeBritain Grants China's Huawei Limited Role in 5G Network Rollout

    Britain will allow China’s Huawei Technologies to help build the country’s next-generation cellular network, dealing a blow to a U.S. campaign to launch a worldwide boycott of the telecom equipment giant. The British government said Tuesday it would permit Huawei to build less critical parts of the country’s new high-speed 5G wireless network.