At the request of the Department of State, CSIS assembled a group of 25 experts from Asian, European, and U.S. companies and research centers to develop criteria to assess the trustworthiness of telecommunications equipment suppliers. These criteria complement the work of the Prague Proposal and the European Union’s 5G Toolbox. They offer governments and network owners or operators an additional tool to use to determine trustworthiness and security. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The objective of face recognition technologies (FRTs) is to efficiently detect and recognize people captured on camera. Although these technologies have many practical security-related purposes, advocacy groups and individuals have expressed apprehensions about their use. The research reported here was intended to highlight for policymakers the high-level privacy and bias implications of FRT systems. In the report, the authors describe privacy as a person’s ability to control information about them. Undesirable bias consists of the inaccurate representation of a group of people based on characteristics, such as demographic attributes. Informed by a literature review, the authors propose a heuristic with two dimensions: consent status (with or without consent) and comparison type (one-to-one or some-to-many). This heuristic can help determine a proposed FRT’s level of privacy and accuracy. The authors then use more in-depth case studies to identify “red flags” that could indicate privacy and bias concerns: complex FRTs with unexpected or secondary use of personal or identifying information; use cases in which the subject does not consent to image capture; lack of accessible redress when errors occur in image matching; the use of poor training data that can perpetuate human bias; and human interpretation of results that can introduce bias and require additional storage of full-face images or video. This report is based on an exploratory project and is not intended to comprehensively introduce privacy, bias, or FRTs. Future work in this area could include examinations of existing systems, reviews of their accuracy rates, and surveys of people’s expectations of privacy in government use of FRTs. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Corruption plagues governments, economies, and societies around the world. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the amount of money lost to corruption globally is $2 trillion a year. This money could go a long way toward filling the financing gap for the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and preparing countries for global pandemics such as Covid-19. The United States should recapture its leadership on global anti-corruption efforts for a number of reasons, but most critically for economic ones. U.S. global competitors, such as China and Russia, offer an alternative development model that largely ignores issues of transparency, rule of law, and good governance. If all companies had to abide by the same anti-corruption legislation and there was more transparency in procurement processes, then U.S. companies would have a better chance of winning contracts. Economic growth in developing countries reduces unemployment, increases stability, and supports U.S. national security interests in the process as well. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The United States has a capability gap in detecting malign or subversive information campaigns before these campaigns substantially influence the attitudes and behaviors of large audiences. Although there is ongoing research into detecting parts of such campaigns (e.g., compromised accounts and “fake news” stories), this report addresses a novel method to detect whole efforts. The authors adapted an existing social media analysis method, combining network analysis and text analysis to map, visualize, and understand the communities interacting on social media. As a case study, they examined whether Russia and its agents might have used Russia’s hosting of the 2018 World Cup as a launching point for malign and subversive information efforts. The authors analyzed approximately 69 million tweets, in three languages, about the World Cup in the month before and the month after the event, and they identified what appear to be two distinct Russian information efforts, one aimed at Russian-speaking and one at French-speaking audiences. Notably, the latter specifically targeted the populist gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement; detecting this effort months before it made headlines illustrates the value of this method. To help others use and develop the method, the authors detail the specifics of their analysis and share lessons learned. Outside entities should be able to replicate the analysis in new contexts with new data sets. Given the importance of detecting malign information efforts on social media, it is hoped that the U.S. government can efficiently and quickly implement this or a similar method. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
NATO is generally seen in a positive light across publics within the alliance, despite lingering tensions between the leaders of individual member countries. A median of 53% across 16 member countries surveyed have a favorable view of the organization, with only 27% expressing a negative view. But opinions of NATO and related issues vary widely across the countries surveyed, especially regarding the obligations of Article 5 of the 75-year-old treaty, which declares that an attack against one member nation is considered an attack against all members. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Today’s advances in fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) promise a transformational technology that is critical to enabling the next industrial revolution. 5G will provide massive benefits for future economic development and national competitiveness, including certain military applications. 5G is far more than simply a faster iteration of 4G. The benefits include its high speed, low latency, and high throughput, which enable data flows at vastly greater speed and volume than today’s 4G networks. Future smart cities will rely on 5G, autonomous vehicles will depend on this increased connectivity, future manufacturing will leverage 5G to enable improved automation, and even agriculture could benefit from these advances. The advent of 5G could contribute trillions to the world economy over the next couple of decades, setting the stage for new advances in productivity and innovation.
