At a glance.
- US Senate does not vote on House bill to extend surveillance authority and reform FISA.
- Huawei gets some access to French 5G; expulsion from US networks begins shortly.
- Cyberspace Solarium's tough line on deterrence.
- Russian troll farmer opens branches in Ghana, Nigeria.
US Senate does not extend domestic surveillance authority.
The US Senate did not pass the revisions to domestic surveillance authorities and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the House sent it earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reports. The measure did have bipartisan support in both houses, but it faced significant opposition as well. The opponents in general thought the measure did not go far enough in reforming FISA and domestic surveillance. The domestic surveillance program--effectively dormant since NSA shelved its implementation early last year, and generally regarded by observers as having seen relatively indifferent success--will thus sunset over the weekend. Congress will have an opportunity to revisit the issues when it returns from its recess.
Oui, un peu, in France; forget about it in America.
Reuters says that France's cybersecurity agency, ANSSI, has decided to allow Huawei at least some limited participation in that country's 5G infrastructure, confined to its "non-core" parts. ANSSI is preparing, sources tell Reuters, to inform telecommunications company of what Huawei products they'll be permitted to use, and where. “They don’t want to ban Huawei," one source is quoted as saying, "but the principle is: ‘Get them out of the core mobile network’.”
In the US, President Trump has signed the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, a bill that provides funds to compensate smaller, mostly rural telecommunications carriers for the expense of getting rid of the Huawei equipment they may have already installed. The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports that the Federal Communications Commission has directed carriers to inventory their Chinese-manufactured equipment.
The Cyberspace Solarium seems more hard-nosed than many had expected.
Breaking Defense calls the Cyberspace Solarium's report "a surprisingly hard-headed case for old-school deterrence." They quote co-chair Senator Angus King (Independent of Maine). “Our adversaries feel no fear,” the Senator said, and the commissioners think that needs to change. “If you attack us,” he said, “you will pay a price.”
Lawfare, in its continuing series of pieces on the Solarium's report, discusses the ways in which a stable deterrent regime is intertwined with the development of international norms of conduct in cyberspace.
Russian trolling operations establish African branches.
Russian trolling has been off-shored, in part at least, to operators in Ghana and Nigeria, CNN reports. Researchers at Clemson University informed CNN’s investigation. They say It's election-season influence, and it's very much in the Russian style: disruptive and racially themed. And CNN says some of the operators--many of them Ghanaian or Nigerian--tell them that sure, they’re working for Russia.
A number of the trolls are organized by a front organization, Eliminating Barriers for the Liberation of Africa (or EBLA, for short). Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, familiarly known as “Putin’s chef” and regarded as the organizing spirit behind St. Petersburg’s Internet Research Agency, is believed to be behind EBLA, too. But he didn’t respond to CNN’s request for comment. This week, according to the Hill, several members of the US Congress called upon the European Union to sanction Mr. Prigozhin for his activities.