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Opinion | The World-Shaking News That You’re Missing
Nov. 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman

** “Has China Won? by  Kishore Mahbubani

A new wall — a digital Berlin Wall — had begun to be erected between China and America. And the only thing left to be determined, a Chinese business executive remarked to me, “is how high this wall will be,” and which countries will choose to be on which side.

This new wall, separating a U.S.-led technology and trade zone from a Chinese-led one, will have implications as vast as the wall bisecting Berlin did. Because the peace, prosperity and accelerations in technology and globalization that have so benefited the world over the past 40 years were due, in part, to the interweaving of the U.S. and Chinese economies.

The messy, ad hoc decoupling of these two economies, driven by miscalculations by leaders on both sides, will surely disrupt those trends and the costs could be huge. We might want to talk about that.

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson gave a speech here a year ago trying to kick-start that discussion. “For 40 years,” Paulson noted, “the U.S.-China relationship has been characterized by the integration of four things: goods, capital, technology and people. And over these 40 years, economic integration between the two countries was supposed to mitigate security competition. But an intellectually honest appraisal must now admit both that this hasn’t happened and that the reverse is taking place.” That reversal is happening for two reasons. First, because the U.S. is — rightly — no longer willing to accept China’s unfair trade practices. Second, because, now that China is a technology powerhouse — and technological products all have both economic and military applications........“after 40 years of integration, a surprising number of political and thought leaders on both sides advocate policies that could forcibly de-integrate the two countries across all four of these baskets.” the digital Berlin Wall took a big step up on May 17, when Trump blacklisted China’s Huawei.......Lots of Chinese tech companies are now thinking: We will never, ever, ever leave ourselves again in a situation where we are totally dependent on America for key components. Time to double down on making our own......similarly, U.S. manufacturers are thinking twice about building their next factory in China or solely depending on a supply chain from there.....this is the sound of two giant economies starting to decouple.....the State Department has been restricting visas for Chinese graduate students studying in sensitive fields — like aviation, robotics and advanced manufacturing ....
What to do?
Friedman is worried that by imposing more and more export and visa controls we will be cutting ourselves off from the access we need to the global investment pools, customers and collaborative scientists and engineers to maintain our technological lead.

I still believe that the most open systems win — they get all the signals of change first, they attract the most high-I.Q. risk-takers/innovators and they enrich and are enriched by the most global flows of talent, ideas and capital. That used to be us.....

China is our economic competitor, economic partner, source of talent and capital, geopolitical rival, collaborator and serial rule-breaker. It is not our enemy or our friend.

The only effective way to manage a relationship this complex is:
1) with an all-of-government approach. You can’t have the Justice Department doing one thing, the Pentagon another, the Treasury another, the trade negotiators another, the State Department another and the president tweeting another. And
2), we need as many Pacific and European allies as possible so it’s “The Whole World Versus China”
blacklists  books  China  China_rising  co-ordinated_approaches  decoupling  Donald_Trump  doubling_down  dual-use  economic_disengagement  economic_integration  espionage  future  Hank_Paulson  Huawei  miscalculations  new_tech_Cold_War  open_borders  security_&_intelligence  seismic_shifts  self-sufficiency  signals  students  supply_chains  technology  Tom_Friedman  undermining_of_trust  U.S.-China_relations  visa_students  walled_gardens  Xi_Jinping 
november 2019 by jerryking
Vulnerable satellites: the emerging arms race in space
November 12, 2019 | Financial Times Michael Peel in Brussels, Christian Shepherd in Beijing and Aime Williams in Washington.
Achilles’_heel  adversaries  arms_race  China  defensive_tactics  dual-use  Norway  resilience  Russia  satellites  Security_&_Intelligence  space  space_warfare  U.S._Space_Command  vulnerabilities 
november 2019 by jerryking
CSIS director warns of state-sponsored espionage threat to 5G networks - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT FIFE OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF
STEVEN CHASE
COLIN FREEZE
OTTAWA AND TORONTO
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 4, 2018

Canada’s top spy used his first public speech to warn of increasing state-sponsored espionage through technology such as next-generation 5G mobile networks.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service director David Vigneault’s comments come as three of the country’s Five Eyes intelligence-sharing allies have barred wireless carriers from installing equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the 5G infrastructure they are building to provide an even-more-connected network for smartphone users.

