At a glance.
- FCC will open the rip-and-replace program.
- Competing for cybersecurity talent at the US Federal, state, and local levels.
- Russia's pressure on Apple and Google.
Rip-and-replace moves forward.
Reuters reports that yesterday the US Federal Communications Commission opened its $1.9 billion dollar program to rural telecom carriers who will be compensated for removing Huawei and ZTE hardware and replacing it with more secure alternatives. ZDNet explains that carriers with fewer than ten-million customers will be eligible for grants, as will some schools, libraries, and healthcare organizations. Applications may be submitted from October 29th through January 14th.
US Federal, state, and local governments face cyber talent shortages.
Chicago Journal details the hiring challenges confronting local, state, and Federal governments forced to compete with the private sector for a limited supply of cybersecurity talent. States are grappling with roughly nine-thousand cybersecurity vacancies, for example, while the Department of Homeland Security has two-thousand open positions. Although the appeal of public service and greater work-life balance draw some to government employment, state and local departments in particular struggle to match private sector pay and benefits, and lag behind at college recruiting events. Laborious certification and security clearance prerequisites also present obstacles to public sector hiring.
Government leaders are aware of the problem, identifying workforce development as a chief concern on annual surveys, and investing in tournaments, grants, and educational initiatives as long-term solutions. Meanwhile, the steady drumbeat of cyberattacks against public agencies and their rich data stores continues, and contractors, National Guard members, and volunteers plug the gaps.
More on the pressure Russia exerted on Apple and Google.
Wired explores Apple and Google’s eventual capitulation to President Putin’s intimidation in advance of this month’s elections and advocates closing in-country offices to remove one lever of Kremlin control. Technical consequences like blocking and throttling, the piece argues, are easier to dodge than physical threats.
As we saw, the tech giants took measures to censor opposition party resources at the eleventh hour after the Government summoned and “berated” their employees, threatening specific individuals with arrest, and dispatched armed personnel for a friendly chat. While “thuggery” and “traditional coercion” remain foundational to Russia’s model of Internet governance, Wired says, IT firms would be advised to follow Twitter’s lead in resisting President Putin’s July directive requiring domestic offices. Otherwise, Western “rhetoric” about democracy-promoting technology will remain just that, as resistance groups lose faith in foreign platforms.