Russian state media muffled by social media giants | FCC bans two Chinese telecommunication companies from U.S. | Rwandan authorities targets domestic dissent on YouTube
The muffling of the megaphone of the Russian state media, which has falsely framed the country’s invasion of Ukraine as “special operation” intended to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians from Nazis, marks an unprecedented move by the social media giants to stop the spread of misinformation. And early signs show some of the actions may be working. The Washington Post
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission ejected Pacific Networks Corp. and ComNet (USA) LLC from the U.S. market, continuing a series of bans of Chinese telecommunications companies over security concerns. Bloomberg
In the past decade, YouTube had emerged as the last virtual frontier for voicing dissent on national issues after print media and then radio stations became strictly monitored by Rwandan authorities. Now, its popular users are also being targeted, HRW said. Al Jazeera
End-to-end encryption is good for democracies
Democracies need to accept the mainstream adoption of end-to-end encryption in popular messaging and communications applications like WhatsApp, Signal, iMessage and, in the future according to Meta, Facebook Messenger.
Social platforms’ bans muffle Russian state media propaganda
The Washington Post
Elizabeth Dwoskin, Jeremy Merrill and Gerrit De Vynck
The muffling of the megaphone of the Russian state media, which has falsely framed the country’s invasion of Ukraine as “special operation” intended to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians from Nazis, marks an unprecedented move by the social media giants to stop the spread of misinformation. And early signs show some of the actions may be working.
Apple and Google app stores remain available in Russia. That may be a good thing.
The Washington Post
Ukraine’s digital officials and some tech-savvy expatriates in the United States have been calling for Apple and Google to cut Russia off from their app stores and for security company Cloudflare to stop protecting Pravda and Russian war propaganda sites from state-backed and activist hackers.
Slack has started disconnecting customers in Russia
Slack has begun cutting off access to some customers in Russia as it looks to comply with both international sanctions and the policies of parent company Salesforce.
Cyber conflict in Ukraine is growing more complex by the day
The Washington Post
An IT army of volunteers from inside and outside Ukraine has been targeting Russia with a mix of offensive hacks and information operations aimed at cracking through Russian censorship with news about the bloody conflict.
The most popular wartime apps in Ukraine and Russia
In Ukraine, the country has prioritized encrypted messaging apps like Telegram and Signal, as well as apps issuing real-time alerts about nearby dangers. In Russia, the picture is much simpler: Russians are trying to evade Kremlin censors. People are downloading VPNs—software that disguises the origin of the internet user—to skirt government restrictions and access outside news and information.
Government commits $240 million to critical minerals projects in mission to end Australia's reliance on China
China produces and supplies almost all the minerals used in the production of renewable energy products, mobile phones, electric vehicles and even the batteries used in the US joint-strike fighter. The federal government will today announce $240 million to develop a rare earth minerals industry in Australia with senior ministers openly listing China as one reason to do so.
All smartphones sold in Australia could be forced to include parental controls under new online safety push
Social media companies would be forced to change their default privacy setting for accounts set up by children and all devices sold in Australia would have to come with parental controls, under new recommendations being considered by the federal government.
Russian ally ransomware group could target Australia, cyber security authorities warn
A notorious ransomware gang known as "Conti", which has previously launched attacks on critical infrastructure in Australia, is causing concern for cyber authorities after the group aligned itself with the Russian government.
China’s Pacific Networks Ejected From U.S. by FCC Over Security
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission ejected Pacific Networks Corp. and ComNet (USA) LLC from the U.S. market, continuing a series of bans of Chinese telecommunications companies over security concerns.
Has China’s signaled regulatory reprieve come too late?
Shares of U.S.-listed Chinese companies, and especially technology concerns, are ripping higher this morning. Driving the day’s trading were comments from Chinese government official Liu He concerning both foreign-listed Chinese shares and the pace of reform in the country’s economy.
