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Beware perpetual cyberattacks, and protect education 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:

Experts want us to stop using the term "cyber 9/11". Why is that?

Well, indeed many cybersecurity experts, including my brilliant Stanford colleague, Jacquelyn Schneider, have pointed out that a "cyber 9/11" is not the metaphor that helps people understand the actual nature of the threats. You may have also heard politicians warning for a "cyber Pearl Harbor," and indeed experts are also pushing back against this metaphor. Cyberattacks happen often and are maybe more like massive shots of hail. By trying to probe many vulnerabilities and sending multiple phishing emails, criminals and state entities are trying which digital door might open, trying over and over again, and then can help them achieve their criminal, intelligence or geopolitical goals. The notion of a perpetual shot of hail may also make people realize that the attacks can be closer to them, and then empowering them to be part of the solution instead of feeling defeated by the notion of a massive terrorist attack, targeting a landmark far away, and causing major physical and human suffering.

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El Salvador’s risky move to Bitcoin; future of Singapore patrol robots

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:

El Salvador becomes the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Is this a risky move?

Well, it is unclear who ought to benefit most of the President's move to adopt Bitcoin. Poor shopkeepers, wealthy investors, or he himself. With arguments that remittances are expensive and the future is digital, President Bukele leapt forward. But the immediate value drop of Bitcoin was a live reminder of the cryptocurrencies' volatility. One silver lining is that others can learn from the lessons that El Salvador will learn under this new spotlight.

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China data privacy law limits big tech, but has few rights protections

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:

How does China's recently passed privacy law compare to other countries?

While China's new law is said to be similarly comprehensive as the EU's General Data Protection Regulation and would indeed limit the decision-making power of its big tech companies. However, no law exists just on paper. There's always a context. And in the case of China, there are very few rights protections for people. While in the EU, fundamental rights protections were the main aim of the GDPR. For all geopolitical blocs with new data governance laws, China, India or the EU, we see a balancing act between national security arguments, rights protections, and economic development ambitions. But conspicuously absent from the list is the United States, which still does not have a federal data protection law.

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China's tech crackdown leads to huge losses; Citizen app controversy

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:

How will China's tech crackdown affect the rest of the world?

Well, investors in the US, but also globally were not amused with Beijing's policy decisions coming right after DiDi's IPO and leading to huge losses. Overseas listings are now directly targeted in moves that are being defended as being based on national security, kind of sounds familiar, but the value of Chinese tech stock all over the world is dropping. But still, many continue to view the relationship between Chinese-based companies and the state as symbiotic. So if nothing else, recent moves certainly show that Chinese decision-makers want to keep their grip on anything that happens in the country, very firm.

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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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Will there be a decisive US response to Russian cyber attacks?

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:

After an attempted hack of a Republican National Committee contractor, is cybersecurity at a breaking point between the US and Russia?

Well, that breaking point has been a long time coming. There was the attempt to manipulate the 2016 elections and now we see a series of ransomware attacks that are escalating. So the question is, what the US can do to decisively change the calculation on the Russian side? Making clear that there will be sanctions and other consequences that hurt should be a start. But it will only be credible if these promises are followed through and enforced.

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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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