Ukraine prepares potential move of sensitive data to another country | Huawei [UK] board members resign over silence on Ukraine | Weight Watchers app gathered data from children
The Ukrainian government is preparing for the potential need to move its data and servers abroad if Russia's invading forces push deeper into the country, a senior cybersecurity official told Reuters on Wednesday. Reuters
Two non-executive directors of Huawei UK have resigned over the company's stance on the conflict in Ukraine. The BBC understands Sir Andrew Cahn and Sir Ken Olisa felt the firm's failure to quickly condemn the Russian invasion had made their positions untenable. BBC
WW International, the weight-loss organization formerly known as Weight Watchers, used an app to illegally collect personal information from children without their parents’ permission, the Federal Trade Commission said. The New York Times
Policy, Guns and Money: International Women’s Day 2022
In this episode, ASPI’s Anastasia Kapetas, Daria Impiombato and Katja Theodorakis explore the nexus of climate change and gender, considering the official 2022 International Women’s Day theme, ‘Changing climates: equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’. They discuss the disproportionately gendered impacts of climate change, the agency of women in climate and security narratives, and the intersectional dimensions of the climate movement in different regions.
Amazon is reportedly using Chinese suppliers with ties to forced labor
Amazon is allegedly employing suppliers in China with links to forced labor, according to a report from the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), a research group owned by the nonprofit watchdog organization Campaign for Accountability (via NBC News). The report accuses Amazon of continuing to work with these suppliers, despite evidence of their association with Uyghur labor camps.
Amazon suppliers tied to forced labor in Xinjiang
Tech Transparency Project
Amazon’s public list of suppliers, which produce Amazon devices and goods for Amazon’s private brands, includes five companies that have been linked directly or indirectly to forced labor of ethnic minorities from China’s Xinjiang region, TTP found. Amazon last “comprehensively updated” its supplier list in June 2021, but details about the five suppliers’ links to forced labor were public before then.
Ukraine prepares potential move of sensitive data to another country
Raphael Satter and James Pearson
The Ukrainian government is preparing for the potential need to move its data and servers abroad if Russia's invading forces push deeper into the country, a senior cybersecurity official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Huawei board members resign over silence on Ukraine
Two non-executive directors of Huawei UK have resigned over the company's stance on the conflict in Ukraine. The BBC understands Sir Andrew Cahn and Sir Ken Olisa felt the firm's failure to quickly condemn the Russian invasion had made their positions untenable.
The secret US mission to bolster Ukraine’s cyber defences ahead of Russia’s invasion
Mehul Srivastava, Madhumita Murgia and Hannah Murphy
The US had been helping Ukraine bolster its cyber defences for years, ever since an infamous 2015 attack on its power grid left part of Kyiv without electricity for hours. But this surge of US personnel in October and November was different: it was in preparation of impending war. People familiar with the operation described an urgency in the hunt for hidden malware, the kind which Russia could have planted, then left dormant in preparation to launch a devastating cyber attack alongside a more conventional ground invasion.
TikTok struggles to find footing in wartime
The War Street Journal
As tensions between Russia and Ukraine rose, TikTok grappled internally with how to deal with its heightened role in geopolitics, people familiar with the matter said. Some of TikTok’s content moderators struggled to figure out whether to avoid recommending certain posts, remove them from the app or restrict the creators’ accounts. The content moderators have also been confused about how to deal with some clips flagged by the app’s content-filtering systems. Without detailed instructions in place for war-related content, junior-level managers were charged with refining the rules as they went along. The result was inconsistencies in treatment of similar content.
Amazon suspends access to Prime Video in Russia, halts shipments to the country
Amazon is suspending access to Prime Video for customers based in Russia amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine. In a blog post about the announcement, the company also noted that it has suspended the shipment of retail products to customers based in Russia and Belarus. Amazon will also no longer be accepting new Russia and Belarus-based AWS customers and Amazon third-party sellers.
Putin’s tactics will become ‘even more brutal’: intelligence adviser
Australian Financial Review
Geopolitics is “back with a vengeance” and business needs to factor the new order into their risk assessments, security and daily operations, according to Australia’s chief intelligence adviser. Declaring technology would be a primary battleground in the increasing competition between China and the US, the director general of the Office of National Intelligence, Andrew Shearer, warned business, government and academia would need to respond and closely partner to the rapidly changing strategic order and threats. Noting how energy supply was already playing a critical role in the Ukraine, Mr Shearer predicted critical technologies and infrastructure would be key to future global strategic competition. “In many ways technology is the centre of gravity in this new geopolitical contest, and we’re going to see increasing manoeuvring between the great powers.”
