Facebook renames itself Meta | Warning of Australia's unpreparedness to foreign interference election threat | Cyber-attack hits UK internet phone providers
On Thursday, the social networking giant took an unmistakable step toward an overhaul, de-emphasizing Facebook’s name and rebranding itself as Meta. The New York Times
The government remains without a lead agency charged with tackling electoral interference during the upcoming federal election, a Labor senator has warned. Fresh off being nominated the parliamentary intelligence and security committee's new deputy chair, Senator Jenny McAllister said she wasn't convinced the government was prepared to tackle foreign interference in an election setting. The Canberra Times
An "unprecedented" and co-ordinated cyber-attack has struck multiple UK-based providers of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services, according to an industry body. BBC News
A brief history of online influence operations
Jacob T. Rob and Jacob N. Shapiro
The last significant development in this period was the growth of organizations that systematically documented various influence efforts. This new ecosystem had academic research centers such as the CSMap Lab at New York University, Clemson University’s Social Media Listening Center, and Cardiff University’s OSCAR Center, as well as think tanks that combined research with policy advocacy, including the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Cyber Policy Centre.
Senator Jenny McAllister on intelligence oversight and diversity in national security
@jennymcallister @Rory_Medcalf @DaniellesCave
In the discussion, Senator McAllister reflects on the security of the upcoming federal election, the role of state governments in Australia’s national security, and the need for intelligence and security agencies to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. Professor Medcalf and Senator McAllister also talk about Dr William Stoltz’s recent argument for a Minister for Intelligence and important research on women in international relations by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Danielle Cave.
Danielle Cave was a lead author in a 3-year study by the Lowy Institute for International Policy ‘Foreign territory: Women in international relations’ that revealed severe gender imbalances in Australia’s international relations sector - including Australia’s diplomatic, national security and intelligence community, despite the existence of some prominent trailblazers. Explore that work here.
The fall and rise of techno-globalism
Two key words were missing from the statements that followed the inaugural in-person summit in September of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as the Quad, which features Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. The first absent word was predictable: “China.”
Jenny McAllister warns of govt's unpreparedness to foreign interference election threat
The Canberra Times
The government remains without a lead agency charged with tackling electoral interference during the upcoming federal election, a Labor senator has warned. Fresh off being nominated the parliamentary intelligence and security committee's new deputy chair, Senator Jenny McAllister said she wasn't convinced the government was prepared to tackle foreign interference in an election setting.
Australian Kimberley Chen says 'no regret' after China censors her song mocking Xi Jinping
The Chinese-Australian singer has been banned by Beijing, but she has no regrets about her new song, Fragile — or Glass Heart in Chinese — which has been accused of insulting China.
How private Telegram channel 'IM Packs' created a black market for Ivermectin in Australia
As much of eastern Australia was settling in for another Friday night in lockdown earlier this month, an unlikely prescription drug importation ring popped up in a dark corner of the internet.
Digital platform services inquiry - September 2021 interim report
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
This report examines the provision of web browsers and general search services to Australian consumers and the effectiveness of choice screens in facilitating competition and improving consumer choice. The report also provides the ACCC’s advice to the Australian Government on Google’s rollout of search engine choice options on new Android devices in Europe.
NSW to establish identity theft support unit
The NSW government is recruiting experts for a new identity support unit for people whose personal information or government proof of identity credentials have been stolen.
Agencies ‘hunting every night’ with offensive cyber capabilities
Australia’s spy agency is “going hunting” for ransomware gangs “every night”, according to Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo, who has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to an offensive cyber capability. At the same Senate Estimates hearing, it was revealed that the federal government’s new Ransomware Action Plan contains no new funding, and its mandatory notification scheme legislation won’t be seen in Parliament this year. Addressing a Senate Estimates hearing on Monday, Mr Pezzullo said that the Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD) offensive cyber capabilities are in use “every night”.
China warns unlicensed online brokerages they are breaking the law
Samuel Shen and @apgalbraith
A Chinese central banker warned that online brokerages not licensed in China are acting illegally if they serve Chinese clients via the Internet, sending New York-listed shares of Futu Holdings Ltd (FUTU.O) and UP Fintech Holding sharply lower.
