The former CEO of Google has applied to become a citizen of Cyprus | GCHQ in cyberwar on anti-vaccine propaganda | Zoom settles with FTC after making ‘deceptive’ security claims
Eric Schmidt is effectively buying a passport that he can use to enter the European Union. The former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, is finalizing a plan to become a citizen of the island of Cyprus, Recode has learned, becoming one of the highest-profile Americans to take advantage of one of the world’s most controversial “passport-for-sale”. Vox
GCHQ has begun an offensive cyber-operation to disrupt anti-vaccine propaganda being spread by hostile states, The Times understands. The government regards tackling false information about inoculation as a rising priority as the prospect of a reliable vaccine against the coronavirus draws closer. A government source said: “GCHQ has been told to take out antivaxers online and on social media. There are ways they have used to monitor and disrupt terrorist propaganda. The Times
The Federal Trade Commission has announced a settlement with Zoom, after it accused the video calling giant of engaging in “a series of deceptive and unfair practices that undermined the security of its users,” in part by claiming the encryption was stronger than it actually was. TechCrunch
The former CEO of Google has applied to become a citizen of Cyprus
Eric Schmidt is effectively buying a passport that he can use to enter the European Union. The former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, is finalizing a plan to become a citizen of the island of Cyprus, Recode has learned, becoming one of the highest-profile Americans to take advantage of one of the world’s most controversial “passport-for-sale”.
Eric Schmidt is being talked about to lead a new technology industry task force in the White House.
Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, Salesforce alarmed at security incident response takeover by govt
Microsoft, AWS, Telstra, Cisco and Salesforce reacted with alarm at the prospect of direct administrative intervention by Australian authorities to counter cyber security threats against certain customers. Draft laws proposed by Home Affairs include “last resort” government assistance powers that, in “exceptional circumstances”, would allow the government to intervene in a particularly threatening attack scenario.
New cyber laws 'necessary but not sufficient' to protect national security, expert warns
Sydney Morning Herald
A leading cyber security expert has warned a planned shake-up of Australia's cyber defences won't be enough to protect critical infrastructure, saying companies will need to go beyond minimum standards to combat escalating threats from state-based actors and criminal organisations. The Morrison government on Monday released the draft exposure bill for its overhaul of critical infrastructure, which would give national security agencies powers to step into the networks of some companies to disrupt and fend off major attacks.
Federal facial recognition identity technology to check 'liveness'
Australian Financial Review
A new federal facial recognition system is set to be rolled out next year as part of a new Australia-wide identity system to replace myGov, which will link services across different governments and private providers. The facial recognition system is to be part of a "liveness" test. Citizens will need to establish they are a physically present human being and the service is not being spoofed by a malicious computer bot or someone pretending to be the user.
Labor wants government MPs sanctioned over US election disinformation
The Sydney Morning Herald
Coalition MPs including George Christensen and Matt Canavan have made social media posts repeating claims similar to those made by Mr Trump. Mr Christensen has posted more than a dozen times on Facebook since Wednesday evening alleging voter fraud, including links that have been fact checked as false by Facebook or attracted warnings that the information may be incorrect.
Big Tech's Australian banking ambitions face probe
A government-led senate inquiry into fintechs will now investigate the extent to which Big Tech companies might use the consumer data right (CDR) in future to set up financial services operations.
Australia risks missing out on $700b agrifood tech industry
Australian Financial Review
Exporting agritech is a fundamentally different opportunity than exporting agricultural produce, but the chance to lead the world is being ignored by government.
Nanjing launches chip university in bid to fill China’s semiconductor talent gap
On October 22, Nanjing launched China’s first integrated circuit university as the country attempts to address a talent shortage in the semiconductor industry, Xinhua reported (in Chinese). Amid pressure from U.S. decoupling, China has established Nanjing Integrated Circuit University (NICU) in a bid to boost domestic chip manufacturing and technology innovation capability.
China's tech industry relieved by Biden win - but not relaxed
China's technology industry, one of President Donald Trump's main targets in Washington's tussles with Beijing, hopes Joe Biden can create a more constructive relationship - but few think the rivalry will deescalate, executives and analysts say.
What can Silicon Valley expect from Joe Biden?
The president-elect has hired both Jessica Hertz, former associate general counsel at Facebook, and Cynthia Hogan, former Apple vice-president for government affairs, to his transition team. Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive, has been a big fundraiser, and is being talked about to lead a new technology industry task force in the White House.
Zoom settles with FTC after making ‘deceptive’ security claims
The Federal Trade Commission has announced a settlement with Zoom, after it accused the video calling giant of engaging in “a series of deceptive and unfair practices that undermined the security of its users,” in part by claiming the encryption was stronger than it actually was.
