Chinese apps could face subpoenas or bans under Biden order | LinkedIn blocks profiles from view in China if sensitive topics mentioned | AFP muscles up to go after ransomware gangs
President Joe Biden’s executive order aimed at safeguarding Americans’ sensitive data would force some Chinese apps to take tougher measures to protect private information if they want to remain in the U.S. market, according to people familiar with the matter. Reuters
LinkedIn is blocking profiles from being viewed inside China if they mention politically sensitive topics such as the Tiananmen Square massacre, including benign references to academic study. The Guardian
Criminal groups digitally extorting Australian businesses and agencies could face the prospect of prosecution and efforts to claw back funds, thanks to a new law enforcement operation aimed at ransomware operators. Australian Financial Review
China's most belligerent journalists used to be the ones doling out insults online. Now they're the targets
In the past, reporters at the Global Times set the parameters of what acceptable, nationalistic messaging should look and sound like, said Fergus Ryan, a cyber analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former Beijing-based journalist. "But now, other actors feel like they should be able to have their input as well, and are challenging the gatekeepers." He said China's government was moving away from a centralised communications model to one that leveraged different groups within China, ranging from Communist Party organisations through to patriotic bloggers and artists. "Those various actors are competing with each other to create memes, catchphrases and other content that they hope will be amplified on Twitter by Foreign Ministry spokespeople and diplomats and other party organs," he told the ABC.
Home Affairs should look into supply chain technologies like blockchain: Committee
While not endorsing the Bill it was tasked to examine, a Senate Committee believes technology has potential in the fight against forced labour, particularly in relation to Xinjiang..The March prior, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute released a report that alleged the use of forced Uyghur labour in factories that were part of the supply chains of 83 global brands at the time.
Read ASPI ICPC’s ‘Uyghurs for sale’ report here.
Australia's quantum opportunity - before we let it slip
Countries including US, China, India, France, Germany to name a few recognise that investments in science and technology are the fuel for future prosperity and economic development. They continue to invest (with medium and long-term lenses) accordingly. ASPI's latest report into quantum technology shows Australians are highly influential in this scientific research & commercialisation opportunity, despite our size and geographic location. But that leadership (and ability to take other Australians along for that success) is threatened.
Read ASPI ICPC’s ‘An Australian strategy for the quantum revolution’ here.
To stop the ransomware pandemic, start with the basics
Such attacks are evidence of an epoch of intensifying cyber-insecurity that will impinge on everyone, from tech firms to schools and armies. One threat is catastrophe: think of an air-traffic-control system or a nuclear-power plant failing. But another is harder to spot, as cybercrime impedes the digitisation of many industries, hampering a revolution that promises to raise living standards around the world.
AFP muscles up to go after ransomware gangs
Australian Financial Review
Criminal groups digitally extorting Australian businesses and agencies could face the prospect of prosecution and efforts to claw back funds, thanks to a new law enforcement operation aimed at ransomware operators. The Australian Federal Police Cybercrime Operations will soon begin work on a new ransomware taskforce to centralise law enforcement efforts against criminal gangs using digital means to extort money out of Australian businesses and organisations.
Expanding state surveillance: Organised crime and the PM’s push for more police powers
The Sydney Morning Herald
Flanked by top police officials in front of custom printed ‘Operation Ironside’ branding, Prime Minister Scott Morrison used a global organised crime sting to make the public case for stronger police powers.
Labor to introduce legislation to require reporting of cyber ransoms
Australian Financial Review
Labor will introduce a private member’s bill that would require companies that pay ransom to cyber criminals to inform government authorities. Tim Watts, the Opposition cyber security spokesman, said the legislation to require reporting to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) – part of the Australian Signals Directorate – was a baseline to begin legislative efforts against ransomware.
Labor 'not happy' about supporting Online Safety Bill
The Online Safety Bill has passed the upper house and will become law after Labor supported the controversial legislation despite being “not happy” about the way it has been delivered, and the Greens labelling it “utterly undercooked”. The legislation will now be returned to the lower house as a formality before it is passed into law. The Online Safety Bill extends the online content takedown scheme to Australian adults, allowing for the issuing of removal notices for content deemed to be rated as R18+ and higher, and to order the sites and apps to be blocked if they don’t comply.
‘Never say never’: Top statistician braces for census night hacks to avoid repeat of 2016
The Sydney Morning Herald
The nation’s top statistician is unable to promise there won’t be cyber attacks affecting census night on August 10 but said every step had been taken to protect household data from state-based actors and hackers.
‘The threat is real’: Cyber war specialist warns Australia must lift its game
The New Daily
The defence force’s former head of information warfare says new laws to toughen cyber security “can’t come soon enough”.
