Why the Indo-Pacific needs its own hybrid threats centre | Japan to make social media firms say where user data stored | US to blacklist eight more Chinese companies
Traditional security issues continue to loom large, but today’s most pressing challenges are shifting to less familiar domains: cyberspace, technology and the information environment. The Strategist
The telecommunications ministry is pushing a legal revision that would require major operators of social media and internet search engines to clearly state which countries their users’ data is stored in. The Asahi Shimbun
The Biden administration will place eight Chinese companies including DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone manufacturer, on an investment blacklist for their alleged involvement in the surveillance of the Uyghur Muslim minority. Financial Times
Why the Indo-Pacific needs its own hybrid threats centre
Danielle Cave and Jake Wallis
The brisk construction of AUKUS—the new Australia–UK–US technology-focused trilateral that made world headlines in September—reflects how much the strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific is changing, and how quickly. Traditional security issues continue to loom large, but today’s most pressing challenges are shifting to less familiar domains: cyberspace, technology and the information environment. Many of these emerging challenges fall into the category of ‘hybrid threats’. An Indo-Pacific hybrid threats centre would increase the region’s capabilities to prevent and counter hybrid threats. It would need to focus on topics of importance to the region.
Realising Australia’s Quantum Potential
Australian Institute of International Affairs
But to become a quantum leader, Australia needs to rapidly amplify and accelerate its national approach, especially amid a changing global context. While Australia was an early leader in quantum research globally, over the past decade, other countries and companies have ramped up their investments much faster than Australia. A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in May noted public quantum investments had reached over $13 billion in China, $3.15 billion in Germany, $2.86 billion in France, $2.6 billion in the US, $1.3 billion in Japan, compared with investments of around $350 million in Australia. The time for Australia to scale up its efforts has arrived. At the inaugural Sydney Dialogue in November, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Blueprint for Critical Technologies which sets out the steps being taken to promote and protect critical technologies.
Read our new report, ‘An Australian strategy for the quantum revolution’
And find out more about The Sydney Dialogue here.
Foreign influencers used to whitewash Xinjiang abuses: report
Foreign social media influencers are being used by the Chinese Communist Party as part of a “global propaganda push” to whitewash human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, according to a report by an Australian think tank. Chinese state entities invite foreign social media creators on state-backed tours of the autonomous region and amplify video and other content that support “pro-CCP narratives,” according to the report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).
Rec links 12/14/21
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute also has a new report focused on how Beijing “uses foreign social media influencers to shape and push messages domestically and internationally about Xinjiang that are aligned with its own preferred narratives.”
Read our new report ‘Borrowing mouths to speak on Xinjiang’
U.S. lawmakers call for sanctions against Israel's NSO, spyware firms
Joseph Menn and Joel Schectman
A group of U.S. lawmakers is asking the Treasury Department and State Department to sanction Israeli spyware firm NSO Group and three other foreign surveillance companies they say helped authoritarian governments commit human rights abuses.
Log4Shell attacks expand to nation-state groups from China, Iran, North Korea, and Turkey
Nation-state groups from China, Iran, North Korea, and Turkey are now abusing the Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228) vulnerability to gain access to targeted networks, Microsoft said on Tuesday. “This activity ranges from experimentation during development, integration of the vulnerability to in-the-wild payload deployment, and exploitation against targets to achieve the actor’s objectives,” the company said in an update on its Log4Shell guidance blog post.
Australian Data Strategy: The Australian Government’s whole-of-economy vision for data
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
The Australian Data Strategy signposts the Australian Government’s data intent and efforts over the period to 2025. It focuses on three key themes: maximising the value of data; trust and protection; and enabling data use.
New artificial intelligence centre opens
A new centre for artificial intelligence will help Australia become a global leader in AI technology by linking talent and businesses, the government says.
Cyber warfare presents major 'science fiction' threat to Defence: Alastair MacGibbon
The Canberra Times
Sarah Basford Canales
Cyber warfare was once the stuff of science fiction but it now presents one of the greatest threats to the Australian Defence Force, a former national security advisor has warned.
China Fines Weibo for Spreading ‘Illegal Information’
The Wall Street Journal
The Cyberspace Administration of China said on Tuesday that Twitter-like Weibo had been ordered to pay a penalty of 3 million yuan, the equivalent of about $471,000, for disseminating “illegal information” in severe violation of regulations including the country’s cybersecurity law and its law governing the protection of minors.
US to blacklist eight more Chinese companies including dronemaker DJI
Demetri Sevastopulo and William Langley
The Biden administration will place eight Chinese companies including DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone manufacturer, on an investment blacklist for their alleged involvement in the surveillance of the Uyghur Muslim minority.
U.S. Set to Ban American Investment in Some Chinese Companies Over Surveillance
The Wall Street Journal
Kate O’Keeffe and Ian Talley
In the draft announcement, the Treasury Department said the “action highlights how private firms in China’s defense and surveillance technology sectors are actively cooperating with the government’s efforts to persecute ethnic minorities.” The blacklisting, which was first reported by the Financial Times, prohibits Americans from investing in the companies..U.S. officials are also considering adding more Chinese technology companies as early as Thursday to a separate Commerce Department list, which controls exports of U.S. goods and technologies, according to people familiar with the matter. One of the people said those additions to what is called the entity list target biotechnology and surveillance companies.
Senate approves cyber-loaded defense bill
The Senate on Wednesday easily passed a compromise $768 billion defense policy bill laced with cybersecurity provisions. Lawmakers voted 89 to 10 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sending it to President Joe Biden who is expected to sign it.
