US to impose sweeping rule aimed at China technology threats | Inside the deadly phenomenon of web shutdowns | US removes stumbling block to global deal on digital tax
The Biden administration plans to allow a sweeping Trump-era rule aimed at combating Chinese technology threats to take effect next month, over objections from U.S. businesses, according to people familiar with the matter. The rule, initially proposed in November, enables the Commerce Department to ban technology-related business transactions that it determines pose a national security threat, part of an effort to secure U.S. supply chains. The Wall Street Journal
For authoritarian governments, the appeal of cutting off communications is evident. It upsets opposition groups trying to organize themselves on social media or messaging apps, gives the government a monopoly on information, and makes it extremely difficult for international media and foreign governments to expose atrocities. Most of all, it creates fear. The Telegraph
US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has told G20 finance ministers that Washington will drop a contentious part of its proposal for reform of global digital taxation rules that had been the main stumbling block to an agreement. The move could unlock long-stalled multilateral negotiations at the OECD, which struggled to make progress after the Trump administration first insisted on the “safe harbour” measure in late 2019. Financial Times
Inside Xinjiang’s Prison State
The New Yorker
In 2018, new detention camps sprang up across Xinjiang. According to satellite-photo analyses by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the square footage of suspected camps in Xinjiang more than doubled that of the year before.
How Bill Gates became a favorite target of far-right conspiracy theorists
The misinformation evolved to include the microchip claim and other related conspiracy theories. "It's important to note that there's never just one version of a conspiracy theory — and that's part of their power and reach," Thomas and researcher Albert Zhang wrote in an analysis for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute last year. "Each individual can shape and reshape whatever version of the theory they choose to believe, incorporating some narrative elements and rejecting others."
Read our report ID2020, Bill Gates and the Mark of the Beast: how Covid-19 catalyses existing online conspiracy movements (#4) here
‘When the internet goes down the night raids start': Inside the deadly phenomenon of web shutdowns
@ Roland Oliphan @Thompson Chau @Samaan Lateef
For authoritarian governments, the appeal of shutting down communications is obvious. It disrupts opposition groups trying to organise on social media or messaging Apps, gives the government a monopoly on information, and makes it extremely difficult for international media and foreign governments to uncover atrocities. Above all, it induces fear.
Geopolitical supremacy will increasingly depend on computer chips
A Taiwanese semiconductor company lies at the heart of the power struggle between the US and China.
The Oversight Board Moment You Should’ve Been Waiting For: Facebook Responds to the First Set of Decisions
Facebook said it committed to action as a result of nearly two-thirds of the FOB’s recommendations. This is too rosy a picture, but the responses do show promise and the value of a more open dialogue about content moderation.
Digital disruption looms for Australian industry, analysts warn
Australian Financial Review
Industries at the centre of Australia’s pandemic response are at biggest risk of a digital upset, warns a report commissioned by Google.
The Digital Platforms Code: A Pyrrhic Victory
The Digital Platforms Bargaining Code has now become law in its amended form. It has been trumpeted as a magnificent success by the government, news organisations, the ACCC, and many commentators. The morality play has concluded, and the forces of good have triumphed over the forces of evil and we are all, apparently, now living happily ever after.
ByteDance names head of China news unit as global TikTok R&D chief: sources
Beijing-based ByteDance plans to move the chief of its Chinese news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, Zhu Wenjia, to Singapore to head global research and development for its hit short video app TikTok, two people familiar with the matter said.
Chinese woman spent six months behind bars for Covid-19 post
South China Morning Post
A Chinese woman was sentenced to six months in prison last year for posting on social media what the authorities deemed to be misleading information about the Covid-19 outbreak.
China Punishes Those Who Question ‘Martyrs.’ A Sleuth Keeps Track.
The New York Times
An online spreadsheet with an anonymous minder tabulates Xi Jinping’s crackdown on speech.
China to create 'IT aircraft carrier' through tech megamerger
China Electronics Technology Group looks to absorb a fellow state-owned enterprise and create what would be the country’s third-largest information technology company, with annual revenue topping USD 50 billion. The target is China Putian Information Industry Group, better known as Potevio. Both China Electronics (CETC) and Potevio are among China’s so-called central companies — a set of fewer than 100 enterprises directly controlled by the central government — and suppliers to the military.
Read more about CETC in our Mapping China’s Technology Giants project here
Exclusive: China's Huawei, reeling from U.S. sanctions, plans foray into EVs - sources
China's Huawei plans to make electric vehicles under its own brand and could launch some models this year, four sources said, as the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker, battered by U.S. sanctions, explores a strategic shift.
China hoards used chipmaking machines to resist US pressure
Chinese semiconductor makers are snapping up used chipmaking machines as they rush to produce homegrown products amid U.S.-Sino trade tensions, driving up equipment prices in Japan's secondary market.
