China ups its effort to control international ISO standards | UK Academics unwittingly assisting China's military | The Clubhouse App hit by censors
China now wants to take the lead in fields of the future. To the consternation of many Western countries, Beijing is employing state funding and political influence to try to define the norms for all manner of cutting-edge technologies that span telecommunications, electricity transmission and artificial intelligence.. Chinese executives and politicians now have a saying: Third-tier companies make products. Second-tier companies make technology. Top-tier companies set standards. The Wall Street Journal
Almost 200 British academics are being investigated on suspicion of unwittingly helping the Chinese government build weapons of mass destruction. They are suspected of violating strict export laws intended to prevent intellectual property in highly sensitive subjects being handed to hostile states. The individuals are suspected of transferring world-leading research in advanced military technology such as aircraft, missile designs and cyberweapons to China. The Times
It was a rare moment of cross-border dialogue with people on the mainland of China, who are usually separated from the rest of the online world by the Great Firewall. For a short time, they found an open forum on the social media app, Clubhouse, to discuss contentious topics, free from the usual constraints of the country’s tightly controlled internet. By Monday evening, the inevitable happened: The Chinese censors moved in. Many mainland users reported receiving error messages when they tried to use the platform. New York Times
China and India tussle online over vaccine diplomacy
China and India are using the inoculation drive against Covid-19 as part of their diplomatic efforts to shore up global and regional ties—and they aren’t the only ones. But now the two countries are engaged in a tussle playing out online and in the media over the messaging around their respective vaccine candidates, reflecting an emerging flashpoint between the two powers.
Australia needs to shut out 5G security threats
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has already begun to identify this problem, calling for the Australian Government to implement 'Clean Pipes,'
Read our 2020 report ‘Clean pipes: Should ISPs provide a more secure internet?’
Clubhouse’s moment of free speech in China is over
“There has been a lot of exuberance among Chinese users on the app who have unexpectedly been given a space where they are exposed to political topics that are too sensitive to be discussed in China,” said Fergus Ryan, an analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre. “That has resulted in a lot of amazing discussions about issues like the treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, cross-strait relations, and the Hong Kong protest movement.” “It is likely that government censors will be looking to avail themselves of technology like Voiceprint technology, auto-transcribing of conversations that are then scanned for keywords like ‘Boycotting the Olympics,’ ‘Tibet’ or ‘Xinjiang,’ for example,” said Ryan. “It is also trivially easy for anyone’s personal contact network to be mapped simply by looking at who has invited who to the app, and who is in the user’s following and followed lists.”
Bingeing free expression': popularity of Clubhouse app soars in China
There have also been warnings that the server provider is thought to be used by Clubhouse is a Chinese company, Agora. Analyst Fergus Ryan, from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, noted the company had previously disclosed it was maybe subject to Chinese laws and regulations requiring network operators to “provide assistance and support in accordance with the law for public security and national security officials to protect national security or assist with criminal investigations”.
Clubhouse app gives Chinese rare access to uncensored topics
Analysts warned Beijing may soon prevent access to the app. “The window for listening in on frank Clubhouse conversations about politics in Chinese is already closing," said Fergus Ryan, at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre.
Andrew Forrest's philanthropic foundation condemns China's treatment of Uighurs
That report came after the Australian Strategic Policy Institute identified a series of factories linked to a program of forced labour involving 80,000 Uighurs in Xinjiang, some of whom were shipped far from their homes to factories across China between 2017 and 2019. That report allowed the Guardian to establish that face masks manufactured at a Chinese factory using allegedly coerced Uighur labour were being sold in Australia. Despite the mounting evidence, Australia remains a laggard on the issue.
There Are Spying Eyes Everywhere—and Now They Share a Brain
In modern life, we’re rarely not in the crosshairs of some spying device or other. We rush by a license plate reader on our way to work, a few blocks from a burglary that’s being patternized. As we walk from the parking lot to the gym, or the mosque, we’re picked up on a dozen CCTVs. We attend a protest under the watchful eye of a drone. Our smartphones log our every move, our every click, and our every like. The little privacy we have left exists in the spaces between each data point. Fusion technology eviscerates those spaces.
The quantum threat: why we need regulation and transparency
Novel quantum computers and quantum communication networks will provide intelligence services with vast new capabilities for surveillance and attack. The arrival of these systems will put further pressure on collaborative and transparent internet governance models, as state actors seek to maximise control over the architecture of the internet of the future.
