Huawei vows to lead in 6G | Facebook employees flag drug cartels and human traffickers, company response is weak | India welcomes AUKUS pact as China deterrent

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  • Huawei Technologies will push ahead with developing 6G wireless technology in defiance of a U.S. crackdown on the Chinese tech giant, its founder and CEO has told employees, exhorting them to "break limits in the sky" and set global standards for the emerging industry. Nikkei Asia

  • [Facebook] employees raised alarms about how the site is used in developing countries, where its user base is already huge and expanding. Wall Street Journal

  • For India, the formation of the new Indo-Pacific coalition AUKUS—among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—is welcome for a number of reasons. Foreign Policy



Tech industry braces for skyrocketing rare earth prices
Nikkei Asia
@ChengTingFang @Lauly_Th_Li
Tech industry braces for skyrocketing rare earth prices -Electronic hardware manufacturers are sweating as prices for rare-earth metals surge amid soaring demand and simmering tensions between the U.S. and China, the world's most important source of these vital materials.


Australia crosses a strategic Rubicon
Australian Financial Review
Accordingly, the trio have hinted at a larger commitment to one another: a merger of our military, industrial and scientific capabilities to protect shared interests in an unforgiving century. This will extend to critical technologies like cyber, artificial intelligence and quantum computing – commanding heights that China is seeking to dominate for security ends.

Why Australia wanted out of its French submarine deal
Trouble began brewing almost immediately after Canberra chose the French bid ahead of alternate designs from Germany and Japan in April 2016. That August, before the Australian deal was formally signed but after it had been announced, the company DCNS admitted it had been hacked after 22,000 documents relating to the combat capacity of its Scorpene submarines being built in India were leaked, raising concerns about the security of its Australian project. The Australian defense department warned the submarine-builder it wanted top-level protection for its project.

Labor appeals to Google over misinformation fears before Australian election
The Guardian
Google must explain what steps it has taken to ensure the company’s platforms and advertising capabilities are not “exploited for misinformation” in the run-up to the next federal election, Labor’s national secretary, Paul Erickson, has demanded.

Australia's two largest states trial facial recognition software to police pandemic rules
Australia's two most populous states are trialling facial recognition software that lets police check people are home during COVID-19 quarantine, expanding trials that have sparked controversy to the vast majority of the country's population.

  • Read the Joint Leaders Statement on AUKUS here.


Huawei vows to lead in 6G as U.S. and Japan challenge China
Nikkei Asia
@Lauly_Th_Li @ChengTingFang
Huawei Technologies will push ahead with developing 6G wireless technology in defiance of a U.S. crackdown on the Chinese tech giant, its founder and CEO has told employees, exhorting them to "break limits in the sky" and set global standards for the emerging industry.

Didi loses 30% of daily users after Beijing crackdown following IPO
Financial Times
China’s leading ride-hailing app, Didi Chuxing, has seen its number of daily users fall 30 per cent since its initial public offering in New York in June triggered a fierce backlash by Beijing.

Tencent and Alibaba pledge to open up apps to competitors
Financial Times
@primroseriordan @EllieOlcott @rwmcmorrow
China’s two largest tech companies promised to open up their digital empires on Monday, a move that may reshape online life for hundreds of millions of users. For the past eight years, Tencent and Alibaba have carved China’s internet into two rival camps, replicating each other’s services and blocking all interoperability between their platforms.

China Casts Itself as Ally to Workers in Battle With Big Tech
Wall Street Journal
Unionization push and new algorithm rules could help workers, but activists and scholars say Beijing’s ultimate aim is greater control.

China tells firms to boost cyber, data security oversight on connected vehicles
China's industry ministry published a notice on Thursday telling companies to step up cyber and data security oversight over connected vehicles, saying that security risks in the industry had become increasingly prominent.

Weibo is muzzling users for discussing a landmark #metoo case
As a Beijing court dismissed China's landmark sexual harassment case on Tuesday, Weibo censors acted to muzzle a number of accounts that voiced support for the accuser, or even simply discussed the trial beforehand.


Facebook employees flag drug cartels and human traffickers. The company’s response is weak, documents show.
Wall Street Journal
Justin Scheck @newley @JeffHorwitz
Employees flagged that human traffickers in the Middle East used the site to lure women into abusive employment situations in which they were treated like slaves or forced to perform sex work. They warned that armed groups in Ethiopia used the site to incite violence against ethnic minorities. They sent alerts to their bosses on organ selling, pornography and government action against political dissent, according to the documents. Facebook removes some pages, though many more operate openly, according to the documents. In some countries where Facebook operates, it has few or no people who speak the dialects needed to identify dangerous or criminal uses of the platform, the documents show.

Exclusive: Facebook targets harmful real networks, using playbook against fakes
@eculliford @f_potkin
Facebook is taking a more aggressive approach to shut down coordinated groups of real-user accounts engaging in certain harmful activities on its platform, using the same strategy its security teams take against campaigns using fake accounts, the company told Reuters.

U.S. government intercepts reams of fake vaccination cards from China
NBC News
The online market for fake Covid-19 vaccination cards is booming. Thousands of online sellers are claiming to offer near-perfect copies of the cards at prices that have risen sharply in recent weeks, with some now selling a single card for hundreds of dollars. While it’s unclear how many cards successfully make it to people who try to buy them, the federal government is intercepting reams of them.

DHS: Extremists used TikTok to promote Jan. 6 violence
@woodruffbets @markscott82
Federal officials warned law enforcement agencies this spring that domestic extremists had used TikTok in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 riots on the Capitol, including by promoting bringing guns to Washington that day, according to an internal government document — highlighting authorities’ growing concern over violent content on the video app.

