Huawei threatens US-UK relationship I Hackers acting in Turkey's interests believed to be behind recent cyberattacks I Australian Gov Release Sensitive Medical Records to Police
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is inching toward a decision that could profoundly harm the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States under President Trump. Axios
Sweeping cyberattacks targeting governments and other organizations in Europe and the Middle East are believed to be the work of hackers acting in the interests of the Turkish government. Reuters
The Department of Human Services fields large volumes of requests for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) data from state and federal policing agencies each year. Unlike the controversial My Health Record, no warrant or court order is needed for the department to release the information to police. The Guardian
5G matters: (Geo)politics and critical national infrastructure
Few people would have guessed that the ‘topic du jour’ for 2019 would be 5G. While telecommunications companies have long had their eye on the prize as the chief deployers of fifth-generation telecommunications, few world leaders, politicians, and key policy departments have had to pay much attention as we have slowly ticked over from 2G to 3G, and from 3G to 4G. But 5G, which is still very much on the horizon for most countries, is different. And it is different for a range of reasons.
The issue ministers are avoiding when it comes to Huawei
The debate over the Chinese tech giant largely ignores its participation in human rights abuses and police surveillance. According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Huawei’s work in the region includes the development of the public security cloud used by law enforcement agencies.
See ASPI's Report Mapping more of China's tech giants: AI and surveillance here.
U.S. Turns Up the Spotlight on Chinese Universities
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. officials are subjecting Chinese academic institutions to greater scrutiny over fears they are exploiting ties to U.S. businesses and universities to promote China’s economic and military goals.
See ASPI's Report The China Defence Universities Tracker here.
Spyware Trade Grows Amid Claims Activists and Bezos Targeted
The alleged theft of data from the iPhone X used by billionaire Jeff Bezos has cast an unflattering light on the swiftly growing and highly secretive cottage industry of software developers specializing in digital surveillance. NSO Group and Hacking Team are among the most well-known surveillance companies. Both have sold tools to law enforcement agencies that are used to covertly infect targeted mobile phones and computers with spyware, which can record calls, harvest text messages, take photographs using the device’s inbuilt camera and record audio using its microphone.
The world has a spyware proliferation problem. The Washington Post
UN aviation agency blocks critics of Taiwan policy on Twitter
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has blocked numerous Twitter accounts — including of Capitol Hill staffers and D.C.-based analysts — after facing online criticism for excluding Taiwan from membership. China views Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory, and has systematically pushed the self-governing island out of most international and intergovernmental organizations, including ICAO, which is led by Liu Fang, a Chinese national..experts told Axios it goes against the spirit of an intergovernmental organization to prevent people from accessing the information it provides.
Australian government secretly releasing sensitive medical records to police
The Australian government is releasing highly sensitive medical records to police through a secret regime that experts say contains fundamentally flawed privacy protections.
Internet pioneer seeks data rights focus
The Canberra Times
The father of the internet in Australia says the tech sector's hold on our personal data has turned the web into the Wild West. Australia Day honouree Geoffrey Huston said a tougher regulator was needed and Australians should be more sensitive about their online data.
Reports of 'big brother' China social credit system untrue: AI expert Xue Lan
A high-ranking Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) expert on Wednesday defended the country’s social credit score system, despite what he said were implementation issues. Other countries have expressed concern over the possible impact on their companies of China’s plan to give “social credit” scores to reward or punish individuals and corporations using technology to record various measures of financial credit, personal behavior and corporate misdeeds.
See ASPI's Report Social Credit: Technology-enhanced authoritarian control with global consequences here.
Xinjiang’s TikTok wipes away evidence of Uyghur persecution — Coda Follows Up
Six months ago, reporter Isobel Cockerell wrote a story about an international group of Uyghurs who trawled the Chinese version of TikTok for evidence of China’s mass crackdown on its Muslim minorities. In the months that have passed, TikTok has come under fire for shutting down a video of a young woman who discussed the Xinjiang concentration camps while curling her eyelashes. Since then, Xinjiang’s Douyin space has become an all-singing, all-dancing propaganda platform.