Hong Kong passes film censorship law to 'safeguard national security'
Hong Kong's legislature passed a new film censorship law on Wednesday to ""safeguard national security"", though critics say it will dampen creativity in its world famous movie industry and further reduce freedoms in the former British colony. China imposed a sweeping national security law over its most restive city last year, and Hong Kong's legislature has no opposition lawmakers left after mass resignations from the pro-democracy camp in protest against the ousting of some colleagues. The Hong Kong government said the film censorship law was aimed at content deemed to ""endorse, support, glorify, encourage and incite activities that might endanger national security."
Bottled water, vaccines and electric vehicles propel China's biggest earners
Bottled water, vaccine development, short video platform TikTok and electric vehicle technology propelled the big earners on China's rich list this year, as embattled property moguls and others facing regulatory scrutiny slipped down the rankings.
How China Learned to Harness Israel’s Media and Booming Tech Scene
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The project aims to significantly broaden understanding and debate about China’s role in the world and to generate innovative policy ideas. These could enable local players to better channel Chinese energies to support their societies and economies; provide lessons for Western engagement around the world, especially in developing countries; help China’s own policy community learn from the diversity of Chinese experience; and potentially reduce frictions. As Chinese actors have pursued technological innovation and greater political influence in Israel, they have employed three basic approaches to court favor in and through Israeli media circles: direct messaging to the Israeli public in local Hebrew-language newspapers, the use of Chinese outlets (especially the Hebrew department of China Radio International) targeted at Israeli audiences, and efforts to leverage prominent public figures friendly toward China to amplify favorable messages delivered on these local Israeli and Chinese platforms.
How the PRC Blocked Out Foreign Tech Products Claiming Security Risks
Today, PRC manufacturers like Hikvision and Huawei regularly denounce Western efforts at restricting their technology for national security risks as unfounded, political, and anti-China. However, in the past decade, the PRC government systematically excluded non-PRC tech products due to national security risks, building its own ""secure"", ""autonomous"", and ""controllable"" network.
Facebook renames itself Meta
The New York Times
On Thursday, the social networking giant took an unmistakable step toward an overhaul, de-emphasizing Facebook’s name and rebranding itself as Meta. The change was accompanied by a new corporate logo designed like an infinity-shaped symbol that was slightly askew. Facebook and its other apps, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, will remain but under the Meta umbrella. The social network, under fire for spreading misinformation and other issues, said the change was part of its bet on a next digital frontier called the metaverse.
You can read the official announcement from Meta here
Facebook unveils Horizon Home, social VR, Messenger VR calls, and fitness VR on road to metaverse
Facebook has turned its social media battleship toward the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. And that was evident at its Facebook Connect online event today, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced new stepping stones on its virtual reality and augmented reality journey toward the metaverse.
Zuckerberg Announces Fantasy World Where Facebook Is Not a Horrible Company
Facebook’s new name is “Meta,” and its new mission is to invent a ‘metaverse’ that will make us all forget what it’s done to our existing reality. Jason Koebler
Mark Zuckerberg takes thinly veiled shots at Apple for ‘stifling innovation’ via its platform policies
Facebook (aka “Meta”) CEO Mark Zuckerberg today took several thinly veiled shots at Apple and the overall app ecosystem when detailing his plans for the metaverse during today’s keynote speech at the company’s Facebook Connect 2021 event. Specifically, he called out app platforms and their associated fees for “stifling innovation,” while simultaneously justifying Facebook’s plans to keep some of its own fees higher as it further invests in its burgeoning VR ecosystem and its Oculus Quest Store.
Actually, Facebook isn’t making people angrier. Some people are just jerks.
The Washington Post
The Wall Street Journal’s reports on Facebook’s leaked internal documents — and other recent media investigations and public testimony — have reignited public debate on how social media companies shape political arguments. The “Facebook Files” reveal that a major overhaul of Facebook’s recommendation algorithm in 2018 made the social media platform an “angrier place” by prioritizing controversial content.
Facebook told the White House to focus on the ‘facts’ about vaccine misinformation. Internal documents show it wasn’t sharing key data.
The Washington Post
@GerritD @Cat_Zakrzewski @viaCristiano
Facebook researchers had deep knowledge of how coronavirus and vaccine misinformation moved through the company’s apps, running multiple studies and producing large internal reports on what kinds of users were most likely to share falsehoods about the deadly virus, according to documents disclosed by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.
Inside Jedi Blue, Facebook’s shady deal with Google
New York Mag
As a torrent of bad press consumes Facebook — or whatever the company may soon be renamed — it’s worth remembering that to become an industry-dominating social-media Goliath, sometimes you need a little help from your friends. Perhaps they’re better described as co-conspirators.