Unis face coercion, intimidation from ‘foreign states’
Australian Financial Review
Australian universities, researchers and their families are under threat from foreign states looking to exploit the sector’s open and collaborative nature, according to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australian Federal Police. With foreign governments seeking to get inside knowledge of Australian research and technology, the intelligence agency declared the higher education and research sector to be one of the “at risk” parts of the community.
If Bing is the answer then Australia is asking the wrong question
If the government and the ACCC really wanted to attack the lifeblood of the tech giants, they would use the Privacy Act review to get to something that looked like Europe's GDPR, and potentially go further.
From Lightbulbs to 5G, China Battles West for Control of Vital Technology Standards
The Wall Street Journal
@ValentinaPop @shashamimi @DanMichaelsWSJ
China now wants to take the lead in fields of the future. To the consternation of many Western countries, Beijing is employing state funding and political influence to try to define the norms for all manner of cutting-edge technologies that span telecommunications, electricity transmission and artificial intelligence.. Chinese executives and politicians now have a saying: Third-tier companies make products. Second-tier companies make technology. Top-tier companies set standards.
In China, an App Offered Space for Debate. Then the Censors Came.
The New York Times
It was a rare moment of cross-border dialogue with people on the mainland of China, who are usually separated from the rest of the online world by the Great Firewall. For a short time, they found an open forum on the social media app, Clubhouse, to discuss contentious topics, free from the usual constraints of the country’s tightly controlled internet. By Monday evening, the inevitable happened: The Chinese censors moved in. Many mainland users reported receiving error messages when they tried to use the platform.
Where Do Vaccine Doses Go, and Who Gets Them? The Algorithms Decide
The New York Times
Health agencies and hospitals are using different formulas to allocate the coronavirus shots, exacerbating disparities in vaccine access.
Eric Schmidt: US’s flawed approach to 5G threatens its digital future
The Financial Times
Last month’s spectrum auction by the US Federal Communications Commission, which raised a record-breaking $81bn, is being celebrated as a win for 5G. In fact it is a digital setback that America and its allies can ill-afford.
Hacker Tried to Poison Florida City's Water Supply, Police Say
The hacker tried to drastically increase sodium hydroxide levels in the water, Pinellas County, Florida, officials said on Monday.
Pwn All The Things @pwnallthethingsAlso this is very common received wisdom: the problem with N.S.A. is they spend too much on "offensive" capability and if only they would spend it on defensive capability then adversaries wouldn't be able to break in. But it doesn't follow. Defense and offense are not symmetric. https://t.co/MsrKS9nLiI
Taiwan's TSMC to build $190m R&D site near Tokyo
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is planning to build a research and development center in Japan, Nikkei has learned, as the demand for advanced semiconductor equipment and materials becomes increasingly important amid the pandemic.
Internet access restored as Myanmar coup protests grow
As enthusiastic crowds of tens of thousands marched through the streets of Myanmar’s biggest city on Sunday to protest last week’s coup ousting Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, their spirits were lifted by the return of internet services that had been blocked a day earlier.
New Zealand & The Pacific
Connecting the Dots: Australia and Digital Infrastructure Development in the Pacific Islands
COVID-19 has highlighted the reactive nature of Australia’s approach to digital infrastructure development in the region.
South and Central Asia
Hundreds of UK academics investigated over weapons links to China
Almost 200 British academics are being investigated on suspicion of unwittingly helping the Chinese government build weapons of mass destruction. They are suspected of violating strict export laws intended to prevent intellectual property in highly sensitive subjects being handed to hostile states. The individuals are suspected of transferring world-leading research in advanced military technology such as aircraft, missile designs and cyberweapons to China.
The Times view on institutions’ ties with China: Academic Decoupling
It took a letter from Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, to alert Manchester University to the fact that a Chinese company with which it was collaborating was implicated in Beijing’s persecution of the Uighurs. The university, which cut off ties with China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC) last week, said that the letter was the first credible information that it had received about its partner’s role in providing surveillance technology used to spy on China’s Muslim minority.
Ziggy ransomware shuts down and releases victims' decryption keys
Today, the Ziggy ransomware admin posted a SQL file containing 922 decryption keys for encrypted victims. For each victim, the SQL file lists three keys needed to decrypt their encrypted files.
Ranking Digital Rights Launches the 2020 RDR Corporate Accountability Index
Join Ranking Digital Rights for a first look at the 2020 RDR Corporate Accountability Index and a discussion of how policymakers, advocates, and shareholders can use our data to hold tech and telecom companies accountable for upholding our fundamental rights in 2021.
ICPC Senior Analyst or Analyst - China
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an exceptional and experienced China-focused senior analyst or analyst to join its centre.