Myanmar hit with internet disruptions during coup | US ‘SWAT Team’ reviewing past startup deals tied to Chinese investors | Amazon says government demands for user data spiked by 800% in 2020
Myanmar is experiencing internet and phone service disruptions amidst reports it faces a possible military coup. Data reveals these disruptions are impacting several local and international service providers including Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and Telenor. ZDNet
A national-security panel on the hunt for Chinese involvement in U.S. technology companies is scrutinizing startup investments that are months or even years old. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or Cfius, has over the past two years built out a new enforcement arm of roughly two dozen people tasked with rooting out old investment deals that involve sensitive technologies and could pose a threat to national security, according to current and former government officials and national-security lawyers. The team has its sights on venture-capital investments, even small-dollar deals, where the money can be traced back to China, these people say. Wall Street Journal
The new report presents the data differently from previous transparency disclosures. Amazon now breaks down the top requesting countries. U.S. authorities historically made up the bulk of the overall data demands Amazon receives, but this latest report shows Germany with 42% of all requests, followed by Spain with 18% and Italy and the U.S. with 11% share each. Amazon said it handed over user content data in 52 cases. TechCrunch
Amazon says government demands for user data spiked by 800% in 2020
New transparency figures released by Amazon show the company responded to a record number of government data demands in the last six months of 2020.
Read Amazon’s report here.
Australian prime minister says Bing could replace Google
Australia’s prime minister said on Monday that Microsoft is confident it can fill the void if Google carries out its threat to remove its search engine from Australia. A Google executive told a Senate hearing last month that it would likely make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government goes ahead with a draft law that would make tech giants pay for news content.
Microsoft ‘pretty confident’: PM says rival could take advantage of a Google search exit
The Sydney Morning Herald
Mr Fletcher said he had joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison in talks last week with Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, where they discussed the company’s potential expansion of its search engine Bing.
US grants $302 million contract to Brisbane bio-tech firm Ellume to produce at-home COVID tests
The United States Department of Defense has awarded a contract worth $US230 million ($302 million) to Brisbane-based biotech firm Ellume to ramp up production of its COVID-19 home test kits.
Worker Deaths Put Big Tech in China Under Scrutiny
The New York Times
The deaths of two young employees of Pinduoduo, an e-commerce platform, have reignited longstanding concerns about working conditions at internet giants.
Government ‘SWAT Team’ Is Reviewing Past Startup Deals Tied to Chinese Investors
Wall Street Journal
A national-security panel on the hunt for Chinese involvement in U.S. technology companies is scrutinizing startup investments that are months or even years old. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or Cfius, has over the past two years built out a new enforcement arm of roughly two dozen people tasked with rooting out old investment deals that involve sensitive technologies and could pose a threat to national security, according to current and former government officials and national-security lawyers. The team has its sights on venture-capital investments, even small-dollar deals, where the money can be traced back to China, these people say.
Russian hack brings changes, uncertainty to US court system
Until recently, even the most secretive material — about wiretaps, witnesses and national security concerns – could be filed electronically. But that changed after the massive Russian hacking campaign that breached the U.S. court system’s electronic case files and those of scores of other federal agencies and private companies.
Why Intel's troubles should concern us all
Warning bells are sounding for the U.S. semiconductor industry as Intel grapples with internal and competitive challenges that could imperil the future of domestic chipmaking.
Facebook Knew Calls for Violence Plagued ‘Groups,’ Now Plans Overhaul
Wall Street Journal
The social network struggled to balance CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s mantra of free expression against internal findings that misinformation and rabid partisanship had overrun a feature meant to be central to its future.
QAnon Is Alive and Well in Japan
If you thought that QAnon – the baseless conspiracy theory purporting that a global cabal of satanic pedophiles is plotting against former U.S. President Donald Trump – was an exclusively American phenomenon, you’d be wrong. Before Twitter purged 70,000 QAnon-related accounts in the wake of the Capitol siege in Washington D.C., one of the most influential promoters of the conspiracy theory was the Japanese Twitter user Eri Okabayashi.
Myanmar hit with internet disruptions as military seeks to take control
Myanmar is experiencing internet and phone service disruptions amidst reports it faces a possible military coup. Data reveals these disruptions are impacting several local and international service providers including Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and Telenor.
New Zealand & The Pacific
China wants Pacific nations’ telecoms assets, but can Australia jam the call?
South China Morning Post
Analysts say state-owned China Mobile’s purchase of Digicel will allow Beijing to spy on Australia’s neighbours, with Canberra now apparently willing to finance a potential buyer to fend off China’s advances.
South and Central Asia
UK Research and Innovation suffers ransomware attack
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has disclosed a ransomware attack that has disrupted services and may have led to data theft.
Beijing calls Lithuania's block of Chinese tech at airports 'politicised'
Lithuanian Radio and Television
ast week, the Lithuanian government decided to block the contract for X-ray baggage scanning equipment at the country’s three main international airports, saying that the data would be available to Chinese intelligence and security services under Chinese law.
Huawei to create 110 jobs over two years with €80m R&D investment
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is to create 110 new jobs in Ireland over the next two years after committing to an €80m investment in research and development.
How Europe Can Tackle Influence Operations and Disinformation
The Digital Services Act will require social media platforms to share data with researchers. But to understand influence operations, the EU must facilitate longer-term research collaboration between industry and academia.
Cabling Africa: the great data race to serve the ‘last billion’
A data centre boom is already under way. But global internet companies have also noticed the edge that investing in upgrading Africa’s digital infrastructure could give them in cutting the costs of access to their services in a largely untapped market.
Why AI Needs to Be Able to Understand All the World's Languages
Moussa Doumbouya @LisaEinstein @chrispiech
West Africans have spoken their languages for thousands of years, creating rich oral history traditions that have served communities by bringing alive ancestral stories and historical perspectives and passing down knowledge and morals. Computers could easily support this oral tradition. While computers are typically designed for use with written languages, speech-based technology does exist. Speech technology, however, does not “speak” any of the 2,000 languages and dialects spoken by Africans. Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa collectively service zero African languages.
Gender and Women in Cyber
The Next Cyberattack Is Already Under Way
The New Yorker
Amid a global gold rush for digital weapons, the infrastructure of our daily lives has never been more vulnerable.
We Are Bellingcat by Eliot Higgins review – the reinvention of reporting for the internet age
Bellingcat’s rise reveals something new about our digitally mediated times: spying is no longer the preserve of nation states – anyone with an internet connection can do it. The balance between open and secret intelligence is shifting.
The Remote Work Revolution Will Be Bigger Than We Think
As a general rule of human civilization, we’ve lived where we work. More than 90 percent of Americans drive to work, and their average commute is about 27 minutes. This tether between home and office is the basis of urban economics. But remote work weakens it; in many cases, it severs the link entirely, replacing spatial proximity with cloud-based connectivity. What knock-on changes will this new industrial revolution bring?
ICPC Senior Analyst or Analyst - China
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