Aussie High Court rules media responsible for Facebook comments | How the N.Y.P.D. is using post-911 tools on everyday New Yorkers | Italian police raid drone maker over alleged Chinese takeover

Follow us on Twitter. The Daily Cyber Digest focuses on the topics we work on, including cyber, critical technologies & strategic issues like foreign interference.

  • The High Court today found that, by running the Facebook pages, the media groups participated in communicating any defamatory material posted by third parties and are therefore responsible for the comments. ABC News

  • Two decades after the attack on New York City, the Police Department is using counterterrorism tools and tactics to combat routine street crime. The New York Times

  • An Italy-based defense firm that has supplied small drones to the country’s special forces was quietly and illegally purchased by Chinese state companies, Italian investigators have alleged. On Thursday, Italian financial crimes police raided the company, which one official named as Alpi Aviation. Defense News

ASPI ICPC

  • Read Buying and selling extremism here.

World

Internet Tech Standards Are the Next Human Rights Battleground
World Politics Review
@KateJones77 @etaylaw
Despite these risks, there is no automatic human rights protection or compliance requirement built into standardization processes. On the contrary, once a standard is agreed at an international organization such as the ITU, products meeting its specifications benefit from World Trade Organization protections and can thus be traded internationally even if they are blatantly not rights-compliant. If human rights are overlooked in the development of technical standards, standardization has the potential to sweep away protections of human rights and civil liberties carefully nurtured over the past 75 years.

How TikTok Serves Up Sex and Drug Videos to Minors
Wall Street Journal
@rob_barry @georgia_wells @johnwest @JoannaStern
An analysis of the videos served to these accounts found that through its powerful algorithms, TikTok can quickly drive minors—among the biggest users of the app—into endless spools of content about sex and drugs..An earlier video investigation by the Journal found that TikTok only needs one important piece of information to figure out what a user wants: the amount of time you linger over a piece of content. Every second you hesitate or re-watch, the app tracks you.

Australia

High Court rules media outlets are responsible for Facebook comments in landmark case
ABC News
@ElizabethJByrne
The High Court today found that, by running the Facebook pages, the media groups participated in communicating any defamatory material posted by third parties and are therefore responsible for the comments.

Frustrated with Australia’s vaccine booking systems, Ken built his own
Innovation Aus
@denhamsadler
After being frustrated with the “patchwork” vaccine booking platforms on offer from Australian governments, software engineer Ken Tsang decided to build his own. In doing so, he has already helped more than 300,000 Australians book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in just a month.

Drug regulator considering if website in Craig Kelly text breaches Criminal Code
Triple J Hack
@shalailah
The text message, which was sent out by the United Australia Party (UAP) and authorised by MP Craig Kelly, links to a website that uses the TGA's logo and out-of-context data from the authority on adverse reactions to COVID vaccines.

Surveillance, drones and kill switches: Abusers use technology to terrorise women
The Sydney Morning Herald
@jamesmassola
Technology has rapidly evolved to become one of the “greatest ways for domestic violence perpetrators to coercively control their partners” according to Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston.

Indigenous technology is often misunderstood. Here's how it can be part of everyday life
The Conversation
Although the pandemic is posing many problems for our modern, technological world, it also presents an opportunity to embrace ancient and valuable Indigenous knowledges and identify potential within them in different ways. The notion of Indigenous technology is one such opportunity.

  • Learn more about our IndigiCyber, Defence & Space Program here and here

Robodebt was technology 'beta testing' on most vulnerable citizens
Innovation Aus
@joseph_brookes
The robodebt scheme was an example of a government “beta testing” algorithms on its most vulnerable citizens and failed to properly account for fundamental principles of accuracy, accountability, and fairness, according to the former Australian human rights commissioner.

China

An $11 Billion Distraction for China's Chip Ambitions
Bloomberg
Beijing wants to boost its semiconductor prowess, but instead the nation’s leading company is doubling down on mediocre technology.

Chinese State Media Want People to Stop Using Internet Slang
VICE News
@violazhouyi
Beijing wants young Chinese to acquire its conventional linguistic taste.

Chinese authorities call in Tencent, NetEase, others for talk on gaming
South China Morning Post
@therealjoshye
Chinese gaming giants Tencent Holdings and NetEase were called in to meet with Chinese authorities on Wednesday to discuss how they will implement Beijing’s new restrictions on video gaming for minors, as the government seeks to avoid lax enforcement and workarounds by savvy teenage netizens.

