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Original Problem Statement:
How might we implement a ubiquitous
secure global access to the internet in order to
help circumvent censorship in authoritarian
regimes?
Total Interviews: 40
XX ‘23 xx ‘24 xx ‘23 xx ‘23 xxx ‘23 xx ‘23
Final Problem Statement:
How can we create an open, free Internet
and maintain effective lines of
communication in Taiwan in preparation for
a potential invasion?
OUR TUMULTUOUS JOURNEY
Week 1
Weeks 7, 8, 9
Tackling Taiwan
Week 6
Branching out
Week 5
Time for a Change in
Direction
Weeks 2, 3, 4
Initial Investigation
Week 1
Defining Original Problem
Week 10
Final Solution
DEFINING THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM
Week 1
Week 1
Looking at secure, ubiquitous
global access to the internet to
circumvent censorship in
authoritarian regimes
(specifically China)
Defining Original Problem
THE INITIAL INVESTIGATION
Weeks 2-4
Weeks 2, 3, 4
Week 1
Defining Original Problem
How can we possibly overcome
the Great Firewall? Would
doing so be productive?
Initial Investigation
2. CRACK THE GREAT FIREWALL
Weeks 2-4
Satellite Networks
- SpaceX’s Starlink
- Amazon’s Project
Kuiper
Anonymity Networks
- Tor Onion
- Encrypt traffic and hide
identity
VPNs
- Secure, encrypted
connection through
VPN service
providers’ servers
- Rerouted around
firewall
Other Tech
- Flash Drives
- Phones
- Mobile Hotspots
Weeks 2-4
CHINA IS TOO LARGE, COMPLEX, AND
TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED
3. GREAT FIREWALL IS TOO TOUGH TO CRACK
Weeks 2-4
Internet
Already
Partially
Available in the
PRC
Technical
Solutions
Only Short
Term Until
PRC
Responds
High Fear of
Repercussions
for Chinese
Civilians
Target
Population
Unlikely to
Use Internet
in Desired
Ways
Interviewee Organizations
TIME FOR A DIRECTION SHIFT
Week 5
Week 5
Weeks 2, 3, 4
Week 1
The Great Firewall is too tough
with too little benefit to crack,
instead we look at countering
Chinese censorship influence
abroad.
Initial Investigation
Defining Original Problem Time for a Change in
Direction
4. SOLVING CHINESE CENSORSHIP IS BOILING THE OCEAN
Week 5
1. Problem of the Great Firewall too robust
1. Looked for strategic solutions on a smaller scale
1. Thought abroad in the Global South
1. Still too broad
We needed to rescope our project to tackle a specific
network issue.
BRANCHING OUT- TAIWAN AND IRAN
Week 6
Week 6
Week 5
Weeks 2, 3, 4
Week 1
Combatting Chinese
censorship abroad isn’t
getting us anywhere,
instead we turn attention
to relevant current
events
Branching out
Defining Original Problem
Initial Investigation
Time for a Change in
Direction
5. TAIWAN C2 INFRASTRUCTURE VS.
CENSORSHIP/PROPAGANDA IN IRAN?
● Taiwan: protecting vulnerable populations
○ Conflict in Ukraine taught important
lessons
○ PRC will eliminate Taiwanese critical
infrastructure, which includes network
systems
○ Maintain communications with
Taiwanese people and Western world
○ OSINT for military C2
Week 6
● Iran: supporting opposition against
censorship and propaganda
○ Censorship of protests
○ Distinct and smaller country might
help us fight disinformation or
censorship
○ Less technologically advanced than
China and has people in active
resistance
Option A Option B
5. TAIWAN C2 INFRASTRUCTURE VS.
CENSORSHIP/PROPAGANDA IN IRAN?
