Internet Security

There is a move afoot—and it’s making significant progress—to develop and deploy a quantum computing Internet.

A group led by the US Department of Energy and the University of Chicago plans to develop a nationwide quantum internet that could be functional in about a decade and with the potential to securely transmit sensitive information related to national security and financial services.
“What we’re moving forward on is building out quantum networks [to] someday…turn into a full second internet, a parallel internet to the digital internet,” said Paul Dabbar, the Energy Department’s Under Secretary for Science.

The Space Force Logo

The logo is pretty cool, but because I like to pick nits, I have one here.

The text is hard to read, so here are the four explanations, clockwise from the upper left.

The silver outer border of the Delta symbol signifies defense and protection from all adversaries and threats from the space domain. The black area inside embodies the vast darkness of deep space.

Inside the delta, the two spires represent the action of a rocket launching into the outer atmosphere in support of the central role of the Space Force in defending the space domain.

We’re Nice Guys

We’re not hostile, at all. You’d better stop saying otherwise, and you’d better stop interfering with us. So says the People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador to Great Britain, Liu Xiaoming.

Those who see China as systematic rival or as a potentially hostile state have got it all wrong—they have chosen the wrong target and they are heading in the wrong direction.

Stop interferring in Hong Kong’s affairs

The People’s Republic of China is not hostile and doesn’t threaten other nations.

Let’s see….

  • Routinely threatens the Republic of China, interferes (or tries to) in its elections, threatens it with military exercises in the Taiwan Strait that practice amphibious invasion

Market Performance

Great Britain has decided to bar the People’s Republic of China’s telecom company, Huawei, from participating in the British build-out of their 5G network.

The PRC isn’t happy. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian:

Whether the UK will provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese businesses offers a telling clue to how the post-Brexit British market will perform and how secure China’s investment will be in that country. So, we will be closely following the situation.

I certainly hope it’s a telling clue, given that PRC companies are extensions of that government’s intelligence gathering facility.

Some Thoughts on TikTok

TikTok is a video messaging app that was developed in the People’s Republic of China and is owned by ByteDance, another PRC company. The Wall Street Journal published a Q&A on the app last Tuesday.

I have some thoughts, too.

For background, here are some of the data that TikTok collects just because you’re using it.

…location data and your internet address, according to its privacy policy, and it tracks the type of device you are using to access its platform. It stores your browsing and search history as well as the content of messages you exchange with others on the app.

Distractions

Much is being made of the cybersecurity threat, the national security threat, that the People’s Republic of China’s Huawei represents. For instance, Senator Ben Sasse (R, NE) has said it’s good for the British government to be removing Huawei from the core of the British Internet.

Senator Mark Warner (D, VA):

Huawei has been and will continue to be a national security threat….

Senator Tom Cotton (R, AR) on the Brits’ initial decision to allow Huawei into their Internet infrastructure:

[t]he Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will now have a foothold to conduct pervasive espionage on British society.

Disingenuosity

Thy name is TikTok. India has banned TikTok along with a potful of other PRC apps on national security—cybersecurity—grounds. In response, TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer said that

Chinese authorities had never requested the data of their Indian users, and even if they had, the company wouldn’t comply.

Right.

“Never requested” is a cynically offered non sequitur. Not having been asked is entirely separate from never will be asked.

It’s more serious than that, though. The People’s Republic of China enacted a law in 2017 that requires all PRC-domiciled companies to comply with PRC intel community requests for information. Not “pretty please,” not “strongly encouraged.” It’s “stand and deliver, stand in violation of law.”

Occupation by Remote Control

Details of the People’s Republic of China’s overt takeover of Hong Kong via its new “security” law have been released by the government organ Xinhua News Agency. The high points, summarized by OANN, are these:

  • Hong Kong must establish a “local” national security council to enforce legislation, headed by the city’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam
    • to be supervised and guided by a new PRC commission specially created for the purpose
    • a PRC “adviser” will be a member of the council
  • New local police and prosecution units to be set up to investigate, enforce the new law
    • backed by PRC security and intelligence officers deployed to the new commission

Errant Satrap

That’s how the European Union views Great Britain as the EU continues to demand that Great Britain accede to demands they wish to impose on a sovereign nation—solely to bring that subordinate polity to heel. Examples of the EU’s demands:

  • post-Brexit sovereignty to make Britain more competitive via deregulation, environmental rules or tax reform—these must not occur
  • UK’s ability to subsidize industries in line with EU state-aid regulations—this must be curtailed

The first must not be allowed explicitly because of that competition. The second may be bad business overall, but it’s a domestic matter.

And this, regarding tariffs:

Troops in Germany

President Donald Trump has said he intends to reduce the number of American soldiers in Germany.

Germany, he said, is not meeting its commitment to spend 2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense as required by the NATO alliance. Member nations had pledged to reach the 2% threshold by 2024. Germany has said it hopes to reach the target by 2031.

Which is a cynical commitment by Germany, since there will be several generations of German governments over the intervening 11 years.

But here’s the kicker, from Emily Haber, Germany’s Ambassador to the US: