At a glance.
- Australia's Online Safety Bill.
- The US reconsiders what might count as an attack in cyberspace.
Australia’s Online Safety Bill advances.
Crikey says Canberra’s Online Safety Bill, passed Tuesday by the Senate with bipartisan support, “will give broad censorship powers” to a Government-designated eSafety Commissioner. The law aims to protect marginalized groups from digital mistreatment, but critics worry about the regulation’s expansive authorities and its potential for producing unintended and unwelcome consequences.
Cyber diplomacy and how to understand what counts as an “attack.”
War on the Rocks argues for restructuring the State Department’s cyber policy outfit in view of the diverse impacts of technology issues. Currently and tentatively under the purview of the Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security, cybersecurity and emerging technology policy influences military, security, stability, strategic, defense, deterrence, economic, trade, diplomatic, competitive, scientific, political, information landscape, and human rights considerations. Technology topics deserve a designated undersecretary, the author argues, who can integrate these considerations and appropriately promote cyber’s standing in a complex digital era. “[T]inkering at the margins” of an organizational problem spanning over a dozen siloed bureaus won’t do, nor will allowing a monopoly of security concerns that tend towards “constraints, hurdles, and walls.”
In line with the National Security Commission on AI’s recommendations, and after the pattern of other nation-state offices, the technology office would efficiently synchronize interdisciplinary concerns and allow for compromises and quick decisions. The office should also coordinate with the Departments of Energy, Defense, Commerce, Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security under the supervision of the National Security Council, says War on the Rocks.
Lawfire looks at President Biden’s warning to President Putin about critical infrastructure disruptions and sees “a rather significant” deviation from established opinion on what qualifies as an “armed attack” and thus generates a right of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. Typically only those incidents that “directly and foreseeably result in deaths, injuries, or physical destruction” are understood to meet the threshold of armed attacks under international law, but President Biden seemed to categorize, for example, the (disruptive but non-destructive) Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident as an attack. (Notably, Administrative representatives carved out traditional espionage from the warning, and that exception is in line with traditional distinctions.) Lawfire says Washington has thus advanced a new line for when cyber incidents count as armed attacks, and the world will take notice of how the line is held.