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

    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.

  • Allowing 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.”

  • Britain 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.

  • USC Kicks Off 50-State Election Cybersecurity Trainings

    Today, 28 January, the University of Southern California is kicking off its nonpartisan, independent, 50-state election cybersecurity training initiative in Maryland. Attendees will learn how to best protect their campaigns against misinformation and disinformation, hacking threats, and how to prepare and manage a potential crisis.

  • U.S.: “Serious consequences” If U.K. Allows Huawei Access to Britain’s 5G Network

    President Donald Trump has warned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “serious consequences” if he allows the Chinese telecom giant Huawei a role in building Britain’s 5G phone network, according to officials on both sides of the Atlantic. Supporters of allowing Huawei access to U.K. communication infrastructure say that the espionage and disruption risk Huawei poses can be mitigated  by limiting Huawei’s access to “non-core” segments of Britain’s communication system, but U.S. intelligence officials and their counterparts at Britain’s GCHQ, the eavesdropping spy agency and the country’s largest intelligence service, say restricting Huawei to the non-core “edges” of the new network would make little difference to the security risk.

  • 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.