EU seeks anti-China alliance on tech with Biden | Aus MPs unite to condemn 'grossly insulting' Chinese government tweet | London A.I. Lab Claims Breakthrough That Could Accelerate Drug Discovery
Europe on Monday proposed teaming up with incoming U.S. President Joe Biden to squeeze China out of the global technology trade. Exhausted by four years of trade tensions on two fronts, fighting against both U.S. President Donald Trump on one flank and Beijing on the other, Europe is trying to seize an early initiative ahead of Biden’s inauguration on January 20 by rolling out geostrategic plans for closer transatlantic cooperation. Politico
An inflammatory tweet by China’s foreign ministry spokesman about alleged war crimes in Afghanistan has emboldened hawkish Australian politicians who are pushing for Canberra to take an even stronger stand against Beijing. One human rights campaigner accused the Chinese government of being “breathtakingly, gobsmackingly hypocritical” given its own record in places including Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The Guardian
DeepMind, a lab owned by the same parent company as Google, said on Monday that its system, called AlphaFold, had solved what is known as “the protein folding problem.” Given the string of amino acids that make up a protein, the system can rapidly and reliably predict its three-dimensional shape. The New York Times
‘Awful’ Chinese SAS meme went viral on Weibo before government repost
The New Daily
“The image was designed by the artist to really push the envelope of what is allowed on social media platforms,” Fergus Ryan, from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told The New Daily. “In China they call it ‘edge ball content’, a term from ping pong for a shot that barely makes it on to the table.”
After Covid-19 Volume 3: Voices from federal parliament
Today ASPI released the third edition in the After Covid-19 series, featuring voices from federal parliament. Topics include:
Technology & Australia’s approach to tech supply chains by Tim Watts MP
Data rights & Australia’s role as a standards-setter by Senator the Hon Jane Hume
Foreign interference via social media after Covid-19 by Senator David Van
Read the whole edition here.
Australian MPs unite to condemn 'grossly insulting' Chinese government tweet
An inflammatory tweet by China’s foreign ministry spokesman about alleged war crimes in Afghanistan has emboldened hawkish Australian politicians who are pushing for Canberra to take an even stronger stand against Beijing. One human rights campaigner accused the Chinese government of being “breathtakingly, gobsmackingly hypocritical” given its own record in places including Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
China fires back at Morrison, doubles down on war crimes accusation The Sydney Morning Herald
COVIDSafe app overhauled before Christmas ad campaign
The Sydney Morning Herald
The COVIDSafe app, downloaded by more than seven million times at the height of the pandemic, has been overhauled by the Morrison government before a new Christmas advertising campaign to warn Australia against relaxing social distancing measures. The app has been criticised for software glitches which undermined its effectiveness, particularly on Apple iPhones, with Victoria abandoning its use at the height of the second wave because it had not been integrated properly into its contact tracing process.
Pa. counties reported no major issues with Dominion voting machines, a target of Trump and his campaign
Spotlight PA and Votebeat reached out to officials in the 14 counties that use Dominion’s systems. Of the six counties that responded, representatives from five said they were satisfied with the machines and had little or no problems during the November election or past elections. Officials from the sixth county said there was some voter confusion about how to use the machines.
Pennsylvania county pays 500K ransom to DoppelPaymer ransomware
Delaware County, Pennsylvania has paid a $500,000 ransom after their systems were hit by the DoppelPaymer ransomware last weekend. On Monday, Delaware County disclosed that they had taken portions of their computer network offline after discovering that their network was compromised.
Facebook Ban is an Attack on Human Rights: Civil Society
Civil Society Organisations in the Solomon Islands are utterly disappointed with the Cabinet’s decision to suspend the world’s biggest social networking site, Facebook.
London A.I. Lab Claims Breakthrough That Could Accelerate Drug Discovery
The New York Times
Researchers at DeepMind say they have solved “the protein folding problem,” a task that has bedeviled scientists for more than 50 years.
EU seeks anti-China alliance on tech with Biden
Europe on Monday proposed teaming up with incoming U.S. President Joe Biden to squeeze China out of the global technology trade. Exhausted by four years of trade tensions on two fronts, fighting against both U.S. President Donald Trump on one flank and Beijing on the other, Europe is trying to seize an early initiative ahead of Biden’s inauguration on January 20 by rolling out geostrategic plans for closer transatlantic cooperation.
Apple fined in Italy for misleading consumers over waterproof iPhones
Italy's competition authority on Monday fined Apple €10 million for misleading consumers about the water-resistance of its iPhones. Apple advertised several iPhone models as resistant to water for up to 30 minutes, even a few meters under water, but it didn't make clear that this is only true under specific conditions (pure water in a laboratory), which are far from real-life ones, the authority found in a decision published on Monday.
QAnon Gains Traction in Russia
The Moscow Times
Abdullina is one of a growing number of Russians who believe in QAnon - a sprawling patchwork of conspiracy theories based around the unfounded belief that Trump is battling a shadowy group of child-trafficking pedophiles in the highest ranks of the global elite.
Uganda is using Huawei’s facial recognition tech to crack down on dissent after anti-government protests
Long before the Nov. 18-19 protests in Uganda that left more than 50 people dead, opposition politicians, and local activists had warned about the potential abuse and human rights implications of an invasive surveillance system bought by the government last year from China’s telecoms giant Huawei.
Uber made big promises in Kenya. Drivers say it's ruined their lives.
Uber came to Kenya, a country of densely populated cities without efficient public transportation, and aggressively signed up drivers while increasing ridership by dropping prices. Interviews with more than 80 current and former drivers in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa show that, in Kenya's biggest markets, untold numbers of Uber drivers are drowning in debt.
Covid-19 vaccines face a varied and powerful misinformation movement online
Vaccination proponents and misinformation researchers had been waiting for years for Facebook to take action against the biggest and most influential anti-vaccination pages. So it was with some trepidation that they welcomed the news that the social network last week had banned some of the most popular and prolific anti-vaccination accounts — pages that had also pushed Covid-19 vaccination misinformation to millions of people.
Vaccine maker AstraZeneca staff ‘targeted’ in cyber attack, allege reports
Hackers have been targeting AstraZeneca employees in a recent cyberattack attempt against the COVID-19 vaccine frontrunner, according to Reuters. The hackers, suspected to be from North Korea, allegedly acted as recruiters and contacted employees on online networking platforms like LinkedIn and WhatsApp with fake job offers, according to media reports.
How Should the New Administration Protect Free Speech and Democracy in Our Digital World?
These terms have become part of our national lexicon when talking about social media and the internet. Join us for a conversation with experts Rebecca MacKinnon, Founding Director of Ranking Digital Rights at New America, and John Palfrey, President of the MacArthur Foundation, moderated by Cecilia Kang, National Technology Correspondent for The New York Times, on how the new administration should tackle these and other challenges impacting higher education and other institutions that underpin our democracy.