Ukraine conflict: NATO invites Finland and Sweden to become alliance members
30 June 2022
by Nicholas Fiorenza
NATO enlargement from 1952 to the present. (Janes/NATO)
NATO leaders invited Finland and Sweden to become the alliance's 31st and 32nd members on the first day of their 29–30 June summit in Madrid. Speaking to journalists on 29 June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described the invitation as a “historic decision”.
It will enable NATO to prepare accession protocols for Finland and Sweden, amending the 1949 Washington Treaty that created the alliance for signature and ratification by allies. For many of NATO's 30 members, ratification requires parliamentary approval, although for some, executive approval is sufficient. Asked by a journalist how long this would take, Stoltenberg responded, “so far this is the fastest accession process ever”, expecting ratification “as soon as possible”.
Taiwan faces widespread cyber attacks as tensions rise with China
04 August 2022
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.
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).
US lawmakers raise security concerns about Chinese logistics system
20 July 2022
by Marc Selinger
The US Capitol building in Washington, DC. (Janes/Marc Selinger)
The US House of Representatives has backed a proposal that would prohibit the US Department of Defense (DoD) and its contractors from using a Chinese system that enables cargo shippers to share data.
Proponents of the legislation argue that the National Public Information Platform for Transportation and Logistics (LOGINK), which is overseen by China's Ministry of Transport, could enable the Chinese government to track US military equipment sent through commercial ports. Representative Michelle Steel, a California Republican, offered the measure.
The House approved the legislation on 14 July as part of a package of amendments to the fiscal year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It is unclear if the LOGINK language will ultimately become law, as the House NDAA will have to be reconciled with the version that is pending in the Senate.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we speak with Neil Spencer on the value of OSINT in the commercial sector.
Neil Spencer is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for LifeRaft. He has more than twenty years of security indust...