Quad tightens rare-earth cooperation to counter China | Facebook drops cable plans to Hong Kong due to U.S. pressure | ASIO says foreign governments using deceptive means to obtain Australian research
The U.S., Australia, Japan, and India are on the verge of joining hands to build a rare-earth procurement chain to counter the dominance China plays in supplying these crucial elements to makers of everything from smartphones to high-performance motors to EV batteries. Nikkei Review
A Facebook consortium withdrew its bid to build a new internet conduit between California and Hong Kong after months of pressure from U.S. national-security officials, the latest sign of a deepening rift between the two governments. WSJ
Australian security agencies will give universities an expanded list of emerging technologies that should be protected from foreign interference as concern grows about local academics giving China access to their critical research. The list will go beyond the military or “dual-use” technologies that Australian universities have traditionally been told to protect from foreign governments. The Sydney Morning Herald
Why TikTok isn’t really a social media app
There’s one thing we’re all getting wrong about TikTok: it’s not really a social media app. As TikTok Australia’s general manager told the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media in September last year, the app is ‘less about social connection and more about broadcasting creativity and expression’. Put another way, think of TikTok more as the modern incarnation of a media publisher—like a newspaper or a TV network—than as a social forum like Facebook or Twitter. That’s because TikTok is much more assertively curatorial than its competitors. It’s not a forum, it’s an editor. Its algorithm decides what each user sees, and it’s the opacity of that algorithm that presents the most worrying national security risk.
Quad tightens rare-earth cooperation to counter China
The U.S., Australia, Japan, and India are on the verge of joining hands to build a rare-earth procurement chain to counter the dominance China plays in supplying these crucial elements to makers of everything from smartphones to high-performance motors to EV batteries.
YouTube removed 30,000 videos with COVID misinformation
YouTube has taken down more than 30,000 videos that made misleading or false claims about COVID-19 vaccines over the last six months, YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez said, offering the company's first release of numbers for such content.
Researcher Publishes Code to Exploit Microsoft Exchange Vulnerabilities on Github
Microsoft-owned Github quickly deleted the code, which exploited vulnerabilities apparently used by Chinese hackers to break into a series of companies.
ASIO boss says foreign governments using deceptive means to obtain Australian research
The Sydney Morning Herald
Australian security agencies will give universities an expanded list of emerging technologies that should be protected from foreign interference as concern grows about local academics giving China access to their critical research. The list will go beyond the military or “dual-use” technologies that Australian universities have traditionally been told to protect from foreign governments.
Anatomy of a conspiracy theory: how misinformation travels on Facebook
Facebook has played a key role in the global spread of misinformation during the pandemic. Here’s how an individual post can reach a global audience within days
Facebook news ban fears grow as tech giant fails to sign deals with Australia's big media players
Two weeks after Facebook struck a deal with the Australian government to pay publishers for displaying their news content the social network has failed to sign a single big media player – sparking fears of a second news feed ban.
ANU cyber attack culprit known to ASIO
The Canberra Times
Australia's top domestic intelligence official has said he's aware of the culprit behind a serious cyber crime attack against the Australian National University but won't publicly reveal further information.
New AFP powers will protect Australians from cybercrime, ASD boss says
The Canberra Times
Proposed powers for the nation's federal police would help stop thousands of Australians from becoming the target of international crime syndicates, according to the head of one of Australia's top spy agencies. The Home Affairs-drafted bill, which will give the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission new powers to identify and disrupt online criminal activity, is being reviewed by a Parliamentary committee following scrutiny over its broad-reaching powers
Demand for satellite sovereignty grows among Australian agencies and policy bodies | ZDNet
Australian government agencies, state governments, and policy bodies have collectively called for Australia to develop its own sovereign satellite capability as part of their submissions to a Standing Committee inquiry into developing Australia's space industry.
