China's new Personal Info Protection Law | Twitter 'pre-bunks' COP misinformation | Israel's leading LGBTQ dating site hacked
China’s Personal Information Protection Law kicked in yesterday, spelling out rules around data collection, use, and storage, as well as what international companies must do when they transfer data out of the country. Effective from November 1, the new law was necessary to address the "chaos" data had created, with online platforms over-collecting personal data, the Chinese government then said. ZDNET
Twitter on Monday said it will be making authoritative information about climate change more accessible to users during this year's United Nations COP26 climate summit. Twitter will roll out a new program designed to “pre-bunk” climate misinformation, or get ahead of false narratives about climate by exposing people to more accurate information about the crisis on its platform. Axios
A hacking group calling itself Black Shadow threatened Sunday to reveal personal details of a million users of Israeli's leading LGBTQ dating site, an attack some cyber experts linked to Iran. The leaked records included users' HIV status, sexual orientation and unencrypted passwords. Ran Shalhavi, CEO of The Aguda -- The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, told AFP his organisation had extended its emergency hotline hours to deal with a flood of worried callers. France 24
Xinjiang’s Oppression Has Shifted Gears
Heavily militarized police patrols and sprawling reeducation facilities may be disappearing. But highly securitized prisons, intensive propaganda and indoctrination, ubiquitous surveillance, population control, and coercive labor assignments are there to stay...Propaganda posters of smiling minorities flood the landscape while information operations use dancing Uyghur individuals as their main subjects to convince the world that people in Xinjiang are happy and grateful to the Chinese Communist Party.
Read our report Xinjiang’s Architecture of Repression
Global Chip Shortage ‘Is Far From Over’ as Wait Times Get Longer
The Wall Street Journal
The global semiconductor shortage is worsening, with wait times lengthening, buyers hoarding products and the potential end looking less likely to materialize by next year. Demand didn’t moderate as expected. Supply routes got clogged. Unpredictable production hiccups slammed factories already running at full capacity.
The Chip Shortage Slams Into Apple at the Worst Possible Time
Apple had seemingly avoided the chip shortage for months, but the company’s fortunes have now changed...While the impact to the previous quarter was a whopping $6 billion—more than half of what Apple makes quarterly from the Mac—the holiday quarter is where the company will really get hit.
Exclusive: Twitter takes aim at climate misinformation during COP26
Twitter on Monday said it will be making authoritative information about climate change more accessible to users during this year's United Nations COP26 climate summit...Twitter on Monday will roll out a new program designed to “pre-bunk” climate misinformation, or get ahead of false narratives about climate by exposing people to more accurate information about the crisis on its platform.
Australia should invest in a home-grown quantum industry
Gavin Brennen @peter_rohde
Australia sits at a point in its history where our economic strength is heavily reliant on industries that are in decline. The fourth industrial revolution will require shifting to a more knowledge-based economy, employing intellectual capital. This is an area in which Australia already has a competitive advantage. The government says it wants advanced development and manufacturing industries to emerge in Australia and the AUKUS agreement is an important step in that direction. But first we need to build up the right ecosystem, and that involves giving technologists, inventors and entrepreneurs a reason to base themselves here.
Read our report An Australian Strategy for the Quantum Revolution
Telcos take action as text, phone call scams hit record high
The Sydney Morning Herald
Telcos will be forced to identify and block text message scams under new rules as the amount of money lost to these rackets hits a record high.
Facebook deletes Chaser post rebranding NAB as NOB for its fossil-fuel loans
A satirical post by The Chaser skewering NAB’s lending to fossil-fuel companies has been pulled by Facebook for an “intellectual property violation”, with a warning that the group’s Facebook page could be deleted for future posts. Last week The Chaser and environmental advocacy group Market Forces took the liberty of rebranding NAB to “NOB” to highlight the $2 billion lent to Australian companies expanding their fossil-fuel operations.
China's personal data protection law kicks in today
Passed in August, the Personal Information Protection Law takes effect on November 1, spelling out rules around data collection, use, and storage, as well as what international companies must do when they transfer data out of the country...the new law was necessary to address the "chaos" data had created, with online platforms over-collecting personal data, the Chinese government then said.
