Israel reaped diplomatic gains from NSO | Japan and US to lead 6G standards for unmanned tech | China’s diplomats and state media take to Twitter over Russia-Ukraine
A Times investigation reveals how Israel reaped diplomatic gains around the world from NSO’s Pegasus spyware — a tool America itself purchased but is now trying to ban. The New York Times
Japan and the U.S. will work together to lead the creation of international standards in unmanned technology that uses 6G communications, aiming to keep Chinese companies from dominating a field expected to include self-driving cars and fully automated factories. Nikkei Asia
China’s army of so-called wolf warrior diplomats and state media personalities, who aggressively promote Beijing’s objectives online, have taken to Twitter to highlight schisms within Europe, NATO, and the trans-Atlantic alliance, painting the U.S. response as ineffective, its people unsophisticated, and its cities violent. And they are dismissing critical Western media coverage as “disinformation.” Foreign Policy
The Battle for the World’s Most Powerful Cyberweapon
The New York Times
Ronen Bergman & Mark Mazzetti
A Times investigation reveals how Israel reaped diplomatic gains around the world from NSO’s Pegasus spyware — a tool America itself purchased but is now trying to ban.
For Chip Industry, Global Supply Crunch Pushes Next Target to $1 Trillion
The Wall Street Journal
Jiyoung Sohn & Meghan Bobrowsky
Chip companies just had their best sales year ever—charged by a global semiconductor shortage and growing demand—and industry executives expect that total to double in less than a decade, to more than $1 trillion. The industry’s collective annual sales topped $500 billion for the first time in 2021, slightly larger than the global smartphone industry by some calculations. The pandemic accelerated digitization trends, such as people streaming movies and videogames and companies adopting all sorts of digital tools—all requiring chips.
Australia Takes the Initiative in the Pacific
The Wall Street Journal
It’s not only in the defense realm that Australia has been on the move... It also entered a $1.6 billion deal with the Australian telco Telstra to help provide service in the surrounding island nations of Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, Tonga, Nauru, Samoa and Vanuatu. One goal is to ensure that those nations don’t rely on 5G service from companies owned and operated by China.
What Does a Forehand Winner Sound Like? Clink, Blip-Blip-Blip!
The New York Times
At the Australian Open tennis tournament, new technology is translating the movement of the ball into sounds to help blind and low-vision fans follow the action.
Researchers use GPU fingerprinting to track users online
A team of researchers from French, Israeli, and Australian universities has explored the possibility of using people's GPUs to create unique fingerprints and use them for persistent web tracking.
China’s ‘Wolf Warriors’ Are Having a Field Day With the Russia-Ukraine Crisis
China’s army of so-called wolf warrior diplomats and state media personalities, who aggressively promote Beijing’s objectives online, have taken to Twitter to highlight schisms within Europe, NATO, and the trans-Atlantic alliance, painting the U.S. response as ineffective, its people unsophisticated, and its cities violent. And they are dismissing critical Western media coverage as “disinformation.”
Spying. Human Rights. Covid-19. Beijing Olympic Athletes Face the Most Complex Games Ever.
The Wall Street Journal
Rachel Bachman & Stu Woo
At the heart of it all are athletes navigating a maze of issues around health, safety, politics and free speech—while competing in one of the most important events of their lives. Team members have gone to great lengths to avoid catching Covid-19 in the days leading up to the Games. Some stayed away from loved ones for weeks or months. Many are leaving their phones at home over spying concerns.
Beijing offers high tech power naps to journalists at the Games
Angie Teo & Irene Wang
Journalists reporting on the Winter Olympics are being offered the chance to sleep on the job thanks to high tech cabins at the Beijing media centre.
China’s digital currency struggles for gold at the Winter Olympics
Beijing's plan to promote its digital currency at the Games may fall flat as a lack of spectators and few visitors dampen the excitement.
Living by the Code: In China, Covid-Era Controls May Outlast the Virus
The New York Times
Chris Buckley, Vivian Wang & Keith Bradsher
The pandemic has given Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, a powerful case for deepening the Communist Party’s reach into the lives of 1.4 billion citizens, filling out his vision of the country as a model of secure order, in contrast to the “chaos of the West.” In the two years since officials isolated the city of Wuhan in the first lockdown of the pandemic, the Chinese government has honed its powers to track and corral people, backed by upgraded technology, armies of neighborhood workers and broad public support.
China’s Big Tech has ended '996.' Why does the overtime culture persist?
A Tencent worker’s open criticism shows why this work schedule is hard to change in Chinese tech.
China pilots nationwide blockchain development over real-world use cases
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced the commencement of an in-house effort to expedite blockchain development and innovation across 15 zones and 164 entities.
Jiaoying Summers’ joke about China’s one-child policy made everyone laugh — except TikTok censors
Los Angeles Times
Summers’ ban comes amid the latest wave of censorship from the Chinese government banning celebrities and unconventional influencers. Chinese actresses Zhao Wei, Zheng Shuang and Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu are among the celebrities blocked for flaunting pleasure and showing extravagant wealth, according to the Chinese government. Unconventional creators who run afoul of shifting Chinese cultural taboos, including flamboyant homosexuality, have also been banned by TikTok.
Why the US Must Take China’s Disinformation Operations Seriously
Jianli Yang & Nick Monaco
China has barely scratched the surface of its potential to carry out a “people’s war” on global public opinion.
Maritime Monitoring: AIS Implications of China's New Data Policy
In early November 2021, China enacted two new data privacy laws that, reportedly, directly affect the availability of ship Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmission data. The laws — the Data Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law — seek to restrict foreign access to any critical data regarding China’s national security or key infrastructure.
