MATRIX MONItoR 2021


The only source dedicated exclusively to the emerging technologies shaping the future of business and national security.

Built for executives, the Monitor delivers the latest news and expert insights on technology breakthroughs, public policy, and global security in bite-sized summaries.

Leaders must stay on top of technology and geopolitics more than ever as the world becomes increasingly more contested and interdependent.

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  • The Cyberspace Solarium Commission was officially stood down and an informal CSC 2.0 is standing up.
  • China filed a complaint with the UN that SpaceX satellites forced its astronauts to take cover on the Chinese space station when they nearly collided.
  • The US has the greatest GDP in the world at the end of 2021, followed by China. 4 of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Central or South America.
  • To survive chip supply chain woes, some companies like Tesla are getting creative and building semiconductor software in-house.
  • China released new guidance for its companies to follow if they want to list overseas.
  • A decades-old Chinese construction contract in the Panama Canal is set to expire on January 16th, possibly opening an opportunity for competitors to land the new 25 year contract if China's is not renewed.
  • China Telecom plans to continue its US business despite orders from regulatory authorities to cease operations due to security concerns.
  • The DoD plans to designate DIA as its lead agency for OSINT.
  • New evidence emerged this week showing Huawei pitched its technology to the Chinese government for surveillance purposes such as facial and voice recognition and location tracking.
  • Chip giants like IBM, Samsung, and Intel are working to build semiconductors vertically to save space on wafers and create energy efficiencies.
  • The US Treasury Department widens its ban list of technology companies in China, Bangladesh, North Korea, and Myanmar over various human rights abuses.
  • As the UN prepares to release a report on alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, a UK tribunal finds the Chinese government responsible for genocide, sexual violence, forced birth control & abortions, forced deportation, enforced disappearances, and severe deprivation of physical liberty of minorities, beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • A third ransomware affiliate was arrested in Romania after two others who collaborated with REvil were detained last month.
  • China is merging its rare earths companies to maintain its dominance in the global supply chain of strategic metals, strengthen Beijing's pricing power, and undercut Western efforts to dominate critical technologies.
  • The Next5 perspective on quantum and steps leadership should take today to prepare for the quantum era.
  • Microsoft comes under fire for its alleged "fox watching the hen house" approach to the cybersecurity business.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, National Cyber Director, CISA Director, and DHS Under Secretary for policy took a trip to Silicon Valley to push for improved public-private partnership.
  • The DoD announces a new AI leadership position to oversee all of its AI efforts across the JAIC, DDS, and its own new organization - the chief data office.
  • Didi plans to ditch its shares in the US and list on the exchange in Hong Kong.
  • China tells multinationals that if they continue business with Lithuania, they will lose access to the Chinese market after Lithuania joins the US, UK, Australia, and Canada in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics due to human rights concerns.
  • Biden hosts the first annual Summit for Democracy where he challenges democracies to step up as authoritarians are becoming more emboldened.
  • A new report from Booz Allen assesses that China could steal sensitive, encrypted information to decrypt with quantum computers - a capability in which the report says China will surpass Europe and the US.
  • A breakdown of the US $1.2T infrastructure bill for cybersecurity, energy, and cars of the future.
  • Increased scrutiny over surveillance equipment, particularly coming from places like China where the equipment is used to track minorities and journalists.
  • 193 UNESCO member countries adopted the first global agreement on the ethics of AI.
  • Ericsson is buying cloud-communications provider Vonage for $6.2B in a strategic acquisition.
  • The White House officially released its space priorities in a seven page framework document.
  • Pfizer is suing a Chinese employee for stealing 12,000 documents including sensitive IP about its COVID-19 vaccine, among other confidential data - to share with competitor Xencor.
  • A Next5 readout from the Baird Government & Defense Conference
  • The USCC annual report to Congress which calls for new comprehensive legislation on investment in China, the establishment of a Technology Transfer Review Group, & increased US military credibility in deterring an attack on Taiwan.
  • The US says Russia's recent destruction of a satellite - which caused debris that put Russian & American astronauts on the ISS at risk - was a strategic deterrence message.
  • Overlapping authorities and disagreements between the FCC and FAA over spectrum allocation have delayed Verizon and AT&T's 5G launch.
  • New information reveals a Chinese state-backed company acquired an Italian military drone maker without authorities knowledge in 2018 and transferred the know-how and IP to China.
  • The world's largest consulting firm, McKinsey & Co., is coming under scrutiny for working on highly sensitive projects with the US DoD and Chinese PLA.
  • A Ryuk ransomware group-affiliate was arrested in Mexico and faces extradition to the US on charges of money laundering, proving that sanctions at least limit criminals' ability to travel freely outside of safe harbors like Russia.
