10 June 2020

Tariffs and Digital Technology in Modi’s Self-Reliant India

By Ameya Pratap Singh and Urvi Tembey

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the woes of the Indian economy, which was already reeling from a pre-lockdown slump. With the exception of the rice milling sector, a survey conducted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on India’s economy noted that manufacturing in India has come to a complete standstill. Economic stagnation was already beginning to reflect in data released by India’s Central Statistics Office, which indicated that gross domestic product rose only by 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of financial year 2020 (January to March) — the lowest quarterly GDP growth since the fourth quarter of financial year 2009. 

To spur economic growth in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced a $265 billion stimulus package, called the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” (Self-Reliant India Scheme). This scheme amounts to roughly 10 percent of India’s GDP. In his address, Modi said: “India’s self-reliance will be based on five pillars — economy, infrastructure, technology-driven system, vibrant demography and demand.” Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal later argued that India did not want to be “dependent or at least not overly dependent on the rest of the world.” Instead, it was confident of its ability to “produce quality products…in a cost-competitive manner, that [it could] compete with anybody in the world…even given some of disadvantages that [India] faces.” New Delhi has declared its intention to prioritize cottage and home industries, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other ancillary industries. Further, it has committed to enhance manufacturing in the PV cell sector, and identified five “Champion Sectors”— pharmaceuticals, textiles, gems and jewelry, renewable energy, and leather—to boost production.

India’s Appeasement Policy Toward China Unravels


NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “not in a good mood,” US President Donald Trump recently declared, as he offered to mediate India’s resurgent border conflict with China. After years of bending over backward to appease China, Modi has received yet another Chinese encroachment on Indian territory. Will this be enough to persuade him to change his approach?

While India was preoccupied with the COVID-19 crisis, China was apparently planning its next attempt to change the region’s territorial status quo by force. Last month’s swift and well-coordinated incursions by People’s Liberation Army troops into the icy borderlands of India’s Ladakh region were likely the product of months of preparation. The PLA has now established heavily fortified camps in the areas it infiltrated, in addition to deploying weapons on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), within striking distance of Indian deployments.

China’s “unexpected” maneuver should not have been unexpected at all. Last August, China’s government vigorously condemned India’s establishment of Ladakh – including the Chinese-held Aksai Chin Plateau – as a new federal territory. (China seized Aksai Chin in the 1950s, after gobbling up Tibet, which had previously served as a buffer with India.) And the PLA had been conducting regular combat exercises near the Indian border this year.

Islamic State in India: Wilayat-e-Hind

Dr Bibhu Prasad Routray 
Source Link

The Islamic State and its affiliates have been expanding their activities in Africa and Afghanistan. However, similar attempts to find a foothold in India have not been successful till now. Months after Indian government’s August 2019 decision to revoke the statehood of Jammu & Kashmir, the outfit is making a new bid to gain relevance among the aggrieved Kashmiris and other Indian Muslims. Although currently it lacks the basic wherewithal to be militarily potent, the attempt to blend local grievances and conflicts into its global ideology, may find some takers.

India Expands Diplomatic Efforts Amid Border Standoff With China

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

As India’s border confrontation with China deepens into a crisis, New Delhi appears to be using a combination of military power and diplomacy. According to reports in the Indian media, India has already begun moving troops from other sectors, including those facing Pakistan along the Line of Control (LOC), toward the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates India and China in Ladakh. At the same time, in a move that could be seen as a signal to China, India has stepped up its diplomatic efforts. In the last week, India has reached out to the United States, signaled a warning on Taiwan, and is set to strengthen security ties with Australia. 

The United States remains the most critical of India’s partners. On May 29, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh spoke on the phone, taking stock of their defense cooperation, and vowed to continue their efforts “for a strong and enduring U.S.-India defense partnership.” Even though the China matter was not specifically mentioned, both official statements, one released by the U.S. Department of Defense and other by the Indian Ministry of Defense, mentioned Esper and Singh discussing regional security issues. It would be highly unlikely that they discussed “regional security issues” without touching on the current Sino-Indian border confrontation. 

Afghanistan: The Prospects for a Real Peace

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The Burke Chair at CSIS has completed a new analysis entitled Afghanistan: TheProspects for a Real Peace, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the course of the fighting; the role U.S. forces play in Afghanistan’s security; and how developments in Afghan politics, governance, military forces, and economics affect the prospects for a real peace.

