The ACSC Threat Report: a useful contribution to the cyber conversation (Zoe Hawkins, Tobias Feakin, The Strategist)

Yesterday the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its second annual Threat Report (PDF), outlining the cybersecurity challenges Australia faces and further developing Australia’s approach to cyberspace. This year’s ACSC report offers a detailed breakdown of cyber terminology, a strategic assessment of the threat environment and a refreshingly candid narrative.

Interpreting the ASC split (Andrew Davies, Mark Thomson, The Strategist)

Yesterday the Australian government (with the PM and three cabinet ministers in attendance) announced that it’s going to split ASC into three separate but still government-owned companies, to ‘support the key capabilities of shipbuilding, submarine sustainment and infrastructure’. It was heartening to see some movement on the issue. It’s vitally important that government gives serious thought to the industrial arrangements for projects that will cost the taxpayer tens of billions of dollars—something we noted last year.

Robocops: Securing the Cities of Tomorrow (Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul Rahman, RSIS)

Robotics offers huge potential for law enforcement in the face of new challenges and resource constraints. Nonetheless, there are organisational, operational and societal implications that the technology might bring.

Salafis and Wahhabis: Two Sides of the Same Coin? (Mohamed Bin Ali, Muhammad Saiful Alam Shah Bin Sudiman, RSIS)

The terms Salafi and Wahhabi are often used interchangeably. Many confuse the two while others refer to them as one. What are the differences between the two?

Exit of South Africa’s Finance Minister? Not So Fast (John Campbell, Council on Foreign Relations)

Pravin Gordhan faces charges of fraud and has been summoned to the Pretoria Regional Court on November 2. The charges appear to be spurious. They concern Gordhan’s approval of the early retirement of a government employee and his subsequent re-employment under contract. The claim is that the amount of money involved is just over ZAR 1.1 million (approximately $76,000). Early retirement followed by re-engagement on contract is commonplace in many governments, including that of South Africa.

History Shows Trump’s Trade Policy Is a Recipe for Recession (Benn Steil, Emma Smith, Council on Foreign Relations)

The central theme of Donald Trump’s economic policy is trade. He promises to slash America’s trade deficit by tearing up international agreements and imposing massive new tariffs on imports from China (45%) and Mexico (35%). By cutting the trade deficit from $500 billion to zero, according tohis senior economic advisers, $1.74 trillion in new tax revenue will accrue to the Treasury over the next decade. Trump will use this massive windfall to fund two-thirds of his proposed tax cuts. If true, this will indeed go some way toward Making America Great Again.

Podcast: Hope and Fury Among India’s Young (Elizabeth C. Economy, Council on Foreign Relations)

Over the course of the next decade, one million Indians are predicted to turn eighteen each month and India will be the youngest nation on earth by2020. These young people are making new demands on their government such as greater job creation, improved teacher quality, and better air quality in cities. Are Indian leaders prepared to respond to these calls? On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Somini Sengupta, the United Nations bureau chief for the New York Times and author of The End of Karma: Hope and Fury Among India’s Young, presents the stories of seven young Indians, who came of of age following economic liberalization in 1991. Sengupta depicts a generation brimming with aspiration and eager to move beyond the constraints of their past, such as caste and family background. The stories include those of Anupam, a boy from one of India’s poorest provinces who dreams of attending one of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology, and Varsha, who defies her father’s wishes in attempting to become a policewoman. Listen below to hear more about Sengupta’s take on India’s “most transformative generation.”

Mexico’s Corrupt Governors (Shannon K. O’Neil, CFR)

Last June, Mexico elected new governors in twelve of its thirty-one states. As millions of voters went to the urns, corruption was a top concern (along with insecurity). Eight states saw the incumbent party kicked out; in four—Veracruz, Quintana Roo, Chihuahua, and Durango—the PRI lost for the first time in the party’s history.

A Web of Trust: Toward a Safe, Secure, Reliable and Open Internet (Council on Foreign Relations)

There is widespread recognition that the Internet also requires improved, if not new, governance arrangements to enhance its stock of eroding digital capital. The discussion is analogous to the debate political scientists are having about the breakdown of trust in democracies and the important role that institutions and their reform have to play in restoring trust and effective governance.