Facebook to remove Covid-19 vaccine misinfo | IBM finds cyber attacks targeting vaccines | Cyber Command sent to Estonia to protect U.S. election
Facebook says it will start removing false claims about Covid-19 vaccines to prevent "imminent physical harm". The company says it is accelerating its plans to ban misleading and false information on its Facebook and Instagram platforms following the announcement of the first vaccine being approved for use in the United Kingdom. BBC
A series of cyberattacks is underway aimed at the companies and government organizations that will be distributing coronavirus vaccines around the world, IBM’s cybersecurity division has found, though it is unclear whether the goal is to steal the technology for keeping the vaccines refrigerated in transit or to sabotage the movements. New York Times
Personnel from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Cyber Command deployed to Estonia in recent months as part of a broader effort to protect U.S. elections against foreign hacking, American and Estonian officials announced Thursday. CyberScoop
WeChat Deletes Australian PM’s Appeal to Chinese Community
The microblogging site Weibo Corp. has a history of blocking or removing posts from foreign embassies on topics ranging from human rights to stock market manipulation, according to a 2018 report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Read our report on Weibo diplomacy and censorship in China
Chinese app WeChat censors Australian PM Scott Morrison’s post
The platform, which is owned by Chinese technology company Tencent, removed a post by Scott Morrison that contained a conciliatory message for the Chinese Australian community during a period of intense diplomatic tension between Canberra and Beijing. “Chinese companies [are] controlling data, information and the political space and not allowing a level playing field for people to have a contest of ideas” said Fergus Hanson from ASPI.
Asia Transnational Threats Forum: Cybersecurity and cyber resilience
Thomas Uren of the International Cyber Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute discussed drivers of malicious cyber activities and Australia’s response and lessons learned. According to Uren, Australia’s cybersecurity strategy has become more proactive across the board.
Panel: Where does the relationship between Australia and China go from here?
Nathan Attrill, a researcher with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, joins a panel discussing the China-Australia relationship.
Covid-19: Facebook to take down false vaccine claims
Facebook says it will start removing false claims about Covid-19 vaccines to prevent "imminent physical harm".
Cyberattacks Discovered on Vaccine Distribution Operations
New York Times
IBM has found that companies and governments have been targeted by unknown attackers, prompting a warning from the Homeland Security Department.
Cyber Command deployed personnel to Estonia to protect elections against Russian threat
Personnel from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Cyber Command deployed to Estonia in recent months as part of a broader effort to protect U.S. elections against foreign hacking, American and Estonian officials announced Thursday.
Hundreds of politicians take aim at Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in protest letter
Signatories including Ilhan Omar and Jeremy Corbyn called on the company to allow workers to unionize, pay more tax and commit to higher environmental standards.
Australian govt makes play for sweeping online account takeover powers
Federal law enforcement agencies are set to receive sweeping online account takeover powers under new legislation designed to cripple serious criminal activity on the dark web.
‘So important’: Nobel economist backs plans to force tech giants to pay for news
Sydney Morning Herald
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says Australia should consider taxing Facebook and Google if they carry out a threat to limit their services if they are forced to pay publishers for news content.
Scott Morrison demanded an apology from China, but instead he became a target of internet trolls
Scott Morrison's demand for an apology over the doctored image of an Australian soldier tweeted by a top Chinese diplomat has backfired, with the Prime Minister himself now the target of pro-China trolling on Twitter and other social media platforms.
How China Is Buying Up the West’s High-Tech Sector
Chinese acquisitions of Western firms are only part of the problem. Secret venture capital is handing power to Beijing under the radar.
Inside A Xinjiang Detention Camp
Nestled in the mountains along the border between China and Kazakhstan, a remote rural county conceals an appalling secret: a high-tech, rapidly growing mass internment camp for the area’s Muslim minorities, capable of detaining thousands of people. The compound in China’s Mongolküre County, which has been under construction since 2017, is mostly hidden from the outside world. It has even been edited out of much of the satellite imagery that appears on China’s Baidu Maps.
