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The Cyberlaw Podcast: Who Needs Hackers When You Have Balloons?

Stewart Baker
Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 10:00 AM

The latest episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast. 

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

The latest episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast gets a bit carried away with the China spy balloon saga. Guest host Brian Fleming, along with guests Gus Hurwitz, Nate Jones, and Paul Rosenzweig, share insights (and bad puns) about the latest reporting on the electronic surveillance capabilities of the first downed balloon, the Biden administration’s “shoot first, ask questions later” response to the latest “flying objects,” and whether we should all spend more time worrying about China’s hackers and satellites. Gus then shares a few thoughts on the State of the Union address and the brief but pointed calls for antitrust and data privacy reform. Sticking with big tech and antitrust, Gus recaps a significant recent loss for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and discusses what may be on the horizon for FTC enforcement later this year. Pivoting back to China, Nate and Paul discuss the latest reporting on a forthcoming (at some point) executive order intended to limit and track U.S. outbound investment in certain key aspects of China’s tech sector. They also ponder how industry may continue its efforts to narrow the scope of the restrictions and whether Congress will get involved. Sticking with Congress, Paul takes the opportunity to explain the key takeaways from the not-so-bombshell House Oversight Committee hearing featuring former Twitter executives. Gus next describes his favorite ChatGPT jailbreaks and a costly mistake for an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot competitor during a demo. Paul recommends a fascinating interview with, the new Bitcoin mixer of choice for North Korean hackers, and reflects on the substantial portion of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s gross domestic product attributable to ransomware attacks. Finally, Gus questions whether AI-generated “Nothing, Forever” will need to change its name after becoming sentient and channeling Dave Chapelle. To wrap things up in the week’s quick hits, Gus briefly highlights where things stand with Chip Wars: Japan edition and Brian covers coordinated U.S./UK sanctions against the Trickbot cybercrime group, confirmation that Twitter’s sale will not be investigated by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and the latest on Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) v. Covington.    

Download 442nd Episode (mp3) 

You can subscribe to The Cyberlaw Podcast using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Pocket Casts, or our RSS feed. As always, The Cyberlaw Podcast is open to feedback. Be sure to engage with @stewartbaker on Twitter. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions for topics or interviewees to Remember: If your suggested guest appears on the show, we will send you a highly coveted Cyberlaw Podcast mug! The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of their institutions, clients, friends, families, or pets.

Stewart A. Baker is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. He returned to the firm following 3½ years at the Department of Homeland Security as its first Assistant Secretary for Policy. He earlier served as general counsel of the National Security Agency.

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