NEW REPORT: Critical tech and the Indo-Pacific: A new India-Australia partnership | YouTube bans QAnon, other conspiracy content | Advance NZ party's Facebook page removed for breaching misinfo policy
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre and India’s Observer Research Foundation argue that as the India-Australia bilateral relationship continues to grow and evolve, both governments should invest in the construction of a new India-Australia partnership on technology. The foundation for such a partnership already exists, and further investment areas of complementary interests could stimulate regional momentum in a range of key critical and emerging technology areas including in 5G, Artificial Intelligence, quantum technologies, space technologies and in critical minerals. ASPI and ORF
YouTube said Thursday that it would no longer allow content that targets individuals and groups with conspiracy theories, specifically QAnon and its antecedent, "pizzagate." NBC News
Facebook has pulled Advance NZ's page just two days out from the Election. Party co-leader Billy Te Kahika says the move is "nothing short of election interference", and is calling for an investigation into the social media giant's behaviour. But a Facebook spokeswoman said the party was deplatformed after it repeatedly breached the social media site's misinformation policies. NZ Herald
NEW REPORT: Critical technologies and the Indo-Pacific: A new India-Australia partnership
ASPI and ORF
This report by ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre and India’s Observer Research Foundation argues that as the India-Australia bilateral relationship continues to grow and evolve, both governments should invest in the construction of a new India-Australia partnership on technology. The foundation for such a partnership already exists, and further investment areas of complementary interests could stimulate regional momentum in a range of key critical and emerging technology areas including in 5G, Artificial Intelligence, quantum technologies, space technologies and in critical minerals. The report contains 14 policy recommendations that will help build this new technology partnership.
Fighting Over Nagorno-Karabakh Spells Spike For Twitter And Its Hashtag Narratives
ASPI ICPC - Elise Thomas and Albert Zhang's "quick take" for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) examined English-language posts to Twitter over a four-day window (September 27-29) and found "large numbers of suspicious accounts supporting both sides...wading in on politicized hashtags linked to the conflict." Thomas told RFE/RL via e-mail that one of the takeaways for her was "how this kind of information battle is now an increasingly common and expected part of conflicts." Such "online battles" have been above and beyond "long-running information campaigns on both sides," they said in their report.
Read ASPI’s ‘snapshot of a shadow war’ here.
Xi Just Grabbed More Bureaucratic Power
A fascinating report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute lays out China’s electronic currency plans and their implications for business. While it is only in the early stages, Beijing has long harbored ambitions of shaping the global order through currency power, as the United States did with the dollar.
Read ASPI’s 'the flipside of China's central bank digital currency' here.
The China Ambassador’s Son Who Got Rich in Trump’s Swamp
ZTE’s path back into business with American suppliers has long been shrouded in mystery. Some critics highlighted the role of lobbyists working for ZTE..MSS officers like to use the Development Research Center as cover,” said Alex Joske, an expert on Chinese influence operations at ASPI in Canberra. He added that the center tends to harbor seasoned agents: “It’s not just picking up the title when it’s convenient for a particular task. It’s covers that are held for many years and by many officers.
British lawmakers call for sanctions over Uighur human rights abuses
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
More recently, reports by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and other researchers have documented the existence of more than 400 detention camps, the destruction of hundreds of mosques and Muslim cultural sites and the implementation of a camp-to-factory system that allegedly forced Uighurs to work in factories across China.
See ASPI’s ‘Xinjiang Data Project’ here.
Parliament beefs up cyber security after two major attacks in 2019
Sydney Morning Herald
Politicians and their staff face stricter rules around use of personal phones on parliamentary networks as it emerged a state actor was the likely culprit behind a second major cyber attack in 2019.
ASIO warns foreign spies are secretly 'cultivating politicians' across Australia
ASIO's director-general has also warned that foreign interference also involves the "monitoring, harassing and intimidating of Australia's culturally diverse communities". “We have uncovered many cases - involving multiple countries - where Australian community members and their families have been threatened for expressing views at odds with the foreign government's policies or values". “It is unacceptable that people in Australia are being intimidated simply for advocating democratic reforms or criticising human rights abuses," Mr Burgess said.
Census dummy test to make sure survey next year runs smoothly
Deep in the basement of the Australian Bureau of Statistics headquarters in Canberra, preparations are underway to restore the reputation of the agency's most important project.
Thousands of Aussie jobseekers fell for fake ads scam during virus pandemic
Thousands of Australian jobseekers fell victim to fake online ads in the last year and were convinced to hand over their personal details in the hope of securing work, the consumer watchdog has revealed.
YouTube bans QAnon, other conspiracy content that targets individuals
YouTube said Thursday that it would no longer allow content that targets individuals and groups with conspiracy theories, specifically QAnon and its antecedent, "pizzagate."
The Untold Technological Revolution Sweeping Through Rural China
The New York Times
In “Blockchain Chicken Farm,” Wang introduces us to dozens of such quixotic figures as she hopscotches the country on a mission: to document how technology is transforming the lives of China’s rural poor.
Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies
The White House
Today, President Trump released the “National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies,” which outlines how the United States will promote and protect our competitive edge in fields such as artificial intelligence, energy, quantum information science, communication and networking technologies, semiconductors, military, and space technologies.