More than 1,000 visiting researchers affiliated with the Chinese military fled the United States this summer, Justice Department says
Following an FBI investigation this summer, more than 1,000 researchers who had hidden their affiliation with the Chinese military fled the United States, the Justice Department said Wednesday.. The FBI and Justice Department knew that the scope of China’s effort to obtain U.S. technology was broad, but they were surprised when, in the wake of the consulate closure, so many people left the country, one U.S. official said.
Parler’s got a porn problem: Adult businesses target pro-Trump social network
Parler’s lax moderation policies, in keeping with its claims to being a bastion of free speech, have helped it become a magnet for pornographers, escort services and online sex merchants.
U.S. Used Patriot Act to Gather Logs of Website Visitors
New York Times
A disclosure sheds new light on a high-profile national security law as lawmakers prepare to revive a debate over it in the Biden administration.
U.S. states plan to sue Facebook next week: sources
A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook Inc for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Google illegally spied on and retaliated against workers, feds say
Google's actions amid workplace organizing efforts, including the high-profile firings of several employees, were illegal violations of the National Labor Relations Act, federal regulators said this week.
Justice Dept. Suit Says Facebook Discriminates Against U.S. Workers
New York Times
The lawsuit adds to Facebook’s woes in Washington, where the social network also faces antitrust questions.
UK and US lock in behind Australia in China row
The British government has vowed to stand with Australia to “protect our key interests and values” and push back at “disinformation” amid a deepening rift in Canberra’s relationship with Beijing.
EEAS SPECIAL REPORT UPDATE: Short Assessment of Narratives and Disinformation Around the COVID-19 Pandemic (UPDATE MAY - NOVEMBER)
European External Action Service
State actors like China and Russia are maximising the effect of the so-called “vaccine diplomacy” in their communication efforts, most likely with the intent to enhance their reputation and economic position abroad. They are leveraging diplomatic channels, state-controlled media and networks of supportive and alternative media outlets and social media to distribute their messages.
EU-US ‘tech alliance’ faces major obstacles on tax, digital rules
The EU’s willingness to collaborate on tech may not be reciprocated by Washington.
New video series on European Union–China relations and connectivity
A new video series on the topic of European Union (EU)–China relations and the role of connectivity, featuring interviews with European and Chinese experts.
The Internet’s Most Notorious Botnet Has an Alarming New Trick
The hackers behind TrickBot have begun probing victim PCs for vulnerable firmware, which would let them persist on devices undetected.
A Broken Piece of Internet Backbone Might Finally Get Fixed
After years of slow progress implementing improvements and safeguards, a coalition of internet infrastructure partners is finally turning a corner in its fight to make BGP more secure.
Google’s Co-Head of Ethical AI Says She Was Fired for Email
Timnit Gebru, a co-leader of the Ethical Artificial Intelligence team at Google, said she was fired for sending an email that management deemed “inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.”
Twitter expands hate speech rules to include race, ethnicity
Twitter Inc on Wednesday expanded its policy barring hateful speech to include “language that dehumanizes people on the basis of race, ethnicity and national origin,” it said in a statement.
Leaked docs: Facebook to start policing anti-Black hate speech more aggressively than anti-White comments, reversing years of “race-blind” practices
The company is overhauling its algorithms that detect hate speech and deprioritizing hateful comments against Whites, men and Americans.
Twitter turns off threaded replies because they made conversations hard to read
Twitter has been experimenting with threaded replies for some time as a way to potentially make replies easier to read and follow. But the company has decided to end those experiments because of user feedback, it announced on Thursday.
YouTube will ask commenters to rethink posting if their message seems offensive
YouTube is trying to combat offensive comments that appear under videos by following in the footsteps of other social media companies and asking people before they post something that may be offensive: “Is this something you really want to share?”
Research Collaboration on Influence Operations Between Industry and Academia: A Way Forward
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Research on influence operations requires effective collaboration across industry and academia. Social media platforms are on the front lines of combating influence operations and possess a wealth of unique data and insights. Academics have rigorous training in research methods and relevant theories, and their independence lends credibility to their findings. The skills and knowledge of both groups are critical to answering important questions about influence operations and ultimately finding more effective ways to counter them.