Leaked police files detail surveillance of China’s Uyghurs | India plans to introduce law to ban cryptocurrencies | Europe wants COVID-19 'vaccine certificates'
Among the revelations from the database is information on the extensive use of a tool that plugs into phones to download their contents, the “anti-terrorism sword,” deployed so frequently that Chinese authorities worried it was alienating the populace. It also offers evidence that the “Physicals for All” biometric collection program, which authorities insisted was solely a health initiative, is intended as part of the policing system. The Intercept
India plans to introduce a law to ban private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in the country and provide a framework for the creation of an official digital currency during the current budget session of parliament. Tech Crunch
The idea is that a traveller's vaccination data would be recorded in some way — potentially in an app on their phone — which could then be presented to authorities on departure as proof that they have been vaccinated. It would also record which vaccine a person has had. ABC News
Social media bans: An attack on free speech or a matter for private companies?
When former US President Donald Trump was de-platformed from social media, the response was divisive. Some said it was an attack on free speech, while other said it is a matter for private companies. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently posted a long thread on the platform explaining and defending his company’s permanent suspension of the 45th President. To look further into what sort of precedent this might set, analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Ariel Bogle spoke to ABC NewsRadio’s Sarah Hall.
A Vast Web of Vengeance
The New York Times
Public smears have been around for centuries. But they are far more effective in the internet age, gliding across platforms that are loath to crack down, said Peter W. Singer, co-author of “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media.” The solution, he said, was to identify “super-spreaders” of slander, the people and the websites that wage the most vicious false attacks.
‘Zuckerberg, Frydenberg - what’s the difference?’: Treasurer and Facebook founder talk
The Sydney Morning Herald
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has reached out to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to voice his concerns about Australia’s proposed new media code designed to force tech giants to pay for news.. Mr Frydenberg revealed he and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher last week had a “constructive discussion” with the Facebook chief, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison had spoken with Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella.
Millions of Leaked Police Files Detail Suffocating Surveillance of China’s Uyghur Minority
Among the revelations from the database is information on the extensive use of a tool that plugs into phones to download their contents, the “anti-terrorism sword,” deployed so frequently that Chinese authorities worried it was alienating the populace. It shows authorities tracking how their policies. It also offers evidence that the “Physicals for All” biometric collection program, which authorities insisted was solely a health initiative, is intended as part of the policing system. And it quantifies and provides details on the extensive electronic monitoring that goes on in Xinjiang, containing millions of text messages, phone call records, and contact lists alongside banking records, phone hardware and subscriber data, and references to WeChat monitoring as well as e-commerce and banking records.
Inside a Pro-Huawei Influence Campaign
The New York Times
A covert online push to sway telecommunications policy in favor of the Chinese company may presage a new twist in social manipulation.
China Is Now Sending Twitter Users to Prison for Posts Most Chinese Can’t See
Wall Street Journal
China’s Communist Party is amping up efforts to control its image around the world by jailing Chinese citizens, many of them ordinary people with little influence, who use foreign social media to criticize Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his government. Chinese authorities have sentenced more than 50 people to prison in the past three years for using Twitter and other foreign platforms. Twitter has emerged as a propaganda battleground for China as it seeks to strengthen its global image and influence. Beijing has promoted its narratives on Twitter through a growing network of diplomatic and state-media accounts, as well as what cyber-policy analysts describe as state-supported troll campaigns that trumpet Chinese government viewpoints and attack China’s critics.
China gene firm providing worldwide COVID tests worked with Chinese military
BGI Group, the world’s largest genomics company, has worked with China’s military on research that ranges from mass testing for respiratory pathogens to brain science, a Reuters review of research, patent filings and other documents has found.
China enlists Huawei, SMIC to improve standards in its chip industry
China is mobilising experts from academia and private industry, including telecoms champion Huawei Technologies Co and its chip design unit HiSilicon, to push forward with standardisation of the domestic semiconductor industry in a bid to better protect supply-chain integrity amid ongoing US sanctions that restrict China’s access to advanced foreign technologies and products.
Families of Wuhan Covid dead say chat group deleted by authorities
Relatives of Wuhan’s coronavirus dead have said Chinese authorities deleted their social media group and told them to keep quiet while a World Health Organization team was in the city preparing to begin an investigation into the pandemic’s origins.
Facebook shuts popular stock trading group amid GameStop frenzy
Facebook Inc took down a popular Wall Street discussion group, Robinhood Stock Traders, in a move that its founder on Thursday described as backlash for conversations buoying shares of GameStop Corp and other companies this week.
Censorship and the Capitol Riot: How Big Tech Became the Target of Russian, Chinese, and Iranian Messaging
Alliance for Securing Democracy
While it may seem incongruous for media outlets funded by countries that consistently rank among the world’s worst offenders in terms of upholding press and Internet freedoms to launch an anti-censorship crusade, it is not an unusual talking point—especially for RT.
Facebook’s New Oversight Board Is Deciding Donald Trump’s Fate. Will It Also Define the Future of the Company?