China’s truthtellers: The people who shared details of the Covid-19 pandemic that Beijing left out
China created a story of the pandemic. These people revealed details Beijing left out.. China’s internet ecosystem is heavily controlled by the government -- but users are always trying to find new ways to evade detection from the censors. Here’s how it works.
U.S. to Impose Sweeping Rule Aimed at China Technology Threats
The Wall Street Journal
The Biden administration plans to allow a sweeping Trump-era rule aimed at combating Chinese technology threats to take effect next month, over objections from U.S. businesses, according to people familiar with the matter. The rule, initially proposed in November, enables the Commerce Department to ban technology-related business transactions that it determines pose a national security threat, part of an effort to secure U.S. supply chains.
US removes stumbling block to global deal on digital tax
US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has told G20 finance ministers that Washington will drop a contentious part of its proposal for reform of global digital taxation rules that had been the main stumbling block to an agreement. The move could unlock long-stalled multilateral negotiations at the OECD, which struggled to make progress after the Trump administration first insisted on the “safe harbour” measure in late 2019.
Lawmakers line up behind potential cyber breach notification legislation
House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed strong support Friday for legislation to put in place national breach notification requirements in the wake of a massive foreign cyber espionage attack.
Huawei calls for talks with Biden administration on trade ban
Supply chain access is Chinese tech titan's 'priority,' says US-based vice president.
ICE investigators used a private utility database covering millions to pursue immigration violations
The Washington Post
ICE’s use of the vast database offers another example of how government agencies have targeted commercial sources to access information they are not authorized to compile on their own. One researcher called it “a massive betrayal of people’s trust": “When you sign up for electricity, you don’t expect them to send immigration agents to your front door.”
How One State Managed to Actually Write Rules on Facial Recognition
The New York Times
Massachusetts is one of the first states to put legislative guardrails around the use of facial recognition technology in criminal investigations.
Former SolarWinds CEO blames intern for 'solarwinds123' password leak
@b_fung @Geneva Sands
Current and former top executives at SolarWinds are blaming a company intern for a critical lapse in password security that apparently went undiagnosed for years.
Making Chips Requires Lots of Water and, Gulp, Taiwan Has a Drought
Turns out, semiconductor manufacturing doesn’t just require multi-billion dollar factories and a lot of smarts, it also takes water. Gallons and gallons of it for every single chip. Better hope there’s no drought.
India Targets Climate Activists With the Help of Big Tech
Tech giants like Google and Facebook appear to be aiding and abetting a vicious government campaign against Indian climate activists.
NHS facing legal challenge over data deal with controversial Silicon Valley firm Palantir
The NHS is facing a legal challenge over its data deal with controversial Silicon Valley firm Palantir, Sky News can reveal.
Does Canada allow spyware exports to repressive military regimes? Ottawa won't say
In late 2019, two high-ranking Bangladeshi security officials sought approval from their government for a trip to Canada. One was from the Bangladeshi public security division.
We have a chance to build a consensus on AI rules and norms
GCHQ director argues data give a strategic and economic advantage but can be used for ill as well.
To Quash Disinfo, Researchers Must Work With Journalists
Exposing and fighting the problem requires drawing from reporters’ resources and reach.
This chart shows the connections between cybercrime groups
Cybersecurity reports often talk about threat actors and their malware/hacking operations as self-standing events, but, in reality, the cybercrime ecosystem is much smaller and far more interconnected than the layperson might realize.
For more, read ASPI's report Cybercrime in Southeast Asia here
Michael Tubbs on disinformation, racism, and news deserts
Columbia Journalism Review
During his time in office, Tubbs set out to confront Stockton’s poverty rate—23 percent—and alarmingly low levels of literacy, implementing progressive policies such as a universal basic income. By 2020, he was the focus of an HBO documentary, Stockton on My Mind, that highlighted his status as a rising star in the Democratic Party.
How Bitcoin's vast energy use could burst its bubble
President Biden's top economic adviser described Bitcoin as "an extremely inefficient way to conduct transactions," saying "the amount of energy consumed in processing those transactions is staggering".
Exxon Holds Back on Technology That Could Slow Climate Change
Carbon capture can make money for oil giants, and scientists say we need it. Is the industry willing to invest enough?
This Teen Hacker Found Bugs in School Software That Exposed Millions of Records
Some kids play in a band after school. Bill Demirkapi hacked two education software giants.
Clubhouse Is Recording Your Conversations. That's Not Even Its Worst Privacy Problem
The popular new social media platform is scooping up more data than you might think.
How global tech executives view U.S.-China tech competition
Most respondents in our poll expect both the U.S. and Chinese governments to push policies that encourage greater decoupling, causing the global technology industry to increasingly bifurcate into two spheres. They predict China will continue its traditional industrial policy model of subsidizing national champions in the technology industry and tilting procurement rules to the advantage of local companies.