Japan’s economic security minister warns on chip industry survival | U.S. lawmakers step up pressure to adopt tougher tech laws | NEW REPORT: The architecture of repression
Japan’s semiconductor industry is doomed to irrelevance unless the government matches the long-term strategic visions being laid out in the US and China, the country’s newly created minister for economic security has warned. Takayuki Kobayashi told the Financial Times that Japan had historically failed to identify the essential technologies that the country’s broad-based industrial economy should protect and promote to ensure it remained “indispensable” to the wider world. Financial Times
Legislation to curb the influence of big technology companies, including putting new restrictions on online content, is starting to gain traction in Congress as lawmakers narrow their targets and seek to build on public attention. The Wall Street Journal
For accountability, it is necessary to investigate how China’s campaign against the Uyghurs has been implemented and which offices and individuals have played a leading part. The current knowledge gap has exposed international companies and organisations to inadvertent engagement with Chinese officials who have facilitated the atrocities in Xinjiang. It has also prevented foreign governments from making targeted policy responses. This project maps and analyses the governance mechanisms employed by the Chinese party-state in Xinjiang from 2014 to 2021 within the context of the region’s ongoing human rights crisis. ASPI ICPC
The architecture of repression: Unpacking Xinjiang's governance
For accountability, it is necessary to investigate how China’s campaign against the Uyghurs has been implemented and which offices and individuals have played a leading part. The current knowledge gap has exposed international companies and organisations to inadvertent engagement with Chinese officials who have facilitated the atrocities in Xinjiang. It has also prevented foreign governments from making targeted policy responses. This project maps and analyses the governance mechanisms employed by the Chinese party-state in Xinjiang from 2014 to 2021 within the context of the region’s ongoing human rights crisis. The authors have located and scrutinised thousands of Chinese-language sources including leaked police records and government budget documents never before published. This archive of sources is made publicly available for the use of others. In addition to a detailed policy report, this project includes an interactive organisational chart which profiles over 170 offices that have participated in Xinjiang governance in the last 7 years. Within the chart, guided tours can take the viewer through five key sets of Xinjiang’s repressive policies: mass internment, forced labour, at-home surveillance and indoctrination, coercive birth control, and ubiquitous propaganda.
Mapping repression in Xinjiang
A sweeping new report released today by an Australian research organization reveals new details about how the Chinese Communist Party — and specifically who within the party — is carrying out its campaign of repression in Xinjiang…Why it matters: Uncovering the actual offices and individuals implementing the Chinese government's genocide and forced labor policies in Xinjiang can bring accountability and help international companies delink supply chains in compliance with U.S. and EU forced labor laws…"Through long and complicated supply chains, this is the first time liberal democracies have found themselves consuming the outputs of China’s mass political campaigns, such as products made with forced labour," report co-author Vicky Xiuzhong Xu said in a statement.
Secretive Body Leads Xinjiang’s Hunt for Pre-Crime, Report Finds
The Political and Legal Affairs Commission is managing a real-world “Minority Report” system that has used mass data collection to prompt investigations into millions of Uyghurs often for reasons as trivial as downloading a file sharing app, said Australia- and U.S.-backed research institute Australian Strategic Policy Institute. While elsewhere in China the PLAC is a coordinating body that oversees the nation’s law and order system without significant operational capabilities, in Xinjiang the PLAC’s “budget and responsibilities” expanded markedly in recent years, the report found.
Fake families and neighbourhood spies: China’s 24-hour repression of Uighurs
The Sydney Morning Herald
United Australia party spent $1.2m on YouTube ads in two months since Craig Kelly named leader
Clive Palmer’s United Australia party has spent close to $1.2m on YouTube ads in less than two months, as it racks up millions of views on its videos criticising lockdowns and government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic...The increased ad spend was first highlighted on Twitter by Ariel Bogle, a journalist and analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Experts call for more political ad spending transparency after Clive Palmer’s party spent $1.2 million on Google in just under a year
Ariel Bogle, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Cyber Centre, said it’s “a little odd” that platforms with historically contentious self-governance issues have been tasked with policing political ad spending. “Once again, we are leaving it in the hands of companies who have their own sets of policies and reasons for acting how they do around political advertising,” Bogle said. “We’re relying on the companies that are making money from our elections to police our election advertising.”
How Australian AI will benefit from AUKUS
The media coverage of the AUKUS pact has mostly focused on the nuclear-powered submarine announcement, but the agreement also emphasises the importance of AI to defence and national security. Australia’s innovation ecosystem will need to take on board developments in the US and the UK.
