Obama’s Flawed Foreign Policy : Democracy Journal
American people. But, second, that he and his team did not come prepared to put in the capital and buy the political space to change 60 years of global diplomatic habit. His emphasis on negotiation and targeted force over large-scale occupation and old habits of alliance now appear a precursor to our new Dealmaker-in-Chief. Continuing to run many programs through the Defense Department rather than move them back to civilian agencies, and limiting the transparency and oversight accorded to many security initiatives, seemed efficient and effective, but may haunt the nation for decades ahead.
5 days ago
Orban takes aim at Soros and Hungarian NGOs
Both groups, which were criticised by Mr Nemeth this week, receive funding from OSF, among other donors.

“These groups want to have a say in major policy without the legitimacy to participate,” Mr Nemeth argued this week, repeating a view held by some Hungarian officials who say only elected politicians are “authorised” to participate in politics.

All over the world, there are governments who think once an election is held, that’s the end of politics until the next election. That’s just not how democracies work
Chris Stone, president of OSF
Mr Nemeth last year proposed that NGOs be placed under surveillance as national security threats. The government’s legislative agenda includes a commitment to step up NGO regulation.
ernest_gellner  civil_society 
10 days ago
[no title]
Ideas versus Interests
A Unified Political Economy Framework

Sharun W. Mukand
University of Warwick
Dani Rodrik
Harvard University
ideas  blyth_article 
10 days ago
Cable: 07BRUSSELS253_a
Jonathan Faull, Director General for
Justice, Freedom and Security outlined, for Freis a solution
based on the original PNR agreement that would involve three
parts: (1) greater disclosure by SWIFT and its participating
banks on how the SWIFT system operates; (2) "undertakings"
describing how the TFTP and its safeguards work and (3) a
legally binding agreement, between the U.S. and the European
Commission working on a mandate from the Council. The
Commission is preparing a draft for the US to review, but it
is unclear when it will be ready. With the exception of the
UK and Belgium and possibly a few others, member states are
now in a holding pattern waiting to see how the Commission
proposes to deal with the issue. There is a serious lack of
leadership from the German Presidency, which had not
anticipated having to deal with this issue. The European
Parliament will be questioning the Commission and the Council
at the end of January on PNR and SWIFT issues.

It is clear that the EU shares our objectives of
preserving Treasury,s Terrorist Finance Tracking Program
(TFTP) and eliminating the legal uncertainty for SWIFT and
the banks. It also appears that some sort of EU-level
solution is necessary, as dealing with 27 member states
individually would present legal and practical problems.
Based on this initial exchange, it seems that we are not very
far apart from the Commission on substance but further apart
on the method for resolving the issues. The issue is what
form we give to the substance and in particular whether an
agreement is desirable or needed. While Faull joked about the
need for &pillar talk8, the question of whether the issue
should be dealt with under pillar 1 or pillar 3 has important
implications that should not be underestimated. (For
background on the SWIFT issue in the EU see refs A and B.
See 05 Brussels 4443 for background on the EU pillar
structure) End summary and comment. Septel will report on
Freis meetings with Belgian authorities. End summary and

Freis said that he disagreed fundamentally with the Article
29 working party report regarding the change of purpose.
Freis pointed out that all financial institutions have a
legal obligation ) including under EU law such as the third
money laundering directive ) to screen transactions for
counterterrorism and money laundering purposes. Freis
indicated that his counterparts in European finance
ministries agreed that the Article 29 working party report
was incorrect with respect to the change of purpose question
and that this conclusion was inconsistent with the working
party's allegation of joint liability of the banks and SWIFT.

6. (C/NF) In terms of resolving the problem, de Kerchove
said that based on the European Court of Justice decision in
the PNR case, the SWIFT case ) despite some differences --
falls into the &PNR basket8. This means that the agreement
with the US would be based the EU,s third pillar, because
the purpose for which the data is used is not a Community
objective. De Kerchove said that he had discussed SWIFT with
Jonathan Faull, Director General for Justice, Freedom and
Security, and they had separately come to the same conclusion
that this would require the negotiation of a US-EU agreement.
De Kerchove said that without an agreement the Commission
would need to start infringement proceedings against Belgium
and possibly 26 other member states for not properly applying
the EU,s data protection directive
14 days ago
[no title]
AEA Statement on PNR
14 days ago
EU PNR | European Parliamentary Research Service Blog
Positions of states and other actors on EU PNR
14 days ago
[no title]
European parliament summary of actors' positions on PNR
14 days ago
[no title]
Joint analysis report on Russian hacking
16 days ago
[no title]
DNI report on Russian hacking
16 days ago
Behind Russia’s Cyber Strategy - WSJ
Behind Russia’s Cyber Strategy
A 2013 article by Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov emphasized importance of cyberwarfare
Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, which has born the brunt of Russia’s cyberattacks. ENLARGE
Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, which has born the brunt of Russia’s cyberattacks. PHOTO: REUTERS
Dec. 30, 2016 6:23 p.m. ET
MOSCOW—Russia’s military laid out what is now seen as a blueprint for cyberwarfare with a 2013 article in a professional journal by Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of Russia’s General Staff.

