Search

You searched for: Content Type Special Report Remove constraint Content Type: Special Report Publishing Institution Australian Strategic Policy Institute Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Arzan Tarapore
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: More than a year has passed since Chinese troops began to occupy previously Indian-controlled territory on their disputed border in Ladakh. The crisis has cooled and settled into a stalemate. This report warns that it could escalate again, and flare into a conflict with region-wide implications. The report assesses the risk of conflict by analysing its likelihood and consequences. A possible war would be costly for both India and China. But a possible war could also risk stirring Indian distrust of its new partners, especially in the Quad – Australia, Japan, and the United States. The report outlines some conditions under which a war would disrupt or dampen those developing partnerships. The report concludes by offering a framework for policymakers to shape India’s expectations and the strategic environment before and during a possible war.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, National Security, Strategic Planning
  • Political Geography: China, India, Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Rachael Falk, Anne-Louise Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: As the Covid-19 pandemic has swept across the world, another less visible epidemic has occurred concurrently—a tsunami of cybercrime producing global losses totalling more than US$1 trillion. While cybercrime is huge in scale and diverse in form, there’s one type that presents a unique threat to businesses and governments the world over: ransomware. Some of the most spectacular ransomware attacks have occurred offshore, but Australia hasn’t been immune. Over the past 18 months, major logistics company Toll Holdings Ltd has been hit twice; Nine Entertainment was brought to its knees by an attack that left the company struggling to televise news bulletins and produce newspapers; multiple health and aged-care providers across the country have been hit; and global meat supplies were affected after the Australian and international operations of the world’s largest meat producer, JBS Foods, were brought to a standstill. It’s likely that other organisations have also been hit but have kept it out of the public spotlight. A current policy vacuum makes Australia an attractive market for these attacks, and ransomware is a problem that will only get worse unless a concerted and strategic domestic effort to thwart the attacks is developed. Developing a strategy now is essential. Not only are Australian organisations viewed as lucrative targets due to their often low cybersecurity posture, but they’re also seen as soft targets. The number of attacks will continue to grow unless urgent action is taken to reduce the incentives to target Australian companies and other entities.
  • Topic: Crime, National Security, Cybersecurity, Internet, Information Technology , Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Australia, Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Clark, Peter Jennings
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: More than at any time since World War II, science and technology (S&T) breakthroughs are dramatically redesigning the global security outlook. Australia’s university sector now has a vital role to play in strengthening Australia’s defence. In this paper, we propose establishing a formal partnership between the Defence Department, defence industry and Australian universities. There’s a significant opportunity to boost international defence S&T research cooperation with our Five-Eyes partners: the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. We outline how this can be done. Central to this partnership proposal is the need to restructure current arrangements for Defence funding of Australian universities via the creation of an Australian Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)— based on the highly successful American model, which the UK plans to emulate in 2022. In Australia, implementing these initiatives will contribute significantly to a vital restructuring of the university sector’s research funding model. An Australian DARPA, with robustly managed security, will enhance research ‘cut-through’ in the defence sector and the wider economy. We think it’s also vital that this work, underpinned by a DARPA-like culture of urgency and innovation and with potential to affect several portfolios beyond Defence, needs to be championed at the government level. In the modern Australian system of government, that means the Prime Minister needs to be directly involved. Urgent means urgent. At least for the first few years of its life, an Australian DARPA should, in our view, report through Defence to the Prime Minister and the National Security Committee of Cabinet.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, National Security, Partnerships, Research, Academia
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Tom Uren
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, the myGov website was overwhelmed by a demand surge from citizens seeking to rapidly access digital services. In 2016, the online Census (eCensus) suffered a series of relatively small distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. While they didn’t overwhelm the platform, the attacks ultimately resulted in the eCensus being taken offline. What do these two examples have in common, and what lessons should we learn to ensure more robust digital government services? To answer those questions, this paper will examine five points: The nature of the DDoS attacks The CIA (confidentiality, integrity and availability) triad model for digital security How to predict demand How to respond to unpredictable demand The structure of reliable data systems
  • Topic: Government, National Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Digital Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Coyne, Teagan Westendorf
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: In this report, authors Dr John Coyne and Dr Teagan Westendorf seek to move Australia’s public policy discourse on the future of Darwin Port beyond a binary choice. In doing so, they consider the Harbour’s history, the nature of its strategic importance to Australia and our allies, and opportunities for its future development. The report explores four potential options for the future development of the Port and Harbour. Rather than providing a specific policy treatment on the current leasing arrangements, this work focuses on promoting policy discourse on a unifying vision for the future of Darwin Harbour. A key insight from this analysis is that this moment is an opportunity for the federal government to work with the Northern Territory Government to harness the existing plans for the Port’s future, including those proposed by Defence, the US and the NT Government, and embed those plans within the broader strategic vision for Australia moving forward. While each of these worthy plans undoubtedly has merit, the question is whether, by carefully harnessing them together, they could produce a greater economic and national security whole.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, National Security, Infrastructure, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Daniel Ward
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Country agnosticism, under which Australia’s laws treat all foreign influence efforts in the same way, regardless of their source country, is the key failing of Australia’s statutory response to foreign governments’ influence activities. It has imposed sweeping, unnecessary regulatory costs. It has caused waste of taxpayer-funded enforcement resources. It has diverted those resources from the issues that really matter. And it has brought unnecessary legal complexity. Yet for all that, nobody believes that the laws are truly country agnostic. Not the Australian media, which routinely describe them as ‘aimed at’ China. Nor, presumably, the media’s audience. Nor, certainly, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which regards itself as the target, explicitly citing the laws as a key grievance. Perhaps the greatest cost of country agnosticism is that the current statutory framework isn’t as effective as it needs to be. Why? In adopting a country-agnostic stance, we blinded ourselves to the very factor that matters most in evaluating and responding to foreign influence—its source country. It’s time to remove the blindfold. We should recognise this basic truth: foreign influence transparency requirements must be more stringent in relation to some source countries than others.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, National Security, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Jacob Wallis, Ariel Bogle, Albert Zhang, Hillary Mansour, Tim Niven, Elena Yi-Ching, Jason Liu, Jonathan Corpus Ong, Ross Tapsell
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: It’s not just nation-states that interfere in elections and manipulate political discourse. A range of commercial services increasingly engage in such activities, operating in a shadow online influence-for-hire economy that spans from content farms through to high-end PR agencies. There’s growing evidence of states using commercial influence-for-hire networks. The Oxford Internet Institute found 48 instances of states working with influence-for-hire firms in 2019–20, an increase from 21 in 2017–18 and nine in 2016–17.1 There’s a distinction between legitimate, disclosed political campaigning and government advertising campaigns, on the one hand, and efforts by state actors to covertly manipulate the public opinion of domestic populations or citizens of other countries using inauthentic social media activity, on the other. The use of covert, inauthentic, outsourced online influence is also problematic as it degrades the quality of the public sphere in which citizens must make informed political choices and decisions.
