The BGF-G7 Summit Initiative gets rolling in Tokyo

(April 4th,2016) On March 28th,  Nguyen Anh Tuan,  The Boston Global Forum’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief, met with Japanese dignitaries at a conference in Tokyo that was part of the formal announcement in Japan of the BGF-G7 Summit Initiative, in which the BGF is making a group of recommendations for summit leaders  to  discuss, mostly focused on cybersecurity. The conference was organized and coordinated by Nobue Mita, The BGF Japan Representative. 

 

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Among the distinguished speakers were :

Prof. Koichi Hamada, a special adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and “The Father of Abenomics’’;

Prof. Eisuke Sakakibara, known as ‘Mr. Yen’ for the influence of his pronouncements on Japan’s currency, he is the former professor from Keio University, and now he is a professor from Aoyama University;

Ambassadors Ichiro Fujisaki and Shunji Yanai;

Prof. Fumiaki Kubo, A. Barton Hepburn Professor of American Government and History, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo;

Prof. Fumio Ota, Former Professor, Defense Academy of Japan (2005-2013);

Mr. Akihiko Komase, Asgent, Inc. Consulting Department manager and Security Center Fellow;

 

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Former UNESCO Director General Yoichiro Matsuura and Inada Tomomi, a member of the Japanese House of Representatives (the lower house of parliament) and Chairwoman  of the Policy Council of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, also contributed valuable ideas at the meeting.

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Live on March, 22nd : Professor Matthew Smith and Professor JD Bindenagel talk on Strategies for Combating Cyber-Terrorism

(March  22nd, 2016) – Professor JD Bindenagel , The Henry Kissinger Professor for Governance and International Security, University of Bonn, Professor Matthew Smith, Computer Science Professor – The Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and a member of The Boston Global Forum (BGF), will speak on Strategies for Combating Cyber-Terrorism at a talk at 2:00 pm on March, 22nd at Harvard University.

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Discussants are encouraged to send questions to office@bostonglobalforum.org. Members of the Boston Global Forum’s Special Editorial Board will gather your insights and send them to the speaker.

His talk and listeners’ responses to it will be live-streamed at www.bostonglobalforum.org.

About Professor JD Bindenagel:

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Professor JD Bindenagel

J.D. Bindenagel is a retired U.S. career diplomat and expert on Germany, where he served as deputy chief of mission in the U.S. Embassy, Bonn, Germany, from 1994 to 1997.

In 1999, Mr. Bindenagel was appointed by President Bill Clinton as U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues. He also served as Special U.S. Negotiator for “conflict diamonds.”

Following his diplomatic career, he was Vice President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and subsequently Vice President at DePaul University. Prior to his diplomatic career he was assigned to the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Germany.

Ambassador Bindenagel is now Special Advisor to Strategy XXI Partners, where he advises clients on matters of domestic and international policy and on key multilateral issues that can represent potential risk to clients’ reputations and shareholder value.

Mr.Bindenagel received the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award in 2001, the Commander’s Cross of the Federal Order of Merit from the President of Germany in 2001 and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award from President George W. Bush in 2002.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the American Council on Germany and the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies. Mr.Bindenagel is also President of the Japan America Society of Chicago.

Mr.Bindenagel received the U.S. Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the Commander’s Cross of the Federal Order of Merit from the President of Germany, and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award from President George W. Bush. He was an APSA Congressional Fellow with Congressman Lee H. Hamilton.

He holds an MA in Public Administration and an AB in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

About Professor Matthew Smith:

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Professor Matthew Smith

He is a Computer Science Professor at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and the Fraunhofer FKIE and a full member of the Research Center L3S at the Univesity of Hannover.
His research interests lie in the intersection of technical IT security & privacy and behavioural research.
He study the interaction effects between technical and psychological, social, economic, cognitive, and emotional factors related to the security and privacy behaviour of individuals and institutions.
He is currently particularly focusing on the human factors of experts such as IT administrators and developers, since many of the most catastrophic security incidents were not caused by end-users, but by developers or administrators.

He is also a member of the Research Center L3S – The Univesity of Hannover.

 

Ezra Vogel discusses the G7 Summit, Japan, China, cyber-security

(March 14th 2016) Here are online remarks and a Q&A with Ezra Vogel, the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard, a world-renown expert on East Asia and a member of The Boston Global Forum (BGF).  He is probably best known for his work on Japan, which will host this year’s G7 Summit, on May 26-27.

