Ep. 78: New DFAT Secretary; Exchange hack and Pegasus; APEC; return to Afghanistan?


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Зроблено Allan Gyngell and Darren Lim, Allan Gyngell, and Darren Lim і знайдено завдяки Player FM та нашій спільноті. Авторські права належать видавцю, а не Player FM, і аудіоматеріали транслюються безпосередньо з сервера видавця. Натисніть на кнопку Підписатися, щоб слідкувати за оновленнями в Player FM або скопіюйте і вставте посилання на канал до іншої програми для подкастів.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a new Secretary, Kathryn Campbell. Darren uses the occasion to build a theoretical model of the position, positing that the ideal candidate would fulfil four roles: administrator, consigliere, strategist and diplomat. Allan points out that the “diplomat” skill-set is unique to DFAT, discussing the history of the position not just in Australia but internationally, and some of the novel challenges every DFAT secretary will face.

The two next turn their attention to a pair of recent cyber stories: the attribution to China by a broad coalition of western governments of the massive and indiscriminate hack of Microsoft’s Exchange server earlier this year, and investigative reporting that surveillance software sold by the Israeli company NSO is being used to monitor thousands of individuals, from political and business leaders to journalists and activists. Is it possible to develop norms in this domain, especially given how extensively the US conducts its own spying? What is different (if anything) about these events, and can a rules-based order that regulates this behaviour be built?

As the podcast wraps up, Allan briefly discusses the recent APEC extraordinary meeting, the first of its kind for the organisation. Can the vigour of hosts New Zealand breathe new life into a troubled organisation? Finally, exclusive reporting by the ABC suggests the Australian government is considering returning a presence to Afghanistan, which would represent a rapid reversal of the decision to close the embassy indefinitely just a few months ago. Why?

We thank Mitchell McIntosh for audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

MArise Payne and Zed Seselja, “Kathryn Campbell AO CSC announced as new DFAT Secretary”, Media Release, 9 July 2021: https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-release/kathryn-campbell-ao-csc-announced-new-dfat-secretary

Dave Sharma, “A diplomatic step-up to match our military step-up”, Lowy Interpreter, 13 July 2020: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/diplomatic-step-match-our-military-step

Alex Oliver, “A budget of skewed priorities”, Lowy Interpreter, 7 October 2020: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/budget-of-skewed-priorities

Marise Payne, Karen Andrews and Peter Dutton, “Australia joins international partners in attribution of malicious cyber activity to China”, Media Release, 19 July 2021: https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-release/australia-joins-international-partners-attribution-malicious-cyber-activity-china

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and David E. Sanger, “U.S. Accuses China of Hacking Microsoft”, The New York Times, 19 July 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/19/us/politics/microsoft-hacking-china-biden.html

“Chinese Embassy Spokesperson's Responding to the Australian Side's Remarks on Cyber Issues”, Media Release, 20 July 2021: http://au.china-embassy.org/eng/sghdxwfb_1/t1893534.htm

Andy Greenberg, “How China’s Hacking Entered a Reckless New Phase”, Wired, 19 July 2021: https://www.wired.com/story/china-hacking-reckless-new-phase/

International Institute for Strategic Studies, “Cyber Capabilities and National Power: A Net Assessment”, Researhc Paper, 29 June 2021: https://www.iiss.org/blogs/research-paper/2021/06/cyber-capabilities-national-power

Dana Priest, Craig Timberg and Souad Mekhennet, “ Private Israeli spyware used to hack cellphones of journalists, activists worldwide”, Washington Post, 18 July 2021: https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2021/nso-spyware-pegasus-cellphones/

Scott Morrison, APEC Virtual Informal Leaders’ Meeting, Transcript, 17 July 2021: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/apec-virtual-informal-leaders-meeting

Andrew Probyn, “Australia considering future return to Afghanistan to monitor Taliban resurgence”, ABC News, 20 July 2021: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-20/australia-considering-return-afghanistan-monitor-taliban/100305336

The Rachman Review (podcast), “Coming to terms with Putin’s Russia”, 24 June 2021: https://www.ft.com/content/842e9410-d0df-4d11-bd07-bb319a2dd30f

National Security Podcast, “Tim Watts MP on national identity and cyber literacy in Australia”, 8 July 2021: https://www.policyforum.net/national-security-podcast-tim-watts-mp-on-national-identity-and-cyber-literacy-in-australia/

Loki (TV show): https://disneyplusoriginals.disney.com/show/loki

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