The end of April will be a turning point for former President Donald Trump. That’s when he will learn whether he can regain control of his Facebook and Instagram accounts—and direct access to nearly 60 million followers on two of the world’s largest social media platforms.
Executive Order on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
The White House
The President of the United States has used executive authority to establish an advisory council on science, technology, and innovation.
How the LAPD and Palantir Use Data to Justify Racist Policing
In a new book, a sociologist who spent months embedded with the LAPD details how data-driven policing techwashes bias.
The China lobby: TikTok parent boosts K-street spending tenfold
Chinese tech companies spent more on U.S. lobby firms last year amid political and regulatory uncertainty, available data shows.
Xiaomi sues US government over inclusion on Pentagon blacklist
Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker, has sued the US government over a move by Donald Trump in his last week as president to place the company on a Pentagon blacklist that bars Americans from investing in it. The group, which has overtaken Apple to become the third-biggest smartphone maker, filed a lawsuit against Lloyd Austin, the US defence secretary, and Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary, following its addition to a list of companies with suspected ties to the Chinese military.
Tech Glitches, Swamped Websites Impede U.S. Vaccine Rollout
Across the U.S., a vaccination campaign that was meant to reverse the tide of the pandemic and spur the nation’s economic recovery is getting bogged down by technical glitches and software woes. Cash-strapped public health departments are trying to keep their websites from crashing while booking millions of appointments, tracking unpredictable inventory, and logging how many shots they give. The situation unfolding across the U.S., home to technology giants, is frustrating a public eager for the inoculations.
Oversight Board @OversightBoardThe Oversight Board has announced its first five decisions, overturning Facebook's judgment in four cases. These decisions demonstrate our commitment to holding Facebook to account. Decisions are binding on Facebook. https://t.co/CYativBmB7
South and Central Asia
India plans to introduce law to ban Bitcoin, other private cryptocurrencies
India plans to introduce a law to ban private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in the country and provide a framework for the creation of an official digital currency during the current budget session of parliament.
Universities Now Need Govt Approval for Online International Events on India's 'Internal Matters'
In a new restriction on academic freedom at the country’s publicly-funded universities, professors and administrators will now have to get prior approval from the ministry of external affairs (MEA) if they want to hold online international conferences or seminars that are centred around issues relating to the security of the Indian state or which are “clearly related to India’s internal matters”.
Telecom Minister calls on Indian telcos to adopt Indian core for 5G networks
The Economic Times
Communications & IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday pushed telcos to adopt Indian suppliers for the 5G core – or brain – of their 5G networks, and added that India should expedite introducing the next-generation technology with locally made telecom equipment.
Foreign Office security vetting will target China academics ‘likely to spy’
Thousands of Chinese academics and researchers could be blocked from entering Britain amid concerns about the theft of intellectual property, The Times has learnt. Universities have been told that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will introduce security vetting for overseas academics and researchers wanting to study or work in fields relating to national security.
Europe wants COVID-19 'vaccine certificates' as soon as possible. But how will they work?
The idea is that a traveller's vaccination data would be recorded in some way — potentially in an app on their phone — which could then be presented to authorities on departure as proof that they have been vaccinated. It would also record which vaccine a person has had.
Mystery surrounds huge rise in Huawei executives’ social media followings
Twitter takes action after some of Chinese company’s employees in Europe gain outsized audiences..Twitter said on Thursday that it had taken action on “thousands of accounts in this instance” that were following the Huawei employees. “Attempts to inauthentically increase followers are not permitted under the Twitter rules,” it said, but added that it was unable at this point to work out who was responsible for creating such large followings and what their motivation was.
Force online platforms to carry public service media, says EBU chief
So-called “must carry” rules, which force traditional television distributors to deliver specified channels, have long guaranteed the prominence of public service broadcasters. But no such requirements apply to online operators, meaning public service media have no special privileges on internet televisions or online media platforms.
Brazil's government plans 5G network separate from private market
Brazil’s federal government is planning to commission a fifth-generation (5G) wireless network exclusively for its own use with security requirements for equipment suppliers separate from nationwide networks, according to a document seen by Reuters.
The Future of Transatlantic Technology Policy, with Lindsay Gorman and Martijn Rasser
Center for a New American Security
Lindsay Gorman and Martijn Rasser join Carisa Nietsche to discuss future priorities and approaches on technology policy within the transatlantic alliance.
Unpacking US Cyber Sanctions
Malicious cyber activity poses one of the greatest threats to America’s national, economic, and personal security. Yet, the perpetrators of these crimes largely operate with pure impunity and face little consequences for their actions. This is particularly the case for cybercriminals who cost the US economy anywhere from $57 billion to $109 billion in 2016 alone. Since 2015, the United States has imposed targeted sanctions (e.g., asset freezes, travel bans) on over 300 individuals and entities in response to malicious cyber activity.
ICPC Senior Analyst or Analyst - China
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an exceptional and experienced China-focused senior analyst or analyst to join its centre.
Atlantic Council - Resident Fellow, China, Digital Forensic Research Lab
This position will play a key role in the expansion of the DFRLab’s policy work and research on China.