Tencent boosts global investments as Beijing cracks down on gaming | Justice Dept. is said to accelerate Google advertising inquiry | Afghan biometric databases abandoned to the Taliban
Tencent has increased its investments in overseas start-ups more than sevenfold this year, fuelling a global expansion by China’s most valuable company as Beijing tightens regulatory scrutiny on tech groups. Financial Times
The Department of Justice has accelerated an investigation into Google’s digital advertising practices and may file an antitrust lawsuit against the internet giant before the end of the year, two people with knowledge of the government’s thinking said on Wednesday. The New York Times
By capturing 40 pieces of data per person—from iris scans and family links to their favourite fruit—a system meant to cut fraud in the Afghan security forces may actually aid the Taliban. MIT Technology Review
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Tencent boosts global investments as Beijing cracks down on gaming
Tencent has increased its investments in overseas start-ups more than sevenfold this year, fuelling a global expansion by China’s most valuable company as Beijing tightens regulatory scrutiny on tech groups.
Explore Tencent’s global footprint via our Mapping China’s Technology Giants project
What China’s new data laws are and their impact on Big Tech
South China Morning Post
The Data Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law passed this year will make it even more costly for companies to store Chinese user data overseas. The new rules come into effect amid a broad cybersecurity crackdown that started with Didi Chuxing but is now affecting the entire online platform economy.
China targets ‘sissy pants’ culture with curbs on videogames, celebrity fandom
The Wall Street Journal
Under President Xi Jinping, China’s Communist Party has moved to aggressively reassert control over the economy, going after some of the country’s largest private enterprises in a drive to dial back what it sees as the capitalist excesses of a previous era. Now, the party, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding this year, is making it increasingly clear that it intends to insert itself into the private lives of Chinese citizens to an extent not seen in decades. This week, party officials unveiled tough new limits on the amount of time Chinese young people can spend playing online games. The restrictions come amid a crackdown on pop culture icons and follow moves to sharply limit after-school tutoring.
After proudly celebrating women, Alibaba faces reckoning over harassment
The New York Times
A rape accusation at the Chinese e-commerce giant has shed light on a work culture that some former employees say is humiliating and toxic… Interviews with nine former employees suggest that casual sexism is common at Alibaba. They describe a work environment in which women are made to feel embarrassed and belittled during team-building and other activities that the company has incorporated in its culture, a striking departure from the image of inclusion Alibaba has tried to project.
Huawei employs more lobbyists in the EU than Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, but spends less
South China Morning Post
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co employs more lobbyists in the European Union (EU) than any other global tech company, as it tries to cope with increasing barriers to doing business on the continent. The Shenzhen-based company has the full-time equivalent of 19 lobbyists on its payroll, followed by Facebook with 14 and Microsoft with 7.5, according to a report released by the Corporate Europe Observatory and Lobbycontrol on Tuesday.
Justice Dept. Is Said to Accelerate Google Advertising Inquiry
The New York Times
The Department of Justice has accelerated an investigation into Google’s digital advertising practices and may file an antitrust lawsuit against the internet giant before the end of the year, two people with knowledge of the government’s thinking said on Wednesday.
Businesses push Biden to develop China trade policy
The New York Times
More than seven months into the Biden administration, American businesses say they are growing increasingly frustrated by the White House’s approach to China, with confrontational policies imposed during the Trump era still in place and President Biden offering little clarity about economic engagement with the world’s second-largest economy. A thicket of export controls and bans are still in place, leaving U.S. technology giants such as Qualcomm, Intel and Google in the lurch over how to approach the Chinese market and offering little hope that the decoupling of the world’s two largest economies will be reversed anytime soon.
US benefits as Taiwan tech shifts from China, but Japan left behind
US benefits as Taiwan tech shifts from China, but Japan left behind - Taiwanese technology companies have made hardly any supply chain investments in Japan as an alternative to mainland China, directing most of their new factory construction and acquisitions to the U.S., Europe and Southeast Asia instead, official research shows.
Instagram user @AntiVaxMomma charged with selling fake vaccine cards
The New York Times
Jonah E. Bromwich
A New Jersey woman who used the Instagram handle @AntiVaxMomma was charged in a conspiracy to sell hundreds of fake coronavirus vaccination cards over the social media platform, Manhattan prosecutors said on Tuesday.
FTC bars alleged ‘stalkerware’ company and its CEO from the surveillance business
The Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously to ban what it called a "stalkerware app company" and its CEO from the surveillance business, the agency announced Wednesday. This marks the first time the FTC has obtained such a ban, the commission said in a press release touting the proposed settlement. The agency made clear it likely won't be the last
This is the moment the anti-vaccine movement has been waiting for
The New York Times
As the coronavirus began pushing the nation into lockdown in March 2020, Joshua Coleman, an anti-vaccine campaigner who organizes anti-vaccine rallies, went on Facebook Live to give his followers a rallying speech. He laid out what he thought the pandemic really was: an opportunity.
A new technology being used in Chicago could protect cities from blackouts and cyberattacks
A new partnership between American Superconductor and ComEd essentially provides an extension cord between the now-vulnerable nodes in the nation's urban power grids.
FBI, CISA warn of potential cyberattacks over Labor Day weekend
CISA and the FBI have released an advisory warning of potential cyberattacks that may occur over the coming Labor Day weekend, noting that in recent years hackers have launched dozens of devastating attacks on long weekends. They urged organizations to take steps to secure their systems, reduce their exposure and potentially "engage in preemptive threat hunting on their networks to search for signs of threat actors."
