Home Tags G20

Tag: G20

State Department moves to downgrade cyber-diplomacy office

Move demotes US cyber diplomats as part of department overhaul.

Trump Suggests, Then Pulls Back on Joint Russian Cybersecurity Unit

President Donald Trump proposed, and quickly rescinded, the idea of a joint cybersecurity unit with Russian President Vladimir Putin during this week's G20 summit.

Internet Society tells G20 nations: The web must be fully encrypted

Not happy about online security being equated with restricting access to law enforcement The Internet Society has called for the full encryption of the internet, decrying the fact that securing the digital world has increasingly become associated with restricting access to law enforcement.…

Apple Watch banned from UK cabinet meetings over Russian hacker fears

EnlargeWikimedia Commons/Maria Joner reader comments 35 Share this story The UK's Tory government cabinet ministers have reportedly been officially banned from wearing Apple Watches to crucial meetings in case they're compromised by Russian hackers. "The Russians are trying to hack everything," one unnamed source told the Telegraph. Apple Watches were said to be popular with several ministers, including former justice secretary and failed leadership candidate Michael Gove, who wore them to cabinet meetings during David Cameron's tenure as prime minister. However, under PM Theresa May—the former home secretary who repeatedly pushed for Britain's spies to have greater surveillance powers—the devices have been summarily banned amid fears that Russian security services could use them to listen in on government business. Cabinet ministers have been banned from bringing smartphones and tablets to meetings since late 2013. It was reported at the time that an iPad used during a presentation by then-cabinet minister Francis "Digital by Default" Maude was removed from the room "even before discussions could begin," and smartphones were placed into "soundproof lead-lined boxes." There were also fears that USB sticks handed to delegates at the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg that year could have been loaded with malware. Russian hackers are apparently everywhere at the moment, with the US department of homeland security officially accusing Putin's regime of attempting to disrupt the US elections amid a series of political hacks.

But Russia is by no means the only nation chancing its arm with government hacks. Last year, the NSA was accused of spying on Angela Merkel and other high-ranking German officials using Reign malware. This isn't the first time Apple Watches have disrupted cabinet meetings.

The Telegraph also reports that when Gove was chief whip he accidentally played a few bars of a Beyonce song while "surreptitiously checking his e-mails." This post originated on Ars Technica UK

Obama says USA has world’s biggest and best cyber arsenal

Calls for new world no-hack order so we can fight the real bad guys – criminals United States president Barack Obama says the nation he leads has the world's foremost digital arsenal. Speaking at a press conference after meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in China, Obama said “We have had problems with cyber intrusions from Russia in the past, from other countries in the past.” He went on to say “we are moving into a new area where a number of countries have significant capacities.

And frankly we have more capacity than any other country, both offensively and defensively.” Which rather contradicts recent analysis of the USA's zero-day trove as rather small. Or means other nations have tiny zero-day hoards. Back to Obama's speech, which continued "But our goal is not, in the cyber arena, to suddenly duplicate a cycle of escalation that we saw when it comes to other arms races in the past,” Obama added.
Instead, he hopes “to start instituting some norms so that everyone is acting responsibly.” He favours that approach because “We are going to have enough problems in cyberspace with non-state actors who are engaging in theft and using the internet for all sorts of illicit practices.” The president therefore said “protecting our critical infrastructure and making sure that our financial systems are sound” are going to be priorities. “What we cannot do is have a situation in which this becomes the wild, wild west where countries that have significant cyber capacity start engaging in competition, unhealthy competition or conflict, through these means, when wisely we put in place some norms when it comes to using other weapons.” Obama said such norms have “been a topic of convo with president Putin as it has been with other countries,” then concluded by saying “We have started to get some willingness with a lot of countries around the world to adopt these norms but we have got to make sure we are observing them.” One example of Obama's hoped for world cyber order could be the US/China no hack pact signed in 2015, but quickly called into question. Other no hack pacts cover Germany and China, China and the UK and the USA and Australia. Critics say such pacts look great on paper, but exempt businesses and therefore lack teeth because China operates a great many state-owned enterprises with security functions.

