US and the EU discuss chip shortages, AI and tech competition | Suspected Chinese-state sponsored hackers infiltrate Afghan telecom | Watershed moment for AI technology says former Google CEO
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The United States and the European Union hope to discuss chip shortages, artificial intelligence (AI) and tech competition issues during the first Trade and Tech Council (TTC) meeting this week, senior U.S. administration officials said on Monday. Reuters
Four distinct infiltrations by suspected Chinese-state sponsored threat actors stole gigabytes of data from the corporate mail server of major Afghan telecom provider Roshan within the past year, with data exfiltration by some spiking during the Taliban’s recapture of the country, according to new research from Recorded Future’s Insikt Group. The Record by Recorded Future
AI is not an unmitigated good: It can be prone to the same racial biases as humans are, and, as is the case with self-driving cars, it can be forced to make murky split-second decisions that determine who lives and who dies. Like it or not, AI is only going to become an even more omnipresent force: We’re in a “watershed moment” for the technology, says Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO. The Atlantic
Despite mandatory deadline, 7 per cent of NSW healthcare workers remain unvaccinated
Earlier this year, digital advocacy body Reset Australia found a 280 per cent increase in anti-vax group membership on Facebook. Cyber analyst Ariel Bogle — who works at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Cyber Centre — said such groups capitalised on healthcare workers to bolster their message. "Healthcare workers really occupy a position of trust and credibility in our society," Ms Bogle said. "Even a vocal minority of those [healthcare] voices is extremely useful to the anti-vaccine movement. "It helps create the perception that there is a debate among healthcare workers — between doctors, nurses — about the safety of vaccines when, in fact, there is no such real debate."
Misinformation Is About to Get So Much Worse
AI is not an unmitigated good: It can be prone to the same racial biases as humans are, and, as is the case with self-driving cars, it can be forced to make murky split-second decisions that determine who lives and who dies. Like it or not, AI is only going to become an even more omnipresent force: We’re in a “watershed moment” for the technology, says Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO.
Far-right cryptocurrency follows ideology across borders
Anglin is just one very public example of how radical right provocateurs are raising significant amounts of money from around the world through cryptocurrencies. Banned by traditional financial institutions, they have taken refuge in digital currencies, which they are using in ever more secretive ways to avoid the oversight of banks, regulators and courts, finds an AP analysis of legal documents, Telegram channels and blockchain data from Chainalysis, a cryptocurrency analytics firm.
Read ASPI ICPC's report 'Buying and selling extremism'
Australia must adopt unorthodox options to disrupt China’s grey-zone threats
@ashleytownshend Tom Lonergan
Grey-zone activities are the use of asymmetric tactics – such as political warfare, maritime coercion and economic pressure – to achieve strategic goals without the overt use of military force. Canberra’s proposed solution is the right one: to “shape” the strategic environment, “deter” actions against Australian interests and “respond” with credible military force if required. But not enough emphasis is being placed on shaping – which is how Australia and its like-minded partners must resist Beijing’s grey-zone campaign and aggressive push to replace the Indo-Pacific’s rules-based order with a Chinese sphere of influence.
Five Eyes call laid Wuhan intelligence trap for Beijing
The Five Eyes foreign ministers deliberately discussed highly classified intelligence about their investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic on an unsecured line in a bid to gauge the reaction of Chinese authorities intercepting the call.
More than 130,000 malicious IP addresses were blocked during Census 2021: AWS
More than 130,000 malicious IP addresses were blocked to ensure no breaches or interruptions were experienced during what was deemed a successful Census 2021, according to Amazon Web Services.
Uni of Adelaide scientists partner with industry to develop cyber deception technologies
Leading scientists from the University of Adelaide have partnered with key industry partners to develop new cyber deception technology as part of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund.
China’s hostage diplomacy and the depths of Huawei’s state links
The Washington Post
The 1,000-plus day standoff was a glaring reminder of Beijing’s willingness to engage in hostage diplomacy and circumvent its judicial process for political reasons. For some patriotic Chinese, it demonstrated the strength of the party; for some global businesses and organizations, it showed the vulnerability of their employees in China. Perhaps the most important lesson, however, is about Huawei itself. The saga further proves just how close Huawei is to Beijing — and, as a corollary, how right the Trump and Biden administrations have been on their suspicions of deep ties between the party and Huawei.
China’s Tech Tycoons Pledge Allegiance to Xi’s Vision
China’s embattled tech tycoons lined-up to pledge their support for President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” policy and market-roiling regulatory onslaught on the digital sector, at the country’s annual internet conference.
China Power Outages Pose New Threat to Supplies of Chips and Other Goods
The Wall Street Journal
@yifanxie Yang Jie @stephanieayang
Government efforts to curb energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions, along with surging coal prices, are leading to power outages across many of China’s manufacturing hubs, threatening to further disrupt strained global supply chains for semiconductors and other vital goods..In one of the most affected areas, Kunshan, a city in China’s eastern Jiangsu province near Shanghai, more than 10 Taiwan-based semiconductor-related companies filed announcements with the Taiwan Stock Exchange this week saying they are temporarily closing local facilities until the end of September. Several Apple suppliers are affected, such as mechanical-parts maker Eson Precision Engineering Co. and Unimicron Technology Corp., a printed-circuit-board maker.
