Morrison calls for G20 to act against online trolls | Beijing targets 'super large platforms' | Tycoons and celebrities on leak list as Russian gang demands ransom
Australia has stepped up its call on the world’s biggest economies to force Facebook and other social media giants to reveal the anonymous “trolls” who harass people online, urging countries including the United States and United Kingdom to toughen regulation. The Sydney Morning Herald
China's powerful State Administration for Market Regulation released a set of draft rules on Friday that for the first time defines "super large platforms" and proposes special rules that only apply to them. Protocol
Some of the world's most powerful, wealthy and famous people are thought to have had their personal details stolen by a cybercriminal gang which hacked into the computer systems of exclusive UK jeweller Graff. Sky News
Senator Jenny McAllister on intelligence oversight and diversity in national security
Professor Medcalf and Senator McAllister also talk about Dr William Stoltz’s recent argument for a Minister for Intelligence and important research on women in international relations by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Danielle Cave.
Morrison calls for G20 to act against online trolls
The Sydney Morning Herald
Australia has stepped up its call on the world’s biggest economies to force Facebook and other social media giants to reveal the anonymous “trolls” who harass people online, urging countries including the United States and United Kingdom to toughen regulation.
What Australia is doing to counter China’s digital ambitions
Australian Financial Review
China’s digital ambitions are not going uncontested, as the Pacific Islands show. In 2018, the Australia government fought off Huawei Marine’s bid to build an undersea cable to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. That experience underscored the need to expand the availability of attractive alternatives.
What is the Australian government doing to crack down on big tech, and why?
In the past few months the federal government has been eager to show it is actively curbing the power of the giant global tech companies, introducing new legislation to force them to regulate online behaviour.
Threat hunters and red teams: Inside the big banks’ cyber defences
The Sydney Morning Herald
Right now, criminals can easily and cheaply buy what appears to be access to a stranger’s Commonwealth Bank account for just $US50 online. All they need to know is how to navigate the ‘dark web’. “Australian IP is needed to log into account,” one advertisement on a dark web platform shown to this masthead reads. “Refunds and replacements are only given if account username and password is incorrect.”
Hotspot in a cold climate: the Melbourne library that transformed lockdown for struggling families
How a librarian’s trip to the car park planted the seed for a project to help people who can’t afford wifi.
Beijing targets 'super large platforms'
China's powerful State Administration for Market Regulation released a set of draft rules on Friday that for the first time defines ""super large platforms"" and proposes special rules that only apply to them.
China tightens control over company data with transfer rules
Companies in China would need government approval to transfer important data abroad under proposed rules announced Friday that would tighten Beijing’s control over information and might disrupt operations for international corporations.
China’s cyberspace regulator sets out guidelines for exporting sensitive data
The Record by Recorded Future
China’s internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), released a new set of rules on Friday that will require companies with more than 1 million Chinese users to subject themselves to a security review before they can transfer any Chinese data abroad.
Huawei revenue drops 32 per cent in first nine months as US sanctions cripple its once lucrative smartphone business
South China Morning Post
Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications and smartphone giant, reported a 32 per cent slump in sales for the first nine months of 2021, deepening a 29.4 per cent decline in the first half, as the company’s handset business was crippled by US sanctions.
Jack Ma’s yearlong hiatus ends in agri-tech
A shift in Beijing’s economic policy has turned a man who founded one of the world’s most valuable ecommerce company to agricultural technology.
Wikipedia in Chinese editing war of words
Wikipedia's ability to retain balance on Chinese issues has been called into question following the global platform's ban preventing several mainland Chinese "editors" writing and updating pages. Against the backdrop of tensions between Hong Kong and mainland China, the quelled demonstrations of 2019 and 2020 have turned into a war of words between Wikipedia editors who are pro-democracy and those who are pro-Beijing.
China’s Popular Electric Vehicles Have Put Europe’s Automakers on Notice
The New York Times
The name MG used to be synonymous with spirited but finicky sports cars from Britain. Nowadays the iconic octagonal badge serves a different kind of motoring ambition: China’s push to become a big player in the global auto market.
China’s hypersonic weapons tests don’t have to be a sputnik moment
War on the Rocks
This summer, China conducted a series of tests with nuclear-capable hypersonic weapons systems that have clearly gotten the attention of officials across the U.S. government. The tests included a hypersonic glide vehicle — a delivery mechanism that can maneuver through the Earth’s atmosphere towards its target — and also incorporated a fractional orbital bombardment system. Because a fractional orbital bombardment system can deliver its payload by entering into lower orbit and then “dropping” it on the target, it could reach the U.S. homeland via the South Pole, bypassing U.S. early warning systems and missile defenses, which are primarily geared towards the interception of ballistic missiles from the north.
