Facebook, Twitter & Google CEOs testify before Congress on misinformation | Brands feeling Chinese social media heat over Xinjiang | Software vendors may have to disclose breaches to U.S. government
The chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter faced withering criticism from members of Congress on Thursday about their handling of misinformation and online extremism during their first appearance before lawmakers since the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. CNN
Egged on by the ruling Communist Party, Chinese online activists are punishing foreign companies that have joined a call to avoid using cotton produced in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, where the authorities are waging a broad campaign of repression against ethnic minorities. The New York Times
A planned Biden administration executive order will require many software vendors to notify their federal government customers when the companies have a cybersecurity breach, according to a draft seen by Reuters. Reuters
Six years in the making: UN reaches global cyberspace consensus
After a lag of six years, a renewed global cyber consensus was reached on 12 March when the UN member states agreed to the final report of the open-ended working group on information and communication technology developments in the context of international security.
How Chinese hackers used Facebook to spy on Uyghurs
Rest of World
ASPI’s Tom Uren said that the sophistication of the hack suggests that the Chinese government is investing heavily in its surveillance of overseas Uyghur communities. “They are obviously spending a lot of effort on what would be extremely valuable bugs,” he said. “The kind of bugs that they’re talking about would really be worth a lot, because they’re low interaction iPhone bugs, which have been traditionally quite hard to find… it just indicates what their priorities are.
China’s ‘blatant coercion’ of Australia is a lesson for the world, says Antony Blinken
The Sydney Morning Herald
In a major speech on America’s alliances, Blinken said the Biden administration will not force countries into an “us or them” choice with China. But he called for democratic nations to work closer together to counter the rising superpower’s “aggressive actions” and technological advancements. Blinken, who clashed spectacularly with Chinese diplomats at a meeting in Alaska last week, said he would particularly like to see democratic nations join forces to develop an global alternative to China’s 5G technology...“We should bring together tech companies from countries like Sweden, Finland, South Korea, the United States, and use public and private investment to foster a secure and trustworthy alternative.”
Cybersecurity threats are increasing
The Australian Financial Review
Australia must prepare to combat threats to computer networks from new sources as more nation-states get involved in breaching cybersecurity.
An app is not the answer, but consent is the question
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller’s suggestion of a sexual consent app has been comprehensively shot down. The only effective use it could have, if admissible in court, would be for an accused rapist to ‘prove’ consent while ignoring the fact that consent must be an uncoerced and ongoing agreement that cannot be proved simply by a person’s finger hitting a button.
Buyer beware playing China whack-a-mole in the South Pacific
The Australian Financial Review
Canberra is thinking of stepping up to stop Beijing taking over PNG’s Digicel mobile network. But is it really up for repeatedly protecting strategic assets in the region?
Why Are China’s Consumers Threatening to Boycott H&M and Other Brands?
The New York Times
Western brands are suddenly feeling the wrath of the Chinese consumer, the very shoppers who for years have clamored for their products and paid them vast amounts of money. Egged on by the ruling Communist Party, Chinese online activists are punishing foreign companies that have joined a call to avoid using cotton produced in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, where the authorities are waging a broad campaign of repression against ethnic minorities.
Nike, Adidas join brands feeling Chinese social media heat over Xinjiang
Nike and Adidas came under attack on Chinese social media on Thursday over past comments the fashion brands have made about labour conditions in Xinjiang, part of a diplomatic row between China and the West. The sportswear companies were the latest caught up in a backlash prompted by a Chinese government call to stop foreign brands from tainting China's name as internet users found statements they had made in the past on Xinjiang.
H&M Mobbed Online Over Xinjiang Cotton, Commanded To "STOP YUEJIPENGCI" - China Digital Times (CDT)
China Digital Times
The clothing retailer H&M has been barraged by negative comments online, with some calling for a boycott, after the Communist Youth League’s Weibo account criticized the company for a months-old statement announcing it’s “deep concern” about allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang’s cotton industry.
Muji promotes Xinjiang cotton as Chinese netizens lash rivals
Japanese fashion retailer Muji said on Thursday that its stores in China will continue to carry products made with Xinjiang cotton, separating itself from the uproar by Chinese netizens calling for a boycott of H&M and other foreign brands.
Chinese Navy Harvests Data from South China Sea
China’s new militarized outposts in the Spratly Islands and its expanded bases in the Paracel chain are helping harvest one of the South China Sea’s most valuable but least visible resources: data. Research by the Chinese military and other documentation show that the collected data informs ongoing construction activities, helps improve naval weapons and underwater communications in the unique local environment, and could support amphibious landing operations in the future – among other uses.