Foreign spies a bigger threat to Australia than terrorism in coming years, ASIO warns
ASIO's director-general says while the threat of terrorism should not be understated, foreign actors trying to interfere in Australia's affairs is the country's most pressing threat going forward.
Why companies will ignore the government and pay hackers’ ransoms
Australian Financial Review
Michelle Price Marcus Thompson
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews’ insistence that the government does not condone paying hackers to unlock systems ignores the reality of businesses trying to survive.
How your phone, and tech giants Google and Facebook, helped shape NSW's pandemic response
Researchers have detailed how movement information logged by Facebook and Google helped predict pandemic peaks. The data was fed into models developed by researchers at the University of NSW, which informed the state government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
WA leak reveals targets on academics, directions to leverage positions
The University of Western Australia’s detailed preparation in targeting specific staff to axe from its School of Molecular Sciences and the predicted impact of its cuts was exposed in a huge public leak on Monday. In a move reminiscent of the Panama Papers drop, about 409 pages of confidential documents produced by UWA’s executive have been publicly disseminated via a QR code posted in the Molecular Sciences building elevator.
China culls unprofitable 5G use cases as it narrows focus
After throwing resources at thousands of industry use cases in the past two years, the China 5G industry has abandoned most of them to narrow its focus.
Foreign stakes in VPN services now allowed in Beijing
South China Morning Post
A policy update now permits foreign investors to own up to half of each virtual private network service provider in Beijing.
China Weighs Opening Tencent, ByteDance Content to Search, Sources Say
Pei Li Zheping Huang
China is considering asking media companies from Tencent Holdings Ltd. to ByteDance Ltd. to let rivals access and display their content in search results, a move that could further eradicate online barriers and shake up the internet advertising arena.
A China-aligned espionage group is targeting global telecoms, sweeping up call data dating back years
An advanced network of digital spies with a nexus to Chinese interests has successfully compromised parts of the global telecommunications network, in some cases allowing access to subscriber information, call metadata, text messages and other data, according to research released Tuesday by CrowdStrike.
Alibaba Faces New Threat: an Evolving Chinese Shopper
The Wall Street Journal
Already under regulatory scrutiny, Alibaba is losing market share as Chinese consumers shift from targeted product searches to browsing and interaction.
WeChat blocks China Evergrande messaging groups as protests grow
The Sydney Morning Herald
Tencent Holdings’ WeChat platform has blocked at least eight instant messaging groups used by people in China owed money by cash-strapped property giant Evergrande Group.
U.S. Lawmakers Step Up Pressure to Adopt Tougher Tech Laws
The Wall Street Journal
Legislation to curb the influence of big technology companies, including putting new restrictions on online content, is starting to gain traction in Congress as lawmakers narrow their targets and seek to build on public attention.
Cyber Private Eyes Go After Hackers, Without Counterattacking
The Wall Street Journal
Some companies work within the confines of a federal law against invading someone’s computer to take action against attackers, stopping short of hacking back.
Facebook settles claims it discriminated against U.S. workers for some jobs in favor of temporary visa holders
Facebook settled claims that it refused to recruit or hire U.S. workers for positions it set aside for temporary visa holders, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
Members of Congressional Committee Question Whether Amazon Executives Misled Congress
The Wall Street Journal
In a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, five members of Congress asked for “exculpatory evidence” to corroborate the sworn testimony offered by several company leaders, including founder Jeff Bezos.
NSA, DHS shine light on BlackMatter ransomware threat to food industry, demands of up to $15 million
A government advisory published Monday warned that BlackMatter ransomware attackers are going after U.S. critical infrastructure, including food and agriculture organizations, and demanding exorbitant payouts.
Feds Warn BlackMatter Ransomware Gang is Poised to Strike
An advisory by the CISA, FBI and NSA reveals hallmark tactics of and shares defense tips against the cybercriminal group that’s picked up where its predecessor DarkSide left off.
Crypto Learns to Play the DC Influence Game
The infrastructure bill was the first shot in a long battle on Capitol Hill. But do lobbyists in Washington really understand crypto?
YouTube Sued Over Animal Abuse Videos, Accused of Not Enforcing Ban
The New York Times
The videos are now the subject of a lawsuit filed on Monday in California Superior Court in Santa Clara. Lady Freethinker, an animal rights nonprofit, sued YouTube, accusing it of breach of contract. The suit claims that the platform failed to live up to its agreement with users by allowing animal abuse videos to be uploaded and failing to take action when alerted about the content.
