Our News Roundup is hip deep in China stories. The inconclusive EU - China summit gives Matthew Heiman and me a chance to explain why France understands – and hates – China’s geopolitical trade strategy more than most. Maury Shenk notes that the Pentagon’s reported plan to put a bunch of Chinese suppliers on a blacklist is a tribute to China’s own schedule of sectors where Western companies. are blacklisted. And Matthew discloses reason to believe that China has finally begun to use all the US personnel data it stole from OPM. I’m so worried it may yet turn my hair pink, at least for SF-86 purposes.
And in a sign that it really is better to be lucky than to good, Matthew and I muse on how the Trump Administration’s China policy is reinforcing broader economic trends to make US companies reconsider their reliance on Chinese manufacturing.
It’s not all China, though. To kick things off, Nick Weaver and I schadenfreude our way through an otherwise serious take on the Julian Assange story and its strikingly narrow Computer Fraud and Abuse Act charge – and why extradition is likely to be a pain.
We also delve into the Google Sensorvault story. Nick and I agree that law enforcement access to location data, especially under the conditions set by Google, isn’t much of a privacy scandal, at least compared to private access to the same data. But that doesn’t mean it won’t raise endless legal problems for all concerned, partly because asking for a warrant to start the process isn’t quite the right legal or privacy framework.
Pete Jeydel notes two examples of CFIUS’s new toughness: It’s forcing a Russia-linked firm to sell its stake in a cybersecurity company, and it has handed out a $1 million fine to a company that blew off obligations under a mitigation agreement.
Maury covers the German data protection commissioner’s refusal to let German cops store data in the Amazon cloud. The commissioner blames the CLOUD Act and the risk that US authorities may get cross-border access to the data. I flag the commissioner for hypocrisy and ignoring international law. Turns out that the Justice Department has a good new whitepaper out on the CLOUD Act, and it points out that remote access to offshore data has been an implicit part of the Budapest Convention since the ‘90s.
Returning once more to China, Maury and I touch on the Chinese government’s use of AI to find Uighurs in crowds of Han Chinese. In my view, the only thing surprising about this story is that the New York Times thinks we should be surprised by it.