24 June 2019

India forced Twitter to suspend open source intelligence handles: Report

A popular US news website reported on Tuesday that the Indian government had forced Twitter to take action against a number of handles that disseminate 'open source' intelligence (OSINT).

OSINT is information of a political or military nature gathered via commonly available tools such as travel trackers, social media or news media. At least four Twitter handles were suspended over the weekend, but restored following an outcry.

Writing in the Daily Beast, journalist Kevin Poulsen claimed a student of a college in Texas had received a notice from Twitter after the Indian government complained his tweets were a “national security threat”.

The Daily Beast report claimed the tweets of Ryan Barenklau (21) primarily focussed on Crimea and North Korea, “but in May a journal in India wrongly claimed his account was part of a Pakistani disinformation ring”. Barenklau is a senior student at Texas A&M University.

The Daily Beast said it had copies of notices from Twitter several handles had received after complaints from India this month. The Daily Beast claimed “Twitter has since suspended four of the accounts for unrelated violations of the company’s terms-of-service.”

A War in Crisis! Afghanistan in Mid-2019

By Anthony H. Cordesman 

The war in Afghanistan is at a critical stage. There is no clear end in sight that will result in a U.S. military victory or in the creation of stable Afghan state. A peace settlement may be possible, but so far, this only seems possible on terms sufficiently favorable to the Taliban so that such peace may simply become an extension of war by other means and allow the Taliban to exploit it to the point where it comes to control at least large parts of the country.

The Burke Chair at CSIS is issuing a survey of the key indicators now shaping the course of the war. It is entitled A War in Crisis: Afghanistan in Mid-2019. It is available on the CSIS web site here.

The survey presents a wide range of open source material drawn from U.S. government sources, NATO reporting, institutions like the UN and World Bank, and media sources as diverse as the Long War Journal and New York Times. It warns that after some eighteen years of conflict, the United States has not developed an approach to the war that can defeat the Taliban, ISIS, and the other threats in Afghanistan.

Mongolia: Bridge or Buffer in Northeast Asia?

By Elizabeth Wishnick

What if you held a big party for 200 people and one of the guests you most wanted to see RSVPed but never showed up? This was the scenario with North Korea’s absence at the sixth Ulaanbaatar Dialogue (UBD) on Northeast Asian Security, a 1.5 level forum for officials and academics, which I attended from June 5-6 in the Mongolian capital. Nonetheless, Mongolia succeeded in making its case as a meaningful interlocutor on North Korean issues and a participant in Northeast Asian economic integration efforts, such as ongoing discussions about expanding the use of wind and solar power in a regional power grid.

Although Mongolia was considered as a venue for one of the summits between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, it was eventually not selected. Of course, it was not unexpected that North Korea would prefer an authoritarian host to a fledgling democracy that had made a transition from socialism. Nevertheless, Mongolia has played an important, if often overlooked, role over the years as a facilitator of Northeast Asian diplomacy with North Korean officials. As Foreign Minister Damdin Tsogtbaatarput it, Mongolia has the potential to be a “bridge for peace” in Northeast Asia, due to its own unique history as a socialist state and more recent development as a democracy.

China's Rare Earth Monopoly Is Diminishing

Some while ago, precious rare earths important in the production of microchips, electronics and electric motors were almost exclusively sourced in China. In recent years, several nations have picked up production again while new players entered the market, diversifying it at least to some degree.

A Mid-2019 Guide to Chinese Aircraft Carriers

By Rick Joe

What is the future trajectory of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy carrier program?

In recent months, a number of new developments and interesting pictures and rumors have emerged in relation to the Chinese Navy’s (PLAN’s) aircraft carrier projects. Pictures tracking CV-16 Liaoningover the past year as well as carrier 002 at Dalian shipyard demonstrate both vessels have reached various milestones in recent months. Pictures of carrier 003 being built at Jiangnan shipyard similarly give new insights into its potential final size.

This piece will review these recent developments in context of what has been previously rumored for the PLAN carrier program. Projections of future carrier development and procurement trajectories will also be considered, including the topic of carrier airwings.

Which carrier is which?

It is first necessary to understand which name refers to which carrier. In the past, a number of English language publications have used the names “001A” to refer to the ski jump carrier built in Dalian, and “002” to refer to the catapult equipped carrier currently being built in Jiangnan. Indeed, these names have continued to be used, even among some Chinese state affiliated media.

