Indian tax authorities search premises of China's Huawei | Trump app opens to hundreds of testers ahead of expected launch | How a Saudi woman's iPhone revealed hacking around the world
India's income tax authorities have conducted searches at multiple premises of Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies as part of a tax investigation, a government source told Reuters, confirming local media reports. Reuters
Details about former U.S. President Donald Trump's new social media app are trickling out as about 500 beta testers have begun using an early version of “Truth Social,” two sources told Reuters. Reuters
A single activist helped turn the tide against NSO Group, one of the world’s most sophisticated spyware companies now facing a cascade of legal action and scrutiny in Washington over damaging new allegations that its software was used to hack government officials and dissidents around the world. Reuters
The Honourable Nanaia Mahuta MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand joined co-panellists Professor Marcia Langton AM & Sara Stratton, the Founder of Māori Lab in this Sydney Dialogue discussion this week. They talked about how Indigenous technology entrepreneurs are blending their ancient cultures with new technologies in ways that are transforming the oldest civilisations on earth and challenging perceptions about the way new and emerging technology can be harnessed.
Agenda for change: Australia’s regional engagement
In the lead-up to every federal election, ASPI looks at the big challenges facing Australia and what’s needed to address them. The chapter in Agenda for change 2022 by Fergus Hanson, ‘How we risk losing the region and what we should do about it’, highlights that the ‘real contest’ in our region will occur in the smaller states, not big players, and this is where ‘we risk losing the battle before we realise it has started’.
Read ASPI ICPC’s 2018 paper 'Weibo diplomacy and censorship in China'
China expresses serious concerns on India banning Chinese apps
China on Thursday expressed serious concerns regarding India's ban of Chinese apps over security reasons, adding that it hopes India would treat all foreign investors, including Chinese firms, in a transparent, fair and non-discriminatory manner.
China Rolls Out Digital Yuan for Foreigners at the Olympics
The Wall Street Journal
Visitors at the Winter Olympics are allowed to convert foreign currencies into the digital version of China’s yuan. WSJ’s Jing Yang exchanges U.S. dollars to buy a cup of coffee to show how the central bank is trying to expand the e-CNY’s reach.
Read ASPI ICPC’s paper ‘The flipside of China’s central bank digital currency’
DOJ Is Amping Up Its Crypto Scrutiny, Naming Head of New Enforcement Team
The Justice Department named a veteran cybersecurity prosecutor to lead a new team dedicated to investigating and prosecuting illicit cryptocurrency schemes carried out by cyber criminals and nation states including North Korea and Iran.
Exclusive: Trump app opens to hundreds of testers ahead of expected launch
Details about former U.S. President Donald Trump's new social media app are trickling out as about 500 beta testers have begun using an early version of “Truth Social,” two sources told Reuters.
Nick Clegg promoted to top Facebook role
Former Lib Dem leader becomes president of global affairs while Mark Zuckerberg to reduce his own role in policy decisions.
YouTube Eyes New Ways to Stop Misinformation From Spreading Beyond Its Reach
Stopping misinformation before it goes viral is a top goal for the video site.
Facial recognition firm Clearview AI tells investors it’s seeking massive expansion beyond law enforcement
The Washington Post
The facial recognition company Clearview AI is telling investors it’s on track to have 100 billion facial photos in its database within a year, enough to ensure “almost everyone in the world will be identifiable,” according to a financial presentation from December obtained by The Washington Post.
Opinion | China’s 5G Soars Over America’s
The Wall Street Journal
Graham Allison and Eric Schmidt
In some U.S. cities, it’s slower than the old 4G system. Washington should make it a priority.
Taiwan takes aim at China with draft laws on chip sector espionage
Lauly Li and Cheng Ting-Fang, Nikkei staff writers
Taiwan is preparing to introduce tougher laws to protect the island's crown jewel semiconductor industry from Chinese industrial espionage. The Executive Yuan on Thursday approved draft amendments to the National Security Act that would make it a crime to engage in "economic espionage" or the unapproved use of critical national technologies and trade secrets outside of Taiwan. Sentences would be set at up to 12 years and 10 years in jail, respectively.
South & Central Asia
Indian tax authorities search premises of China's Huawei
India's income tax authorities have conducted searches at multiple premises of Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies as part of a tax investigation, a government source told Reuters, confirming local media reports.
