Ericson Scorsim

The president of the United States Imposes Government Control on the Security of Information Technologies and Communications of Interest to Foreign Adversaries

The president of the United States Imposes Government Control on the Security of Information Technologies and Communications of Interest to Foreign Adversaries

21/05/2019

The president of the United States Imposes Government Control on the Security of Information Technologies and Communications of Interest to Foreign Adversaries

On May 15, the President of the United States issued the Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology. The decision was grounded on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, National Emergencies Act, and the United States Code. According to the justification of the Executive Order, foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services, which store and communicate vast amounts of sensitive information, facilitate the digital economy, and support critical infrastructure and vital emergency services. Foreign adversary means any foreign government or foreign non-government person engaged in a long‑term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States or security and safety of United States persons. There are risks of malicious actions, including industrial espionage against the United States and its people There are threats caused by foreign adversaries to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. Hence, the Executive Order forbids any acquisition, importation, transfer, installation, dealing in, or use of any information and communications technology or service (transaction) by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, where the transaction involves any property in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest, from the date that this order is issued.

The presidential act has the purpose to ensure the control by the North American government of commercial transactions that involve information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied, by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary; transactions that pose an undue risk of sabotage to or subversion of the design, integrity, manufacturing, production, distribution, installation, operation, or maintenance of information and communications technology or services in the United States; transactions that pose an undue risk of catastrophic effects on the security or resiliency of United States critical infrastructure or the digital economy of the United States; or otherwise poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of its citizens.

The presidential act grants powers to the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with other authorities (the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the United States Trade Representative, the Director of National Intelligence, the Administrator of General Services, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission) to design or negotiate measures to mitigate concerns related to the risks described in the Executive Order. Such measures may serve as a precondition to the approval of a transaction or of a class of transactions that would otherwise be prohibited pursuant to the Executive Order. The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with other authorities, is authorized to take such actions to cease the transactions prohibited by the Executive Order, adopting the appropriate rules and regulations.  The Secretary, in consultation with the other federal authorities, is authorized to submit a final report to the Congress on control of such activities. The Director of National Intelligence shall continue to assess threats to the United States and its people from information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary.   The Secretary of Homeland Security shall continue to assess and identify entities, hardware, software, and services that present vulnerabilities to the United States and that pose the greatest potential consequences to the national security of the United States.

The Executive Order does not mention any specific countries or companies. However, it is known that the Trump administration is targeting the Chinese company Huawei. This measure is being adopted in the context of the trade war between the United States and China. The dispute is for the market that supplies equipment for telecommunications networks and the 5G market. The United States government wants to bar the Chinese company Huawei and its partners from purchasing American components and technologies without prior government approval. So the US authorities will prepare a list of companies and products deemed harmful to the interests of the United States, as they are promoted by foreign adversaries. According to information published by Reuters, Huawei is not able to manufacture servers for telecommunications networks, relying on third-party products such as the ones from American suppliers. However, Huawei is independent when it comes to the mobile phone market, as it owns all the components of these products (chips and software). The Chinese company is seeking to develop high-end technology to reduce its dependency on imported components. 

Publicado no portal Jurídico Migalhas Internacional em 21/05/2019 (clique aqui)

The United Kingdom discusses new rules to regulate online content to protect user safety

The United Kingdom discusses new rules to regulate online content to protect user safety

15/04/2019

The United Kingdom discusses new rules to regulate online content to protect user safety

The British government, through its Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has presented measures to deal with online harms against users of digital platform services – the Online Harms White Paper. The measures were presented to the British Parliament. According to the document, the British Digital Economy needs a new regulation to improve the online security of citizens, given the online abuses that exist. The instrument mentions that self-regulation by global technology companies is not enough to prevent harms to users related to abuses and illegal online content. Thus, it recommends regulatory measure to establish the duty of care of digital platforms towards the protection of their users, for the purpose of inhibiting illegal and harmful content.

