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Росію на зустрічі радників лідерів «нормандської четвірки» представлятиме Сурков – Пєсков

Росію на зустрічі радників лідерів «нормандської четвірки» в Берліні представлятиме помічник російського президента Володимира Путіна Владислав Сурков.

Про це 8 грудня повідомив прес-секретар Кремля Дмитро Пєсков.

Він додав, що йдеться про зустріч, про яку в Аргентині Путін домовився з канцлером Німеччини Ангелою Меркель.

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської анексії Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці». За даними ООН, за час конфлікту загинули понад 10 тисяч людей.

Задля мирного вирішення конфлікту на Донбасі у червні 2014 року лідери України, Німеччини, Франції і Росії під час відвідин Нормандії домовились проводити консультації і переговори у «нормандському форматі». Відтоді відбувалися кілька зустрічей на рівні лідерів країн і керівників МЗС.

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Трамп назвав колишнього держсекретаря Тіллерсона «тупим як камінь»

Президент США Дональд Трамп назвав колишнього держсекретаря Рекса Тіллерсона «тупим як камінь».

Трамп також вважає колишнього голову Держдепартаменту «неймовірно ледачим». За словами глави Білого дому, у Тіллерсона не було необхідних якостей, щоб очолювати американську дипломатію.

Трамп підкреслив, що «пишається» роботою нинішнього держсекретаря Майка Помпео.

Тіллерсон очолював Державний департамент США з 1 лютого 2017 року до березня 2018-го. 

В п’ятницю в інтерв’ю каналу CBS Тіллерсон заявив, що його відносини з Трампом зіпсувалися через велику різницю в цінностях. За словами Тіллерсона, він неодноразово нагадував президенту, що деякі його вимоги – незаконні. Про які саме дорученнях йде мова, не уточнюється.

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Australia Passes World’s First Encryption-Busting Law

Security agencies will gain greater access to encrypted messages under new laws in Australia. The legislation will force technology companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google to disable encryption protections to allow investigators to track the communications of terrorists and other criminals. It is, however, a controversial measure.

Australian law enforcement officials say the growth of end-to-end encryption in applications such as Signal, Facebook’s WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage hamper their efforts to track the activities of criminals and extremists.

End-to-end encryption is a code that allows a message to stay secret between the person who wrote it and the recipient. 

PM: Law urgently needed

But a new law passed Thursday in Australia compels technology companies, device manufacturers and service providers to build in features needed for police to crack those hitherto secret codes. However, businesses will not have to introduce these features if they are considered “systemic weaknesses,” which means they are likely to result in compromised security for other users.

The Australian legislation is the first of its kind anywhere.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new law was urgently needed because encoded messaging apps allowed “terrorists and organized criminals and … pedophile rings to do their evil work.”

Critics: Law goes too far

However, critics, including technology companies, human rights groups, and lawyers, believe the measure goes too far and gives investigators “unprecedented powers to access encrypted communications.”

Francis Galbally, the chairman of the encryption provider Senetas, says the law will send Australia’s tech sector into reverse.

“We will lose some of the greatest mathematicians and scientists this country has produced, and I can tell you because I employ a lot of them, they are fabulous, they are well regarded, but the world will now regard them if they stay in this country as subject to the government making changes to what they are doing in order to spy on everybody,” he said.

Galbally also claims that his company could lose clients to competitors overseas because it cannot guarantee its products have not been compromised by Australian authorities.

Tech giant Apple said in October that “it would be wrong to weaken security for millions of law-abiding customers in order to investigate the very few who pose a threat.”

The new law includes penalties for noncompliance.

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China Exports, Imports Weaken Ahead of US Talks

China’s export growth slowed in November as global demand weakened, adding to pressure on Beijing ahead of trade talks with Washington.

Exports rose 5.4 percent from a year ago to $227.4 billion, a marked decline from the previous month’s 12.6 percent increase, customs data showed Saturday. Imports rose 3 percent to $182.7 billion, a sharp reversal from October’s 20.3 percent surge.

That adds to signs a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy is deepening as Chinese leaders prepare for negotiations with President Donald Trump over Beijing’s technology policy and other irritants.