US tries to name and shame Russian disinformation on Ukraine
Experts credit the White House for declassifying intelligence and moving to rebut false claims before they’re made — a so-called “prebuttal” that undercuts their effectiveness better than an after-the-fact explanation.
Suicide hotline shares data with for-profit spinoff, raising ethical questions
Alexandra S. Levine
The Crisis Text Line’s AI-driven chat service has gathered troves of data from its conversations with people suffering life’s toughest situations.
Twitter's misinformation policy doesn't cover the 2020 elections anymore
Twitter is no longer taking action on tweets spreading misinformation about the 2020 US elections, the website has revealed to CNN. Elizabeth Busby, the company's spokesperson, told the news organization that the social network hasn't been enforcing its "civic integrity policy" when it comes to content about the Presidential elections for almost a year now — since March 2021. Busby said that's because the policy was meant to be used within the duration of an event and that President Biden has already been in office for more than a year.
Japan to partner with U.S. on 6G standards for unmanned tech
Japan and the U.S. will work together to lead the creation of international standards in unmanned technology that uses 6G communications, aiming to keep Chinese companies from dominating a field expected to include self-driving cars and fully automated factories.
Sony begins funding TSMC's Japanese chip plant
Ma Saharu Ban
Sony Group said Tuesday that it has completed the initial funding of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s chipmaking subsidiary in Japan, a key milestone in their joint venture.
North Korean hackers launch attack using Windows Update and GitHub
Malwarebytes' Threat Intelligence Team has issued a new warning to users regarding a recently identified threat from the North Korean hacking group Lazarus. The attack uses fake documents with embedded macros designed to resemble Lockheed Martin employment information.
New Zealand & Pacific Islands
The race to reconnect Tonga
Simon Scarr, Wen Foo, Vijdan Mohammad, Kawoosa Anand Katakam and Aditi Bhandari
How engineers will repair the undersea communications cable severed by the recent volcanic eruption.
South & Central Asia
India’s Semiconductor Pursuit
Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
New Delhi is clearly making a push to expand its capabilities in the critical semiconductor industry.
Prince Andrew made eight trips to China as a guest of its propaganda unit and heralded closer co-operation with the UK - prompting accusations of him being a 'useful idiot' for Beijing
Jake Ryan & Luke McWilliams
Prince Andrew travelled to China as part of his Pitch@Palace business scheme. He has since been accused of being a puppet for the regime in Beijing.
Tory peer’s wife shook Xi’s hand at event linked to Chinese spy agency
The Sunday Times
Gabriel Pogrund & Sam Dunning
Lady Bates, a Tory donor married to Lord Bates, met President Xi at a conference of the Chinese Overseas Friendship Association (Cofa). It is part of the United Front Work Department (UFWD), the state organisation responsible for intelligence and propaganda operations across the world, and is based at its Beijing headquarters.
Finland says it found NSO’s Pegasus spyware on diplomats’ phones
The Record by Recorded Future
The Finnish government said today that the telephones of some of its foreign diplomats were infected last year with Pegasus, a spyware strain developed by controversial Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group.
As Ukraine conflict heats up, so too does disinformation
The Kremlin is ratcheting up its disinformation game with claims like these amid rising geopolitical tensions between Moscow and Western capitals, according to a review of state-backed media content over the last 10 days by POLITICO.
Gender & Women in Cyber
5 essential reads about sexual harassment and discrimination in gaming and tech
The toxic culture in video game company Activision Blizzard is part of the larger problem of sexual harassment in esports, games and tech.
Spotify loses $4 billion in market value after Neil Young controversy
Spotify lost $4 billion in market value this week after rock icon Neil Young called out the company for allowing comedian Joe Rogan to use its service to spread misinformation about the COVID vaccine on his popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Why Spotify can’t afford to lose Joe Rogan
On Monday, Neil Young issued an ultimatum to Spotify: keep Joe Rogan or me. It can’t have both on the service.
Spotify’s Platform Rules and Approach to COVID-19
Based on the feedback over the last several weeks, it’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time.
War among the sensors poses new challenges, says Shashank Joshi.
Hacktivism and State-Sponsored Knock-Offs
Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade
The idea of hacktivists out there looking to settle the score against oppressive regimes is alluring in the same way that a grassroots revolution, a cohesive outcry of an oppressed people against their oppressors, is alluring. But the two aren’t equivalent.
Google attacked over latest plan to replace tracking cookies
The company behind privacy-centric web browser Brave has hit out against Google’s latest plan to replace third-party cookies, which it says will do little to minimize the opportunity for violations of privacy... “Both FLoC and Topics are unambiguously harmful. Both systems are designed to share information about you with advertisers and organizations that you don’t know, and that are outright hostile to web users’ privacy, without active permission or consent,” wrote Snyder.
How do we solve bitcoin’s carbon problem?
The cryptocurrency consumes more energy than Norway. As countries consider copying China’s ban, experts disagree on whether a greener version is possible.
The Threat of Terrorist and Violent Extremist Operated Websites
Tech Against Terrorism
A new report from Tech Against Terrorism has found that global terrorist and violent extremist actors are running at least 198 websites on the surface web.
ICPC Analyst / Project Lead - Cyber Capacity Building
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for a talented Analyst / Project Lead to support a new project that looks at supporting states in the Indo-Pacific in defending against cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property. The successful candidate will work in a small, high-performing team to produce original research and analysis that directly informs broader diplomatic and cyber capacity building activities on the topic of equipping countries globally with tools to defend against the use of cyber tools to steal IP for commercial purposes. Together with a project lead on Learning and Development and the Project Director, the analyst will also participate in international workshops, provide training to foreign governments and present to other external stakeholders.
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.