China bans private tutors from giving online classes
Reuters
China on Wednesday banned private tutors from giving classes online or in unregistered venues such as residential buildings, hotels and coffee shops, ramping up its effort to stamp out all for-profit tutoring.

China chases 'rejuvenation' with control of tycoons, society
The Associated Press
@comradejoemcd
An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids.

USA

How the N.Y.P.D. Is Using Post-9/11 Tools on Everyday New Yorkers
The New York Times
@AliWatkins
Two decades after the attack on New York City, the Police Department is using counterterrorism tools and tactics to combat routine street crime.

Technology competition: We need more than just strategy
The Hill
@megan_lamberth @MartijnRasser
How U.S. leaders act in response will determine whether America maintains its status as the world's preeminent scientific and technological power, with all the advantages that confers, or descends on a slow glide path to mediocrity. Both outcomes are plausible. Status quo policies make the latter most likely. To maximize the potential for success, the United States must craft a new strategic approach to technology policy, one that promotes its strengths, protects its advantages, and capitalizes on its alliances and partnerships. The object should be to ensure that the United States achieve this without having to compromise its values or sovereignty.

Bipartisan Members Introduce The CISA Leadership Act
Congressman Andrew Garbarino
The bill would codify the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director’s tenure as a 5-year term and reaffirm that the position will be Presidentially appointed, and Senate confirmed.

SEC wants to regulate Coinbase’s crypto yield product, Coinbase disagrees
TechCrunch
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has reacted strongly to the company’s current relationship with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

North-East Asia

PayPal acquires Japan’s Paidy for $2.7B to crack the buy now, pay later market in Asia
TechCrunch
PayPal Holdings, the U.S. fintech company, announced an acquisition of Paidy, a Japanese buy now, pay later (BNPL) service platform, for approximately $2.7 billion (300 billion yen), mostly in cash, to enhance its business in Japan.

South-East Asia

Telenor's Myanmar sell-off mired in uncertainty
Nikkei Asia
Norwegian telecom giant Telenor Group remains stuck in Myanmar for now, despite its July announcement of the $105 million sale of its local business to Lebanese investment company M1 Group, as sources confirmed the military regime's reluctance to approve the deal.

New Zealand & The Pacific

New Zealand banks, post office hit by outages in apparent cyber attack
Reuters
Websites of a number of financial institutions in New Zealand and its national postal service were briefly down on Wednesday, with officials saying they were battling a cyber attack. The country's Computer Emergency Response Team said it was aware of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack targeting a number of organisations in the country.

UK

Study finds growing government use of sensitive data to ‘nudge’ behaviour
The Guardian
@alexhern
A new form of “influence government”, which uses sensitive personal data to craft campaigns aimed at altering behaviour has been “supercharged” by the rise of big tech firms, researchers have warned.

Facebook Slams U.K. Watchdog’s Call to Sell Giphy
Bloomberg
@aoifewhite101 @kathgemm
Facebook slammed the U.K.’s antitrust regulator over its provisional call that the tech giant would have to sell all of Giphy to address competition concerns, setting up a bitter fight over the completed deal.

Europe

Italian police raid drone maker over alleged Chinese takeover
Defense News
@tomkington
An Italy-based defense firm that has supplied small drones to the country’s special forces was quietly and illegally purchased by Chinese state companies, Italian investigators have alleged. On Thursday, Italian financial crimes police raided the company, which one official named as Alpi Aviation.

Germany complains to Moscow over pre-election phishing attacks on politicians
The Washington Post
@LovedayM
The German government called on Moscow on Monday to cease "illegal cyber-activities" immediately amid an increase in phishing attacks on politicians in the lead-up to pivotal parliamentary elections later this month. German officials raised concerns with their Russian counterparts last week after members of the federal and local parliaments were targeted, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Andrea Sasse told reporters Monday.

The Americas

Tech and geopolitics are on a collision course. Is Canada ready?
The Globe and Mail
@PhilipDawson @meo79
How governments protect and leverage their national assets in the global technology competition will increasingly determine which countries race ahead in the middle decades of the 21st century. And which ones lag behind.

Middle East

Hacking Team Customer in Turkey Was Arrested for Spying on Police Colleagues [or: The Spy Story That Spun a Tangled Web]
Zero Day
@KimZetter
An investigation that weaves a winding tale between police in Ankara who were charged with spying on their own colleagues... and the purchase of Hacking Team's surveillance software.

Misc

Wright tests its 2-megawatt electric engines for passenger planes
TechCrunch
Just like the automotive industry, aerospace has its sights set on going electric — but flying with battery-powered engines is a tougher proposition than rolling.

