China’s Military Goal:
Peer Capability with the U.S. by Mid-Century | Will Edwards, The Cipher Brief
China’s new capabilities and their application towards its national goals
of great power status and domestic security have serious implications for
the United States and China’s neighbors, according to the Pentagon’s
2017 report on Chinese military power. These capabilities are
the results of decades of planning and reorganization within the People's
Enhancing China's Status
as a Great Power | Jeffrey
Engstrom and Michael S. Chase, RAND Corporation
"The PLA is increasingly being tasked with missions that are both
intended to enhance China’s status as a great power as well as to protect
Chinese interests, citizens, and investments worldwide."
Avoiding an East Asia Arms
Race | Dennis
Wilder, Former Senior Director for East Asian Affairs, National Security
"Force projection options, both regionally in East Asia and far
distant from China’s coast, are the most important capabilities that the
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is trying to develop as Beijing emerges as
a major power with global security and economic interests."
Today's Column: Fine Print
Pushback Against Iran |
Walter Pincus, Senior National Security Columnist, The
President Donald Trump is now talking about declaring Iran
“non-compliant” with the July 2015 nuclear agreement that the Tehran
regime signed with the P5+1. If Trump carries out the threat, it
eventually could lead Iran to withdraw from the agreement and possibly
reactivate its nuclear weapons development program.
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Brief Daily Podcast
Get a daily rundown of the top security stories and previews of the
exclusive content available on The Cipher Brief.
This week, The Cipher Brief brings you a special best of episode of one
of our most fascinating guests, Jason Matheny, Director of IARPA, the
research branch for the intelligence community that works on ways to
tell the future - among other projects. The Cipher Brief’s CEO and
Publisher, Suzanne Kelly, spoke with Jason about what exactly IARPA
does, what keeps him up at night, and if there’s ways to predict
political instability and unrest.
Putin Signs Bill Banning
Internet Proxies in Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new bill that cracks down on
software – including virtual private networks (VPNs) and anonymizers –
that allow internet users to sidestep government censorship. The bill,
which has already been approved by the Duma, the lower house of the
Russian parliament, will take effect on November 1. The law is an effort
to better enforce the Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor’s blacklist
of thousands of websites deemed illegal by the Kremlin.
The Cipher Take: Russia states that
“unlawful content” blocked from access by those within the country’s
borders contain materials advocating drug abuse, suicide, and child
pornography, as well as “extremism.”The new bill does not
necessarily ban further content, but seeks to close a loophole allowing
Russians to access banned content through VPN and anonymizing services
such as Tor. Such services encrypt internet traffic and bounce it around
the world to skirt localized internet censorship.
While many countries,
including the United States, have banned certain online content, the move
by Russia has caused civil liberties and human rights groups to condemn
the action as a clampdown on political dissent through censorship,
particularly leading up to the upcoming Russian presidential elections in
March. Other countries, notably China, have taken steps to hinder the
effectiveness of VPNs and anonymous browsers by filtering all of their
traffic through a central entry point, known as the Great Firewall of
The trend toward asserting
national sovereignty over the internet – whether through domestic
surveillance and censorship regimes, or data localization laws and other
protectionist policies – is often referred to as either the
“democratization” or the “balkanization” of the internet – often the
latter in the case of major Western powers that seek to maintain a free
and open digital commons for global free flow of information and trade.
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