LinkedIn blocks profiles from view in China if sensitive topics mentioned
LinkedIn is blocking profiles from being viewed inside China if they mention politically sensitive topics such as the Tiananmen Square massacre, including benign references to academic study. In recent weeks, the professional networking site has written to several China analysts, alerting them to “prohibited content” on their profile pages.
China's cryptocurrency-mining crackdown spreads to Sichuan
Samuel Shen & @alundavidjohn
China's crackdown on cryptocurrency "mining" has extended to the southwest province of Sichuan, where authorities ordered cryptocurrency mining projects closed in the major mining centre.
Bitcoin miners exit China, head for U.S. as crypto climate shifts
The Washington Post
Today, Jiang, a fast-talking 36-year-old, is winding down in China. He and several Chinese investors — some who became billionaires off bitcoin mining — are considering shipping their equipment to Texas and Tennessee.
Technical standards-setting is the next China-US showdown
The west has typically pioneered global technical standards, but China is aiming to dominate the next wave of emerging technologies.
Canon put AI cameras in its Chinese offices that only let smiling workers inside
Tech company Canon has come up with a downright dystopic way to tackle the problem of workplace morale: it’s installed cameras with AI-enabled “smile recognition” technology in the offices of its Chinese subsidiary Canon Information Technology. The cameras only let smiling workers enter rooms or book meetings, ensuring that every employee is definitely, 100 percent happy all the time.
Why "lying flat," a niche Chinese millennial meme, alarms Beijing
During its seven decades of ruling in China, the Chinese Communist Party has become increasingly skilled at crushing street protests such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square student demonstrations. But the government is now facing a new form of resistance that may be a little harder to put down—“Tang Ping” (躺平) or lying flat, a passive approach to life that subtly thwarts the government’s desire to foster a hardworking and productive populace.
zeynep tufekci @zeynepHong Kong starts being pulled inside the Great Firewall. https://t.co/UTsyTkmPn1
EXCLUSIVE Chinese apps could face subpoenas or bans under Biden order -sources
President Joe Biden’s executive order aimed at safeguarding Americans’ sensitive data would force some Chinese apps to take tougher measures to protect private information if they want to remain in the U.S. market, according to people familiar with the matter.
House Republicans zero in on Big Tech's relationships with China
House Republicans are zeroing in on the relationship between Big Tech companies and China, expanding their initial platform focused on tech accountability.
US battles China over new subsea internet cable funding
Citing security concerns, the US and its allies have blocked several attempts by China to fund new subsea internet cables.
U.S. FCC votes to advance proposed ban on Huawei, ZTE gear
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to advance a plan to ban approvals for equipment in U.S. telecommunications networks from Chinese companies deemed national security threats like Huawei and ZTE.
Biden must get tough on China's forced-labor industries, including solar
@edelabruyere & Nathan Picarsic
The Biden administration needs to muster the guts to go after the bigger, more strategic targets, too. Those include the consumer electronics and automotive industries. They also include the solar industry — China produces some 80 percent of the world’s polysilicon, the main material input for solar cells.
Lina Khan, the new antitrust chief taking on Big Tech
So when Khan, who is just 32, was this week tapped by US president Joe Biden to be chair of the Federal Trade Commission, the top competition regulator, it sent shockwaves through Washington, Wall Street and Silicon Valley. The prevailing expectation is that she will now seek to usher in a new era of antitrust enforcement in America.
Hit by a ransomware attack? Your payment may be deductible
As ransomware attacks surge, the FBI is doubling down on its guidance to affected businesses: Don’t pay the cybercriminals. But the U.S. government also offers a little-noticed incentive for those who do pay: The ransoms may be tax deductible.
We investigated whether digital contact tracing actually worked in the US
MIT Technology Review
A year ago, engineers built apps to track potential virus exposure. Our research shows the impact has been mixed—but there's still potential.
How the House’s Silicon Valley smackdown is dividing conservatives
The effort is drawing opposition from the libertarian Koch network's vast advocacy apparatus but support from many pro-Trump Republicans on the Hill.
How New York City's Law Department Got Hacked
The New York Times
@danarubinstein @BenWeiserNYT @AshleyatTimes
Hackers used one worker’s login information to penetrate the Law Department’s network after officials failed to implement a simple security measure.
U.S. Plans to Spend Big on Critical Minerals; Choosing Where Isn’t Easy
As the U.S. and its allies chase China in procuring critical minerals essential for modern technologies, they face a major hurdle: a lack of companies and projects with an established record.
The World Relies on One Chip Maker in Taiwan, Leaving Everyone Vulnerable
Yang Jie, @stephanieayang & @asafitch
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s dominance poses risks to the global economy, amid geopolitical tensions and a major chip shortage.
