Twitter has blocked a controversial New York Post article on Joe Biden’s son over hacked data I Amazon to escape UK digital services tax I Norway blames Russia for cyber-attack on parliament
Twitter has blocked a controversial New York Post article on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, from being shown or shared—the first time the social media company has proactively blocked an article from a major mainstream news organization. Facebook’s policy communications director Andy Stone also tweeted that Facebook would reduce the article’s visibility while it is fact-checked by outside fact-checkers. The Daily Beast
Amazon will not have to pay the UK’s new digital services tax on products it sells directly to consumers but small traders who sell products on its site will face increased charges. The tax, which aims to get tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook to pay more tax in the UK, is forecast to eventually bring in about £500m annually to the exchequer. The Guardian
Norway has blamed Russia for a cyber-attack on the email system in the Norwegian parliament in August. Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide called it a serious incident affecting the country's "most important democratic institution." BBC News
Socialist modern' Shenzhen to rival Hong Kong, lead recovery
The Sydney Morning Herald
A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute released on Wednesday said the currency had the potential to create the world’s largest centralised repository of financial transactions data. "Over time, it is not far-fetched to speculate that the Chinese party-state will incentivise or even mandate that foreigners also use DC/EP for certain categories of cross-border transactions as a condition of accessing the Chinese marketplace," it said.
Read ASPI’s report ‘The flipside of China’s central bank digital currency’ here.
TikTok has censored LGBT + themed videos in some countries
“Two days before the publication of the study we asked TikTok about the results of our research,” said Daria Impiombato, a researcher at ASPI after several years in China and co-author of the study. And she explains: “They replied that in some cases it was an error and in others, as for some words associated with LGBT + themes, the keywords were obscured because they were used to convey porn content. In Russia, however, some content has been blocked to comply with local laws. TikTok has blocked a lot of uncomfortable content for the Chinese Party but people like to do online activism and talk about political issues, especially in the West."
Read ASPI’s report ‘TikTok and WeChat’ here.
Xi Plays a Long Game on Tech as U.S. Squabbles
Xi Jinping is sticking to the plan. After four years of parrying with President Donald Trump, the Chinese leader shows no intention of scaling back his ambitions to supplant the U.S. as the dominant tech power. In a speech today in southern China, Xi rallied officials and executives to seize the “technological and industrial innovation high ground.” He expressed confidence that China, with its 1.4 billion consumers, could attract all the foreign investment and technology it needs close the gap.
China Cyber-Insecurity: What Can You Do?
China Law Blog
In response to my recent webinar on Chinese cyber-insecurity, viewers and readers have asked a reasonable question: what can we do to deal with the cyber-insecurity situation in China? How can we operate in China and still protect our critical data? Any form of data you transmit across the Chinese border is available for inspection and use by the Communist Party and its agents. The title of my webinar (No Place to Hide) is not hyperbole. Once within the borders of China, there truly is no place to hide.
Twitter Blocks Users From Sharing NY Post Article on Hunter Biden
The Daily Beast
Twitter has blocked a controversial New York Post article on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, from being shown or shared—the first time the social media company has proactively blocked an article from a major mainstream news organization. Facebook’s policy communications director Andy Stone also tweeted that Facebook would reduce the article’s visibility while it is fact-checked by outside fact-checkers.
Alex Thompson @AlxThompFacebook says it's reducing the distribution of the NYPost's Hunter Biden story. https://t.co/K7IqXrQmXw
Border Patrol Spent $2 Million On Google Maps For A Massive Surveillance Tool
For every person who enters America, a profile is drawn up and a determination made on their risk to national security. It’s the same for any cargo or packages. And it’s all done using a tool known as the Automated Targeting System (ATS). This decades-old technology helps border staff decide whether or not you or a shipment needs to be pulled aside for further inspection before being allowed into the country. Run by Customs and Border Protection, it’s been controversial since the mid-2000s, when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pivoted its use from just targeting cargo to tracking people.
Twitter suspends accounts for posing as Black Trump supporters
Twitter has suspended a network of accounts claiming to be owned by Black supporters of Donald Trump and his re-election campaign due to spam and platform manipulation, it said Tuesday. The company is investigating the activity and may suspend additional similar accounts if they are found to be violating its policies, a spokesperson said.