Frances Haugen took thousands of Facebook documents: This is how she did it
The Washington Post
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen left her job at the company earlier this year with thousands of pages of documents referencing a litany of societal harms. Haugen didn’t have to rummage through filing cabinets or secretly make Xerox copies, like the famous whistleblowers of the past. In fact, the way Haugen obtained the documents is similar to the way billions of people around the world use Facebook every day. She simply browsed the company’s internal social network and took photos with her phone, according to her legal team.
Here's what Biden's cyber czar wants to do
The Washington Post
The Biden administration’s cyber czar wants to unite two of the administration’s biggest cyber challenges: protecting both the public and private sectors from attacks.
Biden’s new cyber czar is pushing for collective defense inside government and out
The Washington Post
The Office of the National Cyber Director wants to bring cohesion to efforts to strengthen computer defenses across a sprawling set of more than 100 civilian agencies even as it seeks to drive more robust cybersecurity in the private sector.
Huawei’s access to hard disk drives in America: an investigation into Seagate Technology
US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation
Minority Staff on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation investigated industry compliance with a rule issued by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the Department of Commerce substantially restricting Huawei or its affiliates (“Huawei”) from accessing direct products of specified U.S. technology or software. BIS explained that the rule “narrowly and strategically target[ed] Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology.” Any shipment of prohibited products without a license after September 14, 2020, likely including hard disk drives incorporating semiconductors as component parts, violated this rule.
Huawei paid Democratic powerbroker Podesta $1 million to lobby
@Alexandra Alper @JarrettRenshaw
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei (HWT.UL) paid Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta $1 million to lobby the Biden administration on its behalf, double what the lobbyist has revealed publicly, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Instagram hacker forces victim to make hostage-style video
A hacker is taking over Instagram accounts before forcing their owners to make hostage-style videos promoting the hacker's money-making scams to try and get their money back. But instead of giving victims their cash back, the hacker then uses those videos to convince further victims that their scams are legitimate investments, according to a victim who shared the video and other material with Motherboard.
Trump-backed QAnon candidates launch group to ‘control the election system’
A Nevada secretary of state candidate announced at a QAnon conference he’s launched a new group with support from three Trump-endorsed candidates—and Mike Lindell.
Clearview AI finally takes part in a federal accuracy test
The New York Times
Clearview AI scraped additional than 10 billion pics from the general public online to establish a facial-recognition software that it promoted to regulation enforcement organizations for determining unknown men and women. Critics have mentioned the company’s product is illegal, unethical and untested. Now, extra than two decades following legislation enforcement officers 1st begun using the company’s app, Clearview’s algorithm — what allows it to match faces to images — has been place to a 3rd-celebration take a look at for the initial time. It done shockingly very well.
Chinese payment-terminal company searched by FBI
The FBI and other US agencies have searched Florida premises used by Chinese payment-terminal provider Pax Technology.
FCC revokes authorization of China Telecom's U.S. unit
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday voted to revoke the authorization for China Telecom's (0728.HK) U.S. subsidiary to operate in the United States, citing national security concerns. The decision means China Telecom Americas must now discontinue U.S. services within 60 days. China Telecom, the largest Chinese telecommunications company, has had authorization to provide telecommunications services for nearly 20 years in the United States. The FCC found that China Telecom ""is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government and is highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight.""
Trump tightens grip on social media company after SPAC deal success
Former U.S. President Donald Trump will be able to retain the ownership of his newly launched social media venture even if he chooses to make another White House run or is convicted by prosecutors who are looking into his business dealings. Trump said last week that TRUTH Social would be created through a new company formed by a merger of the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) and blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC.O).
FBI warns of Ranzy Locker ransomware threat, as over 30 companies hit
The FBI has warned that over 30 US-based companies had been hit by the Ranzy Locker ransomware by July this year, in a flash alert to other organisations who may be at risk.
Cybercriminals claim to have hacked the NRA
A notorious Russian cybercriminal group has posted what appear to be National Rifle Association files to the dark web. The group, known as Grief, posted 13 files to its website Wednesday and claimed to have hacked the NRA. It is threatening to release more of the files if not paid, though it did not publicly state how much.
Proofpoint identified a new cybercriminal threat actor, TA2722.
This group impersonates Philippine health, labor, and customs organizations as well as other entities based in the Philippines.
