Latino House Democrats demand answers on government coronavirus contracts with Palantir | Explaining the cyberattacks against Australia | Belgium to cut down on Huawei gear

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  • Fifteen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Thursday outlining concerns with the department’s recent $24.9 million of coronavirus-related contracts with the data mining and analysis company Palantir. NBC News

  • ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre staff Danielle Cave, Tom Uren and Jocelinn Kang discuss and debate the Prime Minister’s 19 June announcement that “Australian organisations are currently being targeted by a sophisticated state-based cyber actor". Is this significant? Who is responsible & how do we know? Is attribution a diversion? Should the Australian government do more? What would be the next step? The Strategist

  • The Belgian government will impose new restrictions on using “high-risk” 5G equipment makers that are expected to substantially limit the use of Chinese suppliers — as it follows the U.K.’s approach to handling Huawei. Politico

ASPI ICPC

What, who and why: explaining the cyberattacks against Australia
The Strategist
ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre staff Danielle Cave, Tom Uren and Jocelinn Kang discuss and debate the Prime Minister’s 19 June announcement that “Australian organisations are currently being targeted by a sophisticated state-based cyber actor". Is this significant? Who is responsible & how do we know? Is attribution a diversion? Should the Australian government do more? What would be the next step?

Cyberattack announcement shows Australia taking on global security role | The Strategist
The Strategist
The gap that needs to be filled is in providing a system that takes advantage of the huge amount of electronic data that Defence is able to collect before and during a conflict, writes Peter Jennings and Michael Shoebridge. This is about creating a virtuous loop—where the needs of personnel are met by tailored intelligence data and where those personnel collect the raw data that the intelligence analysts need to provide support.

Australia

New $4.3m education website announced by Dan Tehan duplicates existing service
the Guardian
There are fears a $4.3m government website to showcase short university courses will become “a multimillion-dollar white elephant”, as education department workers acknowledge that another government website already offers the service.

Mandatory cyber standards for private sector - InnovationAus
InnovationAus
There are concerns the government’s rumoured plans to mandate cybersecurity standards in the private sector could lead to SMEs being punished and difficulties around enforcement.

Time to ban facial recognition in Australia before it wrecks more lives
Crikey
US states, cities, police forces and tech companies are turning their backs on facial recognition technology. Why is Australia continuing to embrace it?

Dutton's bid to ban mobile phones in immigration detention centres could be unconstitutional
Guardian
A proposed law that would allow Peter Dutton to ban mobile phones in onshore immigration detention centres would damage refugees’ mental health and may be unconstitutional, a Senate committee has been told.

Bold bid to fight off China attacks
The Australian
Australia is strengthening its intelligence-gathering capability, building up its cyber defences and intensifying economic and strategic co-operation with allies as concern grows about an increasingly aggressive China.

China's cyber attacks against Australia should be of great concern
The Canberra Times
We have actually been under increasing cyber attack since the 1990s from a range of state actors and hackers associated with foreign government agencies - including some of our "allies" (but not our Five-Eyes partners). China has been the main offender.

Defence searches for its next CISO
iTnews
The Department of Defence has begun searching for a new chief information security officer after losing its last ICT security assistant secretary.

Services Australia loses CISO Narelle Devine
iTnews
Telstra has named Services Australia’s chief information security officer Narelle Devine as its new CISO for Asia Pacific. Devine will start the new role on July 27, and replaces Berin Lautenbach, who left earlier this month.

USA

Latino House Democrats demand answers on government coronavirus contracts with Palantir
NBC News
Fifteen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Thursday outlining concerns with the department’s recent $24.9 million of coronavirus-related contracts with the data mining and analysis company Palantir.

Microsoft's new Asia boss outlines business priorities in the age of coronavirus
CNBC
Microsoft said during its last earnings release in late April that the initial impact of Covid-19 on the business was mixed. Cloud computing-based products — such as Teams and Azure — saw increased usage as more organizations shifted to remote work. But "there was a slowdown in transactional licensing, particularly in small and medium businesses, and a reduction in advertising spend in LinkedIn," the company said.

Inside the threat of Chinese companies publicly traded on U.S. exchanges
Axios
The tough stance on Chinese companies publicly traded on U.S. exchanges, which includes tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba, opens up a new front in the increasingly tense U.S.-China relationship.

Social Media Platforms Claim Moderation Will Reduce Harassment, Disinformation and Conspiracies. It Won't
Time
If the United States wants to protect democracy and public health, it must acknowledge that internet platforms are causing great harm and accept that executives like Mark Zuckerberg are not sincere in their promises to do better. The “solutions” Facebook and others have proposed will not work. They are meant to distract us.

Protesters Marching Across The Country Had No Idea That A Tech Company Was Spying On Them
BuzzFeed News
Data company Mobilewalla used cellphone information to estimate the demographics of protesters. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says it’s “shady” and concerning.

How COVID-19 changed Cyber Command's 'Cyber Flag' exercise - CyberScoop
CyberScoop
Although Cyber Command says it was planning to use the platform for the annual exercise, called Cyber Flag, long before the coronavirus started spreading, the pandemic forced the military commanders to reassess how they would work together virtually. It also solidified how important it is for the U.S. military to be able to work with and allies from afar in times of crisis.

White House Trade Advisor Calls Hikvision ""Very Evil Company""
IPVM
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro has called Hikvision a "very evil company" during an interview on Fox News on Monday.

North Asia

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son Says He Will Resign From Board of Alibaba
WSJ
SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said Thursday that he is stepping down from the board of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., effective the same day.

UK

China's Huawei to build $1.2 billion British research centre
Reuters
China's Huawei Technologies said on Thursday it had received planning permission for a 1 billion pound ($1.2 billion) research and development facility in England. The new centre will employee around 400 people and focus on producing optical equipment used in fibre-optic communication systems, Huawei said in a statement.

Europe

Belgium to cut down on Huawei gear
Politico
The Belgian government will impose new restrictions on using “high-risk” 5G equipment makers that are expected to substantially limit the use of Chinese suppliers — as it follows the U.K.’s approach to handling Huawei.

Africa

Moroccan journalist and government critic called in for questioning
Washington Post
A Moroccan journalist, allegedly being spied on by authorities using Israeli-made spyware called Pegasus, was detained and questioned by police Thursday after a dozen publications wrote about his case this week.

Misc

Facebook is adding alerts for old news articles to give users a heads up before sharing
Input
Old articles can lead to confusion about the current state of the world.