The regulation covers social media networks, websites, public discussion forums, messaging services, and search engines. It proposes that an independent regulatory authority should monitor the responsibility of the technology companies that mediate online content. Amongst the issues in debate are problems with abuse against children (cyberbullying), online disinformation campaigns, terrorist content shared on social media, pornography, hate crimes, inciting violence and crimes (there are online gangs that promote violence), encouragement to self-mutilation and suicide (protection of the mental health and wellbeing of youngster), drug trafficking, anonymous online intimidation, interference in legal procedures by disseminating online content, amongst other issues. Among the justifications for such regulation is online abuse of public figures; the example given are abuses committed against female journalists. Another matter under debate is online advertising and the regulatory asymmetry in dissemination of content in different services (for example: the regulation of broadcasting and the deregulation on content published on digital platforms: Youtube, Netflix, Prime Video, amongst others).

The document also speaks of the duty of care regarding interference in legal proceedings by disseminating online content throughout communities. According to the report, the technology companies must help users to report interference in legal proceedings, in the case of anonymous offenses. And as for online content that interferes with legal proceedings, the information on the occurrences must be updated in relation to the updating of the such information. Companies providing content distribution services must ensure immediate removal of illegal online content, as soon as determined by the proper authority.

Technology is part of the solution to promote education and digital awareness. The United Kingdom is seeking to build a new regulatory framework for online content, by holding technology companies accountable for the content they distribute and promoting the duty of care with regard to protecting the users of digital services. Amongst the sanctions stated in the regulation are fines, service blocking (geo-blocking of websites and applications), and the individual liability of the managers of the online content intermediary companies.

Artigo publicado no Portal Jurídico Migalhas Internacional em 15/04/2019 – (clique aqui).

The European Union’s Strategic Outlook on China: Security Aspects of the 5G Networks

The European Union’s Strategic Outlook on China: Security Aspects of the 5G Networks

The European Union’s Strategic Outlook on China: Security Aspects of the 5G Networks

On March 12, 2019, the European Council and European Commission presented the joint strategic outlook of the European Union on China. This text is based on the main aspects of that official document, focusing on the matter of cybersecurity in the 5G networks. China is recognized as the EU’s second-biggest trading partner, behind only the United States. Hence, the challenges and opportunities presented by the relationship with China must be identified. China is a global player with leading technological power; however, this leads to greater responsibilities for upholding the international order, as well as greater reciprocity, non-discrimination, and openness of its system. It is a cooperative partner, but in some cases also a strong competitor. Thus, the need to find a balance between the political and commercial relationships. In a near future, China will no longer be seen as a developing country.

With regard to competitiveness and leveling the playing field, the document mentions measures to be adopted by the EU regarding the distortive effects of foreign state ownership and state financing of foreign companies on the EU internal market. It also mentions the need to build a strategy related to artificial intelligence to foster investments, with a human-centric and trustworthy approach, a key condition for acceptance of the use of technologies.

Another theme is strengthening the security of critical infrastructure and the technological base. There are concerns regarding the risks to the EU’s security represented by foreign investment in strategic sectors of the European economy through acquisitions of critical assets, technologies and infrastructure, as well as the supply of critical equipment. We highlight the matter of 5G digital infrastructure, used to provide mobile and wireless communication services. 5G has the potential to connect billions of objects and systems, including sensitive information and communication technology systems. Hence, the European Union has several legal instruments, such as the Network and Information Security Directive, the Cybersecurity Act, and the European Electronic Communications Code, for protection against cyberattacks. The EU will support multilateral efforts to promote free and secure data flows based on strong privacy protections for personal data.

On the other hand, the new Regulation for foreign investments will enter into force in April 2019 and fully apply from November 2020 Therefore, the Member States must apply the rules of such Regulation on foreign investment to control the security risks posed by foreign investment in critical assets, technologies and infrastructure. To avoid the distortions resulting from foreign state ownership and state financing of companies, the European Commission must identify such distortions by the end of 2019. Given the potential risks to the security of the digital infrastructure, there must be a strategy for the security of the 5G networks. Thus, the European Commission will issue a recommendation to be followed by the European Council. As for the security threats caused by foreign investments in critical assets, technologies and infrastructure, the Member States must ensure the effective implementation of the Regulation of direct foreign investments.

Artigo publicado no Portal Jurídico Migalhas em 05/04/2019 (clique aqui).

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