Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in 'troll farm' / Kushner backs Oracle-TikTok deal / Sandvine cancels Belarus deal, citing abuses
The messages have been emanating in recent months from the accounts of young people in Arizona seemingly expressing their own views — standing up for President Trump in a battleground state and echoing talking points from his reelection campaign. The Washington Post
White House adviser Jared Kushner voiced strong support for Oracle Corp.’s bid for TikTok, even though the proposal could still fall short of President Donald Trump’s demands that any deal protect national security and include a payout for the U.S. government. Bloomberg
Sandvine Inc., the technology company backed by private equity firm Francisco Partners, canceled a deal with Belarus, saying the government used its technology to violate human rights. Bloomberg
Fergus Ryan discusses the concerns surrounding ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat with Haidi Stroud-Watts and Shery Ahn on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia."
Welcome to TikTok’s sanitized version of Xinjiang
When researchers at the Australian institute analyzed all 444 videos on the Xinjiang hashtag, they found that only 5.6% of videos were critical of the crackdown on the Uyghurs. Almost half of the top 100 videos were either propaganda, presenting Xinjiang in a highly idealized light, or outwardly pro-CCP. “Do not rely on the view of the world that TikTok provides you, because it is very distorted,” said Fergus Ryan, an analyst at ASPI and the report’s lead researcher. “The CCP has enormous leverage over this company, and their temptation to then use that leverage to subtly tweak the algorithms is going to be irresistible.”
TikTok caught out suppressing LGBTI+ and political hashtags
Triple J Hack
"TikTok had previously said they were taking down or moderating content based on geolocation and based on local laws," says Daria Impiombato, one of the researchers who worked on the report. "But in reality we have found that several hashtags like 'gay' in Russian or Arabic are actually being censored globally." Daria and her colleagues said these terms are effectively "shadowbanned."
TikTok accused of secretly censoring LGBTQ-related hashtags in several languages International Business Times
Australia wants to be a cyber superpower
Tom Uren, a senior analyst in the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre, told Information Age he suspected Australia’s capability was higher than Harvard’s report suggests. “I’m surprised how lowly we ranked on some measures,” Uren said. “The reported is limited in that they use open source data. So many countries are reluctant to share their operations and often it’s the countries that are worst at it which get caught. “But I do think the idea of trying to capture national cyber power is a good one.” Despite its possible flaws, Uren still thinks the Harvard report points at existing inadequacies with Australia’s cyber posture.
Australian police accessed Chinese diplomats' emails and messages as part of foreign political interference investigation
Australian police accessed the communications of top Chinese diplomats and named a Chinese consular official in a warrant as part of an investigation into political interference, in the months before a crackdown on Australians in China.
China’s Zhenhua Data trove: Why do we care and what can we do?
So what if a small Chinese tech company called Zhenhua Data holds personal information on at least 2.4 million people—including government, corporate and media leaders and influencers—from countries across the globe? Isn’t this just open-source data available on the internet? And anyway, what can we do? This is just China doing its thing, isn’t it? This response to these nasty revelations has a whiff of the passive and cynical. And it is wrong.
ASPI Director of Defence and National Security Michael Shoebridge says many more Australians may be added to a list of people targeted by Chinese surveillance after a fragment of leaked reports were deciphered.
Media bargaining code will protect journalism
Google Australia recently released its update to its controversial “open letter to Australians”. While appearing to strike a more conciliatory tone, it is important to revisit why the Australian government, on the recommendation of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), has proposed the Mandatory News Media Bargaining Code.
Report: How democracies can push back on China's growing tech dominance
A group of researchers from Europe, the U.S. and Japan are proposing a "tech alliance" of democratic countries in response to the Chinese government's use of technology standards and its tech sector as instruments of state power abroad, according to a version of the proposal viewed by Axios.
Chinese hacking groups are bullying telecoms as 2020 goes on, CrowdStrike says
Six suspected Chinese hacking groups have zeroed-in on entities in the telecommunications sector in the first half of this year, according to CrowdStrike research published Tuesday.
Huawei courts app makers despite sanctions threat to its devices
Chinese tech group urges developers to continue working with it as rivals encroach on smartphone market share.
Kushner Backs Oracle-TikTok Deal With Some Trump Demands Unmet
White House adviser Jared Kushner voiced strong support for Oracle Corp.’s bid for TikTok, even though the proposal could still fall short of President Donald Trump’s demands that any deal protect national security and include a payout for the U.S. government.