U.S. lawmakers vote to tighten restrictions on Huawei, ZTE
The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to approve legislation to prevent companies such as Huawei ZTE that are deemed security threats from receiving new equipment licenses from U.S. regulators.
CISA starts identifying targets most necessary to protect from hacking
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has begun working to map out the U.S. critical infrastructure that, if hacked, could result in serious consequences for national security and economic interests, CISA Director Jen Easterly said Friday.
FBI director asks US businesses to work more closely with the agency to defeat Chinese espionage efforts
South China Morning Post
The head of the FBI urged US companies on Thursday to develop closer ties with it to counter a “multi-avenue” effort by Beijing to amass enough intellectual property to “become the world’s only superpower”. In a virtual address to the Economic Club of New York, Christopher Wray, the director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, encouraged its members to establish partnerships with the agency’s local offices – before breaches occur like the Microsoft Exchange email server hack discovered earlier this year.
House committee intends to subpoena fossil fuel companies for documents about climate disinformation
House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney announced at the end of Thursday's hearing with top executives from the fossil fuel industry that she plans to subpoena the oil companies and trade groups for key documents related to their conduct around the climate crisis. Her announcement came after executives from ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron, Shell Oil, the American Petroleum Institute and the US Chamber of Commerce, testified in front of Congress for the first time about their role in climate disinformation.
Atlanta man arraigned on federal charges in connection with an international cyber-fraud scheme
US Department of Justice
Christian Akhatsegbe has been arraigned on federal charges of wire and computer fraud conspiracy, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft related to a multi-million-dollar cyber-fraud scheme allegedly perpetrated through email phishing, credential harvesting, and invoice fraud. Emmanuel Aiye Akhatsegbe, who is believed to be residing in Nigeria, was also charged in the scheme.
Big Hires, Big Money and a D.C. Blitz: A Bold Plan to Dominate Crypto
The New York Times
@EricLiptonNYT @daiwaka @el72champs
The venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz—aka A16Z—has bet billions on world fueled by crypto, saying it will disrupt industries dominated by entrenched middlemen and is good for everyone. But they need new rules for this decentralized future.
How Venture Capitalists Think Crypto Will Reshape Commerce
The New York Times
Venture capitalists are betting billions of dollars to create what in effect is an alternative world of finance, commerce, communications and entertainment on the web that could radically transform major elements of the global economy — all built on the blockchain technology popularized by Bitcoin.
An Apparent Ransomware Hack Puts the NRA in a Bind
On Wednesday, the Russian ransomware group Grief posted a sample of data that it claimed was stolen from the National Rifle Association. Dealing with ransomware is a pain under any circumstances. But Grief presents even more complications, because the group is connected to the notorious Evil Corp gang, which has been subject to US Treasury sanctions since December 2019. Even if you decide to pay Grief off, you could face serious penalties.
Apple results hit by supply chain woes, Cook says holiday quarter impact will be worse
Supply chain woes cost Apple $6 billion in sales during the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which missed Wall Street expectations, and Chief Executive Tim Cook said that the impact will be even worse during the current holiday sales quarter.
Uber patents reveal experiments with predictive algorithms to identify risky drivers
Surveilling drivers under the guise of safety is a common thread in Uber’s patents. Experts warn the systems described could reinforce existing inequalities.
Inside the controversial US gunshot-detection firm
People don't report gunshots for several reasons - they may be unsure what they have heard, think someone else will call 911 or simply lack trust in the police. So ShotSpotter's founders had an idea. What if they could bypass the 911 process altogether? They came up with a system. Microphones are fixed to structures around a neighbourhood. When a loud bang is detected, a computer analyses the sound and classifies it as either a gunshot or something else. A human analyst then steps in to review the decision. ShotSpotter has garnered much negative press over the last year. Allegations that range from its tech not being accurate, to claims that ShotSpotter is fuelling discrimination in the police.
Software to help inventory lead water lines in Detroit
A high-tech strategy could help Detroit save $165 million while also pinpointing the number of lead water lines in the city. Data crunched with software from technology startup BlueConduit will hopefully provide a report of the probable locations and number of lead lines, the water department said.
The Metaverse Is Mark Zuckerberg’s Escape Hatch
The New York Times
A successful metaverse pivot could help solve at least four big, thorny problems Facebook faces here in the terrestrial world. Its core social media business is aging, and younger users are abandoning its apps in favour of TikTok, Snapchat and other, cooler apps.
Facebook Papers: How the company grapples with its climate change deniers
Facebook has spent years resisting calls to outright forbid climate misinformation on the platform. The company has, instead, touted its Climate Science Center, which launched last year, as one antidote to the problem. But internal documents reveal that earlier this year, users surveyed by the company still largely didn't know the information center existed — and in the United States, were particularly dubious about the accuracy and trustworthiness of the information contained within it.
