At a glance.
- Dot gov domains now available without charge.
- The state of sanctions against Chinese IT companies (notably Huawei).
- Iran's budget for cyber operations.
DotGov now free to govs.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has assumed management of the .gov top-level domain, as required by the DOTGOV Act, DotGov reports. After consulting with government organizations, CISA made .gov domains free for qualifying groups as of Tuesday. The domains still cannot be used for profitmaking or partisan aims.
Prior to this week, the annual cost of a .gov domain was four-hundred dollars, a strain on smaller communities’ budgets. The new rules will make it harder for bad actors to impersonate government officials by making it easier for official sites to distinguish themselves.
Germany “gets tough” on Huawei; FCC considers expanding sanctions.
Politico reports that Berlin last week passed a law curtailing “untrustworthy” 5G vendors. The legislation follows years of discussion, and moves German policy towards that of France, England, and other allies. Telecoms must alert the Government about new critical equipment contracts, and within a few months, the Interior Ministry will approve or deny the agreements on security grounds, in line with EU and NATO goals. Politico warns that enforcing restrictions “will require political will.”
Law360 says the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering blocking electronic consumer gadgets made by untrustworthy foreign vendors, framing the proposal as “additional consequences” for blacklisted telecom firms. The FCC is also thinking about extending last year’s restrictions on Huawei and ZTE gear to encompass purchases made with private capital, according to ETTelecom. (FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, via Federal News Network, explains the rationale: “You can have the exact same unsecured gear…as long as a provider is using private funds…The national security threat comes from the gear itself, not the source of funding.”) Excluding forced labor from the supply chain is another priority for the Commission.
Federal News Network notes that CISA’s supply chain resource will help firms identify compromised products, and that Congress appropriated nearly $2 billion for telecoms’ rip and replace effort. Ernst & Young will oversee the fund, Bloomberg reports.
China is still feeling the pain, Quartz observes. Huawei sales continue to drop, down nearly seventeen percent from last year’s first quarter report—but the firm was buoyed by an almost four percent profit margin increase, ABC News adds. The company’s stash of US chips is running dry as it refocuses on other markets like autonomous vehicles. ComputerWeekly says Huawei is pushing ahead with its 5G products as well.
Tehran adds $71.4 million to its budget for ‘cyber ops.’
Iran is allocating $63 million to the “cyberspace activists” arm of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting agency, and $8.4 million to the Islamic Development Organization’s “cyber section,” the Record reports. The funding is expected to bolster the regime’s domestic digital influence campaigns. The two media conglomerates use news outlets, bots, and influencers to convey their messages.