The searches were conducted at Huawei's office premises in New Delhi, neighbouring Gurugram and tech hub Bengaluru on Tuesday, the source said on condition of anonymity, in line with government policy. The development comes a day after government sources told Reuters that India had blocked access to 54 mobile apps, mainly Chinese, over security concerns. Officials from the income tax department looked at Huawei's financial documents, account books and company records, Indian businesses and overseas transactions, NDTV reported, citing news agency PTI. Some records were also seized, the report added.
Bihar: Police bust gang of cyber criminals, 33 arrested
The Telegraph India
Bihar police have busted a gang of alleged cyber criminals operating from a village in Nawada district, around 120km southeast from the state capital, and arrested 33 of them. Several others escaped. They used to con people on the pretexts of providing loans and business opportunities.
Britain sees record investment in 10-billion-pound cyber sector
British cyber security firms raised more than 1 billion pounds ($1.36 billion) in 84 deals last year, as foreign investors tapped into growth in capabilities such as network security and threat monitoring, government data showed on Thursday.
Europe's bid for AI standard faces long road, EU lawmakers say
Foo Yun Chee
Europe's effort to set a standard for artificial intelligence will likely take more than a year, with the debate focusing on whether facial recognition should be banned and who should enforce the rules, two key lawmakers said on Wednesday.
Russia fines Google for failing to delete banned content
A Moscow court on Thursday said it had fined Alphabet's Google 3.5 million roubles ($46,000) for failing to delete content Russia deems illegal, the latest in a string of fines for the U.S. tech giant.
How a Saudi woman's iPhone revealed hacking around the world
Joel Schectman and Christopher Bing
A single activist helped turn the tide against NSO Group, one of the world’s most sophisticated spyware companies now facing a cascade of legal action and scrutiny in Washington over damaging new allegations that its software was used to hack government officials and dissidents around the world.
‘Zero-Click’ Hacks Are Growing in Popularity. There’s Practically No Way to Stop Them
Cutting-edge technology means even ‘the most skeptical, scrupulous targets can be spied on’.
My journey down the rabbit hole of every journalist’s favorite app
Otter.ai has saved reporters countless hours transcribing interviews. Caveat emptor.
Family Safety App Touting Digital Security Leaves Its Own Users’ Sensitive Data at Risk
Alfred Ng and Jon Keegan
The family safety app Life360 doesn’t have some standard guardrails to prevent a hacker from taking over an account and accessing sensitive information, The Markup has found. The service, used by more than 35 million people in 140 countries, is a location tracking app for families to keep tabs on their loved ones’ whereabouts. The app shares real-time location among group members as well as marked locations such as homes and workplaces. Through a series of tests, we found that Life360 doesn’t provide several basic security measures to thwart potential hackers, including limiting failed log-in attempts and providing two-factor authentication for accounts.
DeepMind Has Trained an AI to Control Nuclear Fusion
The Google-backed AI firm taught a reinforcement learning algorithm to control the fiery plasma inside a tokamak nuclear fusion reactor.
Events and Podcasts
The Digital Transformation of Southeast Asia: Issues and Prospects
Stanford University Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
The digital transformation of Southeast Asia is in full swing. In 2021, 8 of the 10 ASEAN countries had internet penetration rates higher than those for Asia (64%) and the world (66%). But digital access is unevenly distributed between and within Southeast Asian countries. How are the new technologies impacting the region? Are they helping civil society or the surveillance.
Speaker(s): Huong Le Thu, Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Date and Time: February 22, 2022 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Location Via Zoom Webinar Register: bit.ly/3LjVVTj
The Lawfare Podcast: The Nuts and Bolts of Social Media Transparency
Brandon Silverman is a former Facebook executive and founder of the data analytics tool CrowdTangle. Brandon joined Facebook in 2016 after the company acquired CrowdTangle, a startup designed to provide insight into what content is performing well on Facebook and Instagram, and he left in October 2021, in the midst of a debate over how much information the company should make public about its platform.
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.
ICPC Data Analyst
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for talented Data Analysts to join its growing centre. ASPI’s ICPC undertakes complex research on some of the most challenging issues at the intersection of technology and public policy. How do we develop international norms to deter information operations and coercive diplomacy, how should we build international cooperation on the development of emerging critical technologies, what is the right balance between regulation and innovation? We deliver empirical research that is policy-relevant and we’re looking for people who can help us analyse data at scale.