Japan economic security minister warns on chip industry survival
Japan’s semiconductor industry is doomed to irrelevance unless the government matches the long-term strategic visions being laid out in the US and China, the country’s newly created minister for economic security has warned. Takayuki Kobayashi told the Financial Times that Japan had historically failed to identify the essential technologies that the country’s broad-based industrial economy should protect and promote to ensure it remained “indispensable” to the wider world.
TSMC in Japan: 5 things to know about its chip factory plans
Cheng Ting-Fang Lauly Li
The world's biggest chipmaker is gearing up to build its first-ever chip plant in Japan, a major win for a country that is attempting to rebuild its semiconductor industry after years of decline.
Boris Johnson Says U.K. Doesn’t Want to Turn Away Chinese Investment
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is not about to “pitchfork away” offers of Chinese investment despite the concerns of some of his own lawmakers.
Ban on Uyghur imports becomes EU’s hot potato
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last month promised a ban on goods made with forced labor — a move that would target products made by persecuted Uyghur Muslims in China — but her top officials aren’t aligned on which department will have to take on this explosive file and incur the wrath of Chinese President Xi Jinping..The most immediate problem is that the fate of the due diligence file is still up in the air. The EU’s future rules on supply chains are coming under intense lobbying pressure from companies, countries and NGOs. The Commission also bombed through several self-imposed deadlines on the file. Brussels is now shooting for a December deadline, six months later than initially planned.
Ireland’s Facebook decision triggers argument over limits of GDPR
EU officials are gearing up for a fight over how much leeway companies should have to process personal data after a decision targeting Facebook from Ireland’s privacy regulator prompted pushback from campaigners.
Facebook’s Novi Taps Paxos, Coinbase Ahead of Diem Rollout
Novi, Facebook’s digital wallet subsidiary, will go live in the U.S. and Guatemala in a pilot program, allowing users to start trading the Paxos Dollar (USDP), the social media giant announced Tuesday. Crypto exchange Coinbase will provide custody services for the program.
Teen Girls Are Developing Tics. Doctors Say TikTok Could Be a Factor.
The Wall Street Journal
Teenage girls are seeking medical care for the sudden onset of tics, such as jerking motions and verbal outbursts, that specialists in pediatric movement disorders say are linked to watching TikTok videos that purport to show people with Tourette syndrome.
Google Quietly Tweaks Image Search for Racially Diverse Results
Google updated its algorithms in an effort to promote more racially diverse results in image searches -- the tech giant’s latest attempt to excise biases from the world’s most popular search engine.
I attended a top surveillance conference in Washington, a bizarre experience in which industry insiders lamented being under attack
Attendees saw themselves as conscripts drafted into an information war being unfairly waged against facial recognition and biometric technology.
Gaggle Surveils Millions of Kids in the Name of Safety. Targeted Families Argue it’s ‘Not That Smart’
The 74 Million
The classroom assignment was one of thousands of Minneapolis student communications that got flagged by Gaggle, a digital surveillance company that saw rapid growth after the pandemic forced schools into remote learning. In an earlier investigation, The 74 analyzed nearly 1,300 public records from Minneapolis Public Schools to expose how Gaggle subjects students to relentless digital surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, raising significant privacy concerns for more than 5 million young people across the country who are monitored by the company’s digital algorithm and human content moderators.
Instagram Is Punishing Users by Taking Away Their Link Stickers
Many Instagram users saw a notification that if they have violated the platform's Community Guidelines in the past, they will no longer be allowed to use links in Stories.
A massive ‘stalkerware’ leak puts the phone data of thousands at risk
The private phone data of hundreds of thousands of people are at risk. Call records, text messages, photos, browsing history, precise geolocations and call recordings can all be pulled from a person’s phone because of a security issue in widely used consumer-grade spyware.
The Simmering Cybersecurity Risk of Employee Burnout
Dr. Margaret Cunningham
When people are burned out, they function in ""power-save mode,"" where effort is rationed to avoid complete shutdown. As effort is rationed, performance on lower-priority tasks suffers. While the power-save mode analogy is overly simplistic, understanding what people trade off to continue making progress on their prioritized goals is critical for understanding how burnout and fatigue affect cybersecurity.
Encryption Q&A - Global Encryption Day
Digital Rights Watch
Digital security is becoming increasingly undermined both at home in Australia and around the world. It’s important to explain and celebrate the important role encryption plays in keeping us safe and secure online. Join Executive Director of Digital Rights Watch, Lucie Krahulcova, and CTO of Oxen Privacy Tech Foundation, Kee Jefferys, on Global Encryption Day for a live Q&A about encryption. Thursday, October 21, 2021 • 6:00 PM • Australian Eastern Daylight Time (GMT+11:00)
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.