Facebook, Twitter and Google CEOs testify before Congress on misinformation
The chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter faced withering criticism from members of Congress on Thursday about their handling of misinformation and online extremism during their first appearance before lawmakers since the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
Republicans set to quiz tech CEOs on election disinformation tweeted #StopTheSteal themselves
The Washington Post
House Democrats seeking to drill down on the spread of election fraud falsehoods on social media in advance of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot need to look no further than some of their Republican colleagues.
Zuckerberg blames Trump, not Facebook, for the Capitol attack
In his opening statements, Zuckerberg said that Facebook “did our part” to protect the U.S. election and placed the blame on the actions of former President Donald Trump. “I believe that the former president should be responsible for his words and that the people who broke the law should be responsible for their actions,” Zuckerberg wrote. Asked if Facebook “bears some responsibility” for spreading election misinformation and the Stop the Steal movement, Zuckerberg deflected, declining to answer directly.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey busted for tweeting during congressional hearing
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got called out by Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) for tweeting during today’s congressional hearing on disinformation and extremism. The tech exec’s tweet was likely expressing frustration with the format of the hearing, which once again saw the tech CEOs forced to boil down their answers to complicated questions into simple “yes” or “no” answers — or otherwise be cut off from responding. Cryptically, Dorsey this afternoon tweeted out a Twitter poll with just one question: “?” that had only two answers to choose from: either a “Yes” or “No.”
Software vendors would have to disclose breaches to U.S. government users under new order - sources
@Bing_Chris @nanditab1 @josephmenn
A planned Biden administration executive order will require many software vendors to notify their federal government customers when the companies have a cybersecurity breach, according to a draft seen by Reuters.
US lacks visibility into digital espionage at home, NSA boss says
National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone addressed the elephant in the room on Thursday during testimony on Capitol Hill: How could the U.S. government have missed SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange Server hacking until after the malicious activity was already well underway?
Top Obama lawyer being vetted for antitrust post
Sallet’s selection for DOJ antitrust chief or FTC chair would signal Biden intends to continue aggressive pursuit of Google, Facebook and other tech giants.
T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T Stop SMS Hijacks After Motherboard Investigation
All the mobile carries have mitigated a major SMS security loophole that allowed a hacker to hijack text messages for just $16.
Hundreds Of Far-Right Militias Are Still Organizing, Recruiting, And Promoting Violence On Facebook
A new report identified more than 200 militia pages and groups on Facebook as of March 18, more than two months after the insurrection at the Capitol.
Facebook Said It Would Stop Pushing Users to Join Partisan Political Groups. It Didn’t. – The Markup
According to Citizen Browser data, the platform especially peppered Trump voters with political group recommendations.
Messaging app Line to transfer all user data to Japan for security
The president of messaging app provider Line Corp said Tuesday that data of its users in Japan, now being stored in South Korea, will be transferred to databases in the country to better protect customers' personal information in the wake of exposure of such data to a Chinese affiliate without user consent.
New Zealand & The Pacific
Facebook’s monopoly danger in the Pacific
The recent stoush between the Australian government and social media giant Facebook, with its eight-day-long ban of local news from its platform, had results that were not confined to Australia. Facebook’s block of Australian news also highlighted the vulnerability of information security in the Pacific.
Europe needs $355 billion for 5G rollout, industrial study says
Europe needs to pump 300 billion euros ($355 billion) into its telecoms infrastructure by 2025 if it wants to roll out super fast 5G across the 27-country bloc to boost economic growth and tap the potential of the technology, a report said on Thursday.
Chile fast-tracking 5G roll-out, but with tight rules on security, official says
Chile is fast-tracking an ambitious plan to roll out a 5G mobile technology network across most of the country within two years, a senior official told Reuters, but will assure strong oversight at a time of simmering global tensions over cybersecurity.
Buy This Column on the Blockchain!
The New York Times
Normally, I’m not allowed to make sales pitches in my columns. But this time is an exception, because what’s for sale is the column itself. That’s because I’ve decided to enter the freewheeling world of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, the newest frontier in the cryptocurrency gold rush. This is my first experiment — a column about NFTs that is, itself, being turned into an NFT and put up for auction.
How women in politics are targets of online abuse
Black, female and high-profile, Vice President Kamala Harris is a top target for online abuse, and she’s not the only one. A study by the Wilson Center looked at gendered or sexualized abuse directed at a number of high-profile female politicians. The authors of this study say the abuse is a threat to democracy. What makes online hate so difficult to remove on social media?
Enhanced ceramics could play pivotal role in advancing 5G technology
American Institute of Physics
5G, or the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, is touted as having finally arrived for ultrafast download speeds, an end to dropped calls and buffering, and greater connectivity to advance autonomous vehicle development, remote surgery, and the Internet of Things.