Chinese Censorship Is Going Global
After coming under pressure from rights groups, LinkedIn announced it would close down its service on the mainland due to concerns over free expression, offering Chinese users a stripped-down version of the networking site without social media features. Just this week Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter's outspoken support for a free Tibet prompted the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to pull the team's games from Chinese television. In September, the Lithuanian government advised its officials to stop using Chinese manufactured phones after discovering they were pre-programmed to censor 449 words or phrases considered objectionable by Beijing.
Looks like Fortnite China is shutting down
The limited run of Fortnite in China is ending in November, according to the official Chinese site. Epic's smash hit is a very different game in China, and premium currency is unlocked by playing rather than with real money. It's not clear how successful Fortnite was in China, but it's over now: Nobody will be able to register and download the game after November 1st, and the servers will shut down. Fortnite's availability was billed as a test, and is referenced as such in the shutdown announcement.
TikTok Owner ByteDance Mandates Shorter Working Hours in Blow to 996 Culture
ByteDance Ltd. ordered its employees to end their day by 7 p.m., becoming one of the first tech companies in China to officially mandate shorter working hours. Staff in China should only work from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays and will need to seek permission to stay beyond those hours at least one day in advance, according to an internal document on Monday that was seen by Bloomberg News. A representative for the TikTok and Douyin owner declined to comment.
GitHub is China’s ‘last land of free speech’ – but for how long?
Rest of World
With the departure of foreign social networks like Facebook and the rollback of Microsoft-owned LinkedIn’s services there, GitHub is now the last major foreign-owned platform accessible in China that hosts user-generated content — an unpredictable set of information that would normally be at risk of censorship, screening, and even summary blockage. Some users have referred to it as “the last land of free speech.” Though GitHub continues to provide an unparalleled bridge to the global open source community, China’s developers have begun to wear their reliance on the platform more uneasily. Adding to the mounting pressure is a tech policy environment that is increasingly challenging, even for China’s own top tech companies – including, from November 1, the new Personal Information Protection Law. Intended to protect citizens’ data and store it inside the country, the law applies to any company that transmits Chinese user data.
China proposes guidelines on internet platform responsibilities
China's market regulator on Friday proposed a long list of responsibilities it said it wanted the country's internet platforms to uphold, in the latest effort by Beijing to establish an oversight framework for its technology sector. In a statement the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) for the first time defined what it considered to be "super large platforms", saying more would be expected from them especially in the areas of data protection, treatment of workers and fair competition.
Rivals on World Stage, Russia and U.S. Quietly Seek Areas of Accord
The New York Times
There is a serious conversation underway on arms control, the deepest in years. The White House’s top adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, Anne Neuberger, has engaged in a series of quiet, virtual meetings with her Kremlin counterpart. Several weeks ago — after an extensive debate inside the American intelligence community over how much to reveal — the United States turned over the names and other details of a few hackers actively launching attacks on America.
An "eraser button"? Focused ideas could help bridle Big Tech
Break up Big Tech? How about shrinking the tech companies’ shield against liability in cases where the content they push to users causes harm? Or creating a new regulator to strictly oversee the industry? Those ideas have captured official attention in the U.S., Europe, U.K. and Australia as controversy has enveloped Facebook — which on Thursday renamed itself Meta — Google, Amazon and other giants. Revelations of deep-seated problems surfaced by former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen, buttressed by a trove of internal company documents, have lent momentum to legislative and regulatory efforts.
Luca Bertuzzi @BertuzLucaFacebook‘s whistleblower Frances Haugen urged Mark Zuckerberg to resign at the #WebSummit. “The company will not change if he is the CEO.” #Zuckerberg #Facebook https://t.co/3ysVrV4y9K
Will This Generation Of “Climate Tech” Be Different?
Memories are short in the world of startups and venture capital. Amid the recent surge of enthusiasm for climate investing, an important part of this story is too often ignored or left out: this has happened before.
Signal unveils how far US law enforcement will go to get information about people
Signal has released the details of a search warrant it received from police in Santa Clara, California, unveiling the efforts US law enforcement authorities will undertake to force online platforms into disclosing the personal information of their users. In the search warrant, Santa Clara Police sought to get the name, street address, telephone number, and email address of a specific Signal user. It also wanted billing records, the dates of when the account was opened and registered, inbound and outbound call detail records, voicemails, video calls, emails, text messages, IP addresses along with dates and times for each login, and even all dates and times the user connected to Signal.
