Reports & Papers

29 Items

Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci

AP/Alex Brandon

Paper - Centre for International Governance Innovation

US Intelligence, the Coronavirus and the Age of Globalized Challenges

| Aug. 24, 2020

This essay makes three arguments. First, the US government will need to establish a coronavirus commission, similar to the 9/11 commission, to determine why, since April 2020, the United States has suffered more coronavirus fatalities than any other country in the world. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic represents a watershed for what will be a major national security theme this century: biological threats, both from naturally occurring pathogens and from synthesized biology. Third, intelligence about globalized challenges, such as pandemics, needs to be dramatically reconceptualized, stripping away outmoded levels of secrecy.

In this April 22, 2020 photo, Gerard Bakulikira, right, and captain Tim Daghelet, left, both wear a Romware COVID Radius digital bracelet, which flashes red when people are too close to each other and creates a log of contacts. 

AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Paper

Considerations for Digital Contact Tracing Tools for COVID-19 Mitigation: Recommendations for Stakeholders and Policymakers

Many are looking to digital contact tracing to assist reopening efforts, especially in light of reports that the U.S. could expect as many as 100,000 more deaths due to the virus by this Fall. This report focuses on how the U.S. might consider various proposed solutions.

We believe there are real benefits, challenges, and even potential harms in using digital solutions in the fight against COVID-19, but we must also acknowledge that the promise of any technology and associated systems to assist manual contact tracing efforts is largely hypothetical in the United States. There is not one catch-all answer; the truth is that technology is not a panacea, but it may be able to assist official efforts at an unprecedented time. However, no technological solution can succeed without two specific factors: public trust and buy-in, and rapid, widespread testing for everyone living in the U.S. To achieve the first, a number of factors must be addressed by officials in the states looking to implement digital solutions, and by technology developers.
 

Advocacy groups display a thousand signs that read #GetUsPPE, along images of health care workers, in a call for personal protective equipment for frontline health workers during the coronavirus outbreak, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Paper

Coronavirus as a Strategic Challenge: Has Washington Misdiagnosed the Problem?

| April 2020

With reservations about venturing into territory outside our normal wheelhouse, and in full certainty that some of what we write here will in retrospect turn out to have been wrong, a team of researchers at the Belfer Center and I have been collecting all the data we have been able to find about coronavirus, analyzing it to the best of our ability, and debating competing answers to the fundamental questions about the challenge this novel virus poses to our nation.

What follows is our current first-approximation of a work in progress. We are posting at this point in the hope of stimulating a wider debate that will include a much larger number of analysts beyond public health professionals and epidemiologists—including in particular intelligence officers, financial wizards, historians, and others.

A representative image of a digital "map"

Adobe Stock

Report

Reconceptualizing Cyber Power

Our intention is to provide the best possible understanding of cyber power capabilities to inform public debate. The Belfer approach proposes eight objectives that countries pursue using cyber means; provides a list of capabilities required to achieve those objectives that demonstrates the breadth of sources of cyber power; and compares countries based on their capability to achieve those objectives. Our work builds on existing cyber indices such as the Economist Intelligence Unit and Booz Allen Hamilton’s 2011 Cyber Power Ranking, by, for example, including a policy dimension and recognizing that cyber capabilities enhance military strength.

Job One for Space Force

NASA

Report - Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center

Job One for Space Force: Space Asset Cybersecurity

| July 12, 2018

When we think about critical infrastructure, the first assets that come to mind include the electric grid, water networks and transportation systems. Further unpacking the definition of critical infrastructure, we consider industries such as agriculture, defense or the financial sector. However, we rarely think about where the underlying systems that enable technology functionality across these sectors physically reside, who developed the technology, and who can access and manage that technology.

Paper - Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center

A Legislator's Guide to Reauthorizing Section 702

    Author:
  • Anne Boustead
| Aug. 20, 2017

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008, a powerful surveillance tool that allows U.S. government agencies to spy on foreign persons to collect counter-terrorism intelligence, will expire on December 31, 2017 without Congressional reauthorization. This paper has two goals: to concisely describe how agencies obtain information under Section 702, and to provide guidance to legislators and their staffers by examining the core issues they will confront as they consider reauthorizing this legislation.

Paper - Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center

Too Connected to Fail

| May 2017

This paper argues that threats to core internet infrastructure and services can, in fact, rise to the level of a serious national security threat to the United States and will explore scenarios where this may be the case. The paper will discuss several kinds of core internet services and infrastructure and explore the challenges with understanding interdependencies between the internet and critical infrastructure; review recent attack techniques that can cause systemic risk to the internet; discuss various nation state capabilities, intentions and recent activities in this area; and describe how these attacks could be used against the United States to deter the U.S., control escalation, or potentially degrade U.S. warfighting capabilities in a conflict. Finally, the paper concludes with recommendations for what the United States and other governments can do to build defenses and resiliency against systemic threats to the internet.

Paper - Centre for International Governance Innovation

Getting beyond Norms: When Violating the Agreement Becomes Customary Practice

| Apr. 20, 2017

This paper offers five standards of care that can be used to test individual states' true commitment to the international norms of behaviour. Only with a concerted and coordinated effort across the global community will it be possible to change the new normal of "anything goes" and move forward to ensure the future safety and security of the Internet and Internet-based infrastructures.

Paper - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Russia and Cyber Operations: Challenges and Opportunities for the Next U.S. Administration

| December 13, 2016

Russian cyber operations against the United States aim to both collect information and develop offensive capabilities against future targets. Washington must strengthen its defenses in response.