  • The Next5 readout from the Aspen Security Forum. To read the play by play, follow us on Twitter.
    To watch full keynotes & panels check out ASF's YouTube channel. Our personal favorite session was a fireside chat with Condoleezza Rice & Margaret Brennan.
  • NATO released a new Artificial Intelligence strategy.
  • New video footage reveals a Chinese satellite's ability to maneuver away from a US spy satellite.
  • Sandia National Labs develops a use for quantum technology that could replace our dependence on GPS.
  • A new survey shows that the US DoD and industry are split on the effectiveness of USSF & SDA's acquisition effectiveness.
  • The US adds four more foreign tech companies to the entity list from Israel, Russia, and Singapore.
  • Chinese academic professors feel racially targeted by law enforcement in the US according to a new survey.
  • Next5 released a new article this week that breaks down the levers at play in Great Power Competition which you can read here. Our CEO Bryan Ware also participated in a panel with several retired Admirals this week to discuss the future of Great Power Competition which you can watch here.
  • NCSC announced 5 emerging technologies they will prioritize and protect against nation state IP theft and espionage, saying AI, Quantum, Autonomous Systems, Semiconductors, and Biotech will determine whether the US maintains its superpower status.
  • TSMC announced it would comply with a US request for information from semiconductor companies on who their customers are and how much they are buying. Though it remains unclear exactly what TSMC will share, the agreement angered China.
  • The US GAO released a report on the risks and rewards of quantum technology.
  • The Administration publicly acknowledged China's hypersonic tests for the first time calling it a near "Sputnik moment."
  • The State Department announced a new bureau of cyber and digital technology, acknowledging that the rise in cyber threats, particularly ransomware require diplomatic levers to solve.
  • Pandemic-related hurdles facing the telecom industry, like how to acquire needed fiber optic cables
  • The U.S. has overtaken China as the largest bitcoin mining center after Beijing outlaws crypto mining
  • China successfully tested the world's most advanced, nuclear-capable hypersonic missile - reportedly at the surprise of the U.S. Intelligence Community
  • Western nations are slow to support developing nations in lowering green house gas emissions, even though as developed countries' emissions drop, developing countries' are expected to increase.
  • Chinese tech giant Alibaba revealed the country's most advanced chip design based on Western firm Arm's technology
  • The White House plans to limit and revise the use of sanctions after a Treasury-led audit found the country's policies high risk to alliances and prone to collateral damage.
  • The Office of the National Cyber Director is still short on cash and staff due to $21M still stuck in the political spin cycle
  • Google takes on "digital transformation" across Africa
  • Big defense firms are increasingly buying up smallsat companies + recommendations for the USG on ways to support the U.S. space economy
  • Who is winning the 5G race broken down by suppliers, smartphone providers, and countries
  • Researchers claim they finally sequenced the entire human genome, debunking previous claims
  • Microsoft and Crowdstrike differ in their findings over which state-sponsored hacking groups are most responsible for the past year's hacks. MSFT says Russia, but CRWD says China
  • The White House convened a group of countries to tackle ransomware and U.S. ally countries released follow-on statements promising military agencies would come after ransomware groups that target "big ticket" ransomware.
  • The White House also stepped in to relieve supply chain bottlenecks on the West Coast of the U.S. with remarks from POTUS and claims that the Administration would call out those in the private sector who fail to "step up." Walmart, FedEx, and UPS all vowed to rev up ops to 24/7 to help.
  • October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and this week Next5 attended events at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit, CyberSatGov, and Mandiant Cybersecurity Defense Summit. Follow us on Twitter to see what we heard from General Nakasone, NCD Chris Inglis, Former Director Krebs, & Next5's BWare, among many other experts - @Next5Inc
  • CSET released a new Map of Science interface that tracks citations on emerging technology around the world.
  • DHS & NIST released new guidance on quantum readiness and DHS Secretary Mayorkas also announced upcoming security directive from TSA to improve cybersecurity in the rail industry.
  • Ericsson claims a world first in a proof-of-concept that uses laser beam technology to power 5G base stations completely wirelessly without any electric grid connection or on-site power generation.
  • A recent study found that many countries will rely on profits from cars powered by fossil fuels to fund the transition to battery power in the midst of an auto manufacturing slump due to the chip shortage. And yet, Tesla production is still up.
