Cyberattack strikes company widely used by Aus gov | How politicians target you: 3,000 data points on every voter | How Syria's disinformation wars destroyed the co-founder of the White Helmets
A media-monitoring and analytics firm used by the federal government has been hit by a cyberattack, prompting the involvement of the nation’s leading cybersecurity agency. The company said it had engaged external cybersecurity specialists and informed the Australian Cyber Security Centre about the attack. The Guardian
Our quest to find what politicians know about voters uncovered data troves with intimate information about income, debt, family, religion, gun ownership and a whole lot more. Washington Post
In the years before Le Mesurier’s death, he and the White Helmets had become the focus of an online disinformation campaign led by Russian and Syrian officials and peddled by pro-Assad bloggers, alt-right media figures and self-described anti-imperialists. As their work in Syria expanded, the group became one of the most scrutinised and vilified organisations in the world. The Guardian
Global gosbankification risk is now at orange
It’s easy to get excited about the potential upsides of a digital yuan system, such as low-cost frictionless payments across-borders. And mainstream media coverage is certainly doing its bit to endlessly highlight these aspects. But the bigger issue about who controls the related data and what they do with it must not be lost sight of. The existential risks to liberty are real and very concerning. We turn in that regard to the recent policy brief put out by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre. Here’s the thrust of the issue in their eyes:
Read ASPI ICPC’s report ‘The flipside of China’s central bank digital currency’ here.
Coronavirus: Russia used British journalist to help plant ‘chimp vaccine’ smear
Jacob Wallis, an expert in disinformation at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the social media campaigns manned by bots were losing favour “because social media platforms are getting better at identifying inauthentic, co-ordinated networks”. Instead, he said: “Freelance journalists in the West are being hired to produce content that promotes pro-Russian messaging.”
How coronavirus lies spread worldwide: ASPI report
Russia’s efforts to manipulate the information environment during the coronavirus crisis have been detailed in an Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) report published on Tuesday.
China battles new Covid-19 cluster in Xinjiang
The suppression of information flowing out of the crowded camps has prompted concerns that the virus could spread easily. The family of the 17-year-old work in factories that are 5-10km away from at least five detention camps identified by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think-tank using satellite imagery.
Explore ASPI ICPC's latest research in 'the Xinjiang Data project' here.
Doug Dingwall @dougdingwallNational Archives to spend $3 million on saving at-risk audio and video recordings https://t.co/o4iSV9f37w via @canberratimes
Cyberattack strikes media-monitoring company used by Australian government
Josh Taylor @knausc
A media-monitoring and analytics firm used by the federal government has been hit by a cyberattack, prompting the involvement of the nation’s leading cybersecurity agency. The company said it had engaged external cybersecurity specialists and informed the Australian Cyber Security Centre about the attack.
Spy agency says dumping historian had nothing to do with national security
The Sydney Morning Herald
The boss of Australia's cyber spy agency has conceded it cancelled a contract with the Australian National University to write its official history after it sought to gain editorial control over the project beyond secrecy provisions.
National Archives to spend $3 million on saving at-risk audio and video recordings
The Canberra Times
The National Archives will save more than 30,000 at-risk recordings with a $3 million spend aiming to digitise its ageing audio and video tapes. Critical records of Australian culture and history could be lost forever as the magnetic tape deteriorates beyond repair and equipment to play it back disappears, the archives has warned.
Read ASPI ICPC’s report ‘Identity of a nation: Protecting the digital evidence of who we are’ here.
Boris Johnson asks Scott Morrison to take 'bold action' on climate change
The Sydney Morning Herald
The two leaders agreed to intensify the partnership between the UK and Australia on "developing and scaling up green technologies". Johnson is impressed with Australia's solar industry and also believes Australia could learn from advances in the UK's wind sector.
Ant Group to Raise More Than $34 Billion in Record IPO
Chinese financial-technology giant Ant Group Co. is set to raise at least $34.4 billion from the world’s biggest-ever initial public offering, filings showed Monday, in a blockbuster deal that will bypass U.S. stock exchanges.
