PNG ‘super tax’ disrupts Telstra-Digicel deal | Europe's new digital rules are giving tech leaders nightmares | Social media campaigns in Africa and Asia tap into distrust of west
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Papua New Guinea has imposed a $130 million “super tax” on Digicel Pacific, disrupting a $2.1 billion buyout of the Pacific telco by Telstra and the Australian government, which is trying to negate China’s influence in the region. Australian Financial Review
Europe's new competition rules for Big Tech giants could make their services less secure and more fragmented, tech executives fear. And as a six-month deadline for compliance looms, the new laws aren't yet fully baked. Axios
With President Volodymyr Zelensky’s emotive and direct speeches to parliaments around the world, Ukraine has won the information war in western countries. But in some countries in Africa and Asia that have grappled with the legacy of western colonialism and military interventions, such as the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, views have been more divided. Financial Times
Ukraine - Russia
Ukraine conflict: social media campaigns in Africa and Asia tap into distrust of west
Samer Al-Atrush, Benjamin Parkin and Joseph Cotterill
With President Volodymyr Zelensky’s emotive and direct speeches to parliaments around the world, Ukraine has won the information war in western countries. But in some countries in Africa and Asia that have grappled with the legacy of western colonialism and military interventions, such as the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, views have been more divided.
Tech workers describe detentions and interrogations as they flee Russia
According to estimates by the Russian Association for Electronic Communications, or RAEK, some 70,000 IT specialists fled Russia in February and March. RAEK experts predict that Russia may lose a further 100,000 specialists in April, who are currently held back by the need to tie up affairs in Moscow, as well as high ticket prices.
Ukraine crisis tests cyber warfare’s red lines, Bitdefender says
Andra Timu and Irina Vilcu
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has ushered in a new era of cyber warfare, raising the risks of spillover from conventional conflicts, according to the chief executive officer of Bitdefender Holding BV.
Inside Cyber Front Z, the ‘People’s Movement’ spreading Russian propaganda
Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Cyber Front Z calls itself a “people’s movement” working to defend Russia. In its rapidly growing Telegram channel, launched on March 11, the group claims it is simply working to combat the flood of fake news and disinformation coming from Ukraine.
‘Ukraine biolabs’: how attempts to debunk a conspiracy theory only helped it spread
Daniel Whelan-Shamy and Timothy Graham
The false claims spread from right-wing circles but became more widespread, and were soon picked up by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. It wasn’t long until the Russian government, which had spread tales of Ukrainian biolabs in the past, adopted the narrative as a belated justification for the invasion.
lluka shares soar on WA rare earths refinery funding
Australian Financial Review
Taxpayers will lend $1.05 billion to build the first fully integrated, rare earths separation facility in Australia, highlighting the growing appetite for governments to invest in critical minerals supply chains.
China's balancing act on the Ukraine War
Chinese media and officials have made it clear: it is not Russia that is to blame for the military aggression against Ukraine, but the West and NATO’s eastward expansion of the past 20 years, ignoring Russia’s ‘legitimate security concerns’. At the same time, China ‘respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries’. Over the past weeks, as Chinese state-controlled media has turned its attention to Ukraine, it has promoted a number of narratives to illustrate these points.
Establishment of the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy
U.S. Department of State
The Department is pleased to announce that the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP) began operations today. A key piece of Secretary Blinken’s modernization agenda, the CDP bureau will address the national security challenges, economic opportunities, and implications for U.S. values associated with cyberspace, digital technologies, and digital policy.
It’s a big day at the State Department for U.S. cyberdiplomacy
The Washington Post
The bureau, which will be led by a Senate-confirmed ambassador, will “address the national security challenges, economic opportunities and implications for U.S. values associated with cyberspace, digital technologies and digital policy,” according to an announcement seen by The Cybersecurity 202.
Cyber diplomacy bureau opens for business
The State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy is today kicking off the Biden administration’s effort to enhance its digital aid to allies and accelerate the U.S. role in setting global cyber standards.
Border Patrol's use of Amazon's Wickr messaging app draws scrutiny
Ben Goggin and Louise Matsakis
Little is known about how the agency has deployed the app, which is popular among security-minded people ranging from journalists to criminals. Its auto-deletion feature has made the platform a cause of concern among government record keepers, as well as external watchdogs.
Release of Ukraine intelligence represents new front in U.S. information war with Russia
The Wall Street Journal
Warren P. Strobel
The release of the map—a blend of secrets gathered by U.S. spy agencies and commercially available satellite images—kicked off a virtually unprecedented effort by the Biden administration to use U.S. intelligence to shape the battlefield of Europe’s bloodiest conflict in decades.
Japan battery material producers lose spark as China races ahead
Japanese companies that once dominated the market for automotive battery materials have been knocked from their perch by cheaper Chinese rivals, but they hope new technologies and recycling will let them reset the playing field.
Industry 4.0 requires agile governance
Paco A. Pangalangan
A vital component that affects the innovation process is a country’s regulatory and policy environment. However, in this age of disruptive technology blurring the lines between sectors, regulators increasingly find themselves faced with the challenge of re-interpreting and applying old rules to new problems.
NZ & Pacific Islands
PNG ‘super tax’ disrupts Telstra-Digicel deal
Australian Financial Review
Papua New Guinea has imposed a $130 million “super tax” on Digicel Pacific, disrupting a $2.1 billion buyout of the Pacific telco by Telstra and the Australian government, which is trying to negate China’s influence in the region.
