HomeTechChina an ‘epoch-defining challenge,’ new UK spy boss warns

China an ‘epoch-defining challenge,’ new UK spy boss warns


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“Russia and Iran pose immediate threats. But China is the epoch-defining challenge,” Keast-Butler said.

“We now devote more resource to China than any other single mission,” she told the CyberUK conference in Birmingham. “Through their coercive and destabilizing actions, the PRC (People’s Republic of China) poses a significant risk to international norms and values.

“In cyberspace, we believe that the PRC’s irresponsible actions weaken the security of the internet for all. China has built an advanced set of cyber capabilities and is taking advantage of a growing commercial ecosystem of hacking outfits and data brokers at its disposal.”

Keast-Butler welcomed China’s attendance at the U.K.’s AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park last November, but added: “The PRC is looking to shape global technology standards in its own favor, seeking to assert its dominance within the next 10 to 15 years.”

Her comments came as Chinese and U.S. officials were due to hold a high-level dialogue on the risks and international governance of artificial intelligence in Geneva on Tuesday, according to senior U.S. officials.

The first female director of GCHQ, who took on the role last year, also warned Russia had adapted its cyber threat to work with “non-state” actors.

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