The United States risks losing a critical competitive advantage if it fails to capitalize upon the opportunity and manage the challenges of 5G. Today, China seems poised to become a global leader and first mover in 5G. The United States may be situated in a position of relative disadvantage. The U.S. government has yet to commit to any funding or national initiatives in 5G that are close to comparable in scope and scale to those of China, which is dedicating hundreds of billions to 5G development and deployment. There are also reasons for serious concern about the long-term viability and diversity of global supply chains in this industry. Huawei, a Chinese company with global ambitions, seems to be on course to become dominant in 5G, establishing new pilots and partnerships worldwide. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the United States and other leading democracies built an international system that ushered in an almost 70-year period of remarkable peace and prosperity. Founded on democratic and open-market principles, its institutions and rules have promoted global economic growth and development, lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, and advanced the cause of freedom. After three decades of largely uncontested primacy, however, this rules-based system is now under unprecedented challenge, both from within and without. In March 2018, we launched an initiative under the auspices of the Atlantic Council aimed at revitalizing the rules-based international system and reinvigorating support for its core tenets. We were joined by a distinguished group of former officials and strategists in creating a Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Peace, and Prosperity—offering seven statements that we believe are foundational for a revitalized international system and reflect the common aspirations of the human spirit. The principles are intended to provide a clear and compelling statement of values—a “north star”—around which political leaders and the broader public can rally in demonstrating their support for the rules-based system. But principles alone are not enough. We need a new strategy—one ambitious enough to meet the moment, and one innovative enough to fit the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. In this paper, Present at the Re-Creation, Ash Jain and Matthew Kroenig propose a visionary but actionable global strategy for revitalizing, adapting, and defending the rules-based international system. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Global forced migration has important security, environmental, economic, political, and human rights implications that could lead to future global instability. Future trends in forced migration show increasing and deepening issues with significant global consequences. Although this phenomenon is disproportionately challenging the developing world, its implications are global. CSIS explored these implications in detail in its May 2018 report “Confronting the Global Forced Migration Crisis.” Building off its previous findings, CSIS releases this backgrounder, where it explores trends in forced migration and identifies innovative solutions to address future crises. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The Black Sea region is a central locus of the competition between Russia and the West for the future of Europe. The region experienced two decades of simmering conflicts even before Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and Russia has used military force against other countries in the region four times since 2008. As participants at a March 2019 workshop in Bucharest, Romania, discussed, Russia is also using informational, economic, energy, and clandestine instruments to advance its goals of transforming the Black Sea, along with the Sea of Azov, into virtual internal waterways, where Russia can have the kind of freedom of action it has achieved in the Caspian Sea. While the Black Sea littoral countries want to protect themselves from Russian hostile interference, domestic political factors as well as the countries’ membership in or level of association with the European Union and NATO influence the degree of overlap and divergence in their interests. Under the circumstances, it is difficult for Western countries to craft and implement a coherent, sustainable strategy to protect common interests and counter malign Russian influence and intimidation, even as it is critical that they do so. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
This report concludes that international terrorists, domestic terrorists, school shooters, and gang members share some common factors that made them vulnerable to radicalization to violence. By focusing on the areas of commonality, it would be possible to further prevention efforts on all four types of violence rather than isolating initiatives. Efforts should focus on the personal, group, and community-level, aiming to provide early education, intervention, or off-ramping options. [Note: contains copyrighted material].