Banks tell Home Affairs new cyber bill could conflict with APRA focus
Australian Financial Review
The banks have told a parliamentary intelligence committee that the Department of Home Affairs should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to mandating tougher cyber security standards on banks because the prudential regulator is already all over the area. The banks are pushing back on some aspects of a new cyber security bill that will amend the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018.
Directors must face cyber risks
Australian Financial Review
Boards and managers of the largest public firms will soon be held responsible for protecting customers and shareholders from cyber risks, at the same time threats from criminals and state actors escalate.
How to trace a hack to China
Microsoft announced last week that its email and calendar Exchange Server had been the victim of a sophisticated attack by a China-based group the company calls Hafnium. Over 250,000 targets could be compromised.
China Lays Plans to Tame Tech Giant Alibaba
Under founder Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. had regulators and local officials in its corner as it grew into a Chinese version of Amazon.com Inc. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent crackdown on the empire of China’s best-known entrepreneur has put an end to that.
China’s Jaded Techies Find a Hero in Elon Musk
The New York Times
China is having its techlash moment. The country’s internet giants, once celebrated as engines of economic vitality, are now scorned for exploiting user data, abusing workers and squelching innovation. Jack Ma, co-founder of the e-commerce titan Alibaba, is a fallen idol, with his companies under government scrutiny for the ways they have secured their grip over the world’s second-largest economy.
Facebook Drops Plan to Run Fiber Cable to Hong Kong Amid U.S. Pressure
A Facebook consortium withdrew its bid to build a new internet conduit between California and Hong Kong after months of pressure from U.S. national-security officials, the latest sign of a deepening rift between the two governments.
Five Reasons Not to Split Cyber Command from the NSA Any Time Soon – If Ever
War on the Rocks
In the waning days of President Donald Trump’s administration, a group of outgoing political appointees unexpectedly pushed through the acting secretary of defense to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a hotly disputed plan to split the U.S. Cyber Command from the National Security Agency (NSA).
A global semiconductor shortage highlights a troubling trend: A small and shrinking number of the world's computer chips are made in the US
The high cost and long lead times for building computer chip factories makes it difficult for the U.S. to reverse the steady decline of its domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity.
How Standard Setting Can Help Taiwan Grow Its Global Role
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Taiwan’s prowess in high-tech manufacturing and data privacy could make Taiwan firms unsung heroes of the global competition over standard setting for emerging technologies.
South and Central Asia
India Revival Mission: Should Big Tech compensate Indian newspapers?
Times Now News
In this episode of India Revival Mission Council, panellists debate whether search engine like Google and platforms like Facebook should pay the newspapers for using their content.
Spanish government falls victim to Ryuk ransomware attack
The Spanish government has fallen victim to a ransomware attack on Tuesday that impacted the IT systems of the Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal (SEPE), the agency that manages and pays out government unemployment benefits.
Moving fast and breaking us all: Big Tech’s unaccountable algorithms
Ranking Digital Rights
They decide who passes and who fails in secondary school. They decide who gets arrested and who goes to prison. They decide what news you see first thing in the morning as well as what news you won’t see. And they drive the business models—and revenues—of the world’s largest and most powerful digital platforms.
How Facebook got addicted to spreading misinformation
MIT Technology Review
The company’s AI algorithms gave it an insatiable habit for lies and hate speech. Now the man who built them can't fix the problem.
ASPI Webinar: Are you ready for the new critical infrastructure law?
With amendments to the Critical Infrastructure Act currently before parliament, impacted industry sectors are racing to get ready. ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre is delighted to invite you to a panel discussion on 18 March at 4pm where representatives from Home Affairs, the cybersecurity sector and industry will discuss the impact of the changes and answer your questions. Register here.
China–EU Connectivity in an Era of Geopolitical Competition
Stockholm International Peace Institute
The long-standing relationship between China and the European Union (EU) is being subsumed into a broader geopolitical competition between major power centres. Alongside cooperation, elements of competition and rivalry have been sharpened by a re-evaluation of the bilateral relationship by EU actors.