Israel tightens regulations around cyber exports

by Charles Forrester

Israel has tightened its end-user requirements for cyber exports in the wake of the NSO Group/Pegasus spyware scandal. (Getty Images)

Israel's Defence Export Controls Agency (DECA) announced on 6 December that it was updating the end user requirements for cyber and intelligence products that require export licences from Israeli firms.

End users acquiring controlled cyber and intelligence products from Israeli companies must now agree that the products will be used for the prevention of terrorism or for the investigation of serious crimes.

In an appendix to a template end-use certificate, “an act of expressing an opinion or criticism, as well as presenting data regarding the state, including any of its institutions, shall not, in and of itself, constitute a terrorist act”.

Similarly, a “serious crime” is defined as one that carries a term of imprisonment of six years or more under the buyer's national law. “An act of expressing an opinion or criticism, as well as presenting data regarding the state, including any of its institutions, shall not, in and of itself, constitute a serious crime,” according to the documentation.


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Taiwan engages US on missile sustainment

by Jon Grevatt

Taiwan has announced it will award a ‘missile engineering' contract to the United States. This will reportedly include sustainment of the island's Patriot air-defence system. (Lockheed Martin)

Taiwan has awarded the US a contract to sustain missile systems operated by the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF). The deal – worth TWD2.5 billion (USD84 million) – comes amid Taiwanese efforts to bolster missile production capacity on the island in the face of growing tension with China.

The missile sustainment deal was announced by Taipei's contract tender portal on 11 August. According to the announcement, the ‘missile engineering' contract was awarded by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) to the American Institute in Taiwan – the US' de facto embassy on the island – through a restricted bidding process, without public solicitation.

The announcement said the contract, which commenced on 20 July and will conclude at the end of 2026, covers “missile engineering services and a field effectiveness evaluation”.

Taiwan's state-owned Central News Agency, citing a source with knowledge of the deal, reported that the contract will support the ROCAF's Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) air-defence systems.


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Taiwan faces widespread cyber attacks as tensions rise with China

by Oishee Majumdar

Taiwan says it has been subject to a series of intensified cyber attacks since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island nation on 2 August.

The attacks come amid rising US and Taiwan tensions with China, which has voiced “strong opposition and serious representations” against Pelosi's visit.

According to the Taiwan government, the attacks were targeted at its official websites and online infrastructure including those of the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND), the presidential office, and the foreign ministry.

Taiwan's MND said on 4 August that its website “was paralysed in the middle of the night” after enduring an attack. It added that part of its network had been subjected to “distributed denial-of-service attacks”.

The connection was restored after nearly one and a half hours after traffic cleaning and blocking of malicious relay stations, the MND added.

Taiwan's presidential office endured a similar attack ahead of Pelosi's visit, temporarily ceasing its operation, while the island's foreign ministry reportedly said on 2 August that its website had been hit with up to 8.5 million traffic requests per minute from computers based in China, Russia, and other places.


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US lawmakers advance bill to boost chip making

by Marc Selinger

The US Capitol building in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

The US Senate on 27 July passed a Pentagon-backed bill that would provide USD76 billion to shore up domestic production of semiconductor chips.

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act, which the Senate approved by a 64–33 vote, heads to the House of Representatives, which is expected to pass the bill on 28 July. President Joe Biden has indicated he will sign the legislation into law when it reaches his desk.

Proponents say the bill, which has been in the works for years, is needed to reduce US reliance on foreign, potentially unreliable sources of chips used in military weapon systems, automobiles, consumer electronics, and household appliances. The US share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity plunged from 37% in 1990 to about 12% in 2020 and is forecast to fall to 10% in 2030, according to the Washington, DC-based Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).


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Israel's Defence Export Controls Agency (DECA) announced on 6 December that it was updating the end ...

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