A Q&A with Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve chairman. - Barron's
I was a great defender of Bretton Woods. I thought it could be reformed, and I discovered it couldn’t be, partly for immediate political reasons. But you can’t maintain a fixed exchange rate system and commonality without a very strong hegemon. Brits were that before World War I when they had the gold standard; they lost it in the ‘20s and ‘30s and things were a mess. We had it after World War II for 20 years or so. But even back in the ‘70s, it began. We could not negotiate an agreement, which I was hopeful about, but in hindsight I think was an impossible venture because we were no longer strong enough to, in relative terms.

What the French were really worried about in the ‘70s, when that phrase “exorbitant privilege” originated, we had a current-account deficit and we were buying up French industry. And they didn’t want us buying up French industry. But we sat here for 20 years running deficits, because it was so easy for us to finance these big deficits. I once coined a phrase which nobody picked up: Exorbitant privilege is also an invitation or temptation to lack discipline. Some day that might come back and bite us. It hasn’t yet.
2 days ago
Huawei Arrest Raises Thorny Questions of Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy - Lawfare
n addition to making it politically more difficult for Xi Jinping to be seen as bowing to U.S. pressure, the arrest may deepen the Chinese leadership’s conviction that “national champion” companies like Huawei could avoid such pitfalls if they were less dependent on U.S.-origin components and technology. This could strengthen Beijing’s commitment to doubling down on state intervention in the Chinese economy to achieve technological self-sufficiency. Yet that interventionism—manifested in subtle subsidies, forced technology transfer, state-sponsored IP theft and other non-tariff barriers and unfair practices—is precisely what the U.S. government is currently trying to persuade China to scale back. (Relatedly, the arrest may also reinforce Beijing’s interest in creating an alternate international financial infrastructure that reduces the leverage Washington derives from global reliance on the U.S. financial system.)
3 days ago
Huawei Offensive Is Acceleration of Yearslong Endeavor - WSJ
By Stu Woo
Dec. 8, 2018 8:00 a.m. ET
This month’s arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer and heir apparent was the latest salvo in a decadelong effort by U.S. officials to hinder a company they see as a threat to national security and America’s global edge in technological innovation.

China hawks in Congress and the intelligence establishment began thwarting Huawei’s rise around 2007, current and former U.S. officials say. As the Chinese company burgeoned into the world’s biggest manufacturer of cellular-tower hardware and related telecommunications equipment, they expanded the effort into an all-out offensive under President Trump, interpreting his anti-Beijing campaign promises as a green light, the officials say.

U.S. officials fear the Chinese government could order Huawei to spy on or disable communications, a charge the company denies. Those worries became paramount this year because wireless providers are about to upgrade to a technology called 5G, which will enable many objects, such as factory parts and self-driving cars, to be internet connected.

Washington doesn’t want to give Beijing the potential to spy on or disrupt connections to a growing universe of connected objects. Officials also worry that 5G’s architectural design could make telecom networks more vulnerable to sabotage.

Today’s cellular-tower equipment is largely isolated from “core” systems that transfer most of a network’s voice and data traffic. With 5G, cellular-tower hardware will take over tasks from the core. That means such hardware, if weaponized, could disrupt an entire network.

“This is all happening now because of 5G, perhaps the largest telecommunications build-out since Alexander Graham Bell,” said Andy Keiser, a former House Intelligence Committee staff member.

U.S. officials stress that although the anti-Huawei campaign has unfolded while the U.S. and China feud over trade, they consider this a separate, national-security issue.

Why China's Huawei Matters
Why China's Huawei Matters
Chinese telecom giant Huawei has long caused tension between Washington and Beijing. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains what the company does and why it’s significant. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)
U.S. officials say that if they succeed in their campaign to persuade allied countries to reject Huawei, the world would have two kinds of telecom networks. One would exist in Western countries and have no Chinese equipment. The other would be in China and the large swaths of Asia and Africa, where Huawei and Chinese peer ZTE Corp. already control the telecom-equipment market.

This would mirror the two major internet systems in the world today: one that uses mostly Google, Facebook and other Silicon Valley platforms, and the Chinese equivalent, where its citizens, barred from foreign web services, use mainly domestic ones such as Tencent Holding Ltd.’s WeChat network and search-engine giant Baidu.