● Taiwan: protecting vulnerable populations
○ Conflict in Ukraine taught important
lessons
○ PRC will eliminate Taiwanese critical
infrastructure, which includes network
systems
○ Maintain communications with
Taiwanese people and Western world
○ OSINT for military C2
Week 6
● Iran: supporting opposition against
censorship and propaganda
○ Censorship of protests
○ Distinct and smaller country might
help us fight disinformation or
censorship
○ Less technologically advanced than
China and has people in active
resistance
Option A Option B
TACKLING TAIWAN
Weeks 7-9
Weeks 7, 8, 9
Tackling Taiwan
Week 6
Week 5
Weeks 2, 3, 4
Week 1
Defining Original Problem
Initial Investigation Branching Out
Time for a Change in
Direction
We dive into our
investigations on how to
harden Taiwan’s
internet connection in
the case of PRC invasion
Weeks 7-9
6. TAIWAN’S VULNERABLE STATE
● Only 15 undersea cables
○ Japan has 20, Singapore has 17
○ Incentivize international corporations
○ Tunnel/Landline Project: Entanglement strategy
● Laws - Disincentivizing international support
○ Limits on foreign ownership and control of local firms
■ Telecommunications (49% directly held)
○ Metadata Sharing Law with Taiwan Government
Weeks 7-9
7. ADDRESSING TAIWAN’S VULNERABILITIES
● Satellite initiative to provide digital resiliency
during a conflict
○ Utilize static & dynamic ground network system
○ Prototype by 2023 | Operational by 2025
● Ham radios provide short-range resilient
communications
○ 100 km range & no reliance on ground stations
○ Used for hospitals & emergency services
FINDING SOLUTIONS
Week 10
Weeks 7, 8, 9
Tackling Taiwan
We dive into our investigation on
how Taiwan can harden its internet
connection in the case of PRC
invasion
Week 6
Branching Out
Combatting Chinese censorship
abroad isn’t getting us anywhere,
instead we turn attention to
relevant current events
Week 5
Time for a Change in Direction
The Great Firewall is too tough with
too little benefit to crack, instead we
look at countering Chinese
censorship influence abroad.
Weeks 2, 3, 4
Initial investigation
How can we possibly overcome
the Great Firewall? Would doing
so be productive?
Week 1
Defining Original Problem
Looking at secure, ubiquitous global
access to the internet to circumvent
censorship in authoritarian regimes
(specifically China)
Week 10
We have finally reached a
point where we make
suggestions on how to harden
Taiwan’s internet connection
Week 10
8. WINNING COMMUNICATION FOR TAIWAN
1. Harden Current Infrastructure
2. Commercial technology adoption
4. International institution strengthening
3. Policy solutions
i. USG - TRA Representative
ii. Taiwan internal
9. NEXT STEPS
Sharing our final paper and findings:
US State Department Taiwan Ministry of Digital Affairs
Interested in exploring other topics in H4D

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Team Networks - 2022 Technology, Innovation & Great Power Competition

  • 2. Original Problem Statement: How might we implement a ubiquitous secure global access to the internet in order to help circumvent censorship in authoritarian regimes? Total Interviews: 40 XX ‘23 xx ‘24 xx ‘23 xx ‘23 xxx ‘23 xx ‘23 Final Problem Statement: How can we create an open, free Internet and maintain effective lines of communication in Taiwan in preparation for a potential invasion?
  • 3. OUR TUMULTUOUS JOURNEY Week 1 Weeks 7, 8, 9 Tackling Taiwan Week 6 Branching out Week 5 Time for a Change in Direction Weeks 2, 3, 4 Initial Investigation Week 1 Defining Original Problem Week 10 Final Solution
  • 4. DEFINING THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM Week 1 Week 1 Looking at secure, ubiquitous global access to the internet to circumvent censorship in authoritarian regimes (specifically China) Defining Original Problem
  • 5. THE INITIAL INVESTIGATION Weeks 2-4 Weeks 2, 3, 4 Week 1 Defining Original Problem How can we possibly overcome the Great Firewall? Would doing so be productive? Initial Investigation
  • 6. 2. CRACK THE GREAT FIREWALL Weeks 2-4 Satellite Networks - SpaceX’s Starlink - Amazon’s Project Kuiper Anonymity Networks - Tor Onion - Encrypt traffic and hide identity VPNs - Secure, encrypted connection through VPN service providers’ servers - Rerouted around firewall Other Tech - Flash Drives - Phones - Mobile Hotspots
  • 7. Weeks 2-4 CHINA IS TOO LARGE, COMPLEX, AND TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED
  • 8. 3. GREAT FIREWALL IS TOO TOUGH TO CRACK Weeks 2-4 Internet Already Partially Available in the PRC Technical Solutions Only Short Term Until PRC Responds High Fear of Repercussions for Chinese Civilians Target Population Unlikely to Use Internet in Desired Ways Interviewee Organizations
  • 9. TIME FOR A DIRECTION SHIFT Week 5 Week 5 Weeks 2, 3, 4 Week 1 The Great Firewall is too tough with too little benefit to crack, instead we look at countering Chinese censorship influence abroad. Initial Investigation Defining Original Problem Time for a Change in Direction
  • 10. 4. SOLVING CHINESE CENSORSHIP IS BOILING THE OCEAN Week 5 1. Problem of the Great Firewall too robust 1. Looked for strategic solutions on a smaller scale 1. Thought abroad in the Global South 1. Still too broad We needed to rescope our project to tackle a specific network issue.