How politicians target you: 3,000 data points on every voter, including your phone number
Our quest to find what politicians know about voters uncovered data troves with intimate information about income, debt, family, religion, gun ownership and a whole lot more
U.S. Agency Targets Its Own Journalists' Independence
A regulatory "firewall" intended to protect Voice of America and its affiliated newsrooms from political interference in their journalism was swept aside late Monday night by the chief executive of the federal agency which oversees the government's international broadcasters.
Apple lobbied Congress on bill targeting Uighur slave labor in China
Apple paid an outside firm to lobby Congress on legislation targeting American companies working in areas in China that may use forced labor, The Information first reported. It remains unclear whether Apple lobbied against or for the bill. In March, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute released a report alleging that several Chinese suppliers for Apple used thousands of displaced Uighur Muslims - which are currently the target of a campaign of cultural genocide in the region of Xinjiang - for forced labor.
Read ASPI ICPC's report 'Uyghurs for Sale' here.
Trump campaign ran a Facebook ad implying he won the election, which is supposed to be against Facebook's rules
Though Election Day is a week away, President Donald Trump’s campaign appears to have a victory ad ready to go on Facebook.
A conservative PAC is spreading anti-trans misinfo about Biden in Facebook ads and texts
In a new text message and Facebook ad campaign, the conservative PAC American Principles Project is falsely claiming that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden supports "sex change operations for children as young as 8." The campaign underscores how little transparency is required in political texts, billions of which are being sent to Americans every month.
Twitter introduces banner debunking voter misinformation
Twitter launched a feature on its platform Monday that seeks to debunk misinformation about voting in a last minute effort to inform users of weaponized information operations.
Halt on WeChat Ban Stays in Place During Appeal, Court Says
The Trump administration lost a bid to enforce its prohibitions against the Chinese-owned “super app” WeChat in the U.S. during its appeal of a judge’s ruling that the ban probably violates the free-speech rights of its users.
South & Central Asia
2+2 dialogue: India, US sign crucial agreement on geo-spatial intelligence
The Indian Express
A day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper arrived in India, both the countries signed the crucial Indo-US Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)..The cooperation also includes sharing of high-end satellite images, telephone intercepts, and data exchange on Chinese troops and weapons deployment along the 3,488-km India-China LAC.
Facebook's Top Public Policy Executive in India Steps Down
The Wall Street Journal
A Facebook Inc. executive in India who was at the center of a political storm over the company's policy on anti-Muslim hate speech on the platform is leaving the company effective today, the company said Tuesday.
Mobile networks banned from selling locked phones
The UK's mobile networks are to be forbidden from selling phones locked to their services from December 2021.
Exclusive: EU taps Chinese technology linked to Muslim internment camps in Xinjiang
In the fight against coronavirus, the EU is using thermal cameras produced by Chinese tech giant Hikvision. The firm has been linked to the oppression of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province.
How Syria's disinformation wars destroyed the co-founder of the White Helmets
In the years before Le Mesurier’s death, he and the White Helmets had become the focus of an online disinformation campaign led by Russian and Syrian officials and peddled by pro-Assad bloggers, alt-right media figures and self-described anti-imperialists. As their work in Syria expanded, the group became one of the most scrutinised and vilified organisations in the world.
Revealed: $280m ‘dark money’ spent by US Christian right groups globally
US Christian right groups, many with close links to the Trump administration, have spent at least $280m in ‘dark money’ fuelling campaigns against the rights of women and LGBTIQ people across five continents, openDemocracy can reveal today.
A Future Internet for Democracies: Contesting China’s Push for Dominance in 5G, 6G, and the Internet of Everything
Alliance for Securing Democracy
The United States and its democratic allies are engaged in a contest for the soul of the Future Internet. Conceived as a beacon of free expression with the power to tear down communication barriers across free and unfree societies alike, the Internet today faces significant challenges to its status as the world’s ultimate connector. In creating connectivity and space for democratic speech, it has also enabled new means of authoritarian control and the suppression of human rights through censorship and surveillance.
Australian Cyber Week 2020
Jump in and be part of Australian Cyber Week 2020. Participate in our events and/or contribute to the discussion online. 26-30 October 2020
Senior Researcher / Project Lead
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a senior researcher to lead a one-year project looking at leadership networks across Asia. Interviews will start immediately.