How Facebook fails 90 percent of its users | U.S. State Department to set up cyber bureau | Russia renews broad cybersurveillance operation
Internal documents show Facebook routinely placing public-relations, profit, and regulatory concerns over user welfare. And if you think it’s bad here, look beyond the U.S. The Atlantic
The U.S. State Department plans to establish a bureau of cyberspace and digital policy in the face of a growing hacking problem, specifically a surge of ransomware attacks on U.S. infrastructure. Reuters
Russia’s premier intelligence agency has launched another campaign to pierce thousands of U.S. government, corporate and think-tank computer networks, Microsoft officials and cybersecurity experts warned on Sunday, only months after President Biden imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to a series of sophisticated spy operations it had conducted around the world. The New York Times
The Sydney Dialogue
The Sydney Dialogue is a world-first summit for emerging, critical and cyber technologies. Launching virtually on 17 November, the inaugural Sydney Dialogue will have an Indo-Pacific focus, featuring keynote addresses from Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison; India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; and former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe - as well as a number of panel discussions with experts from around the world. You will hear from political, technology, business and civil society leaders and - as well as the world’s best strategic thinkers - as they generate new ideas, work towards common understandings and formulate possible solutions to maximise the opportunities and minimise the negative consequences of the next wave of new technologies. Head on over to our brand new website to check out the line-up of events and speakers, and register for the virtual sessions you’d like to attend.
China is accused of exporting authoritarian technology. But the west has done so, too, more covertly
While it may be difficult to enact a unified set of rules internationally given the current tensions between China and the west, better monitoring and regulations at the domestic level could be the way forward. One large initiative is a multi-year project run by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute to map the international expansion of Chinese technology companies. This is helping to monitor the activities of Chinese surveillance tech companies and providing data for government policy briefs. When iFlytek, a Chinese artificial intelligence technology company tied to surveillance of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, marketed its products in New Zealand, the media relied on ASPI’s findings to pressure a New Zealand company to cease its collaborations with the company.
How Facebook Fails 90 Percent of its Users
Internal documents show the company routinely placing public-relations, profit, and regulatory concerns over user welfare. And if you think it’s bad here, look beyond the U.S.
The Facebook Papers reveal staggering failures in the Global South
Rest of World
Now, the publication of the so-called “Facebook Papers” confirms what activists, journalists, and civil society organizations in the Global South have been alleging for years: that Facebook chronically underinvests in non-Western countries, leaving millions of users exposed to disinformation, hate speech, and violent content.
Five points for anger, one for a ‘like’: How Facebook’s formula fostered rage and misinformation
The Washington Post
@telliotter @NilChristopher @decka227 @leomschwartz
Facebook engineers gave extra value to emoji reactions, including "angry," pushing more emotional and provocative content into users’ news feeds.
How Facebook shapes your feed
The Washington Post
The evolution of what posts get top billing on users’ news feeds, and what gets obscured.
Facebook knew ads, microtargeting could be exploited by politicians. It accepted the risk.
The Washington Post
"We will definitely see misinfo from ... candidates that we will not fact-check,” one document read.
Platforms vs. PhDs: How tech giants court and crush the people who study them
A legal standoff between NYU researchers and Facebook sheds light on the increasingly fraught dynamic between tech companies and academics.
A whistleblower’s power: Key takeaways from the Facebook Papers
The Washington Post
Interviews with dozens of current and former employees and a trove of internal documents show how Facebook inflamed real-world harms.
Facebook Whistle-Blower Brings Campaign to Europe After Disclosures
The New York Times
Beginning a European tour in Britain, the former Facebook manager was questioned by policymakers drafting tougher tech regulations.
I’m in the consortium possessing the leaked Facebook documents. Let’s dissolve it.
The public deserves to read the documents, not just the few dozen journalists in the consortium.
Face It, Facebook Won’t Change Unless Advertisers Demand It
The New York Times
Facebook invests billions in metaverse efforts as ad business slows
Facebook Inc said on Monday it will start publishing the financial results of its augmented and virtual reality labs as a separate unit, where it is investing billions in its ambitions to build the “metaverse” and as it reported that its main advertising business faces “significant uncertainty.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s dive into metaverse misses mark
Mark Zuckerberg is taking investors deeper inside the metaverse. Alongside its quarterly results, Facebook on Monday unveiled plans for a new reporting structure that will provide more financial information about the company’s augmented reality initiatives and beyond.
International Law Enforcement Operation Targeting Opioid Traffickers on the Darknet Results in 150 Arrests Worldwide and the Seizure of Weapons, Drugs, and over $31 Million
The US Department of Justice
Today, the Department of Justice, through the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) team joined Europol to announce the results of Operation Dark HunTor, a coordinated international effort on three continents to disrupt opioid trafficking on the Darknet.
China Targets Extreme Internet Fandoms in a New Crackdown
Measures aimed at influencer and celebrity culture will reach into the screens of young people.