Exports to US rise

Chinese exports to the United States rose by a relatively robust 12.9 percent from a year ago to $46.2 billion. Shipments to the U.S. market have held up as exporters rush to fill orders before additional duty increases, but forecasters say that effect will fade in early 2019.

Imports of American goods rose 5 percent to $10.7 billion, down from the previous month’s 8.5 percent growth. China’s politically volatile trade surplus with the United States widened to a record $35.5 billion.

Trump agreed during a Dec. 1 meeting with this Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to postpone tariff hikes by 90 days while the two sides negotiate. But penalties of up to 25 percent imposed earlier by both sides on billions of dollars of each other’s goods still are in effect.

Companies and investors worry the battle between the two biggest economies will chill global economic growth.

Chinese economy cools

The Chinese economy grew by a relatively strong 6.5 percent from a year earlier in the quarter ending in September. But that was boosted by government spending on public works construction that helped to mask a slowdown in other parts of the economy.

An official measure of manufacturing activity fell to its lowest level in two years in November. Auto sales have shrunk for the past three months, and real estate sales are weak.

Chinese leaders have responded by easing lending controls, boosting spending on construction and promising more help to entrepreneurs who generate the state-dominated economy’s new jobs and wealth. But they have moved gradually to avoid reigniting a rise in corporate and local government debt that already is considered to be dangerously high.

Tariffs

The Trump administration imposed 25 percent duties on $50 billion of Chinese goods in July in response to complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Washington also imposed a 10 percent charge on $200 billion of Chinese goods. That was set to rise to 25 percent in January but Trump postponed it.

Beijing responded with tariff hikes on $110 billion of American goods. Trump has threatened to expand U.S. penalties to all goods from China.

Washington, Europe and other trading partners complain plans such as “Made in China 2025,” which calls for creating Chinese global champions in artificial intelligence, robotics and other fields, violate Beijing’s market-opening obligations.

Trump said Beijing committed to buy American farm goods and cut auto import tariffs as part of the tariff cease-fire. Chinese officials have yet to confirm details of the agreement.

China’s Commerce Ministry expressed confidence the two sides can reach a deal during the 90-day delay. That indicates Beijing sees resolving the conflict as too important to allow it to be disrupted by last week’s dramatic arrest in Canada of an executive of Huawei Technologies Ltd., one of China’s most prominent companies, on accusations of violating trade sanctions on Iran.

Big trade disputes

Private sector analysts say that there is little time to resolve sprawling conflicts that have bedeviled U.S.-Chinese trade for years. That suggests Beijing will need to find ways to persuade Trump to extend his deadline.

Also in November, China’s exports to the 28-nation European Union rose 11.4 percent over a year earlier to $35.9 billion, down from October’s 12 percent growth. Imports rose 13.2 percent to $24.4 billion.

China’s trade surplus with the EU widened by 6.4 percent over a year earlier to $11.5 billion.

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Fighter Pilot Who Died in Crash Off Japan Is Identified

The U.S. Marines have identified a fighter pilot who died after his jet collided with a refueling aircraft during training off Japan’s coast, leaving five other Marines missing and one rescued.

Two pilots were flying an F/A-18 Hornet that collided with a KC-130 Hercules about 2 a.m. Thursday. The other pilot was rescued and the crew of the refueling plane is missing.

The Marine Corps identified the dead crew member as Capt. Jahmar Resilard, 28, of Miramar, Florida. He served with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, stationed on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi, Japan.

“The Bats are deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Jahmar Resilard. He was an effective and dedicated leader who cared for his Marines and fellow fighter pilots with passion,” Lt. Col. James Compton, commanding officer of the squadron, said in a statement.

“His warm and charismatic nature bound us together and we will miss him terribly,” he added.

The Marines said that the two planes were involved in routine training, including aerial refueling, but that it was still investigating what caused the crash.

President Donald Trump tweeted that his thoughts and prayers were with the Marine Corps crew members involved in the collision. He thanked U.S. Forces in Japan for their “immediate response and rescue efforts” and said, “Whatever you need, we are here for you.”

The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the U.S. military deployed to and near Japan.

