LinkedIn to end service in China's 'challenging operating environment' | 7-Eleven facial recognition tech interfered with Australian consumer privacy | US global ransomware summit eyes cryptocurrency
LinkedIn said on Thursday that it was shutting down its professional networking service in China later this year, citing “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.” The service, which is owned by Microsoft, said it would offer a new app focused solely on job postings in China. The new app will not have social networking features such as sharing posts and commenting. The New York Times
In June 2020, 7-Eleven rolled out tablets in its 700 stores across New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia to allow customers to fill in surveys. Each tablet had a built-in camera that took photos of customers both when they started and completed the survey. The photos were uploaded to an Australian-hosted server, where the facial image was converted to an encrypted algorithmic faceprint, and a person’s approximate age and gender were recorded based on an assessment of the faceprint. The Guardian
The representatives pledged to share information about cyberattacks and investigations, push firms to shore up security, and disrupt the financial infrastructure of a criminal hacking economy that has flourished in recent years. Consistent international scrutiny of cryptocurrencies will be key, the officials said, as ransomware groups that extort victims for digital payments can quickly transfer the funds to countries with lax standards for monitoring illicit transactions. The Wall Street Journal
Covid-19’s toll on Papua New Guinea
Vaccine misinformation and conspiracies have spread rapidly via Facebook and WhatsApp, and many people in rural areas lack access to credible information. Solutions could be as simple as financing nationwide radio programs to provide medical updates and combat misinformation.
6th ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity
Australian Government Department of Defence Ministers
Australia is grateful for the opportunity to work with ASEAN and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on furthering implementation of these UN norms in our region, and we look forward to working together with ASEAN member states to further promote these issues in UN discussions and other multilateral fora.
UN Cyber Norms
Australian Strategic Policy Institute
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), in collaboration with the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has made available this collection of downloadable cyber norms resources.
We analyzed 80 million ransomware samples – here’s what we learned
Leaders at organizations across the globe are witnessing the alarming rise of ransomware threats, leaving them with the sobering thought that an attack on their business may be not a matter of if, but when. The stakes are becoming higher. Hackers aren’t just demanding money, they’re threatening to reveal sensitive or valuable information if companies don’t pay up or if they contact law enforcement authorities.
7-Eleven took photos of some Australian customers’ faces without consent, privacy commissioner rules
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven has disabled facial recognition technology used in 700 of its Australian stores as customers filled out feedback surveys after the privacy commissioner found it interfered with their privacy. Up to 3.2m facial images had been collected over a 10-month period.
OAIC finds against 7-Eleven over facial recognition
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk has determined that convenience store group 7-Eleven interfered with customers’ privacy by collecting sensitive biometric information that was not reasonably necessary for its functions and without adequate notice or consent.
Telstra deal to buy Digicel’s Pacific assets almost signed and sealed
The Sydney Morning Herald
A deal to provide more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer money to help Telstra buy telecommunications assets in the Pacific is weeks away from being sealed. Senior officials in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been discussing the prospect of the Australian telco giant buying Digicel Pacific, owned by Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien, since late last year.
‘Unworkable’: Global tech giants urge Australia to amend new cyber laws
The Sydney Morning Herald
Global tech giants have stepped up their opposition to the Australian government’s proposed overhaul of cyber security laws, warning the bill will allow authorities to forcibly access their networks without due process. The industry bodies representing some of the world’s biggest technology companies, including Google, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, eBay, Amazon and Adobe, said the new laws would create an “unworkable set of obligations and set a troubling global precedent”.
New Sydney factory to build malware-free computers
The Australian Financial Review
The first base-level computer component facility in Australia is set to supply “clean” computer servers for firms and government agencies needing assurance there is no malicious or unknown code in their data centres.
LinkedIn to End Service in China, Citing ‘Challenging’ Environment
The New York Times
LinkedIn said on Thursday that it was shutting down its professional networking service in China later this year, citing “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.” The service, which is owned by Microsoft, said it would offer a new app focused solely on job postings in China. The new app will not have social networking features such as sharing posts and commenting, which have been critical to LinkedIn’s success in the United States and elsewhere.
Microsoft Folds LinkedIn Social-Media Service in China
The Wall Street Journal
Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn said it would shut the version of its professional-networking site that operates in China, marking the end of the last major American social-media network operating openly in the country.
What really brought down LinkedIn’s China play
U.S.-based social networking-plus-job seeking site LinkedIn said Thursday it was exiting China — after regulators told it in March it had 30 days to clean up its content. The platform, which entered China in 2014 and was purchased by Microsoft in 2016, appeared to be trying, clumsily, to comply, with several scholars and journalists outside China complaining in recent weeks about having their Chinese-language accounts censored. But LinkedIn has been censoring content for years, and struggling in China since its entry. The company's exodus was a long time coming, and not just because of its recent moves violating Western sensibilities.