New Jersey Bars Police From Using Clearview Facial Recognition App
The New York Times
New Jersey police officers are now barred from using a facial recognition app made by a start-up that has licensed its groundbreaking technology to hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the country.
Trump campaign runs hundreds of misleading Facebook ads warning of Super Bowl censorship
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign has run more than 200 misleading political advertisements on Facebook in the past day claiming the "Fake News media" will attempt to block the campaign's upcoming Super Bowl ad — despite federal regulations that require the TV spot be aired.
Huawei threatens America's closest relationship
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is inching toward a decision that could profoundly harm the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States under President Trump. Driving the news: Johnson is expected to decide, as soon as this week, whether to defy Trump's request that he ban Chinese technology giant Huawei from the U.K.'s 5G wireless network.. The Huawei debate — which may seem abstract to many Americans — has become one of the most urgent foreign policy priorities of the Trump administration and one of the more serious tests of the U.S.-U.K. relationship in recent times.
President Trump’s personal plea to Prime Minister Johnson on Friday evening has not pulled the U.K. back from 5G decision. Forbes
Tom Tugendhat @TomTugendhatSovereignty means control of data as much as land. We need to decide what we’re willing to invest in and who were willing to share our tech with. The real costs will come later if we get this wrong and allow Huawei to run 5G. https://t.co/Oc4y88KUvF
Boris Johnson faces backlash from Tory MPs over plan to give Huawei role in building 5G network – as it happened
Boris Johnson has suggested he will arrive at a compromise solution over the decision on whether to let the Chinese company Huawei build parts of the UK’s 5G network in the face of US warnings that it will compromise intelligence-sharing. In the Commons a large number of Conservative MPs have expressed strong opposition to this prospect, saying Huawei should be totally excluded from the 5G network.
Handing our 5G network to Huawei would be a generation-defining error
Can anybody explain Britain’s strategic approach to China? We know about its human rights abuses, but stay silent. Our allies complain about its aggression, yet we join its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We boast of a “golden era” of Anglo‑Chinese relations, but deploy the Royal Navy in the South China Sea. Now, ministers are poised to allow Huawei, effectively China’s state-owned tech company, to play a central role in the development of Britain’s 5G network. This technology is not, as some say, simply the next generation for mobile phones. It will be at the heart of everything we do – in life at home, commerce, public services and our national security – for years to come.
Our allies have said, ‘No way, Huawei’ — we should take the threat seriously and do the same. The Times
Huawei and the burden of proof
The British Interest
Worryingly, there is little to suggest that the years spent shadow-boxing around Huawei have achieved a balanced debate. This impasse is the result of a fundamental error in apportioning the burden of proof. It should be for the proponents of Huawei to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that under no circumstances would using Huawei in Britain’s 5G system pose any threat to security.
Tencent: the Chinese tech giant you’ve never heard of that is conquering the UK
While its rise has not seen the hand-wringing that has followed Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s expansion, Tencent has its critics with concerns of censorship and fears of state surveillance on its apps. But for Western companies, securing investment from Tencent can provide lucrative access to China.
Angela Merkel is loth to take sides over Huawei
Like other rich countries, Germany has been agonising over whether to let Huawei, a Chinese telecoms giant, bid for contracts to build its 5g networks. Huawei offers experience, expertise and value; its kit makes up 70% of Germany’s 4g network. But securocrats worry that Chinese spooks may exploit “back doors” or other vulnerabilities supposedly built in to Huawei equipment. Others worry about relying on suppliers linked to potential adversaries.
Facebook content moderators required to sign PTSD forms
Content moderators working at a European facility for Facebook have been required to sign a form explicitly acknowledging that their job could cause post-traumatic stress disorder.
Youtube moderators are being forced to sign a statement acknowledging the job can give them PTSD. The Verge
The man at the center of Brussels spy probe
Though European Commission officials have long suspected the Chinese of infiltrating Brussels with spies, the accusations against the former senior diplomat have turned Europe’s capital on its head. The case emerged just as Europe is in the midst of a heated debate over whether to allow Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to build 5G networks across the Continent. Opponents argue such a move would give Beijing access to a treasure trove of European data while Huawei insists the data would be protected. China’s supporters, German Chancellor Angela Merkel among them, are wary of alienating a country that has become one of the region’s key trading partners.