Last month, a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea southwest of Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, though its two pilots were rescued safely. In mid-October, a MH-60 Seahawk also belonging to the Ronald Reagan crashed off the Philippine Sea shortly after takeoff, causing nonfatal injuries to a dozen sailors.

More than 50,000 U.S. troops are based in Japan under a bilateral security pact.

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Top Democrat: Moscow Has Closed Cyber Gap With US

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee warns the United States is being outgunned in cyberspace, already having lost its competitive advantage to Russia while China is rapidly closing in.

“When it comes to cyber, misinformation and disinformation, Russia is already our peer and in the areas of misinformation or disinformation, I believe is ahead of us,” Senator Mark Warner told an audience Friday in Washington.

“This is an effective methodology for Russia and it’s also remarkably cheap,” he added, calling for a realignment of U.S. defense spending.

Warner, calling Russia’s election meddling both an intelligence failure and a “failure of imagination,” strongly criticized the White House, key departments and fellow lawmakers for being too complacent in their responses.

As for China, Warner called Beijing’s cyber and censorship infrastructure “the envy of authoritarian regimes around the world” and warned when it comes to artificial intelligence, quantum computing and 5G mobile phone networks, China is “starting to outpace us on these investments by orders of magnitude.”

In contrast, the Democratic senator laid out a more aggressive approach in cyberspace, with the United States leading allies in an effort to establish clear rules and norms for behavior in cyberspace.

He also said it was imperative the U.S. articulate when and where it would respond to cyberattacks.

“Our adversaries continue to believe that there won’t be consequences for their actions,” Warner said. “For Russia and China, it’s pretty much been open season.”

Warner also delivered a stern message to social media companies.

“Major platform companies — like Twitter and Facebook, but also Reddit, YouTube and Tumblr — aren’t doing nearly enough to prevent their platforms from becoming petri dishes for Russian disinformation and propaganda,” he said. “If they don’t work with us, Congress will have to work on its own.”

The Trump administration unveiled a new National Cyber Strategy in September, calling for a more aggressive response to the growing online threat posed by other countries, terrorist groups and criminal organizations.

“We’re not just on defense,” National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters at the time. “We’re going to do a lot of things offensively, and I think our adversaries need to know that.”

Top U.S. military officials have also said their cyber teams are engaging against other countries, terrorist groups and even criminal organizations on a daily basis.

Warner on Friday praised elements of the new strategy, particularly measures that have allowed the military to respond to attacks more quickly. But, he said, on the whole it is not enough, pointing to Trump’s willingness to “kowtow” to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their Helsinki Summit over Moscow’s election interference efforts.

“No one in the Trump administration in the intel [intelligence] or defense world doesn’t acknowledge what happened in 2016,” he said. “But the fact that the head of our government still [finds] it’s hard to get those words out of his mouth, is a real problem.”

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Australia Anti-Encryption Law Rushed to Passage 

A newly enacted law rushed through Australia’s parliament will compel technology companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google to disable encryption protections so police can better pursue terrorists and other criminals.  

  

Cybersecurity experts say the law, the first of its kind globally, will instead be a boon to the criminal underworld by undermining the technical integrity of the internet, hurting digital security and user privacy.  

  

“I think it’s detrimental to Australian and world security,” said Bruce Schneier, a tech security expert affiliated with Harvard University and IBM.  

  

The law is also technically vague and seems contradictory because it doesn’t require systematic weaknesses — so-called “back doors” — to be built in by tech providers. Such back doors are unlikely to remain secret, meaning that hackers and criminals could easily exploit them. 

 

Back doors were central to a 1990s U.S. effort to require manufacturers to install a so-called “Clipper chip” into communications equipment so the government could listen in on voice and data transmissions. U.S. law enforcement officials, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, are again pushing for legislation that would somehow give authorities access to secure communications. 

 

The Australian bill is seen by many as a beachhead for those efforts because the nation belongs to the “Five Eyes” security alliance with the U.S., Britain, Canada and New Zealand.  

  

“There is a lot here that doesn’t make any sense,” Schneier said of the Australian bill. “This is a technological law written by non-technologists and it’s not just bad policy. In many ways, I think it’s unworkable.” 

 

A leading figure in cryptography, Martin Hellman of Stanford University, said it appears the bill would “facilitate crime by weakening the security of the affected devices.” 

