At a glance.
- US might expand Chinese export ban to include quantum tech.
- White House discusses IoT security label program.
- Mr. Blinken goes to Silicon Valley.
US might expand Chinese export ban to include quantum tech.
Sources say the White House is considering new export controls limiting China’s access to quantum computing technologies. Individuals close to the situation (who asked to remain anonymous) told Bloomberg that industry experts are being consulted on how best to implement restrictions on the burgeoning, powerful technology. The move would come on the heels of sweeping regulations banning the sale to China of chips and other equipment related to semiconductor production and would be part of an effort to hamper China’s progress as a major world superpower in the field of technology.
In a speech last month, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan referred to “computing-related technologies, including microelectronics, quantum information systems and artificial intelligence” as among developments “set to play an outsized importance over the coming decade,” and he acknowledged the importance of expert controls in maintaining “as large of a lead as possible” over the US’s rivals. US tech giants including Microsoft, Google, and Intel are researching applications of quantum computing, which is expected to one day be capable of overriding current encryption standards.
White House discusses IoT security label program.
Leaders from the private sector, academic institutions, and the US Government gathered earlier this week at a White House-hosted conference focused on the security of the Internet of Things (IoT). As National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson explains, The discussion focused on an implementation plan for a national cybersecurity labeling program that would improve the security of smart devices and empower consumers to make more informed choices when purchasing such products. The program would be in keeping with President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, in which he tasked NIST, in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission, with improving the cybersecurity standards of IoT devices. Amazon, AT&T, and Google were among the participants in the discussion, alongside government agencies like the National Security Council, the Office of the National Cyber Director, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The labeling program has an anticipated rollout date of Spring 2023.
Mr. Blinken goes to Silicon Valley.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Silicon Valley this week to meet with university reps and tech execs to discuss the White House’s concerns regarding the nation’s cybersecurity posture and, according to the State Department, to “highlight the key role for technology diplomacy in advancing US economic and national security.” Though the department declined to share details of the talks with the public, experts say discussion topics likely included the impending threat of cyberwar and potential foreign interference in the American voting process, especially timely given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the upcoming US elections. Theresa Payton, cybersecurity expert and former White House chief information officer, told the Guardian, “Every presidential office since the beginning of the internet has tried to do outreach to Silicon Valley, some more successfully than others. But the war in Ukraine has created a critical tipping point in the need for collaboration.” Joshua Tucker, co-director of the Center for Social Media and Politics at NYU and senior adviser at security solutions firm Kroll, added, “With midterms approaching, all eyes are on social media platforms – not only for the public, but also from policymakers,” he said. Voting interference concerns include not only the disruption of voter registration lists or vote counts, but also coordinated disinformation campaigns, as witnessed in the 2020 presidential elections.