Biden to announce US, UK & Australia co-operation on hypersonic weapons | Shutdown of Russia's Hydra market disrupts a crypto-crime ATM | Top EU court says phone data cannot be held 'indiscriminately'
The US, UK and Australia will co-operate on the development of hypersonic weapons, expanding a trilateral security pact designed to help Washington and its allies respond to China’s rapid expansion of its military. Financial Times
The seizure of the Russian-language dark-web site Hydra may have ripple effects that go further than most: It represents a disruption of not just the post-Soviet world's biggest hub of online narcotics sales, but also of a cybercriminal money-laundering and cash-out service that had been used in crimes with victims across the globe. WIRED
The European Union's top court ruled on Tuesday that national authorities cannot retain phone data in a "general and indiscriminate" manner, but could use specific information to tackle some very serious crime. Reuters
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Biden to announce US, UK and Australia co-operation on hypersonic weapons
The US, UK and Australia will co-operate on the development of hypersonic weapons, expanding a trilateral security pact designed to help Washington and its allies respond to China’s rapid expansion of its military…The agreement comes as the Pentagon steps up efforts on hypersonic weapons after recognising that China has leapt ahead in development of the technology. China has conducted several hundred tests of hypersonic missiles, which fly at more than five times the speed of sound. That is far more than the US military, which has carried out less than a dozen tests…In a recent interview with the FT Admiral John Aquilino, head of Indo-Pacific Command, and General James Dickinson, head of Space Command, said the US and Australia were boosting co-operation in space and cyber, partly because of the growing concern about Chinese hypersonic weapons.
Ukraine - Russia
Shutdown of Russia's Hydra Market Disrupts a Crypto-Crime ATM
On the dark web, the takedown of yet another cryptocurrency-based black market for drugs has become almost a semiannual routine, with plenty of competitors ready to fill the shoes of any market law enforcement manages to bust. But the seizure of the Russian-language dark-web site Hydra may have ripple effects that go further than most: It represents a disruption of not just the post-Soviet world's biggest hub of online narcotics sales, but also of a cybercriminal money-laundering and cash-out service that had been used in crimes with victims across the globe.
Release of Ukraine Intelligence Represents New Front in U.S. Information War With Russia
The Wall Street Journal
Warren P. Strobel
As Russian troops amassed at Ukraine’s border in early December, White House officials pored over multiple versions of a highly classified map that detailed Moscow’s burgeoning military presence. The administration provided a version of the map and accompanying text to the Washington Post, which published it online Dec. 3, just days before a tense phone call between President Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The release of the map—a blend of secrets gathered by U.S. spy agencies and commercially available satellite images—kicked off a virtually unprecedented effort by the Biden administration to use U.S. intelligence to shape the battlefield of Europe’s bloodiest conflict in decades.
Hackers flood internet with what they say are Russian companies' files
The leaks are part of a larger ecosystem of amateurs trying to help Ukraine’s war efforts with their own keyboards.
Hackers’ Fake Claims of Ukrainian Surrender Aren’t Fooling Anyone. So What’s Their Goal?
The New York Times
Experts say the hackers’ intentions might not be to actually trick anyone, but to erode confidence in Ukrainian media outlets and institutions.
Russia's FSB malign activity: factsheet
UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Russia is one of the world’s most prolific cyber actors and dedicate significant resource into conducting cyber operations around the globe. The UK government has publicly attributed malign cyber activity to parts of three Russian Intelligence services: the FSB, SVR and GRU, with each having their own remits.
Yoel Roth @yoyoelBeginning today, we will require the removal of Tweets posted by government or state-affiliated media accounts which share media that depict prisoners of war in the context of the war in Ukraine. https://t.co/WJ336RM8Gz.
Labor unveils $20m plan to use Australia Post trucks to find rural mobile coverage blackspots
Australia Post trucks would be used to find mobile signal blackspots under Labor’s plan to conduct a $20m independent audit of mobile coverage if it wins the federal election. Speaking at a National Farmers’ Federation conference on Tuesday, the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, unveiled the party’s regional telecommunications policy, including fitting mobile signal measurement devices on Australia Post trucks.
Arrest Data Show National Security Law Has Dealt a Hard Blow to Free Expression in Hong Kong
Eric Yan-ho Lai and Thomas Kellogg
The Georgetown Center for Asian Law has tracked every NSL-related arrest since July 1, 2020. (Our data include all NSL arrests, as well as other arrests conducted by the NSD for non-NSL offenses. We refer to these cases as national security cases, national security arrests, or alleged national security crimes.) Our data show that the NSD has broadened the types of speech it considers dangerous, enhanced its legal toolkit for repression, and regularly detained people for extended periods with minimal judicial oversight. The NSL’s enforcement has weakened Hong Kong’s civil society sector in ways that extend beyond the plight of individuals caught in its maw.
