Schedueling Update

Due to recording difficulties, KPWC has been moved to a bi-weekly scheduel and will not be published this week.

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10 – Fight over the .gay TLD

This week ICANN confirmed their stance on denying the Dotgay company from obtaining the “.gay” top level domain (such as .com, .edu, etc…) as a ‘community application’. The back and forth is set to continue as Dotgay attempts to obtain the TLD so that they may lease it out and redirect a large portion of its profits to the LGBTQIA community. An exploration into what ‘top level domains’ are, how they are obtained, and what’s special about Dotgay’s application for the .gay TLD helps uncover what’s happening.

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09 – Data Localization

Events this week have placed a heavy emphasis on data localization laws. Companies are forced to make hard trade-offs between their market shares, growth, and values. The spectrum of data localization laws is large and not terribly well defined, a network of interacting regulatory schemes which interact and react to one another. Data localization will continue to be an important and contentious challenge in cyberspace related diplomacy.

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08 – Worldwide Threat Assessment

The US intelligence community released its Worldwide Threat Assessment, citing concerns over Russian influence campaigns, increasingly aggressive operations, North Korea, artificial intelligence, and more. This year a new item was added which discusses foreign countries acquiring important technology not only through theft, but through legal purchases as well. Overall there is a steady concern over the “4 Key Adversaries”, something Rex Tillerson’s proposed state department’s restructuring reflects.


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07 – Pyeongchang Olympics

The Pyeongchang Olympics is as strenuous a cybersecurity event as it is an athletic one. The giant event is a field day for cybercriminals and possible state sponsored events, and the Olympic security personnel have tried their best to prepare for this. South Korea’s flashy opening ceremony hit some set backs yet there was no confirmation as to why, and various information systems were targeted on opening night. Fortunately, none of this has had the ability to affect any of the events, best of luck to the athletes!

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06 – Connecting The Other Half

While we often get caught up in the rapid and dramatic developments that unfold in and around cyberspace, we often forget half of the world’s population still isn’t even connected. Earlier this month the UN’s (ITU) Broadband Comission set their aim to connect 75% of the world’s population to the Internet by 2025, along with many other progressive goals. This week we thumb through each goal and explore some of the general challenges that they face in reaching their commendable 2025 goals and broader 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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05 – Russian Influence Campaigns

Amidst this years Russian digital influence campaign news real, it’s hard to find a best time to take a moment and discuss the trend as a whole. This week in particular news was leaked of a Dutch counter intelligence operation which witnessed the DNC hack, State Department hack, and even gathered the identities of those behind the Cozy Bear hacking group. Russia’ three pronged digital influence strategy puts liberal democracies in uncomfortable situations, forced to make tough choices, the results of which are still unfolding.

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04 – Hawaiian Missile Alarm

A false alarm has left Hawaiians with less trust in alarm systems and critical infrastructure, demonstrating how the trust surround critical infrastructure is often a more (or equally) vulnerable target as the infrastructure itself. Governments continue to work on forging agreements and norms to protect their critical infrastructure, but some wonder how well those can hold up. The even has invited a larger discussion on trust in cyberspace, and how governments can further protect their critical infrastructure.

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03 – Meltdown and Spectre

Researchers and companies race to secure processors across a broad range of devices after realizing a severe vulnerability. The Meltdown and Spectre attacks show just how frustrating international supply chain security can be and reveal bigger questions about revealing an attack to the public, keeping it secret, or trying to find another way to safely mitigate such an issue as to minimize the potential damage. Also, an in-depth exploration of some investigative reporting into a mysterious twitter bot.

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02 – Iranian Internet Crackdown

As protests rage in Iran, the government has shutdown Telegram, Instagram, and even fully cut off Internet access to certain areas. This shows the dangers when censorship is abused but also speaks of broader lessons for international affairs. Also, this throws a spotlight onto human rights concerns and the modern challenges they face in cyberspace.

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