The United States, Australia and New Zealand have taken steps to block the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks. Neither Canada nor Britain has done so.

On Monday, the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, publicly raised security concerns about Huawei telecommunications being involved in his country’s communications infrastructure.......hostile states are targeting large companies and universities to obtain new technologies.....“Many of these advanced technologies are dual-use in nature in that they could advance a country’s economic, security and military interests,”......there are five potential growth areas in Canada that are being specifically threatened, including 5G mobile technology where Huawei has been making inroads...“CSIS has seen a trend of state-sponsored espionage in fields that are crucial to Canada’s ability to build and sustain a prosperous, knowledge-based economy,”...“I’m talking about areas such as AI [artificial intelligence], quantum technology, 5G, biopharma and clean tech. In other words, the foundation of Canada’s future growth.”.....Canadian universities are largely unaware how they are vulnerable to economic espionage and the threat of infiltration by unnamed state actors who would use their expertise to gain an edge in military technologies. Huawei has developed research and development partnerships with many of Canada’s leading academic institutions.....MI6′s Alex Younger said Britain has to make a decision about Huawei after the United States, Australia and New Zealand acted against Huawei..... 5G technology – which offers faster download speeds – poses a greater national security threat than conventional mobile technology......A ban would come as a blow to Canada’s biggest telecom companies, including BCE Inc. and Telus, which have given Huawei an important role in their planned 5G networks.....Scott Jones, the new head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, which is part of the Communications Security Establishment, rejected the idea of blocking Huawei, telling MPs that the country’s safeguards are adequate to mitigate against any risk.
5G  artificial_intelligence  China  CSIS  CSE  cyber_security  dual-use  espionage  Five_Eyes  Huawei  MI6  mobile  quantum_computing  spymasters  wireless  Colleges_&_Universities  infiltration 
december 2018 by jerryking
Computer vision: how Israel’s secret soldiers drive its tech success
November 20, 2018 | Financial Times | Mehul Srivastava in Tel Aviv.
.... those experiences that have helped such a tiny country become a leader in one of the most promising frontiers in the technology world: computer vision. Despite the unwieldy name it is an area that has come of age in the past few years, covering applications across dozens of industries that have one thing in common: the need for computers to figure out what their cameras are seeing, and for those computers to tell them what to do next.........Computer vision has become the connecting thread between some of Israel’s most valuable and promising tech companies. And unlike Israel’s traditional strengths— cyber security and mapping — computer vision slides into a broad range of different civilian industries, spawning companies in agriculture, medicine, sports, self-driving cars, the diamond industry and even shopping. 

In Israel, this lucrative field has benefited from a large pool of engineers and entrepreneurs trained for that very task in an elite, little-known group in the military — Unit 9900 — where they fine-tuned computer algorithms to digest millions of surveillance photos and sift out actionable intelligence. .........The full name for Unit 9900 — the Terrain Analysis, Accurate Mapping, Visual Collection and Interpretation Agency — hints at how it has created a critical mass of engineers indispensable for the future of this industry. The secretive unit has only recently allowed limited discussion of its work. But with an estimated 25,000 graduates, it has created a deep pool of talent that the tech sector has snapped up. 

Soldiers in Unit 9900 are assigned to strip out nuggets of intelligence from the images provided by Israel’s drones and satellites — from surveilling the crowded, chaotic streets of the Gaza Strip to the unending swaths of desert in Syria and the Sinai. 

With so much data to pour over, Unit 9900 came up with solutions, including recruiting Israelis on the autistic spectrum for their analytical and visual skills. In recent years, says Shir Agassi, who served in Unit 9900 for more than seven years, it learned to automate much of the process, teaching algorithms to spot nuances, slight variations in landscapes and how their targets moved and behaved.....“We had to take all these photos, all this film, all this geospatial evidence and break it down: how do you know what you’re seeing, what’s behind it, how will it impact your intelligence decisions?” .....“You’re asking yourself — if you were the enemy, where would you hide? Where are the tall buildings, where’s the element of surprise? Can you drive there, what will be the impact of weather on all this analysis?”