The USA even runs a venture capital company, In-Q-Tel, established by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) specifically to to find useful tech for the intelligence community. Absent any detail from Obama on the new world cyber order he's imagined, it looks like there are loopholes a-plenty allowing online operations to carry on even while pacts apply. ®

Japan goes public with Brexit demands, says data flow deals must...

Enlarge / Japanese PM Shinzo Abe arrives in China for the G20 summit... just as his country's awkward Brexit memo lands.Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images reader comments 11 Share this story Prime minister Theresa May said at the weekend that she wanted to take her time to secure the best trade deals for a post-Brexit Britain, and reiterated—in her trademark vague terms—that the so-called Article 50 won't be triggered this year.

But political pressure from governments as far away as Japan continues to mount. On Sunday, in a bold move, the Japanese government published a 15-page memo (PDF) setting out a number of demands it wants the UK to adhere to, once it leaves the European Union. It underscored that Britain faces a torrid time of negotiations—not just with member states in the EU, but further afield, too. Japan, which has close economic ties with the UK, listed its demands based on requests from businesses in the country.
It said: Since Europe including the UK is a major trading partner and investment destination for other countries in Asia as well as of Japan, it is in the common interest of all Asian countries as a whole that they continue to have access to the free market of Europe, including the UK. It is of great importance that the UK and the EU maintain market integrity and remain attractive destinations for businesses where free trade, unfettered investment, and smooth financial transactions are ensured. In light of the fact that a number of Japanese businesses, invited by the government in some cases, have invested actively to the UK, which was seen to be a gateway to Europe, and have established value-chains across Europe, we strongly request that the UK will consider this fact seriously and respond in a responsible manner to minimise any harmful effects on these businesses. It's brutal stuff from Japan, and could well lead to other countries making similarly robust demands. On tech specifically, the Japanese government called on the UK and EU, post-Brexit, to maintain cloud agreements between businesses at an international level, by safeguarding the "free transfer of data." Here's the list in full: [Requests directed at the UK and the EU] maintenance of the current tariff rates and customs clearance procedures; ・introduction of provisions for cumulative rules of origin; ・maintenance of the access to workers who are nationals of the UK or the EU; ・maintenance of the freedom of establishment and the provision of financial services, including the “single passport” system; ・maintenance of the freedom of cross-border investment and the provision of services as well as the free movement of capital, including that between associated companies; ・maintenance of the current level of information protection and the free transfer of data; ・unified protection of intellectual property rights; ・maintenance of harmonisation of the regulations and standards between the UK and the EU (including the maintenance of established frameworks of mutual recognition and equivalence); ・securing the UK’s function as a clearing centre for the Euro and the location within the UK of EU agencies such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA); and ・maintenance of the UK’s access to the EU budget for research and development and participation in the Japan-EU joint research project. [Additional requests directed at the UK] ・liberalisation of trade in goods without the burdens of customs duties and procedures; ・maintenance of access to workers with the necessary skills; ・maintenance of basic policies regarding the entry of foreign capital; ・implementation of measures to promote investment; ・maintenance of the current levels of information protection and the free transfer of data in case the UK establishes its own legislation distinct from the EU’s; ・ensuring the consistency of regulations and standards between the UK and the EU; and ・ensuring that the EU’s research and development budget applies to research institutions in the UK. [Additional request directed at the EU] ・provision of transitional arrangements for the single passporting system. PM May is currently in China with other world leaders at the G20 summit, where she will be attempting to negotiate on global trade and investment plans with her peers as Brexit looms large. But over the weekend, US president Obama repeated his earlier disappointment about the UK voting to leave the EU. When quizzed, he said that Britain was at the back of the queue, saying "it would not make sense" for the US to put the UK ahead of Asia and the EU on trade deals. "We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that the consequences of the decision don’t end up unraveling what is already a very strong and robust economic relationship," Obama said, before adding that "the first task is going to be figuring out what Brexit means with respect to Europe." On Monday afternoon MPs in the UK will debate a call, based on a public petition, for a second EU referendum—something that May has already said won't happen on her watch. This post originated on Ars Technica UK