WhatsApp ties NSO Group’s hacking operations to America | FCC Signals Likely Revocation of Four Chinese Telecom Firms’ Licenses | Huawei employees sue company after police detention
WhatsApp’s most recent court filing in its lawsuit against cyber surveillance company NSO Group claims to connect IP addresses used by the firm to servers in the US, as part of an attempt to quash NSO Group’s claims that its operations don’t touch US soil. This was a key plank of NSO Group’s argument to dismiss the case that was filed earlier in April. NS Tech
The Federal Communications Commission ordered four Chinese state-owned telecommunications operators to explain why it shouldn’t withdraw permission for them to operate in the U.S., paving the way for likely license revocations. The Wall Street Journal
Two former Huawei employees are trying to file legal complaints against the company in a case that exposes the allegedly close relationship between the world’s biggest telecoms equipment company and the Chinese police. The Financial Times
NEW REPORT: Covid-19 attracts patriotic troll campaigns in support of China’s geopolitical interests
This new research highlights the growing significance and impact of Chinese non-state actors on western social media platforms. Across March and April 2020, this loosely coordinated pro-China trolling campaign on Twitter has:
Harassed and mimicked western media outlets
Impersonated Taiwanese users in an effort to undermine Taiwan’s position with the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Spread false information about the Covid-19 outbreak
Joined in pre-existing inauthentic social media campaigns.
China's information warfare extends far beyond coronavirus
Publication Launch - Weaponised deep fakes: national security and democracy
ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre warmly invites you to a webinar for the launch of ASPI's newest publication - Weaponised deep fakes: national security and democracy.
When: 12:00pm-1:00pm, Wednesday 29 April 2020
Where: Online, register via the link below
NHK World - Japan
"Digital Detectives" explores how Open Source Investigations have sparked a revolution in journalism. In their quest for the truth, experts around the globe use an extraordinary range of techniques to analyze social media, satellite images and seemingly innocuous websites. Major international media outlets and think tanks are in a race to secure the most talented people, who have shed light on some of the biggest stories of our times - including the downing of a civilian airplane in Iran, and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Podcast: Uyghurs for Sale
ASPI Policy, Guns & Money
In this episode of Policy, Guns and Money, Kelly Smith speaks to ICPC’s Vicky Xu, Kelsey Munro, and Nathan Ruser, authors of ASPI’s ‘Uyghurs for sale’ - the ground-breaking report which exposes the forced labour programs being inflicted on the Uyghur population of Xinjiang, China.
Read the report here.
Covid-19 and the crime–terror nexus in the cyber domain
Terrorist groups now tend to have in-house cyber expertise and can branch out into actual cyber terrorism. And, importantly, groups that don’t have the capabilities can gain access to these services through client–patron relationships with organised crime syndicates.
Podcast: Cyberconflict and ICT Security in the ASEAN Region
We have seen a dramatic increase in incidents involving the malicious use of Information and Computer Technologies (ICTs) by state and non-state actors...Bart Hogeveen is Head of Cyber Capacity Building at ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre. He supports international and regional mechanisms to enhance cyberstability with governments and nongovernmental organisations across Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Countering China’s Technonationalism
The world’s technology-leading democracies must take a fresh approach to high-end tech exports and policy to prevail in the competition with China.
Government's coronavirus tracing app released, Health Minister says misusing data could result in jail
New laws will be passed to cover privacy fears about the coronavirus tracing app after experts and the opposition raised concerns police could get access to the data. The federal government will introduce legislation in the May parliamentary sitting period, increasing the likelihood that emergency Biosecurity Act powers could govern the app for several weeks before control is handed over to the legislature.
Former top public servant: I won't download the coronavirus app The Sydney Morning Herald
Australia and US call out cyber attacks on hospitals during COVID-19 pandemic
Australia's cyber diplomats have called for an end to attacks on medical facilities, such as the recent cyber attack on one of the Czech Republic's biggest COVID-19 testing laboratories.
Swimmer Mack Horton's family reveals fallout from drug protest
Mack’s remark in Rio, a reference to a three-month suspension his Chinese rival had served in 2014 for taking a banned stimulant, detonated across all forms of media – print, television and internet – with the force of a depth charge. Within 45 minutes, some 680,000 slurs, insults and death threats had assailed Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Chinese social media platform Weibo. His Wikipedia entry was later trolled..A week later, with Mack and his parents still in Rio, there was a break-in at the family home in the blue-chip Melbourne suburb of Glen Iris. Andrew’s business – he runs an educational technology company – also began to experience relentless cyber attacks that could only be mitigated, he says, by denying access from China.
Chinese activists detained after sharing censored coronavirus material
South China Morning Post
Three Chinese volunteers who helped to publish censored Covid-19 articles on Github, the world’s largest open-source website, have been detained by police at an unknown location, according to a source close to them.. Microsoft-owned Github lets programmers collaborate on code, but has increasingly become a haven for Chinese activists who want to circumvent the Great Firewall to publish censored content.