China in Tajikistan: New Report Claims Chinese Troops Patrol Large Swaths of the Afghan-Tajik Border

By Catherine Putz

On June 15, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon agreed to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership, shaking hands over more than a dozen deals after meeting on the sidelines of the fifth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Dushanbe.

According to Xinhua’s description of the joint statement issued by the two leaders, “China and Tajikistan will continue to support each other on issues concerning their core interests, such as national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and give priority to the development of bilateral ties in each side’s foreign policies.”

The two sides, Xinhua says, are committed to boosting security cooperation “to build a China-Tajikistan community of security step by step.”

A report today from the Wall Street Journal gives body to such statements. While the WSJ’s focus is on the grand strategic positioning between Russia and China as the United States creeps toward exiting the Afghan theater, details from an unnamed Tajik source further bolster reporting done earlier this year by the Washington Post’s Gerry Shih, underscoring that there is much more Chinese activity along the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border than Beijing admits to publicly.

It's Time for America to Break with Beijing

by Gordon G. Chang

Xi Jinping has rejected the concept of comparative advantage, the very notion underpinning the system of international commerce. Why should America sign a trade agreement with a country that does not believe in trade?

SOME MISTAKES are repeated over the course of generations. For more than four decades, American presidents sought a closer relationship with China, working to “engage” that country so as to “enmesh” it into the international system. Richard Nixon, in his landmark Foreign Affairs article in 1967, provided the rationale for engagement, arguing the Chinese state could not be isolated. “Taking the long view,” he famously wrote then, “we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbors.”

Since the early 1970s, American policymakers believed they could avoid such nurturing, cherishing and threatening by making the success of the Communist Party of China a goal of U.S. foreign policy. With interests defined this way, American presidents helped China’s communists at crucial moments.

Comfortably Reelected, Indonesia’s Jokowi Opens the Door to China’s Belt and Road

Nithin Coca

The ballots hadn’t even been counted yet when the deals were announced. On April 26, just two days after Election Day, Indonesia signed 23 memorandums of understanding with China, worth $14.2 billion in all, for several major infrastructure projects. They came after months of silence about Chinese investment in Indonesia—by design, as President Joko Widodo feared attempts by the opposition to paint him as being too pro-China. It worked, as, in the end, the issue of Chinese investment did not play the same divisive role in Indonesia that it did in elections in Malaysia, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Instead, Jokowi, as Widodo is widely known, easily won reelection.

The news about the investments are welcome, from a purely economic standpoint. Jokowi initially ran in 2014 promising to upgrade Indonesia’s woeful infrastructure, and he has been able to deliver on some of his pledges. Indonesia’s ranking on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Indicator—a kind of index of a country’s infrastructure—rose from 53 in 2014 to 46 in 2018, ahead of Mexico, Turkey and Brazil. Nevertheless, Indonesia still has a long way to go to ensure its ports, roads and railways are able to meet the demands of its 260 million people and the government’s own ambitious development plans. Five years just wasn’t enough for Jokowi to fix decades of under-investment. ...

Did Iran Just Invite a U.S. Attack?

A U.S. Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk drone, an example of which is seen here on June 11, 2012, was shot down by Iranian IRGC surface-to-air missiles near the Strait of Hormuz. Erik Hildebrandt/U.S. Navy via Northrup Grumman

Iran on Thursday deliberately upped the stakes in its showdown with the United States by shooting down a U.S. reconnaissance drone near the Strait of Hormuz and targeting a key Saudi water facility with a Houthi rocket attack. The strikes, coming after a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman attributed to Iran and Tehran’s decision to stop complying with some of its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal, risk tipping the standoff into outright confrontation.

“Iran made a very big mistake!” U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday. When asked at the Oval Office while meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how the United States might respond, Trump said he had campaigned on ending U.S. involvement in never-ending wars in the Middle East.

Gulf Of Oman Attacks: How Merchant Ships Can Keep Safe In Dangerous Waters

The latest attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman have once again highlighted the vulnerability of merchant ships crossing high risk areas. Both the Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous sustained significant damage to their hullsin attacks on June 13 that led the the evacuation of the crew. This latest attack mirrors an incident from May, where four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers also sustained "significant damage", according to the country's energy minister, in a seemingly targeted attack.

