The U.S. is now playing by China's internet rules | Thai minister threatens Facebook with legal action over restriction requests | Google Bans Ads Linking to Hacked Political Content

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  • President Trump's crackdown on TikTok suggests that the U.S. government is starting to see the internet more like China does — as a network that countries can and should control within their borders. Axios.

  • Thailand’s digital minister has threatened legal action against Facebook and accused the social media giant of not complying with government requests to restrict content deemed illegal, including perceived insults to the country’s monarchy. Reuters.

  • Google has taken extreme steps to prevent major interference in the 2020 US Presidential election, by blocking ads that contain hacked political content. Info Security Magazine.

ASPI ICPC

Elise Thomas @elisethoma5
I wrote for @ASPI_org last week about how the sovereign citizen conspiracy is shaping mask resistance in Australia, and how the dynamics of social media incentivise people to escalate their behaviour
aspistrategist.org.au/why-do-conspir…

Nine News Melbourne @9NewsMelb

The Chief Commissioner says there are a small group of Victorians who consider themselves 'sovereign citizens'. This includes a 38-year-old Frankston woman who seriously assaulted a 26-year-old female police officer after refusing to wear a mask. #9News https://t.co/Dg8HNkId7m

Australia

The fear is real': Chinese students in Australia dread reprisal from Beijing
SMH
The CCP has also established a new online portal that allows people to refer their compatriots to police for political crimes. The portal, which is accessible in Australia, allows allegations to be made against dissidents for "attacking the party, the state system and major policies," endangering national security, harming the national image and slandering heroes.

Space-age approach to natural disasters urged, with use of apps and drones
ABC
Technology experts have told the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements that satellites, drones and apps were the key to a nationally coordinated approach to natural disasters in the future.

USA

The U.S. is now playing by China's internet rules
Axios
President Trump's crackdown on TikTok suggests that the U.S. government is starting to see the internet more like China does — as a network that countries can and should control within their borders.

  • The U.S. Is Right to Worry About TikTok
    Lawfare
    So do American politicians' concerns over TikTok have any merit, or is this just an instance of overblown fearmongering? ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, has a more complicated relationship with the Chinese government than many American critics may realize.

  • What US Really Wanted Was a Ban, Not a Sale: ByteDance's Zhang Yiming
    Ping West
    Zhang Yiming, ByteDance's founder, Chairman and CEO, issued another company-wide letter on August 4, to Chinese employees specifically. He claimed in the letter that the United States never really wanted to force a sale of TikTok's US operations, but actually wanted to ban.

Google Bans Ads Linking to Hacked Political Content
InfoSecurity Magazine
Google has taken extreme steps to prevent major interference in the 2020 US Presidential election, by blocking ads that contain hacked political content.

Hackers Are Building an Army of Cheap Satellite Trackers
Wired
Even though the Defcon security conference has moved entirely online the year, the US Air Force is going forward with Hack-a-Sat, a months-long competition that culminates with hacking a real orbiting satellite starting on Friday. But another project at Defcon's Aerospace Village this week should have at least as much impact and a potentially much broader reach: an open source satellite communication tool made from about a hundred bucks worth of hardware.

Asia

Taiwan’s digital minister says personal data protection agency needed for digital ID
Taiwan News
Taiwan’s digital minister supports the idea of establishing a dedicated agency for personal data protection before the electronic identification cards (eID) are rolled out next year.

Thai minister threatens Facebook with legal action over restriction requests
Reuters
Thailand’s digital minister has threatened legal action against Facebook and accused the social media giant of not complying with government requests to restrict content deemed illegal, including perceived insults to the country’s monarchy.

UK

Home Office to scrap 'racist algorithm' for UK visa applicants
The Guardian
The “streaming algorithm”, which campaigners have described as racist, has been used since 2015 to process visa applications to the UK. It will be abandoned from Friday, according to a letter from Home Office solicitors seen by the Guardian.

Some British lawmakers push back on TikTok’s possible HQ move from California to London, sources say
South China Morning Post
Some British lawmakers are pushing back against a possible relocation of TikTok’s headquarters from California to London in response to threats by the US government to ban the video-sharing app, according to government sources familiar with the matter.

Europe

Internet search services: Europe's quest for online privacy
Deustche Welle
Europeans mostly use Google and Bing for web searches. This raises privacy concerns. Competing European web search services often use Google or Bing results — yet have found ways to protect users' privacy.

Americas

Military's COVID-19 influence campaign sparks investigation, development of new rules to govern information operations
Ottwawa Citizen
The Canadian Forces has been told to come up with rules governing its plans to influence the public after what military insiders describe as a propaganda campaign was able to proceed without proper authorization during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, a separate investigation has been launched to determine whether a team, assigned to a military intelligence unit, illegally collected information from the public’s social media accounts during the pandemic.

Opinion | Brazil’s Troll Army Moves Into the Streets
NYT
President Jair Bolsonaro and his allies have seeded online hatred against the institutions that defend democracy. Now the outrage is spilling beyond the internet.

Misc.

WhatsApp adds search feature to help users debunk viral messages
The Verge
WhatsApp is piloting a new feature that lets users quickly search the contents of viral messages to fact-check misinformation, the company has announced. Starting today, a magnifying glass icon will start appearing next to messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people.

Garmin reportedly paid multimillion-dollar ransom after suffering cyberattack
The Verge
Fitness brand Garmin paid millions of dollars in ransom after an attack took many of its products and services offline last month, Sky News reports. The payment was reportedly made through a ransomware negotiation company called Arete IR, in order for Garmin to recover data held hostage as a result of the attack.

Events

The Changing Nature of Cyber Threats
Perth USAsia Centre
Increasingly, the intersection of cyber and technology with geopolitics is shaping policymaking around the world, including how states deal with issues like cyber attacks, online disinformation, protecting critical national infrastructure to concerns over the ownership of social media companies and where they are hosting data.  Covid-19, China’s increasingly assertive global behaviour and deteriorating US-China relations are accelerating some of these trends and challenges, with states around the world forced to position themselves on all kinds of issues from 5G and high-risk vendors to IP theft and dual-use technologies and even video-sharing app TikTok. Will Covid-19 lead to a proliferation of surveillance and tracking technologies? Should we be planning for a bifurcation of the Internet, divided between the US and China? How should the Australian Government position itself in an environment where the security of supply chains and of emerging and critical technologies is more important than ever? On 10 August, the Perth USAsia Centre will host Danielle Cave from ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre for an in conversation with our Board member Professor Stephen Smith, former Australia Minister of Defence to talk about how this rapidly changing landscape is impacting everything from spycraft to government cyber strategies to the future of cyberspace.

Webinar Launch - 'Spy vs Spy: The New Age of Espionage'
ASPI and Foreign Policy
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Australian Foreign Affairs is delighted to invite you to a panel discussion on the new issue of Australian Foreign Affairs: Spy vs Spy: The New Age of Espionage. This issue of Australian Foreign Affairs explores the threat facing Australia as changes in technology enable malign actors to target individuals, officials, businesses and infrastructure – challenges that have only sharpened due to Covid-19. Speakers: Professor Anne-Marie Brady, Danielle Cave, Andrew Davies, Kim McGrath, Jonathan Pearlman and Penny Wong.

Jobs

Senior Expert
European Institute for Security Studies
The EUISS seeks to hire a non-resident Senior Expert who will contribute to the implementation of the project “Global mapping on cybersecurity capacity building and portal” funded by the European Commission, Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development. The selected candidate will report to the Brussels Executive Officer acting in his capacity of Project Coordinator. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, 21 August 2020, 14:00 CEST.