WeChat Ban Blocked by Federal Judge in Ruling Against Trump Administration I Trump Signs Off on TikTok Deal With Oracle I Hackers Leak Personal Data Of 1,000 Belarusian Police
A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s executive order curbing Americans’ use of WeChat , upholding a motion from users of the popular Chinese-owned messaging and e-commerce app. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler entered an order Sunday for a preliminary injunction blocking the federal ban on U.S. downloads and other functions from going into force as scheduled for 11:59 p.m. Sunday. The Wall Street Journal
President Trump said he has agreed in concept to a deal under which Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok will partner with Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. to become a U.S.-based company, capping negotiations that have stirred debate over national security and the future of the internet. The Wall Street Journal
Hackers leaked the personal data of 1,000 members of the Belarusian police force in retaliation for a crackdown on street demonstrations against strongman President Alyaksandr Lukashenka ahead of another mass rally scheduled on September 20. Radio Free Europe
Why Japan wants to join the Five Eyes intelligence network
Being welcomed into the inner sanctum boils down to a question of trust between partners. This extends to the reliability of the technology each member state uses; the strength of each member's legal protections of state secrets; and whether all members are willing to not spy on each other. So, what does Japan have to offer? Two words: technology, and China. Japan has a long history of technological innovation, and its technological offering would form a main argument for gaining entry.
If you're not on the Zhenhua database don't be offended
Australian Financial Review
The bigger prize for intelligence agencies and defence departments around the world is not so much who China is targeting but what. Technology is a good place to start. Beijing's ambitions to challenge the US by closing long-held technology gaps is well known, so it's no surprise key players in emerging areas such as renewable energy, big data, artificial intelligence, defence and the space sector are on the list.
Major banks form 'Clean Pipes' consortium to block cyber criminals
Australian Financial Review
Amid a costly spike in cyber-criminal activity during the pandemic crisis, National Australia Bank is leading a new industry consortium - dubbed "Clean Pipes" - to share threat intelligence and work alongside internet service providers to scrub malicious software off networks as it exits the country.
Read Tom Uren’s report ‘Clean pipes: Should ISPs provide a more secure internet?’ here.
Chinese drones swarming Australian skies raises security concerns
The Sydney Morning Herald
One company, China’s Da-Jiang Innovations, more commonly known as DJI, controls 70 per cent of the world’s supply of drones. The market worldwide is forecast to expand by 380 per cent over the next four years. Experts in the US are warning that this growing market domination makes the drones vulnerable to hacking as the Chinese Communist Party escalates its controls over the private sector. Further, a consultation paper released this month by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack's transport and infrastructure department expressed concerns that there were deficiencies in Australia's current security system against "the malicious use of drones”.
Cyber spy agency dumps military historian from writing its official history
The Sydney Morning Herald
Australia's cyber spy agency has abruptly cancelled a contract with the Australian National University to write its official history despite a military historian working for more than a year on the project. The Australian Signals Directorate's shock decision to sever ties with Professor John Blaxland has raised concern among senior figures in the Morrison government who have been pushing for the agency to be more transparent.
I was berated for negative China coverage - and then officials invited me in for a 'cup of tea'
There is the kind of surveillance the Chinese government wants you to know about. When I was reporting on the mass detentions of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, for example, the ABC team was surrounded by about 20 security officials, followed by midnight knocks on our hotel room doors and questioning about our daily activities. But there is also the hidden cyber-surveillance and occasionally I saw it in action.
Former CSIRO worker avoids jail for using supercomputers to mine cryptocurrency
The Sydney Morning Herald
A former CSIRO employee has avoided jail after he was caught using government supercomputers to mine for cryptocurrency, depriving the country sensitive scientific projects of critical computer processing power.
Releasing Covidsafe app usage numbers could risk public safety, government claims
The federal government has refused to release information on the number of Australians still using the Covidsafe contact tracing app, on the grounds it could risk public safety and harm commonwealth-state relations.
How you can buy a credit card for $20 from dark web crims
Stolen Australian passport credentials are being sold for just over $1000 on the Dark Web and working credit cards are selling for as little as $20 in a trade cybersecurity experts warn is booming as criminals exploit the recent rise in online transactions.
WeChat Ban Blocked by Federal Judge in Ruling Against Trump Administration
The Wall Street Journal
A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s executive order curbing Americans’ use of WeChat , upholding a motion from users of the popular Chinese-owned messaging and e-commerce app. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler entered an order Sunday for a preliminary injunction blocking the federal ban on U.S. downloads and other functions from going into force as scheduled for 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
Trump to shut off TikTok, WeChat to new U.S. users on Sunday
@davidshepardson @DEER_ECHO_ @alexalper
The Trump administration will ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from U.S. app stores starting Sunday night, a move that will block Americans from downloading the Chinese-owned platforms over concerns they pose a national security threat.
Internet Society: U.S. Administration ban of TikTok and WeChat is a direct attack on the Internet
The U.S. Administration’s move to ban TikTok and WeChat for U.S. app stores is a direct attack on the Internet. It is an extreme measure that fundamentally undermines the foundation of the Internet. It’s especially a threat to the principles of openness and accessibility as well as its decentralized management. The Internet has no center. This type of top-down intervention is worrisome because - similar to efforts in China - it tries to impose a centralized management style that runs counter to how the Internet actually works.
Trump Signs Off on Deal Allowing TikTok to Continue U.S. Operations
The Wall Street Journal
@AndrewRestuccia @johndmckinnon @georgia_wells
President Trump said he has agreed in concept to a deal under which Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok will partner with Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. to become a U.S.-based company, capping negotiations that have stirred debate over national security and the future of the internet.