The urgent need to stand up a cybersecurity review board
Adam Shostack, Tarah Wheeler, and Victoria Ontiveros
Until we implement an independent body that can review incidents and provide a shared history we’re doomed to repeat it. Until then, we are doomed to relive the same day and the same breaches, over and over and over again.
Biden Team Mulls New Clampdown on China’s Largest Chipmaker
Jenny Leonard and Ian King
The Biden administration is considering imposing tougher sanctions on China’s largest chipmaker, according to people familiar with the situation, building on an effort to limit the country’s access to advanced technology.
Harvard Professor Goes on Trial on Charges of Lying About China Ties
The Wall Street Journal
Aruna Viswanatha and Byron Tau
Harvard chemistry professor Charles Lieber went on federal trial in Boston Tuesday over whether he misled the U.S. Defense Department and others about his relationship with a Chinese university, testing the government’s policing of U.S.-China collaborations after a similar case ended in an acquittal earlier this year. Mr. Lieber, a pioneer in the field of nanoscience, was arrested in January 2020 on charges of lying to government agents about his involvement with a Chinese talent-recruitment program and the money he received through it. He has pleaded not guilty to those and related tax charges, and his lawyers have argued he didn’t mean to mislead anyone about his affiliations.
Warren letter to Commerce on Raimondo remarks on E.U. tech policies
The Washington Post
In a letter shared exclusively with The Technology 202, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told Raimondo on Tuesday that her remarks “appear to publicly undermine the Administration’s previously announced policies to protect consumers and workers from Big Tech monopolies.”
AP seeks answers from US gov’t on tracking of journalists
The Associated Press sought answers Monday from the Department of Homeland Security on its use of sensitive government databases for tracking international terrorists to investigate as many as 20 American journalists, including an acclaimed AP reporter.
Why Google Has Sat on the Web3 Sidelines
Today, if you trust most investors on Sand Hill Road, the internet’s future lies in web3, an umbrella term for services built around cryptocurrency tokens and blockchains. But on web3, Alphabet Inc.’s Google is remarkably quiet.
America’s Cyber-Reckoning: How to Fix a Failing Strategy
Sue Gordon and Eric Rosenbach
To do better, the United States must focus on the most pernicious threats of all: cyberattacks aimed at weakening societal trust, the underpinnings of democracy, and the functioning of a globalized economy. The Biden administration seems to recognize the need for a new approach. But to make significant progress, it will need to reform the country’s cyberstrategy, starting with its most fundamental aspect: the way Washington understands the problem.
China Initiative Set Out to Catch Spies. It Didn’t Find Many
A three-year-old Department of Justice program has produced few convictions—and lots of complaints about racism and FBI misconduct.
Japan to make social media firms say where user data stored
The Asahi Shimbun
The telecommunications ministry is pushing a legal revision that would require major operators of social media and internet search engines to clearly state which countries their users’ data is stored in. It comes following a series of reports in The Asahi Shimbun from March that revealed the personal information of users of the popular social messaging app Line was accessed by a Chinese company and that video and other user data was being stored in South Korea.
Can TSMC give new spark to Japan's 'Silicon Island'?
EVs key to success of $7bn chip plant in Kyushu, with its links to auto industry.
Taiwan to restrict tech companies' sales of China assets
Lauly Li and Cheng Ting-Fang
Taiwanese regulators will soon have new powers to block domestic tech companies from selling off their subsidiaries or other assets in China, the latest move by Taipei to prevent the leak of sensitive technologies, including semiconductors, to the mainland.
South and Central Asia
Iranian Hackers Abuse Slack For Cyber Spying
IBM researchers claim an Iranian-linked crew called MuddyWater has been trying to avoid detection by using Slack to control their malware. It’s believed to be the first time a suspected state-backed hacking outfit has been seen using such a technique.
Britain to push back against China and Russia in cyberspace
Britain said it would push back at what it casts as attempts by Russia and China to establish national sovereignty over the communications arteries and emerging technologies which will shape the 21st Century.
EU plan for sweeping update of Big Tech rules gains momentum
The Washington Post
The European Union’s ambitious plan to update its pioneering internet rules has gained momentum.
The NO DPA imposes fine against Grindr LLC
The Norwegian Data Protection Authority has imposed an administrative fine of NOK 65 000 000 – approximately € 6.5 million – for not complying with the GDPR rules on consent.
Meet the new boss
After helping to create Russia’s ‘sovereign Internet,’ the son of one of the Kremlin’s most powerful officials takes the helm at the country’s most popular social network
A World Without Trust: The Insidious Cyberthreat
When sounding the alarm over cyberthreats, policymakers and analysts have typically employed a vocabulary of conflict and catastrophe.
The End of Cyber-Anarchy? How to Build a New Digital Order
Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
The relentless bad news stories paint a picture of an ungoverned online world that is growing more dangerous by the day—with grim implications not just for cyberspace itself but also for economies, geopolitics, democratic societies, and basic questions of war and peace.
This New AI Tool Can Help Spot an Imminent Invasion
Want to know how many trucks are in border regions, or get an alert when bomber traffic spikes?
A Lie Can Travel: Election Disinformation in the United States, Brazil, and France
Center for Democracy and Technology
William T. Adler and Dhanaraj Thakur
This report examines case studies of election disinformation—and interventions aimed at combating disinformation—in the U.S., Brazil, and France
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.