FTC weighs seeking injunction against FB | Aus govt. unveils 'world-leading' regulation of tech giants | Merkel faces revolt over Huawei as lawmakers seek full ban
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Federal officials are considering seeking a preliminary injunction against Facebook Inc. over antitrust concerns related to how its products interact, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal
The [Australian] federal government has announced ""world-leading"" changes to the regulation of tech giants, putting the companies on notice over their business models, treatment of users and dealings with traditional media outlets. Responding to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) landmark digital platforms inquiry, the government committed to a series of reforms to address the tech giants' market power, boost transparency and ensure fair competition. The Sydney Morning Herald
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a potential revolt in parliament by lawmakers seeking to override her China policy and effectively ban equipment supplier Huawei Technologies Co. from the country’s fifth-generation wireless network. Bloomberg
North Korean refugees are at the center of massive data leak
“Often, the focus on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, as serious as those are, detracts from the focus on their significant cyber capabilities,” said Elise Thomas, a researcher at Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre, in Australia. North Korea’s increasing cyber capabilities means a more controlled and manipulative society at home.
Misinformation and the illusory truth effect
One organization which has done some work on why investigations about disinformation need to broaden their focus beyond how social media is used for propaganda is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. ASPI is an independent, non-partisan think tank based in Canberra, Australia, which attempted to demonstrate our vulnerability to disinformation. Elise Thomas, a researcher at ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre, showcased the online life cycle of a bogus press release about a purported plan by China to assassinate President Trump, his family and some members of Congress. While the story sounds ludicrous—that China is planning to use poison-filled dragonfly drones to assassinate a world leader—Thomas wanted to demonstrate the fallibility of digital advertisers and digital distribution services that disseminate content across platforms.
Paytm pain: India’s biggest unicorn hits headwinds
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has added 11 Chinese tech companies and organisations to the public database that it uses to map China’s growing tech reach. This includes case studies on TikTok as a tool for censorship and surveillance, BeiDou’s satellite and space race, and CloudWalk’s various AI, biometric data and facial recognition partnerships with the Zimbabwean government. There is also a case study on Meiya Pico’s work with China’s public security ministry on Belt and Road Initiative aid projects in south-east Asia and central Asia.
Refinitiv deployed filter to block Reuters reports as Hong Kong protests raged
Under pressure from the Chinese government, the financial information provider that distributes Reuters news to investors has blocked over 200 stories on the mainland that could paint Beijing in a negative light. The censorship began earlier this year after Refinitiv feared its China operation would be suspended.
Microsoft Warns of GALLIUM Threat Group Attacking Global Telcos
The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center today published an alert about ongoing attacks directed at telecommunication providers from around the world and operated by a threat group tracked by Microsoft as GALLIUM..While Microsoft doesn't make the connection, GALLIUM's TTPs and some of the domains used by the group according to MSTIC's report are shared with Operation SoftCell, a persistent attack that targeted global telecommunications providers during 2018 as discovered by the Cybereason Nocturnus team. The tools used as part of Operation SoftCell are shared between several Chinese-affiliated threat groups including APT10, APT27, and APT40.
Microsoft details the most clever phishing techniques it saw in 2019
This year's most clever phishing tricks include hijacking Google search results and abusing 404 error pages.
A multi-layered malware operation through which a criminal gang poisoned Google search results. Microsoft.
We are not going to put up with this': Tech giants warned on tax
The Sydney Morning Herald
@ErykBagshaw @fergushunter @JennieDuke
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will canvass a new global tax on internet giants with India's Narendra Modi and Japan's Shinzo Abe in January in an attempt to position Australia as a leader in digital regulation. Signalling the Australian government would not shy away from tougher taxation on companies such as Facebook, Google and Uber, Mr Morrison on Thursday accused digital multinationals of being "significant offenders" that had now got the message: "We are not going to put up with this".
Not messing around': Government unveils 'world-leading' regulation of tech giants
The Sydney Morning Herald
The federal government has announced ""world-leading"" changes to the regulation of tech giants, putting the companies on notice over their business models, treatment of users and dealings with traditional media outlets. Responding to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) landmark digital platforms inquiry, the government committed to a series of reforms to address the tech giants' market power, boost transparency and ensure fair competition.
News Corp calls for 'firmer action' but media sector swings behind tech reforms, Sydney Morning Herald
World watches as Morrison government takes on digital giants, Sydney Morning Herald
Consumer watchdog given new powers to crack down on Google and Facebook, The Guardian
Tom Sear @TomSearAm I seeing things, or is there not a single reference to WeChat/PRC media in this report? @fryan @fergushanson ?! https://t.co/AjKA7A5bHR
New Australian Online Safety Act to include take-down of cyber abuse
Online platforms would see the amount of time that they have to pull down content after receiving a missive from the Australian eSafety Commissioner be reduced to 24 hours, under a new Online Safety Act for Australia.
All new cell phone users in China must now have their face scanned
MIT Technology Review
Customers in China who buy SIM cards or register new mobile-phone services must have their faces scanned under a new law that came into effect..China’s government says the new rule, which was passed into law back in September, will “protect the legitimate rights and interest of citizens in cyberspace.”
How the world learned of China’s mass internment camps
Advanced technology has allowed Chinese authorities to construct a total surveillance and mass detention regime, of which other architects of internment camps, such as the Nazis and the Soviets, could only dream. But technological advancements are a double-edged sword. Whereas it was years or even decades before the world knew the extent of the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulag, it took only months to learn the scope and scale of what the Chinese Communist Party has been doing in Xinjiang. Why? Satellite images shared on the internet.
