Podcasts

The Cyberlaw Podcast: Bankrupting National Security?

By Stewart Baker
Monday, September 9, 2019, 5:59 PM

Camille Stewart talks about a little-known national security risk: China’s propensity to acquire U.S. technology through the bankruptcy courts and the many ways in which the bankruptcy system isn’t set up to combat improper tech transfers. Published by the Journal of National Security Law & Policy, Camille’s paper is available here. Camille has enjoyed great success in her young career working with the Transformative Cyber Innovation Lab at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, as a Cybersecurity Policy Fellow at New America, and as a 2019 Cyber Security Woman of the Year, among other achievements. We talk at the end of the session about life and advancement as an African American woman in cybersecurity.

Want to hear more from Camille on this topic? She’ll be speaking Friday, Sept. 13, at a lunch event hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). She’ll be joined by fellow panelists Giovanna Cinelli, Jamil Jaffer and Harvey Rishikof, along with moderator Dr. Samantha Ravich. The event will be livestreamed at www.fdd.org/events. If you would like to learn more about the event, please contact Abigail Barnes at FDD. If you are a member of the press, please direct your inquiries to [email protected].

In the News Roundup, Maury Shenk tells us that UK courts have so far resisted a sustained media narrative that all facial recognition tech is inherently evil. Americans seem to agree, Matthew Heiman notes, since a majority trust law enforcement to use it responsibly. Which is more than you can say for Silicon Valley, which only 36 percent of Americans trust with the technology.

Mieke Eoyang and I talk about the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to use fake identities to view publicly available social media postings and the conflict with social media sites’ terms of service. I am unsympathetic, given the need for operational security in conducting such reviews, but we agree that DHS is biting off more than it can chew, especially in languages other than English. But really, DHS, how clueless can you be when your list of social media to be scrutinized includes three-years-dead Vine but not TikTok, which Mieke notes ironically is “what all the kids are using these days.”

Maury brings us up to speed on EU plans for the tech sector, which will be familiar to Brits contemplating the EU’s plan for them. And speaking of EU hypocrisy and incoherence (we were, weren’t we?), Erin Egan of Facebook has written a paper on data portability that deserves more attention, since it’s impossible to square the EU’s snit over Cambridge Analytica with its sanctifying of the principle of “data portability.” The paper also calls out the Federal Trade Commission for slamming Facebook for Cambridge Analytica while Commissioner Noah Phillips is warning that restrictions on data transfers can be anticompetitive. I promise to invite the commissioner on the podcast again to explore that issue.

Well, that was quick: Fraudsters used AI to mimic a CEO’s voice—accent, “melody” and all—in an unusual cybercrime case. Anyone can do this now, Maury explains. I tell listeners how to tell whether my voice has been AI-napped in future episodes.

In short hits, Mieke and I mock Denmark’s appointment of an “ambassador” to Silicon Valley. Way to cut the Valley down to size, Denmark! Maury notes that FinFisher is under investigation for violating EU export control law by selling spyware. Mieke does her best to rebut my suggestion that Silicon Valley’s bias is showing in the latest actuarial stat: It turns out that 10 percent of the accounts that President Trump has retweeted have been deplatformed. Matthew and I note that China has been caught hacking several Asian telecomm companies to spy on Uighurs. Of course, if the U.S. had 5,000 citizens fighting for the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, as China claims to have, we’d probably be hacking all the same companies. State attorneys general will launch sweeping and apparently bipartisan antitrust probes into Facebook and Google this week. Good to see Silicon Valley bringing Rs and Ds together at last; who says its business model is social division? Finally, Mieke leaves us uneasy about the online security of our pensions, as hackers steal $4.2 million from one fund via compromised email.

Download the 277th Episode (mp3).

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The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of the firm.