Episode 196: Did AlphaGo launch an arms race with China?

In this episode, I interview Elsa Kania, author of a Center for a New American Security report on China’s plan for military uses of artificial intelligence – a plan that seems to have been accelerated by the asymmetric impact of AlphaGo on the other side of the Pacific.

In the news, Brian Egan notes that China’s perspective on “sovereignty in cyberspace” was further elaborated at China’s World Internet Conference and I point out that China continues its “two steps forward, one step back” process of bringing US companies to heel on security issues.

Nick Weaver explains that the US financial institutions’ “project doomsday” could just as easily be cast as “fire hydrant standardization.” It could be, but it won’t, at least not by headline writers.

Nick also calls out Apple for failing to follow US law in responding to pen/trap and wiretap orders.

I take a victory lap, as the Director of National Intelligence promises to apply the Gates procedures to unmasking of transition officials. As recommended by me (well, and the House Intelligence Committee).  No need to call them the Baker procedures, though, guys.

Bleeping Computer says Germany is planning backdoors into modern devices.  Maybe so, I offer, but whether that includes encryption is not at all clear.

Finally, Nick digs into the remarkable work that Citizen Lab and Bill Marczak continue to do on authoritarian government hacking. He says, with evidence, that efforts to control sales to untrustworthy governments are actually working.

As always The Cyberlaw Podcast is open to feedback. Send your questions, suggestions for interview candidates or topics to CyberlawPodcast@steptoe.com or leave a message at +1 202 862 5785.

Download the 196th 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.