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Showing posts from March 24, 2019

Where is the room for thinking for India by India?

Our Congress government work under the assumption that the majority is always wrong and is always burdened by this guilt while dealing with Pakistan. (The majority of lower caste Muslims are the real victims.) The BJP government implicitly believes the contrary. Our Think Tanks are pretty banal (recall nonalignment 2.0 of CPR) or overseas branches of USA based think-tanks, whose primary goal is to promote USA intetests and protect/obtain green cards. Who mans these offshore think-tanks? Kids of India's foreign, defence, and intelligence officials (but no doubt all of them have obtained appointments based on their merit). Indian language education and media has collapsed and the Indian language folks do not have global exposure. Where is the room for thinking for India by India? In every crisis we first lose the game in our minds (and of course there are Osamaji's friends in our political parties) and our adversaries and "friends" alike know this .

Iran-Russia rivalry for Syrian economic sway may grow

Source: Oxford ANALYTICA Thursday, March 28, 2019 Iran has been cultivating commercial networks in Syria and harbours plans for regional trade integration Iran is currently in advanced negotiations to take control of the Latakia container port on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, with news reports on March 22 indicating that it may have already been awarded the contract. Iran has been looking to build up its business ties on the ground in Syria, and views access to trade infrastructure as a key component in its plans for an integrated trade and transport network spanning Iran, Iraq and Syria. Yet Russia also has its eye on the economic rewards from Syrian reconstruction and has been exerting influence over Damascus to favour its own contractors. What next As Syria moves from civil war to the post-conflict phase, competition between Russia and Iran for economic access is likely to intensify. Yet both states have an interest in building a strong and economically viable partner

GCSC Cyberstability Update, 29 March 2019

GCSC Cyberstability Update, 29 March  2019 Your weekly news updates on the GCSC, its members, and relevant developments in the field of international cyber affairs. For more information about the GCSC, please visit . Global Commission Meets Alongside ICANN64 Forum in Japan   The Global  Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace  (GCSC) conducted its second meeting of 2019 alongside the  ICANN64 Community Forum , on March 9-10 in Kobe, Japan. Hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and in partnership with ICANN, the meeting offered GCSC members the opportunity to engage with the ICANN community, which lies at the foundation of Internet governance and multistakeholder cooperation. The Commission also met in closed sessions on March 9 and 10, with a focus on developing a definition of “cyber stability” and underlying principles in support of international efforts to advance peace and security in cyberspace. The Commission also c

The day's top China business headlines

Daily News Update The day's top China business headlines Today's briefs HUAWEI 1.UK chastises Huawei for security failings The UK government-led board that oversees the vetting of Huawei gear in Britain has publicly chastised China’s Huawei Technologies for failing to fix long-standing security flaws in its mobile network equipment, said Reuters . The board released a report that revealed new “significant technical issues,” increasing pressure on the company as it battles Western allegations that Beijing could use its gear for spying. The report also noted that the company had made “no material progress” in addressing the security flaws and it didn’t have confidence in Huawei’s capacity to deliver on proposed measures to address “underlying defects.” The board specified that Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre does not believe that the defects were a result of state interference, but rather a result of basic engineering incompetence and a lack of cyber security hyg

The Future of Capitalism: Social Democracy in Crisis? A book abstract of “The Future of Capitalism” by Paul Collier 15 March 2019 Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash Share Image With his latest book, the British economist Paul Collier attempts to unmask the existential crisis of modern capitalism. According to the author, social democracy has failed to deliver on its promise to create a cooperative and morally reciprocal society. “The Future of Capitalism” is Collier’s appeal to reset the mindset of modern social democracy, to reshape the foundation of capitalist societies and to make future capitalism more ethical and prosperous. What does he propose? “Deep rifts are tearing apart the fabric of our society” For Collier the problem of modern capitalism has a geographic, educational and moral base. Place itself has become a source of social and economic divergence. Across the globe, metropolitan areas are “surging ahead the rest of the nation”. They have not only become richer and more prosperous, but also socially deta

Gutenberg's legacy

AXIOS FUTURE Steve Levine Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios   Johannes Gutenberg died in 1468, more than a decade after inventing moveable type. But he had already set in motion a gold rush-like frenzy of European entrepreneurs who flung open print shops to cash in on his technological earthquake. This printing fever  may be as responsible as Gutenberg's press itself for igniting the transformation that followed — the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Age, according to  new research published  by the London School of Economics (LSE). Why it matters: We may be seeing the echoes  of Gutenberg in the political and social tumult all around us, Jeremiah Dittmar, lead author  of the article  and a professor at LSE, tells Axios. Today's competition for people's attention  in the torrent of digitized information — blogging, the 24-hour broadcast news cycle and online commentary (not to mention email newsletters) — may be a key driver of the chaos. &quo

CHINA: Surveillance updates: Data leaks, gait recognition, expansion in Tibet

Freedom House Data leaks show extent of surveillance, vulnerability of stockpiled information:  Recent data leaks uncovered by a Dutch researcher shed light on the extent of Chinese surveillance programs, as well as the lack of data protection measures at some leading Chinese technology firms. On February 13, ethical hacker and security researcher Victor Gevers ( @0xDUDE ) found an exposed database belonging to Shenzhen-based SenseNets, a company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) crowd analysis and facial recognition technology. The database, which  Gevers claimed  was “ fully accessible  to anyone,” contained  information on 2.6 million people in Xinjiang —including their official identification numbers, birthdays, addresses, ethnicities, employers, and perhaps most chillingly, a list of their  GPS locations  over the past 24 hours. The database had been open since July, but it was locked by the company after Gevers reported the leak. A long-running crackdown in Xinjiang h

Worried about Huawei? Take a closer look at Tencent

The Chinese social media giant is a growing global force, and it does the bidding of the Communist Party. by Sarah Cook It has long been understood that Tencent—the Chinese company that owns WeChat and QQ, two of the world’s most widely used social media applications—facilitates Chinese government censorship and surveillance. But over the past year, the scale and significance of this activity have increased and become more visible, both inside and outside China.   During the last month alone, several events have illustrated the trend and Tencent’s close relationship with the Chinese authorities.   On March 2, Dutch hacker  Victor Gevers  revealed that the content of millions of conversations on Tencent applications among users at internet cafés are being relayed, along with the users’ identities, to police stations across China. Just three days later, the company’s founder and chief executive,  Pony Ma , took his seat among 3,000 delegates to the National People’s Congress, the