Australia passes Magnitsky laws, targets human rights abusers | Facebook reveals takedown of global disinformation networks | Google bans political advertising ahead of Philippine elections
Australia will now be able to ban human rights abusers, corrupt officials and malicious cyber hackers from the country and seize their assets, no matter where they come from, with the Federal Parliament on Thursday to pass historic laws which go further than any other country. The Sydney Morning Herald
Facebook on Wednesday said it took down disinformation networks tied to a broad swath of political actors and events around the world, including militant group Hamas, Chinese state groups and the immigration crisis along the Belarus-Poland border. The company also removed accounts run by anti-vaccine groups that were using evolving tactics to attack doctors in Europe. The Washington Post
Google said on Wednesday it will ban political advertising on its platform in the run-up to Philippine elections in May next year to choose a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte. Reuters
Cybersecurity in the Pacific: Regional in nature, local in practice
Global Cyber Expertise Magazine
Bart Hogeveen & Cherie Lagakali
In the past year, the GFCE team in the Pacific has prepared a context analysis of cyber capacity building in the region and prepared a recommendation for a potential GFCE role.
Cracks appear in West’s 5G strategy after Huawei
After banding together to boot Chinese telecoms out of critical networks, the United States and Europe are struggling to agree on what 5G should look like without China's input.
Australia can ban human rights abusers, cyber attackers as Magnitsky laws set to pass
The Sydney Morning Herald
Australia will now be able to ban human rights abusers, corrupt officials and malicious cyber hackers from the country and seize their assets, no matter where they come from, with the Federal Parliament on Thursday to pass historic laws which go further than any other country.
Australia Stops Criminals from Stealing Over $17M from Pension Funds
Australian authorities say they prevented cyber criminals from stealing over US$17 million from the country’s pension funds and launched a series of actions to stop further offshore money transfers, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) reported on Monday.
China Plans to Ban Loophole Used by Tech Firms for Foreign IPOs
John Liu, David Morris, & Edwin Chan
China is planning to ban companies from going public on foreign stock markets through variable interest entities, according to people familiar with the matter, closing a loophole long used by the country’s technology industry to raise capital from overseas investors.
Chinese Regulator Denies Reports of VIE Listing Ban
Yue Yue & Denise Jia
China’s securities regulator denied media reports that the watchdog plans to ban companies from going public on overseas stock markets through variable interest entities (VIEs). An official from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said Wednesday that the regulator has noticed the media reports, which are “not true.”
Leaked Documents Detail Xi Jinping’s Extensive Role in Xinjiang Crackdown
The Wall Street Journal
A panel of lawyers and activists in the U.K. has published what it describes as leaked Chinese government documents that shed additional light on the role leader Xi Jinping played in directing the Communist Party’s campaign of forcible assimilation against religious minorities in the country’s northwestern region of Xinjiang.
China Mobile, Huawei's top customer, seeks open RAN diversity
As awkward as it may be for US hawks, China wields enormous influence over the development of open RAN. More than 40 Chinese companies are listed on the membership pages of the O-RAN Alliance, the group that develops open RAN specifications. Only the US is better represented. And China Mobile, the world's biggest operator, has been there from the start. A founding member, it is one of five companies to hold veto rights.
Facebook reveals broad takedown of global disinformation networks, including some tied to anti-vaccine groups and state actors
The Washington Post
Facebook on Wednesday said it took down disinformation networks tied to a broad swath of political actors and events around the world, including militant group Hamas, Chinese state groups and the immigration crisis along the Belarus-Poland border. The company also removed accounts run by anti-vaccine groups that were using evolving tactics to attack doctors in Europe.
Facebook, Instagram remove Chinese network over fake 'Swiss biologist' COVID claims
James Pearson & Elizabeth Culliford
Facebook owner Meta said on Wednesday it had removed accounts used by an influence operation originating in China that promoted claims of a fake “Swiss biologist” saying the United States was interfering in the search for Covid-19’s origins.
Facebook reverses Kyle Rittenhouse search policy
Facebook has reversed a decision to block searches on its platform for a US teenager who was acquitted of killing two people during unrest in Wisconsin.
Meta explains its approach to user safety following delayed rollout of end-to-end encryption
Meta (formerly Facebook) recently announced its plans to delay the rollout of end-to-end encryption across its messaging service until sometime in 2023, citing concerns from child safety advocates who warned the change would shield abusers from detection. Today, the company offered more details about how it plans to approach the need for harm prevention alongside the eventual rollout of end-to-end encryption.
FBI document shows what data can be obtained from encrypted messaging apps
The Record by Recorded Future
A recently discovered FBI training document shows that US law enforcement can gain limited access to the content of encrypted messages from secure messaging services like iMessage, Line, and WhatsApp, but not to messages sent via Signal, Telegram, Threema, Viber, WeChat, or Wickr.
Judge Orders Google to Disclose Secret Anti-Union Documents
Lauren Kaori Gurley
The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Google must “immediately” produce more than 70 subpoenaed documents related to its anti-union campaign.
Space Force General: China and Russia attacking U.S. space assets ‘every day’
The Washington Post
While Washington officials and experts warn of the risks of an arms race in space, the United States’ adversaries are constantly conducting operations against U.S. satellites that skirt the line between intelligence operations and acts of war. The pace of conflict is intensifying, according to a top Space Force general, who said that China could overtake the United States to become the number one power in space by the end of the decade.