S'pore to work with UN to beef up cyber security
The Strait Times
Singapore will cooperate with the United Nations to draw up a checklist of the steps countries will need to take to implement a set of norms on cyber security and responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, in announcing it yesterday, underscored the importance of international cooperation in cyber security, with digital transformation fast-tracked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Amazon to escape UK digital services tax that will hit smaller traders
Amazon will not have to pay the UK’s new digital services tax on products it sells directly to consumers but small traders who sell products on its site will face increased charges. The tax, which aims to get tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook to pay more tax in the UK, is forecast to eventually bring in about £500m annually to the exchequer.
Norway blames Russia for cyber-attack on parliament
Norway has blamed Russia for a cyber-attack on the email system in the Norwegian parliament in August. Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide called it a serious incident affecting the country's "most important democratic institution."Moscow has rejected the claim, calling it a "serious and wilful provocation."
Crypto affair prompts tensions between Switzerland and Sweden
According to the SonntagsBlick, the Swiss and Swedish foreign ministers were both set to attend a function in October marking 100 years of diplomatic ties. This week, however, Stockholm cancelled the event. Citing “well-informed” sources, the newspaper claims this decision was taken in direct reprisal for the Swiss move to suspend the export licence of Crypto International AG, a Swedish-owned cybersecurity company based in Zug.
Get Facebook Data Fast When A Terrorist Strikes
When a terrorist strikes, getting information fast from a tech giant can make the difference between police catching the suspects, or another attack taking place. That’s the premise of a new game created by Europol, the European body responsible for connecting the continent’s myriad policing agencies and helping them investigate major crimes.
When Sovereignty Leads and Cyber Law Follows
The Network and Information Security Directive (NIS Directive) is one of the most important pieces of cyber legislation in the EU. Only four years after its entry into force, the European Commission is expected to table a revision of this cyber law by the end of the year. This is an excellent moment to consider this revision in the context of the red-hot debate over strategic autonomy and digital sovereignty in the EU. Doing so unearths some surprising ingredients that can be used in cooking up this revision and, as a bonus, produces a whiff of change for the EU Treaties.
Russian Digital Diplomacy
Hugh and Olga are joined this week by Oleg Shakirov, Senior Expert at the Center for Advanced Governance and Consultant at the Moscow-based PIR Center, for a discussion on how Russian foreign policy and diplomacy have evolved in the 21st century. Oleg describes Russia’s launch into the digital age over a decade ago, and the ways it has since harnessed these new platforms to project its desired self-image into the public sphere. By asserting its place in the virtual realms of real-time politics and competing narratives on disinformation, Russia has joined its Western counterparts in transforming the status quo of international relations.
Two years after Khashoggi’s slaying, no accountability for spyware firm or Saudi government
In this post, we look at what happened to Khashoggi, present a timeline of the human rights violations NSO Group has been implicated in — before and after Khashoggi’s murder — and detail efforts by civil society organizations and governments worldwide to hold those responsible accountable for what they did. We also reprise and renew our call for international organizations, governments, and the international community as a whole to investigate NSO Group and other companies (like Sandvine) that make money from tools that facilitate grave — and in many cases, democracy-destabilizing — human rights violations.
How Malawi established a biometric national ID system at breakneck speed
Just three years ago, Malawi was without a national registry or ID system and had little in the way of skills to establish such infrastructure. The UNDP led a multi-agency project to train personnel, foster trust and undertake a mass registration. The chief technical advisor for the scheme was Tariq Malik, former chairman of NADRA, Pakistan’s identity agency, who has outlined for the Center for Global Development the journey the team took to successfully establish a national biometric registry in just a couple of years for just $52 million, forming a model for other countries to follow.
Can Tinder be sued for breach of care?
Triple J Hack
Our ongoing investigation has revealed that Tinder exposes its users to assault, fails to act on complaints, and allows sexual predators to cover their tracks. We've also heard it's charging some users more for the service based on their personal data, but not telling them this is the case.
Read ASPI’s Report ‘Weaponised deep fakes - National security and democracy’ here.
TrickBot botnet survives takedown attempt, but Microsoft sets a new legal precedent
The TrickBot botnet has survived a takedown attempt orchestrated by a coalition of tech companies on Monday. TrickBot command and control (C&C) servers and domains seized yesterday have been replaced with new infrastructure earlier today, multiple sources in the infosec community have told ZDNet.
