NEW RESEARCH: The Xinjiang Data Project | TikTok Owner Puts Deal With Oracle, Walmart in Beijing’s Hands | Thailand to start legal action vs Facebook, Google, Twitter over content
ASPI's new Xinjiang Data Project brings together rigorous, empirical research on the human rights situation for Uyghurs and other non-Han nationalities in Xinjiang. It focuses on a core set of topics including mass internment camps, surveillance and emerging technologies, forced labour and supply chains, the ‘re-education’ campaign, deliberate cultural destruction and other human rights issues. ASPI ICPC
TikTok’s Chinese owner said it is seeking approval from Beijing for a White House-endorsed plan to turn the short-video app into a U.S.-based company, officially placing the fate of the year’s hottest social-media asset in the hands of Chinese authorities. Wall Street Journal
Thailand’s digital ministry said on Wednesday it would start legal action against Facebook, Twitter and Google this week for ignoring some requests to take down content, in what would be the country’s first such cases against major internet firms. Reuters
NEW RESEARCH: The Xinjiang Data Project
ASPI's new Xinjiang Data Project brings together rigorous, empirical research on the human rights situation for Uyghurs and other non-Han nationalities in Xinjiang. It focuses on a core set of topics including mass internment camps, surveillance and emerging technologies, forced labour and supply chains, the ‘re-education’ campaign, deliberate cultural destruction and other human rights issues. As a part of this new project ASPI researchers have identified and mapped over 380 sites in the detention network across Xinjiang, counting only re-education camps, detention centres and prisons that were newly built or significantly expanded since 2017. Using satellite imagery analysis, we have reconstructed 3D models of an example of each tier of detention facilities from lowest security (tier 1) to highest security (tier 4), showing the key structural features.
Global coverage of this project has been widespread including in The New York Times,The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, ABC, Behind the Wall with Stan Grant, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Guardian, BBC, Times of India, NHK and broader across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Telstra to push tech ambitions with Microsoft partnership
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella and Telstra boss Andy Penn have signed a partnership agreement for both companies to develop new products and services together, to take advantage of the growing capabilities of artificial intelligence, cloud computing and 5G technology.
Australia should ban imports linked to forced Uyghur labour in China, crossbench senator Rex Patrick says
Australia should ban products made by Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in forced labour camps in western China, according to a key senate crossbencher.
Read ASPI’s Report: Uyghurs for Sale here.
India, Australia have greater opportunities to collaborate in space: Experts
With India opening up its space industry for private players, Australia feels the move would present greater opportunities for both countries to collaborate in the crucial space sector.
Mining at high risk of cyber security threats
A new survey has found that many Australian mining businesses are unprepared for and are failing to put appropriate measures in place to prevent cyber security attacks. More than 2000 risk, compliance and security specialists took part in the Sevclove survey, which uncovered that more than 78 per cent of those responsible for their organisation’s industrial control systems were concerned there would be an attack in the next 12 months.
Brian Schmidt on the ANU’s 2018 cyber attack
The Australian National University’s Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt talks about lessons learned after its devastating data breach in 2018 and explains why cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.
TikTok Owner Puts Deal With Oracle, Walmart in Beijing’s Hands
Wall Street Journal
TikTok’s Chinese owner said it is seeking approval from Beijing for a White House-endorsed plan to turn the short-video app into a U.S.-based company, officially placing the fate of the year’s hottest social-media asset in the hands of Chinese authorities.
Oracle’s Most Expensive Cloud Sale Yet, Wall Street Journal
Why the TikTok deal is like Schrodinger’s cat, The Economist
Xi Jinping's Sept. 2020 Speech on Science and Technology Development (Translation)
@MrRogerC @EBKania @gwbstr and @rzhongnotes
Science has no borders, but scientists have motherlands,' Xi said.
Facebook removes Russian networks tied to intelligence services that interfered in the U.S. in 2016
Facebook shut down two Russian disinformation networks operated by the nation’s intelligence services and a third by people affiliated with a notorious troll farm that interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the company announced Thursday.
DHS Flew Two Surveillance Aircraft Over Breonna Taylor Protests
The airspace was crowded with many law enforcement air assets from state, local, and federal departments. DHS flew both an AS50 helicopter and a Cessna 206 spy plane, which did not show up on radar maps but were identified via air traffic control communications.
Big Tech is falling short as Trump and his allies poison the well with disinformation
It's been clear for years that tech platforms needed to get their houses in order ahead of the 2020 election. They've had ample time to plan for and implement solutions to curtail the spread of junk news, conspiracy theories, lies, and misleading information on their platforms. And yet, despite promise after promise about how serious they are committed to addressing these problems, it's hard to describe the measures taken by these companies as anything more than baby steps.
Amazon Employee Warns Internal Groups They’re Being Monitored For Labor Organizing
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the company monitors dozens of internal listservs but said that the program did not exist for the purposes that the employee described.