Rewilding #1: Boundary Ball
Part 1 of a new series: an evolving dictionary of the Chinese internet. A close-up on the words that grow in the labyrinthine swamp of online life in China.
Why another Chinese lesbian dating app just shut down
When Lesdo, a Chinese dating app designed for lesbian women, announced it was closing down, it didn't come as a surprise to the LGBTQ+ community.
In face of hack attacks, U.S. State Department to set up cyber bureau
The U.S. State Department plans to establish a bureau of cyberspace and digital policy in the face of a growing hacking problem, specifically a surge of ransomware attacks on U.S. infrastructure.
In advance of climate summit, tension among Biden aides on China policy
The Washington Post
As it presses its climate initiatives, the Biden administration is also demanding that Beijing stop threatening Taiwan, cease its crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong, end its campaign of mass detention and sterilization of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, and address a range of other grievances related to trade and cybersecurity.
YouTube, Snap and TikTok executives take their turn answering to Washington.
The New York Times
@dmccabe @kateconger @daiwaka
In a hearing that lasted more than three hours, a bipartisan group of senators told executives from YouTube, Snap and TikTok that they worried the companies’ software steered young people toward inappropriate posts, mishandled consumer data and did not do enough to spot dangerous content on their platforms. Lawmakers repeatedly said their staff had been able to find harmful content — including posts related to self-harm and pornography — inside the companies’ products, sometimes while logged in as a teenage user.
TikTok to be in congressional hotseat over school-trashing content
TikTok will face questions about content that may have led children and teens to steal from or vandalize school bathrooms and other facilities when it and other large social media companies appear before Congress on Tuesday.
TikTok dodges questions about biometric data collection in Senate hearing
TikTok and Snap want to prove they’re not Facebook
Snap, TikTok, and YouTube set out with one important goal for Tuesday’s Senate hearing on child safety: to convince lawmakers that they are nothing like Facebook. While lawmakers were encouraged by the companies’ transparency, their humble approach hasn’t dissuaded lawmakers from pursuing new legislation.
When one pill kills
Many of those pills are being traded openly via social media, particularly on Snapchat, the most popular app among U.S. teens. Snapchat has been linked to the sale of fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills that have caused the deaths of teens and young adults in at least 15 states, according to The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a nonprofit public health group. NBC News independently confirmed deaths in 14 of the 15 states and identified five additional states not included in the research.
Eating Disorders and Social Media Prove Difficult to Untangle
The New York Times
@kateconger @Kellen_Browning @erinkwoo
Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram try to monitor for content related to the problem, but it is not always clear what to do about it.
Who needs Congress? The FTC is already taking on teen privacy.
Senators are due to hear from companies like TikTok and YouTube on Tuesday, but the FTC has already made moves that could radically change how the social media sites think about the privacy of kids and teens.
Exclusive: Billionaires back new media firm to combat disinformation
A new public benefit corporation backed by billionaires Reid Hoffman, George Soros, and others is launching Tuesday to fund new media companies and efforts that tackle disinformation. Why it matters: Good Information Inc. aims to fund and scale businesses that cut through echo chambers with fact-based information. As part of its mission, it plans to invest in local news companies.
Seagate Broke Export Curbs by Supplying Huawei, Senate Republicans Say
The Wall Street Journal
A major U.S. data-storage equipment provider violated U.S. export rules by continuing to sell hard-disk drives to Huawei Technologies Co. after the Commerce Department tightened export restrictions last year, a report by a group of Senate Republicans alleged.
FCC revokes license for China Telecom Americas amid national security concerns
The Record by Recorded Future
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to revoke China Telecom Americas U.S. operating license on Tuesday, citing national security concerns. Among the reasons cited for the switch: China Telecom’s status as a subsidiary of a state-owned enterprise and the possibility that the company could provide a conduit for hackers intent on launching cyber attacks in this country.
FBI Raids Chinese Point-of-Sale Giant PAX Technology
Krebs on Security
U.S. federal investigators today raided the Florida offices of PAX Technology, a Chinese provider of point-of-sale devices used by millions of businesses and retailers globally. KrebsOnSecurity has learned the raid is tied to reports that PAX’s systems may have been involved in cyberattacks on U.S. and E.U. organizations.
Twitter User ‘Alexander Delarge’ Charged for Hyping Penny Stocks
Matt Robinson, Christian Berthelsen
The man behind a popular Twitter account that promoted penny stocks was criminally charged for touting securities while simultaneously dumping shares, the latest sign that authorities are setting their sites on the social-media frenzy that’s invaded U.S. equity markets.
Amazon given contract to store data for MI5, MI6 and GCHQ
The UK’s spy agencies have given a contract to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host classified material in a deal aimed at boosting the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence for espionage. GCHQ had supported the procurement of a high-security cloud system, which would be used by its sister services, MI5 and MI6. Other government departments, such as the Ministry of Defence, would also use the system during joint operations.
