Signal’s hack of surveillance tech could undermine Australian criminal cases | In Moscow, big brother is recognizing protesters | Falun Gong-aligned media push fake news about Democrats
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Criminal lawyers could soon begin challenging a tool Australian police routinely rely on to extract messages, photos and other information from mobile phones for investigations after the discovery of security flaws that meant data could be falsified. The Guardian
Officials hailed Moscow’s massive facial-recognition camera network as a benign aid to residents that would enforce quarantine restrictions, catch criminals and even let them pay subway fares. Now it’s being deployed to crush dissent against President Vladimir Putin. Bloomberg
US news outlets aligned with Falun Gong, a religious movement locked in a decades-long conflict with the Chinese state, have been increasingly successful in promoting conspiracy narratives about Democrats, election fraud and communists to the pro-Trump right in America. The Guardian
‘Pastel QAnon’: Instagram conspiracy peddlers a political headache for design giants
The Sydney Morning Herald
Whether Canva and Adobe will go as far as to block users from their platforms remains to be seen, however, Ariel Bogle, analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, says the services provided by Canva and Adobe to create visually pleasing aesthetics allow potentially dangerous messages to blend in on social media. “It makes things more pleasant to look at but I do think the ability of some of these accounts that share, say anti-vaccination messages or QAnon messages, the ability to maintain aesthetic consistency makes it hard for the casual observer to quickly distinguish conspiracy related messages from more lifestyle messages,” she says.
Microsoft Weighs Fixes to Code-Sharing Plan After Suspected Leak
Microsoft Corp. may revise a program that shares coding flaws in its products with other companies after a suspected leak led to a sprawling cyber-attack against thousands of Microsoft Exchange email clients globally.
Epic v. Apple: Everything you need to know about the biggest trial in tech
@Nick Statt @BenBrodyDC @pierce
On Monday, Apple and Epic Games will meet in court to decide one of the most consequential antitrust arguments in the history of the tech industry. The trial has been nearly a year in the making, following Apple's removal of Fortnite from the App Store in August 2020. It's arguably the biggest courtroom showdown Apple has engaged in since its smartphone patent war with Samsung nearly a decade ago.
Signal’s hack of surveillance tech used by police could undermine Australian criminal cases
Criminal lawyers could soon begin challenging a tool Australian police routinely rely on to extract messages, photos and other information from mobile phones for investigations after the discovery of security flaws that meant data could be falsified.
Play the game to see how video games are designed to get you hooked and spending
Welcome to the game. You are now one of the millions of Australians who play video games every day. Like this game, many are free to play but include repeated prompts to pay.
China calls out 33 apps for collecting more user data than deemed necessary
Citing complaints from users, the Cyberspace Administration of China lists 33 mobile apps it says breached various regulatory rules, mainly, for collecting personal data deemed not necessary to provide their service.
Huawei Is Bad for Business
Over the last few years, the Chinese firm Huawei has become an unexpected symbol of technological threat, with the United States rallying allies to limit the company’s global scope. Although it is a private firm, Chinese law and Huawei’s extensive ties to the state have both raised sharp concerns. But while foreign-policy professionals have warned about the threats Huawei represents to national security and economic integrity, the exact nature and scope of such threats remain largely speculative.
Chinese workers allege forced labor, abuses in Xi’s ‘Belt and Road’ program
The Washington Post
@lilkuo Alicia Chen
China’s Belt and Road initiative, which aims to connect Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe through Chinese-funded ports, bridges, 5G networks and other infrastructure, is built on the backs of people like Ding, who researchers say face exploitation that is exacerbated by the pandemic. Interviews with labor rights advocates and a dozen Chinese workers employed by state-owned companies and subcontractors reflect a pattern of abuse that threatens to undermine China’s ambitious bid for diplomatic and economic influence, a mission closely tied to the legacy of leader Xi Jinping.
Feminists thwarting China's population goals
Meanwhile, China’s misogynistic harassment campaigns online have begun to extend beyond the country’s borders to target female critics abroad, including spreading fake videos about the “dating life” of an Australia-based researcher..Chinese officials have used gendered lies to smear Uyghur women who have fled China and given witness accounts of their abuse, accusing some women of having “affairs” or a sexually transmitted disease.
For more read ASPI ICPC's report 'Strange bedfellows on Xinjiang: The CCP, fringe media and US social media platforms' here.
Falun Gong-aligned media push fake news about Democrats and Chinese communists
US news outlets aligned with Falun Gong, a religious movement locked in a decades-long conflict with the Chinese state, have been increasingly successful in promoting conspiracy narratives about Democrats, election fraud and communists to the pro-Trump right in America.
Is Washington prepared for a geopolitical ‘tech race’?
As Biden passes 100 days in office, how is the administration’s thinking shaping up on China?
U.S. says China has fallen short on 'Phase 1' intellectual property commitments
China has fallen short on its commitments to protect American intellectual property in the 'Phase 1' U.S.-China trade deal signed last year, the Biden administration's trade office said on Friday.
Instagram blocks account of celebrity Maine doctor who spreads vaccine disinformation
Instagram has blocked the account of Dr. Christiane Northrup, the retired Yarmouth gynecologist and bestselling author of health and wellness self-help books who has emerged as one of the country’s largest purveyors of COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories.