The heart of Washington’s fear over Huawei is the assumption that Beijing could compel the company to tap into the electronics they make to spy, disable communications or conduct another kind of cyberattack.

Industry experts say it is technically simple for any telecom-equipment maker to hack into a product it makes. Just as a smartphone needs regular software updates from its manufacturer, so does cellular-tower equipment. Such software contains millions of lines of code that is too much to analyze and could do something malicious such as enable a third party to turn off the hardware or send data somewhere it shouldn’t go.

Experts say such a cyberattack would probably be detected by a wireless carrier and may work only once.

Huawei says it is an employee-owned company that has never conducted espionage or sabotage on behalf of any country and that doing so would ruin its world-leading business. It says its gear is no more vulnerable than Western counterparts’ since the industry shares supply lines.

The U.S. government’s public argument against Huawei has been based on the possibility that Beijing could use the company as Big Brother in foreign countries. Washington hasn’t publicly provided evidence that Huawei has participated in spying or cyberattacks.

Huawei employees say that puts them in a position of having to prove a negative.

Some U.S. officials worry about wartime consequences. In an armed conflict between China and a U.S.-led coalition over, say, the South China Sea, they fear Beijing could ask Huawei to intercept or disable communications at an airport or other strategic location.

They also say Huawei could gather intelligence on base operations by tracking a soldier’s personal cellphone. For example, a cellular-equipment maker could know when troops were off-site or decipher that a flurry of cellphone activity—or a lack of it—indicated preparations for a mission.

Privately, Huawei employees point out that the U.S. government had secretly enlisted companies, including wireless providers such as AT&T Inc., to collect data on American citizens.

To that point, U.S. officials say: Would you rather give potential snooping powers to a Western telecom-equipment company or a Chinese one?

American lawmakers and officials have long watched with alarm as Huawei pummeled rivals and snatched up business in Western countries, including some of America’s closest military allies. Congress blacklisted Huawei gear in 2012.

Huawei leads the global telecom-equipment market with a 28% share of 2018 revenue through the third quarter, according to research firm Dell’Oro Group. Finland’s Nokia Corp. is No. 2 at 17%, while Sweden’s Ericsson AB is third with 13.4%.

Huawei is also the world’s No. 2 smartphone maker, ahead of Apple Inc. and behind Samsung Electronics Co.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger co-wrote a bipartisan report that concluded Huawei wasn’t free of Chinese-government influence.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger co-wrote a bipartisan report that concluded Huawei wasn’t free of Chinese-government influence. PHOTO: BILL CLARK/ZUMA PRESS
Over the past year, influential China hawks in Congress allied with like-minded national-security officials to enlist the aid of other U.S. agencies, including the Pentagon, State Department, Commerce Department and Federal Communications Commission, according to government officials. All those agencies rolled out measures this year to further restrict Huawei on American soil and to urge allied countries to enact similar bans.

The campaign even ensnared tangentially related companies. In March, Mr. Trump blocked Broadcom Ltd.’s $117 billion bid for rival chip maker Qualcomm Inc. An official from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., the secretive U.S. national-security panel known as Cfius, said in an unusual letter that the deal would weaken San Diego-based Qualcomm, which competes with Huawei on 5G patents, and so could strengthen Huawei.

Meanwhile, Canadian officials arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the request of the U.S. Justice Department, which has alleged that she misled global banks about Huawei’s ties to a company that did business in Iran that led to sanctions violations. A lawyer for Ms. Meng said Friday that the idea she engaged in fraud would be “hotly contested.”

In many instances, Huawei underestimated Washington’s ambition and capability to lead a global effort to hamper its $93-billion-a-year business, current and former Huawei employees say. Along the way, it failed to sell itself to American leaders.

In 2012, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, at the time the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, flew to Hong Kong to meet Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese military engineer and father of the arrested CFO. Mr. Ruppersberger was there at the invitation of Huawei, which requested the investigation, thinking such a probe would clear its name.

The invitation backfired. Mr. Ruppersberger co-wrote a bipartisan report that concluded Huawei wasn’t free of Chinese-government influence. The study essentially barred Huawei from major U.S. business and remains America’s official anti-Huawei doctrine.

In an interview, Mr. Ruppersberger recalled one question he asked Mr. Ren and Huawei executives: If Beijing “tells you they want you to use your technology to spy in the United States, and you don’t do that, do you go to jail?”