Chip supply chain a top priority in Suga's first economic plan
Takashi Tsuji and Kosuke Takeuchi, Nikkei staff writers
Japan to offer incentives for new semiconductor factories amid global shortage.
Samsung turns South Korea garrison city into chipmaking boom town
Pyeongtaek represents a confluence of innovation and government largesse.
South Korea's spy camera epidemic has women fearful they are watched wherever they go
@carringtonAU, , Sookyoung Lee and Mitch Denman Woolnough
SouthKorea's spy camera epidemic has women fearful they are watched wherever they go. 'Many women live in fear of spy cameras hidden in public spaces & their own homes, positioned to capture them at their most private moments.'
How ‘the bastard of the internet’ built a wildlife trading empire
Rest of World
Phan Huynh Anh Khoa capitalized on Vietnam's digital development — and Facebook's negligence — to build a wildlife trading empire.
The fall of the King of Squirrels
Rest Of World
Phan Huynh Anh Khoa capitalized on Vietnam's digital development — and Facebook's negligence — to build a wildlife trading empire.
South and Central Asia
Could Twitter, WhatsApp face ban in India? Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad replies
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said the government is not in favour of banning any social media platform. If half of the government is on Twitter, including Prime Minister and President, it shows how fair the government is, but social media intermediaries, a status that Twitter has recently lost, have to follow local rules, the minister said to news agency ANI. On WhatsApp, he said all ordinary users can continue to use it. "It is my word," the minister said.
India’s healthcare workers are busting misinformation on WhatsApp
The backbone of India’s rural healthcare system is now tasked with beating back COVID-19 myths, one message at a time.
China links pose a threat to academic freedom in Britain
When the pandemic struck, British universities set up a new online teaching solution to deliver courses to students stuck in China. A group of academics warned that the service, routed through Alibaba Cloud servers in China, was a potential vehicle for monitoring and censorship. There are also real questions over partnerships with China’s military. In 2017, the UK was second only to the US for papers co-authored with People’s Liberation Army scientists. Perhaps the high point of collaboration was when the University of Cambridge signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s National University of Defence Technology, its premier military university.
Poland officials targeted in Russian cyber attack, says Kaczynski
Senior Polish officials were targeted in a cyber attack that originated in Russia, Poland’s de facto leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Friday. The claim comes two weeks after an account on the Telegram social media platform began leaking what it claimed were emails sent by government officials, including the top aide to prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Lisbon gave protesters' data to foreign embassies
Authorities in the Portuguese capital Lisbon illegally handed over protesters' personal details to the foreign embassies they were picketing, an audit has found. Data was shared 52 times from 2018-19, said Lisbon mayor Fernando Medina. He declined to say which embassies were involved, but media reports cited China, Israel and Russia..Mr Medina on Friday acknowledged that the audit of city council procedures concluded that protest organisers' data had been illegally shared. There were 182 such cases since 2012, but the mayor highlighted 52 instances which happened after the EU's General Data Protection Regulation - which bans such data sharing - came into force in 2018.
Norway says Chinese group APT31 is behind catastrophic 2018 government hack
The Record by Recorded Future
Norway’s police secret service said this week that APT31, a cyber-espionage group operating on behalf of China, was responsible for a 2018 breach of the government’s IT network. According to the Norwegian Police Security Service, the 2018 hack was as bad as it could get.
Opinion: All Canadian universities must critically reassess their collaborations with China
The Globe and Mail
Canada is proud to have one of the world’s best research environments for cutting-edge development in technology and science. But recent media reports have documented the risks of a system where Canadian researchers may collaborate with China.
U.S. tech giants’ vise over Israel tightens despite ceasefire
Tech employees and Palestinian rights activists want companies like Amazon and Google to sever their ties to the Israeli government and accuse Facebook of "silencing" their cause.
Ethiopia elections: The misinformation circulating online
As Ethiopia prepares for parliamentary elections on Monday, some online users have been posting misleading content and claims.
Bombshell Report Finds Phone Network Encryption Was Deliberately Weakened
A new paper shows that two old encryption algorithms still used in mobile networks can be exploited to spy on phones' internet traffic.
ICPC Analyst or Senior Analyst - Cyber & technology
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an exceptional cyber-security or technology focused analyst or senior analyst to join its centre in 2021. Please note that interviews have commenced for this position and will continue until the end of June. This role will focus on policy relevant cybersecurity analysis, informed public commentary and either original data-heavy research and/or technical analysis. Analysts usually have around 7-15 years work experience. Senior analysts usually have a minimum of 15 years relevant work experience and tend to be involved in staff and project management, fundraising and stakeholder engagement.
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.