  • 11. BRANCHING OUT- TAIWAN AND IRAN Week 6 Week 6 Week 5 Weeks 2, 3, 4 Week 1 Combatting Chinese censorship abroad isn’t getting us anywhere, instead we turn attention to relevant current events Branching out Defining Original Problem Initial Investigation Time for a Change in Direction
  • 12. 5. TAIWAN C2 INFRASTRUCTURE VS. CENSORSHIP/PROPAGANDA IN IRAN? ● Taiwan: protecting vulnerable populations ○ Conflict in Ukraine taught important lessons ○ PRC will eliminate Taiwanese critical infrastructure, which includes network systems ○ Maintain communications with Taiwanese people and Western world ○ OSINT for military C2 Week 6 ● Iran: supporting opposition against censorship and propaganda ○ Censorship of protests ○ Distinct and smaller country might help us fight disinformation or censorship ○ Less technologically advanced than China and has people in active resistance Option A Option B
  • 13. 5. TAIWAN C2 INFRASTRUCTURE VS. CENSORSHIP/PROPAGANDA IN IRAN? ● Taiwan: protecting vulnerable populations ○ Conflict in Ukraine taught important lessons ○ PRC will eliminate Taiwanese critical infrastructure, which includes network systems ○ Maintain communications with Taiwanese people and Western world ○ OSINT for military C2 Week 6 ● Iran: supporting opposition against censorship and propaganda ○ Censorship of protests ○ Distinct and smaller country might help us fight disinformation or censorship ○ Less technologically advanced than China and has people in active resistance Option A Option B
  • 14. TACKLING TAIWAN Weeks 7-9 Weeks 7, 8, 9 Tackling Taiwan Week 6 Week 5 Weeks 2, 3, 4 Week 1 Defining Original Problem Initial Investigation Branching Out Time for a Change in Direction We dive into our investigations on how to harden Taiwan’s internet connection in the case of PRC invasion
  • 15. Weeks 7-9 6. TAIWAN’S VULNERABLE STATE ● Only 15 undersea cables ○ Japan has 20, Singapore has 17 ○ Incentivize international corporations ○ Tunnel/Landline Project: Entanglement strategy ● Laws - Disincentivizing international support ○ Limits on foreign ownership and control of local firms ■ Telecommunications (49% directly held) ○ Metadata Sharing Law with Taiwan Government
  • 16. Weeks 7-9 7. ADDRESSING TAIWAN’S VULNERABILITIES ● Satellite initiative to provide digital resiliency during a conflict ○ Utilize static & dynamic ground network system ○ Prototype by 2023 | Operational by 2025 ● Ham radios provide short-range resilient communications ○ 100 km range & no reliance on ground stations ○ Used for hospitals & emergency services
  • 17. FINDING SOLUTIONS Week 10 Weeks 7, 8, 9 Tackling Taiwan We dive into our investigation on how Taiwan can harden its internet connection in the case of PRC invasion Week 6 Branching Out Combatting Chinese censorship abroad isn’t getting us anywhere, instead we turn attention to relevant current events Week 5 Time for a Change in Direction The Great Firewall is too tough with too little benefit to crack, instead we look at countering Chinese censorship influence abroad. Weeks 2, 3, 4 Initial investigation How can we possibly overcome the Great Firewall? Would doing so be productive? Week 1 Defining Original Problem Looking at secure, ubiquitous global access to the internet to circumvent censorship in authoritarian regimes (specifically China) Week 10 We have finally reached a point where we make suggestions on how to harden Taiwan’s internet connection
  • 18. Week 10 8. WINNING COMMUNICATION FOR TAIWAN 1. Harden Current Infrastructure 2. Commercial technology adoption 4. International institution strengthening 3. Policy solutions i. USG - TRA Representative ii. Taiwan internal
  • 19. 9. NEXT STEPS Sharing our final paper and findings: US State Department Taiwan Ministry of Digital Affairs Interested in exploring other topics in H4D