China to restrict Tesla use by military and state employees | UK spy agencies push for curbs on Chinese ‘smart cities’ technology | Swiss hacker’s indictment spotlights ethics of activist attacks
China’s government is restricting the use of Tesla Inc.’s vehicles by military staff and employees of key state-owned companies, citing concerns that the data collected by the cars could be a source of national security leaks, according to people familiar with the effort. The move follows a government security review of Tesla’s vehicles, which Chinese officials said raised concerns because the cars’ cameras can constantly record images, the people said, as well as obtain various data such as when, how and where the cars are being used, and the contact list of mobile phones that are synced to the cars. The government is concerned that some data could be sent back to the U.S., the people said. WSJ
UK intelligence agencies are pushing for new curbs on local authorities’ use of Chinese “smart cities” technology over concerns Beijing could use it for espionage, surveillance or collection of sensitive data. It is the second intervention by the security services against Chinese suppliers, following the government’s surprise U-turn last summer banning the use of Huawei kit in 5G telecoms networks. Financial Times.
The indictment of a 21-year-old Swiss hacker who claimed credit for exposing the flaws in a surveillance camera company’s system is likely to stir debate about whether attacks by activists for social or political causes are criminal behavior. Bloomberg
Partnership for Countering Influence Operations
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is a founding member of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations (PCIO) at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The partnership fosters a multidisciplinary international community of thirty official advisers and partners working to understand influence operations.
Learn more about the partnership here.
Why did Alibaba's Jack Ma disappear for three months?
The move to rein in the tech superpowers is seen by some as an effort to prioritise stability and control over commercial success. "There are [Communist] party committees there to remind the companies...that the party ultimately has power, even over powerful individuals like Jack Ma," says Samantha Hoffman, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. This control extends to secrecy, she says. "Not only is a company responsible to do what the party demands, but they also can't admit to doing that if they're asked."
An Australian celebrity lifestyle influencer is hosting some of the world's most notorious conspiracy theorists on his podcast
Ariel Bogle, who monitors disinformation at Australia's ASPI Cyber Policy think tank, said that several influencers like Evans had started to embrace more controversial forms of medical misinformation. "Many of the accounts that sell forms of wellness necessarily have some level of skepticism or mistrust of the medical establishment (justified or not), as they must offer an alternative," Bogle said. "For some, there does seem to have been a veer into more clearly conspiratorial content during the pandemic, whether it be QAnon, conspiracies about vaccination etc."
Government Monitoring Won't Stop the Next SolarWinds Campaign, Experts Say
The SolarWinds hacking campaign has raised a lot of questions about why intruders behind the operation, believed to be from Russia, weren’t caught sooner as they moved through government and private networks for months undetected.
Elective surgeries postponed at hospitals in Melbourne’s east after suspected cyber attack
Elective surgeries have been postponed at hospitals in Melbourne’s east after a suspected cyber attack affected its computer network.
Hastie urges unity to combat rising cyber threats
Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie and the head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) have called on Australia’s cybersecurity community to unite against growing threats as more people go online, including criminals and state-based actors.
Marise Payne says Australia won’t trade away values to restart China dialogue
The Sydney Morning Herald
Senator Payne said the government would always counter foreign interference, reject foreign investment which was not in the national interest, protect the telecommunications system and stand up for the freedom of the Australian press and think tanks.
‘Ramped up dramatically’: Universities, ASIO working more closely than ever on foreign interference
The Sydney Morning Herald
The inquiry by Parliament’s intelligence and security committee was triggered by concerns within the government about foreign interference at Australian universities targeting research projects, as well as the role of the Chinese government’s talent recruitment programs.
China sours on facial recognition tech
Hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras throughout China have been hoovering up facial recognition data without notifying the people attached to the faces. Now, the companies behind the tech are finally under the microscope after a blistering recent exposé — one carried by a major mouthpiece for Beijing, the same government known for its own untrammeled intrusions into private life.
Alibaba-backed China AI company Megvii counts losses ahead of IPO
Losses for Chinese artificial intelligence startup Megvii are far outpacing revenues as the company prepares for an initial public offering of nearly $1 billion on Shanghai's STAR Market while under sanction by the U.S. government.
China to Restrict Tesla Use by Military and State Employees
China’s government is restricting the use of Tesla Inc.’s vehicles by military staff and employees of key state-owned companies, citing concerns that the data collected by the cars could be a source of national security leaks, according to people familiar with the effort. The move follows a government security review of Tesla’s vehicles, which Chinese officials said raised concerns because the cars’ cameras can constantly record images, the people said, as well as obtain various data such as when, how and where the cars are being used, and the contact list of mobile phones that are synced to the cars. The government is concerned that some data could be sent back to the U.S., the people said.
