• The Vexed Relationship Between James Bond and Real-World Intelligence Work

    James Bond first appeared 70 years ago today, playing roulette at three o’clock in the morning, in former British naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming’s debut novel, “Casino Royale.” Fleming’s creation defines espionage in popular culture but, at the same time, he is disavowed by actual intelligence agency heads who insist that there is no resemblance between the dashing, debonair 007 and his rakish style and the stealthy, grinding, and unglamorous existence of real-world intelligence agents.

  • The Teixeira Disclosures and Systemic Problems in the U.S. Intelligence Community

    The unauthorized disclosure points to broader systemic failures in the safeguarding of U.S. intelligence information, as well as new insider threats which pose thorny legal and policy challenges. “As intelligence and law enforcement leaders assess the damage, Congress should be asking tough questions to hold the executive branch accountable and prevent future leaks,” Brianna Rosen writes.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Belt and Road Initiative

    Amidst accusations of “debt-trap diplomacy,” Chinese companies seek more overseas direct investment opportunities and fewer foreign contracted projects as Xi’s flagship initiative is stymied by poor risk management.

  • Democracies Must Regulate Digital Agents of Influence

    It would be a mistake to limit the public policy debate to traditional state-on-state espionage or major power rivalry. Such platforms and the advent of the eerily relatable artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT are society-changing technologies that cannot be dismissed as benign or treated as a public good closed to any regulatory or governance process.

  • China and Russia Sharing Tactics on Internet Control, Censorship

    Beijing and Moscow have been sharing methods and tactics for monitoring dissent and controlling the Internet. For a few years now. The two countries have been deepening their ties for the past decade, and controlling the flow of information online has been a focal point of that cooperation since 2013. Since then, that cooperation expanded through a number of agreements and high-level meetings in China and Russia between top officials driven by a shared vision for a tightly controlled Internet.

  • How Russia Turned America’s Helping Hand to Ukraine into a Vast Lie

    Russia’s sustained disinformation campaign about a fictional U.S. bioweapons program in Ukraine is an example of how, “In a world that connects billions of people at a flash, the truth may have only a fighting chance against organized lying,” the Washington Post writes. “Disinformation is not just “fake news” or propaganda but an insidious contamination of the world’s conversations. And it is exploding.”

  • How China’s Spies Fooled an America That Wanted to be Fooled

    As the U.S. and China edge closer to a new Cold War, China has replaced the Soviet Union (and its successor, Russia) as America’s primary intelligence threat. Julian Ku, reviewing Alex Joske’s new book on Chinese espionage, writes that Joske does not give enough weight to the fact that American political, business, and academic leaders, having been persuaded by the argument that China’s rise would be peaceful, were willing to tolerate some of China’s activities. China’s spies may have been trying to lull U.S. academics, business elites, and policymakers into quiescence, but “U.S. players sought engagement with China for their own interests and purposes and would have likely done so whether or not the MSS [China’s Ministry for State Security] was lying to them.”

  • China Accused of Meddling in Canada’s Elections

    Allegations are mounting that China may have interfered in Canada’s most recent federal elections to favor Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party. Chinese information campaign appeared to have influenced votes in districts with large ethnic Chinese population.

  • Should the U.S. Ban TikTok? Can It? A Cybersecurity Expert Explains the Risks the App Poses and the Challenges to Blocking It

    A full ban of TikTok raises a number of questions: What data privacy risk does TikTok pose? What could the Chinese government do with data collected by the app? Is its content recommendation algorithm dangerous? And is it even possible to ban an app?

  • Russia and China’s Influence Campaigns During the War in Ukraine

    Within weeks of the launch of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin began pushing a conspiracy about U.S.-backed bioweapon laboratories in Ukraine, claiming that the labs were handling “especially dangerous pathogens” (including the coronavirus), that they were trying to make bioagents capable of targeting certain ethnic groups, and that they were training birds to deliver bioweapons to Russian controlled territories. These false claims were amplified by right-populist U.S. commentators such as Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon.

  • Who Was the Cold War “Umbrella Assassin?”

    A new Danish documentary sheds some light on the shadowy figure of Francesco Gullino, alias “Agent Piccadilly,” the prime suspect in the 1978 murder of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in London.

  • TikTok Faces Complete Ban in U.S. Unless ByteDance Separates from Chinese Owners

    Amid concerns that the popular video app poses a security threat, TikTok was urged to part ways with its Chinese owners to avoid a national ban in the United States.

  • Some Election Officials Refused to Certify Results. Few Were Held Accountable.

    A ProPublica review of local officials who refused to certify 2022 election results found that most did not face formal consequences. Experts explain what that means for the future of American elections.

  • Senior U.S. Intelligence Official Worries About TikTok, Chinese Tech

    General Paul Nakasone, who heads both the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, told lawmakers there are many reasons to be wary of China’s rapid expansion in cyberspace, and Chinese-owned TikTok is but one example. “TikTok concerns me for a number of different reasons,” Nakasone. “One is that the data that they have. Secondly is the algorithm and the control. Who has the algorithm?”

  • Russian Cyberattacks on U.S. Likely to Become Bolder, More Brazen

    Repeated failures by Russian cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns to inflict lasting damage during the Kremlin’s ongoing war against Ukraine is unlikely to dampen Moscow’s resolve and could instead spur a new wave of riskier efforts against a wider set of targets.