Blow against ‘evil work’

 

The law won final legislative approval late Thursday, parliament’s final session of the year. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was urgently needed. 

 

“This was very important legislation to give police and security agencies the ability to get into encrypted communications,” he told Nine Network television. “Things like WhatsApp, things like that which are used by terrorists and organized criminals and indeed pedophile rings to do their evil work.” 

 

He noted that the opposition Labor Party “had to be dragged to the table” and backed the legislation as an emergency measure out of concern extremists could target Christmas-New Year crowds. 

 

Labor lawmakers said they want amendments passed when parliament resumes in February. Opposition leader Bill Shorten said he supported the current bill only because he could not “expose Australians to increased [national security] risk.” 

 

Duncan Lewis, director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, noted during hearings that extremists share encrypted messages that Australia’s main secret service cannot intercept or read. 

 

President Morry Bailles of the Law Council of Australia, a leading lawyers group, criticized the bill’s swift parliamentary journey though lawmakers knew “serious problems exist” with giving law enforcement “unprecedented powers to access encrypted communications.” 

 

Australian law enforcement officials have complained that the growth of end-to-end encryption in applications such as Signal, Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger and Apple’s iMessage could be the worst blow to intelligence and law enforcement capability in decades. Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said it hampers criminal investigations at all levels. 

Apple argument

 

But Apple, in comments filed with parliament in October, argued that “it would be wrong to weaken security for millions of law-abiding customers in order to investigate the very few who pose a threat.” 

 

The company’s iPhones, because of their strong encryption, are bulwarks of national security around the globe and help protect journalists, human rights workers and people living under repressive regimes. 

 

“The iPhone is national security infrastructure right now,” said Schneier. “Every Australian legislator uses the systems and devices that that law will target, and making them insecure seems like a really bad idea.” 

 

Apple also complained in October that the bill was “dangerously ambiguous.” 

 

One apparent contradiction confounds technologists. The legislation says the government “must not require providers to implement or build systemic weaknesses in forms of electronic protection (‘back doors’)” but also says it can “require the selective deployment of a weakness or vulnerability in a particular service, device or item of software on a case-by-case basis.” 

 

Technologists say that the mathematics underlying encryption and the way it’s encoded into software make it impossible to decrypt a single user’s communications without affecting all users. 

 

Eric Wenger, director of cybersecurity and privacy policy for the U.S. technology giant Cisco Systems, warned during debate on the bill that Australia could be at a competitive disadvantage if its data were not regarded as secure. 

 

Australia was a major driver of a statement agreed to at the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Germany last year that called on the technology industry to provide “lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information” needed to protect against terrorist threats. 

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Chinese Tech Executive Appears in Canadian Court

A top Chinese technology executive facing charges in the United States related to business dealings with Iran made a court appearance Friday in Canada, where her arrest this week rocked financial markets around the globe. 

In a packed courtroom in Vancouver, a Canadian prosecutor argued that Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei, should be denied bail pending possible extradition to the United States because she was a flight risk. She has spent most of the past week at a women’s detention facility in a suburb of Vancouver. 

The prosecutor disclosed that Meng was wanted by the United States for allegedly deceiving financial institutions about the relationship between Huawei and another tech company, SkyCom, based in Hong Kong, that is alleged to have sold U.S.-manufactured technology to Iran, in violation of U.S. trade sanctions. 

The arrest of Meng in Vancouver, at the request of the United States, surprised financial markets after Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a trade truce last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Stocks plummeted Thursday after news came out of Meng’s arrest, which followed months of already shaky markets affected by the U.S.-China trade war. 

Trump sounded a note of optimism on Friday about the trade talks with China, tweeting that “China talks are going very well!” 

The U.S. and Canadian governments have so far said little about the Meng case. But China has demanded her release, saying she violated no laws in Canada or the United States.  

Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army. Chinese state media have argued that the United States is abusing the law to hurt the company’s international reputation. 

However, concerns about Huawei have been growing for some time. Since 2012, the U.S. government has raised alarm about suspicions that Huawei’s hardware may have a technical backdoor that could be used by the Chinese government to gather intelligence. 

Huawei has denied that its products pose any security risk and says it is a private company.