Google Is Getting Caught in the Global Antitrust Net
As more governments force US tech companies to change how they do business, one case in Turkey cuts to the heart of the search giant’s power.

U.N. official calls for moratorium on artificial intelligence tools that breach human rights
The Washington Post
"We cannot afford to continue playing catch-up regarding AI — allowing its use with limited or no boundaries or oversight," warned Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights.

This US company sold iPhone hacking tools to UAE spies
MIT Technology Review
Documents filed by the US Justice Department on Tuesday detail how the sale was facilitated by a group of American mercenaries working for Abu Dhabi, without legal permission from Washington to do so. But the case documents do not reveal who sold the powerful iPhone exploit to the Emiratis. Two sources with knowledge of the matter have confirmed to MIT Technology Review that the exploit was developed and sold by an American firm named Accuvant.

Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers approve wide-ranging subpoenas for personal information of 2020 voters
The Washington Post
Elise Viebeck @PostRoz
The move drew a sharp rebuke from Democrats who described the effort as insecure and unwarranted and said they would consider mounting a court fight. Among other requests, Republicans are seeking the names, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, last four digits of Social Security numbers, addresses and methods of voting for millions of people who cast ballots in the May primary and the November general election.

South and Central Asia

India Welcomes AUKUS Pact as China Deterrent
Foreign Policy
For India, the formation of the new Indo-Pacific coalition AUKUS—among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—is welcome for a number of reasons. The objective of the coalition is to help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and deepen security cooperation in other areas, such as defense-related artificial intelligence and quantum computing, cyberwarfare, and underwater technologies. From New Delhi’s perspective, the new coalition signals a strong political resolve in Washington to confront the growing security challenges from Beijing.

Early Thoughts on Aukus and India
Nitin Pai's Cyberspace
AUKUS is an example of the “bubbles of trust” approach to partnerships that I had written about. Countries that share interests, values and resources have enough mutual trust necessary to pursue joint initiatives. They can do this within and across existing alliances and partnership systems. AUKUS is a good model for multilateral cooperation provided it does not turn exclusive..India will benefit from an AUKUS-like alliance in the realm of cyber power. From a strategic perspective, India in cyberspace is analogous to Australia in the Indo-Pacific. AUKUS’s most urgent task is to equip Australia with nuclear submarines to defend maritime frontiers. India needs the cyber equivalent of nuclear submarines to defend its own cyber frontiers.

India's unicorn boom shows no signs of slowdown
Nikkei Asia
India's unicorn boom shows no signs of slowdown - The number of Indian unicorns -- privately held companies worth $1 billion or more -- continues to balloon. A shocking 15 Indian startups became unicorns in the first half of this calendar year; nine more reached unicorn status in July and August. That is more new unicorns created in India in just two months than the eight that emerged in all of 2020. It brings the country's total to 57, closing the gap with China, which boasts about 160 unicorns, which in turn is second only to the U.S., with roughly 400.


Questions and Answers: EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific
European Commission
After the announcement of AUKUS, the EU has announced its long awaited Indo-Pacific strategy which identifies digital partnerships and technological standard setting at its goals for engagement in the Indo-Pacific.

EU plans its own army, chip-making industry
Australian Financial Review
The European Union will look to cut its dependence on the US and China by building its own military capability and its own semiconductor-manufacturing industry, Brussels chief Ursula von der Leyen has pledged.

How Belarus’s ‘Cyber Partisans’ exposed secrets of Lukashenko’s crackdowns
The Washington Post
@DDaltonBennett @RobynDixon__
A series of hacks on Belarus’s government by pro-democracy activists has uncovered details of apparent abuses by security forces, exposed police informants and collected personal data on top officials including a son of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Fake TikTok accounts could spread disinformation ahead of German vote
New Scientist
Video-sharing app TikTok has implemented measures to prevent the spread of disinformation about the upcoming German election, but they don't seem to be fully working, say researchers

The Americas

Bolsonaro’s Ban on Removing Social Media Posts Is Overturned in Brazil
The New York Times
President Jair Bolsonaro had issued rules forbidding social networks from removing many posts that the sites considered misinformation. On Tuesday, Brazil’s Senate and top court killed the policy.




Signaling legal protection in a digitalizing world: a new era for the distinctive emblems?
Humanitarian Law & Policy Blog
@TRodenhaeuser @LGiselICRC Larry Maybee @homijoito
The use of digital technology in armed conflict is rising sharply. Such developments come with risks, but they may also provide opportunities. For example, could new technologies help digitally signal that certain infrastructure and assets enjoy protection under international humanitarian law?


New ICPC Program on Critical Technologies - 3 positions
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for three exceptional and experienced senior analysts and analysts to join its large team from October 2021. These new roles will focus on original research, analysis and stakeholder engagement centred around international critical technology development, including analysis of which countries are leading on what technologies.

ICPC Pacific Islands Analyst - Information operations & disinformation
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a talented and proactive Pacific Islands analyst who will work with the Centre’s information operations and disinformation program. The successful candidate will work with a small, high-performing team to produce original research and analysis centred around policy responses to information operations and disinformation by actors in the Pacific Islands region. They will also work with senior staff in the centre to engage globally with governments, social media and Internet companies. Candidates must have a demonstrated background in, and strong knowledge of, the Pacific Islands region, including the region’s digital, media and social media landscape.

ICPC Analyst & Project Manager - Coercive diplomacy
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an Analyst and Project Manager to manage, and help lead, a project on coercive diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific region. This new role will focus on analysis, workshops and stakeholder engagement centred around coercive diplomacy, including how countries in the Indo-Pacific can work together to tackle this complicated policy challenge. Candidates must have excellent coordination, project management and stakeholder engagement skills.

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.