Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Fergus Hanson

Fergus Hanson was the Program Director for Polling at the Lowy Institute and produced the Institute’s flagship Lowy Institute Poll since 2008.

He was the 2011 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Professional Fulbright scholar based at Georgetown University. He worked at DFAT from 2004 to 2007 and served at the Australian Embassy in The Hague from 2005 to 2007 where he was responsible for Australia’s relations with five international legal organisations.

Prior to joining DFAT he was a fellow at Cambridge University’s Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law. Fergus has also studied at Sydney and Uppsala universities.

Fergus was a Vasey Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Pacific Forum from November 2010 to January 2011. He is a frequent commentator in the Australian and international media.

Articles by Fergus Hanson (11)

  • New cyber threat report has warnings for all of us

    The newly released Australian Cyber Security Centre Threat Report  contains some fascinating tit-bits and telegraphing of messages. It's the Centre's second report but the first since the Government released its Cyber Security Strategy. Here are my takeaways: 1. Diverting from the approach of our major ally, the US, the report makes clear Australia does not see value in naming and shaming state this stage.
  • What the G20 can do to advance cyber norms

    The internet is now so central to the world economy (McKinsey estimates it contributed US$2.8 trillion to world GDP in 2014) we forget how weak the norms are governing behaviour online. In several areas these behaviours threaten to degrade and limit the internet’s future contribution to global growth. Happily the G20 has recently begun to weigh in.
  • Australia's new cyber strategy leaked: Catching up rather than out front

    Somewhat awkwardly, Australia's new cyber security strategy was leaked online Monday, pointing to the hard work ahead. The review will be Australia's first update since 2009. Then Minister for Decence, John Faulkner, at the opening of the Cyber Security Operations Centre in Canberra, January 2010 The update is well overdue. There are gaping holes requiring attention, several of which appear to be covered in the strategy.
  • If it looks and acts like an oligopoly ... the power of Facebook and other online elite

    Fergus Hanson is author of Internet Wars: The Struggle for Power in the 21st Century. This is the final installment in a series. Part 1 examined economic cyber espionage; part 2 cyber war; and part 3 citizen activism  Internet mythology suggests the online world is the sort of free market paradise Adam Smith would have hyperventilated over. But what if the opposite were true: could the internet be prone towards monopoly or oligopoly?
  • Organising millions online: The growing power of digital activism

    Fergus Hanson is author of Internet Wars: The Struggle for Power in the 21st Century. Part 1 of this series looked at economic cyber espionage; part 2 at cyber war. The next and final part in this series examines economic chokepoints. The internet has presented the masses with radical new ways to aggregate their voice in order to exert influence on decision makers.
  • Waging war in peacetime: Cyber attacks and international norms

    Fergus Hanson is author of Internet Wars: The Struggle for Power in the 21st Century. This post is part of a series that will also examine citizen activism and control of economic chokepoints. It was only mid-2009 when the US Secretary of Defense ordered the establishment of a dedicated Cyber Command. Now more than 100 countries have military and intelligence cyber warfare units.
  • 'The greatest transfer of wealth in history': Meeting the threat of economic cyber espionage

    Fergus Hanson is author of Internet Wars: The Struggle for Power in the 21st Century. This post on economic cyber espionage (parts of which were also included in an article for the Brookings Institution) is part of a series that will also examine citizen activism, control of economic chokepoints, and cyber warfare. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said 'We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by our friend'.
  • Countering ISIS online

    When you look at the global response to the threat of ISIS, a glaring gap is the cyber domain. The internet has been critical to the terrorist group's success. It allows it to communicate unfiltered to the rest of the world, for onward mass dissemination by the media. It helps the group radicalise and recruit fighters and financiers.