No social media is safe: How election misinformation spread on LinkedIn, Pinterest and Nextdoor
Pinterest, LinkedIn and other smaller social media sites have again been forced into the war against misinformation this election cycle, showing the challenges of policing the spread of lies online.
Infamous ‘Hoax’ Artist Behind Trumpworld’s New Voter Fraud Claim
As Donald Trump refuses to concede the election, some of his most loyal allies have become obsessed with a bizarre new conspiracy theory about the race, insisting that Trump only lost the election because a deep-state supercomputer named “Hammer” and a computer program named “Scorecard” were used to change the ballot count.
Misinformed through social media, Trump supporters take to the streets to challenge election result
The past four years in America have been an education in how grievances and misinformation on social media don't just stay online - they spill out onto the streets, can manifest as violence, and, as seen in Harrisburg, this weekend, be used in attempts to undermine the bedrock of American democracy: free and fair elections.
Michèle Flournoy could become the first woman to run the Pentagon. Here’s what would change.
She wants “big bets” on technology. In several interviews over the past year, Flournoy has talked about needing to invest in “big bets” for future defense technologies. Two areas in which she’s heavily focused: a “network of networks” to ensure reliable command and control even when facing advanced foes, and an increased focus on unmanned systems augmented by artificial intelligence.
Apple puts Taiwanese supplier Pegatron on probation over student workers
Apple said on Monday it has put its Taiwanese supplier Pegatron 4938.TW on probation after finding that the company violated Apple's supplier code of conduct by asking student employees to work night shifts or overtime.
Poppy McPherson @poppymcpThere is a serious problem ahead of Myanmar's election with hate speech and misinformation on Facebook. We found pages exhibiting inauthentic behaviour w/ 10,000s followers spreading pro-army and anti-Muslim content. Muslim candidates have been smeared. https://t.co/669OcDQNGj
NZ & Pacific Islands
Vanuatu pioneers digital cash as disaster relief
Vulnerable to cyclones, volcanoes and the impacts of climate change, the Pacific archipelago is using blockchain technology to provide aid money directly to families recovering from natural disasters.
GCHQ in cyberwar on anti-vaccine propaganda
GCHQ has begun an offensive cyber-operation to disrupt anti-vaccine propaganda being spread by hostile states, The Times understands. The government regards tackling false information about inoculation as a rising priority as the prospect of a reliable vaccine against the coronavirus draws closer. A government source said: “GCHQ has been told to take out antivaxers online and on social media. There are ways they have used to monitor and disrupt terrorist propaganda.”
Ahead by a nose: Covid sniffing dogs prevent surveillance overreach
A UK security company says it’s ditching some surveillance tech in favor of specially-trained dogs who can detect the coronavirus.
Europe is adopting stricter rules on surveillance tech
MIT Technology Review
The European Union has agreed to stricter rules on the sale and export of cyber-surveillance technologies like facial recognition and spyware. After years of negotiations, the new regulation will be announced today in Brussels. Details of the plan were reported in Politico last month.
Court grants stay on exclusion of Huawei from Swedish 5G networks
A Swedish court on Monday granted a stay against Swedish telecoms regulator PTS' decision last month to exclude Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei from its 5G networks.
South Africa to test new tech that detects outbreaks of respiratory diseases
The Next Web
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa is planning a pilot phase of a digital participatory surveillance platform. The aim is to assess the feasibility and inform its structure, before incorporating it into the existing facility-based surveillance programs. In particular, this pilot phase will be used to survey respiratory diseases such as influenza and potentially COVID-19.
Students Have To Jump Through Absurd Hoops To Use Exam Monitoring Software
Last month, as students at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Ontario, Canada, began studying for their midterm exams, many of them had to memorize not just the content on their tests, but a complex set of instructions for how to take them.
Twitter and Facebook warning labels aren't enough to save democracy
The Washington Post
President Trump tweeted that America’s election was being stolen, and Twitter put labels over his lies over a dozen times and counting. “This tweet is disputed and might be misleading,” it warned. Facebook joined in, flagging Trump posts with the line: “Ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.” Were the labels a win for democracy? They were a win for Twitter and Facebook public relations, which got to look just responsive enough to avoid being blamed for botching another election. But as tech products, the labels were too little, too late.
Senior Researcher / Project Lead
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a senior researcher to lead a one-year project looking at leadership networks across Asia. Interviews will start immediately.
Optus Chair in Cybersecurity and Data Science, Research Academic Level D/E
University of South Australia
Based in the UniSA STEM academic unit, this research leadership role of Optus Chair in Cybersecurity and Data Science will provide leadership and foster excellence in teaching and high impact research in the increasingly sophisticated and crucial fields of cyber security and data science.