China’s Coronavirus Information Offensive: Beijing Is Using New Methods to Spin the Pandemic to Its Advantage
From the first days of COVID-19’s appearance in the city of Wuhan, China’s leaders focused on control—not only of the coronavirus itself but also of information about it. They suppressed initial reporting and research about the outbreak, thereby slowing efforts to understand the virus and its pandemic potential. They called for “increased internet control” when the Politburo Standing Committee met in early February. They even sent “Internet police” to threaten people posting criticism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its handling of the virus.
Huawei employees sue company after police detention
The Financial Times
Two former Huawei employees are trying to file legal complaints against the company in a case that exposes the allegedly close relationship between the world’s biggest telecoms equipment company and the Chinese police. The cases are a rare example of employees launching complaints against one of China’s “national champions” after serving time in police detention.
Jailed Huawei Workers Raised a Forbidden Subject: Iran The New York Times
China's Cybersecurity Reviews for 'Critical' Systems Add Focus on Supply Chain, Foreign Control (Translation): Translating the "Cybersecurity Review Measures (Draft for Comment)"
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on May 21 released a new draft of regulations that set up a cybersecurity review regime for information technology products and services linked to “national security.” The updated version provides new information in an area where clarity has been long awaited, and it comes in the context of dramatic U.S. actions targeting China, in part through a similar regulatory tool.
China Orders TikTok Owner ByteDance to Remove Office App
Chinese regulators ordered ByteDance Ltd. to temporarily suspend downloads of its nascent Slack-style office app after discovering content from banned sites like Facebook and Twitter, dealing a blow to the startup’s broader internet ambitions.
WhatsApp ties NSO Group’s hacking operations to America in new court evidence
WhatsApp’s most recent court filing in its lawsuit against cyber surveillance company NSO Group claims to connect IP addresses used by the firm to servers in the US, as part of an attempt to quash NSO Group’s claims that its operations don’t touch US soil. This was a key plank of NSO Group’s argument to dismiss the case that was filed earlier in April.
FCC Signals Likely Revocation of Four Chinese Telecom Firms’ Licenses
The Wall Street Journal
The Federal Communications Commission ordered four Chinese state-owned telecommunications operators to explain why it shouldn’t withdraw permission for them to operate in the U.S., paving the way for likely license revocations. The FCC sent orders Friday to the U.S. units of state-owned carriers China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom, as well as to Pacific Networks Corp. and ComNet (USA) LLC, both of which are controlled by Chinese government investment firm Citic Group Corp.
Lawmakers introduce legislation to boost American 5G efforts
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Friday introduced legislation to financially boost American fifth generation, or 5G, wireless technologies following concerns that Chinese telecommunications groups such as Huawei or ZTE pose national security threats.
As Chinese propaganda on covid-19 grows, U.S. social media must act
Vanessa Molter, Renee DiResta and Alex Stamos
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google (which owns YouTube) already search for and disable networks of fake accounts run by foreign government-aligned organizations. While such efforts can deal a significant blow to the kinds of activity we saw from Russia in 2016, China’s behavior has demonstrated that the disinformation game is broader than fake social media accounts. U.S. platforms should take steps to avoid being complicit in Beijing’s state-driven propaganda.
The fight with Huawei means America can’t shape tech rules
Yet for the past year technology companies with operations in America have been frozen out of some standard-setting as an accidental consequence of the American government’s attack on the Chinese tech giant, Huawei.
Welcome to Hawaii. Here’s your ankle monitor: Stronger policies to track tourists eyed
Hawaii News Now
State Attorney General Clare Connors is considering the legality of using tracking devices to ensure tourists are following the rules of the 14-day, mandatory quarantine.
For the Love of God, Not Everything Is a Deepfake
Three years after deepfakes came into the world, we've yet to see the algorithmic face-swapping technology put to use in any convincing ways in US politics. When Motherboard uncovered people generating fake, face-swapped videos to make non-consensual pornography in 2017, experts worried that someone could make a video of a world leader that would set off a nuclear war or topple democracy.
Tory MPs to examine 'rise of China'
Britain needs a better understanding of China's economic ambitions and global role when the coronavirus crisis ends, a new group of Tory MPs says. The group - headed by Tom Tugendhat, a prominent critic of China's response to the pandemic - aims to "promote debate and fresh thinking".. In reference to the controversy surrounding the government's decision to allow Chinese technology firm Huawei access to the UK's 5G network, the group will look at the consequences of new technology and who owns platforms. Coronavirus: Tory MPs to examine 'rise of China'
Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation
The New York Times
Bowing to heavy pressure from Beijing, European Union officials softened their criticism of China this week in a report documenting how governments push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents, emails and interviews.
OONI: An app for detecting Internet censorship
Developers have done a lot to ensure that we can use the Internet freely. Now the programmers need our help: If as many users as possible install the app OONI, it will come to light who is censoring where.
Facebook to warn users who ‘liked’ coronavirus hoaxes
Facebook will soon let you know if you shared or interacted with dangerous coronavirus misinformation on the site, the latest in a string of aggressive efforts the social media giant is taking to contain an outbreak of viral falsehoods.