A network of teen fact-checkers is tackling online misinformation ahead of the election - here's what they want you to know about spotting falsified facts
From the 2020 election to the surging pandemic and nationwide protests, a perfect storm of conditions has caused misinformation to thrive online across social media platforms, at times leading to deadly consequences. But, an army of teens is rising to combat misinformation. Trained through Poynter’s MediaWise Teen Fact-Checking Network, they have learned how to discern fact from fiction online.
Thank You For Your Transparency Report, Here’s Everything That’s Missing
Electronic Frontier Foundation
As the public has become increasingly aware and critical of the paramount role private companies play in defining the freedom of expression of millions of users online, social media companies have been facing increased pressure to stand accountable for their content moderation practices. In response to such demands, and partially to fulfil legal requirements stipulated by regulations like Germany’s NetzDG, Facebook and other social media companies publish detailed ‘transparency reports’ meant to give some insight into their moderation practices.
Apple iPhone 12: The chip advance set to make smartphones smarter
When Apple unveils its new iPhones, expect it to make a big deal of the fact they're the first handsets in the world to be powered by a new type of chip. This, we'll likely be told, will let owners do things like edit 4K video, enhance high-resolution photos and play graphically-intensive video games more smoothly than was possible before while using less battery power.
Access Now resigns from the Partnership on AI
Access Now announces its official resignation from the Partnership on AI (PAI).
Online safety in the Pacific: Report Launch
Join Chief Executives from Plan International Australia and ChildFund Australia in discussion with expert Professor Amanda Third, Western Sydney University to launch the Online Safety in the Pacific Report. Hear more about children and young people’s online experiences based on research conducted through Living Labs in Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Our panel will discuss emerging regional challenges, and the programmatic solutions we have developed to keep children and young people safe online.
ASPI Webinar: Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy In-Focus
Speakers: Abigail Bradshaw, Marc Ablong and Fergus Hanson
The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of the online world; it is now critically important in managing this pandemic. Yet at the same time, the risks and threats are increasing—in June the Prime Minister warned us that Australia was being targeted by a sophisticated state actor. In this webinar, hear from Abigail Bradshaw CSC, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, and Marc Ablong PSM, head of National Resilience and Cyber Security group at Home Affairs, in a discussion moderated by Fergus Hanson, Director of ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre, about Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 and how it will be operationalised.
Date & Time: 22 October 2020, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm (AEST)
Networking: Women speak cyber (brought to you by Palo Alto Networks)
Join this networking event to meet the power women diversifying the Australian cyber security sector. Drop-in for short 1:1 networking sessions, facilitated through the ‘Hopin’ platform, with a range of ‘cyber power women’.
During this event you’ll be able to:
Get first-hand information on how to become a ‘cyber woman’ – hear about their experiences and share yours
Learn about the programs and policies that support these women
Ask questions about career pathways
Find out more here.
How Journalists Become an Unwitting Cog in the Influence Machine
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Following the shock that Peace Data was actually part of a Russian influence operation, some of the affected journalists spoke about their experiences and why they had agreed to work with the organization. Some were happy to be publicly named, while others wanted anonymity to avoid possible career repercussions.
Modern democracy: Data, surveillance creep and more authoritarian regimes?
Observer Research Foundation
There continues to be speculation and worry about what will happen next and about when the pandemic will end and what the world will look like after. Nothing right now can be certain but the rise in surveillance has been a clear consequence.
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.
The Technology Coalition, Inc.
The Technology Coalition, Inc. (TC) is an industry 501(c)(6) trade association whose mission is to eradicate online child sexual exploitation.
The TC seeks an experienced Executive Director who will be responsible for all aspects of substantive and operational work including but not limited to:
Executing the strategic pillars of Project Protect, including delivering programs
Overseeing the corporate governance of the organization
Liasing with the Board of Directors, general membership, and other external stakeholders
Finalizing a multi-tiered membership structure for the sustainability of the organization
Facilitating collaboration amongst member companies
Recruiting and mentoring new staff and new member companies
Coordinating multi stakeholder input
Managing internal and external communications of the organization and the organization’s strategic partnerships with external stakeholders
Hiring staff and overseeing administrative/financial operations
The ideal candidate will be expert at organizational management, have a background in online safety issues and a clear understanding of how child sexual exploitation and abuse impacts digital platforms.
To apply, email a resume and cover letter outlining your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.