Biden Administration to Congress: Put Stablecoins Under Federal Supervision – Or We Will
A group of U.S. regulators urged lawmakers to subject stablecoin issuers to the same strict federal oversight as banks, in a highly anticipated report released Monday. Congress should also require custodial wallet providers to be regulated by a federal agency and limit stablecoin issuers’ interactions with non-financial companies such as tech or telecom providers, the President’s Working Group for Financial Markets said. The latter recommendation appeared to be aimed squarely at Diem, formerly Libra, the controversial stablecoin project created by Meta, the social media giant previously known as Facebook.
Teka Teka News @tekateka_newsHave you noticed the job ads for social media managers? Expect more of those as elections draw near. UMass and Harvard University communication professor & disinformation researcher @jonathan_c_ong talks about what they've found about paid troll work: https://t.co/XGE4j7qqGO https://t.co/yP4amSje3m
South and Central Asia
Letter offers hefty rent, job against space for Wi-Fi towers; ‘fake’ says govt
The government has denied it issued an agreement letter promising hefty sum as rent and a government job to the family which will offer space for setting up Wi-Fi towers.
Data transfers between the EU and the US: The new SCCs
Rafi Azim-Khan & Steve Farmer
Question marks still linger over the issue of data transfers between the EU and the US. Not only are these questions unlikely to disappear overnight, but in the months ahead, they could in fact intensify. After all, the broad powers of US authorities are proving to be one rather large spanner in the works of the ongoing EU-US data adequacy negotiations.
Berlin Hoping to Tighten the Reins on Social Media Giants
Maik Baumgärtner @MarkusBecker @patrickbeuth @die_gabe @vmedick @akm0803
The Facebook Papers have now thrust the issue into Germany’s coalition negotiations, as the country continues to move toward assembling a new government following September’s elections. The three parties involved in current coalition talks – the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens – want to appear proactive on the issue. Together, they now intend to up the pressure on Brussels and want Germany’s European partners to finally take action and pass binding laws.
Digging into Google’s push to freeze ePrivacy
Google has responded to allegations contained in a recently unsealed US antitrust lawsuit that it worked covertly to stall European Union privacy legislation that could have blasted a huge hole in its behavioral advertising business. Per the US states’ suit, a couple of years after a European Commission proposal to update the EU’s ePrivacy Directive — to replace it with a more widely applicable Regulation — the tech giant was privately celebrating what it described as a “successful” tilt at “slowing down and delaying” the privacy legislation.
Facebook Shuts Down Massive Nicaraguan Troll Farm Targeting Students
The Daily Beast
Facebook says it removed a covert influence campaign waged by a pro-government Nicaraguan troll farm that used sock puppets to criticize student protesters in the country and amplify state propaganda from the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front-led government.
Iran suspects Israel and US behind fuel cyber attack
An Iranian general has said Israel and the United States were likely to have been behind a cyber attack that interrupted the distribution of fuel at service stations. Tuesday's attack "technically" resembles two previous incidents whose perpetrators "were unquestionably our enemies, namely the United States and the Zionist regime", the Revolutionary Guards' Gholamreza Jalali said.
‘Black Shadow’ hackers leak data from Israeli LGBT app
The Jerusalem Post
Ben Zion Gad
The hacker group "Black Shadow" has leaked data from various Israeli companies, such as LGBTQ dating app "Atraf", Dan bus company and tour booking company Pegasus on Saturday night. On Friday, the group announced that they had hacked into the servers of the Israeli Internet company Cyberserve, promptly turning them off and threatening to leak data. Cyberserve is a web hosting company, meaning it provides servers and data storage for other companies across industries.
Hackers threaten to out Israeli LGBTQ dating site users
A hacking group calling itself Black Shadow threatened Sunday to reveal personal details of a million users of Israeli's leading LGBTQ dating site, an attack some cyber experts linked to Iran. "If we have 1 Millions $ in our wallet in the next 48 hours, we will not leak this information and also we will not sell it to anybody," Black Shadow wrote on Telegram. The Atraf dating site was compromised after Black Shadow hacked CyberServe, an Israeli internet service provider whose clients include public transportation firms, museums and a travel company. The leaked records included users' HIV status, sexual orientation and unencrypted passwords. Ran Shalhavi, CEO of The Aguda -- The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, told AFP his organisation had extended its emergency hotline hours to deal with a flood of worried callers.