The EU might ban facial recognition in public for five years
MIT Technology Review
The European Commission is considering a ban of facial recognition in public places for up to five years, with exceptions for research and security projects. The idea is that the temporary ban would give researchers and policymakers time to study the technology and figure out how best to regulate it.
Exclusive: Hackers acting in Turkey's interests believed to be behind recent cyberattacks - sources
@jc_stubbs @Bing_Chris @josephmenn
Sweeping cyberattacks targeting governments and other organizations in Europe and the Middle East are believed to be the work of hackers acting in the interests of the Turkish government, three senior Western security officials said.
As Mohammed Bin Salman Allegedly Hacked Jeff Bezos, A Network Of Accounts On Twitter Were Pushing Saudi Propaganda
At the same time Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was allegedly extracting information from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, a coordinated Twitter campaign was attacking him, Amazon, and the Washington Post, which Bezos owns. And similar attacks continued as recently as today.
Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data
An antivirus program used by hundreds of millions of people around the world is selling highly sensitive web browsing data to many of the world's biggest companies.
Grindr and OkCupid Spread Personal Details, Study Says
The New York Times
Popular dating services like Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder are spreading user information like dating choices and precise location to advertising and marketing companies in ways that may violate privacy laws, according to a new report that examined some of the world’s most downloaded Android apps. Grindr, the world’s most popular gay dating app, transmitted user-tracking codes and the app’s name to more than a dozen companies, essentially tagging individuals with their sexual orientation, according to the report, which was released Tuesday by the Norwegian Consumer Council, a government-funded nonprofit organization in Oslo.
China cares as deeply about A.I. ethics as the US, Microsoft CEO says, as he calls for global rules
China cares "as deeply" about the ethics around artificial intelligence as the U.S. does, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on Thursday as he called for global rules around the technology. Microsoft, which is investing heavily in AI, is part of a growing number of technology companies calling for regulation around AI.
Jobs & Opportunities
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre has an outstanding opportunity for a talented and passionate technically-focused analyst to join its growing centre. We are looking for a creative and passionate individual who can contribute unique technical skills to work across a range of projects in the centre. This individual may possess skills and experience in one or more of the following areas including malware analysis, reverse-engineering, data analysis and web scraping (for work on online disinformation for example) and/or a deep technical knowledge of critical technologies. The successful candidate will be offered a remuneration package at a level aligned with their demonstrated skills and expertise. This is a contract position for an initial 1 year term with the option of extension. At any one time ASPI has multiple people working at the institute who are on secondments or unpaid leave from the Australian Public Service (APS). Similar arrangements - including secondments - can be negotiated in this instance pending approval from the APS department/agency.
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre has an outstanding opportunity for an emerging researcher to join its growing centre and work directly with the ICPC Director. Staff in the centre have diverse backgrounds and are usually involved in several projects at once. We are looking for a team member with a flexible, entrepreneurial approach, who is a self-starter, has the ability to deliver to deadlines and enjoys working in a collaborative team environment. Foreign languages (particularly Asian languages) and social media analysis skills are desirable but not essential. We are looking for a creative and passionate individual who can work collaboratively in a team environment to support the centre’s program of work. This will include working with a variety of centre staff to conduct research on a range of priority projects, on project coordination and administration, working to facilitate international fellowships, supporting public and private events and engaging with key stakeholders.
ASD is seeking two highly motivated, outcome-driven senior executives.
Policy Advisor (Electorate Officer)
Tim Watts MP
I'm now accepting applications for a Policy Advisor based in my Footscray electorate office (6kms from the Melbourne CBD).
Open Grants Process – Cyber Cooperation Program
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is pleased to invite project proposals for Australia's Cyber Cooperation Program. The Cyber Cooperation Program provides the framework to partner with countries in the Indo-Pacific region so they are equipped to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by the growth of the global Internet and digital technologies.