China: Sunset of Localized Version of LinkedIn and Launch of New InJobs App Later This Year
While we’ve found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunity, we have not found that same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed. We’re also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China. Given this, we’ve made the decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year.
Darren Byler on Life in Xinjiang, ‘China’s High-Tech Penal Colony’
“The mass surveillance and internment project in Xinjiang should be viewed as a major test of Chinese capacities to conduct a sophisticated invasion, occupation, and transformation of spaces that were at the margins of Chinese control.”
How China Is Planning For a Tech Decoupling
Alex Stone @PeterWood_PDW
Rising tensions between the U.S. and China and the recognition of a new kind of race for technological advantage has led Washington to tighten restrictions on Chinese companies’ access to critical technologies and to reevaluate the China-U.S. STEM talent pipeline. China is responding with preparations for a lengthy tech competition and decoupling (what it terms 中美科技脱钩).
The China-U.S. 5G Battle Upends a Telecom Industry Consortium
The Wall Street Journal
The competition between the U.S. and China is roiling the previously humdrum process of setting technical specifications for wireless communications.
White House Ransomware Summit Eyes Tighter Global Scrutiny for Crypto
The Wall Street Journal
Officials from 32 governments who met virtually this week to coordinate their response to the ransomware boom said uneven cryptocurrency standards are helping hackers cash in. The representatives pledged to share information about cyberattacks and investigations, push firms to shore up security, and disrupt the financial infrastructure of a criminal hacking economy that has flourished in recent years. Consistent international scrutiny of cryptocurrencies will be key, the officials said, as ransomware groups that extort victims for digital payments can quickly transfer the funds to countries with lax standards for monitoring illicit transactions.
Today's ransomware summit is about international cooperation
The Washington Post
Today and tomorrow the White House is huddling with representatives from 30 countries and the European Union to discuss ways to tackle ransomware, as it tries to build an international coalition to combat the growing problem of hacks. Much of the meeting will be focused on resilience, virtual currencies, law enforcement disruptions and diplomacy efforts, a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday. India, the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany are organizing and leading those sessions.
U.S. convenes 30 countries on ransomware threat — without Russia or China
The Biden administration did not invite Russia to participate in the first meeting of a global effort to combat cybercrime, but could welcome the country that has become synonymous with ransomware to future gatherings.
Joint Statement of the Ministers and Representatives from the Counter Ransomware Initiative Meeting October 2021
The White House
Having gathered virtually on October 13 and 14 to discuss the escalating global security threat from ransomware, we the Ministers and Representatives of Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, European Union, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States recognize that ransomware is an escalating global security threat with serious economic and security consequences.
Facebook Clamps Down on Its Internal Message Boards
The New York Times
Facebook told employees on Tuesday that it was making some of its internal online discussion groups private, in an effort to minimize leaks.
Facebook whistleblower eyes state AGs, expanding regulatory threat beyond Washington
The Washington Post
State attorneys general played a critical role in curtailing the power of the tobacco industry. Now lawyers representing Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen are targeting attorneys general in states like California and Massachusetts in the hopes they could play a similar role in imposing limits on the social network. John Tye, a lawyer representing Haugen through the nonprofit Whistleblower Aid, said that his team has shared some of the documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission with state attorneys general offices in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Nebraska and Tennessee.
House Democrats target algorithms in liability shield bill
The leader of a powerful House committee is taking aim at websites' liability shield in a new bill that would remove protections if recommended content leads to real-world harm.
Governor Wants to Prosecute Journalist Who Clicked ‘View Source’ on Government Site
A St. Louis Post-Dispatch journalist found 100,000 Social Security numbers exposed in a government website, and reported the flaw to the government. Missouri Governor Mike Parson wants to prosecute a journalist who warned the state that a government website left school teachers and administrators' Social Security numbers exposed.
Amazon Puts Its Own “Brands” First Above Better-Rated Products
The online giant gives a leg up to hundreds of house brand and exclusive products that most people don’t know are connected to Amazon.
Effort to Bar Tech Companies From ‘Self-Preferencing’ Gains Traction
The Wall Street Journal
Legislation to bar internet companies from favoring their own products on their platforms is gaining more support, in what could be a potential threat to the business models of tech giants like Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. Bipartisan Senate legislation announced Thursday would prohibit dominant platforms from favoring their own products or services, a practice known as self-preferencing. It would also bar these dominant platforms from discriminating among business users in a way that materially harms competition.
“Hacker X”—the American who built a pro-Trump fake news empire—unmasks himself
This is the story of the mastermind behind one of the largest "fake news" operations in the US. For two years, he ran websites and Facebook groups that spread bogus stories, conspiracy theories, and propaganda. Under him was a dedicated team of writers and editors paid to produce deceptive content—from outright hoaxes to political propaganda—with the supreme goal of tipping the 2016 election to Donald Trump.