Founder of Notorious Israeli Spyware Firm NSO Steps Down as CEO
Israeli spyware firm NSO has chosen a new CEO, replacing co-founder and longtime chief Shalev Hulio with the company’s co-president, Itzik Benbenisti. Hulio will become vice chairman of the company’s board of directors, as well as NSO’s president.
The cyberespionage firm is best known for its Pegasus phone hacking software. The company has been contending with the fallout from Project Pegasus, a global investigation led by the Paris-based nonprofit Forbidden Stories together with Amnesty International and a consortium of journalists from 17 news outlets across the world, including Haaretz. The project was based on leaked data and revealed a long list of high-profile individuals who were selected as possible targets for potential snooping by the firm’s Pegasus spyware by NSO’s clients.
A Brief History of Online Influence Operations
Jacob T. Rob & Jacob N. Shapiro
How can it be that society depends on whistleblowers revealing internal studies that could not pass peer review for insight into the societal harms exacerbated by multibillion-dollar companies that hundreds of millions of Americans (and billions of people around the world) use for hours every week?
Sega, Microsoft explore cloud gaming alliance
Sega Sammy Holdings (6460.T) on Monday said it is exploring a strategic alliance with Microsoft (MSFT.O) to develop big budget titles using the Xbox maker's cloud gaming tech, driving anticipation the move could signal a deeper tie-up.
Roblox Goes Down, Forcing Children Outside for Halloween
The New York Times
After three days offline, the popular gaming site said Sunday that it was back. In the meantime, children were freaking out.
Stripe Discriminates Against Witches
Payment processing companies decide who is empowered to buy and sell online—and their policies show a gross misunderstanding of metaphysical practitioners.
The Demise of White House Market Will Shake Up the Dark Web
The popular marketplace’s closing leaves a big hole in the billion-dollar industry of illegal drugs, credit card and bank fraud, forged documents, and more.
The Sydney Dialogue
The Sydney Dialogue is a world-first summit for emerging, critical and cyber technologies. Launching virtually on 17 November, the inaugural Sydney Dialogue will have an Indo-Pacific focus, featuring keynote addresses from Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison; India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; and former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe - as well as a number of panel discussions with experts from around the world. You will hear from political, technology, business and civil society leaders and - as well as the world’s best strategic thinkers - as they generate new ideas, work towards common understandings and formulate possible solutions to maximise the opportunities and minimise the negative consequences of the next wave of new technologies. Head on over to our brand new website to check out the line-up of events and speakers, and register for the virtual sessions you’d like to attend.
Where to next for the Indigenous Procurement Policy?
On Friday 5th November 2-pm, ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre’s IndigiCyber, Defence & Space Program will host an online roundtable ‘Where to next for the Indigenous Procurement Policy?’ This will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss and explore the IPP, and potential opportunities for Indigenous businesses.
Sex Bots, Religion and the Wild World of A.I.
The New York Times
The writer Jeanette Winterson explores the wild world unfolding alongside the rise of artificial intelligence.
Logging Off Facebook: What Comes Next?
Event on what is next for technologists, policy makers, and organizers who are looking to hold Facebook accountable & find alternatives. A half-day unconference for technologists who are making alternatives to Facebook; policy makers with ideas about how to fix, regulate and/or break-up Facebook; and organizers looking for answers that address Facebook's central and toxic role in civic life.
META’S ANDREW BOSWORTH ON MOVING FACEBOOK TO THE METAVERSE
Andrew Bosworth...will become the chief technology officer of Meta, expanding his remit to include the company’s artificial intelligence and broader engineering teams.
Neuron Bursts Can Mimic a Famous AI Learning Strategy
A team of researchers led by Richard Naud of the University of Ottawa and Blake Richards of McGill University and the Mila AI Institute in Quebec revealed a new model of the brain’s learning algorithm that can mimic the backpropagation process. It appears so realistic that experimental neuroscientists have taken notice and are now interested in studying real neurons to find out whether the brain is actually doing it. “Ideas coming from the more theoretical side can drive the impetus to do difficult experiments, and for my money this paper gets over the bar for that,” said Matthew Larkum, an experimental neuroscientist at Humboldt University of Berlin. “It’s biologically plausible and could have big ramifications.”
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.