Lloyds Joint War Risk Committee, which details areas of heightened insecurity for marine insurers, has recognised the "perceived heightened risk across the region" to shipping. It has included the Gulf of Oman in a list of areas of enhanced risk, essentially designating the waterway a warzone. The incident has also further stoked international tension amid US claims of Iranian involvement. On June 17, the US government said it was sending approximately 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East for "defensive purposes".

Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: The Washington Factor

King Salman of Saudi Arabia convened emergency meetings to discuss attacks on Saudi assets.

He blamed Iran for the attacks, an accusation that Iran flatly rejected.

The danger lies in the fact that Arab countries could be potentially arrayed against Iran.

The greater danger lies in the fact that the US could use the situation to achieve several of its own goals.


Saudi King Salman called an emergency gathering of the leaders of twenty-one Arab League countries to be held on 30 May at two consecutive meetings in the city of Mecca. The reason for the summit was simple: according to the king, decisive action was required to confront Iran’s recent ‘criminal’ actions and to prevent ‘escalations’. The call for action against Iran followed Tehran’s alleged attacks on Saudi oil pumping stations in the kingdom, allegedly by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen using drones, and on four vessels, including two Saudi-owned oil tankers, off the United Arab Emirates.

Dealing with Iran Will Not Be Enough to Restore Regional Stability

Christopher J. Bolan

The views expressed by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government or the U.S. Defense Department.

As U.S.-Iranian tensions mount amidst increasing pressures of intensified U.S. economic sanctions and apparent Iranian-linked attacks on Gulf shipping, U.S. policymakers will be understandably focused on the military dimension of confronting and deterring Iran. However, neither the American public nor senior U.S. government officials should delude themselves as to the source, scope, and significance of longer-term challenges that will continue to threaten stability in this vital region of the world. Dealing effectively with Iran will be a necessary but insufficient condition for restoring stability to a region that is plagued by civil wars, wide-spread political repression, high levels of corruption, insufficient economic growth, and underdeveloped civil societies.

US: Iran Shoots Down Global Hawk; Second Drone Down This Month


The Global Hawk was downed after two earlier shots at US drones in the region, and attacks on commercial shipping.

WASHINGTON: Iranian forces shot down a RQ-4A Global Hawk surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz Wednesday night, US officials confirm. This is the latest, and most significant, of a series of attacks in the region that have inflamed tensions between Tehran and Washington.

The drone “was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace,” Navy Capt. Bill Urban, U.S. Central Command spokesman said in a statement today.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said in a statement earlier in the day that the aircraft had entered its airspace and was brought down by its air force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region.

The US military says its drone was shot down outside Iranian airspace.

How to Reset U.S.-Russian Relations Today


For thirty years, since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policy toward Russia has been going in circles with the relationship getting worse as different U.S. administrations came and went. Today, the U.S.-Russian relationship is at the lowest point since before the Cold War ended and the best we can hope for is that it will not get even worse.

Russia is to blame for most of what went wrong in this relationship. It invaded Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, it interfered in the 2016 United States presidential election, and it continues to meddle in Venezuela, in Syria, in Libya, etc. But it takes two to tango. Rarely, have U.S. policymakers questioned U.S. policy toward Russia. Have we done everything right?

Good Ends, Bad Means? The EU’s Struggle To Protect Copyright and Freedom of Speech

In its controversial copyright overhaul, the EU struggles to balance intellectual property protection with the free use of the internet. 

On March 26, 2019, the European Union (EU) Parliament voted for a new regulatory framework seeking to harmonize copyright laws between member states. While many believed that previous EU copyright legislation could no longer effectively regulate the digital economy, and the new directive is intended to improve the rights of creatives and news publishers, the reform has become the biggest controversy in EU regulation in recent memory, symbolizing an intergenerational clash of culture between policymakers and digital natives. Most agree on the legitimacy of the initial goal, but there has been a growing resistance against the probable means to achieve it—upload filters. Furthermore, the implementation of these filters has sparked a heated debate on “the free internet,” a discussion that has often lacked objectivity on both sides.

