Srsly Risky Biz: The RESTRICT Act Is Not About TikTok

PLUS: When good laws meet bad governments...
16 Mar 2023 » Risky Business News

In this podcast Patrick Gray talks to Tom Uren about the RESTRICT Act, proposed US legislation that tries to deal with the problems posed by technologies from foreign adversaries. RESTRICT gives the US government powers to deal with companies like Kaspersky, Huawei and now TikTok on an ongoing basis, rather than muddling through in an ad hoc way each time a problem company pops up. It also requires that the Secretary of Commerce come up with processes and procedures to deal with and mitigate these types of threats, rather than the current whack-a-mole approach.

They also discuss a draft Cambodian cyber security law and experts’ concerns that it could be abused by the Cambodian government to maintain its grip on power. This law has many similarities to Australian critical infrastructure law and Tom and Pat discuss the reasons behind the law in Australia. There’s a straight line between a serious ransomware incident in Australia and the resulting law, but still, Cambodia’s government remains authoritarian.

Finally, they look at a Carnegie report on Chinese manipulation of international standards setting organisations. It’s a good report and explains what is going on — Chinese manipulation does happen occasionally, but it is “largely unsuccessful”.