It provides a detailed historical and quantitative examination on the course of the fighting, the divisions within Afghan politics, the critical problems in Afghan governance, and the economic issues that in many ways make Afghanistan a “failed state.”

The report provides a wide range of charts showing key trends, maps of the current situation, and how sources like SIGAR, LIG, UN, IMF, CIA, World Bank and various NGOs assess the situation. It ties these trends to recent studies covering the fighting before and after the peace process as well as to other studies on political issues within both the central government and the Taliban that affect the prospects for peace.

The analysis goes beyond the peace process, per se, and highlights the real-world issues that now shape Afghanistan’s future. It examines how factors – such as limits to the U.S. effort to develop Afghan forces, indefinite dependence on outside military and civil aid, extraordinary levels of corruption, and major failures in economic policy – complicate any effort to reach a stable and secure peace. It also ties these analyses to the results of recent public opinions by the Asia Foundation, the compromises between the Ghani and Abdullah faction in Afghanistan, and the evolving threats posed by both the Taliban and ISIS-K.

Afghanistan’s Unending War: The Politics of Pandemic

Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza

Afghanistan, in the coming days, is projected to have one of the worst Covid-19 infection rates in the world. As the government attempts to deal with the pandemic with its overstretched health service sector, the Taliban seem to be exploiting this opportunity to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Afghans. On one front, the group has continued to carry out incessant attacks on civilians and on the other, it is amenable to let healthcare workers provide services in areas under its control. As the situation worsens, the Taliban are likely to use this space to improve their bargaining strategy and acceptability not only with the Afghans but also with the international community.

COVID-19 Crisis: How South-South Cooperation Can Support Economic Recovery – OpEd

By Richard Kozul-Wright*
Source Link

The COVID-19 crisis is stress testing the capacity of governance arrangements to deal with unexpected shocks.

Results point to considerable variation at the national level, but it’s difficult to give anything above a B minus to the response at the multilateral level.

UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report Update sets out how South-South cooperation, though not a substitute for a proper international response to the crisis, can point towards a better future.

Economic fallout from lockdowns

As the threat to lives from COVID-19 became more apparent, countries began locking down their economies and putting together emergency support packages. 

Despite these being on a scale not seen outside of wartime, the economic damage to the global economy this year will be devastating, compounded by the absence of robust arrangements to coordinate individual country efforts.

Chinese Investment and the BRI in Sri Lanka

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is having profound impacts on recipient countries. This paper examines the benefits and costs of the BRI and its projects to Sri Lanka and the lessons that may improve future BRI projects in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

Workers unload cargo from the first vessel to enter the newly built Chinese-funded port in Hambantota, 18 November 2010. 

China’s expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has led to greater Chinese outbound investment in Asia, including in Sri Lanka. This investment has recently come under scrutiny, due to intensifying geopolitical rivalries in the Indian Ocean as well as Sri Lanka’s prime location and ports in the region.

There are claims that by accepting Chinese outbound investment, Sri Lanka risks being stuck in a ‘debt trap’ and the displacement of its local workers by both legal and illegal Chinese labour. There are also concerns that Chinese investment has led to environmental damage and increased security risks for Sri Lanka and the neighbourhood. Furthermore, there is criticism that institutional weaknesses in Sri Lanka, including a lack of policy planning and transparency, are resulting in nonperforming infrastructure projects funded by Chinese investment.

What Does COVID-19 Mean for Terrorism in Bangladesh?

By Shafi Md Mostofa

Islamist militancy is not a new phenomenon in Bangladesh; rather it dates back to the early 1980s. Islamist militancy in Bangladesh, based on its evolution process and the range of activities involved, can be divided into six phases. The first phase, the incubation period, covers the period from the late 1970s to 1986, where there were no attacks and public activity. The second phase, the formation period, starts with the formation of the Muslim Millat Bahini in 1986 and ends in 2001 with the introduction of Hizb-ut Tahrir (HT) to Bangladesh. During this formation period, many Islamist extremist groups including HT, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HUJIB) came into existence in Bangladesh. The third phase, the operational phase, started in 2001 with the bombing of a Communist Party of Bangladesh rally and ends in 2007 with the execution of JMB and JMJB leaders. This phase witnessed the killing of 156 people — cultural activists, renowned poets, judges, and secular voices. The fourth phase (2007-2013) is called a “silent phase” because it was a quiet period in terms of militant activity. The “silent phase” was followed by a “violent phase,” which began with the killing of blogger Rajib Haider in 2013 and continued up to a 2017 suicide bombing in Sylhet. The 2018-onward phase is definitely a dormant phase, which is usually used for recruitment and fund-raising