Nobody Can See Into Facebook
The overarching takeaway from the Facebook Papers is that Facebook knows. The company monitors just about everything, as the whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed by providing 17 news organizations with documents about the social-media company’s internal research and discussions. Facebook and its tech-industry peers employ armies of exceptional research scientists who evaluate how the platform shapes social behavior. Those researchers agree to a Faustian bargain—in exchange for limitless data, they sign nondisclosure agreements. And as the Facebook Papers document, these employees have discovered a range of disturbing problems that, if not for Haugen, might never have become publicly known.
Misinformation online is bad in English. But it’s far worse in Spanish.
The Washington Post
The release of internal Facebook documents showing that the platform isn’t doing enough to stop a flood of lies and misinformation has sparked outrage nationwide. As bad as these problems are in English, though, they are even worse in other languages: Facebook has admitted its platform was used to incite violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar, and in the Philippines, the site helped fuel a vicious drug war and attacks on dissident journalists. Social media platforms are allowing far more misinformation to spread in other languages than they are in English. But some of the scariest misinformation online is spreading right here in the United States — in Spanish.
Nine years after she died, Whitney Houston is back to entertain you
The Washington Post
Whitney Houston was back. It's just that she was a hologram. The Grammy-winning legend died more than nine years ago. But beginning this week in Las Vegas, Houston took the stage with a complement of breathing performers, shimmying and shimmering — and of course singing some of the most famous pop songs of all time in “An Evening With Whitney,” a live concert with a Houston hologram.The show in many ways shatters the norms of techno-illusion. A two-minute deep fake is one thing. The dead dancing for us is another.
Covid-19 vaccine or her marriage: The impossible choice she had to make
Covid-19 vaccine conspiracy theories spreading on social media have been tearing families apart. CNN Business's Donie O'Sullivan spoke to one woman whose oncologist recommended she get the vaccine. Her anti-vaxx husband gave her an ultimatum.
Korean firm SK plans $473M microchip part plant, hiring 400
A South Korean company will build a factory to make glass parts for computer chips east of Atlanta, investing $473 million and hiring 400 workers.
TSMC founder chides U.S. plan for full chip supply chain onshore
As U.S. lawmakers look to invest $52 billion in the American chip industry, the founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. calls the plan far too small for rebuilding a complete supply chain in the country.
Predicting the next wave of Southeast Asia tech giants
Southeast Asia is hitting a sweet spot. It remains at a relatively nascent phase expansion in the technology industry but is at the same time developed enough to have a 400-million-strong internet user base. By late 2021, approximately 80% of the Southeast Asian population (aged 15 and above) will be digital consumers, according to a report by Facebook and Bain & Company.
Vietnam jails five journalists for ‘anti-state’ Facebook posts
A Vietnamese court sentenced five journalists to prison terms and banned them from working for three years, state media reported, after they were convicted of spreading anti-state content on a Facebook-based news outlet.
Army turns focus on tech as China looks to test India ‘every fortnight’ at LAC in Eastern sector
It is not just in eastern Ladakh that China has become aggressive since May last year, but also the Eastern Sector where the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) seeks to test India’s ability to defend the Line of Actual Control (LAC) “almost every fortnight”, ThePrint has learnt. However, due to India’s increased focus on technology-backed surveillance techniques, the Army has been able to pre-empt the Chinese patrolling into Indian territories by countering them earlier than before, sources in the defence and security establishment said.
Graff cyber attack: 'Tycoons and celebrities on leak list as Russian gang demands ransom'
Some of the world's most powerful, wealthy and famous people are thought to have had their personal details stolen by a cybercriminal gang which hacked into the computer systems of exclusive UK jeweller Graff.
Europol Claims Big Ransomware Win As 12 Suspects ‘Targeted’ For Attacks On 1,800 Victims
Europol announced Friday that 12 individuals involved in either hacking companies or in laundering money via Bitcoin had been “targeted,” though wouldn’t say whether they’d been arrested or charged, though properties have been searched and items seized. “The judicial process is still ongoing, so we cannot comment on this for the time being,” a Europol spokesperson told Forbes.
Europol detains suspects behind LockerGoga, MegaCortex, and Dharma ransomware attacks
The Record by Recorded Future
Europol said it detained 12 suspects this week it believes were part of a professional criminal group that orchestrated a long string of ransomware attacks that targeted large companies and which hit more than 1,800 victims across 71 countries since 2019.
EU Parliament committee adopts new cybersecurity law for critical services
The leading committee of the European Parliament adopted on Thursday (28 October) a legislative proposal intended to secure Europe’s critical entities from cyberattacks. The Parliament’s committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) endorsed the so-called NIS2 Directive, a revision of the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems. The existing NIS Directive was the first EU-wide legislation to set up minimum cybersecurity requirements for businesses and organisations providing essential services.
