Select Page

China’s cyber offense comes of age

The theme this week is China’s growing confidence in using cyberweapons in new and sophisticated ways, and the US struggle to find an answer to China’s growing ambition in this sphere. Our interview guest, Chris Bing of Reuters, talks about his story on Chinese penetration of managed service providers like HP Enterprise – a penetration that allowed APT10 access to hundreds of other companies that rely on managed service providers for most of their IT. Most chilling for the customers are strong suggestions that the providers often didn’t provide notice of the intrusions to their customers – or, worse, that the providers’ contracts may have prevented their customers from launching quick and thorough investigations when their own security systems detected anomalous behavior originating with the providers. After this episode, a lot of CISOs will be rereading their managed service contracts.  Chris also tells the story of an apparent “Five Eyes” intrusion into Yandex, the big Russian search engine.

Returning to China, in our News Roundup Nate Jones covers the latest in the US-China trade war before diving into a Wall Street Journal article (by Kate O’Keeffe) that I call the Rosetta Stone for the last two years of cyber policymaking. Looking for the unifying theme in the lobbying fight over FIRRMA, the president’s executive orders on cyber, and sanctions on companies like Sugon? Look no further than AMD, particularly its accommodation of China’s ambitions in chip manufacture and the Pentagon’s desperate effort to thwart its plans. Nate and I also consider a possible new US requirement that domestic 5G equipment be made outside China.

What is China planning to do with all that cyber power? Jordan Cannon lays out one possibility, focusing on a little-followed story in which China seems to have taken an election-tilting page straight out of Vladimir Putin’s textbook. And Nate covers a newly patient Chinese hacking cadre willing to compromise a dozen telcos for years just to collect metadata on as few as twenty telco customers.

Speaking of metadata, David Kris explains why Congress is more exercised over NSA’s access to American phone metadata than China’s. Congress took the view that NSA should not collect the metadata of innocent Americans, even if it only searched the data when it had a legal basis for doing so. Instead, Congress constructed a new Section 215 program that depended on each telco to do searches of data that remained in its hands. Unsurprisingly, the telcos have done that badly, sending the wrong data to NSA on more than one occasion. Naturally, Congress now blames NSA for “overcollecting.” Don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology from the Congressional cranks who got us into this mess.

Are you a conservative comforting yourself with the idea that Silicon Valley censorship is just a creature of platform monopoly that can be cured by more competition? Guess again. Two more conservative-hostile moves by Silicon Valley show that competition isn’t likely to end virtue signaling in the Valley. After Google banned Project Veritas’s video exposé of YouTube for, uh, privacy – that’s it, privacy – violations, its distant No. 2 competitor Vimeo responded to the competitive opportunity by also banning the video for, uh, defamation or something. And when Twitter competitor Parler offered a home to conservatives, Apple reportedly threatened (at least briefly) not to distribute the app unless it kicked some unspecified bad actors off the service.

Meanwhile, two Silicon Valley platforms that really do depend on at least a few conservative voices were singing that famous C&W song, “I hate you. I need you. And I hate that I need you.” (Okay, I made that up, but there really should be a Taylor Swift song with those lyrics.) Anyway, the needy haters of Silicon Valley have been searching for ways to show their contempt for people they’re afraid to shut down completely, and now they’ve found it. Reddit “quarantined” their wildly popular subreddit, r/the_donald, over posts the moderators said they’d never seen and had never been reported to them. And Twitter announced that it planned to salve its SJW conscience while still profiting from Trump’s tweets by attaching disapproving labels to them. Nate tries to hose me down, but it’s too late.

Finally, in breaking news from 1993, David reports that the Trump Administration is considering an encryption crackdown but can’t choose between a toothless statement of principles and a feckless proposal of legislation that will not pass. I offer the suggestion that the statement of principles could be enough to undercut Silicon Valley’s campaign to stop encryption controls in countries like Australia, the UK, and Germany. That’s where controls will eventually come from, David and I agree. If so, I’m looking forward to hearing all those folks who told us that GDPR was just the voice of civilization calling across the Atlantic say the same about European encryption mandates.

Download the 270th Episode (mp3).

You can subscribe to The Cyberlaw Podcast using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Pocket Casts, or our RSS feed!

As always, The Cyberlaw Podcast is open to feedback. Be sure to engage with @stewartbaker on Twitter. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions for topics or interviewees to [email protected]. Remember: If your suggested guest appears on the show, we will send you a highly coveted Cyberlaw Podcast mug!

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of the firm.


This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Reason. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

Read the original article.

About The Author

Stewart Baker

Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit https://reason.com

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome

Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. All feeds are checked and refreshed every hour and pages auto-refresh every 15 minutes. External images are deleted after 30 days.

Time since last refresh: 0 second

Publish Your Own Article

Follow The Libertarian Hub

 

Support Our Work

Support the Libertarian Hub by tipping with Bitcoin!

Send BTC:
19PU2K7448gKxAvisR5cF6X5RquYfWu5vZ

Weekly Newsletter

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop 5 Stories of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!