Foreign Policy Blogs

Cybersecurity

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, don’t like the idea of anyone […]

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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 sail through their airspace to take […]

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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 disposal. In the State Department, […]

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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 suppress anonymity online. (Care to […]

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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 (Lieberman). It’s an interesting and important idea that the […]

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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 amount of information. […]

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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 Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon […]

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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 commercials. Ah, those were the days. […]

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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 of unfettered ISPs pursuing unlimited profit guided […]

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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 the disposal of […]

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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 you, Ms. Bachmann. After I stopped choking […]

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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 had 14 year olds on their […]

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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 do without running to the lawyers on election […]

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NATO, Cyber, and Article 5

NATO, Cyber, and Article 5

Sec. Clinton is off in Estonia for a High Muckamuck level confab to talk about what NATO should be doing with itself. I think the biggest military alliance the world has ever seen has been managing to keep busy just fine, but every few years they seem to have these angsty existential crises. NATO’s core […]

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"Fire at will!" "Who's Will?"

"Fire at will!" "Who's Will?"

The Fog of War is particularly foggy in cyberspace. Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, NSA director and the new nominee to head up Cyber Command, produced 32 pages of answers to Senators’ questions leading up to his nomination hearings. AP wrote a piece on one aspect: the Pentagon’s plan to counter any Internet-delivered attacks “swiftly and strongly.” […]

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