At a glance.
- A US national cyber director, pro and con.
- Banning TikTok.
- Vaccine hacking and international norms.
- China objects, again, to Britain's exclusion of Huawei from its 5G infrastructure.
A US cyber czar, pro and con.
Hearings on Capitol Hill are receiving testimony and offering comment to the effect that the Twitter hack shows the need for a national cybersecurity director in the White House, to be established along lines recommended by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, Consumer Electronics reports. It does seem inevitable that any high-profile hack would be received as lending urgency to proposals for a cyber czar.
For a dissenting view, however, see an essay in Lawfare, which argues that the two objectives creating such a position are said to serve ("elevate and empower existing cybersecurity agencies, particularly the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency," and "create new focal points for coordinating cybersecurity in the executive branch and Congress") don't really hold water. Instead, it would be better to simply give CISA a greater budget and more of the authorities it might need.
TikTok ban under consideration in the US (it's already a done deal in India).
The US Government seems to be moving toward serious consideration of banning TikTok as a security risk. An op-ed in TheHill suggests that such a ban would be based more on the generally frosty bilateral relations between the US and China than on specific cases of misconduct on the part of the social platform, but on the other hand TikTok does collect a great deal of data on its users.
India's relations with China may be said to be even worse than those the US enjoys, because India and China in late spring had some lethal skirmishes on their common border. On June 29th the Indian government included TikTok in a list of banned Chinese apps, and its former users are said by NPR to be missing it. Quartz does note that social music-streaming app Resso, one of TikTok's corporate sisters in the ByteDance family, is still doing a land office business in the subcontinent.
COVID-19 vaccine hacking and international norms.
The Washington Post collects expert opinions about Russian and Chinese hacking of COVID-19 vaccine research and finds they differ over how to respond, and even whether the hacking represented legitimate intelligence collection or a clear violation of international norms. Norms or no norms, there’s a significant amount of bipartisan animus directed toward recent incidents of biomedical research hacking.
The BBC reports that the Russian ambassador to London has gone out on a limb and said Russia didn't do it.
We have seen the future, and it works in Shenzhen.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, who represents China in London, has sharply criticized the UK's decision to eject Huawei from its 5G infrastructure, the Express reports. The ambassador said that in turning its back on Huawei, Britain is "rejecting the future," which is one way of looking at it.