Cracking Open the Black Box: Promoting Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency Around High-Risk AI
New America
@spandi_s @LeilaDoty
Recent efforts to explore mechanisms for promoting fairness, accountability, and transparency (FAT) around algorithmic systems have failed to account for the fact that numerous accountability mechanisms must simultaneously be developed and leveraged in order to promote meaningful FAT around the deployment and use of these systems.

Events

Stronger together: how cyber defence alliances could create a stronger digital economy
ASPI ICPC
ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre is delighted to invite you to the webinar 'Stronger together: how cyber defence alliances could create a stronger digital economy'. At this webinar, panellists General (Ret.) Keith Alexander, former Director of the National Security Agency, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, and founder of IronNet; Abigail Bradshaw CSC, Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre; and Rachael Falk, CEO of the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, will join moderator Fergus Hanson to discuss the collective measures government, industry, and academia can take to combat cyber threats to the benefit of our digital security and the growth of our digital economy. 30 September 2021, 8:30 am - 9:30 am.

Building a More Inclusive Cyber Future
The Aspen Institute
Current diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, however well-meaning, have not adequately supported underrepresented groups in the cybersecurity field. Join the Aspen Tech Policy Hub and Aspen Digital on Thursday, September 9, at 9am PT/12pm ET for a discussion on “Building a More Inclusive Cyber Future,” in which we will release a new report on diversity in cybersecurity, detailing the findings from two expert roundtables convened in October 2020 and February 2021.

Research

Automated hiring software is mistakenly rejecting millions of viable job candidates
The Verge
@jjvincent
Automated resume-scanning software is contributing to a “broken” hiring system in the US, says a new report from Harvard Business School. Such software is used by employers to filter job applicants, but is mistakenly rejecting millions of viable candidates, say the study’s authors. It’s contributing to the problem of “hidden workers” — individuals who are able and willing to work, but remain locked out of jobs by structural problems in the labor market.

A Techno-Diplomacy Strategy for Telecommunications in the Indo-Pacific
ANU National Security College
This paper argues that the Quad has an opportunity to shape the telecommunications ecosystem in the Indo-Pacific so that key 5G and undersea cable infrastructure are more secure, resilient and open. The authors recommend that a concrete techno-diplomatic strategy – developed in partnership between Australia, the United States, India and Japan – will be key to ensuring that the future of the Indo-Pacific is free and open.

Can AI Write Disinformation?
Center for Security and Emerging Technology
In “Truth, Lies, and Automation,” CSET considered the degree to which GPT-3—the leading AI text generation system—can write credible content for disinformation campaigns. Now, join the authors of this seminal report to discuss its findings, implications and recommendations.

Jobs

New ICPC Program on Critical Technologies - 3 positions
ASPI ICPC
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for three exceptional and experienced senior analysts and analysts to join its large team from October 2021. These new roles will focus on original research, analysis and stakeholder engagement centred around international critical technology development, including analysis of which countries are leading on what technologies.

ICPC Pacific Islands Analyst - Information operations & disinformation
ASPI ICPC
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a talented and proactive Pacific Islands analyst who will work with the Centre’s information operations and disinformation program. The successful candidate will work with a small, high-performing team to produce original research and analysis centred around policy responses to information operations and disinformation by actors in the Pacific Islands region. They will also work with senior staff in the centre to engage globally with governments, social media and Internet companies. Candidates must have a demonstrated background in, and strong knowledge of, the Pacific Islands region, including the region’s digital, media and social media landscape.

ICPC Analyst & Project Manager - Coercive diplomacy
ASPI ICPC
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an Analyst and Project Manager to manage, and help lead, a project on coercive diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific region. This new role will focus on analysis, workshops and stakeholder engagement centred around coercive diplomacy, including how countries in the Indo-Pacific can work together to tackle this complicated policy challenge. Candidates must have excellent coordination, project management and stakeholder engagement skills.

ICPC Senior Analyst or Analyst - China
ASPI ICPC
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for exceptional and experienced China-focused senior analysts or analysts to join its centre. This role will focus on original research and analysis centred around the (growing) range of topics which our ICPC China team work on. Our China team produces some of the most impactful and well-read policy-relevant research in the world, with our experts often being called upon by politicians, governments, corporates and civil society actors to provide briefings and advice. Analysts usually have at least 5 years, often 7-10 years’ of work experience. Senior analysts usually have a minimum of 15 years relevant work experience and, in addition to research, they take on a leadership role in the centre and tend to be involved in staff and project management, fundraising and stakeholder engagement.

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