At a glance.
- US prepares a comprehensive response to Russia in Solorigate.
- Canada, Finland, and the Netherlands warn of a Chinese espionage threat.
- Canada and the EU consider rules for content payment.
US response to Solorigate.
SeekingAlpha reports the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will take up the SolarWinds supply chain breach tomorrow, with participation from FireEye, CrowdStrike, and Microsoft. Last week Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger stressed the importance of public-private collaboration in remediation efforts and added her voice to the Federal chorus calling for greater intelligence agency visibility into networks, according to Homeland Security Today.
Neuberger remarked that Washington’s response—which Insider says is imminent, and may take the form of sanctions—will reflect the sum of recent Russian mischief. AP News notes the hack is also “likely to unleash a wave of spending on technology modernization and cybersecurity,” possibly including a thirty percent boost to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) budget. Calling cyber infrastructure “every bit as important as our roads and bridges” and “important to protecting human life,” one Representative said he expects to see cyber funding enhancements in forthcoming infrastructure legislation.
As we’ve seen, the breach has already catalyzed cyber policy changes. The most recent National Defense Authorization Act increased CISA’s authorities within Federal networks and established a national director of cybersecurity.
Canada, Finland, and the Netherlands warn of China’s rising threat.
Business Standard and BW Businessworld observe that intelligence officials in Ottawa, Helsinki, and Amsterdam have separately flagged Beijing’s global ambitions as a leading national security concern. Canadian Security Intelligence Service Director David Vigneault commented that China is "pursuing a strategy for geopolitical advantage on all fronts – economic, technological, political, and military,” and “attempting to undermine our democratic processes.” Similarly, Finnish Security and Intelligence Service Director Antti Pelttari warned that China is “trying to get hold of Finland's critical infrastructure,” while a report from the Netherlands’ General Intelligence and Security Service described Beijing as an “imminent threat” to the country’s infrastructure and economy.
Ottawa copies Canberra on media fees.
Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is working up legislation that would force Google and Facebook to compensate media outlets, the New York Post reports, following a summit on the subject with officials from Australia, Germany, France, and Finland. “I’m a bit curious to see what Facebook’s response will be,” Guilbeault said, noting that the bloc might shortly grow to fifteen members. Facebook Canada’s Global Director and Head of Public Policy commented, “We believe there are other options to support news in Canada that will more fairly benefit publishers of all sizes and recognize the value that platforms bring to news organizations.”
A Canadian professor of media studies remarked that Big Tech is currently “deciding what is truth for the whole world,” but “[w]e are seeing a very significant turning point in challenging the monopoly.” Critics maintain that the proposed legislation is “breaking the internet” and “very poorly thought out.”
As an intramural business squabble, the issue has pitted, roughly speaking, publishers against platforms. The publishers have one Big Tech ally in Microsoft, which, Seeking Alpha observes, has signed on to an "informal coalition" of European businesses lobbying for proposed EU requirements that would require "gatekeepers" enjoying "dominant market positions" to pay for content. That informal coalition includes the European Publishers Council, News Media Europe, and European magazine and newspaper publishers' associations.