• Lawmakers Raising Alarm over Huawei’s Risk to National Security – in the U.S. and Abroad

    Huawei is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, so its products are much cheaper than the equipment produced by the company’s Western competitors – thus allowing the Chinese company to insinuate itself into a the communication infrastructure of countries where the Chinese intelligence agencies are interested in augmenting their information-gathering capabilities. U.S. lawmakers are angry at the Pentagon’s objections to Commerce Department regulations which would have made it more difficult for U.S. companies to sell to Huawei. “Huawei is an arm of the Chinese Communist Party and should be treated as such,” the senators write to the secretary of defense. “It is difficult to imagine that, at the height of the Cold War, the Department of Defense would condone American companies contracting with KGB subsidiaries because Moscow offered a discount.”

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Manufacturing of Reality

    The belief in conspiracy theories highlights the flaws humans carry with them in deciding what is or is not real. The internet and other technologies have made it easier to weaponize and exploit these flaws, beguiling more people faster and more compellingly than ever before. It is likely artificial intelligence will be used to exploit the weaknesses inherent in human nature at a scale, speed, and level of effectiveness previously unseen. Adversaries like Russia could pursue goals for using these manipulations to subtly reshape how targets view the world around them, effectively manufacturing their reality. If even some of our predictions are accurate, all governance reliant on public opinion, mass perception, or citizen participation is at risk.

  • How Amazon, Geico and Walmart Fund Propaganda

    Lenin is sometimes said to have predicted that capitalists would sell Russia the rope with which they would be hanged. L. Gordon Crovitz writes that “Yet not even Lenin could have imagined Vladimir Putin’s success in getting some of the largest Western companies to subsidize his disinformation efforts by advertising on his government-run ‘news’ websites.”

  • Swiss Police Suspect Russian “Plumbers” of Being Spies in Davos

    Police in Switzerland suspect a pair of Russians they probed five months ago in Davos were Russian intelligence agents. The Swiss police said both men had diplomatic passports and were in the early stages of a Russian spying operation.

  • Rejecting 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.

  • Letting “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.”

  • U.K. PM Warns Putin Not to Repeat Chemical Attacks on Britain

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Vladimir Putin in their first official meeting that Moscow must not repeat a chemical attack on Britain like the 2018 nerve agent attack in Salisbury against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

  • Chinese Communist Party’s Media Influence Expands Worldwide

    Over the past decade, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders have overseen a dramatic expansion in the regime’s ability to shape media content and narratives about China around the world, affecting every region and multiple languages, according to a new report. This trend has accelerated since 2017, with the emergence of new and more brazen tactics by Chinese diplomats, state-owned news outlets, and CCP proxies.

  • Combating the Latest Technological Threat to Democracy: A Comparison of Facebook and Twitter’s Deepfake Policies

    Twitter and Facebook have both recently announced policies for handling synthetic and manipulated media content on their platforms. Side-by-side comparison and analysis of Twitter and Facebook’s policies highlights that Facebook focuses on a narrow, technical type of manipulation, while Twitter’s approach contemplates the broader context and impact of manipulated media. 

  • Israeli 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.

  • Why 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.

  • If Russia Hacked Burisma, Brace for the Leaks to Follow

    The Kremlin hackers who helped put Donald Trump in the White House are at it again – this time in an effort to keep him there, and the hacking of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma by hackers of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service, is one of the first plays in their new campaign. Andy Greenberg writes that what should worry Americans – both voters and journalists – is the next play: the selective release of documents – some forged, some doctored – by Kremlin disinformation and propaganda specialists, timed to inflict maximum damage on Joe Bide’s campaign and be of maximum help to the Trump campaign. Greenberg asks: “Did the U.S. learn enough from 2016 to ignore” such selective leaks?

  • Latest “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.

  • Russian 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.

  • U.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.