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Governor Michael Dukakis, Chairman of The BGF introduces the lastest Online Dialogue

His remarks  are another in a series of online discussions with experts  hosted by the BGF as part of its BGF-G7 Summit Initiative leading up to the G7 Summit of  the seven biggest industrialized democracies, on May 26-27. The BGF has been working with summit officials on developing themes and recommendations for the meeting.

Despite the growing importance of East Asia, Professor Vogel noted, Japan is the only non-Western member of the G7. He added that that the G20, while performing a valuable role, is far less able to achieve strong agreements than the far more coherent and unified G7.

He discussed the important historic symbolism of the Japanese venues chosen for the G7 meetings in showing the need for international cooperation to avoid war, the need to be open to new technology and the benefits of a world trade system that encourages each country to develop its comparative advantages. In Japan’s case that means continuing to move even further away from old-line industries and agriculture and toward high technology.

Professor Vogel discussed the challenges posed by the slowdown of the Chinese economy — not to only to China itself but to other nations too.  He reminded us that Japan, after years of very rapid growth, has long had to manage the economic, social and political problems associated with  economic sluggishness. He said that he’s hopeful that China will manage its slowdown without getting into a very serious crisis.

On China’s expansionism in the South China Sea, Ezra Vogel said such a posture, driven by Chinese desire to expand its defense perimeter, was unwise because it leads nations in East Asia to increasingly fear and distrust China and seek help from America to offset Chinese military threats. He urged nations feeling threatened by China’s expansionism, which includes Japan as well as nations in and near Southeast Asia, to find the right balance of “firmness and restraint’’ in response.

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Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, CEO and Co. Founder of The BGF discusses with Prof. Ezra Vogel at lastest Online Dialogue as part of The BGF-G7 Initiative

He said that China, and all nations,  ought to be part of many multinational organizations to maintain as  many opportunities  as possible for consultation to protect international peace and security by avoiding dangerous misunderstandings of other nations’ intentions.

Ezra Vogel raised the frightful possibilities of cyber-war, comparing it to the “atomic button.’’ While he noted that new and sold cyber-security agreements would  require far more  work and will than the sort of discussions to held at the G7, he said that it’s good that summit leaders will discuss such an increasingly important issue, on which the BGF has been focusing this year.

The terrorist’s iPhone: The Government is right

(29th Feb 2016) Robert Whitcomb , Managing Editor of the Boston Global Forum shared his view about The Terrorist’s iPhone

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The U.S. government has the much stronger argument in its battle with Apple over getting access to information in the iPhone of one of the two San Bernardino terrorists.

The fact is, as Microsoft founder Bill Gates told the Financial Times “This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information.’’

“They are not asking for some general thing; they are asking for a particular case.”

“It is no different than the question of should anybody ever have been able to tell the phone company to get information, should anybody be able to get at bank records” to investigate a crime, Mr. Gates added

And the government’s case rests on centuries of law holding that “no item — not a home, not a file cabinet and not a smartphone — lies beyond the reach of a judicial search warrant” in investigating crimes, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance noted.

There exists no “right of privacy” to withhold evidence of a crime. The idea that the cellphone is a privileged device that must be off-limits to law enforcement is absurd.

The fact is that a federal court is not telling Apple to create a “backdoor’’ that puts all users in danger of being hacked by identity thieves. It has told Apple to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation get into a single iPhone in order to obtain information that might prevent other people from being murdered by ISIS-related terrorists.

We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land,” FBI Director James Mr Comey said.

A federal judge ordered Apple to create software to let the FBI try every password possible without the phone’s data disappearing. Apple chief executive Tim Cook asserts that such a “backdoor” tool could be used on other phones. But Apple could safely create and control the software to unlock a specific device when the
government obtains a warrant detailing compelling circumstances. It’s difficult to think of circumstances more compelling than terrorism.

Law enforcement must have the tools to keep up with criminals, who increasingly use such tools as encryption, Bitcoin currency and disappearing messages. In this case, Apple, rather than focusing on fears that the publicity connected with letting the U.S. government get into a single cellphone might hurt its gigantic profits, should focus on saving the lives of potential future terrorism victims.

Apple should consider the public welfare and hand over to the government access to the information that phone.
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The U.S. government has the much stronger argument in its battle with Apple over getting access to information in the iPhone of one of the two San Bernardino terrorists.

The fact is, as Microsoft founder Bill Gates told the Financial Times, “This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information.’’

“They are not asking for some general thing; they are asking for a particular case.”

