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Steptoe Cyberblog

Episode 256: National Bloviation Strategy

Posted in Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

 

I know. That could be any national strategy written in the last 15 years. And that’s the point. In our interview, Dr. Amy Zegart and I discuss the national cyber strategy and what’s wrong with it, along with the culture clash between DOD and Silicon Valley (especially Google), and whether the Mueller report should lead to a similarly thorough investigation into how the Intelligence Community and Justice handled the allegations at the start of the Trump Administration. Plus, Amy answers this burning question: “If a banana republic is a country where losing an election means getting criminally investigated, what do you call a country where winning an election means you get criminally investigated?”

In the news, we talk about the New Zealand massacre and what may look in six months like an overreaction to distribution of the video of the attack. Along the way, we discover that New Zealand actually still has a “Chief Censor.”

If you thought the Boeing 737MAX approval cast the FAA in a bad light, here’s some good news for that embattled agency: The FDA is even worse at dealing with software risks. Matthew Heiman and I talk about the agency’s unimpressive handling of a flaw that would let hackers control defibrillators implanted in patients.

Conservatives v. Silicon Valley. Apparently looking for Odd Couple of the Month coverage, Sen. Josh Hawley is sounding all Sen. Elizabeth Warren about Facebook and Silicon Valley. And Devin Nunes is renewing claims of social media bias against conservatives. Indeed, he’s putting his lawyers where his mouth is, suing Twitter and his fake Twitter Mom for defamation. It’s an uphill battle, but I would really love to read the internal Twitter emails about Nunes if his case gets to discovery.

Matthew tells us that the latest European fine of $1.7 billion means that Google has been hit with $7.6 billion in fines since 2017 – mostly for “in the eye of the beholder” abuses of a dominant position.

Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov makes a guest appearance to read the tea leaves in the SCOTUS remand of a cy pres case without decision. Bottom line: This might be good policy, but it mostly means trouble for defendants as well as the plaintiffs’ bar.

Matthew and I talk about the most fun caper involving North Korea in the last decade (since most of the other capers seem to end in people dying). This time, the good guys got away after physically pwning the entire North Korean embassy in Spain. Spanish papers claim it was the CIA, but that’s what Spanish papers would say. This time, I’d like to think that’s true.

Maury Shenk explains why US chip makers don’t actually want massive new guaranteed orders as part of a China trade deal.

And Matthew tells us how Egypt is taking advantage of the cover provided by Australia and New Zealand to tighten control of websites and social media accounts that pose a “threat to national security.”


 

Download the 256th 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.