At a glance.
- EU and US reach agreement on European data storage.
- FBI and CISA warn of threats to satellite communications networks.
- Digital Markets Act targets anti-competition abuses.
- Wanted: Russians against the invasion of Ukraine.
EU and US reach agreement on European data storage.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the EU and the US have arrived at a preliminary agreement regarding the storage of European data in the US. The deal comes after US tech giants like Meta and Alphabet experienced years of legal issues due to their data processing practices in Europe. US President Joe Biden said the “framework underscores our shared commitment to privacy, to data protection and to the rule of law” and will allow EU authorities “to once again authorize trans-Atlantic data flows that help facilitate $7.1 trillion in economic relations with the EU.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed, saying the deal ‘“will enable predictable and trustworthy data flows between the EU and US, safeguarding privacy and civil liberties.” An earlier attempt at an agreement was found by the EU’s highest court to provide insufficient protection for European data, and some experts worry this new deal could suffer the same fate. However, Google, Meta, as well as the Computer & Communications Industry Association applauded the agreement. Nick Clegg, Meta’s vice president of global affairs, tweeted, “With concern growing about the global internet fragmenting, this agreement will help keep people connected and services running.”
FBI and CISA warn of threats to satellite communications networks.
In the aftermath of a wave of distributed denial-of-service attacks on several Ukrainian systems, including communications provider Viasat, that occurred that occurred just as Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, US satellite communications (SATCOM) companies are praising new guidelines from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) pushing for more transparency about cyber intrusions in the industry. Earlier this month the FBI and CISA published an alert warning of potential threats to SATCOM networks. Viasat’s president of government systems Craig Miller told C4ISRNET that the company has pinpointed the source of the attack and is “bringing users back online by the thousands per day.” Though the investigation into the earlier attacks is still ongoing, in a meeting with business leaders earlier this week, President Biden underscored the impending threat to satellite networks, declaring “Russia may be planning a cyberattack against us.”
Digital Markets Act targets anti-competition abuses.
Politico reports that last night EU officials approved the Digital Markets Act, a set of new rules intended to cut back on the anti-competition activities of tech companies including Google, Meta, Apple and Amazon, and likely Booking and Alibaba. The new regulations restrict compiling personal data from different sources, allow users to install apps from third-party platforms, and add prohibitions on bundling services and self-preferencing practices. The goal is to promote innovation and prevent the world’s largest tech giants from using their immeasurable resources to squash competition. Lead MEP Andreas Schwab explained, "The Digital Markets Act puts an end to the ever-increasing dominance of Big Tech companies. From now on, Big Tech companies must show that they also allow for fair competition on the internet." As the New York Times explains, the Digital Markets Act is being called the most far-reaching tech legislation since the General Data Protection Regulation was passed in 2018, and the move solidifies the EU’s position as the world’s most assertive tech regulator. Thierry Breton, one of the top digital officials in the European Commission, explained “Faced with big online platforms behaving like they were ‘too big to care,’ Europe has put its foot down.”
Wanted: Russians against the invasion of Ukraine.
The FBI is employing a unique approach to recruiting new sources: social media ads. Capitalizing on the war in Ukraine, the bureau is placing geographically-targeted ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Google in the hopes of attracting Russian-speaking individuals opposed to Putin’s invasion. The Washington Post notes that the ads cleverly use Putin’s own words against him, referencing his public scolding of intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin when he demanded that Naryshkin “speak plainly.” The ads’ tagline reads, in Russian, “Speak plainly…We’re ready to listen.” A tweet from Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov called the campaign “ridiculous,” and accused the FBI of attempting to “sow confusion and organize desertion” among embassy staff. Former spy recruiter Peter Lapp applauded the FBI’s use of modern tech, stating “It’s a brilliant recruiting strategy, because I think there’s probably a lot of folks within the Russian government that are incredibly dissatisfied with Putin’s war, and therefore it’s a great opportunity to see if any of those dissatisfied people could help us understand Putin’s intentions better.”