This is where there is a question mark: How efficiently and successfully are Bangladesh’s security forces combating or tackling the militant issue? It is evident that so far the security forces are relying mostly on kinetic responses to the issue. However, military responses can only be a short-term strategy, because this cannot entirely rule out the root of extremism, which is based on an uncompromising radical ideology.

A Global Survey of US-China Competition in the Coronavirus Era

Eric B. Brown

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has introduced a series of new stresses and factors in the US-China relationship. While the world has struggled to contain the pandemic and its tragic repercussions, the People’s Republic of China has used the outbreak to launch a global campaign of misinformation, further its economic coercion through the Belt and Road Initiative, and continue military expansion efforts in the South China Sea.

China’s attempt to exploit the pandemic for political, strategic, and economic gain is problematic in the current environment, yet it is consistent with, and a continuation of, China’s long-term strategy. This report offers a global survey and assessment of attempts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to expand its influence, including by exploiting the pandemic.

As the United States and its allies focus on combatting the virus and salvaging their economies, there is an opportunity to better understand China’s strategy and develop a unified response.

Following is a description of the essays in this volume:

Beijing’s Continental Ambitions

Confronting China’s Efforts to Steal Defense Information

Jeff Jones 

1. Introduction

China’s cyber espionage activities1 represent a significant threat to the United States military and the safety and security of this nation. Defense contractors, research institutes, and universities are failing to adequately secure their computer networks, allowing China to steal research and development pertaining to some of America’s most important military technology. This wholesale theft represents losses to the United States in the range of hundreds of billions of dollars per year.2

So, why are contractors and research institutes so vulnerable to having their work product stolen? Given the technical and sensitive nature of these activities one would assume that these companies would take enormous care in protecting that information from being stolen or destroyed. What, after all, could be more important than information pertaining to the defense of the nation? However, the track record for many defense contractors in protecting classified information is abysmal and seems to suggest that the United States government values this information much more than the companies contracted to research and develop it. Simply put, the United States is not incentivizing the protection of this information, so contractors and research institutes are not making cybersecurity a priority.

China and the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Roie Yellinek

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The coronavirus pandemic is providing insights into the conduct and thinking of the Chinese leadership, which has far-reaching implications both internally and externally.

The coronavirus is not the first pandemic to be exported from China to the rest of the world. In this instance, the outbreak was initially believed to have been triggered by cross-species transmission originating in a market in the city of Wuhan selling exotic wildlife for domestic consumption, though it was subsequently argued that the cross-species transmission originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

China’s leadership, which is known for the tight control it exercises over its citizens, has enabled and even encouraged the wildlife markets in Wuhan and other cities from which coronavirus and other diseases are believed to have originated. After the SARS epidemic of 2002-04, the Chinese government shut down those markets, but reopened them within a few months in response to demand from upper class consumers who wanted the exotic and very expensive meat only available at such markets. In acceding to this wish, the government favored the privileged minority at the expense of the broader population, and not for the first time.

Building a Global Framework for Digital Health Services in the Era of COVID-19

Nigel Cory Philip Stevens 

Information and communications technologies can improve the quality and delivery of health care services around the world—particularly in low- and middle-income countries that face staffing and other physical resource constraints.

ICT-driven “digital health” products and services leverage technologies such as electronic health records, mobile computing, AI, big data, and genomics to deliver more personalized and coordinated care, and better, faster treatments at lower cost.

Many digital health products are already proven, available, and adaptable to all countries, yet a global framework that marshals resources, expertise, and strategies to realize the true potential of digital health is only at a nascent stage.

Policymakers are struggling to adapt technology to their domestic health systems, while international bodies are only just starting to develop the principles, practices, and tools to help late adaptors and developing nations catch up.

Domestic technology standards and data protections risk fragmenting away from global interoperability, preventing health companies and researchers from leveraging health data and technologies to provide new and better services internationally.

A global digital health framework requires low- and middle-income countries to work with international partners on key foundations: national strategies, skills, ICT infrastructure, and governance that balances innovation and data protection.