America Can Face Down a Fragile Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht 

In the U.S. and Europe, much of the mainstream media has swallowed a narrative about Donald Trump and Iran. While Iran is an aggressive authoritarian state, the story goes, it is nonetheless a victim of American belligerence. Tehran was adhering to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, negotiated by the Obama administration, when the truculent Mr. Trump abruptly abandoned the accord. For more than a year, according to the narrative, the mullahs have shown patience by continuing to abide by the agreement, even with the resurrection of punishing American sanctions.

Iranian patience has run out, critics complain, because of the Trump administration’s recent announcement that it will try to drive the Islamic Republic’s oil exports to zero. Tehran’s “hard-liners” now have the upper hand. Washington’s economic warfare, the narrative goes, may provoke the clerical regime into a military conflict. And if war comes, the mullahs are ready to trap America in another Middle Eastern quagmire.

Seizing Core Technologies: China Responds to U.S. Technology Competition

Adam Segal

While the Trump administration has caused a fair degree of uncertainty in Beijing about its ultimate strategic and economic objectives through an unconventional policy process, shifting personnel, and conflicting messages emanating from the President’s tweets, there is a widespread consensus among Chinese policy makers and analysts about the motivations of U.S. technology policy. Officials and academics are convinced that Washington is pursuing a strategy of containment, designed to slow China’s rise as a science and technology power, or, as Fudan University Professor Zhou Wen argues, “The United States’ real intention is to suppress the development of China’s high-tech industries.”[1]

To be sure, over the last several years both China and the United States have acted to reduce vulnerabilities created by the interconnectedness of their science and technology systems. President Xi Jinping has continued to implement the techno-nationalist policies introduced by his predecessors. The 2017 National Cybersecurity Law and Made in China 2025 as well as large investments in artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and quantum computing are the most recent efforts to free China from dependence on the West for critical technologies. Washington, anxious about China’s rising technological capabilities and its program of military-civil fusion, has limited Chinese investment in U.S. technology sectors, blocked Chinese telecommunications companies from doing business in the United States and other markets, and tightened controls on the sale of technologies.

There is an off-ramp in the U.S.-Iran crisis

Suzanne Maloney

The slow-motion crisis between Iran and the United States picked up tempo this week with Tehran’s announcement that it will soon defy restrictions set by the 2015 nuclear deal on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. Tehran’s first major step away from the nuclear accord since the United States exited the deal in 2018 comes in the wake of a series of attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf, as well as missile and drone strikes directed at Saudi and Emirati infrastructure and American presence in Iraq. The latest spasm of violence played out even as the Japanese prime minister left Tehran empty-handed after a mediation effort apparently encouraged by President Trump.

Iran’s impending breach of the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA) and the attacks in the Gulf reflect the increasing desperation of Iranian leaders as the stranglehold of sanctions reimposed by Trump intensifies. This is not simply knee-jerk Iranian counterpunching; rather, the rising tensions are an acknowledgement that Iran cannot afford a protracted impasse, with uncertain hopes of economic relief from some future U.S. administration. Facing an economic abyss and anticipating consequent domestic political fallout, Tehran has recently begun to cast aside its self-imposed restraint and test the world’s response to calibrated reprisals. The only surprise is that Iran’s vengeance has taken so long and—until this month—amounted to so little.

Piracy, collisions and missiles: Tankers in troubled waters

NEW YORK - Tankers like those apparently attacked Thursday in the Gulf of Oman operate through increasingly treacherous waters, facing mounting dangers from piracy and collision as well as geopolitical hazards.

Around 60 million barrels of petroleum product move each day on the seas globally, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

And around a third of this volume passes through the Straits of Hormuz, a critical shipping passage.

This waterway is a principal route for crude exports from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq. It is also a key route for natural gas exports from Qatar.

Other highly strategic waterways include the Strait of Malacca between Singapore and Indonesia, the Suez Canal in Egypt and the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

China's Changing Role in the Middle East


A quiet shift in geopolitics has been taking place, with East Asia and the Middle East drawing closer together. Energy trade explains part of this, as Japan, South Korea, and China are consistently among the largest export markets for Middle East oil and gas. In the case of China, the relationships have moved beyond economic interests to incorporate strategic concerns as well. The Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East report has released a new report by Dr. Jonathan Fulton on this subject: "China's Changing Role in the Middle East." The report analyzes China’s presence in the Middle East, examines the response of Middle Eastern states, and explores how US-China competition plays out in the region: are their interests compatible, creating opportunities for cooperation, or do they diverge to the point that competition is the most likely outcome?

