Australia adds critical tech focus in new regional cyber strategy | Artificial intelligence, facial recognition face curbs in new EU proposal | Facebook taking action against hackers in Palestine
Australia will bolster efforts to influence technology standards through diplomacy in a bid to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region under a new international cyber and critical technology engagement strategy. Foreign minister Marise Payne launched the strategy on Wednesday, pledging $37.5 million in additional funding to Australia’s vision for a “safe, secure and prosperous Australia, Indo-Pacific region and world enabled by cyberspace and critical technology”. iTnews
European officials want to limit police use of facial recognition and ban the use of certain kinds of AI systems, in one of the broadest efforts yet to regulate high-stakes applications of artificial intelligence. The Wall Street Journal
Today, we’re sharing actions we took against two separate groups of hackers in Palestine — a network linked to the Preventive Security Service (PSS) and a threat actor known as Arid Viper — removing their ability to use their infrastructure to abuse our platform, distribute malware and hack people’s accounts across the internet. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first public reporting of this PSS activity. Facebook
Leveraging technologies for peace and human rights
ICT in peacebuilding: In recent years, organizations have shown that they can produce tools for peacebuilding using big data from different sources. World Food Program's HungerMap monitors hunger incidents in "near real-time." Water, Peace, and Security uses ICTs to monitor water availability vis-à-vis incidents of conflict. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Xinjiang Data Project maps the mass internment camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in western China.
Visit ASPI's Xinjiang Data Project here.
Apple signals return of right-wing ‘free speech’ app Parler
The Sydney Morning Herald
Apple has reached an agreement with the right-wing social app Parler that could lead to its reinstatement in the company’s app store. Apple kicked out Parler in January over ties to the deadly siege on the US Capitol.
The world’s chip shortage could last until 2022
South China Morning Post
US-China tech war and Covid have complicated demand curve in a capital-intensive industry with global supply chains.
Australia adds critical tech focus in new regional cyber strategy
Australia will bolster efforts to influence technology standards through diplomacy in a bid to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region under a new international cyber and critical technology engagement strategy.
Australian internet speeds rubbished by China's deputy ambassador
China's most high-profile diplomat asks how Australian intelligence and security services have "the guts" to say Huawei technology poses a threat as he ramps up criticism of the call to ban the company from Australia's 5G networks.
Australian companies warned about doing business in China's Xinjiang
Australian Financial Review
The Morrison government could strengthen laws against forced labour following crackdowns by the UK, US and Canada against China's treatment of Uighurs.
Edutech: ByteDance invents entirely new product category with Dali Smart Lamp
Chinese tech company ByteDance has a history of innovation that includes creating the global cultural phenomenon that is TikTok. Now ByteDance has invented an entirely new product category with the Dali Smart Lamp (大力智能台灯), a desk light with a 5G-enabled phone and AI-powered camera that helps parents supervise their children’s homework remotely.
China-linked hackers used VPN flaw to target U.S. defense industry -researchers
At least two groups of China-linked hackers have spent months using a previously undisclosed vulnerability in American virtual private networking devices to spy on the U.S. defense industry, researchers and the devices' manufacturer said Tuesday.
China’s Twitter trolls make bid for vacant Trump property
As others have framed it, Trump’s communications approach was essentially that of an internet troll. And while it is now perhaps on the wane in the United States, there seems to be one group which has ironically chosen to double down on Trump-style public communication: China’s state media and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This phenomenon is most evident, appropriately, on Twitter.
How much Bitcoin comes from dirty coal? A flooded mine in China just spotlighted the issue
One of the great Bitcoin unknowns has long been the amounts being produced, or “mined,” in what’s believed to be the top locale for mining the signature cryptocurrency: China’s remote Xinjiang region. We got the answer when an immense coal mine in Xinjiang flooded and shut down over the weekend of April 17–18.
China starts large-scale testing of its internet of the future
South China Morning Post
China launched a large-scale experimental network in Beijing on Tuesday to test the future of internet technology over the next five to 10 years.
Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act' Would Ban Clearview and Warrantless Location Data Purchases
The sweeping bill has support from both Democrats and Republicans, and will address multiple forms of surveillance.
Biden picks technology expert and first Black woman to be the No. 2 U.S. intelligence official.
The New York Times
President Biden on Wednesday nominated Stacey A. Dixon, an expert in intelligence technology, to serve as the nation’s No. 2 intelligence official.
President Biden Announces Key Administration Nominations for National Security
The White House
Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Department of Defense, and Department of State.
FTC Nominee Khan Signals Support for Aggressive Approach on Big Tech
The Wall Street Journal
Lina Khan, a Big Tech critic nominated to a seat on the Federal Trade Commission, appeared on track to win confirmation after a hearing Wednesday showed she has broad Democratic support—and might win some Republican votes.
Ransomware Targeted by New Justice Department Task Force
The Wall Street Journal
The Justice Department has formed a task force to curtail the proliferation of ransomware cyberattacks, in a bid to make the popular extortion schemes less lucrative by targeting the entire digital ecosystem that supports them.
Spotify, Match Tell Senate Apple Is Abusing Power in App Store
During Senate hearing, Spotify and Match said Apple abuses its power over app developers, leveraging its user base; Spotify said the goal is to hurt rivals.
Recording of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing to examine competition in app stores, with testimony from Apple, Google, Spotify, Tile, and others
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights.