Is China Changing Its Thinking on Data Localization?

By Xiaomeng Lu

Under pressure from the COVID-19 economic downturn, China’s authorities revealed mild interest in exploring less restrictive data localization measures. Global tech companies have long advocated for this approach, to no avail, and their Chinese counterparts have been only slightly more successful in getting the same message across.

Now, some emerging provincial proposals aim to allow cross-border data flow in free trade zones.

In January 2020, China’s Hainan provincial legislature discussed the regulatory proposal “Administrative Rules for International Internet Access for Enterprises and Individuals” and studied other aspects of cross-border data flow. A few months later China’s Cabinet, the State Council, published the “Hainan Free Trade Harbor Construction Plan,” which includes a pilot project for “secure cross-border data flow” and “measures to facilitate more convenient personal date outbound flow.”

This is not the first time the holiday island’s provincial government attempted to explore wider access to the free internet. In 2018, they briefly posted a three-year action plan on an official government website announcing that tourists entering Hainan’s special designated zones, Haikou and Sanya, will be able to access some websites blocked by China’s great firewall, namely Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. It also planned to hire 50,000 English-speaking foreign workers and buy 2,000 minutes of advertising time a year on international networks, including the BBC, CNN and CNBC. The intent was to market this new feature of the free trade zone in order to boost tourism and spur economic growth.

Will Trump’s Arms Control Dreams for China Come True? Absolutely Not

By Robert Farley

My previous column examined some recent work on whether China might be interested in joining an arms control arrangement with the United States and Russia. We can, in fact, imagine certain circumstances in which China might agree to limit its arms production and deployment, depending on reciprocal restrictions from Russia and the United States. But, is it possible to imagine a process that might bring this vision into reality? And perhaps more importantly, is there any reason to think that the Trump administration’s current approach to China will bear any arms control fruit?

The answer to the first is “probably not.” The answer to the second is “absolutely not.”

It is deeply unlikely that China would be willing to accept arms control arrangements which would “lock in” an asymmetric military relationship with the United States. Such arrangements make little sense, given that China’s military position has steadily improved since the 1990s. But perhaps more importantly, such arrangements would face huge domestic obstacles, recalling memories of the “unequal treaties” that the West forced upon China and Japan in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Arms control agreements almost always generate significant domestic opposition, whether from the public at large, the defense industrial base, or the uniformed military.

Focus Shifts to Hong Kong’s Fate on Tiananmen Anniversary

By Zen Soo and Ken Moritsugu

As China tightens its control over Hong Kong, activists in the city defied a police ban and broke through barricades Thursday evening to mark the 31st anniversary of the crushing of a democracy movement centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

With democracy all but snuffed out in mainland China, the focus has shifted increasingly to semi-autonomous Hong Kong, where authorities for the first time banned an annual candlelight vigil marking the anniversary of the 1989 crackdown.

Police cited the need for social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak and barricaded sprawling Victoria Park to prevent people from gathering there. Beijing is taking a tougher stance following months of anti-government protests last year, in what activists see as an accelerating erosion of the city’s rights and liberties.

“We all know the Hong Kong government and the Chinese government really don’t want to see the candle lights in Victoria Park,” said Wu’er Kaixi, a former student leader who was No. 2 on the government’s most-wanted list following the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

US UN Ambassador Pushes Back on Chinese South China Sea Claims

By Ankit Panda

In a significant step to push back on China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea at multilateral forums, the United States has challenged Beijing’s claims at the United Nations.

On Monday, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations formally submitted a note verbale — a diplomatic communication — to the office of the UN Secretary-General’s office arguing that China’s maritime claims in the disputed South China Sea were “inconsistent with international law.”

The U.S. note verbale was in response to December 2019 communications by China responding to a submission by the Malaysian government to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, seeking an extended continental shelf in the South China Sea.

The U.S. statement, attributed to Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, focused solely on Chinese claims and “does not comment on Malaysia’s submission to the CLCS.”

According to the statement, “the United States objects to China’s claim to “historic rights” in the South China Sea to the extent that claim exceeds the maritime entitlements that China could assert consistent with international law as reflected in the [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea].”

Two Vital Buffers Against Climate Change Are Just Offshore

A new study finds that about 31 million people worldwide live in coastal regions that are “highly vulnerable” to future tropical storms and sea-level rise driven by climate change. But in some of those regions, powerful defenses are located just offshore.

