Tag Archives: emerging nations

The new frontier: Even Developing Nations Do Cyber Spying

Summary: Revolutions in military technology allow rising powers to supersede the old ones, not just because the new tools provide asymmetric advantages, but because the military leaders of dominant love their obsolete big toys. As do military experts in general; compare the coverage of new carriers and aircraft vs. cybersecurity. Will this pattern play out in cyberspace? Emilio Lasiello explains how emerging nations aggressively exploit this new terrain of conflict. {1st of 2 posts today.}

Video Wall

A 21st century equivalent to the Battleship.

Even Developing Nations Want Cyber Spying Capabilities

By Emilio Iasiello from DarkMatters, 27 August 2015
Posted with his gracious permission.

Although governments like China and the United States are seeking to establish norms of behavior for nation states in cyberspace, there is increasing literature indicating that there is mounting interest in acquiring cyber espionage capabilities, even among less technologically advanced countries. An October 2015 report by Citizen Lab, a Canadian-based organization, found 33 likely customers of FinFisher – malware able to read encrypted files, e-mails, and listen in to voice over Internet Protocol, and activate webcams. Client information was exposed in a data breach that targeted Gamma International Ltd, a Munich-based company that made FinFisher and sold it exclusively to governments and law enforcement organizations.

These developments come at a time when governments are seeking to curb the volume of hostile activity occurring in cyberspace. Revelations of suspected U.S. global surveillance and China’s rampant commercial cyber espionage have brought talk of creating a baseline for accepted actions for governments to take in cyber space. China and Russia, as well as the United Nations Governmental Group of Experts on Information Security have developed proposals addressing these very concerns.

Adding to this trend for nation state responsibility, in April 2015, the United States established “cyber sanctions” that granted authority to the Department of Treasury to sanction “individuals or entities” that pose a cyber threat to the “national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.” In a landmark agreement in November 2015, governments of the 20 leading global economies – including China – pledged not to engage in cyber-enabled commercial espionage for profit.

Continue reading


BRIC building: the future of Brazil, Russia, India and China

Summary: Today we have a follow-up by Paul Schulte to Does corruption limit China’s growth, or pose a threat to its existence? He looks at the leading emerging nations, comparing them to the US and UK at similar point in their evolution to greatness.


BRIC building: the future of Brazil, Russia, India and China

By Paul Schulte
Institutional Investor magazine, in press
Republished here with his generous permission.

The challenge of the BRICs

The November/December 2012 edition of Foreign Affairs Magazine had an article called “How the BRICS Are Crumbling” by Ruchir Sharma (head of Emerging Markets at Morgan Stanley). The tone of the article seems off the mark. The BRICs {Brazil, Russia, India, China} are slowing because they are trying to slow credit growth due to the links of their currencies to the US dollar. They are trying to slow down credit growth while the West desperately uses zero interest rates to accelerate credit growth. So, the West and the BRICs are operating at cross purposes.

The BRICs countries have dollar-linked currencies, so when interest rates are zero in the West and high in BRICs countries they will be bombarded with capital seeking a higher return. This causes their currencies to appreciate, jeopardizing growth. Or, the BRICs countries must intervene domestically to force banks to slow credit growth as these banks fill with cash. Either way they encounter forces which cause their currencies to rise and credit growth to accelerate. This is a classic cocktail for a real estate bubble and accelerating inflation.

Brazil and China are experiencing the same phenomenon now. Both are essentially trying to slow down their respective economies, although China has been more successful.

Continue reading