TA2722 typically targets Shipping/Logistics, Manufacturing, Business Services, Pharmaceutical, and Energy entities, among others. Geographic targeting includes North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
TA2722 distributes Remcos and NanoCore remote access trojans (RATs).
Tesla EV sales boom in Singapore, pushing rivals' models off the streets
In wealthy Singapore, where new vehicle registration is tightly controlled to manage the city state's traffic and pollution, Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is having a moment: surging sales are gobbling up rivals' market share.
New Zealand & The Pacific
Concern over ‘censorship’ rules of NZ-Chinese news site
An influential Chinese-language media outlet in New Zealand warned its users their information could be shared with 'relevant state agencies' if they violated Chinese laws Skykiwi.com promotes itself as New Zealand’s “most influential” Chinese-language media outlet, with half a million ‘daily average user visits’ to its multi-platform website. Besides providing news coverage, the site also runs message boards where a variety of topics, including current affairs, are discussed. It claims to have 81,000 daily forum users.
Ransomware Hackers Freeze Millions in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea’s finance department acknowledged late Thursday that its payment system, which manages access to hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid money, was hit with a ransomware attack.
South and Central Asia
Facebook faces official questions in India over policing of hate speech
The Wall Street Journal
India’s government has asked Facebook Inc. for details about how it monitors and removes inflammatory content on its platform in the country, according to government officials.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for stable global supply chain and cyber security standards
The Economic Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, while addressing the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS), called for a resilient and stable global supply chain and raised the idea of developing global standards on cyber security.
Centre planning separate cybersecurity policy
The policy will be the first of its kind, even as provisions for cybersecurity exist under the information technology law and certain financial regulations mandated by the Reserve Bank of India.
Intel agencies ask forces to avoid social media at sensitive locations
Amid heightened security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and western borders after Taliban took over Kabul, Intelligence agencies in their fresh report to the government, have suggested that security personnel must avoid using various social media sites at sensitive locations especially border areas. The sources quoting the latest Intel input, said that the surveillance agencies have noticed several attempts to 'infiltrate' in the social media groups on Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and other social networks by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) with pseudo identities.
Indian supreme court orders inquiry into state’s use of Pegasus spyware
Amrit Dhillon and @safimichael
India’s supreme court has ordered an independent inquiry into whether the government used the surveillance software Pegasus to spy illegally on journalists, activists and political opponents. The decision on Wednesday to create an independent committee to investigate whether and how the Indian state had used the Israeli spyware tool was a significant victory for privacy campaigners after years of stonewalling by Narendra Modi’s government.
Cyber-attack hits UK internet phone providers
An "unprecedented" and co-ordinated cyber-attack has struck multiple UK-based providers of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services, according to an industry body.
Facebook's safety head tells UK lawmakers it does not amplify hate
Facebook Inc's(FB.O) algorithms demote rather than promote polarising content, its global head of safety told British lawmakers on Thursday, adding that the U.S. company would welcome effective government regulation.
How a Mistake by YouTube Shows Its Power Over Media
The New York Times
Novara, a London news group, fell victim to YouTube’s opaque and sometimes arbitrary enforcement of its rules.
Twitter says Online Safety Bill needs more clarity
Government plans for social media regulation need ""far more clarity"", a Twitter boss has told the BBC. Katy Minshall said the draft Online Safety Bill failed to answer key questions such as how to define legal but harmful material. Instead of simply targeting those who post offensive content, the bill would put more responsibility on platforms. The culture secretary said the bill would make the UK ""the safest place in the world to be online"".
In Poland’s politics, a ‘social civil war’ brewed as Facebook rewarded online anger
The Washington Post
An independent data analysis of major political parties in Poland that was conducted for The Post showed that after 2018, negative messages were more likely to receive a high number of shares.
Arm-Nvidia: Europe investigates chip-designer sale
The European Commission has opened a competition investigation into Nvidia's acquisition of British chip-design company Arm.
Europe's top carmakers count mounting cost of chip crunch
Nick Carey @reuters_csteitz @gpiov_
The global semiconductor chip shortage cost Volkswagen and Stellantis a combined 1.4 million vehicles in lost production in the third quarter, Europe's two biggest carmakers said on Thursday, though both reported some early signs of improvement.
