CFR Presents

Net Politics

CFR experts investigate the impact of information and communication technologies on security, privacy, and international affairs.

Reducing and Managing U.S.-China Conflict in Cyberspace

by Adam Segal Thursday, April 28, 2016
Xi Obama CFR Net Politics Cybersecurity Agreement U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands following a joint news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington September 25, 2015. (Gary Cameron/Reuters).

Two weeks ago, the Financial Times ran a story that suggested China was sticking by its September 2015 commitment to not engage in cyber-enabled economic espionage. It quoted officials from private sector security firms, who pointed out they had seen a marked decline in the number of intrusion attempts from Chinese actors. Despite the seemingly positive news, there are still tons of skeptics.

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The FBI Should Disclose the Vulnerability to Apple—Just As Soon as It Has Another

by Robert Knake Friday, April 22, 2016
Pieces of an iPhone are seen in a repair store in New York, February 17, 2016. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters).

Yesterday, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey revealed that the FBI had paid more than he will make in the remainder of his time at the FBI to break into the phone of San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook. Quick research and math by Reuters puts that number at $1.34 million. By any metric, that is a lot of money. It’s also $1.34 million more than Apple would have been willing to pay for it.

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Into Africa: The Islamic State’s Online Strategy and Violent Extremism in Africa

by David Fidler Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Twitter has shut down more than 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since the middle of 2015, most of them linked to the Islamic State group. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters).

Military campaigns in Iraq and Syria have re-taken territory from the Islamic State and damaged it in other ways, including its ability to finance military operations. As counter-attacks continue in the Middle East, the Islamic State’s activities in Africa, especially North Africa, are increasing. These activities include a defining characteristic of the Islamic State—its use of the Internet and social media to strengthen its control of territory and advance its extremist agenda. This aspect of the group’s efforts in Africa has garnered less interest than the number of its fighters in North Africa or its territorial foothold in Libya. However, the Islamic State is applying its online strategy in Africa, which raises questions about how to respond to this development.

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Banging Your Head Against A Wall: China Shrugs at U.S. Criticism of Censorship

by Guest Blogger Wednesday, April 13, 2016
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing July 7, 2011. Hong largely avoided commenting on U.S. claims that online censorship is a barrier to trade. (David Gray/Reuters) China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing July 7, 2011. Hong largely avoided commenting this week on U.S. claims that online censorship is a barrier to trade. (David Gray/Reuters)

Lincoln Davidson is a research associate for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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