GoDaddy registry signs contract to be the registry operator for the .tv ccTLD
GoDaddy Registry was selected to be Tuvalu’s new registry operator in December of 2021, based on a highly competitive tender process designed to identify the provider that would best serve the needs of the Government and people of Tuvalu – and the global community of .tv registrants and users.
Government sets out plan to make UK a global cryptoasset technology hub
The government has today announced moves that will see stablecoins recognised as a valid form of payment as part of wider plans to make Britain a global hub for cryptoasset technology and investment.
UK unveils bid to become ‘global hub’ for crypto
Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan, Joshua Oliver and Cristina Criddle
The speech marked the most emphatic message from the government so far in support of cryptocurrency businesses setting up shop in Britain, after criticism from the industry that the UK’s stringent regulatory approach and indifference from the government was throttling innovation.
Europe's new digital rules are giving tech leaders nightmares
Europe's new competition rules for Big Tech giants could make their services less secure and more fragmented, tech executives fear. And as a six-month deadline for compliance looms, the new laws aren't yet fully baked.
In Brazil, firms sought black workers. Then LinkedIn got invovled.
The New York Times
Jack Nicas and Flávia Milhorance
The case was the latest illustration of how a handful of American tech companies exert enormous influence in foreign countries, enforcing global policies that often clash with those cultures or bring strife, abuse or other unintended consequences.
Elon Musk snaps up $3bn Twitter stake
Elon Musk has taken a 9.2% stake in Twitter, according to a US securities filing. The news sent Twitter shares soaring about 25% in pre-market trading. The stake is worth $2.89bn (£2.20bn), based on Twitter's closing price on Friday.
Musk takes a $3B bite out of Twitter; Tesla mogul has 9.2% share of the social network
Today, Twitter published a note confirming that the SpaceX and Tesla entrepreneur has taken a 9.2% share of the company, working out to around $2.9 billion based on Friday’s share price.
Musk takes 9% stake in Twitter to become top shareholder
Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk on Monday disclosed a 9.2% stake in Twitter Inc, worth nearly $3 billion, making him the micro-blogging site's largest shareholder and triggering a rise of more than 27% in the company's shares.
How Microsoft became Washington's favorite tech giant
The Wall Street Journal
Aaron Tilley and Ryan Tracy
When a congressional committee was preparing to publicly interrogate the CEOs of four tech giants in 2020, Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith, whose employer wasn’t on the hot seat, gave the lawmakers a private briefing. When Australia proposed a law to force Facebook and Google to pay for news articles, Mr. Smith endorsed it and offered Microsoft’s Bing as an alternative. When the U.S. considered similar legislation, he went to Washington to testify in front of Congress to show his support.
The Metaverse has bosses too. Meet the 'managers' of Axie Infinity
Edward Ongweso Jr
Games have begun to not only shoehorn cryptocurrency into their rewards systems but also fully build themselves around crypto-tokens and digital assets like NFTs. What’s emerging is an ecosystem known as “play-to-earn,” where the players can generate revenue directly from playing video games, harvesting digital assets, and trading them.
Inside an 'infinite' workspace: what it's like to do your job completely in VR
When it comes to onboarding remote employees, VR just makes sense. According to one case study from Nestle Purina, the company saved $100,000 a year in travel and lost-productivity costs by training 10 salespeople per month in VR. Another study from PwC found that VR courses helped employees train up to four times faster than traditional methods.
Days of action for antitrust: our rights are tied to having choices
Electronic Frontier Foundation
We live in a world that increasingly requires us to be online. The promise of all this technology was that barriers would be lowered, allowing more people to exercise their rights—especially rights related to speech. However, that promise has been broken by the rise of a few unassailable companies.
The state of privacy regulations across Asia
While GDPR looms large across the Asia-Pacific region, there are significant differences as jurisdictions develop their own national approaches to privacy. There’s also a growing focus on data security in many countries.
Internet communities are battling over pixels
The Washington Post
Since Friday, millions of Reddit users have banded together to collectively generate a massive, collaborative piece of artwork that has become a viral phenomenon. Part of the project’s popularity is the sense of collectivism that seems increasingly rare as the Internet becomes more fractured and polarized.
Multiple hacker groups capitalizing on Ukraine conflict for distributing malware
The Hacker News
At least three different advanced persistent threat (APT) groups from across the world have launched spear-phishing campaigns in mid-March 2022 using the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war as a lure to distribute malware and steal sensitive information.
Borat RAT malware: a 'unique' triple threat that is far from funny
A new Remote Access Trojan (RAT) might have an amusing name to some, but its capabilities show the malware to be no laughing matter. Dubbed Borat RAT, Cyble Research Labs said in a recent malware analysis that the new threat doesn't settle for standard remote access capabilities; instead, Borat RAT also includes spyware and ransomware functions.
Borat RAT: multiple threat of ransomware, DDoS and spyware
RATs are typically used by cybercriminals to get full control of a victim's system, enabling them to access files and network resources and manipulate the mouse and keyboard. Borat does all this and also delivers features to enable hackers to run ransomware, distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) and other online assaults and to install spyware, according to researchers at cybersecurity biz Cyble.
The Sydney Dialogue - Director
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is currently recruiting for a Director to lead the second iteration of ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue - the world’s premier summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
The Sydney Dialogue - Senior Events Coordinator
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is currently recruiting for an experienced events professional to coordinate the planning and logistics of the second iteration of ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue - the world’s premier summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
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.
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