Why China’s CIPS Matters (and Not for the Reasons You Think)
Payment systems are the plumbing of international finance. As the U.S. and its allies block Russia from a major part of global financial plumbing, China’s Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) has been receiving increasing attention. Many observers have wondered whether CIPS and other Chinese channels could provide a replacement not just for trade with China but also for transactions with other countries. For now, this looks like a stretch. But over the long term, participation in CIPS might be an indicator of China’s growing financial power.
Leaked: New Amazon worker chat app would ban words like "union," "restrooms," "pay raise," and "plantation"
Amazon will block and flag employee posts on a planned internal messaging app that contain keywords pertaining to labor unions, according to internal company documents reviewed by The Intercept. An automatic word monitor would also block a variety of terms that could represent potential critiques of Amazon’s working conditions, like “slave labor,” “prison,” and “plantation,” as well as “restrooms” — presumably related to reports of Amazon employees relieving themselves in bottles to meet punishing quotas.
The FBI is spending millions on social media tracking software
Social media users seemed to foreshadow the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — and the FBI apparently missed it. Now, the FBI is doubling down on tracking social media posts, spending millions of dollars on thousands of licenses to powerful social media monitoring technology that privacy and civil liberties advocates say raise serious concerns.
Trump’s Truth Social in trouble as financial, technical woes mount
Here’s a truth former president Donald Trump doesn’t want to hear: His social network, Truth Social, has begun to implode.
Top EU court says phone data cannot be held 'indiscriminately'
The European Union's top court ruled on Tuesday that national authorities cannot retain phone data in a "general and indiscriminate" manner, but could use specific information to tackle some very serious crime. The court ruled on a case brought by the Supreme Court in Ireland where a man sentenced in 2015 to life imprisonment for murder appealed, saying the court of first instance had wrongly admitted traffic and location data of telephone calls as evidence.
German Police Shut Down $1.3 Billion Illegal Darknet Firm
Law enforcement seized server infrastructure and 543 Bitcoins. Hydra Market platform had about 17 million client accounts.
The digital government agenda North America needs
Anne-Marie Slaughter and Alberto Rodriguez Alvarez
In Ukraine today and in many other conflicts around the world, the digital domain has become a battleground for cyberattacks and information warfare. Even in normal daily life, digital platforms can endanger citizens and democracies by encroaching on individual privacy, manipulating consumer attention, fostering social isolation and nurturing extremism. But, while not downplaying these harms, we should also remind ourselves of the many good things that today’s new technologies offer.
TikTok’s Parent, ByteDance, Made Fake Accounts With Content Scraped From Instagram And Snapchat, Former Employees Say
The China-based company scraped public accounts and then duplicated them on Flipagram, a predecessor to TikTok, according to four former employees and documents viewed by BuzzFeed News.
Meta’s encryption plan has human rights benefits, report says
A nonprofit association that promotes social responsibility among corporations has concluded in a new report that Meta’s planned expansion of strong encryption to its Messenger and Instagram services will do more good than harm for human rights, giving the company more ammunition as it fights efforts in the United Kingdom and other countries to carve out exceptions to make police work easier.
Apple, Meta, and Discord All Handed User Data Over to Hackers. Now What?
Last week, Meta, Discord, and Apple admitted to a deeply bizarre and troubling mistake: They had all handed user data over to hackers who forged law enforcement emergency data requests via compromised email accounts. It’s a scary situation not just because user information was disclosed to hackers posing as government officials—though, of course, that’s a huge problem—but also because there’s no straightforward way for the companies or law enforcement officials to solve this moving forward, at least not without having to face huge trade-offs.
The Latest Covid Misinformation Star Says He Invented the Vaccines
The New York Times
Dr. Robert Malone says he helped invent mRNA vaccines and has been wronged for decades. Now he’s spreading unfounded claims about the vaccines and the virus.
Peace through Pegasus: Jordanian Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Hacked with Pegasus Spyware
Mohammed Al-Maskati1, Bill Marczak2, Siena Anstis2, and Ron Deibert2
In January 2022, Front Line Defenders published a report finding that the phone of Hala Ahed Deeb, a Jordanian lawyer and woman human rights defender, was infected with Pegasus. Following publication, Front Line Defenders received numerous requests from Jordanian human rights defenders, journalists, and other civil society activists to inspect their devices. Front Line Defenders checked more than 60 iPhones in collaboration with the Citizen Lab, with case referrals from the Jordan Open Source Association. Three of the victims consented to be identified (listed below), while one wished to remain anonymous. The results of our forensic analysis were peer reviewed by Amnesty International’s Security Lab.
The Sydney Dialogue - Director
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is currently recruiting for a Director to lead the second iteration of ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue - the world’s premier summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
The Sydney Dialogue - Senior Events Coordinator
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is currently recruiting for an experienced events professional to coordinate the planning and logistics of the second iteration of ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue - the world’s premier summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
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.
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