Tech giant Eric Schmidt warns China is catching up to U.S. in AI
In this episode of "Intelligence Matters," National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Chair and Former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt joins Michael Morell to discuss the importance of investing in artificial intelligence as a national security priority. Schmidt believes China is likely to catch up to the U.S. in a few years in its artificial intelligence capabilities. He outlines how intelligence and national defense can benefit from superiority in these technologies and the benefits of holding A.I. to American values.
Facebook Should Dial Down the Toxicity Much More Often
If the social-media giant can discourage hate speech and incitements to violence during Derek Chauvin’s trial, it can always do so.
Forced unemployment and second-class status: The life of Google's data center contractors
Contractors love the good pay and engaging work in Google's data centers. They resent that Google and its staffing firm, Modis Engineering, make them quit every two years.
Linux bans University of Minnesota for committing malicious code
In a rare, groundbreaking decision, Linux kernel project maintainers have imposed a ban on the University of Minnesota (UMN) from contributing to the open-source Linux project.
Taiwan’s chip investment shifts into hyperdrive
Taiwan’s semiconductor investment boom is moving into hyperdrive. Nanya Technology, the island’s leading memory chipmaker, said it plans to build a $10.7bn chip plant and Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, confirmed it was in talks to buy a leading speciality memory chipmaker.
Apple targeted in $50 million ransomware attack resulting in unprecedented schematic leaks
Apple has been targeted in a $50 million ransomware attack following the theft of a trove of engineering and manufacturing schematics of current and future products from Quanta, a Taiwan-based company that manufactures MacBooks.
TSMC's Expansion Challenge Told in 10 Timely Charts
Margins are being squeezed, a hot new category leads growth, and Mother Nature shows her power at the world’s most important chipmaker.
US-Japan partnership on 6G should co-opt the Quad and beyond
The timing is right—the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (or Quad) is gathering strategic momentum. It is curious, therefore, that a technological partnership between the US and Japan on 6G couldn’t expand to include India and Australia as security partners, and invite South Korea as a potential technology provider.
Read ASPI ICPC's "Critical technologies and the Indo-Pacific: A new India-Australia partnership" report here.
UK government orders investigation into Nvidia’s $40bn Arm takeover
The UK government has stepped in to order an investigation of Nvidia’s $40bn takeover of the Cambridge-based chip designer Arm, citing potential national security concerns. Oliver Dowden, the UK culture secretary, has written to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) instructing it to begin a “phase one” investigation into the deal, which was announced in September.
Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition Face Curbs in New EU Proposal
The Wall Street Journal
European officials want to limit police use of facial recognition and ban the use of certain kinds of AI systems, in one of the broadest efforts yet to regulate high-stakes applications of artificial intelligence.
TikTok sued on behalf of millions of European children over data concerns
Chinese video app TikTok is being sued for several billion pounds and accused of illegally collecting the personal information of millions of children in the UK and Europe. The case, backed by the former children’s commissioner of England Anne Longfield, claims TikTok collects a huge volume of children’s private information while using the app — including phone numbers, pictures, videos, their exact location and biometric data — and transfers this information to unknown third parties for profit.
Taking Action Against Hackers in Palestine
Today, we’re sharing actions we took against two separate groups of hackers in Palestine — a network linked to the Preventive Security Service (PSS) and a threat actor known as Arid Viper — removing their ability to use their infrastructure to abuse our platform, distribute malware and hack people’s accounts across the internet. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first public reporting of this PSS activity.
Palestinian Hackers Tricked Victims Into Installing iOS Spyware
The groups used social engineering techniques on Facebook to direct targets to a wide range of malware, including custom tools.
Google Turmoil Exposes Cracks Long in Making for Top AI Watchdog
@nicoagrant @dinabass @josheidelson
The ouster of lead researchers Gebru, Mitchell followed years of friction over how Google handled allegations of harassment and bias
Signal CEO Hacks Cellebrite iPhone Hacking Device Used By Cops
One of the biggest encrypted chat apps in the world just showed how a device used to decrypt messages can be hacked and tampered with.
Instagram launches tools to filter out abusive DMs based on keywords and emojis, and to block people, even on new accounts
Facebook and its family of apps have long grappled with the issue of how to better manage — and eradicate — bullying and other harassment on its platform, turning both to algorithms and humans in its efforts to tackle the problem better. In the latest development, today, Instagram is announcing some new tools of its own.
Apple’s $64 billion-a-year App Store isn’t catching the most egregious scams
A one-man Bunco Squad is poking holes in Apple’s App Store image.
Trust but verify: A narrative analysis of “trusted” tech supply chains
Supply chains for critical and emerging technologies face mounting scrutiny in the wake of two related disruptions — one precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the other by tensions between the world’s two largest economies, China and the US. Decades of efficiency-driven shifts that gave rise to the global supply chain have also made them fragile and riddled with bottlenecks. At the same time, the need to verify the “trustworthiness” of suppliers has created an added layer of scrutiny.
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 – Program Coordinator
The Coordinator’s primary focus will be the organisation and execution of ICPC’s sponsorship program. The Program Coordinator will work closely with internal and external stakeholders to maintain and develop these relationships. The coordinator will also support the Director and the Deputy Director with the coordination and delivery of ICPC's global research program. This will be a busy, fast-paced and varied role that would suit a highly organised and energetic individual who thinks and acts strategically.