U.S. vs. China: The Design, Tech Behind Military Drones
The Wall Street Journal
China is expanding its military arsenal with new drones, including stealth versions and those that can swarm and drop bombs. WSJ compares the tech and design of these drones with their U.S. counterparts to see how Beijing is equipping its military for possible future conflict.
Twitch launches tool to catch channel ban evaders
Twitch is launching a tool to detect users who try to access channels where they have been banned, it said on Tuesday.
How Disinformation Corrodes Democracy
President Joe Biden will convene the inaugural Summit for Democracy in early December. His administration intends the gathering to signal the end of the era of democratic backsliding and creeping authoritarianism ushered in by its predecessor and to insist to the world that the United States—with its steadfast moral convictions and values and its exemplary status as a “city upon a hill” after which other countries can model themselves—is back.
On Ransomware, Cyber Command Should Take a Backseat
Over the past month, the Biden Administration has achieved some needed momentum in the fight against ransomware. As attention to ransomware grows, however, policymakers must avoid the temptation to overmilitarize the U.S. response. Investment in anti-ransomware operations at the Department of Defense’s Cyber Command should be balanced with investment that develops the capabilities of other federal law enforcement agencies, which have already carried out vital anti-ransomware activities.
Japan keen to speed up digital yen launch as China adds geopolitical twist
Japan's new political leadership is calling on the country's financial bureaucrats to ramp up efforts toward issuing a digital currency, pointing to China's far quicker progress as a potential challenge to the global economic order.
Google to ban political advertising ahead of Philippine election
Google said on Wednesday it will ban political advertising on its platform in the run-up to Philippine elections in May next year to choose a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Tech regulation leads the agenda at UK G7 forum
Governments, tech leaders and policymakers discussed working together to ensure the internet remains open and democratic, and to improve online safety by better regulation at a conference in London, a British minister said.
UK signs series of international digital agreements at first Future Tech Forum
UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Event sees end of UK G7 Digital and Tech Presidency and will see joint statement on digital issued celebrating progress.
Clearview AI told to stop processing UK data as ICO warns of possible fine
Controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI is facing a potential fine in the UK. It has also been handed a provisional notice to stop further processing of UK citizens’ data and to delete any data it already holds as a result of what the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) described as “alleged serious breaches” of national data protection law.
Court Throws Out Messages Obtained by FBI Honeypot Phone Company Anom
On Tuesday a Finnish court ruled that chat messages secretly gathered by the FBI from encrypted phone company Anom can’t be used as evidence against two particular suspects, according to a report from Finnish outlet Iltalehti. Although the ruling only directly addresses the prosecution of two people, the ruling could have a knock-on effect on other prosecutions against other alleged criminals who used Anom phones.
Cyberattacks on Russian resources have grown several times since 2020 — Putin
The number of cyberattacks against Russian cyber-resources has grown several times since last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the plenary meeting of the VTB Capital’s investment forum Russia Calling! on Tuesday.
Hackers targeting and stealing billions from Iranian citizens in texting scheme
Financially motivated hackers likely based in Iran are successfully targeting and stealing billions in currency from Iranian civilians through a texting campaign, new research released Wednesday found.
Those Cute Cats Online? They Help Spread Misinformation
The New York Times
A mainstay of the internet is regularly used to build audiences for people and organizations pushing false and misleading information.
Cutting a Banksy Into 10,000 (Digital) Pieces
The New York Times
In the latest example of art market disruption, a prominent former auction executive teamed up with cryptocurrency experts in May to purchase the 2005 Banksy painting “Love Is in the Air” for $12.9 million and now plans to sell off 10,000 pieces of it as NFTs, or nonfungible tokens.
Microsoft Edge buy now pay later scheme met with criticism
Microsoft is under fire from angry users after announcing plans for a built-in ""buy now pay later"" function in its Edge web browser. Such schemes let buyers divide payments into smaller chunks over time - but have been criticised for their risk of users getting into debt.
China's Fintech Future
China is where you’ll find ubiquitous payment via QR codes, credit ratings built from whole cloth by Big Tech using Big Data and a central bank digital currency with use cases well beyond China’s borders. How will China shape the future of fintech in the medium and long term — and what does that mean for the existing financial system? In this event, we’ll talk about Beijing’s latest moves to test the CBDC, what we know already about how the CBDC does (and doesn’t) work and in-country Fintech innovations we should adopt globally.
Democratizing harm: Artificial intelligence in the hands of nonstate actors
Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have lowered the barrier to entry for both its constructive and destructive uses. Just a few years ago, only highly resourced states and state-sponsored groups could develop and deploy AI-empowered drones, cyberattacks, or online information operations. Low-cost, commercial off-the-shelf AI means that a range of nonstate actors can increasingly adopt these technologies.
Inside the conspiratorial movement waging a cross-platform 'psychological warfare' campaign against Covid-19 vaccine advocates
On Dec. 1, Meta said it had removed an “adversarial network” of authentic, duplicate, and fake accounts on Facebook linked to a group known as the V_V movement. The network originated in Italy and France, and was used by anti-vaccine activists to harass specific individuals, as well as spread Covid-19 conspiracies and health misinformation. This report aims to contribute to the basis for an informed discussion about how to tackle those challenges by providing an in-depth understanding of the V_V movement, its activities, and organizational structure.
ICPC Senior Analyst or Analyst - China
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.