Morrison government announces nine critical technologies to counter China | The Sydney Dialogue Playbook | Secretive Chinese Committee Draws Up List to Replace U.S. Tech
The Morrison government has identified a list of nine critical technologies, including quantum computing, artificial intelligence, medicines and critical minerals, to protect their supply chains from disruption and stop China from dominating their development. Mr. Morrison will tell the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Sydney Dialogue that technology “reflects the values of the society that creates and uses it”. Australian Financial Review
We launched The Sydney Dialogue - which starts today - to support a more stable roll-out of the next wave of transformational technologies. It is a forum allowing for frank debate about the rapidly changing strategic landscape, and a space for governments, business and civil society to come together to focus on solutions, cooperation and policy options. This collection of striking essays from some of the world’s top strategic thinkers from across business, government and civil society is a fitting way to start this dialogue. It explores timely debates at the forefront of technology and examines points of crisis and tension in the nexus of society, government and technology. Crucially, it offers innovative ideas to solve these challenges and bring about a brighter, fairer Indo-Pacific. ASPI
China is accelerating plans to replace American and foreign technology, quietly empowering a secretive government-backed organization to vet and approve local suppliers in sensitive areas from cloud to semiconductors, people familiar with the matter said. Bloomberg
Nine critical technologies where the government wants to counter China
Australian Financial Review
The Morrison government has identified a list of nine critical technologies, including quantum computing, artificial intelligence, medicines and critical minerals, to protect their supply chains from disruption and stop China from dominating their development. Mr. Morrison will tell the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Sydney Dialogue that technology “reflects the values of the society that creates and uses it”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces $100m quantum investment to protect Australia
The Daily Telegraph
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce a new “blue print” for critical technologies, including a $100 million investment in quantum technology, considered vital in protecting Australia’s assets from outside attacks. “Our trilateral efforts in AUKUS will enhance our joint capabilities and interoperability, with an initial focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities,” Mr. Morrison will tell the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).
Scott Morrison says 5G, vaccines and drones among technologies to face greater national security scrutiny
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, will say in a speech on Wednesday the government wants to “balance the economic opportunities of critical technologies with their national security risks”. “Through this signal, we intend to drive consistency in decision making and focused investment – a mission focus,” Morrison is expected to say in a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Sydney Dialogue.
Vaccines, autonomous vehicles and robots: Morrison to unveil list of critical technologies to be protected
The Sydney Morning Herald
In a speech to the inaugural Sydney Dialogue, Mr. Morrison will say the new blueprint “aims to balance the economic opportunities of critical technologies with their national security risks”.
Morrison says AUKUS will strengthen cooperation on critical technologies
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has used a keynote address at ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue to add important detail to what’s known about Australia’s AUKUS agreement with the United States and Britain. In his speech delivered online today, the prime minister makes it clear that AUKUS is intended to enable the three allies to develop and share advanced technology to give them an edge in an uncertain future.
Morrison spruiks Australia’s potential in quantum technology
In a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, released ahead of delivery, Morrison says one goal in the government’s blueprint is to “maintain the integrity of our research, science, ideas, information and capabilities – to enable Australian industries to thrive and maximise our sovereign IP”.
Hi-tech race to combat China
Speaking at the inaugural Sydney Dialogue on Wednesday, the Prime Minister will say quantum technologies would enhance Australia’s defences by “enabling navigation in GPS-denied environments and helping to protect us from advanced cyber attacks”.
Read our report: “An Australian Strategy for the quantum revolution”
The Sydney Dialogue Playbook
Major advances in technology have always been disruptive. But when they occur against a backdrop of great power competition, the stable development and deployment of these technologies becomes fraught. Few have grasped the enormity of the disruption coming our way as more and more new technologies – from increasingly sophisticated surveillance to quantum and biotechnologies – are deployed across the world. While governments grapple with foreseeing the full impacts and setting policy direction, there’s a growing realisation that emerging and critical technologies will be extraordinarily important for societies, economies and national security. We launched The Sydney Dialogue - which starts today - to support a more stable roll-out of the next wave of transformational technologies. It is a forum allowing for frank debate about the rapidly changing strategic landscape, and a space for governments, business and civil society to come together to focus on solutions, cooperation and policy options. This collection of striking essays from some of the world’s top strategic thinkers from across business, government and civil society is a fitting way to start this dialogue. It explores timely debates at the forefront of technology and examines points of crisis and tension in the nexus of society, government and technology. Crucially, it offers innovative ideas to solve these challenges and bring about a brighter, fairer Indo-Pacific.
How Taiwan's digital democracy can help Asia thrive
COVID-19 has stress-tested democracies across the world, and the results have been discouraging. Many democracies, including those in the Indo-Pacific, have been revealed as flawed and failing -- either grasping for authority or gasping for relevance. To ensure that democracies continue to flourish, we need to re-empower our populations and make our institutions fit for the world in which we live. Taiwan, I believe, has shown how you can deepen democracy with citizen engagement.
