Facebook to downplay politics on its platform| Chinese keyboard apps suspected of privacy violations | Important stories hidden in Google's 'experiment' blocking Australian news
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday said the company will dial back on pushing political groups and content to users. Axios
Several major Chinese keyboard apps, including Baidu Sogou iFlytek, are suspected of improperly collecting & misusing users’ information. The app market has long been suspected of privacy violations without enough legal constraints: industry insiders. Global Times
Google’s “experiment” in Australia to remove major news sites from search results is hiding important news stories from hundreds of thousands of Australians. In some cases filtering out mainstream news publications from search results is also resulting in lower-quality publications being promoted, including a news website known for spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories. The Guardian
Important stories hidden in Google's 'experiment' blocking Australian news sites
Google’s “experiment” in Australia to remove major news sites from search results is hiding important news stories from hundreds of thousands of Australians. In some cases filtering out mainstream news publications from search results is also resulting in lower-quality publications being promoted, including a news website known for spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Neo-Nazis go bush: Grampians gathering highlights rise of Australia’s far right
Mr Sewell is shunning mainstream social media sites, which are increasingly seeking to ban extremist content, and instead posting on new online platforms popular with extremists. On one site, he has posted videos of the name tags of the police that approached his group in Halls Gap on Monday, along with audio in which he belligerently challenges a policeman to “Google me, mate”. Key questions for the parliamentary committee and legislators will be how to regulate these online sites, as well as whether to proscribe far-right groups as terrorist organisations.
Australia should step up ahead of Pacific telco’s possible sale
@ahawatson, Jeffrey Wall
An Australian acquisition of Digicel won’t prevent Huawei from expanding its presence in the Pacific. Nor will it prevent other potential operators, such as China Mobile, from selling mobile and other communications services in any country in the region. As Australia and New Zealand enhance the quality of their domestic communications through 5G and other technological advances, their capacity to assist the region to improve its communications ought to be considerable.
Chinese keyboard apps on the spot over suspicion of privacy violation
Several major Chinese keyboard apps, including Baidu Sogou iFlytek, are suspected of improperly collecting & misusing users’ information. App market has long been suspected of privacy violations without enough legal constraints: industry insiders.
Here’s who has the ear of China’s most active cyber regulator
Alibaba and Huawei are dominating — while other big companies like ByteDance are sitting on the sidelines.
Misogyny at Alibaba and Baidu: The struggle of China’s female tech execs
A woman we'll call Fan had heard about the men of Alibaba before she joined its high-profile affiliate about three years ago. Some of them were "greasy," she said, to use a Chinese term often describing middle-aged men with poor boundaries. Fan tells Protocol that lewd conversations were omnipresent at team meetings and private events, and even women would feel compelled to crack off-colour jokes in front of the men. Some male supervisors treated younger female colleagues like personal assistants. Within six months, despite the cachet the lucrative job carried, Fan wanted to quit.
Twitter troll arrested for election interference related to disinformation campaign
The notorious Twitter troll and alt-right figure Douglass Mackey, known better by his alter ego, Ricky Vaughn, was arrested on Wednesday on federal charges of election interference stemming from an alleged voter disinformation campaign during the 2016 election.
In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter
American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.
Is the SolarWinds Cyberattack an Act of War? It Is, If the United States Says It Is.
The SolarWinds cyberattack may well constitute a casus belli under international law. The Biden administration will need to determine how to respond to it to establish deterrence and impose costs given the magnitude of the attack.
Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign
U.S. Department of Justice
A Florida man was arrested this morning on charges of conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.
US General Suggests Human Control Over AI Not Always Possible
The Defense Post
Strict rules regarding meaningful human control over artificial intelligence combat systems may not always be possible, US Army Futures Command Gen. John Murray stated during a webinar yesterday. The Pentagon may have to relax the rules when it comes to defeating drone swarms, he said. The head of army command responsible for modernization said that some drones move too quickly for soldiers to track and require AI for faster target recognition to defeat them. The Defense Department has thus far been consistent about emphasizing the importance of human control when firing deadly weapons.
A Top Biden Cybersecurity Aide Donated Over $500,000 to AIPAC as an NSA Official
In recent years, Neuberger, through a family foundation, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby known as AIPAC, for its efforts to influence the US government and public opinion.
For Microsoft, cybersecurity has become bigger than business
Since the cybersecurity firm FireEye hired Microsoft to help investigate a hack at the federal contractor SolarWinds, Microsoft has helped clean up the mess, alerted victims and distributed other details meant to fend off alleged Russian spies.
Protecting Democracy in an Age of Disinformation: Lessons from Taiwan
Jude Blanchette, @BonnieGlaser, @KennedyCSIS, Scott Livingston
Taiwan has long defended itself from political meddling, including disinformation, by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Attempts to influence Taiwan’s domestic politics have increased in both intensity and severity following the election of Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, with Beijing continuing to target the basic underpinnings of Taiwan’s democratic system. The disinformation campaigns carried out by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are often obscured by the secrecy and opacity of the CCP’s “united front” approach, which makes it difficult to accurately diagnose and right-size the problem of disinformation, complicating efforts to craft effective solutions. While CCP disinformation campaigns pose a clearly identifiable threat to the United States and Taiwan, they are only one part of a larger disinformation problem facing democracies in this era of instant and omnipresent communication technologies.
South and Central Asia
China on app ban: China says Indian ban on apps violates WTO rules
The Times of India
China said on Wednesday that the Indian government's decision to keep a ban on 59 Chinese apps was a violation of the World Trade Organization's fair rules of business and would hurt Chinese firms.
EU-China ‘friendship group’ suspended, its chair says
Lawmakers on the foreign influence committee are conducting a year-long review of influence activities by foreign states in European democracies. Researchers linked to the Czech think tank Sinopsis and French think tank Institut Montaigne discussed China’s influence at Monday’s hearing, mentioning the EU-China friendship group as one example of how the Chinese state attempts to interfere in European politics.
US and Bulgarian authorities disrupt NetWalker ransomware operation
Law enforcement agencies from Bulgaria and the US have disrupted this week the infrastructure of NetWalker, one of 2020's most active ransomware gangs. SEE ALSO Best VPN services Best security keys Best antivirus software Bulgarian officials seized a server used to host dark web portals for the NetWalker gang, while officials in the US indicted a Canadian national who allegedly made at least $27.6 million from infecting companies with the NetWalker ransomware.
Department of Justice Launches Global Action Against NetWalker Ransomware US Department of Justice
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