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Has a single tech malfunction ever affected quite as many people as this? You do the math, but on Monday an unexplained outage at Facebook left some 3.5 billion users worldwide without access to the social media site, its messaging app WhatsApp, and the photo sharing site Instagram.

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Personal data risks with TikTok; Tesla driverless cars investigation

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Beijing took a stake and a board seat in TikTok owner ByteDance's key Chinese entity. Should I worry about my data on TikTok?

Now, being concerned about where your data ends up is always a good idea, but for underage children, many of whom love video-sharing apps and social media, that question is even more sensitive. And for apps that end up being accessible by governments, and essentially most of them are, you want to be aware of what you share. I recall an account of an American teenager being shut down as they highlighted the human rights violations of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, which is, of course, something that should be highlighted and it's troubling that the video-sharing company intervenes on behalf of a Chinese state agenda.

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QR codes and the risk to your personal data

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

QR codes are everywhere. Are they also tracking my personal data?

Well, a QR code is like a complex barcode that may be on a printed ad or product package for you to scan and access more information. For example, to look at a menu without health risk or for two-factor verification of a bank payment. And now also as an integral part of covid and vaccine registration. QR codes can lead to tracking metadata or personal data. And when your phone scans and takes you to a website, certainly the tracking starts there. Now, one big trap is that people may not distinguish one kind of use of QR codes from another and that they cannot be aware of the risks of sharing their data.

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US, NATO, & EU condemn China's Microsoft hack; Pegasus spyware leak

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

The US, NATO, and the EU have all condemned China for its hack of Microsoft Exchange servers. What happens next?

Now, the joint statement sends a strong signal, but there are operational steps that need to be clarified. Firstly, why was it possible to hack Microsoft servers at all and how to close the gaps to make software more resilient? Additionally, governments making statements condemning China or others are well-advised to attach consequences to such attributions. Sanctions of the economic, financial or immigration type, as well as restrictions on state-owned enterprises, should all be on the table. Certainly, clear criteria need to be there with regard to responsible behavior and the application of international law in cyberspace.

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US & allies unite against China's cyberattacks

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, back in Nantucket for a few days, and a Quick Take to start out the week.Well, I thought I would talk about the finger-pointing happening at China for these cyberattacks. When we've been talking about cyberattacks recently, we mostly talk about Russia. It's been ransomware, it's been espionage, it's been disinformation, and US election intervention and all of these things. But no, this week it is all about China, and specifically the White House had this unusually strong statement, citing concerns about China's, what they call, irresponsible and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace, specifically talking about a hack against the Microsoft Exchange Server that we found out about back in March. That is a big deal.

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Report: China's cyber security a decade behind the US, despite hype

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Question one, a recent study suggests China's cyber capabilities are a decade behind the United States. Is China really that far behind?

Well, the IISS report assessed that China is behind in cyber security, making it relatively vulnerable. But that does not change the cyber capacity and most of all, the willingness to use its tools to gain access to information through stealthy intrusion. At the same time, China benefits from an image of having great digital and cyber capabilities and of being on the cusp of global dominance. This notion of a race between China and the US we often hear about when discussing A.I., greatly benefits those who are able to gain more investments and government support from this image. So in light of opportunistic hypes, reality checks and independent research are most helpful.

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US national security depends on domestic progress

Jane Harman, a nine-term member of Congress (D-CA) who served for decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives, discusses the shortcomings of the US national security strategy for the last few decades, and assesses the Biden administration's plans to strengthen it. In an interview with Ian Bremmer, she discusses the priorities for addressing critical issues at home and abroad, from the COVID pandemic to the climate crisis and terrorism. But without a unified and functional Congress, Harman warns, the US is ineffective on matters of security. "Where is Congress? Congress can't get things done because of toxic partisanship, but the other reason it can't get anything done is members don't want to own the consequences. And that is chicken."

Harman, author of the new book, "Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Make Us Less Safe," discusses Joe Biden's presidency so far and gives him high marks on assembling an "A-team" for foreign policy. She adds, 'I'm just hopeful that because he has long term relationships and really a good compass for how to talk to members of Congress, he will be able to get somewhere."

Combating cybercrime a focus at G7 and Biden-Putin summits

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Cyber issues took center stage at the G7 summit. Is there a consensus among world leaders on how to handle cyberweapons?

Well, depending on who is included, there is a growing consensus that the escalations of conflict in cyberspace must stop. And G7 leaders that are now all representing democracies did call on Russia to hold perpetrators of cybercrime that operate from within its borders to account. So, I guess hope dies last because laws in Russia prevents the extradition of suspects to the US, even if Vladimir Putin answered positively when Joe Biden asked for cooperation on that front. And when it comes to limiting the spread of tools that are used for hacking, surveillance and infiltration, the EU has just moved ahead and adopted new dual use regulations which reflect the concerns for human rights violations when journalists are targeted the way that Jamal Khashoggi was. So ending the proliferation of systems that are used to attack would be an urgent but also obvious step for democratic nations to agree on.

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