At a glance.
- Berlin registers its objections with Moscow.
- Russia and China push disinformation; North Korea says it's being slandered.
- The Cyberspace Solarium's lessons from the pandemic.
- A Fairness Doctrine for social media?
Germany's Foreign Ministry calls in the Russian ambassador for a remonstration.
Citing Reuters, the New York Times reports that Germany's Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to register its strong objections to Russia's 2015 hack of the Bundestag's lower house. The objection amounted to more than a diplomatic tongue lashing: State Secretary Berger informed the ambassador that Berlin would ask the EU to invoke its mechanism for "cyber sanctions" against those parties responsible.
A story in Uniam connects the Bundestag hack with Dmitry Badin, an alleged member of the GRU (that is, Fancy Bear) who's wanted by both German and American authorities in connection with cybercrimes. Radio Free Europe | Radio Liberty journalist Rikard Jozwiak tweeted that the European Union is preparing sanctions, the first such action the EU has undertaken.
Russia and China push disinformation; North Korea says it's being slandered.
Russian and Chinese intelligence services are actively pushing disinformation to take advantage of social divisions in the US that the protests in Minnesota have highlighted, POLITICO reports. Much of the messaging has "piggybacked" on hashtags established to flag the issues under protest.
US statements at the end of last week warning that North Korea is engaged in an ongoing campaign of cyberattacks have prompted the foreseeable denials from Pyongyang. Reuters quotes the DPRK Foreign Ministry: “We want to make it clear that our country has nothing to do with the so-called ‘cyber threat’ that the U.S. is talking about.” The Americans, the Ministry added, are just trying to “smear our country’s image and create a way to shake us up.”
Cybersecurity lessons from the pandemic.
The US Cyberspace Solarium Commission this morning issued a white paper on lessons learned about cybersecurity from the COVID-19 pandemic. For the most part those lessons reinforce the Commission’s policy recommendations, but they also see interesting analogies between a pandemic and a major cyberattack. They’re both global crises that call for a whole-of-nation response. Both call for an environment that makes it possible for solutions to emerge. And in both cases, “prevention and preestablished relationships” are better than deterrence and response.
In particular, the Commissioners think establishment of a National Cyber Director is more clearly indicated than ever. They call upon Congress to send digitization grants to state, territorial, tribal, and local governments, and to do so as part of COVID-19 relief packages. They urge planning for continuity of the economy, and they repeat their recommendation that the nation work toward building “societal resilience to disinformation.”
The Solarium Commissioners also include four new recommendations:
- First, they urge Congress to pass an Internet of Things Security Law.
- Second, they recommend Increasing support to non-for-profit organizations that help law enforcement agencies’ efforts to combat cybercrime and support victims.
- Third, they advocate establishing a Social Media Data and Threat Analysis Center.
- And, finally, they urge increasing nongovernmental capacity to identify and counter foreign disinformation and influence campaigns.
US Congress looks at exposure notification.
A bipartisan Congressional group is introducing the "Exposure Notification Privacy Act," the Washington Post reports. The bill's name is significant in that it alludes to the less-intrusive, decentralized exposure notification technology most famously developed jointly by Apple and Google as an alternative to centralized contact-tracing systems introduced elsewhere in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. The bill's sponsors want to ensure that participation in any such system remains strictly voluntary, and that any data collected not be repurposed for commercial use.
A second look at the old Fairness Doctrine.
The Fairness Doctrine, a US regulation abolished in 1987, required broadcasters licensed to use then-scarer sections of the electromagentic spectrum to present "both sides" of controversial issues. Representative Ro Khanna (Democrat, California 17th) has suggested reviving it in a form suitable to social media, where "speech would answer speech." The Hill has an account of Representative Khanna's idea.