The role of AI in China’s crackdown on Uighurs
In associating China’s repression in Xinjiang with sophisticated, AI-driven policing models, we may be assuming too much. The IJOP’s technology is at root driven by political objectives that are blunt and indiscriminate. As Edward Schwarck, a PhD student researching Chinese public security at the University of Oxford, says: “Calling it intelligence-led or predictive policing draws attention away from the fact that what is happening in Xinjiang is not about policing at all, but a form of social engineering.”
A Strong Argument Against Facial Recognition in the Beijing Subway
Last month, after learning that the Beijing Subway will apply facial recognition technology to carry out screening security checks on passengers, Tsinghua Professor Lao Dongyan posted an article on her public Wechat account expressing her worries about facial recognition technology. She has called for stricter regulations on facial recognition and was one of nearly 300 faculty and students at Tsinghua who signed a letter in support of Tsinghua Professor Xu Zhangrun.
FTC Weighs Seeking Injunction Against Facebook Over How Its Apps Interact
The Wall Street Journal
Federal officials are considering seeking a preliminary injunction against Facebook Inc. over antitrust concerns related to how its products interact, according to people familiar with the matter.
Ericsson to pay over $1 billion to resolve U.S. corruption probes
Swedish mobile telecoms company Ericsson has agreed to pay over $1 billion to resolve probes into corruption, including the bribing of government officials, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Friday. The bribery took place over many years in countries including China, Vietnam and Djibouti, the department said.
Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech
Lawmakers are dismissing China's threat to retaliate against U.S. technology companies and vowing not to back down on limiting the use of Chinese telecom products from Huawei and ZTE, which they see as a threat to national security.
We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was Ugly.
The New York Times
A high-profile inspector general report has served as fodder for arguments about President Trump. But its findings about surveillance are important beyond partisan politics.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says monopolies aren't bad if they aren't abused
Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended the existence of monopolies in business, saying “a monopoly by itself isn’t bad if it’s not abused.”
Smart device makers won’t say if they give governments user data
A year ago, we asked some of the most prominent smart home device makers if they have given customer data to governments. The results were mixed. The big three smart home device makers — Amazon, Facebook and Google (which includes Nest) — all disclosed in their transparency reports if and when governments demand customer data. Apple said it didn’t need a report, as the data it collects was anonymized. As for the rest, none had published their government data-demand figures.
Silicon Valley Is Listening to Your Most Intimate Moments
@AustinCarr @mattmday @sarahfrier @markgurman
How the world’s biggest companies got millions of people to let temps analyze some very sensitive recordings.
North Korean hackers are working with Eastern European cybercriminals: report
North Korean state-backed hackers appear to be cooperating with Eastern European cybercriminals, a report here said on Wednesday, a finding that suggests digital gangsters and state-backed spies are finding common ground online.
Personal Data Protection Bill can turn India into ‘Orwellian State’: Justice BN Srikrishna
The Economic Times
Justice BN Srikrishna, who led the committee that drafted the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP), said the bill placed in Parliament on Wednesday, which allows the Centre to exempt its agencies from some or all provisions, is “dangerous” and can turn India into an “Orwellian State”.
On Data Privacy, India Charts Its Own Path
The New York Times
India is poised to pass its first major data protection law, placing new restrictions on how corporations can collect and use information from the country’s 1.3 billion people.
Merkel Faces Revolt Over Huawei as Lawmakers Seek Full Ban
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a potential revolt in parliament by lawmakers seeking to override her China policy and effectively ban equipment supplier Huawei Technologies Co. from the country’s fifth-generation wireless network.
Facebook promised transparency on political ads. Its system crashed days before the UK election
Tens of thousands of political ads went missing from Facebook's archive this week, according to researchers, just days before voters go to the polls in the most important UK election for decades.
Court tells Facebook to reactivate Italian neo-fascist party's account
A civil court in Rome has ruled that Facebook must immediately reactivate the account of the Italian neo-fascist party CasaPound and pay the group €800 (£675) for each day the account has been closed, according to local media.
Editorial: We need to stand firm against China's mafia methods
The masks are off when China's ambassador to Denmark threatens the Faroe Islands with economic repercussions unless they sign a contract with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. We must stand together in the Danish Commonwealth and in the European Union against pressure from China.
Growing number of Canadians oppose Huawei's 5G bid as China hardens foreign policy stance: poll
A growing number of Canadians are wary of a bid by China’s Huawei Technologies to build its 5G mobile network in Canada amid deteriorating relations between the two countries, a new poll suggests. A poll by the Angus Reid Institute on Wednesday found 69 per cent of respondents believe Ottawa should reject the company’s bid to construct the next-generation infrastructure, which could dramatically increase the speed and capacity of Canada’s mobile network. Ottawa is currently reviewing an application by Huawei to build the network, alongside Canadian partner Telus Mobility.
Here’s why critics say Canada should — but probably won’t — speak out against China’s tech ban
The Beijing government’s newly emerging decision to remove all foreign tech from government computers offers a new chance for Ottawa to tell mainland China’s leaders that their restrictive trade policies must change, observers say. But one critic says the chances of Canadian politicians finding the gumption to make such a statement are small, given the amount of lobbying by those making money off business in China.
Whom to trust in a 5G world? Policy recommendations for Europe's 5G challenge
Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
The European Commission’s (EC) consolidated 5G risk assessment is the right step to identify those systemic challenges. The task ahead is now to identify policy initiatives to address those challenges. This paper argues that the EC’s upcoming “5G toolbox” will have to utilize different policy domains to properly address the three dimensions – IT security of mobile networks, trustworthiness of foreign suppliers and industrial policy for Europe. It provides an analysis of each of these dimensions and provides policy recommendations.