The New Red Line on Iran Will Fail


While Washington was focused on the highly visible ratcheting up of tensions between the United States and Iran over the past few weeks, the Trump administration quietly began rolling out its first real red line on the Iran nuclear program, which is that any reduction in the one year timeline it would need to produce enough material for a bomb is unacceptable.

National security adviser John Bolton went so far as to explicitly link the threat of Iran to restart additional enrichment activities to a deliberate attempt to shorten the breakout time to produce nuclear weapons. Given the announcement last month by Iran that it will begin unwinding some of its nuclear commitments, which if fully implemented will then eventually shorten this one year timeline, the stage is for a future crisis is now set.

At first glance, this move seems prudent. The Trump administration does not want to be held politically responsible for Iranian nuclear build up, so it wants to show that Iran is the one taking improper actions on weapons. Moreover, a firm stance now could potentially head off a more dangerous situation down the road. As former government experts who helped to negotiate the deal and monitor the Iran nuclear program, however, we believe this new red line on Iran is seriously flawed for four key reasons.

2019 Third-Quarter Forecast

The U.S.-China Trade War Will Drag On. While there is a small window for a truce between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, there is a stronger likelihood that the White House will follow through on its threat to impose tariffs on remaining Chinese imports. Nearly every move China makes to push back and cope with tariff pressure, including ramping up state backing for strategic industries and retaliating against U.S. businesses, will drive the two economic giants further apart as the trade war continues to damage the global economy.

Iranian Retaliation Will Raise the Risk of a Military Confrontation. Iranian retaliatory moves against the United States, including the resumption of nuclear activities and threats to shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, will raise the threat of U.S. punitive strikes on Iran. Even though the White House intent will be to limit offensive action and avoid bogging itself down in another politically unpopular war in the Middle East, the potential exists for a more serious escalation. Short of the negotiation Trump envisioned for Iran, progress could be made toward establishing a deconfliction channel via third-party mediators.

5G just part of technology's 'new Cold War frontline'

By Stilgherrian

As nations search for technology that 'confers a decisive strategic advantage' in controlling the 'global digital commons', the global political trends are reminiscent of the 1930s.

The next half-decade will see "more pronounced competition" between nations when it comes to technology, both civilian and military, according to Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

Technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, autonomous systems, quantum computing, and "the rest" are "rapidly emerging as the new Cold War frontline in global politics," he told APSI's "War in 2025" conference in Canberra last week.

The technological choices that nations make will be a key factor in shaping international conflict, particularly between the authoritarian regimes and the developed democracies, he said.

In the 2025 timeframe, this includes "the future for coordination of Five Eyes alliance," as well as the democracies that are close to the Five Eyes.

We Must Prepare for the Next Pandemic

By Bruce Schneier

When the next pandemic strikes, we’ll be fighting it on two fronts. The first is the one you immediately think about: understanding the disease, researching a cure and inoculating the population. The second is new, and one you might not have thought much about: fighting the deluge of rumors, misinformation and flat-out lies that will appear on the internet.

The second battle will be like the Russian disinformation campaigns during the 2016 presidential election, only with the addition of a deadly health crisis and possibly without a malicious government actor. But while the two problems — misinformation affecting democracy and misinformation affecting public health — will have similar solutions, the latter is much less political. If we work to solve the pandemic disinformation problem, any solutions are likely to also be applicable to the democracy one.

Pandemics are part of our future. They might be like the 1968 Hong Kong flu, which killed a million people, or the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed over 40 million. Yes, modern medicine makes pandemics less likely and less deadly. But global travel and trade, increased population density, decreased wildlife habitats, and increased animal farming to satisfy a growing and more affluent population have made them more likely. Experts agree that it’s not a matter of if — it’s only a matter of when.

Reimagining Investing in Frontier Technology

Event Summary

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Technology and Public Purpose Project (TAPP) and Harvard Business School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship co-hosted Reimagining Investing in Frontier Technology on May 15, 2019. This workshop convened over 70 investors (Limited Partners and General Partners), entrepreneurs, technologists, and others investing in and building frontier technologies in areas including artificial intelligence, genome engineering, advanced computing technologies, and more. The workshop explored the challenges investors and entrepreneurs face in bringing products to market in ways that maximize their benefits to society while minimizing harms.