“Mini-programs” took over Chinese platforms. Now they’re being used to contact trace — and undermine user privacy.
Rest of World
The programs track where you travel, shop, and even eat dumplings.
Competition, chips, AI on table at first U.S.-EU trade and tech meet
Nandita Bos @davelawder
The United States and the European Union hope to discuss chip shortages, artificial intelligence (AI) and tech competition issues during the first Trade and Tech Council (TTC) meeting this week, senior U.S. administration officials said on Monday.
US to press for semiconductor relief at EU tech meeting
US President Joe Biden will use this week’s inaugural technology ministerial with the European Union to push for solutions to the nagging semiconductor supply issue that has hit the American economy, officials said Monday.
NSA, CISA Release Guidance on Selecting and Hardening Remote Access VPNs
The National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a joint Cybersecurity Information Sheet today detailing factors to consider when choosing a virtual private network (VPN) and top configurations for deploying it securely.
Industry wants to rein in new hack reporting mandates
The Washington Post
The tech industry association ITI laid out a softer vision yesterday of how companies should have to report cyberattacks to the federal government. Its goal: to rein in a bipartisan congressional effort to require companies to alert the government when they’re hacked, which would amount to one of the most significant increases in cybersecurity requirements for industry in years.
U.S. deports convicted Russian hacker to Russia
Anton Kolodyazhnyy, Alexander Marrow, Tom Balmforth
A Russian hacker, sentenced in June 2020 to nine years in a U.S. jail for cyber crimes, was detained at a Moscow airport on Tuesday after being deported by the United States, the TASS news agency quoted Russia’s Interior Ministry as saying.
US arrests 33 BEC scammers linked to Nigerian crime syndicate
The Record by Recorded Future
The FBI has arrested 33 individuals across Texas for a series of cybercrime-related activities, including BEC and romance scams.
Leaked Documents Show How Amazon's Astro Robot Tracks Everything You Do
Amazon's new robot called Astro is designed to track the behavior of everyone in your home to help it perform its surveillance and helper duties, according to leaked internal development documents and video recordings of Astro software development meetings obtained by Motherboard.
Amazon is now accepting your applications for its home surveillance drone
The Always Home Cam is a Ring camera attached to a drone that can fly predetermined paths in your home when triggered via a Ring Alarm sensor or from the Ring app... Designed to solve the problem of wanting to be able to see inside your home when you’re not there but not wanting to have dozens of cameras watching you when you are, the Always Home Cam only records when it’s in flight.
Facebook Grew Marketplace to 1 Billion Users. Now Scammers Are Using It to Target People Around the World.
@acinvestigates @CraigSilverman @peterelkind
Facebook says it protects users through a mix of automated systems and human reviews. But a ProPublica investigation based on internal corporate documents, interviews and law enforcement records reveals how those safeguards fail to protect buyers and sellers from scam listings, fake accounts and violent crime..As a backstop to its automated systems, Facebook Marketplace relies upon roughly 400 workers employed by consulting firm Accenture to respond to user complaints and to review listings flagged by the software. Until recently, Facebook Marketplace allowed these low-paid contract workers to police its site by giving them largely unfettered access to Facebook Messenger inboxes, ProPublica has learned. This broad access resulted in workers spying on romantic partners and other privacy violations, according to current and former Accenture employees.
Facebook’s Effort to Attract Preteens Goes Beyond Instagram Kids, Documents Show
The Wall Street Journal
Internal Facebook documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show the company formed a team to study preteens, set a three-year goal to create more products for them and commissioned strategy papers about the long-term business opportunities presented by these potential users. In one presentation, it contemplated whether there might be a way to engage children during play dates.
Microsoft CEO says failed TikTok deal 'strangest thing I've worked on'
Microsoft Corp's near-acquisition of social media app TikTok last year was the "strangest thing I've ever worked on," Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said on Monday. "TikTok was caught in between a lot of things happening across two capitals," Nadella continued.
YouTube CEO Says Platform Is ‘Valuable’ for Teens’ Mental Health
YouTube Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki said Google’s video platform is beneficial to adolescents’ mental health, amid growing concern that rival Instagram may be “toxic” for teenage girls.
Clearview AI drops subpoenas of its critics
Facial recognition company Clearview AI is dropping the subpoenas it served recently to some of the groups that first exposed its work with law enforcement — legal demands that sought the organizations’ correspondence with journalists and other records.
Customs and Border Protection to Use Encrypted App Wickr Widely
New procurement records show that CBP is using Wickr across "all components" of the agency.
Network of Right-Wing Health Care Providers Is Making Millions Off Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, Hacked Data Reveals
The data also reveals that 72,000 people paid at least $6.7 million for Covid-19 consultations promoted by America’s Frontline Doctors and vaccine conspiracist Simone Gold.
