Fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy | Australian Government mulls weaker tech giant rules | Russian hackers targeted California, Indiana Democratic parties
One month before a purported leak of files from Hunter Biden's laptop, a fake "intelligence" document about him went viral on the right-wing internet, asserting an elaborate conspiracy theory involving former Vice President Joe Biden's son and business in China. NBC News
The Australian federal government is considering weakening new rules designed to force Google and Facebook to pay news publishers following fierce lobbying and threats from the tech giants to leave the Australian market. The Sydney Morning Herald
The group of Russian hackers accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election earlier this year targeted the email accounts of Democratic state parties in California and Indiana, and influential think tanks in Washington and New York, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Reuters
Elise Thomas @elisethoma5I have been looking into the timeline of the "Typhoon Investigations" report which makes a number of allegations about links between the Bidens and the Chinese Communist Party. I've found a few interesting things. Thread.
How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge
Elise Thomas, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, first spotted telltale signs of a fake photo when she went searching for Typhoon Investigations' Aspen on the web. Thomas found a Twitter account for Aspen named @TyphoonInvesti1, which had posted a link to Typhoon's WordPress page that contained the document on Aug. 15.
Telegram battles to vet extremists flocking to its encrypted platform
The Sydney Morning Herald
Administrators of the encrypted messaging platform Telegram have banned 1338 Jihadist-related bots or accounts in the past three days, after the terrorist attack in the French city of Nice again put a spotlight on Islamic extremism.
Tech giants start to step further into rivals’ territory
Now Apple is gearing up for a try in search. It has been crawling more of the web to build a search index, placing some of its own search results in front of iPhone users, and hiring engineers, as it accelerates what is likely to be a long and expensive effort.
Government mulls weaker tech giant rules
The Sydney Morning Herald
The federal government is considering weakening new rules designed to force Google and Facebook to pay news publishers following fierce lobbying and threats from the tech giants to leave the Australian market.
ACCC to be stripped of oversight of consumer data right
Australian Financial Review
The government will strip the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of oversight of its flagship competition policy, known as the consumer data right and transfer it to Treasury, which will consider how to safely widen access to the first industry application - open banking.
They once peddled misinformation for Guo Wengui and Steve Bannon. Now they're speaking out
Within hours of the release of the sex tapes allegedly of Hunter Biden, Twitter and Facebook suspended more than a dozen social media accounts controlled by Mr Guo's group.
The QR code has turned COVID-19 check-ins into a golden opportunity for marketing and data companies
Tens of thousands of small and medium Australian businesses that rushed to outsource the management of their COVID check-in obligations could find themselves snared in a looming data privacy calamity.
Director-general Paul Symon reveals work of Australian Secret Intelligence Service
Mr Symon said the operating environment for Australia’s foreign spies was becoming more difficult, “and therefore we have to double-up in our determination to use technology”.
Huawei develops plan for chip plant to help beat US sanctions
Huawei is working on plans for a dedicated chip plant in Shanghai that would not use American technology, enabling it to secure supplies for its core telecom infrastructure business despite US sanctions. Two people briefed on the project said the plant would be run by a partner, Shanghai IC R&D Center, a chip research company backed by the Shanghai Municipal government.
Ant Group curbs support for overseas partners in strategy rethink ahead of listing
China's Ant Group has been cutting funding and staff support to many of the overseas e-wallet firms it has invested in as it pivots away from earlier ambitions of becoming a global payments leader, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The Untold Technological Revolution Sweeping Through Rural China
The New York Times
Wang also finds that, for rural China, tech-propelled business models can produce the grim dynamics of the gig economy, where a far-off tech giant runs your life.
He got a coronavirus vaccine in China but had to keep it secret. Why?
Los Angeles Times
This month, China National Biotec Group reportedly began offering free vaccines to Chinese students planning to go abroad, according to a company website that was later taken down.
China’s New Data Protection Law Won’t Rein in State Surveillance
World Politics Review
Last week, China’s National People’s Congress released the first draft of the Personal Information Protection Law, which would set up the first dedicated system to protect privacy and personal data in China. Having been in the works for well over a decade, it has been a wait. Personal information in China has been governed by a patchwork of regulations; some scholars say there are over 200 different rules related to protecting personal information.
The PLA’s New Push for Military Technology Innovation
As the U.S.-China technological competition intensifies, the Chinese military has created new mechanisms to accelerate military innovation. Will they succeed?
Russian hackers targeted California, Indiana Democratic parties
The group of Russian hackers accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election earlier this year targeted the email accounts of Democratic state parties in California and Indiana, and influential think tanks in Washington and New York, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Facebook leak reveals policies on restricting New York Post's Biden story
Facebook moderators had to manually intervene to suppress a controversial New York Post story about Hunter Biden, according to leaked moderation guidelines seen by the Guardian.