  • Topic: Elections, Internet, Social Media, Economy
  • Political Geography: Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Patrick Walters
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The ANZUS Treaty was signed on 1 September 1951 in San Francisco. It was the product of energetic Australian lobbying to secure a formal US commitment to Australian and New Zealand security. At the time, the shape of Asian security after World War II was still developing. Canberra worried that a ‘soft’ peace treaty with Japan might one day allow a return of a militarised regime to threaten the region. ANZUS at 70 explores the past, present and future of the alliance relationship, drawing on a wide range of authors with deep professional interest in the alliance. Our aim is to provide lively and comprehensible analysis of key historical points in the life of the treaty and indeed of the broader Australia–US bilateral relationship, which traces its defence origins back to before World War I. ANZUS today encompasses much more than defence and intelligence cooperation. Newer areas of collaboration include work on cybersecurity, space, supply chains, industrial production, rare earths, emerging science and technology areas such as quantum computing, climate change and wider engagement with countries and institutions beyond ANZUS’s initial scope or intention. The treaty remains a core component of wider and deeper relations between Australia and the US. This study aims to show the range of those ties, to understand the many and varied challenges we face today and to understand how ANZUS might be shaped to meet future events.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, National Security, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Ariel Bogle
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: As mainstream social media companies have increased their scrutiny and moderation of right-wing extremist (RWE) content and groups, there’s been a move to alternative online content platforms. There’s also growing concern about right-wing extremism in Australia, and about how this shift has diversified the mechanisms used to fundraise by RWE entities. This phenomenon isn’t well understood in Australia, despite the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) advising in March 2021 that ‘ideological extremism’ now makes up around 40% of its priority counterterrorism caseload. Research by ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has found that nine Australian Telegram channels that share RWE content used at least 22 different funding platforms, including online monetisation tools and cryptocurrencies, to solicit, process and earn funds between 1 January 2021 and 15 July 2021. Due to the opaque nature of many online financial platforms, it’s difficult to obtain a complete picture of online fundraising, so this sample is necessarily limited. However, in this report we aim to provide a preliminary map of the online financial platforms and services that may both support and incentivise an RWE content ecosystem in Australia. Most funding platforms found in our sample have policies that explicitly prohibit the use of their services for hate speech, but we found that those policies were often unclear and not uniformly enforced. Of course, there’s debate about how to balance civil liberties with the risks posed by online communities that promote RWE ideology (and much of that activity isn’t illegal), but a better understanding of online funding mechanisms is necessary, given the growing concern about the role online propaganda may play in inspiring acts of violence as well as the risk that, like other social divisions, such channels and movements could be exploited by adversaries. The fundraising facilitated by these platforms not only has the potential to grow the resources of groups and individuals linked to right-wing extremism, but it’s also likely to be a means of building the RWE community both within Australia and with overseas groups and a vector for spreading RWE propaganda through the engagement inherent in fundraising efforts. The funding platforms mirror those used by RWE figures overseas, and funding requests were boosted by foreign actors, continuing Australian RWEs’ history of ‘meaningful international exchange’ with overseas counterparts.
  • Topic: Internet, Social Media, Far Right, Political Extremism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Malcolm Davis, Khwezi Nkwanyana
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Earlier this year, ASPI and the Embassy of Japan in Australia convened a hybrid workshop on responsible behaviours in space; a concept which has emerged as a key focus of the international space policy community. At the workshop, participants discussed the stable and sustainable use of space and management of security challenges in space, and ways to define responsible behaviour in space, including through UN General Assembly Resolution 75/36. Participants at this workshop included academics, practitioners, government representatives, military personnel and legal experts from Australia, Japan, Britain and Southeast Asia. This workshop and report were sponsored by the Embassy of Japan in Australia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, National Security, Science and Technology, Space
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Australia