Telstra launches innovation centres in India to solve challenges in AI, IoT
Telstra launches innovation centres in India to solve challenges in AI, IoT - With the launch of its engineering lab in Bengaluru, Telstra becomes one of the first multinational telecom companies to open a Network and Product Engineering Lab in India to accelerate innovation in next-gen mobile technology testing. The state of the art 8500 sq. ft lab will specialise in creating an end-to-end 4G and 5G environment where testing of 4G/5G mobile handsets and IoT devices of various Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will take place. Some of the other focus areas of the lab include testing devices on 5G network in a virtual environment, developing software for smart devices, testing multiple devices among others.
Maruti Suzuki to slash output in September by 60% over chip shortage
India's biggest car maker Maruti Suzuki said on Tuesday that its vehicle production in September will tumble by 60 per cent due to a chip shortage. According to Maruti chairman RC Bhargava, the crisis will stretch till the end of 2022.
Singtel readies 5G rollout at home with eye on rest of region
Singtel readies 5G rollout at home with eye on rest of region - Singtel is eyeing Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines as destinations for the same 5G next-generation.
Japan needs a lot more tech workers. Can it find a place for women?
The New York Times
The country is pushing to digitally modernize itself, but one of the developed world’s starkest gender gaps is holding it back.
New Zealand & The Pacific
New World Bank project will expand internet access for Marshall Islands
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$30 million project in Marshall Islands, where access to high-speed internet remains extremely limited and costly, that will secure faster, more reliable, and more affordable internet access across the country.
South and Central Asia
This is the real story of the Afghan biometric databases abandoned to the Taliban
MIT Technology Review
By capturing 40 pieces of data per person—from iris scans and family links to their favourite fruit—a system meant to cut fraud in the Afghan security forces may actually aid the Taliban.
The UK thinks it can fix GDPR. It’s wrong
The UK managed to get a data adequacy agreement with the EU. But its planned changes for GDPR could rip this apart.
Sligo schoolchildren’s new teacher will be Nao – a robot
Some primary school pupils in Co Sligo are in for a treat in the coming weeks – they will be learning French from a robot called Nao. The “social robot”, which has the capacity to teach many subjects including art, music, literacy and maths, will be teaching French vocabulary to seven- and eight-year-olds under the watchful eye of IT Sligo student Debbie Woodward.
Read our report ‘An Australian strategy for the quantum revolution’
Dutch scale-up EclecticIQ receives €15 million in EU financing to boost development of next-gen cyber security platform
EIB provides €15 million to Dutch cybersecurity company EclecticIQ to finance and expand its research and development. The financing is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. The project will boost the development and deployment of technology-intensive software and services in important areas and policy sectors for the European Union such as cybersecurity.
Russia, US preparing new contacts on cybersecurity — Lavrov
According to the Russian Foreign Minister, the efforts to establish a dialogue in particular spheres do not cancel the fact that the United States is seeking to deter Russia on the international scene
What the United States can learn from Estonia on e-governance
Centre for European Policy Analysis
This paper looks at what the United States can learn from Estonia’s experience with implementing interoperability, secure data exchange, and digital identity with the goal of achieving greater trust in government, reducing the time people spend navigating bureaucracy, and protecting privacy in a way that the private sector develops further.
Cyber risks in APAC remain high; more data breaches expected over next 12 months
Globally, 86% of Trend Micro survey respondents believed that their organizations may be breached in the next 12 months. The top five cyber threats in APAC include ransomware, watering hole attacks, advanced persistent threats, malicious insiders, and file-less attack.
Read our report on ransomware, ‘Exfiltrate, encrypt, extort’
Machines can read your brain. There’s little that can stop them.
Technology is giving access to the inner workings of the brain, and policymakers are scrambling to regulate it.
The Secret bias hidden in mortgage-approval algorithms
Nationally, loan applicants of color were 40%–80% more likely to be denied than their White counterparts. In certain metro areas, the disparity was greater than 250%. Even accounting for factors lenders said would explain disparities, people of color are denied mortgages at significantly higher rates than White people.
New ICPC Program on Critical Technologies - 3 positions
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for three exceptional and experienced senior analysts and analysts to join its large team from October 2021. These new roles will focus on original research, analysis and stakeholder engagement centred around international critical technology development, including analysis of which countries are leading on what technologies.
ICPC Pacific Islands Analyst - Information operations & disinformation
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a talented and proactive Pacific Islands analyst who will work with the Centre’s information operations and disinformation program. The successful candidate will work with a small, high-performing team to produce original research and analysis centred around policy responses to information operations and disinformation by actors in the Pacific Islands region. They will also work with senior staff in the centre to engage globally with governments, social media and Internet companies. Candidates must have a demonstrated background in, and strong knowledge of, the Pacific Islands region, including the region’s digital, media and social media landscape.
ICPC Analyst & Project Manager - Coercive diplomacy
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for an Analyst and Project Manager to manage, and help lead, a project on coercive diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific region. This new role will focus on analysis, workshops and stakeholder engagement centred around coercive diplomacy, including how countries in the Indo-Pacific can work together to tackle this complicated policy challenge. Candidates must have excellent coordination, project management and stakeholder engagement skills.
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. Analysts usually have at least 5 years, often 7-10 years’ of work experience. Senior analysts usually have a minimum of 15 years relevant work experience and, in addition to research, they take on a leadership role in the centre and tend to be involved in staff and project management, fundraising and stakeholder engagement.