Of those 31 million people, about 8.5 million directly benefit from the severe weather-protection of mangroves and coral reefs, key buffers that could help cushion the blow against future tropical storms and rising waters, according to the study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

Because the two “natural infrastructures” absorb wave energy, reduce wave heights and provide a host of other environmental benefits, the study findings underscore the need for worldwide conservation and restoration of these natural resources. A particular focus, the authors said, should be placed on the most vulnerable regions, which lack available resources for more expensive protective measures, such as construction of levees or sea walls.

“Simply put, it’s much cheaper to conserve a mangrove than to build a sea wall,” said Northern Illinois University scientist Holly Jones, the study’s lead author.

Russian Propaganda Against Georgia Through Ancient And Byzantine Symbols – Analysis

By Prof. Dr. Tedo Dundua and Dr. Emil Avdaliani*
Source Link

Recently the Golden Fleece mythology resurfaced. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia in the early 1990s fanned separatist movement in Georgia’s Abkhazia. 

All over the Ancient World Golden Fleece was obvious symbol of honor, wealth and glory for Colchis, i.e. Western Georgia. In the Middle Ages double-headed eagle existed as a common symbol for the Byzantine Empire and the allied countries, “Byzantine Commonwealth”, Georgia included. Then it became coat of arms of the Russian Empire and later – of the Russian Federation.

When the Georgians contemplated an alliance with the Russians in the 18th c., they placed double-headed eagle on their money (Tedo Dundua and Others. Online English-Georgian Catalogue of Georgian Numismatics http://geonumismatics.tsu.ge/en/catalogue/types/?type=114). Instead, they received abolishment of the local kingship and from then on had the Russian Tsar as a king. Russians rejected double-headed eagle for Georgians, and as a compensation “brought back the Golden Fleece” to them. Below is the whole story.

At the beginning of the 19th c. Kartalino-Kakhetian Kingdom (Eastern Georgia) became a part of the Russian Empire. Preparations were made for reorganization of old Tbilisi mint, then under the Russian control. On September 15 of 1804 the mint was inaugurated in the former royal bath celebrated by issuing the commemorative medal (T. Dundua, G. Dundua, N. Javakhishvili, A. Eristavi. Money in Georgia. Tbilisi. 2003, p. 98).

Quite a rare one, its description is as follows:

Silver. 8.23 gr.

American Exceptionalism in the Age of Trump


CAMBRIDGE – In my recent study of 14 presidents since 1945, Do Morals Matter, I found that Americans want a moral foreign policy, but have been torn over what that means. Americans often see their country as exceptional because we define our identity not by ethnicity, but rather by ideas about a liberal vision of a society and way of life based on political, economic, and cultural freedom. President Donald Trump’s administration has departed from that tradition.

Of course, American exceptionalism faced contradictions from the start. Despite the founders’ liberal rhetoric, the original sin of slavery was written into the US Constitution in a compromise that allowed northern and southern states to unite.

And Americans have always differed over how to express liberal values in foreign policy. American exceptionalism was sometimes an excuse for ignoring international law, invading other countries, and imposing governments on their people.

But American exceptionalism has also inspired liberal internationalist efforts for a world made freer and more peaceful through a system of international law and organizations that protects domestic liberty by moderating external threats. Trump has turned his back on both aspects of this tradition.

America Boils Over

George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer has triggered protests across the United States and laid bare the country’s racial, economic, and political divisions. How, if at all, might America heal – and does history offer any guide?

In this Big Picture, Harvard’s Khalil Gibran Muhammad traces today’s crisis to the United States’ founding and argues that overcoming it will require fundamental political and economic reforms. Above all, elected US officials should put racial justice at the center of their vision for a new America.

Focusing on America’s long-standing problem of racist law enforcement, Jeffrey Sommers of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee says that a multi-pronged strategy is needed to reduce the pressures on both urban communities and the police. New York University’s Jorge G. Castañeda, meanwhile, believes that today’s multiple crises point – more than at any time since 1932 – to America’s need for sound leadership and a full-fledged welfare state.

Hospital physician and human-rights advocate Akash Goel finds an example of the vision America needs in a 1968 US presidential campaign speech by Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and explains why Kennedy’s diagnosis of America’s cultural ills remains accurate today. But Ian Buruma draws a different lesson from that tumultuous year, and asks whether a Republican presidential candidate could again win in November by pledging to restore law and order.