Cyberspace, wrote Gen. Gerasimov, “opens wide asymmetrical possibilities for reducing the fighting potential of the enemy.”

At the time, Russia’s military was absorbing the lessons of the Arab Spring, when social media played a key role in mobilizing leaderless protests that upended the political order across North Africa and the Middle East.

“In North Africa, we witnessed the use of technologies for influencing state structures and the population with the help of information networks,” the article stated. “It is necessary to perfect activities in the information space, including the defense of our own objects.”

Now that doctrine is likely to come under more scrutiny following new U.S. sanctions that target Russia’s military intelligence agency, the Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, as well as the country’s Federal Security Service, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

The Obama administration accused Russia’s intelligence agencies of “tampering, altering or causing the misappropriation of information” with the goal of interfering with the 2016 presidential election. And the U.S. Treasury Department named a number of companies it alleged were linked to the hack, shedding new light on the links between the Russian military and security services and the country’s IT sector.

In the 2013 article, Gen. Gerasimov elaborated on the Russian military’s desire to hone its hacking skills as an extension of conventional warfare and political conflict. Experts say that since then, Russia has used cyberattacks as part of its arsenal against neighboring countries and as a political weapon, Western officials and security researchers said.

In Washington’s defense and national security circles, Russia’s use of masked invasions on the ground and difficult-to-attribute attacks in cyberspace have become examples of what is now known as the “Gerasimov doctrine,” in reference to the 2013 article.

At the Pentagon, the effort to ward off such a threat from Russia became a matter of high priority for Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and the nation’s top military generals.


Russia Won’t Expel Diplomats; Trump Praises Decision
U.S. Sanctions Russia Over Election Hacking
A Rundown of U.S. Retaliatory Measures
Expulsions Come Amid Complaints of Mistreatment of U.S. Diplomats in Russia
Cyberattacks Raise Alarm for U.S. Power Grid
Analysis: Trump’s Plan to Partner With Russia Faces Bigger Hurdle
In an August appearance at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, Gen. Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he had read Gen. Gerasimov’s article three times.

“He talks about what he calls fighting a war without fighting a war—use of information, social media, disinformation, deception,” Gen. Neller said.

The Pentagon has focused on shoring up U.S. defenses against such attacks, but many of the efforts have focused on countering cyber operations on the physical battlefield and safeguarding critical infrastructure on the home front.

U.S. officials see Russia’s alleged cyberattacks on election-related entities during the 2016 campaign as the boldest iteration of the Russian strategy that has been used around the globe.

Russia’s use of hacking first came into the spotlight in 2007 after Estonia removed a Soviet-era memorial to World War II from the center of its capital. Cyberattacks, which Western officials blamed on Russia, disabled websites of government ministries, political parties, banks and newspapers.

Government websites in the former Soviet republic of Georgia came under attack, along with media, communications and transportation companies, before and during a war with Russia in 2008.

People walk in Red Square, with St. Basil's Cathedral seen in the background, in Moscow. ENLARGE
People walk in Red Square, with St. Basil's Cathedral seen in the background, in Moscow. PHOTO: MAXIM ZMEYEV/REUTERS
Ukraine, which has been fighting Russian-backed separatists in its east since 2014, has born the brunt of Russia’s cyberattacks, according to Western and Ukrainian officials and security experts.

Cyberattacks hit ministries and the presidential administration; hacked government documents were leaked online; election infrastructure was attacked.

More recently, attacks have briefly knocked out power supplies and disrupted the banking system. Ukrainian officials and cyber experts linked the attacks to Russia.

At a meeting with top security officials Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said security services had detected 6,500 attempted cyberattacks on government agencies and state information resources in the past two months. He said investigations of several incidents had shown that Russia was directly or indirectly involved and had “unleashed a cyberwar against our country.”

“Ukraine is the perfect sandpit for this as it is complex enough to test it out but it’s not NATO and can’t really fight back,” said Mark Galeotti, senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague.

Mr. Galeotti noted the difference between the wide-ranging attacks on Ukraine, which accompanied military interventions, and the targeted attack on the U.S., a political move aimed at casting American democracy in a bad light.