A Bretton Woods for the digital age can save the open internet
Australian Financial Review
Policymakers the world over are grappling with legitimate concerns about the impact of technology on society – from the rules that govern online content to the use of data at scale and the size and power of tech companies.
Google earmarks $740 mln for Australia to mend ties after exit threat
Google will spend A$1 billion ($736 million) in Australia over five years, the internet giant said on Tuesday, resetting ties months after a threatto pull its services to avoid tougher government regulation.
Secretive Chinese Committee Draws Up List to Replace U.S. Tech
Shiyin Chen, Yuan Gao, Zheping Huang, and Coco Liu
China is accelerating plans to replace American and foreign technology, quietly empowering a secretive government-backed organization to vet and approve local suppliers in sensitive areas from cloud to semiconductors, people familiar with the matter said.
Huawei Recruits Smartphone Partners to Sidestep U.S. Sanctions
Huawei Technologies Co., whose smartphone business has been devastated by U.S. sanctions, is planning to license its handset designs to third parties as a way to gain access to critical components, people with knowledge of the matter said.
U.S. Senate leader will add China tech bill to defense measure
U.S. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday he will add legislation to boost U.S. competitiveness with China to a massive defense policy bill the Senate is due to begin considering this week, a boost for a measure that has been stalled for months in the House of Representatives.
DHS launches new effort to attract cybersecurity talent
The Record by Recorded Future
The Homeland Security Department on Monday unveiled a new program that gives it more flexibility to recruit and retain cybersecurity personnel. The Cyber Talent Management System is meant to help the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, the department’s digital security branch, fill vacancies and safeguard the U.S. against online threats like ransomware.
A Utah company says it’s revolutionized truth-telling technology. Experts are highly skeptical.
The Washington Post
EyeDetect is the product of the Utah company Converus. “Imagine if you could exonerate the innocent and identify the liars … just by looking into their eyes,” the company’s YouTube channel promises. “Well, now you can!” Its chief executive, Todd Mickelsen, says they’ve built a better truth-detection mousetrap; he believes eye movements reflect their bearer far better than the much older and mostly discredited polygraph.
Facebook took down a New Mexico militia group’s accounts. Prosecutors say it deleted key evidence.
The Washington Post
Will Oremus and Craig Timberg
In June 2020, a group of men in military-style camouflage, armed with assault rifles, confronted protesters who wanted to topple a statue of a Spanish conquistador in Albuquerque. Shots rang out, and a protester was wounded. Though the alleged shooter apparently wasn’t a member of the group, which calls itself the New Mexico Civil Guard, prosecutors blamed the organization for fomenting the violence and sought a civil injunction to bar it from acting as a paramilitary organization at future public demonstrations. That case hit an unexpected snag, however: Facebook’s own crackdown on extremist groups.
Facebook’s new academic research API opens in early access
This week, a handful of academic researcher teams will gain access to a new tool from Facebook designed to aggregate near-universal real-time data on the world’s biggest social network.
Facebook accused of continuing to surveil teens for ad targeting
The adtech giant formerly known as Facebook is still tracking teens for ad targeting on its social media platforms, according to new research by Fairplay, Global Action Plan and Reset Australia — apparently contradicting Facebook’s announcement this summer when the tech giant claimed it would be limiting how advertisers could reach kids.
Learning From China's Techlash
A decade ago, tech policy in the United States and China were on different paths. But with President Xi and President Biden holding a virtual summit last night, it’s striking how much the U.S. vision for tech reform now looks like China’s.
Cyber Threat is a Digital Pandemic
Papua New Guinea is faced with two pandemics - a health pandemic and digital pandemic in cyber attacks. This is according to PNG Cyber Security Ltd Chief Executive Solomon Sua who spoke about cyber safety and security at the National ICT Summit on Friday.
In India, a government-friendly social media network challenges Twitter
The Washington Post
Earlier this year, Twitter and the Indian government were locked in a bitter showdown. The government, incensed by Twitter’s refusal to take down posts by farmers agitating against agricultural reforms, accused the company of supporting violent protesters — and threatened to jail Twitter employees. The company’s executives hit back, arguing they were defending the right to free speech, a stance they have largely adhered to for a decade.
Pakistani hackers operated a fake app store to target former Afghan officials
The Record by Recorded Future
A group of Pakistani hackers has created and operated a fake Android app store in order to target and infect individuals connected to the former Afghanistan government prior to and during its fall to the new Taliban regime.
Pakistan’s tech ecosystem is booming. Here’s why it will slow down in 2022
Rest of World
Pakistan’s tech ecosystem has seen unprecedented growth this year. Startups in the country raised over $244 million in the first three quarters of 2021, which is more than the previous six years combined. But experts suggested to Rest of World that the momentum is unsustainable and likely to slow in 2022.
Italy to make formal complaint over Chinese takeover of military drones firm - sources
Giuseppe Fonte and Angelo Amante
Italy believes it should have been asked to approve the purchase of a military drones company by Chinese investors, and will issue a complaint that could eventually sink the deal if it doesn't get a satisfactory explanation, three sources said.