Twitter faces class-action privacy lawsuit for sharing security info with advertisers
Twitter faces a class-action lawsuit for providing advertisers access to people's phone numbers without consent. The complaint, filed Monday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, seeks $5,000 in damages for every person in the state affected by Twitter's privacy misstep.
Facebook's Oversight Board plans to launch just before U.S. election
Facebook Inc's long-delayed independent Oversight Board plans to launch in mid-late October, just before the November U.S. presidential election, although a board member said he did not know whether it would hear cases related to the contest.
Facebook leaks show Mark Zuckerberg defending his decisions to angry employees
In 2020, Facebook would be roiled by a global pandemic, internal protests over racial injustice, a deeply polarizing election, and the ongoing threat of multiple state and federal investigations into antitrust and privacy. But on the morning of July 16th, Mark Zuckerberg found his workforce asking for something else: their missing office snacks.
Five big questions as America votes: Cybersecurity
As part of the Atlantic Council’s Elections 2020 programming, the New Atlanticist will feature a series of pieces looking at the major questions facing the United States around the world as Americans head to the polls.
Thailand to start legal action vs Facebook, Google, Twitter over content
@patpichatan and Panarat Thepgumpanat
Thailand’s digital ministry said on Wednesday it would start legal action against Facebook, Twitter and Google this week for ignoring some requests to take down content, in what would be the country’s first such cases against major internet firms.
NZ & Pacific Islands
MFAT rachets up export prohibitions on goods and tech with military uses
New Zealand has ratcheted up a ban on exporting products and technology that could be used by militaries in countries that aren’t close allies. The new prohibitions, due to come into effect on October 9, are aimed at stopping the export of products that pose “security, political or reputational risks to New Zealand, and come amid growing concern that Kiwi companies have sold goods and technology to foreign militaries.
Samoa achieved 100% LTE coverage but 'not even thinking' about 5G
Digicel Samoa announced the completion of a major WST2.5 million (USD1 million) network upgrade cycle which means that all cell sites across the country are now 100% LTE, making the cellco the first operator to achieve this milestone in Samoa. Loop Samoa reports that upgrade works commenced in May this year and was completed August 2020.
EU is selling surveillance tech to China, says rights group
European tech companies are selling digital surveillance technology to China, according to rights group Amnesty International. Amnesty’s findings, published Monday, come ahead of negotiations this week in Brussels on European surveillance export rules, known as Recast Dual Use Regulation.
Norway Council of Ethics Finds Hikvision Human Rights Abuses "Ongoing"
Hikvision's involvement in "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang is "ongoing", according to the Ethics Council of Norway's trillion-dollar oil fund, contradicting Hikvision's claim that it "respects" UN human rights principles.
Italy government to discuss security of key networks, Huawei in 5G: sources
The Italian government will meet on Thursday to discuss the best ways to strengthen the security of strategic networks, two sources said, as the United States mounts pressure on Rome to exclude China's Huawei from its 5G infrastructures.
TikTok Admits to Deleting Russian Videos at Government's Request
The Moscow Times
TikTok has deleted hundreds of Russian videos at the government's request since the start of 2020, the popular short video app’s European policy executive said this week.
Read ASPI’s Report: TikTok and WeChat here.
Deepfake videos increasingly difficult to detect as people, computers struggle to keep up
At a time of a global pandemic, a rise in revenge porn and an upcoming US election, deepfakes are causing experts concern as the lines between reality and fiction become increasingly blurred.
Read ASPI’s Report: Weaponised Deep Fakes here.
Face-mask recognition has arrived - for better or worse
New algorithms can police whether people are complying with public health guidance. The practice raises familiar questions about data privacy.
Amazon's new security drone, car camera and swiveling speaker push the boundaries of surveillance, again
Amazon appears undeterred by its emerging reputation in consumer technology: creep. At a virtual launch event on Thursday, Amazon's new product lineup again pushed the boundaries of where and how we bring surveillance into our lives.
OpenAI is giving Microsoft exclusive access to its GPT-3 language model
MIT Technology Review
On September 22, Microsoft announced that it would begin exclusively licensing GPT-3, the world’s largest language model, built by San Francisco based OpenAI. The model acts like a powerful autocomplete: it can generate essays given the starting sentence, songs given a musical intro, or even web page layouts given a few lines of HTML code.
Microsoft, Italy, and the Netherlands warn of increased Emotet activity
These new warnings come as Emotet activity has continued to increase, dwarfing any other malware operation active today.
The Tools and Capabilities You Need for Securing 5G Networks and Data
Our position paper, “A Comprehensive Approach to Securing 5G Networks and Data,” details best practices and the state-of-the-art, scalable security tools and capabilities that can help secure today’s complex network infrastructures, communications and data. This overview provides a high-level view of the information covered in the paper
The EU’s Role in Fighting Disinformation: Crafting A Disinformation Framework
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
This paper is the second of a three-part series called Future Threats, Future Solutions that looks into the future of the European Union’s (EU) disinformation policy.
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.