South & Central Asia
India Accelerates Talks With Taiwan on Chip Plant, Trade Deal
@shruti838 Miaojung Lin
India and Taiwan are in talks on an agreement that could bring chip manufacturing to South Asia along with tariff reductions on components for producing semiconductors by the end of the year, people familiar with the matter said, a move that may spark fresh tensions with China. Officials in New Delhi and Taipei have met in recent weeks to discuss a deal that would bring a chip plant worth an estimated $7.5 billion to India to supply everything from 5G devices to electric cars, the people said. India is currently studying possible locations with adequate land, water and manpower, while saying it would provide financial support of 50% of capital expenditure from 2023 as well as tax breaks and other incentives, the people said.
How Digital Cash Can Lift Gross National Happiness
The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, landlocked between China and India, shot to global fame in the 1970s with ‘gross national happiness’: a broad measure of overall welfare it prefers over the more traditional metric of gross domestic product, which only includes production of goods and services, even those that ultimately leave us miserable... And now Bhutan wants a digital currency. Will a new payment instrument make the 800,000-strong, mostly Buddhist society happier than it already is? My answer: It might.
EU envoys create 11th-hour hitch for transatlantic tech alliance
Europe’s attempt to hold talks with the U.S. on Wednesday in Pittsburgh to discuss aligning tech standards ran into an unexpected last-minute hitch today after ambassadors from France and other countries raised objections to the latest statement on the meeting’s goals.
Surveillance is at the heart of the EU’s migration control agenda
The EU’s new model of refugee camps makes liberal use of new technologies and modern methods of surveillance.
Gazprom-Media is ready to replace TikTok. Yappy app for short vertical videos coming out at the end of the year
According to Kommersant, Gazprom-Media has completed the Yappy application, which will replace TikTok with imports.
YouTube influencers are now launching their own cell phone services in Mexico
Rest of World
Upstart mobile operators are beating the old guard thanks to social media, bad news for the likes of Richard Branson.
Suspected Chinese state-linked threat actors infiltrated major Afghan telecom provider
The Record by Recorded Media
Four distinct infiltrations by suspected Chinese-state sponsored threat actors stole gigabytes of data from the corporate mail server of major Afghan telecom provider Roshan within the past year, with data exfiltration by some spiking during the Taliban’s recapture of the country, according to new research from Recorded Future’s Insikt Group.
Afghanistan: Social media users delete profiles over fear of attack
Last week, Taliban Defence Minister Mohammad Yaqoob issued an audio message acknowledging that there had been some reports of "revenge killings" of civilians by the group's fighters. He did not provide further details or mention specific incidents. The news sparked fears of possible repercussions from social media posts, and Facebook introduced additional features for users in Afghanistan - including allowing them to lock their profiles and deny access to content.
The Largest Autocracy on Earth
Facebook is acting like a hostile foreign power; it’s time we treated it that way.
This hamster's cryptocurrency portfolio is beating the market
Since June, a hamster named Mr. Goxx has been running an independent portfolio that trades cryptocurrency from a high-tech cage called the Goxx Box.
Disinformation superspreaders: the weaponisation of COVID-19 fake news in the Persian Gulf and beyond
This article analyses a number of MENA-based COVID-19 disinformation campaigns from 2020, highlighting how COVID-19 disinformation has been instrumentalised by regional actors to attack rivals or bolster the legitimacy of their own regimes. It highlights in particular how certain ‘superspreaders’ of disinformation tend to promote Saudi, Emirate and right wing US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Pandemic Privacy: A Preliminary Analysis of Collection Technologies, Data Collection Laws, and Legislative Reform during COVID-19
The Citizen Lab
@wbaballard @AmandaCutinha @caparsons
The Citizen Lab undertake a preliminary comparative analysis of how different information technologies were mobilized in response to COVID-19 to collect data, the extent to which Canadian health or privacy or emergencies laws impeded the response to COVID-19, and ultimately, the potential consequences of reforming data protection or privacy laws to enable more expansive data collection, use, or disclosure of personal information in future health emergencies.
The DOD’s Hidden Artificial Intelligence Workforce
@dianagcarew Ron Hodge @Luke_Koso
This policy brief, authored in collaboration with the MITRE Corporation, provides a new perspective on the U.S. Department of Defense’s struggle to recruit and retain artificial intelligence talent.
System Rivalry: How Democracies Must Compete with Digital Authoritarians
Artificial intelligence (AI) may still hold the potential to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems and help fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but when it comes to risks to privacy and civil liberties, AI already has been a game changer in favor of authoritarian states.
Ransomware: Impacts and Insights
Join the Cyber Project as we explore the grave impacts of ransomware on our national (and international) security. We will explore recent lessons from attacks on the healthcare and financial industries, discuss recommendations from the Ransomware Task Force, and ask what role the US government should take to combat the threat, especially through the Department of Defense.
Exploring the Applications of Facial Recognition Technology
CSIS invites you to a discussion on the applications of facial recognition technology featuring Diane Sabatino, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Jake Parker, Senior Director of Government Relations at the Security Industry Association. The event will begin with opening remarks from John Boyd, Assistant Director for the Office of Biometric Identity Management at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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.