Foreign Policy Blogs

Cyber Security

Hardware Hacks

The Hill had a piece recently talking about Republican Senatorial angst around Chinese networking electronics giant Huawei providing equipment to Sprint.
Huawei, like all firms of any importance in China, has significant ties to the CCP leadership and the People’s Liberation Army.
The idea is that Sprint, being a major provider …

read more

Hey, Who Turned The Lights Out?

Hey, Who Turned The Lights Out?

I get pretty irritated with the CyberWar Hysteria sometimes. The logic of alamists goes something like this:
1) “Oh Noes there are Bad Haxors out there who break into computers!!”
2) “Computers are buggy and have problems and really get hacked!!!”
3) *crickets*
4) “EXPLOSIONS, MASS DESTRUCTION AND DEATH ARE COMING!!!1!11!”
It is genuinely hard …

read more

Come to the Darknet Side

Come to the Darknet Side

The UAE and the Saudis have made a lot of news earlier this week with their steps to choke BlackBerry data services in their countries.
Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry, came up with a particularly clever system for securing their devices. CEOs, as it turns out, …

read more

CyberAssault* Attribution? Who Cares!

That’s the not-terribly-unreasonable response of former NSA Director Michael Haydon.
It’s a problem to try and figure out where Internet attacks come from. In the real world, that doesn’t really matter as much. If Canada was feeling pissy and let a bunch of bombers from some unknown third country …

read more

Eternal Values or American Ideology

Secretary Clinton identified net reedom as a core value that the US will promote – and by all accounts, the various tentacles of the US government apparatus have gotten the message. The US is aggressively promoting the Freedom to Connect around the world using all the different tools at its …

read more

The Good Guys Are The Bad Guys

The Good Guys Are The Bad Guys

We pick a lot on authoritarians around here – try it, it’s fun!
*poke poke* *GROWL* *ARGH MY ARM IS GONE!!!!*
However, there’s a lot of unexpected players acting like bad guys in terms of internet censorship these days. Australia has draconian filtering laws. South Korea does everything possible to …

read more

Cybersecurity Moves Through Congress

Cybersecurity Moves Through Congress

Senate Homeland Security pushed through a comprehensive cybersecurity reform bill last week. (Writeup; bill text). It appears that cyber, for now, remains one of the areas in which the parties can work productively together, as it is co-sponsored by a Republican (Collins), Democrat (Carper), and Weasel Independent …

read more

You're in a bubble.

You're in a bubble.

Great presentation by Eli Pariser at PDF 2010 on the Filter Bubble.
What’s the filter bubble?
Well, you’re living in it.
In the Internet Age, we’re used to seeing many, many results for any search. “Why Am I Lonely?”: 150,000 hits. “Why Am I Happy?”: 141,000  hits. (Not as bad as I expected.)
A huge, colossal …

read more

21st Century Leaking at the Personal Democracy Forum

21st Century Leaking at the Personal Democracy Forum

I’m writing from the Personal Democracy Forum, a big yearly conference on the intersection of politics, governance, technology and activism. Great set of speakers – Eli Pariser of MoveOn, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, and even Newt Gingrich.
Things got off to an exciting (if technically flawed) start with a conversation between …

read more

Friday Lazy Linking

Friday Lazy Linking

Time for another roundup of great stories I’m not great enough to get to.

The immediate response mechanism of Twitter and other instant tech systems can be good for our altruistic side, too, whatever it might cost when… I’m sorry, what were we talking about?
Some great old tech …

read more

Opening the American Internet

Opening the American Internet

Big news from the FCC, America’s telecom regulator. Their feisty and energetic chair Julius Genachowski is planning to put some serious teeth back into Internet regulations.
A while ago the Supreme Court shot down the primary foundation for FCC regulation of broadband technologies.
One of the most visible likely casualties …

read more

Dystopic Near Future Sci-Fi – in Arizona

Dystopic Near Future Sci-Fi – in Arizona

Dystopic near-future sci-fi is one of my favorite genres. Gattaca, Blade Runner, The Matrix, Twelve Monkeys – some intriguing ideas there, and always beautifully shot.
Today we take a wander down that path – not things to be Deeply Offended™ about today, but to consider for the future.
Given the technological power at …

read more

No, we're not all going to die. Also, cyber regulation good.

For the love of the FSM this kind of language annoys me.
Rockefeller pledges to work with tech leaders to avert “cyber 9/11, cyber Katrina”
Can we be realistic about the very serious threats that the Internet poses without going off into hysterical language? Yes, I’m looking at …

read more

Chinese ISPs Now in Leak Suppression Business

China’s ratcheting up their state secrets laws. That’s never a good sign. NYT article.
There is an amusingly awful definition of state secrets being promulgated: they are “information that, if disclosed, would damage China’s security or interests in political, economic, defense and other realms.” Presumably the story that the Chinese …

read more

Tweeting Domestic Elections

At the 14o Characters (tee hee) Conference some peeps were talking about using Twitter to monitor elections. Yes yes, we’ve been over that before. Shenanigans in authoritarian regimes, blah blah.
Ah, but they were talking about America.
The WSJ wrote it up.
“This is something we can …

read more