German Academic Freedom Is Now Decided in Beijing
We need to talk about Germany’s strange marriage with China—again. But this time, it’s not just about Germany’s unhealthy economic dependence on China. This time, the issue is hybrid interference from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which is increasingly using state and nonstate agents under its control to threaten academic freedom in Germany.
Alibaba is ramping up in Europe, and is already ahead of Amazon in one region
Alibaba is investing further in Europe for Singles Day this year, as the Chinese tech giant competes with Amazon for the European Union’s exploding e-commerce market.
Turkey moves to deport Syrian migrants for eating bananas in a ‘provocative’ way on TikTok
The Washington Post
The Turkish government said this week that it has opened deportation proceedings against at least seven Syrian nationals accused of eating bananas in a “provocative” way while participating in a TikTok video challenge, in a move that underscores rising hostility toward Syrians in a country with a reputation for being welcoming to refugees.
Nigeria’s eNaira digital currency had an embarrassing first week
It is not time for adieu yet, but Nigeria’s central bank digital currency—the first such attempt in Africa—has not gotten off to a great start. The eNaira, as the digital currency is called, was initially scheduled to launch on Oct. 1 this year. That was postponed with the excuse that the launch clashed with independence day celebrations. Nigerians became suspicious of their central bank’s readiness for a digital currency rollout; after all, independence day is a fixed event every year and so authorities should have planned better.
Yuval Harari warns humans will be "hacked" if artificial intelligence is not globally regulated
The future could see the world's human data, delivered through the rising power and reach of artificial intelligence, in the hands of a powerful few - a recipe for a dystopian tomorrow populated by "hacked humans," says Yuval Noah Harari.
Is social media killing intellectual humility?
Social media echo chambers have made us overconfident in our knowledge and abilities. Social psychologists have shown that publicly committing to an opinion makes you less willing to change your mind. To avoid a descent into epistemic arrogance and tribalism, we need to use social media with deep humility.
Intelligence Needs a New Language
Real Clear Defense
The discussion about a “revolution in intelligence affairs”, a term introduced nearly two decades ago, is recently gaining prominence. Many intelligence scholars and former practitioners highlight the need for adaptation to the “age of information” and emerging technologies. They also stress there is a “declining market for secrets”, and therefore intelligence agencies must change their “secret-inclined culture” and embrace open-source intelligence. But for great power competition, this is not enough. Like national security, more broadly, intelligence needs a new language. The current one fails in describing, let alone guiding, the evolving practice.
Internet shutdowns are a political weapon. It’s time to disarm.
Authoritarian governments from twenty-one countries have deliberately shut down internet service at least fifty times this year, and the problem is only bound to get worse. As regimes such as Venezuela face elections and Cuba experience protests, they’re finding it easier to contain dissent by curtailing digital freedoms – and are becoming increasingly brazen in doing so.
How to Fix Social Media
The Wall Street Journal
@amyklobuchar @nickclegg @cshirky @roughtype
Twelve leading figures from tech, government and academia —including Nick Clegg, Amy Klobuchar, Josh Hawley and David French—discuss how to deal with the problems posed by the biggest social media sites.
Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube lose nearly $10bn after iPhone privacy changes
The Financial Times
Apple’s decision to change the privacy settings of iPhones caused an estimated $9.85bn of revenues to evaporate in the second half of this year at Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as their advertising businesses were shaken by the new rules.
Events & Podcasts
The Sydney Dialogue
The Sydney Dialogue is a world-first summit for emerging, critical and cyber technologies. Launching virtually on 17 November, the inaugural Sydney Dialogue will have an Indo-Pacific focus, featuring keynote addresses from Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison; India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; and former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe - as well as a number of panel discussions with experts from around the world. You will hear from political, technology, business and civil society leaders and - as well as the world’s best strategic thinkers - as they generate new ideas, work towards common understandings and formulate possible solutions to maximise the opportunities and minimise the negative consequences of the next wave of new technologies. Head on over to our brand new website to check out the line-up of events and speakers, and register for the virtual sessions you’d like to attend.
Lessons From the First Internet Ages
Join the Knight Foundation for Lessons from the First Internet Ages, a virtual symposium that will explore and evaluate what key figures in the development of the internet and online communities have learned from their experiences. Curated by two leading experts on internet law, these conversations will feature contributions from pivotal internet figures, technologists, and cyber scholars.
Let’s Dive Into the Metaverse. Don’t Forget Your Goggles
This week, we discuss the company formerly known as Facebook and its vision for the VR-powered hyperreality of the future.
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.