Abuse of cybercrime measures taints UN talks | Oversight Board upholds Facebook’s decision to suspend Trump’s accounts | Police called as NSW Labor hit by cyber raid
A possible global treaty to address cybercrime risks legitimizing abusive practices and could be used as an excuse to silence government critics and undermine privacy in many countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments will kick off the process for a global cybercrime treaty, first proposed by the Russian government, at the United Nations on May 10, 2021. Human Rights Watch
Today, the Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s suspension of former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. As we stated in January, we believe our decision was necessary and right, and we’re pleased the board has recognized that the unprecedented circumstances justified the exceptional measure we took. Facebook
An apparent cyber attack on NSW Labor has been referred to police, with the hackers threatening to release stolen information including images of passports, driver’s licences and employment contracts. The group that claimed responsibility has given the party 10 days to pay a ransom, after which it would publish the allegedly stolen data. Australian Financial Review
Challenges for the US and Australia in the grey zone
The Australian grey-zone experience is mostly about China—although a recent ABC Four Corners report explored the extent of Russian information and intimidation operations among the Russian diaspora in Australia. And while Russia has been a relatively noisy grey-zone actor against NATO allies, Chinese grey-zone efforts are better funded, more widespread and highly integrated, warns Wallis. China has a lot more capacity than Russia, and its grey-zone efforts span economic coercion, cyberattacks, political and media influence campaigns, science and technology talent recruitment, and direct targeting of corporations that cross Beijing’s red lines.
Abuse of Cybercrime Measures Taints UN Talks
Human Rights Watch
A possible global treaty to address cybercrime risks legitimizing abusive practices and could be used as an excuse to silence government critics and undermine privacy in many countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments will kick off the process for a global cybercrime treaty, first proposed by the Russian government, at the United Nations on May 10, 2021.
Preparing for a World of Holocaust Deepfakes
To date, social media platforms have predominantly focused on how deepfakes threaten to impact our politics. When no malicious deepfake went viral before the 2020 U.S. election, these platforms breathed a collective sigh of relief. But they did see plenty of low-tech content that they defined as misleading or manipulated media. When these technology companies attempted to counter this phenomenon with new policies on synthetic media, it often did more to expose the limits of their judgment than the effectiveness of their oversight.
Read our report 'Weaponised deep fakes' here.
Police called as NSW Labor hit by cyber raid
Australian Financial Review
@ronmjm Max Mason
An apparent cyber attack on NSW Labor has been referred to police, with the hackers threatening to release stolen information including images of passports, driver’s licences and employment contracts. The group that claimed responsibility has given the party 10 days to pay a ransom, after which it would publish the allegedly stolen data.
‘You have 240 hours to co-operate’: Cyber attackers demand ransom from NSW Labor
The Sydney Morning Herald
Global cyber criminals have given the NSW Labor Party 10 days to pay a ransom after gaining access to its computer network in a major cyber attack.
Software tax breaks in $1.2b digital strategy
Australian Financial Review
Business will be allowed to depreciate software, patents, designs, copyrights and other so-called intangible assets more quickly, as part of a $1.2 billion expansion of the government’s digital economy strategy to be incorporated in the May 11 budget.
Online overhaul: here are all the ways the government wants to change how you use technology
The federal government is quietly preparing a raft of laws that would fundamentally change how technology is used in Australia. These wide-ranging digital reforms include everything from giving an unelected government official the right to censor apps and websites, to giving senior police the power to sign warrants that would allow them to take over your social media accounts. Here are the biggest things happening right now in Australia’s tech law space.
Tech talent crunch hits home amid border closures
Australian Financial Review
Technology companies are having to take extreme, and increasingly expensive measures to find talent, as they are forced to grapple with a worsening talent shortage after more than a year of border closures. Prior to COVID-19, more than 100,000 migrants came to Australia each year under the skilled migration program, but this was put on hold last year when the pandemic triggered mass border closures.
Politics with Michelle Grattan: former ASIO head David Irvine on the cyber threats Australia faces
“The warfare of the 21st century” is going to be “fought in cyberspace before kinetic shots are fired” says leading national security expert David Irvine. And perhaps the fight has already begun, with Australia’s institutions, businesses, and citizens subject to a near constant barrage of cyber attacks.
China pressured EU to drop COVID disinformation criticism: sources
@razhael @rdfemmott @jc_stubbs
China sought to block a European Union report alleging that Beijing was spreading disinformation about the coronavirus outbreak, according to four sources and diplomatic correspondence reviewed by Reuters. The report was eventually released, albeit just before the start of the weekend Europe time and with some criticism of the Chinese government rearranged or removed, a sign of the balancing act Brussels is trying to pull off as the coronavirus outbreak scrambles international relations.
As Cars Go Electric, China Builds a Big Lead in Factories
The New York Times
Fueled with money from Wall Street and local officials, automakers plan to build eight million electric cars a year there, more than Europe and North America combined.
G7 takes aim at China over Taiwan Strait
The G7 also urged China to “act responsibly in cyber space,” including refraining from intellectual property theft; end practices that “undermine” free trade; and stop human rights abuses against both the Uyghurs in Xinjiang region, and the people of Tibet.
Oversight Board Upholds Facebook’s Decision to Suspend Donald Trump’s Accounts
Today, the Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s suspension of former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. As we stated in January, we believe our decision was necessary and right, and we’re pleased the board has recognized that the unprecedented circumstances justified the exceptional measure we took.
British Political Veteran Steers Facebook’s Trump Decision
The New York Times
When Facebook barred President Donald J. Trump from its service in January, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, defended the decision in a Facebook post the morning after the siege of the Capitol. But the first draft was written the night before by Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister who leads the company’s public affairs.