Facebook Quietly Suspended Political Group Recommendations Ahead Of The US Presidential Election
During a contentious presidential election in the US, Facebook quietly stopped recommending that people join online groups dealing with political or social issues.
Twitter labels tweet from RT implying voter fraud in U.S. elections
Twitter on Thursday labeled a tweet from Russian state media outlet RT (formerly Russia Today) that included a video implying widespread voter fraud is plaguing, and potentially delegitimizing, the U.S. election.
Trump allies, largely unconstrained by Facebook’s rules against repeated falsehoods, cement pre-election dominance
The Washington Post
In the final months of the presidential campaign, prominent associates of President Trump and conservative groups with vast online followings have flirted with, and frequently crossed, the boundaries set forth by Facebook about the repeated sharing of misinformation.
What Keeps Facebook’s Election Security Chief Up at Night?
The New York Times
The social media company’s head of cybersecurity policy on “perception hacks” and what it will take to have an authentic election.
Harris target of more misinformation than Pence, data shows
Since being named to the presidential ticket, Harris has been at the center of online misinformation campaigns four times as much as the white men who campaigned for the job in the last four years, according to a report from media intelligence firm Zignal Labs shared exclusively with The Associated Press.
Americans Are Too Worried About Political Misinformation
A recent Knight/Gallup survey found that “Four in five Americans are concerned—either very (48%) or somewhat (33%)—that misinformation on social media will sway the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.” That’s an astonishing degree of agreement among the polarized U.S. public
Newly Released FBI Documents Show Troubling Double Standard on Political Speech
This morning, we received more than 30 pages of material from the FBI illustrating a remarkable disparity in its treatment of its employees: Five employees, the documents show, have been disciplined for private communications using government devices in which they have criticized President Trump. But none, at least not since 2011, has been disciplined for similar conduct with respect to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney, or President Barack Obama—or for praising Trump.
Cyber Command's Role in Election Defense: Important, But Not a Panacea
These efforts by government and private actors to push back on foreign cyber activity raise an important question: What is the role of Cyber Command in defending the elections, and how might the concepts of defend forward and persist engagement apply?
What the 2020 election means for science
The U.S. has been the world's unquestioned scientific leader for decades, but whether that continues in the face of intense competition may depend on what happens on Nov. 3.
Japan government set to shut China out of drone supply chain
The Japan Times
Japan may effectively shut off China from supplying drones to its government to protect sensitive information, according to six people in government and the ruling party familiar with the matter, as part of a broad effort to bolster national security. The primary concerns, those people said, centered on information technology, supply chains, cybersecurity and intellectual property — worries that have been rising outside Japan as well.
Software bungle meant NHS Covid app failed to warn users to self-isolate
The “world-beating” NHS Covid app, downloaded by 19 million people, has systematically failed to send alerts telling people to self-isolate after they came into contact with infected people. Thousands were not contacted by the Test and Trace app, developed under Baroness (Dido) Harding, because it was set at the wrong sensitivity, the government has admitted.
Internet access deal allows Chinese government censorship in our UK university (virtual) classrooms
We are deeply concerned that, in their eagerness to maintain fee income from Chinese international students as near to pre-Covid levels as possible, some UK universities have signed up to a China-based system for providing access to online teaching to students who choose to study for their UK degrees from their homes in the PRC. We are concerned this system potentially endangers our students and invites censorship of the curriculum in our universities.
Why, yes, you can register an XSS attack as a UK company name. How do we know that? Someone actually did it
Companies House has blocked someone who registered a new biz with a name that contained the right characters arranged in the right order to trigger a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack against users of the service's API.
Canadian technology is being used to thwart human rights overseas – but there are solutions
Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the disputed 2020 presidential election in Belarus. Shortly after the start of nationwide protests, media reports emerged that internet-blocking technology made by Sandvine — a company with a Canadian business presence in Waterloo, Ont. — was used to block access to websites in Belarus. Reporting indicated that widespread outages, lasting days, included blocking Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google.
Linking Values and Strategy: How Democracies Can Offset Autocratic Advances
Alliance for Securing Democracy
Authoritarian states—most notably China—are investing heavily in the development of emerging technologies, many of which are both tools of repression and pathways to power. While the United States and other democracies maintain an edge in this space, their advantage is rapidly eroding. The United States should work with other democracies to take a more active role in shaping global technology governance to ensure that norms, standards, and new technologies are conducive to democracy rather than corrosive to it.
The Five Eyes and Offensive Cyber Capabilities: Building a ‘Cyber Deterrence Initiative’
CCDCOE Non-Resident Visiting Scholar Josh Gold investigates the narrative which promotes transparency toward state offensive cyber capabilities – OCCs. The newly published research focuses on the countries of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing alliance – the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Senior Researcher / Project Lead
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a senior researcher to lead a one-year project looking at leadership networks across Asia. Interviews will start immediately.