In Trump Clash, TikTok Founder Takes Page From ‘Art of the Deal’
In his proposal to partner with Oracle Corp. to address U.S. security concerns about the hit video app, the Chinese entrepreneur is offering Trump something the president has already declared unacceptable. The question now is whether Trump rejects the proposal, acquiesces or, perhaps most likely for the man behind the ‘Art of the Deal,’ opens negotiations for a compromise.
Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a 'troll farm,' prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter
The Washington Post
The messages have been emanating in recent months from the accounts of young people in Arizona seemingly expressing their own views — standing up for President Trump in a battleground state and echoing talking points from his reelection campaign.
Japan’s 5G Approach Sets a Model for Global Cooperation
As countries around the world develop their fifth-generation mobile networks—known as 5G—heated discussions have broken out about how to approach procurement. Since there are a limited number of 5G vendors, many countries have raised concerns over vendor lock-in—that is, dependence on a single vendor and an inability to switch vendors without incurring significant costs—and its implications for supply-chain risk. Media attention has focused on the question of whether the U.S. and its European allies will permit Huawei to play a role in these networks. But amid these tensions, some countries have started to seek international collaboration to take a cross-vendor approach and promote market competition to improve the quality of the technology and lower prices. Japan, Australia and the U.S. have also launched a regional cooperative effort to help developing countries adopt communications infrastructure in a market-driven, transparent and financially sustainable manner—both in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.
South & Central Asia
Alibaba Servers in India Stealing Data of Indian Users, Probe Soon: Intelligence Sources
At least 72 servers based in India are allegedly sending data of Indian users to China, and at the centre of this are cloud data servers of Chinese technology group, Alibaba, top intelligence sources told News18 earlier today.
Global Times @globaltimesnewsA politoons video produced by India Today depicting @narendramodi shooting enemies representing Chinese apps is condemned by Chinese netizens as terrorism and provocation of Chinese national sentiments. https://t.co/sudYfxgKiT https://t.co/AjSLyFGil1
Tencent Picks Singapore as Asia Hub After India, U.S. Bans
Tencent Holdings Ltd. has picked Singapore as its beachhead for Asia, joining rivals Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and ByteDance Ltd. in the race to build up their presence closer to home after setbacks in the U.S. and India.
Coronavirus: 18,000 test results published by mistake
The details of more than 18,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus were published online by mistake by Public Health Wales.
Francisco-Backed Sandvine Cancels Belarus Deal, Citing Abuses
Sandvine Inc., the technology company backed by private equity firm Francisco Partners, canceled a deal with Belarus, saying the government used its technology to violate human rights.
How to counter worsening cyber-security threats—The international strategy of the Dutch government (PDF)
Over the past decades our reliance on the internet and everything that passes over it has grown exponentially to a point where living without it is hardly imaginable. Even those people who are not active online are indirectly dependent on many goods and services that could no longer be rendered without the government or private sector relying on ICT. We experience this as progress and have recognized the enormous opportunities and increase in quality of life that have come with it. The discourse that evolved with the emergence of the internet held a promise of increased business opportunities, transparency and fundamental freedoms (of speech, assembly etc.) that could now be exercised in an unfettered way like never before.
Lawfare @lawfareblog"Moving Beyond Fears of the 'Russian Playbook,'" the latest from Camille Francois: https://t.co/prxu0BLqaz
Experts call on Canadian universities to close off China's access to sensitive research
McCuaig-Johnston said Waterloo and other universities have received guidance from Canada's security agencies and should be doing more to guard against rogue technology transfers to China — "particularly when your university has been identified as one of the top ten in the world partnering with Chinese military institutions. We need to get ourselves out of this top 10 list.
US indicts two hackers for retaliating for Soleimani's killing; more Iran-related charges expected soon
U.S. prosecutors have indicted two hackers, including an Iranian national, for allegedly defacing a slew of websites in retaliation for the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general in January.
From Reaction to Action: Adopting a Competitive Posture in Cyber Diplomacy
Texas National Security Review
@Emily O. Goldman
Adversaries probe the United States and its allies daily in cyberspace. American cyber diplomacy has improved but still leaves the United States vulnerable to continuous, state-sponsored cyber aggression that is having strategic effects, even though that aggression never rises to a “significant” level that would elicit an armed response. The State Department can pivot — without risking armed conflict — from a “reaction-after-the-fact” posture to seizing the initiative from adversaries whose cyberspace campaigns erode U.S. economic competitiveness, reduce military advantages, and weaken political cohesion. It should reexamine assumptions about cyber conflict and norm emergence, adopt a competitive mindset, and prioritize efforts tailored for great-power competition.