China controls the Philippine's power grid | Germany US clash over Huawei | China's bid to head UN's intellectual property agency
The Philippines' power grid is under the full control of the Chinese government and could be shut off in time of conflict, according to an internal report prepared for lawmakers. CNN
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing more criticism for her Huawei Technologies-friendly approach to 5G development, with the American ambassador to Germany calling her economic minister’s remarks on cybersecurity an “insult” to the US. SCMP
Of all nations, China has been perhaps the most aggressive in stealing intellectual property, especially from U.S. companies—a key issue in U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing. Now, Beijing has its sights on leading the global organization that is supposed to protect IP, and which sets international standards for patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Foreign Policy
Cyber risk rising with Internet of Things
Australian Financial Review
Technological threats have well and truly permeated the public consciousness. Hollywood feeds us up a steady diet of machines taking over the world and at airports we’re confronted with billboards that make online perils seem like a version of Hunger Games. But technological developments mean we are about to become a lot more familiar with cyber threats and will have to confront a new range of challenges and opportunities.
The Chinese academics from labs linked to military who studied in Australia
Two scholars at a NSW university have been linked to Chinese research centres that have reportedly carried out cyber attacks and espionage for the nation's military..The revelations come 24 hours after ASPI released a report warning Australian universities were unwittingly creating security risks by collaborating with Chinese schools. ASPI is an independent, not-for-profit think tank specialising in defence, national security and cyber issues..A UOW spokesman said the university was concerned about the allegations. The spokesman said two of the professors no longer worked with the university and that it was the Federal Government's role to screen foreign visitors.
See the Chinese Defence Universities Tracker website here.
Tech Scroll Asia
The Financial Times
Alex Joske at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute has delivered a tour de force on Chinese defence universities, many of which are involved in tech research. The aim is to help universities and governments from around the world avoid harmful collaborations.
See the Chinese Defence Universities Tracker website here.
Protecting users from government-backed hacking and disinformation
Google's The Keyword Blog
Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) works to counter targeted and government-backed hacking against Google and our users. This is an area we have invested in deeply for over a decade.. Consistent with a recent Bellingcat report, TAG identified a campaign targeting the Indonesian provinces Papua and West Papua with messaging in opposition to the Free Papua Movement. Google terminated one advertising account and 28 YouTube channels.
Read more on the Joint BBC-ASPI investigation into West Papua information operations, including the above-mentioned Bellingcat report, here.
Foreign interference scheme targets just one potential agent of influence
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Fergus Hanson, who is undertaking a review into the scheme, said it was disappointing the laws had not captured any groups linked to United Front, the Chinese government agency which organises Chinese populations overseas to serve its strategic interests. Mr Hanson said Australian universities with Confucius Institutes should also have to register, but the legislation was "too complex" and there were too many loopholes including one allowing some charities to be exempt. “On the ground you've got the practical problem of law firms offering completely different advice. Every one has different opinions," he said.
The Nazi in your feed: Regulating social media and hate speech
The Lowy Interpreter
In a widely praised and generally excellent speech last week, Sacha Baron Cohen, AKA Borat, AKA Ali G, launched a scathing attack on what he named as the “Silicon six” – six American billionaires who have made their substantial wealth from social media and data companies, primarily Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Baron Cohen argues these companies have changed the information environment for the worse, with real consequences for democratic processes and practices.
One of the biggest national mistakes': veteran diplomat slams Canberra
The Sydney Morning Herald
Mr Quinlan also sounded a note of caution over whether Australia would need to re-think its intelligence sharing arrangements with Indonesia if Chinese telco giant Huawei is heavily involved in the construction of the country's 5G mobile phone network, declaring "we'll only know that when we know it".. “We do talk to Indonesia candidly, behind closed doors, about all these kinds of security issues affecting the region or affecting the globe," he said, adding that Australia was particularly concerned about cyber security. Asked directly about Huawei's involvement, Mr Quinlan said “it’s something obviously all countries who have a view about wanting to maintain the integrity and security of their information, if they’re exchanging very sensitive information, will make a whole series of judgments about in respect of the trust they think can be given to new technology and communication.”