“They couldn’t answer the question,” Mr. Ruppersberger said.
6 days ago
Toward a Human-Centric Approach to Cybersecurity | Ethics & International Affairs | Cambridge Core
A “national security–centric” approach currently dominates cybersecurity policies and practices. Derived from a realist theory of world politics in which states compete with each other for survival and relative advantage, the principal cybersecurity threats are conceived as those affecting sovereign states, such as damage to critical infrastructure within their territorial jurisdictions. As part of a roundtable on “Competing Visions for Cyberspace,” this essay presents an alternative approach to cybersecurity that is derived from the tradition of “human security.” Rather than prioritizing territorial sovereignty, this approach prioritizes the individual, and views networks as part of the essential foundation for the modern exercise of human rights, such as access to information, freedom of thought, and freedom of association. The foundational elements of a human-centric approach to cybersecurity are outlined and contrasted with the prevailing trends around national security–centric practices. A human-centric approach strives for indivisible network security on a planetary scale for the widest possible scope of human experience, and seeks to ensure that such principles are vigorously monitored and defended by multiple and overlapping forms of independent oversight and review.
8 days ago
Evidence Can Change Partisan Minds: Rethinking the Bounds of Motivated Reasoning
Can factual information change partisan opinions? According to theories of partisan-motivated
reasoning, citizens maintain their partisan viewpoints by dismissing counter-attitudinal
information while uncritically accepting evidence that supports their views. Contrary to the
conventional wisdom, I find that citizens sensibly update their opinions about highly contentious
issues when presented with new information. In three survey experiments with 7200 participants
and an observational study leveraging a sudden flow of new information, my results indicate that
people respond to the strength of evidence when processing new information. Partisans changed
their policy opinions in the same direction in response to the same information, and often
converged toward the evidence. They generally did not diverge except when primed to feel
adversarial toward the opposing party or when exposed to arguments loaded with insults.
Overall, these results suggest that people may engage in biased information processing when
they are induced to feel defensive about their partisan viewpoints, but not by default
article_with_melissa  democracy_with_melissa  cognitive_democracy  PDKL-Ninety-five 
9 days ago
Eight people charged with running a multimillion-dollar online ad scam - The Verge
The Department of Justice has unsealed indictments against eight people who allegedly ran the infamous online advertising scams 3ve and Methbot. The defendants, who are primarily from Russia, are accused of collecting more than $36 million from companies who thought they were paying to place ads on websites. But the ads were never seen by a human being — instead, the defendants allegedly used a server farm and a botnet to simulate billions of visits to real pages
17 days ago
The spread of low-credibility content by social bots | Nature Communications
The spread of low-credibility content by social bots
Chengcheng Shao, Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Onur Varol, Kai-Cheng Yang, Alessandro Flammini & Filippo Menczer
Nature Communicationsvolume 9, Article number: 4787 (2018) | Download Citation

The massive spread of digital misinformation has been identified as a major threat to democracies. Communication, cognitive, social, and computer scientists are studying the complex causes for the viral diffusion of misinformation, while online platforms are beginning to deploy countermeasures. Little systematic, data-based evidence has been published to guide these efforts. Here we analyze 14 million messages spreading 400 thousand articles on Twitter during ten months in 2016 and 2017. We find evidence that social bots played a disproportionate role in spreading articles from low-credibility sources. Bots amplify such content in the early spreading moments, before an article goes viral. They also target users with many followers through replies and mentions. Humans are vulnerable to this manipulation, resharing content posted by bots. Successful low-credibility sources are heavily supported by social bots. These results suggest that curbing social bots may be an effective strategy for mitigating the spread of online misinformation.
cybersecurity_class  PDKL-Ninety-five 
23 days ago
People Are Arguing About Whether This Trump Press Conference Video Is Doctored
deliberately sped up — but the change in format, from a high-quality video to a low-quality GIF, turns the question of whether it was "doctored" into a semantic debate.

This video analysis by BuzzFeed News demonstrates what the GIF conversion process does to video. While it's not technically "sped up" by intent, it effectively is in practice. The video-to-GIF conversion removes frames from the source material by reducing the frame rate. The GIF-making tool GIF Brewery, for example, typically reduces source video to 10 frames per second. Raw, televised video typically has a frame rate of 29.97 frames per second.
5 weeks ago
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