Elon Musk and Amazon Are Battling to Put Satellite Internet in Your Backyard
The experiences of Starlink beta users are enabled by the 1,000 or so satellites that its parent company has launched. While that makes SpaceX owner of about a third of all active satellites orbiting Earth, it’s only the beginning: Starlink has received approval from the FCC to launch nearly 12,000 satellites.
The pandemic's unexpected privacy pitfalls
Americans' rush to move all aspects of their lives online during the pandemic — classes, meetings, legal proceedings, shopping and more — left many vulnerable to exposure, exploitation and fraud.
For this Amazon van driver, AI surveillance was the final straw
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Amazon is rolling out AI-powered cameras in its branded delivery vans. Some workers say the cameras violate their privacy and worry who gets their data. Five U.S. Senators have written to Amazon seeking an explanation.
Verkada breach spotlights ongoing concerns over surveillance firms' security
A group of hackers earlier this month claimed to have access to some 150,000 live-camera feeds that Verkada maintains in schools, prisons and hospitals. The incident provided outsiders with an entry into live video feeds at companies including Tesla, and enabled hackers to access archived video from Verkada subscribers.
Opinion: We have to close the digital divide. That means internet access for everyone
People of color and low-income communities have been disproportionately harmed by both the Covid-19 virus and the economic recession. It will be hard to ultimately "Build Back Better" unless we first address the racial and economic impact of the digital divide.
Taiwanese Apple and Tesla contractor cuts China headcount by almost half
Delta Electronics, a producer of power components for Apple and Tesla, has cut its headcount in China by almost half, in the biggest such move to be made public by a Taiwanese electronics company in the country. The sharp reduction comes as electronics companies are seeking to adjust to the fallout from the US-China trade war and evade soaring production costs in the world’s second-largest economy
Ransomware gang demands $50 million from computer maker Acer
Taiwanese computer maker Acer has suffered a ransomware attack over the past weekend at the hands of the REvil ransomware gang, which is now demanding a whopping $50 million ransom payment to decrypt the company's computers and not leak its data on the dark web.
Why 5G’s commercial potential remains untapped in Southeast Asia
As some Asia-Pacific nations roll out 5G networks, the question of what to do with them for business benefit has not been well-defined, modelled, or trialled beyond a few pilot projects. Here’s what needs to change.
South and Central Asia
India likely to block China's Huawei over security fears: officials
India is likely to block its mobile carriers from using telecom equipment made by China’s Huawei, two government officials said, under procurement rules due to come into force in June.
UK spy agencies push for curbs on Chinese ‘smart cities’ technology
UK intelligence agencies are pushing for new curbs on local authorities’ use of Chinese “smart cities” technology over concerns Beijing could use it for espionage, surveillance or collection of sensitive data. It is the second intervention by the security services against Chinese suppliers, following the government’s surprise U-turn last summer banning the use of Huawei kit in 5G telecoms networks.
Cyber sector welcomes PM’s defence review
Security commentators approve of measures to improve the UK’s cyber resilience, strengthen its R&D and skills base, lead on the development of new technology and promote a free, open, peaceful and secure global internet.
Top NATO Scientist With Security Clearance Busted Spying for China
The Daily Beast
Chinese military intelligence recruited an Estonian national working at a NATO research institution focused on maritime and submarine research, The Daily Beast has learned.
Swiss Hacker’s Indictment Spotlights Ethics of Activist Attacks
The indictment of a 21-year-old Swiss hacker who claimed credit for exposing the flaws in a surveillance camera company’s system is likely to stir debate about whether attacks by activists for social or political causes are criminal behavior.
Facebook Is Building An Instagram For Kids Under The Age Of 13
Executives at Instagram are planning to build a version of the popular photo-sharing app that can be used by children under the age of 13, according to an internal company post obtained by BuzzFeed News.
CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch on his new policy accelerator that’s all about action
Over the last ten years, Dmitri Alperovitch had a front-row seat to some of the biggest cybersecurity incidents and investigations, including the 2014 Sony Pictures hack attributed to North Korea and the 2015 and 2016 data breach involving the Democratic National Committee, which was carried out by Russian government hackers.
Some Humility about Transparency
The Center for Internet and Society
Researchers and public interest advocates around the world can agree that more transparency is better. But, aside from people with very particular areas of interest (like political advertising), almost no one has a clear wish list. What information is really important? What information is merely nice to have? What are the trade-offs involved?
Elusive Ethics: Robotic Warfare and Autonomous Weapons
In recent years, the debate over how to ethically manage lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) has come to the fore. As militaries the world over march toward an AI future, how will societies program machines with the insight needed to make complex, life-or-death decisions in volatile circumstances? Is such a thing as ethical warfare even possible?
Research Manager, Gender
We’re looking for someone to join our research team and lead our work on closing the digital gender divide. You’ll cover issues including internet access, affordability and use, data rights and other areas.