  • Bottlenecks at key Los Angeles ports have lingered for almost a year - Holy Ship @LizAnnSonders
  • The Next5 take on the Aspen Cybersecurity Summit
  • Increased VC funding for deep tech - quantum, robotics, & life sciences in particular
  • Companies going virtual and the Next5 take on the future of remote work and conferences
  • Raytheon successfully tested a Manned-Unmanned Teaming technology with the DoD
  • China is facing serious economic uncertainty amidst the Evergrande crisis and power cuts
  • The Biden Administration considering invoking a Cold War era defense law on chip companies
  • Next5 takes on The Future with COVID
  • AI used to surveil American students
  • Lithuania tells its people to avoid buying Chinese phones
  • The Space Force and US IC set up a coordination group to acquire technology faster
  • A CIA officer developed Havana syndrome symptoms while traveling with the Agency's Director
  • Google and Microsoft are responsible for the most vulnerabilities reported in the first half of 2021
  • Employers are adjusting pay based on where remote workers live
  • Commerce is forming a committee to advise federal agencies on AI 
  • The UN human rights chief's concerns about AI technology for surveillance
  • Huawei is planning to launch 6G products by 2030
  • SpaceX successfully launched an all civilian crew into orbit
  • Former US intelligence officials working as spies and hackers for the UAE
  • Apple walked back its new iOS15 with CSAM detection after privacy concerns
  • Why solid state batteries could be game changing for EVs
  • A German ride-hailing company foregoes autonomous driving to offer remote-controlled EV services
  • IonQ and UMD launch a National Quantum Lab (Q-Lab)
  • Top 5 steps orgs should take to improve cybersecurity that many aren't
  • The DoD stands up a new Supply Chain Task Force
  • A new CRISPR experiment proves that DNA can repair itself in outer space
  • BlackSky and Palantir form a partnership to deliver satellite intelligence to customers in real time
  • CFIUS moves to block a Chinese acquisition of Korean chip maker Magnachip
  • The country's first National Cyber Director lays out his intentions for the role
  • Taiwan's annual assessment warns that China could "paralyze" its defenses during a conflict
  • China's new privacy law
  • AI-guided UAV innovations
  • Cyber vulnerabilities in autonomous vehicles
  • Taiwan's predictions for semiconductor manufacturing
  • China's strategic messaging on Afghanistan withdrawal aimed at Taiwan
  • A lack of startup acquisitions from the Big Five
  • Commercial satellites reveal Chinese nukes
  • How spacesuits might delay the US return to the Moon
  • Body-on-a-chip technology
  • A new EO on EVs
  • US chip supply chain vulnerabilities
  • A new Deepfake Task Force proposal for the Department of Homeland Security
  • How the US failed to compete with Chinese telecommunications
  • Ways CRISPR will drive agricultural development
  • Securing America's solar independence from China
  • Structural disadvantages facing  US chip manufacturing
  • National Security concerns pushing the UK to block Nvidia's acquisition of Arm
  • Next5 defines Great Power Competition in the absence of an official definition in any major U.S. strategy document
  • China continues to pursue a digital currency, potentially at the expense of its strongest fintech firms
  • A ranking of the top 10 synthetic biology companies right now
  • When ransomware actors are shut down, nobody is available to help the victims decrypt their systems
  • How China's crackdown on big tech traded overseas is crashing their stocks around the world
  • The CJCS response after blue forces lose a war game simulating a fight for Taiwan
  • Next5's take on systemic risks to chips beyond the current shortage, plus recommendation for industry & government leaders
  • SECDEF's plans for responsible behavior in space
  • Where Gallium Nitride is taking Silicon's place
  • How the race to third generation chips runs through a little-known R&D organization in Belgium called imec
  • What China's moves against Didi could mean for investors
  • Details on a decade old Chinese campaign to compromise U.S. pipelines, and new regs that could later impact other industries
  • Potential consequences of Biden's competition EO
  • ESA plans to launch satellites made of plywood
  • The top 18 quantum research institutions around the world
  • Chinese crackdowns on publicly listed companies in UK markets
  • US sanctions & warnings for business in Asia
  • Exclusive Insights from Next5: The Future of Technology Leadership
  • The latest on China's data security reviews and big tech crackdowns
  • NASA shifting from procuring space equipment to space-as-a-service
  • A robotic hand that can heal itself and sense touch
  • A breakdown of the US Innovation & Competition Act (USICA)
This week’s Monitor features the latest on software-as-a-service in space, a new handy AI leadership tracker tool, telecom alliances, a US Mars rover spying on China’s Mars rover, 3D printing human organs in space, how cyber insurance is enabling ransomware gangs, & Americans’ demand for world goods leading the post-COVID economic recovery.
This week’s Monitor features the latest on how recent Biden EOs will be implemented, tradeoffs of doing business in China, EXIM’s newest space investment, the Next5 take on Biotech, extreme risk in putting all your chips on one island, & cybersecurity in Big Ag.