from Net Politics and Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program

Cyber Week in Review: December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014

Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

Here is a quick round-up of this week’s technology headlines and related stories you may have missed:

  • Bloomberg reports that a 2008 pipeline explosion in Turkey could have been caused by the Kremlin. According to four unnamed sources quoted in the report, a section of the pipeline blew up as a result of hackers increasing the pressure in the pipeline and shutting off the alarms which would have ordinarily alerted its operators. The sources point the finger at Russia, believing that the Kremlin both had the means and motive to carry out the attack given that the pipeline was specifically designed to circumvent Russian territory. The report is similar to another story in which the CIA allegedly used a logic bomb to blow up a Soviet pipeline in 1982, the facts of which are murky and contested.
  • The U.S. government’s plan to transition the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority’s (IANA) functions to the global Internet community is in jeopardy due to opposition in Congress. Congress’s spending bill to keep the U.S. government running contains language that would effectively prevent the executive branch from transitioning the IANA functions until September 30, 2015—the government’s original deadline for the transition—and even from engaging in conversations about the transition.
  • Microsoft filed a brief that rebuts the U.S. government’s efforts to compel the software giant to provide it with data held in Ireland. The U.S. government successfully argued in July that it was authorized to compel Microsoft to hand over the data despite it being held overseas. Microsoft, supported by other U.S. tech companies, is fighting the ruling, asserting it could create a precedent allowing countries to access data held overseas in violation of the laws of the country in which the data is being held.