China pledges 'purification' of the internet ahead of Olympics | Europe pitches tech ‘principles’ to rule the internet | Russia steps up propaganda war amid tensions with Ukraine
China's top cybersecurity regulator is vowing to crack down on "illegal" online content as part of a campaign to clean up the internet ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics and one of the country's most important annual holidays. The Cyberspace Administration of China announced Tuesday that its month-long internet "purification" campaign is intended to create a "healthy, happy, and peaceful online environment." CNN
The European Commission presented on Wednesday its so-called Digital Decade Principles aimed at defining the 27-country bloc’s vision of how the digital economy should abide by values such as democracy, privacy, solidarity, freedom of choice and security. It's Europe's attempt at turning its approach to internet governance into the global standard. Politico
As the United States issued warnings last month about the Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders and President Biden threatened President Vladimir V. Putin with sanctions if he launched an invasion, researchers noticed an uptick in social media posts accusing Ukraine of plotting a genocide against ethnic Russians. The New York Times
PM’s ‘lost’ WeChat account speaks volumes about our changing Sino relations
According to Australian Strategic Policy Institute senior analyst Fergus Ryan, this method was “ill-advised” because it meant politicians didn’t have ultimate control over their account.
Australian prime minister loses control of WeChat account
The Washington Post
Fergus Ryan, a Chinese social media expert with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, tweeted that Morrison was one of at least a dozen Australian politicians who use WeChat accounts now registered to Chinese citizens.
Scott Morrison WeChat: new owner amazed account entrusted to ‘single person’ in China
Donna Lu and Daniel Hurst
Fergus Ryan on Tuesday cited records indicating the WeChat account of the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, was also linked to a Chinese national, which could place him “in exactly the same boat that Scott Morrison is in...That means that the woman from Jiangsu province who appears to be linked to Anthony Albanese’s WeChat account could at any time be pressured, be persuaded or decide on her own accord to shut down or sell the account, and that situation is untenable,” Ryan said in an interview. “It would be my hope that both the Labor and Liberal parties agree to boycott WeChat.”
Big tech eyes small business market in Australia
Australian Financial Review
Ayesha de Kretser
Big banks will need to speed up their collaboration with fintech players or risk losing crucial transaction banking business, warns the chief executive of payments disrupter mx51, Victor Zheng.
China pledges 'purification' of the internet ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Lunar New Year
China's top cybersecurity regulator is vowing to crack down on "illegal" online content as part of a campaign to clean up the internet ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics and one of the country's most important annual holidays. The Cyberspace Administration of China announced Tuesday that its month-long internet "purification" campaign is intended to create a "healthy, happy, and peaceful online environment."
China’s Vast Blueprint for Tech Supremacy Over U.S.
China’s technology industry is a telling example of the country’s unusual approach to economic development, mixing government influence with private enterprise on a scale that no nation has ever attempted.
Global tensions grow as Chinese rocket scientist defects to the West
The Sunday Express
Sources say the scientist, in his 30s, is connected with a more recent hypersonic missile delivery system that can circle the globe before descending from space and use heat-seeking technology to strike any target on Earth.
US-China tech war: Shenzhen to establish international sourcing platform for semiconductors as global chip shortage persists
South China Morning Post
China will develop an international sourcing platform for semiconductors and other electronic components in Shenzhen – known as the country’s Silicon Valley and the richest city in southern Guangdong province – in a bid to advance the nation’s hi-tech self-sufficiency drive amid a race between Beijing and Washington to overcome the global chip shortage.
DHS Warns That Right-Wing Extremists Could Attack Power Grid
The Daily Beast
Domestic violent extremists and racially motivated extremists have been developing plans to attack the U.S. electric sector, according to an intelligence bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security that was issued this week and obtained by The Daily Beast.
‘In the End, You’re Treated Like a Spy,’ Says M.I.T. Scientist
The New York Times
Gang Chen was arrested a year ago on charges of hiding his links to China. The charges were dismissed, but he said the damage — to him, and to American science — has lingered.
White House attempts to strengthen federal cybersecurity after major hacks
The White House plans to release an ambitious strategy Wednesday to make federal agencies tighten their cybersecurity controls after a series of high-profile hacks against government and private infrastructure in the last two years, according to a copy shared with CNN. It's one of the biggest efforts yet by the Biden administration to secure the computer networks that the government relies on to do business.
Commerce Dept. Survey Uncovers ‘Alarming’ Chip Shortages
The New York Times
Ana Swanson and Catie Edmondson
The United States is facing an “alarming” shortage of semiconductors, a government survey of more than 150 companies that make and buy chips found; the situation is threatening American factory production and helping to fuel inflation, Gina M. Raimondo, the commerce secretary, said in an interview on Monday.
Shark at-tech in the Senate
Big Tech has spent over $70 million in Washington over the past year to stop legislation that targets the business practices of the behemoths of the industry – Meta (Facebook), Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Apple, and Microsoft. But so far, they have failed to stop the pincer movement on Big Tech now underway in both the House and Senate – And these moves in Congress have the backing of the President.
San Francisco is scaring away the tech crowd
As failure to tackle the ‘poverty epidemic’ continues, start-up founders, engineers and venture capitalists are leaving.
