At a glance.
- Australia invests in cyber capabilities.
- India prepares for Chinese cyberattacks.
- China passes national security law designed for Hong Kong.
- US Defense bills address cybersecurity.
Australia invests in cyber capabilities.
Australian concern about Chinese operations in cyberspace has not abated. The Chinese activity, comprising a range of espionage objectives, has prompted an equivalent range of defensive responses.
The most recent response has been in terms of resources. Prime Minister Morrison’s government has pledged, ZDNet reports, 1.35 billion Australian dollars. The expenditure will be spread over ten years, and a lot of it will be spent on the Australian Signals Directorate, where 470 million will be allocated to the creation of five-hundred jobs. A further 278 million will be used to help ASD go after offshore cybercrime, to help expand intelligence capabilities, and to develop “a national situational awareness system to respond to threats on a national scale.” That situational awareness package is known as CESAR, for “Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response.” The use to which the remaining 500 million will be put are expected to be specified in the forthcoming 2020 Cybersecurity Strategy, due out later this summer.
India braces for Chinese retaliation in cyberspace in response to New Delhi's restrictions on Chinese tech.
And, finally, India, whose policy on allowing Chinese tech into its domestic markets has hardened considerably since recent shooting skirmishes along the Indian-Chinese border, is preparing for a wave of cyberattacks orchestrated from Beijing, the Economic Times reports. Authorities have been issuing alerts and warnings to this effect for more than a week. Whatever develops, New Delhi expects the worst from Beijing.
Hong Kong and China's new national security law.
China has passed its projected national security law, which has special applicability to Hong Kong. The Wall Street Journal headlines it as an anti-protest measure, and while it will surely have that effect, the law will serve to bring Hong Kong's hitherto exceptional system, negotiated before the British withdrawal and more-or-less in place since then, more into line with general Chinese law and policy. The Guardian characterizes the law, couched as an anti-sedition measure, as "devastating Hong Kong's autonomy."
The US response, the Washington Post reports, has been to immediately suspend the limited defense trade with Hong Kong, and to announce that it would move toward a more comprehensive ban on selling a range of dual-use technologies to the formerly semi-autonomous city.
Cyber policy and the US National Defense Authorization Act.
C4ISRNet reports that the Senate Armed Services Committee's version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would effectively halt the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA's) deployment of the long-troubled Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) program for its Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. The Senators question whether the system isn't already obsolete, whether alternatives either already in place or readily obtainable don't do a better job, and whether its cybersecurity capabilities aren't inadequate to its job.
The NDAA is also addressing some of the recommendations of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, but according to the Washington Post, some of those recommendations face an uphill climb. In particular efforts to establish a White House lead cybersecurity position, a cybersecurity "czar" as such positions are always oddly called, seems stalled in the Senate. And Congress as a whole is reluctant to reduce the number of its own committees ("dozens") that have a stake in overseeing cybersecurity.