ABC launches SecureDrop for whistleblowers to securely and anonymously contact journalists
Today, the ABC is joining a group of global media leaders who have signed up to SecureDrop — a platform for whistleblowers to anonymously and securely send sensitive documents and messages to our journalists.
China’s Largest Telecom May Sue You For Criticizing It
In September, Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei filed a defamation suit in a French court against Valerie Niquet, a researcher with the Foundation for Strategic Research, or FRS, a think tank focusing on defense issues. Her offense? Appearing on France’s “C dans l’air” in February, she noted that Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s founder, was once a member of the People’s Liberation Army, and said, as many have before, that Huawei is essentially an arm of the Chinese government.
As facial recognition tech races ahead of regulation, Chinese residents grow nervous about data privacy
South China Morning Post
Chinese consumers, generally thought to be more accepting of trading privacy for security, are growing increasingly vocal about data privacy concerns as facial recognition becomes more common in the world’s most populous country.
China Bids to Lead World Agency Protecting Intellectual Property
Of all nations, China has been perhaps the most aggressive in stealing intellectual property, especially from U.S. companies—a key issue in U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing. Now, Beijing has its sights on leading the global organization that is supposed to protect IP, and which sets international standards for patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
Twitter announces custom hashtags for the upcoming Taiwanese election in a first for the East Asian state.
The United States
China's ByteDance moves to ringfence its TikTok app amid U.S. probe - sources
ByteDance has stepped up efforts to separate its social media app TikTok from much of its Chinese operations, amid a U.S. national security panel's inquiry into the safety of the personal data it handles, people familiar with the matter said.
Troll Watch: Disinformation Around Impeachment Hearings
German Marshall Fund
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Karen Kornbluh, a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund, about disinformation campaigns related to the impeachment hearings.
Elizabeth Warren's plan to break up Facebook risks helping China
Nikkei Asian Review
If the global tech giant withdraws from Southeast Asia, WeChat will take its place.
China can shut off the Philippines' power grid at any time, leaked report warns
The Philippines' power grid is under the full control of the Chinese government and could be shut off in time of conflict, according to an internal report prepared for lawmakers seen by CNN.
German minister and US envoy clash over Huawei’s possible participation in Germany’s 5G network
South China Morning Post
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing more criticism for her Huawei Technologies-friendly approach to 5G development, with the American ambassador to Germany calling her economic minister’s remarks on cybersecurity an “insult” to the US.
Merkel wants Europe to aim for joint stance on China and 5G
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on European countries on Wednesday to agree a common approach towards China and the rollout of the next generation 5G mobile network. Some German lawmakers want to exclude China's Huawei from 5G contracts, following warnings by the United States that this could lead to spying for Beijing. Huawei denies the allegations made by Washington.
Europe’s Backlash Against Huawei Has Arrived
If anything, Beijing has grown more defensive and combative with Europe in recent months amid new revelations about the mass detention of Muslims in China’s western region of Xinjiang and escalating protests in Hong Kong. In recent weeks, China has threatened Sweden with “consequences” for awarding a freedom of speech prize to Gui Minhai, a Chinese-born Swedish publisher imprisoned in China for printing books critical of the government. And a former employee of the British Consulate in Hong Kong has accused Chinese police of torture. Stories like this have added wind to the sails of those in Germany and elsewhere in Europe who are pressing for a ban of Huawei, a company they say is under the thumb of the Chinese Communist Party and an active enabler of its dystopian surveillance state, including in Xinjiang. (Huawei denies both.)
Annual Report of the Security Information Service for 2018
Security information service (BIS)
Primarily hostile activities of foreign powers posed a significant threat to the security of the Czech Republic in 2018. By utilizing a wide range of methods and activities, state, non-state, foreign and domestic actors tried to weaken Czech state institutions, influence official state positions related to international security and paint natural attributes of a democratic system as its weaknesses.
Apple changes Crimea map to meet Russian demands
Apple has complied with Russian demands to show the annexed Crimean peninsula as part of Russian territory on its apps. Russian forces annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, drawing international condemnation.
Twitter should have banned Trump "a long time ago," says Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales believes President Donald Trump should be booted from Twitter, claiming the president is allowed to behave in a manner that would see others banned from the platform.