In Moscow’s Technological Advances, a ‘Double-Edged Sword’
The New York Times
Moscow ranks third in the world for the most surveillance on streets and public transport, with some 200,000 cameras placed around the city and on the Metro to help police identify criminals and prevent crime. Russian police have already used facial recognition to find and arrest demonstrators who participated in peaceful opposition protests.
‘Ghostwriter’ Looks Like a Purely Russian Op—Except It's Not
Lily Hay Newman
For at least four years, the hacking and disinformation group known has Ghostwriter has plagued countries in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Given its methods—and its anti-NATO and anti-US messages—the widely held assumption has been that Ghostwriter is yet another Kremlin-led campaign. The European Union even declared at the end of September that some member states have “associated” Ghostwriter “with the Russian state.” As it turns out, that's not quite right. According to the threat intelligence firm Mandiant, Ghostwriter's hackers work for Belarus.
Hundreds of Classified Docs of Elite Israeli Intel Unit Mistakenly Published on Gov't Website
As part of a legal proceeding conducted by an officer against the military, highly classified materials were published on Israel’s official court website after they were tagged as publicly available
How smart tech is supporting smallholders in South Africa
In South Africa, large farms tend to have greater access to more resources - knowledge and funding - while small farmers generally struggle to even sustain, or grow their businesses. But one firm is hoping to use technology to level the playing field a little for small farms and create a thriving business for itself.
Twitter Vigilantes Are Hunting Down Crypto Scammers
Gian M. Volpicelli
Open source investigators are struggling to maintain law and order in the wildest recesses of cryptocurrency’s Wild West.
Covid denial to climate denial: How conspiracists are shifting focus
Members of an online movement infected with pandemic conspiracies are shifting their focus - and are increasingly peddling falsehoods about climate change.
The metaverse is the next venue for body dysmorphia online
MIT Technology Review
If avatars really are on their way, then we’ll need to face some tough questions about how we present ourselves to others. How might these virtual versions of ourselves change the way we feel about our bodies, for better or worse?
Is Twitter good for democracy? The answer may depend on your politics.
Twitter has become a powerhouse in the news ecosystem, but Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided on whether that's actually a good thing, according to two new Pew Research reports.
Bitcoin goes through major upgrade. Here is what it means
Bitcoin went through a major upgrade on Sunday that enables its blockchain to execute more complex transactions, potentially widening the virtual currency's use cases and making it a little more competitive with Ethereum for processing smart contracts.
The Sydney Dialogue - Social Reset: A New Compact Between Technology and Government
The information environment everywhere has come under strain and is being exacerbated by geopolitical tensions. State and non-state actors are actively distorting and manipulating the public square in a way that is both inauthentic and degrading to democratic systems. This disruption has created a rift between social media companies and governments. What is now at stake is the integrity of our information environment and ultimately the stability of societies. But the evolving dynamic of antagonism between governments and social media platforms is inhibiting the type of collaboration needed to overcome this challenge. There is an opportunity for technology platforms and legislators to reset their relationships and build online ecosystems that support free societies. This session on 18 Nov at 12:30-13:30 AEDT will propose new ideas for governments and technology companies to ‘reset’ their relationship and work more collaboratively to restore truth in the public sphere.
The Sydney Dialogue - Contested Space: Collaborating in the New Golden Age of Space
This session will convene on 19 Nov at 12:00-13:00 AEDT with space leaders from the US, Japan, India, and Australia. It will consider challenges and opportunities in a contested, congested, and competitive space domain. It will explore how the Quad states can work together towards achieving the next giant leap in space exploration - specifically the return of humans to the lunar surface to achieve the ability to undertake crewed missions to Mars. Finally, the panel will consider how a high visibility collaborative project between Quad members in space can deliver a key advance in space globally.
The Sydney Dialogue - Democracies and Global Technology Governance
There is rising awareness that how technologies are designed, where they come from, and how they are deployed, matters. To preserve human rights and free societies, democracies are coming to realise they need to play a more active role, as a group, shaping global tech governance. Be it standard setting, design principles, ethical frameworks or law enforcement access to digital content, there is a pressing need to ensure the interests of citizens are kept central. This panel on 19 Nov at 13:00-14:00 AEDT will look at how states can best advance global technology governance to preserve freedoms and the important role for the Indo-Pacific.
Cracking Down on Ransomware: Strategies for Disrupting Criminal Hackers and Building Resilience Against Cyber Threats
US House Committee on Oversight and Reform
On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, will hold a hearing entitled, “Cracking Down on Ransomware: Strategies for Disrupting Criminal Hackers and Building Resilience Against Cyber Threats.”
ICPC Analyst & Project Manager - Coercive diplomacy
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an Analyst and Project Manager to manage, and help lead, a project on coercive diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific region... This new role will focus on analysis, workshops and stakeholder engagement centred around coercive diplomacy, including how countries in the Indo-Pacific can work together to tackle this complicated policy challenge.
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.