TikTok secretly paid influencers to boost content in Japan
The Japanese operator of the popular video-sharing app TikTok has admitted it posted videos on Twitter without informing the audience about the sponsored content, a practice that may have violated industry guidelines against stealth marketing.
Japan to align with U.S. on space, cyber in security strategy revamp
Japan's government kicked off discussions Wednesday on revising its security strategy to extend cooperation with the U.S. to new areas like space and cybersecurity as the allies look to counter growing threats in the Indo-Pacific region.
North Korean internet downed by suspected cyber attacks -researchers
North Korea's internet appears to have been hit by a second wave of outages in as many weeks, possibly caused by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, researchers said on Wednesday.
Big phish: how Asia’s cyber scammers stay one step ahead of the banks
South China Morning Post
Dewey Sim, Amrit Dhillon and Hadi Azmi
In Singapore, regulators and financial institutions have in recent days come up with new ways to shield residents from phishing attacks. But the move came only after a series of high-level scams involving OCBC Bank users. In December alone, more than 450 of them fell prey to the attacks, amounting to at least S$8.5 million (US$6.33 million) in losses.
New UK initiative to shape global standards for Artificial Intelligence
The new AI Standard Hub will create practical tools for businesses, bring the UK’s AI community together through a new online platform, and develop educational materials to help organisations develop and benefit from global standards. This will help put the UK at the forefront of this rapidly developing area.
First ever Government Cyber Security Strategy to step up Britain’s defence and resilience
The minister will outline the cyber threat that government and wider public sector systems face in a speech today, as he launches the first ever Government Cyber Security Strategy.
Europe pitches tech ‘principles’ to rule the internet
Clothilde Goujard and Laurens Cerulus
As geopolitical tensions over the control of technology rise, Europe is putting its foot down on how it wants the internet to run. The European Commission presented on Wednesday its so-called Digital Decade Principles aimed at defining the 27-country bloc’s vision of how the digital economy should abide by values such as democracy, privacy, solidarity, freedom of choice and security. It's Europe's attempt at turning its approach to internet governance into the global standard.
Ericsson took top slot from Huawei in RAN market last year
According to Mobile Experts' analysis of the RAN market last year, Ericsson ramping up delivery of 5G solutions in the US market paid off. It leapt into the lead position in the RAN market for 2021. Huawei, which dropped from first to third place with Nokia in second place, had a shortfall of roughly $4 billion (€3.53 billion) last year as it could not produce high-capacity TDD base stations.
Russia Steps Up Propaganda War Amid Tensions With Ukraine
The New York Times
Julian E. Barnes
As the United States issued warnings last month about the Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders and President Biden threatened President Vladimir V. Putin with sanctions if he launched an invasion, researchers noticed an uptick in social media posts accusing Ukraine of plotting a genocide against ethnic Russians.
Canada's foreign ministry hacked, services hit
Hackers launched a cyber attack on Canada's foreign ministry last week and some services are still down, officials said on Monday without disclosing who Ottawa thought was responsible.
Meta has built an AI supercomputer it says will be world’s fastest by end of 2022
RSC will be used to train a range of systems across Meta’s businesses: from content moderation algorithms used to detect hate speech on Facebook and Instagram to augmented reality features that will one day be available in the company’s future AR hardware.
Nvidia Quietly Prepares to Abandon $40 Billion Arm Bid
Ian King, Giles Turner, and Peter Elstrom
Nvidia is quietly preparing to abandon its purchase of Arm Ltd. from SoftBank Group Corp. after making little to no progress in winning approval for the $40 billion chip deal, according to people familiar with the matter. Nvidia has told partners that it doesn’t expect the transaction to close, according to one person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. SoftBank, meanwhile, is stepping up preparations for an Arm initial public offering as an alternative to the Nvidia takeover, another person said.
Google proposes a new way to track people around the Web. Again.
The Washington Post
Gerrit De Vynck
The search giant scrapped its original plan to rework how advertising on the Web works. It's got a new set of ideas now.
Events and Podcasts
Secret police: The Ministry of Public Security’s clandestine foreign operations
China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has a long and overlooked history of foreign intelligence operations. It is a law enforcement agency and counterpart to Western police agencies, but counterintelligence and political security are among its core functions. This is especially so under Xi Jinping, and deserves greater attention because of its implications for law enforcement cooperation, human rights and counterintelligence.
ICPC Analyst / Project Lead - Cyber Capacity Building
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for a talented Analyst / Project Lead to support a new project that looks at supporting states in the Indo-Pacific in defending against cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property. The successful candidate will work in a small, high-performing team to produce original research and analysis that directly informs broader diplomatic and cyber capacity building activities on the topic of equipping countries globally with tools to defend against the use of cyber tools to steal IP for commercial purposes.Together with a project lead on Learning and Development and the Project Director, the analyst will also participate in international workshops, provide training to foreign governments and present to other external stakeholders.
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.
ICPC Data Analyst
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for talented Data Analysts to join its growing centre. ASPI’s ICPC undertakes complex research on some of the most challenging issues at the intersection of technology and public policy. How do we develop international norms to deter information operations and coercive diplomacy, how should we build international cooperation on the development of emerging critical technologies, what is the right balance between regulation and innovation? We deliver empirical research that is policy-relevant and we’re looking for people who can help us analyse data at scale.