Weakened democracy is another harm caused by Big Tech
Hoping for antitrust and market rules to solve the harm done by technology companies to democracy is just that: a hope. Instead, direct enforcement against violations of democratic principles is required. If, for example, predictive artificial intelligence violates the presumption of innocence, justice is denied. Democracy is important enough that it should be explicitly protected, especially as it faces new threats stemming from technological disruption.
Trump administration to consider adding China's Ant Group to trade blacklist - sources
@humeyra_pamuk @alexalper @karen_freifeld @davidshepardson
The U.S. State Department has submitted a proposal for the Trump administration to add China’s Ant Group to a trade blacklist, according to two people familiar with the matter, before the financial technology firm is slated to go public.
An online 'army' is set to defend Trump's 'rigged' election notion. Why that matters.
A sizable online network built around the president is poised to amplify claims about a rigged election, adding reach and enthusiasm to otherwise evidence-free allegations.
Allegation on Biden Prompts Pushback From Social Media Companies
The New York Times
@katieglueck @nytmike @MikeIsaac
Joe Biden’s campaign rejected assertions made in a published report that were based on unverified material from Trump allies. Facebook and Twitter found the story dubious enough to limit access to it on their platform.
NSA aims to boost Black students' access to security education, paid internships
The National Security Agency and the Department of Defense announced an initiative on Thursday meant to increase access to cybersecurity education, mentoring and paid internships for students at historically Black colleges and universities. The workforce development program will connect students at eligible educational institutions with internships and mentorship through the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs, officials said Thursday during a call with reporters.
Amazon Ring call center workers in Philippines 'scared' to go to work during pandemic
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, call center workers in the Philippines who are contractors for Amazon's Ring home security division have been required to report to the office.
NZ & Pacific Islands
Advance NZ party's Facebook page removed for breaching misinformation policies
Facebook has pulled Advance NZ's page just two days out from the Election. Party co-leader Billy Te Kahika says the move is "nothing short of election interference", and is calling for an investigation into the social media giant's behaviour. But a Facebook spokeswoman said the party was deplatformed after it repeatedly breached the social media site's misinformation policies.
Hyderabad to double number of surveillance cameras
Rights activists are concerned about the impact on privacy. “The police and the administration blindly believe technology is the answer to reducing and almost stopping crime in the city, Srinivas Kodali, an independent researcher working on data and governance, told me over email. “With facial recognition cameras, they are hoping to track everyone 24/7.
How Indian Companies Are Using Technology to Reach New Consumers
Harvard Business Review
This tension between 19th century challenges and 21st century opportunities creates interesting dynamics for the 86 percent of global consumers who live in developing countries and the businesses that serve them. The majority of Indians don’t have access to indoor plumbing or electricity; many rural citizens, in particular, don’t have access to high-quality health care and school - but digital technologies have the potential to address many of those challenges.
France and Netherlands join forces to back EU move against tech giants
Joint position paper says breaking up large companies is ‘on the table’.
Why Africa's animation scene is booming
Nick Wilson, the founder of the African Animation Network reels off a list of countries where local animators are starting to make their mark: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, South Africa, Mozambique and Burkina Faso. "Wherever we've been able to scratch the surface and connect the community, we've found pretty exceptional talent and the majority of this talent is self-taught," he says. But while stories of self-taught animators breaking into the industry are inspiring, more formal training opportunities do need to be developed.
Preparing the Cyber Battlefield: Assessing a Novel Escalation Risk in a Sino-American Crisis
Texas National Security Review
Do cyber capabilities create novel risks of a future political crisis between the United States and China escalating into a conflict? This article outlines one potential pathway for interstate crises to escalate: the use of force in response to adversary hacking operations that could enable high-end cyber attacks. Often known as operational preparation of the environment or OPE, these acts lay the groundwork for future attacks but are difficult to distinguish from espionage.
Online Safety in the Pacific
Online safety is a particular concern in the Pacific which has seen a rapid expansion of mobile phone technology over the last decade, particularly with the new Coral Sea Cable System linking Australia, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
There Is a Solution to the Huawei Challenge
Center for American Progress
@CAPSecurity @TheJordanLink Melanie Hart
To compete at full strength in 5G, the United States must first counter China's market-distorting industrial policies.
ASPI Webinar: Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy In-Focus
Speakers: Abigail Bradshaw, Marc Ablong and Fergus Hanson
The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of the online world; it is now critically important in managing this pandemic. Yet at the same time, the risks and threats are increasing—in June the Prime Minister warned us that Australia was being targeted by a sophisticated state actor. In this webinar, hear from Abigail Bradshaw CSC, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, and Marc Ablong PSM, head of National Resilience and Cyber Security group at Home Affairs, in a discussion moderated by Fergus Hanson, Director of ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre, about Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 and how it will be operationalised.
Date & Time: 22 October 2020, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm (AEST).
2020 Cybersecurity Conference
In order to examine how the Cybersecurity Law and the Data Security Draft Law will coexist, and what the long-term impact will be on European companies operating in China, the European Chamber as assembled a distinguished group of government representatives, lawyers, security experts and industry representatives to discuss this topic at its annual Cybersecurity Conference.
Networking: Women speak cyber (brought to you by Palo Alto Networks)
Join this networking event to meet the power women diversifying the Australian cyber security sector. Drop-in for short 1:1 networking sessions, facilitated through the ‘Hopin’ platform, with a range of ‘cyber power women’. Date & Time: 30 October 12:00 pm (AEST)
Senior Researcher / Project Lead
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a senior researcher to lead a one-year project looking at leadership networks across Asia. Interviews will start immediately.