• PerspectiveBans on Foreign Equipment in U.S. Critical Infrastructure

    One executive order does not a trend make, but maybe two do. On May 1, President Trump issued an executive order banning the acquisition, importation, transfer or installation of any bulk electric power system equipment where the secretary of energy has determined, first, that the equipment was manufactured by a company controlled by—or subject to the jurisdiction of—a foreign adversary and, second, that the transaction poses an undue risk to the U.S. bulk-power system, economy or national security. Jim Dempsey writes “The order’s issuance signals that the administration’s efforts to purge from the nation’s telecommunications network any equipment made in China may represent a new approach to critical infrastructure in general.”

  • DisinformationTriad of Disinformation: How Russia, Iran, & China Ally in a Messaging War against America

    By Clint Watts

    China has long deployed widespread censorship, propaganda, and information manipulation efforts within its borders, but information operations directed at foreign audiences have generally focused on framing China in a positive way. In the last two months, however, Beijing, showing itself willing to emulate Russia’s approach to information campaigns, has conducted a much more ambitious effort not only to shape global perspectives about what’s occurring inside China, but to influence public opinion about events outside its borders.

  • Last frontierIncreased Extraterrestrial Ambitions Threaten the Future of Space

    As the number of nations and businesses across sectors look outward to space for new opportunities — and commercial space activities grow — the sustainability of space exploration is more important than ever. as more private sector entities get involved in commercial space activities, the more important it becomes for stakeholders to agree on norms and rules if we are to coordinate space activities to the benefit of everyone.

  • Last frontierU.S. Seeks to Change the Rules for Mining the Moon

    By Scott Shackelford

    At the moment, no company – or nation – is yet ready to claim or take advantage of private property in space. But the $350 billion space industry could change quickly. Several companies are already planning to explore the Moon to find raw materials like water; Helium-3, which is potentially useful in fusion nuclear reactors; and rare earth elements, which are invaluable for manufacturing electronics. Anticipating additional commercial interest, the Trump administration has created new rules through an executive order following a 2015 law change for how those companies might profit from operations on the Moon, asteroids and other planets. Those rules conflict with a longstanding international treaty the U.S. has generally followed but never formally joined.

  • Water securityComparing Water Risk Tools for Companies and Investors

    Faced with worsening water security across the globe, companies and investors are increasingly concerned about the water risks faced by their operations, supply chains and investments – and looking for tools to help to assess these risks. New report details similarities and differences between three leading water tools.

  • Truth decayAustralian Investigators Debunk 5G-COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory

    One of the more bizarre conspiracy theories recently created is the one claiming a connection between 5G technology and the virus. Believers argue that that either 5G was responsible for coronavirus, due to the construction of 5G networks in Wuhan, or for “poisoning cells” which created coronavirus. An Australian parliamentary investigation has now debunked this particular piece of misinformation.

  • The costAmericans May Be Willing to Pay $5 Trillion to Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus and Save Lives

    new analysis suggests Americans are willing to pay about US$5 trillion to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save as many lives as possible – dwarfing the $3 trillion Congress has so far agreed to spend to support the U.S. economy and its workers. Diego C. Nocetti and Luciana Echazu write in The Conversation that to get to that figure, they calculated the implicit value of public intervention measures like social distancing and statewide lockdowns – meant to prevent people from catching COVID-19 and possibly dying – by estimating how much people are willing to pay to have them implemented.

  • The costLives vs Lives – the Global Cost of Lockdown

    The arrival of a new coronavirus blindsided governments of most advanced nations as they reached for a tool that few had ever really considered before: lockdown. Jayanta Bhattacharya and Mikko Packalen write in The Spectator that it all happened too fast for a proper discussion about the implications. The biggest question — the extent to which lockdown will claim lives as well as save them — is one you can ask at a global level.

  • GlobalizationHas COVID-19 Killed Globalization?

    Even before the pandemic, globalization was in trouble. The open system of trade that had dominated the world economy for decades had been damaged by the financial crash and the Sino-American trade war. Now it is reeling from its third body-blow in a dozen years as lockdowns have sealed borders and disrupted commerce. The Economist writes that those three body-blows have so wounded the open system of trade that the powerful arguments in its favor are being neglected. Wave goodbye to the greatest era of globalization—and worry about what is going to take its place.

  • Climate challengesForging a New Field: Finance Sustainability

    Climate economists have long focused on governmental policies, economic welfare and the economy as a whole. Financial economists – who study corporate bottom lines – had no scholarly forum for examining the intersection of finance and climate change – until now.

  • Economic damageState Actions Played Lesser Role in COVID-19 Economic Damage

    Actions by state governments to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 played only a secondary role in the historic spike in U.S. unemployment in March, according to new research. Ohio State University says that while state actions to close schools were linked to an increase in unemployment, these effects were dwarfed by the larger national and international impact of the pandemic, according to researchers at the Ohio State University and Indiana University. Hispanics, young adults (aged 20-24), those without a college education and those with four or more children saw the steepest job losses. In two separate studies – here and here — the researchers took a broad look at the very early impact of the pandemic on jobs in the United States.

  • Shutdown SkepticsTake the Shutdown Skeptics Seriously

    Should states ease pandemic restrictions or extend lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders into the summer? That question confronts leaders across the United States. President Trump says that “we have to get our country open.” And many governors are moving quickly in that direction.Critics are dismayed. Citing forecasts that COVID-19 deaths could rise to 3,000 per day in June, they say that reopening without better defenses against infections is reckless. Conor Friedersdorf writes in The Atlantic that such denunciations cast the lockdown debate as a straightforward battle between a pro-human and a pro-economy camp. But the actual trade-offs are not straightforward. Set aside “flattening the curve,” which will continue to make sense. Are ongoing, onerous shutdowns warranted beyond what is necessary to avoid overwhelming ambulances, hospitals, and morgues? The answer depends in part on an unknown: how close the country is to containing the virus.

  • PrivacyEnhancing Privacy Protections for Android Applications

    From navigation to remote banking, mobile device users rely on a variety of applications to streamline daily tasks, communicate, and dramatically increase productivity. While exceedingly useful, the ecosystem of third-party applications utilizes a number of sensors – microphones, GPS, pedometers, cameras – and user interactions to collect data used to enable functionality. Troves of sensitive personal data about users are accessible to these applications and as defense and commercial mobile device users become increasingly reliant on the technology, there are growing concerns around the challenge this creates for preserving user privacy.

  • PerspectiveAssessing Cyber Risk from External Information

    There is a vision for the future of assessing cybersecurity: The goal is a system of cyber metrics that are transparent, auditable, practical, scalable and widely agreed upon. To that end, it is useful—indeed, imperative—to evaluate various approaches to cyber risk quantification with the aim of informing the development of a public standard for measuring cybersecurity.

  • FearU.K. Government Has “Terrorized” Britons into Believing Coronavirus Will Kill Them, Says Adviser

    The Government’s coronavirus warnings have “effectively terrorised” Britons “into believing that this is a disease that is going to kill you” even though most those infected will not be hospitalized, one of its advisers has warned. Christopher Hope writes in The Telegraph that Professor Robert Dingwall also said that “Eighty per cent of the people who get this infection will never need to go near a hospital. The ones who do go to hospital because they are quite seriously ill, most of them will come out alive – even those who go into intensive care. We have completely lost sight of that in the obsession with deaths.”

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