Beijing is re-writing the Ukraine narrative
The Chinese government is scrubbing the country’s media of sympathetic or accurate coverage of Ukraine and systematically amplifying pro-Putin talking points about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Why it matters: China’s wide use of its propaganda and censorship muscle helps insulate Beijing from a domestic backlash against its support for Putin— and leaves its citizens with an airbrushed, false version of events, similar to what’s seen in Putin’s state-controlled Russia.
Weight Watchers app gathered data from children, F.T.C. says
The New York Times
WW International, the weight-loss organization formerly known as Weight Watchers, used an app to illegally collect personal information from children without their parents’ permission, the Federal Trade Commission said. A complaint filed Friday by the Justice Department on behalf of the commission said that WW and its pediatric weight-loss app, Kurbo, violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, which requires apps and other online services geared toward children to get parental consent before collecting data from users under 13.
Cyber Command and NSA still working to meet measures necessary to split
U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency continue to work toward measures Congress set in place necessary to separate the two co-located organizations, though the official who leads them reiterated Tuesday the power of having a single person in charge.
Trump’s Truth Social fails to make a splash in MAGA-world
Meridith McGraw and Rebecca Kern
At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida speculation of a 2024 presidential bid by former President Donald Trump loomed large. Trump mentioned the app in passing only a few times on stage. People including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) name dropped Truth Social, but there was barely any buzz at the conference about the app.
Biden signs order on cryptocurrency as its use explodes
President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order on government oversight of cryptocurrency that urges the Federal Reserve to explore whether the central bank should jump in and create its own digital currency. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the effort would “promote a fairer, more inclusive, and more efficient financial system” while countering illicit finance and preventing risks to financial stability and national security.
African lessons in cyber strategy
Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola and Nate D.F. Allen
An estimated 6.2 million internet addresses were stolen from the African Network Information Centre, AFRINIC, the African non-profit responsible for managing the continent’s internet registry, in a still unfolding case. The addresses, valued at $150 million, represent 5 percent of all African IP4 addresses. The theft appears to have been facilitated by a former AFRINIC executive in collusion with a Hong Kong-based billionaire. Even after AFRINIC took back the addresses, the Hong Kong firm was able to threaten AFRINIC’s viability by suing and persuading authorities to freeze AFRINIC’s bank accounts.
China's state media buys Meta ads pushing Russia's line on war
Ads from Chinese state broadcaster CGTN are running on Meta-owned Facebook, targeting global users with pro-Russian talking points about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Meta said last week it would ban ads from Russian state media and stop recommending content from such outlets. But that hasn't stopped countries close to Moscow, like China, from using their state channels to buy ads pushing a pro-Russian line. In 2020, Meta said it would begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. But those outlets can still buy ads targeting users abroad.
AI is helping treat healthcare as if it’s a supply chain problem
MIT Technology Review
Will Douglas Heaven
Now global healthcare groups are adopting some of their techniques: a number of the world’s poorer countries have started to use AI-powered supply-chain management tools to help people get better access to testing and treatment. Healthcare organizations are using the software to help decide where to set up new clinics, how to allocate equipment and staff, and what spending to prioritize. And the same tools could soon end up helping to run health programs in the US, too.
Events and Podcasts
The Sydney Dialogue: Who Works? The Crisis of Automation in the Indo-Pacific Watch
The Sydney Dialogue
The world is undergoing the largest workforce transition since the industrial revolution, and the Indo-Pacific is at the epicentre of this shift. Post pandemic, public and private sector enterprises of all sizes are capitalising on improvements in productivity, efficiency, and profitability by accelerating the rate at which they are applying technology to automate and augment work with more machines doing the work once done by people. Watch on catch up now.
The Sydney Dialogue - Director
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is currently recruiting for a Director to lead the second iteration of ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue - the world’s premier summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
The Sydney Dialogue - Senior Events Coordinator
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is currently recruiting for an experienced events professional to coordinate the planning and logistics of the second iteration of ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue - the world’s premier summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
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.
Information Controls Fellowship
Open Technology Fund
The Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP) cultivates research, outputs, and creative collaboration on topics related to repressive Internet censorship and surveillance. The 2022 application window will be open from Jan 31, 2022 until March 13, 2022.
Research Analyst - Research on the Information Environment
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a unique global network of policy research centers, is seeking a research analyst to provide quantitative and qualitative analysis on themes related to disinformation and influence operations for a new project related to research on the information environment. This project is a joint venture with Princeton University, and the project will facilitate policy-relevant research on the information environment's impact on democratic deliberation, politics, and public health.
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