Twitter Data Has Revealed A Coordinated Campaign Of Hate Against Meghan Markle
A concentrated set of users drive 70% of the hate content targeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a new analysis found.
EU tech rules should curb cloud computing providers, study says
Draft EU rules to curb the power of Amazon, Apple, Alphabet unit Google and Facebook should also tackle providers of cloud computing services for possible anti-competitive practices, a study said on Tuesday.
150 arrested in dark web drug bust as police seize €26 million
Police forces across the world have arrested 150 alleged suspects involved in buying or selling illicit goods on the dark web as part of a coordinated international operation involving nine countries.
Ignoring Sanctions, Russia Renews Broad Cybersurveillance Operation
The New York Times
Russia’s premier intelligence agency has launched another campaign to pierce thousands of U.S. government, corporate and think-tank computer networks, Microsoft officials and cybersecurity experts warned on Sunday, only months after President Biden imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to a series of sophisticated spy operations it had conducted around the world.
Iran says cyberattack closes gas stations across country
A cyberattack crippled gas stations across Iran on Tuesday, leaving angry motorists stranded in long lines. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which rendered useless the government-issued electronic cards that many Iranians use to buy subsidized fuel at the pump. It bore similarities to another attack months earlier that seemed to directly challenge Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the country’s economy buckles under American sanctions.
Kenya cracks down on digital lenders over data privacy issues
Digital lenders that share personal data of loan defaulters, with third parties, risk license withdrawal in Kenya after lawmakers added a clause — granting the banking regulator the mandate to revoke permits of operators who breach customer confidentiality — to the new law passed by the country’s National Assembly.
Location Data Firm Got GPS Data From Apps Even When People Opted Out
Huq, an established data vendor that obtains granular location information from ordinary apps installed on people’s phones and then sells that data, has been receiving GPS coordinates even when people explicitly opted-out of such collection inside individual Android apps, researchers and Motherboard have found.
Bitcoin Is Still Concentrated in Few Hands, Study Finds
Bitcoin’s surging popularity hasn’t changed one of its original attributes. Its ownership is still concentrated in just a few hands. The top 10,000 individual investors in Bitcoin control about one-third of the cryptocurrency in circulation, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Crypto Investors Are Bidding to Touch a 1,784-Pound Tungsten Cube Once a Year
You'll have to travel to a storage facility in Willowbrook, Illinois, to touch the forbidden cube.
Jeff Bezos Reveals Plans to Build a Space Station Called 'Orbital Reef'
Jeff Bezos has turned his wealth from Amazon into a play for space. He's already gone to the edge of space in one of his own Blue Origin rockets and broken the record for sending the oldest person ever into space, twice. Now, Blue Origin has announced plans to build a commercial space station called Orbital Reef.
How AI could solve supply chain shortages and save Christmas
MIT Technology Review
Just-in-time shipping is dead. Long live supply chains stress-tested with AI digital twins.
Our weird behavior during the pandemic is messing with AI models
MIT Technology Review
With the supply-chain disruptions of the past two years showing no signs of easing anytime soon, businesses are turning to a new generation of AI-powered simulations called digital twins to help them get goods and services to customers on time. These tools not only predict disruptions down the line, but suggest what to do about it.
Questacon Cyber Ready program launch
The Questacon Cyber Ready Program is an Australian Government initiative to improve cyber security skills, awareness and job readiness as part of Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020. Over 5 years (2019 – 2024) $14.9 million has been invested in Questacon to design challenges and teacher training to prepare primary, secondary and tertiary students for careers in cyber security. The funding includes $6.2 million existing budget for the Engineering is Elementary program.
29 Oct 2021, 12:30 PM (AEDT)
Aligning technology governance with democratic values
On October 27, the Brookings Global Forum on Democracy and Technology will host a symposium to address these and other challenges to developing technologies that can strengthen democratic societies around the world.
27 Oct 2021, 12:45 PM (EDT)
Uncertainty and Misinformation: What to Expect on Election Night and Days After
Election Integrity Partnership
Democracy depends on trust in elections; that trust is under attack — both accidental and intentional. This will continue on Election Day and the days/weeks following.
ICPC Senior Analyst or Analyst - China
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for exceptional and experienced China-focused senior analysts or analysts to join its centre. This role will focus on original research and analysis centred around the (growing) range of topics which our ICPC China team work on. Our China team produces some of the most impactful and well-read policy-relevant research in the world, with our experts often being called upon by politicians, governments, corporates and civil society actors to provide briefings and advice. Analysts usually have at least 5 years, often 7-10 years’ of work experience. Senior analysts usually have a minimum of 15 years relevant work experience and, in addition to research, they take on a leadership role in the centre and tend to be involved in staff and project management, fundraising and stakeholder engagement.