Germany Inc.’s China syndrome
German business is getting queasy about China. For decades, German industry — an early mover in the Chinese market — looked the other way amid Beijing's human rights abuses, as managers and engineers from the likes of Siemens and Volkswagen helped transform the country into Germany's largest trading partner. But as Chinese leader Xi Jinping tightens the country’s surveillance state, threatens neighbors and takes on an increasingly belligerent tone with the West, Germany’s China strategy, shaped to serve the needs of its export industry, is looking increasingly unsustainable.
Russian charged with cyber theft crime extradited to U.S.: ministry
South Korea has extradited a Russian member of a multinational cyber crime organization charged in the United States with developing and distributing malicious software for money laundering and theft, officials said Thursday.
Officials say cyberattack crippled gas stations across Iran
The Washington Post
Fuel sales were disrupted at gas stations across Iran on Tuesday, after what officials said was a cyberattack crippled a system that allows consumers to buy subsidized fuel using government-issued cards, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said.
Netflix Scrambled Internally To Suppress A Controversial Movie From Search Results
In September 2020, Netflix was in turmoil as the company battled its most significant PR scandal to date. Earlier that year, the streaming platform had acquired the worldwide rights to the French film Cuties after its lauded premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Director Maïmouna Doucouré had made the movie as a commentary on social media and the hypersexualization of young girls. But the poster Netflix released to promote it didn’t have that same self-awareness. Instead, it displayed the actors, some of whom were only 12 years old, in booty shorts and crop tops, striking provocative dance poses.
Google now lets people under 18 or their parents request to delete photos from search results
Google is rolling out the ability for kids, teens and their parents to request to have pictures deleted from the company’s image search results.
Anyone under the age of 18 or their parent or guardian can ask Google to remove an image from appearing in search results by filling out this request form. You’ll need to specify that you’d like Google to remove “Imagery of an individual currently under the age of 18” and provide some personal information, the image URLs and search queries that would surface the results.
This Program Can Give AI a Sense of Ethics—Sometimes
Artificial intelligence has made it possible for machines to do all sorts of useful new things. But they still don’t know right from wrong.
YouTube’s Chief Business Officer: E-Commerce Will Become Creator ‘Juggernaut’
The booming creator economy could become a “juggernaut” thanks to e-commerce, as individuals with online followings sell products, taking a greater share of consumer spending, said YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl.
Counting CO2 is hard and expensive, but tech firms think they have a solution
After spending nearly half a year, every year, gathering and calculating carbon emissions data on spread sheets, Salesforce.com's climate team was fed up. So in 2017 they built an app to crunch the numbers - and now they sell it for $4,000 a month.
How Silicon Valley hatched a plan to turn blood into human eggs
MIT Technology Review
A few years ago, a young man from California’s technology scene began popping up in the world’s leading developmental biology labs. These labs were deciphering the secrets of embryos and had a particular interest in how eggs are formed. Some thought if they discovered that recipe, they would be able to copy it and transmute any cell into an egg.
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?
Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Hosted by the ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre’s IndigiCyber, Defence & Space Program, this online roundtable ‘Where to next for the Indigenous Procurement Policy?’ will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss and explore the IPP, and potential opportunities for Indigenous businesses. Date: 5 November 2021 Time: 2:00pm - 3.30pm Online
Decoding Cybersecurity: A Conversation with Women in Cyber by Awesome Girls
Girl Scouts of the USA
@RyanFedasiuk @Jennifer Melot @Ben Murphy
Want to explore cybersecurity and protect yourself and others online? Join Girl Scouts of the USA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and CYBER.ORG for the Decoding Cybersecurity virtual event for Girl Scouts and girls in grades 6-12. You’ll learn more about the role of cybersecurity in your daily life and in your communities and explore how you can make a difference with a future in cybersecurity.
Women In Cybersecurity 2021 - Networking Celebration
It's been a tough 18 months for everyone which is why we're absolutely delighted to announce our Women in Cybersecurity Networking Celebration event taking place this November. Our event will bring together some of the brightest minds in the infosecurity community to talk, debate, network and raise a toast to an exciting new 12 months ahead for the industry.
Harnessed Lightning How the Chinese Military is Adopting Artificial Intelligence
This report examines nearly 350 artificial intelligence-related equipment contracts awarded by the People’s Liberation Army and state-owned defense enterprises in 2020 to assess how the Chinese military is adopting AI. The report identifies China’s key AI defense industry suppliers, highlights gaps in U.S. export control policies, and contextualizes the PLA’s AI investments within China’s broader strategy to compete militarily with the United States.
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.