Lame-duck versions of TikTok and WeChat are definitely a problem, security experts say
Cybersecurity experts and privacy advocates said Friday that TikTok and WeChat users should probably stop using the applications in the coming days, given that the Trump administration’s new ban on them will effectively block users from downloading updates.
Trump Is Wrong About TikTok. China’s Plans Are Much More Sinister.
The New York Times
China’s move to establish physical footholds around the world is easy enough to recognize as evidence of a coherent game plan, in part because those perches are readily marked on a map and because other major powers positioned themselves in much the same way in the past. Not so with its soft-power ambitions, whose growth has been much less noticed - at least until President Trump started picking a fight with Beijing. And yet these are much more intrusive, and potentially far more dangerous.
Top Huawei executives had close ties to company at center of U.S. criminal case
An obscure Hong Kong-registered company stands at the center of the U.S. criminal case against China’s Huawei Technologies and its chief financial officer. U.S. authorities allege the giant telecom-gear maker used the firm to skirt American economic sanctions on Iran between 2007 and 2014. Huawei has said it sold the business in 2007 and denies any wrongdoing.
It's Impossible for You to Know Which Apps Sell Your Location Data to Trump
Last weekend, the New Yorker reported that the Trump campaign has spent $4 million buying voter information—including location data—from a data broker called Phunware. But it is hard, and perhaps impossible, for an ordinary user to know whether or not your physical movements and personal data are being tracked and sold to the Trump campaign (or other political campaigns), because of the opaque nature in which the data industry operates.
US technology embargo list gives China a blueprint for home-grown innovation over the next decade, top science official says
South China Morning Post
China’s top science and technology official says the central government is viewing Washington’s list of embargoed or controlled technologies to China as an outline for what to focus on over the next decade, reflecting Beijing’s strategy of enhancing domestic research to cut reliance on American technologies.
Most Americans who have heard of QAnon conspiracy theories say they are bad for the country and that Trump seems to support people who promote them
Pew Research Center
Americans’ awareness of a collection of conspiracy theories known as QAnon has roughly doubled since March to nearly half of U.S. adults.2 A solid majority of those who have heard about QAnon say it is a bad thing for the country and also say Donald Trump seems to support people who promote the theories. Those sentiments, however, are not shared equally across party or among those with differing sources for political news.
Papua New Guinea has been scraped for a vast, global data base held by a Chinese military contractor
Warnings that Pacific island states are particularly vulnerable to cyber surveillance just got very real. Politicians, judges and police officers from Papua New Guinea are among those whose personal information has been scraped for a vast, global data base held by a Chinese military contractor, a data base that was exposed this week. There's also information on several people from Bougainville, which is in the sensitive process of deciding on independence.
UK to 'reset' sat nav plans after scrapping work on £5bn Galileo rival
The Government has formally scrapped Theresa May’s plans for a British version of the GPS satellite navigation programme, leading to parts of Whitehall now pushing for the UK to rejoin the EU’s Galileo system. The UK Space Agency is expected to announce in the coming days that it has terminated the GNSS project, which Mrs May put £92m of taxpayer funds into in 2018.
Hackers Leak Personal Data Of 1,000 Belarusian Police Officers Involved In Protest Repression
Radio Free Europe
Hackers leaked the personal data of 1,000 members of the Belarusian police force in retaliation for a crackdown on street demonstrations against strongman President Alyaksandr Lukashenka ahead of another mass rally scheduled on September 20.
Joint statement on internet shutdowns in Belarus
Kingdom of the Netherlands
We, the signatories, are deeply troubled by and condemn the recently reported and ongoing use of partial and complete Internet shutdowns, as well as targeted content blocking, by the Government of Belarus in the aftermath of the fraudulent 2020 Belarusian presidential elections. Shutdowns and blocking or filtering of services unjustifiably limit the rights of peaceful assembly and freedoms of association and expression, especially when they lack procedural fairness and transparency.
Facebook tells Irish court that probe threatens its EU operations
Facebook has told Ireland’s High Court it cannot see how its services could operate in the European Union if regulators freeze its data transfer mechanism, the Sunday Business Post reported, citing court documents seen by the paper. The U.S. social media giant last week said that the Irish Data Protection Commission, its lead EU regulator, had made a preliminary decision that the mechanism it uses to transfer data from the EU to the United States “cannot in practice be used”.
EU seeks new powers to penalise tech giants
The EU wants to arm itself with new powers to take on big technology companies, including the ability to force them to break up or sell some of their European operations if their market dominance is deemed to threaten the interests of customers and smaller rivals.
Twitter is looking into why its photo preview appears to favor white faces over Black faces
Twitter it was looking into why the neural network it uses to generate photo previews apparently chooses to show white people’s faces more frequently than Black faces. Several Twitter users demonstrated the issue over the weekend, posting examples of posts that had a Black person’s face and a white person’s face. Twitter’s preview showed the white faces more often.
Why AI has disappointed on Covid
There are inherent limitations to AI today. Current systems learn by finding patterns in data. In general, the more data you feed in, the smarter the AI. GPT-3, an algorithm by San Francisco-based OpenAI, can write coherent paragraphs on any topic with only a few word prompts. It learnt to do this by analysing almost half a trillion words. Yet such data also restricts AI.
Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Coroneos talk geopolitics, the Internet and democracy: how does this all play out?
Peter Coroneos, who organised the 30th Anniversary of the Internet celebrations last year, is hosting a dialogue at 12pm AEST on Friday, September 25, between himself and The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, 29th Prime Minister of Australia.