“It is no different than the question of should anybody ever have been able to tell the phone company to get information, should anybody be able to get at bank records” to investigate a crime, Mr. Gates added

And the government’s case rests on centuries of law holding that “no item — not a home, not a file cabinet and not a smartphone — lies beyond the reach of a judicial search warrant” in investigating crimes, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance noted.

There exists no “right of privacy” to withhold evidence of a crime. The idea that the cellphone is a privileged device that must be off-limits to law enforcement is absurd.

The fact is that a federal court is not telling Apple to create a “backdoor’’ that puts all users in danger of being hacked by identity thieves. It has told Apple to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation get into a single iPhone in order to obtain information that might prevent other people from being murdered by ISIS-related terrorists.

We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land,” FBI Director James Mr Comey said.

A federal judge ordered Apple to create software to let the FBI try every password possible without the phone’s data disappearing. Apple chief executive Tim Cook asserts that such a “backdoor” tool could be used on other phones. But Apple could safely create and control the software to unlock a specific device when the
government obtains a warrant detailing compelling circumstances. It’s difficult to think of circumstances more compelling than terrorism.

Law enforcement must have the tools to keep up with criminals, who increasingly use such tools as encryption, Bitcoin currency and disappearing messages. In this case, Apple, rather than focusing on fears that the publicity connected with letting the U.S. government get into a single cellphone might hurt its gigantic profits, should focus on saving the lives of potential future terrorism victims.

Apple should consider the public welfare and hand over to the government access to the information that phone.

The Boston Global Forum Launches the BGF-G7 Summit Initiative

(January 26, 2016) – The Boston Global Forum (BGF) has introduced the BGF-G7 Summit Initiative, in which we will cooperate with Japan – as the summit’s host, to convene leading scholars and business, government, technology and other leaders to seek solutions to pressing global issues involving peace, security and development. The G7 represents the seven leading industrial democracies.

Proposals from the initiative will be sent to the national leaders at this year’s G7 Summit, to be held in Japan on May 26-27. Based in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., the Boston Global Forum brings together thought leaders from around the globe to participate in forums to discuss critical world issues.

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Photo: Four moderators of the dialogs (from left to right): Gov. Michael Dukakis, a co-founder and the chairman of the Boston Global Forum; Prof. Joseph Nye, University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University;  Jose Manual Barroso, former president of the European Commission; and Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, president of the World Leadership Alliance Club de Madrid and former president of the Latvia. 

The initiative will include 60-minute-long online dialogues featuring one speaker in each discussion – usually an internationally recognized scholar or government, business or technology leader – who will present his/her perspective on an issue, followed by interactions among 100 excellent discussants (of a wide range of ages and backgrounds) participating online from various locations around the world.

The discussion will continue as participants send questions and opinions to each other by email. The Boston Global Forum’s Special Editorial Board will gather their insights and send them to the speaker.

There will be 12 of these dialogues, with the first on Feb. 2 and the final conference to be held on May 9 at the Harvard University Faculty Club, when the most promising ideas from these dialogues will be summarized and then reported to the national leaders meeting in Japan.

A similar program will be held every year before each G7 summit, in which we will cooperate with the host country, with a particular issue to be selected as the focus. This year’s main topic will be Strategies for Combating Cyberterrorism.

Another mission this year will be on how to promote a sense of global citizenship and mutual responsibility. This project will include collaboration with the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles. We call it the Global Citizenship Education for Peace, Security and Development program. We will also cooperate with the Japanese government in organizing an online dialogue on “The Role of Japan in Peace, Security and Development in the World Today.’’

Our distinguished moderators at these forums will include former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, a co-founder and the chairman of the Boston Global Forum; Prof. Joseph Nye, University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University;  Jose Manual Barroso, former president of the European Commission; and Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, president of the World Leadership Alliance Club de Madrid and former president of the Latvia.

Other distinguished professors as well as several people named by Time Magazine as among the 100 most influential people in the world, and some people listed by Foreign Policy magazine as among the 100 top global thinkers, will join in building the initiatives.

As a part of the initiative, the BGF-G7 Summit Initiative weekly newsletter has been launched as of Jan.  26. It will provide fresh reportage and commentary from experts around the world.

History of the Boston Global Forum

The Boston Global Forum (BostonGlobalForum.org) was co-founded three years ago by former Democratic presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who is now a Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University; Prof. John Quelch, the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School; Prof. Thomas Patterson, the Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Nguyen Anh Tuan, the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Boston Global Forum, and the founder and chairman of VietNamNet Media Company and VietNet, the first Internet Service Provider in that nation.

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Governor Michael Dukakis’ letter introducing the BGF’s 2016 initiatives