TSMC announces plans to build first chip plant in Japan
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's biggest contract chipmaker, on Thursday announced it will build its first-ever chip plant in Japan, answering Tokyo's call to strengthen the local semiconductor supply chain to cope with an unprecedented global crunch in key components.
Passengers couldn’t fly after NHS vaccine passport went offline
England's COVID Pass system went offline for hours on Wednesday, causing British travelers to remain stranded at airports. Some passengers couldn't board their flights, while others suffered delays as both the National Health Service (NHS) website and app experienced issues. An NHS system outage lasting approximately four hours left many British travelers unable to access their vaccination records and present their COVID Pass to the airlines. Prior to letting passengers board, most airlines in the UK require proof of vaccination in printed or digital form. But those without a paper copy were left in limbo as the NHS smartphone app kept throwing up errors.
Europe's top 'tech cop' is ready to take on Big Tech with America
@PoliticoRyan @Olivia_Reingold @IreneNoguchi
Margrethe Vestager has been waiting for an administration like this — the European Union’s top tech cop says it’s a “dream come true” to have a president in the White House who’s dedicated to reeling in Big Tech. But what will that EU-U.S. cooperation look like? That’s what host Ryan Heath wants to know. Also on the docket: Vestager’s game plan to protect whistleblowers, plus her own rules for tech at home.
After G20 endorses tax deal, Italy says its digital levy could stay for two more years
G20 finance leaders on Wednesday endorsed a global tax deal that calls for the elimination of unilateral digital services taxes, but Italy’s economy minister said it may take up to two years to eliminate the digital levy imposed by Rome. The timing of the removal of digital services taxes aimed largely at U.S. technology platforms such as Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com and Apple could become a new source of tension with Washington after 136 countries agreed to revamp international corporate taxation last week.
How Latin America became tech’s next big frontier
Buying a used car, renting an apartment or opening a bank account: all recurring nightmares in Latin America, because of reams of paperwork, lethargic bureaucracy and legal pitfalls. Start-ups created to tackle problems like these are propelling the region to the forefront of the emerging market tech boom. Last year $4.1bn of venture capital investment flowed into Latin America, exceeding south-east Asia’s $3.3bn and beating Africa, the Middle East and central and eastern Europe combined, according to the Global Private Capital Association. In the first half of this year, Latin America pulled in $6.5bn of venture capital, not far short of India’s $8.3bn.
Failed deal with China delayed made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine plans
@scottranderson_ @wardrachel @cbcmckeown
The federal government's failed collaboration with a vaccine manufacturing company in China early in the pandemic has led to a delay of nearly two years in efforts to create a made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) signed an agreement with Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics in early May 2020 to "fast-track the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada for emergency pandemic use."
A Telegram Bot Told Iranian Hackers When They Got a Hit
When the Iranian hacking group APT35 wants to know if one of its digital lures has gotten a bite, all it has to do is check Telegram. Whenever someone visits one of the copycat sites they’ve set up, a notification appears in a public channel on the messaging service, detailing the potential victim’s IP address, location, device, browser, and more. It’s not a push notification; it’s a phish notification.
Fraudsters Cloned Company Director’s Voice In $35 Million Bank Heist, Police Find
AI voice cloning is used in a huge heist in the U.A.E., according to Dubai investigators, amidst warnings about cybercriminal use of the new technology.
The creator economy is failing to spread the wealth - Axios
The creator economy was supposed to democratize media, but it turns out that a small portion of creators still reap the most revenue for their work across multiple platforms.
How much is the clean tech industry worth?
Global investment in clean energy technologies is still far below where it needs to be for the world to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to a major new report from the International Energy Agency. To close the gap, annual investment for the rest of this decade needs to be three times higher than it was in 2021.
Robot Dogs Now Have Assault Rifles Mounted On Their Backs
Ghost Robotics and SWORD International have teamed up to create a rifle-toting "robot dog." Called the Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle, or SPUR, the system adds a 6.5mm Creedmoor rifle from SWORD to one of Ghost Robotics' quadrupedal unmanned ground vehicles, or Q-UGVs.
Experts Shocked by Military Robodog With Sniper Rifle Attachment
Now, experts are speaking out against the heavily armed robodog, which they say marks an inflection point in the development of killer robots — and should represent an urgent opportunity to reflect on whether the tech should be allowed at all. “This crosses a moral, legal and technical line, taking us to a dark and dangerous world,” UNSW Sydney AI professor Toby Walsh told Futurism. “Such weapons will be used by terrorists and rogue states. They will be weapons of terror.”
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.