Computer vision was essential to this task....Teaching computers to look for variations allowed the unit to quickly scan thousands of kilometres of background to find actionable intelligence. “You have to find ways not just to make yourself more efficient, but also to find things that the regular eye can’t,” she says. “You need computer vision to answer these questions.”.....The development of massive databases — from close-ups of farm insects to medical scans to traffic data — has given Israeli companies a valuable headstart over rivals. And in an industry where every new image teaches the algorithm something useful, that has made catching up difficult.......“Computer vision is absolutely the thread that ties us to other Israeli companies,” he says. “I need people with the same unique DNA — smart PhDs in mathematics, neural network analysis — to tell a player in the NBA how to improve his jump shot.”
Israel  cyber_security  hackers  cyber_warfare  dual-use  Israeli  security_&_intelligence  IDF  computer_vision  machine_learning  Unit_9900  start_ups  gene_pool  imagery  algorithms  actionable_information  geospatial  mapping  internal_systems  PhDs  drones  satellites  surveillance  autism 
november 2018 by jerryking
The challenger - Technopolitics
Mar 15th 2018 | HONG KONG AND SAN FRANCISCO.

Technology is rarely, in and of itself, ideological. But technosystems have an ideological side—witness the struggles of open-source advocates against proprietary-software developers—and can be used to ideological ends. The global spread of a technosystem conceived in, and to an unknown extent controlled by, an undemocratic, authoritarian regime could have unprecedented historical significance.

China is not just in a better position to challenge America’s hegemony than it used to be. It is a good time to do so, too. It is not only the roll out of 5G. AI has started to move from the tech world to conventional businesses; quantum computing seems about to become useful. All this creates openings for newcomers, especially if backed by a state that takes a long view and doesn’t need a quick return......To focus on individual companies, though, is to miss the point. China’s leaders want to bind firms, customers and government agencies together with “robust governance”, in the words of Samm Sacks of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think-tank in Washington, DC. They want to build a technosystem in which incentives to use other people’s technology are minimised. These are, as it happens, the same goals as those of the companies which run America’s large technology platforms, whether they are operating systems, social networks or computing clouds.

Gardening tools

A cardinal rule of managing such walled gardens is to control access. Developers of apps for Apple’s iPhone have to go through a lengthy application process with an uncertain outcome; for example, in an unexpected but welcome development, the firm now seems to reject apps using emojis. Similarly, foreign technology firms that want to sell their wares in China face at least six different security reviews, each of which can be used to delay or block market access. As with America’s worries about Huawei, this is not entirely unreasonable. The NSA has in the past exploited, or created, vulnerabilities in hardware sold by American companies. Local firms, for their part, are pushed to use “indigenous and controllable core cyber-security technology”, in the words of a report presented at last year’s National People’s Congress.

In the driving seat
Good platform managers also ensure that all parts of the system work for the greater good. In China this means doing the government’s bidding, something which seems increasingly expected of tech companies. About three dozen tech companies have instituted Communist Party committees in the past few years. There are rumours that the party is planning to take 1% stakes in some firms, including Tencent, not so much to add to the government’s control as to signal it—and to advertise that the company enjoys official blessing.

Many of China’s tech firms help develop military applications for technology, too, something called “civil-military fusion”. Most American hardware-makers do the same; its internet giants, not so much. “There’s a general concern in the tech community of somehow the military-industrial complex using their stuff to kill people incorrectly, if you will,” Eric Schmidt, the head of the Pentagon’s Defence Innovation Advisory Board said last November, when he was still Alphabet’s executive chairman. When it recently emerged that Google was helping the Pentagon with the AI for a drone project, some of its employees were outraged.

And then there is the walled gardens’ most prized bloom: data. China’s privacy regulations can look, on the face of it, as strict as Europe’s. But privacy is not a priority in practice. Control is.
China  U.S._Navy  ecosystems  Silicon_Valley  semiconductors  artificial_intelligence  quantum_computing  intellectual_property  military-industrial_complex  dual-use  walled_gardens  new_tech_Cold_War  self-sufficiency 
april 2018 by jerryking

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