TuSimple explores sale of China unit after pact with U.S. authorities
Zhang Yan, Julie Zhu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Simon Cameron-Moore. Autonomous trucking startup TuSimple Holdings Inc (TSP.O), backed by Chinese social media firm Sina Corp , is looking to sell its business in China and focus on the U.S. market, sources said. The decision comes after the startup reached an agreement with the U.S. government to restrict the China unit's access to data due to U.S. security concerns.
Submarine Spy Couple Tried to Sell Nuclear Secrets to Brazil
The New York Times
Julian E. Barnes, André Spigariol, Jack Nicas and Adam Goldman
In 2020, a United States naval engineer and his wife made the fateful decision to try to sell some of America’s most closely guarded military secrets, the technology behind the nuclear reactors that power the U.S. submarine fleet.
Research centers in Taiwan, India ink a science deal
Research centers in Taiwan and India on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), paving the way for them to cooperate on science and education projects.
Iran Threats, Russia-Ukraine Conflict Eyed in Israel's Massive Cyber Attack
Tom O'Connor and Naveed Jamali
A day after Israel was hit by what the country's authorities described as a cyber attack that temporarily knocked out a number of websites, including government portals, little information has surfaced as to the nature or origin of the attack. But both a former senior Israeli diplomat and cybersecurity experts saw a potential connection to Iran and Russia's conflict in Ukraine given the heightened geopolitical tensions that surrounded the incident.
HRW: Rwanda silencing YouTubers with ‘abusive’ legal framework
In the past decade, YouTube had emerged as the last virtual frontier for voicing dissent on national issues after print media and then radio stations became strictly monitored by Rwandan authorities. Now, its popular users are also being targeted, HRW said.
A worker objected to Google’s Israel military contract. Google told her to move to Brazil
Los Angeles Times
More than 500 Google workers have rallied behind a colleague who alleges she is being pushed out of her job because of her activism within the company, the latest flare-up between the tech giant and employees who speak out against its business practices and workplace conditions.
Meta will add basic parental supervision tools to its VR headset almost three years after launch
Despite releasing its first virtual reality headsets in May 2019, Meta is only now adding parental supervision tools to its Meta Quest VR headset. After last year’s rebranding spectacle, all eyes are on Meta as it tries to prove that its investments in VR were worth changing its name over. But with attention from the highest office in the United States on its safety features, Meta is trying to make its platforms safer for kids by rolling out a variety of parental supervision tools.
Mark Zuckerberg Says NFTs Are Coming to Instagram
NFTs could be coming to Instagram in the next several months, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a talk at SXSW.
‘No-Code’ Brings the Power of A.I. to the Masses
The New York Times
Craig S. Smith
A growing number of new products allow anyone to apply artificial intelligence without having to write a line of computer code. Proponents believe the “no-code” movement will change the world.
The Workaday Life of the World’s Most Dangerous Ransomware Gang
The Conti Ransomware gang was on top of the world. The sprawling network of cybrcriminals extorted $180 million from its victims last year, eclipsing the earnings of all other ransomware gangs. Then it backed Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. And it all started falling apart.
Events and Podcasts
The Sydney Dialogue: Who Works? The Crisis of Automation in the Indo-Pacific
The Sydney Dialogue
The world is undergoing the largest workforce transition since the industrial revolution, and the Indo-Pacific is at the epicentre of this shift. Post pandemic, public and private sector enterprises of all sizes are capitalising on improvements in productivity, efficiency, and profitability by accelerating the rate at which they are applying technology to automate and augment work with more machines doing the work once done by people. Watch on catch up now.
Announcing the 2022 AI Index Report
The AI Index is an independent initiative at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), led by the AI Index Steering Committee, an interdisciplinary group of experts from across academia and industry. The 2022 AI Index report measures and evaluates the rapid rate of AI advancement from research and development to technical performance and ethics, the economy and education, AI policy and governance, and more.
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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