“Russia is ahead of the curve in political warfare, and we are scrambling to come to terms with it,” said Mr. Galeotti.

U.S. officials have warned that Russia may use hacking to seek to influence elections in Europe next year.

The role of Russia’s military, however, is less clear. Cyber operations in Ukraine and Georgia were aimed at shaping an active conflict. The Russian government has denied that it was involved in the hacking of the U.S. political process, but experts and U.S. officials say hacking—by nature difficulty to attribute decisively—gives the Russian government deniability.

Such deniability and deception, they add, has been a hallmark of Russian military operations, including the annexation of Crimea in 2014. There, Russia denied official connection to the well-armed and well-trained military professionals who took over key government installations on the Black Sea peninsula before acknowledging the “little green men” were actually Russian special-operations troops.

The Russian companies newly sanctioned by the U.S. also suggest an elusive link.

ANO PO KSI is a little-known microelectronics company in a village near Moscow. Founded in 1990, it builds special scanners for voting ballot papers, and is involved in digital mapping and microchip-based technology as well as developing digital aerial cameras for various purposes. The company declined to comment on being included on the list of sanctioned Russian companies.

Special Technological Center, or STC, is a St. Petersburg-based company that produces measurement and monitoring equipment, remotely piloted aircraft and related hardware components. It produces a drone called the Orlan-1, used for surveillance, reconnaissance and artillery spotting by the Russian military.

ZOR is a small cybersecurity company; according to Forbes Russia, it is run by Alisa Shevchenko, a self-taught cybersecurity expert. Ms. Shevchenko couldn’t be immediately reached for comment; on a Twitter account purportedly belonging to her, she said her company was no longer active and that an “anonymous clerk at US Treasury googled the internet for ’cyber’ while intel analysts were on their Christmas vacation.”

It wasn’t immediately possible to verify whether Ms. Shevchenko’s Twitter account was authentic.

Karen Kazaryan, chief analyst at the Russian Association for Electronic Communications, a trade body representing the IT industry, said the connections between the Russian government and the military and security establishment were extremely difficult to prove.

“For the second day in a row we’ve been trying to understand what these companies are,” he said. “Nobody knows anything about them. There’s a closed community of engineers, state servants and security experts, including cybersecurity experts on social media and no one has been able to find any heads or tails looking into them.”
23 days ago
Conspiracy Endorsement as Motivated Reasoning: The Moderating Roles of Political Knowledge and Trust – American Journal of Political Science
Consistent with the theory of motivated reasoning, conservatives are more likely to endorse the conspiracy theories that impugn their political rivals, and vice versa. Our results also confirm our hypothesis that political knowledge exacerbates ideologically-motivated conspiracy endorsement whereas trust simultaneously mitigates it. Interestingly, however, this hypothesis is only confirmed for conservatives (i.e. high knowledge-low trust conservatives are the highest endorsers of conservative conspiracy theories). For liberals, trust is negatively associated with endorsement of liberal conspiracy theories, but knowledge is either not associated with or independently negatively associated with endorsement of liberal conspiracy theories.
28 days ago
Rep. Sensenbrenner Urges President-elect Trump to Maintain Intelligence Cooperation Between the U.S. and EU » Urban Milwaukee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump imploring him to retain Presidential Policy Directive 28, which allows for the continued cooperation between the United States and European Union, maintains the confidence our foreign allies have in U.S. intelligence operations, and helps American businesses operating overseas:

Dear President-elect Trump,

As you continue to progress with your transition and familiarize yourself with the nearly endless stream of Obama-era regulations, executive orders, and presidential directives, I wanted to highlight one relatively obscure directive that merits attention.
privacy  surveillance 
28 days ago
Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and the Modern Whistle-Blower - The New Yorker
Pozen easily dispenses with the idea that Administrations don’t prosecute leakers because they can’t find them. They can: information—particularly sensitive information—has a pedigree. When I worked on the science desk at the Washington Post, my colleagues and I would read a front-page story by our counterparts at the Times and invariably know where the leak on which the story was based came from. The first order of business was typically to call the leaker and complain that he or she was playing favorites.

Pozen argues that governments look the other way when it comes to leaks because it is in their interest to do so. He cites a story that ran in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post in 2012 about how the C.I.A., with the coöperation of Yemeni authorities, was using drone strikes against Yemen-based Al Qaeda militants. The drone program was classified: that story didn’t come from a press conference. Pozen says the story was clearly a “plant”—that is, a leak made with the full authorization of the White House. Letting the facts slip out served a purpose for the Obama Administration. A plant like that, Pozen writes, “keeps the American people minimally informed of its pursuits, characterizes them in a manner designed to build support, and signals its respect for international law.”
5 weeks ago
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