Foreign Policy Blogs

Technology

Carl Bildt Invented Email

Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister, sometimes PM, and general foreign-policy badass, has a rather self-aggrandizing and content-free editorial calling for Internet Freedom in the WaPo recently. There’s not a lot on which to comment. Dictators on the wrong side of history, etc. The main significance, I think, is ...

read more

Fearmongering in a Scary Cyberworld

Fearmongering in a Scary Cyberworld

Ars Technica, one of my favorite geeky news sites, has a great scare piece on the Hobbsian state of nature in cybersecurity. (No, not this Hobbes. This one.) Go read it, and after deciding that eArmageddon 2.0 is on the way come back before you start ...

read more

Elsewhere in FPBland – Mark Dillen on Google vs. China

Over in his blog on Public Diplomacy, fellow FPA minion Mark Dillen has an excellent piece on the Great Google-China Grudge Match. He remarks how similar the rhetoric is to the Bad Old Days: Among the fascinating and disturbing aspects to this commentary is the way it resembles the ...

read more

Do Not Leave Your Key Under the Welcome Mat.

Do Not Leave Your Key Under the Welcome Mat.

Google installed backdoors in Gmail to aid the Feds – and unwittingly enabled their recent hackers, according to Bruce Schneier, writing at CNN. Schneier is one of the best thinkers out there on security in all its forms; he got his start literally writing the book on computer cryptography. There’s an important lesson ...

read more

Google's Logic for Entering – and Leaving – China

Google's Logic for Entering – and Leaving – China

In researching the current kerfluffle with the attacks on Google, I came across some interesting testimony from company reps before the House International Relations Committee in 2006 regarding their entry into the Middle Kingdom. There was copious amounts of angsty hand-wringing there and in other public fora before ...

read more

Twitter Tweaks the Tyrants

Twitter Tweaks the Tyrants

Once attendees out at Davos for the World Economic Forum finish ooing over the gift bag they face the thorny problem of picking between sessions. Life on Other Planets vs. The Year of the Flood: Speculative Fiction or the Edge of Reality? Should one work on 

read more

Undeterrable Cyberwar

Undeterrable Cyberwar

The Grey Lady just ran an ominous piece on the undeterrable world of cyber war. It raises a number of the very real problems with virtual warfare: Cyber attacks are non-attributable – while the headline-grabbing hacks of Chinese dissidents’ Gmail accounts probably came from China, some initial evidence pointing that ...

read more

Ushahidi – Crowdsourcing Intelligence

Ushahidi – Crowdsourcing Intelligence

I spent a night last week working with some friends and colleagues on crisis mapping the disaster in Haiti using a remarkable piece of software called Ushahidi – “testimony” in Swahili. Crisis mapping is taking in live information from a disaster or conflict zone via the Internet and mapping it ...

read more

"Osama Bin Laden Likes Your Status"

The Underpants Bomber had quite an internet presence and even a Facebook profile, according to the Washington Post. Yet another reminder to get your Facebook privacy settings right. You don’t want to end up like these guys. Steve Coll justifiably asks why such clear evidence of increasing Islamic ...

read more

Poisonous PDFs

Poisonous PDFs

PDF files exploiting a a vulnerability in Acrobat Reader were sent to a passel of defense contractors this week. A sophisticated attack, the files when opened exploited a vulnerability that had been patched in Reader just days prior, and handed control of the newly zombified computer over to ...

read more

Freedom to Connect

Freedom to Connect

Attended Secretary of State Clinton’s policy address on Internet Freedom yesterday. It’s fun to see HRC on the big stage; I worked for her during the 2008 primary, and always enjoy hearing her speak. This was by definition a major address; the Secretary does not do many of ...

read more

Hello, world!

Hello, world!

Greetings and salutations, gracious readers! My name is Chris Doten, and I’ll be your guide as we tour the networked wilderness of international relations in the Internet age. I’ve spent years working with computers, networks, and web applications, got myself a foreign policy degree from Tufts’ Fletcher School, and have ...

read more