Weapons, Ivory, and Other Items Banned by Etsy Still Widely Available on Marketplace, Investigation Finds
The online marketplace Etsy has been flooded with activity since the pandemic’s onset as millions flocked to online shopping to stave off lockdown blues. However, that pandemic-fueled growth is also highlighting Etsy’s struggle to moderate what goes up for sale on its platform. A recent Insider investigation found roughly 800 listings that violate the company’s prohibited items policy, including pet remains, pornographic material, weapons, and a slew of mass-produced products being passed off as handmade items.
In nod to Trump, Florida is set to ban 'deplatforming' by tech companies
David Ingram Ben Kamisar
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube could be fined for banning political candidates under a bill passed by Florida's Legislature. Critics say it's unconstitutional.
Chinese spies tried to buy Defence Forces security secrets
Former Defence Forces intelligence officer and soldier were targeted via the LinkedIn website for classified information. Power was asked to provide classified information on the methods used by EU states to counter terrorism, following an approach from a Chinese consultant on LinkedIn, the professional networking site. He was offered payment in untraceable bitcoin.
John Doe 29: Image From FBI Child Exploitation Case Geolocated to Turkey
According to the FBI’s Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP), law enforcement officials are seeking information which will lead to the identification of an unknown individual known as John Doe 29.
Too big, too bold? EU ‘moonshot’ microchip plant faces doubts
Europe wants to take back control over its microchip supply. But as EU Commissioner Thierry Breton cobbles together a multibillion-euro plan for the industry, he's coming up against a wall of skepticism from local tech players.
In Moscow, Big Brother Is Watching and Recognizing Protesters
Officials hailed Moscow’s massive facial-recognition camera network as a benign aid to residents that would enforce quarantine restrictions, catch criminals and even let them pay subway fares. Now it’s being deployed to crush dissent against President Vladimir Putin.
Clubhouse App Creates Space for Open Talk in Middle East
The New York Times
Faezeh Hashemi, the Iranian politician and daughter of a former president, is banned from speaking publicly in Iran. State television does not give her airtime. Conservative vigilantes have stormed her previous attempts to speak in public.
Inside Amazon's shadow workforce in Mexico
Thomson Reuters Foundation
After six months of shifts moving boxes at an Amazon warehouse near Mexico City as a contract worker, Jaime Hidalgo believed job security and brighter prospects beckoned when he received the company's "blue badge" making him a member of staff.
Stopping the Manipulation Machines
The New York Times
Some things are difficult by design. Consider Amazon. The company perfected the one-click checkout. But canceling a $119 Prime subscription is a labyrinthine process that requires multiple screens and clicks.
The $4 Billion App That Doesn’t Value Privacy, Security or Accessibility
Elizabeth M. Renieris
It is tempting to excuse Clubhouse’s flaws as growing pains, but the app’s design and rollout illustrate just how little Silicon Valley and its venture capital backers have learned.
Deepfakes advertised on underground markets, signaling possible shift, Recorded Future says
Malicious use of manipulated visual and audio files — technology known as deepfakes — is swiftly migrating toward crime and influence operations, according to findings published Thursday.
Digital Horses Are the Talk of the Crypto World
The New York Times
Horse racing meet NFT mania on Zed Run, a digital platform where some top steeds are fetching six-figure sums.
The inventor of the digital cookie has some regrets
When Lou Montulli invented the cookie in 1994, he was a 23-year-old engineer at Netscape, the company that built one of the internet’s first widely used browsers. He was trying to solve a pressing problem on the early web: Websites had lousy memories. Every time a user loaded a new page, a website would treat them like a stranger it had never seen before. That made it impossible to build basic web features we take for granted today, like the shopping carts that follow us from page to page across e-commerce sites.
Emotet Group Harvested Over 4.3 Million Victim Emails
The threat actors behind the notorious Emotet botnet managed to collect over four million victim email addresses over the past few years, it has emerged.
Apple takes on the internet: the Big Tech battle over privacy
By limiting iOS apps' ad tracking capabilities, Apple could see increased commissions from IAPs and subscriptions if developers start charging for apps
Apple Rolls Out Major New Privacy Protections For iPhones And iPads
Starting Monday, iPhone and iPad users will have a simple but powerful new way to control how their data is used.
ICPC Analyst or Senior Analyst - Cyber & technology
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an exceptional cyber-security or technology focused analyst or senior analyst to join its centre in 2021. Candidates must have the ability to synthesis complex cyber and technology developments and explain these developments to media and key stakeholders in plain language. The ability to engage with and brief seniors across parliaments, governments, civil society and the business community.
International Cyber Policy Centre – Strategic engagement, program & research coordinator
The Coordinator’s primary focus will be the organisation and execution of ICPC’s sponsorship program. The Program Coordinator will work closely with internal and external stakeholders to maintain and develop these relationships. The coordinator will also support the Director and the Deputy Director with the coordination and delivery of ICPC's global research program. This will be a busy, fast-paced and varied role that would suit a highly organised and energetic individual who thinks and acts strategically.