Trump’s Bureaucratic Arson

William J. Burns
Source Link

I had the good fortune of seeing those qualities up close over our many years together in the diplomatic trenches—out of sight, out of mind, and far from the public spotlight. It saddens me that our fellow citizens will learn about these patriotic Americans because of an impeachment inquiry, but I’m heartened that they’ve provided a vivid reminder of the dignity of public service in these undignified times.

Through their actions and words over recent weeks and months, they’ve also reminded us that human beings animate our institutions and civic norms, not faceless bureaucracies. And they’ve reminded us that the real threat to our democracy is not from an imagined deep state bent on undermining an elected president. Instead, it comes from a weak state of hollowed-out institutions and battered and belittled public servants, no longer able to uphold the ever more fragile guardrails of our democracy or compete on an ever more crowded, complicated, and competitive international landscape.

It’s not just the Trump administration’s acts of bureaucratic arson, such as the systematic sidelining of career officers or historic proposed budget cuts, which have brought applications to the Foreign Service to a two-decade low. And it’s not just its acts of political arson, such as the groundless, McCarthyist attacks against career professionals perceived to be disloyal to the Trump regime. It’s the cronyism and corruption that have infected so much of our diplomacy and that we see on full and gory display in the Ukraine scandal.

UK Offers Hong Kongers a Potential Exit Strategy

By Eleanor Albert

This week, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson penned an op-ed published in The Times and the South China Morning Post outlining steps his country is prepared to take to expand entry for holders of British National Overseas (BNO) passports, if China were to move forward with its new decision to introduce a national security law in Hong Kong. Johnson stated that Beijing’s decision to proceed would constitute a violation of the terms of the Joint Declaration, the legally-binding, UN-registered agreement signed in 1984 by London and Beijing which governed the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. If necessary, Johnsons said, the U.K. would “willingly” undertake one of the largest changes to its immigration policies and visa system to accommodate Hong Kongers.

The BNO passport is a travel document that grants its holders visa-free entry to the U.K. for six months. However, the current iteration does not carry citizenship rights and does not automatically allow residency or employment. The U.K. government’s proposal would “allow any holder of these passports from Hong Kong to come to the U.K. for a renewable period of 12 months and be given further immigration rights, including the right to work, which could place them on a route to citizenship.”

Cybersecurity Lessons From the Pandemic, or Pandemic Lessons From Cybersecurity

By Herb Lin 

Fred Cohen was the first person to introduce the term “computer virus.” In a 1984 paper, he defined it as “a program that can ‘infect’ other programs by modifying them to include a possibly evolved copy of itself. With the infection property, a virus can spread throughout a computer system or network using the authorizations of every user using it to infect their programs. Every program that gets infected may also act as a virus and thus the infection grows.” (The original 1984 paper was eventually published in 1987.) Since then, the security company Kaspersky claims, rightly so, that “when it comes to cybersecurity, there are few terms with more name recognition than ‘computer viruses.’”

This bit of history has taken on new meaning now that the world is in the midst of a global pandemic caused by a biological virus, the novel coronavirus, that induces an unusual and novel disease, COVID-19.

The Cyber Solarium Commission’s release today of its white paper “Cybersecurity Lessons from the Pandemic” is particularly significant against this backdrop. In March, the commission—a bicameral, bipartisan group tasked by Congress to develop pillars of U.S. cyber strategy—released its original report; this white paper is an appendix to that. Below are some of my thoughts on this commission white paper, as well as some thoughts about the pandemic lessons we can draw from cybersecurity.

Privacy and the four categories of information technology

American Enterprise Institute

Key Points

The term “privacy” is used to refer to many different human values, including control of personal information, fairness, personal security, financial security, peace and quiet, autonomy, integrity against commodification, and reputation.

These values are threatened differently by advancements in each of four distinct categories of information technology: sensing, storage, transfer, and processing.

The interactions between these values and the different types of information technology are complicated, so interventions meant to protect these values will vary in their effectiveness.
With legislation aimed at protecting privacy proposed in many jurisdictions and passed in some, understanding information technology and the values it affects can help policymakers fashion rules that empower people to protect themselves and that protect people directly if necessary.

Executive Summary