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Showing posts from October 31, 2021

UK Intelligence Agencies and the Commercial Cloud: What Does It All Mean?

Ardi Janjeva and James Sullivan 5 November 2021 Main Image Credit  An office building occupied by cloud computing provider Amazon Web Services. Courtesy of Kristoffer Tripplaar / Alamy Stock Photo While cloud technologies allow intelligence agencies to ‘crunch’ data at scale and maintain competency in a big data world, there are concerns over the contracting of third parties based outside of the UK, and questions about oversight mechanisms for commercial cloud technologies. A recent  Financial Times  report  confirmed the procurement of a high-security cloud system by the UK’s intelligence community. The hosting of sensitive intelligence data on non-government systems is a significant pivot away from traditional practice, where the assumption is that in-house capabilities are relied upon to host sensitive data. The immediate concern about data sovereignty is slightly misleading, as it is most likely that the data is stored and processed on UK soil. However, this public-private partners

Prospects for the Gulf states in 2022

Oxford Analytica Thursday, November 4, 2021 Hydrocarbons-buoyed Gulf Arab economies will boost business confidence The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia, are enjoying the windfall from a tight global energy market that has pushed up oil and natural gas prices. They have also coped effectively with the healthcare challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, laying the groundwork for positive economic prospects in 2022. What next The region is looking to capitalise on global events such as the ongoing Dubai Expo and the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar. The main political issue of concern remains uncertainty regarding negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme, and associated security risks. Rivalry between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over regional economic leadership will intensify, but a serious breach in relations is unlikely. Strategic summary Buoyant revenue will enable governments to step up investment in infrastructure and h

Age just a number: 80-year-old man earns PhD from Balochistan University

 DAWN.COM - Published 04 Nov, 2021 05:19pm Age just a number: 80-year-old man earns PhD from Balochistan University GHALIB NIHAD Welcome An 80-year-old man from Balochistan has completed his PhD in political science at the University of Balochistan, proving that age is just a number if one resolves to achieve their dreams. Haibatullah Halimi, who hails from Mastung, was just like any other doctorate recipient at the varsity's convocation held last week — until his name was called out and Balochistan Governor Zahoor Ahmed Agha, the chief guest, couldn't hold back his commendation for the octogenarian committed to pursuing education while defying age barriers. The governor embraced the man — who walks with a stick and came up the stage with the support of two people — before bestowing him with the degree. A few years after retiring as a superintendent of police in 2005, following 40 years of service, Halimi got enrolled at the university and secu

Greek military goes shopping

by  Serge Halimi   C hristmas  has come early for Greece’s armed forces: this year the government is giving them 24 Rafale fighter jets and three cutting-edge frigates; later, they’ll be getting Lockheed Martin F-35s, Sikorsky helicopters, drones, torpedoes and missiles. The Greek military won’t be the only ones celebrating, though: French arms manufacturers, Dassault in particular, are among their biggest suppliers. Back in 2015, Greece was ruined, gasping, reduced to a protectorate of the ‘troika’ — the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — which scrutinised every last item of its spending to force it to repay a debt even the IMF acknowledged was ‘unsustainable’. On Germany’s insistence, the troika was particularly tough on social welfare spending. There were huge increases in tax and health insurance contributions, and reductions in unemployment benefit and the minimum wage (cut by 32% for under 25s); retirement age rose to 67 (while pensions s

Economic Security: A Shared U.S.-Japan Priority

October 27, 2021 At least three times in the past six years, Japan has stolen a march on the United States as a global economic rule-maker. In 2015, then-prime minister Shinzo Abe announced a  “quality infrastructure” initiative  that was the first credible answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Two years later, after the United States pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Tokyo persuaded the other 10 remaining TPP members to move ahead with a  tweaked version of the high-standard regional trade deal.  And in 2019, Abe presented his vision of  “data free flow with trust”  as the basis for global rules in a critical and largely ungoverned dimension of today’s global economy. Like clockwork, two more years have passed, and Japan has put another economic policy idea on the table. In forming his cabinet early this month, new prime minister Fumio Kishida created the first-ever  ministerial post for economic security,  appointing third-term Liberal Democratic Party (L

Watching China in Europe with Noah Barkin

GMF Asia Watching China in Europe - November 2021 Taiwan About Face In January of last year, when Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen won a second term, her victory was greeted with silence in Berlin. Worried that a public message of congratulations would offend Beijing, the German government said nothing for days—until a question from a journalist prompted a stiff acknowledgement of Tsai’s victory from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman. Less than two years later, this awkward dance seems terribly archaic. When the three parties negotiating in Berlin to form the next coalition government unveil their agreement next month (assuming they stick to their timeline) it is all but certain to voice support for Taiwan. In the foreign ministry—as well as in EU institutions in Brussels—officials have tentatively begun the process of thinking through scenarios around a Chinese intervention in the island. And Taiwan is now at the top of the list of discussion topics when European officials pass thro

Emerging threats from Gwadar's militarisation

Monday, 01 November 2021 | NISHTHA kaushiki   Emerging threats from  Gwadar's militarisation The Gwadar project provides China with ‘deep berthing rights' and gives it a safe and shorter route for its oil and mineral imports from the Middle East and Africa In 2004, the then Chinese President Hu Jintao gave the slogan of “new historic missions”, widely incorporated in subsequent national objectives. The 2006 and 2008 white papers on defence expressed Beijing's consciousness on the safety of SLOCs and the increased competition for resources. In 2012, when Xi Jinping assumed power, the aim of making China a strong "maritime power" was reiterated, and the 2013 defence white paper of China stressed the need to develop a 'blue water navy' for "Near Sea Defence, Far Seas Protection". In the same year, One Belt One Road (OBOR) was announced, and soon China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was allocated $60 billion. The Gwadar Project became a "jewe