Posts tagged “US”

Pentagon details security changes prompted by leak

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon says it has toughened up security procedures since the website WikiLeaks released thousands of secret war logs.

The Defense Department chose Sunday, with the latest WikiLeaks material coming to light, to give some details about precautions against more unauthorized releases.

From Washington Post

Internet Censorship Bill Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

“A heavily controversial Internet censorship bill to combat online piracy was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 18, after it was delayed in September. If passed, the bill will allow the U.S. attorney general to remove websites from the Internet that violate copyright laws.

The bill, known as the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), Senate bill S.3804, was approved, ‘despite bipartisan opposition, and countless experts pointing out how it would be ineffective, unconstitutional, bad for innovation and the tech economy, and would break the Internet,’ states an analysis by digital rights organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).”

From The Epoch Times

No Quick Fixes for Internet Freedom

Rebecca MacKinnon has contributed an opinion editorial piece to the Wall Street Journal regarding global Internet freedom, specifically as it relates to American foreign policy. In speaking about the Russian government’s particular approach to Internet control, she cites the research of Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert in the recently released Open Net Initiative book “Access Controlled.” Rohozinski and Deibert’s research points to the vulnerability of online dissidents in the country, who experience cyber-attacks and government surveillance.

From The Wall Street Journal

China denies ‘hijacking’ internet traffic

“China today denied US allegations that it “hijacked” highly sensitive internet traffic – including emails sent to and from US military websites – earlier this year.

A state-owned telecoms company in China had access to 15% of global internet traffic, including confidential emails from Nasa and the US army, for 18 minutes in April, according to an annual security report delivered to the US congress on Wednesday.”

From The Guardian

Report Looks at How China Meddled With the Internet

“An annual report to Congress touched off a round of speculation Wednesday about the motives of a small Chinese Internet service provider that briefly rerouted as much as 15 percent of the world’s Web traffic on two occasions last spring.

The report, by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, noted that the service provider, IDC China Telecommunication, broadcast inaccurate Web traffic routes for about 18 minutes on April 8. That information was then retransmitted by China’s state-owned China Telecommunications, effectively forcing data from the United States and other countries to pass through Chinese computer servers. A similar episode in March drew less attention.”

From The New York Times

Cyber attacks already launched

Although cyberwar is commonly viewed as a threat that has yet to strike, prominent instances of cyber attack have been identified as early as the year 2007. An infamous example of cyberwar is Estonia in the spring of 2007. Following political controversy, the eastern European country experienced massive denial of service attacks. The cyber attacks targeted critical infrastructure of the country including financial and governmental sectors.

Citizen Lab Director Professor Ron Deibert discusses the complexities of identifying the culprits of cyberwar with the National Post.

From National Post

Pentagon bars staff from visiting WikiLeaks site

“The U.S. military is banning personnel from visiting the WikiLeaks website, which recently released more than 70,000 classified diplomatic and military messages on the long war in Afghanistan.

‘[Department of the Navy] personnel should not access the WikiLeaks website to view or download the publicized classified information,’ said a July 29 message to sailors from the Navy’s national security litigation law division. ‘Doing so would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks.’

‘There has been rumor that the information is no longer classified since it resides in the public domain. This is NOT true,’ said the message, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times.

Asked if the Pentagon is making the site off-limits, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told The Times that all four services ‘have put out such messages.'”

From The Washington Times

Chinese army to target cyber war threat

“The People’s Liberation Army has unveiled its first department dedicated to tackling cyber war threats and protecting information security, Chinese media reported today.

The move comes just over a year after the United States created a cyber command.

The PLA Daily said the military announced the creation of the Information Security Base on Monday, giving few more details in its brief report.”


New Cyber Chief Outlines Strategy

The U.S. Cyber Command Keith Alexander has recently spoken about two pillars of cyber national security. One pillar is the creation of a global convention on the rules of engagement of cyberwar. The other is the need for diplomatic attempts with key cyber espionage/cyber war players like Russia and China.

Citizen Lab’s Ron Deibert suggests that such established rules would mitigate the rising threat of cyberwar and enhance international cybersecurity. What form could this cyber accord take? Alexander cites the Russian cyber arms treaty as a foundational example. There are many factors to consider in the creation of global cyber legislation. Deibert asks central questions: “Will we see a charter for global cyberspace that protects and preserves this domain as an open, global commons of information? Or will we see the further imposition of digital controls, nationalized communications spaces, and widespread surveillance?”

From Technology Review

U.S. Hopes Exports Will Help Open Closed Societies

WASHINGTON — Seeking to exploit the Internet’s potential for prying open closed societies, the Obama administration will permit technology companies to export online services like instant messaging, chat and photo sharing to Iran, Cuba and Sudan, a senior administration official said Sunday.

On Monday, he said, the Treasury Department will issue a general license for the export of free personal Internet services and software geared toward the populations in all three countries, allowing Microsoft, Yahoo and other providers to get around strict export restrictions.

From The New York Times