Trump, Republicans express outrage over extension of Facebook ban
The Washington Post
Former president Donald Trump and other Republicans expressed outrage Wednesday over the Facebook Oversight Board’s decision to extend Trump’s ban from the social media platform — and at least one House lawmaker threatened that the company will “pay the price.”
It's Not Over. The Oversight Board's Trump Decision is Just the Start.
By now, you will have read that on Wednesday the Facebook Oversight Board (FOB) upheld Facebook’s Jan. 7 restriction on former President Donald Trump’s account, largely on the basis of the ongoing violence at the time of the posts that led to the ban. But the FOB did not settle the matter for once and for all: It punted the question of what to do with the account now back to Facebook.
Facebook's Trump ban stands, but Oversight Board decision opens door to return
The Facebook Oversight Board could have just changed the entire game for content moderation — and, potentially, the fate of the internet as we know it.
Trump Is Mark Zuckerberg’s Problem. Again.
The New York Times
Facebook’s Oversight Board on Wednesday upheld the social network’s temporary suspension of Donald Trump but declined to decide when, or whether, that ban should be lifted. The decision dashed the former president’s hopes for a swift reinstatement by a body charged with reviewing the platform’s content moderation practices. But it also sent a message that the scope of the board’s power is limited and that the ultimate responsibility for these questions still lies with Mark Zuckerberg and company.
‘Gary walked right through’: Woman’s Facebook posts allegedly placed husband in Capitol riot
The Washington Post
The woman’s since-deleted posts, captured in screenshots that were later shared with the FBI, led authorities to Gary Edwards of Southampton, Pa., who was arrested Tuesday and charged in federal court in connection with the insurrection, records show.
South & Central Asia
No Huawei in 5G is a start, No China in critical infrastructure should be next
Observer Research Foundation
Missing from the list of five companies shortlisted for 5G trials in India is the most controversial and the most intrusive—China’s Huawei. After hemming and hawing for years, frustrating the national security fraternity of India and leading to several debates on whether Chinese companies should be allowed into India’s 5G, New Delhi has finally aligned itself with Washington, London, Rome, Canberra, and most of the EU to keep its networks safe and intrusion-free.
China expresses ‘concern, regret’ over India’s 5G exclusion
China on Wednesday expressed “concern and regret” at India’s move to not include Chinese telecommunication firms among the companies permitted this week to conduct trials for the use of 5G technology. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, speaking at a Global Dialogue Series event in London, reiterated India’s view on Wednesday that it is “not realistic” to have good relations in other domains when there was tension on the border. Mr. Jaishankar did not specifically mention the 5G issue, but said broadly on India’s view on the relationship: “I can’t have friction, coercion, intimidation, and bloodshed on the border, and then say let us have a good relationship in other domains. It is not realistic.”
Iran ‘peddling disinformation’ to influence Scottish election
Iran is peddling disinformation in an attempt to swing the Scottish parliamentary elections in favour of pro-independence parties to destabilise the UK, a report has warned. Cyber specialists acting on behalf of the Iranian regime are targeting voters on Facebook and Twitter by creating fake accounts, groups and pages, according to a study by the Henry Jackson Society think tank.
China Faces Tougher Rules on Its European Deals Spree
The Wall Street Journal
The European Union plans to unveil draft rules on Wednesday aimed at cracking down on state-subsidized foreign companies in Europe, a move that could allow regulators to pursue big Chinese companies in much the same way they have targeted U.S. multinationals such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
G7 to consider mechanism to counter Russian 'propaganda', UK's Raab says
The Group of Seven richest countries will look at a proposal to build a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian "propaganda" and disinformation, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters.
Scammer Used Fake Court Order to Take Over Dark Web Drug Market Directory
A scammer used a fake court order to convince a domain registrar to transfer ownership of a domain that lists dark web drug markets, and then used that to point the sites to their own copies of the markets designed to steal peoples' bitcoin.
The global chip shortage is a much bigger problem than everyone realised. And it will go on for longer, too
Experts anticipate the global shortage of semiconductors to last another two years. This is what it could mean for you.
Twitter begins to show prompts before people send 'mean' replies
The tech company tested the prompts last year and said they led to fewer offensive replies on its service. So, it's rolling them out widely.
Qualys researchers uncover 21 bugs in Exim mail servers
Researchers have found 21 unique vulnerabilities in Exim, a popular mail transfer agent, some of which would allow hackers to run full remote unauthenticated code execution against targets, the Qualys Research Team announced Tuesday.
Peloton’s leaky API let anyone grab riders’ private account data
This report identifies and scrutinizes the main narratives that the Chinese propaganda apparatus is spreading about vaccines from China. It is a software- empowered analysis of 12,000 articles in Chinese state media, fact-checking of prominent stories, and decoding of the Communist Party’s terminology.
Webinar: In-Conversation with Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner
ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre is delighted to invite you to the webinar ‘In-Conversation with Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner’. With legislation proposed to increase the broad powers of the eSafety Commissioner to tackle adult cyber abuse and image-based abuse, the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant joins ASPI ICPC Senior Analyst, Tom Uren to provide an overview of the eSafety Commissioner’s role and functions and what these new powers may mean. Join us 12pm on 14 May.
ICPC Analyst or Senior Analyst - Cyber & technology
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an exceptional cyber-security or technology focused analyst or senior analyst to join its centre in 2021. Candidates must have the ability to synthesis complex cyber and technology developments and explain these developments to media and key stakeholders in plain language. The ability to engage with and brief seniors across parliaments, governments, civil society and the business community.
International Cyber Policy Centre – Strategic engagement, program & research coordinator
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding early career role for a talented and proactive individual to support senior centre staff on strategic engagement, program and research coordination.