Moscow Pursues Artificial Intelligence for Military Application

By: Roger McDermott

Moscow is actively pursuing research and development (R&D) on artificial intelligence (AI) for military purposes, partly driven by the views of its leading military theorists on the nature of future warfare and also by fears that other international actors, including the United States, are making advances in this field (see EDM, June 5). It has been widely reported that various prototype robotic systems underwent experiments during Russia’s military operations in Syria. However, information on the specifics of these systems has proven elusive. Nonetheless, some of the advances made by Russia’s defense industry in the field of military robotics will be displayed during the forthcoming Army 2019 exhibition in Moscow, on June 25–30 (Bfm.ru, May 28).

New AI Generates Horrifyingly Plausible Fake News

A new AI algorithm developed by a team of researchers is capable of generating fake and misleading news stories that seem more plausible than those created by humans, a new academic paper[PDF] shows. Moreover, the AI only needs to be fed a headline in order to write a full article.

The researchers don’t aim to spread lies of course. Instead, they want to learn how to use AI to distinguish between fake news and actual stories. They found that the best tools available “can classify neural fake news from real, human-written, news with 73% accuracy, assuming access to a moderate level of training data.” Interestingly, the AI framework developed by the researchers is actually far better at this task, since it correctly identifies stories as real or fake in 92% of cases.

The Legality of Waging War in Cyberspace

by Mark Rasch 

In cyberwar, there is a fine line between acts of war and espionage

On June 14, the New York Times reported that U.S. active cyber agents had demonstrated their ability to penetrate the security of a Russian power utility system and had inserted U.S.-developed code into the software of these utilities. While President Donald Trump has denied that this occurred (and called the publication a “virtual act of treason”), the question remains what the scope and extent of U.S. affirmative cyberwar capabilities are, what targets are and are not legitimate for cyberwarfare and, of course, when and how they should be deployed.

Is It Legal?

Last year’s defense authorization bill gave the U.S. Secretary of Defense the authority to engage in “clandestine military activities in cyberspace.” The bill provided:

`(f) Definitions.–In this section:

“(1) The term `clandestine military activity or operation in cyberspace’ means a military activity or military operation carried out in cyberspace, or associated preparatory actions, authorized by the President or the Secretary that–

The Overlooked Military Implications of the 5G Debate

Much attention has been paid to the economic and espionage implications of a Chinese lead in developing and operating 5G infrastructure, but the military implications remain largely overlooked.

The views expressed in this article are personal and do not reflect the policy or position of the Army Cyber Institute, U.S. Military Academy, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.

Last week, the U.S. Defense Innovation Board released a reportoutlining the risks and opportunities for the United States in the global race to develop 5G. This followed a damning report published by the United Kingdom’s Huawei Cyber Security Centre Oversight Board detailing how the Chinese telecom giant’s 5G products, particularly its software, contained significant vulnerabilities and that the company had failed to remedy persistent poor security practices. 5G network architecture uses high frequency spectrum to enable significantly faster speeds to process larger amounts of data with lower latency and greater device connectivity. While much attention has been paid to economic and espionage implications of a potential Chinese lead in developing and operating 5G infrastructure, there are important military implications that remain largely overlooked.

Notes from RSA: Time for Cyber B Corps?

Robert K. Knake

The cybersecurity industry always emphasizes the values of community and cooperation and continued dedication to the mission, but its actions does not always match the rhetoric. 

The funny thing about RSA is that it’s always marketed around collective defense but it’s actually about selling point solutions. Bringing the community together to do “better” is this year’s conference theme with the goal of “empowering the collective ‘we’ in the industry”. And yet, most of the focus of the conference is on the 700+ exhibitors offering thousands of solutions for companies to defend themselves.

Of course, the conference organizers can’t be blamed for this. Government strategy hammers on the need for cooperation and coordination but the vast majority of government spending on cybersecurity goes to defending the federal government. In the private sector, many “initiatives” to address problems that market forces cannot are PR ploys. Commitments can be vague, and organizations get stood up and promptly collapse.