News Analysis

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News Briefs
18 July, 2019
Data and information is power – and a risk to political authority

Digital technologies have changed the modern application of power. Political leaders mobilize large resources to win information wars on Twitter and Facebook. Rarely a day passes where new and viral instances of “fake news”, sometimes produced by state employed trolls, don’t pollute social media networks and monopolize our attention. Much of this was on discussion

12 July, 2019
Wary of crypto and Facebook, India voices concerns about Libra

As governments around the world ready themselves for the launch of Facebook’s forthcoming cryptocurrency, Libra, India announced last week that Asia’s third largest economy will probably not allow the digital offering to operate in the country. “Design of the Facebook currency has not been fully explained,” said Economic Affairs Secretary, Subhash Garg. “But whatever it

10 July, 2019
Myanmar says its internet blackout is for “the people.” Research suggests otherwise

A month ago, we published Kayleigh Long’s dispatch from Myanmar, where she described how the country’s internet has become a battlefield. In one province in particular — Rakhine State — online content has both encouraged atrocities and helped activists document them. “The phone is our gun,” one opposition activist was quoted as saying. Myanmar’s government

3 July, 2019
Moscow rolls out facial recognition to boost policing

As new tech such as biometrics and cloud intelligence changes the nature of law enforcement, Russia has put facial recognition systems at the heart of its policing strategy. Last week, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed the results of its latest facial recognition system test: over two years, 90 individuals were detained as a

28 June, 2019
China behind prolonged cyber invasion against IBM, Hewlett Packard and more

Chinese hackers have been targeting eight U.S. computer service giants, infiltrating their systems for years in an organized hacking campaign known as “Cloud Hopper.” The intense campaign, reportedly sponsored by China’s Ministry of State Security, had one goal — to gather corporate and state secrets that could potentially boost Chinese economic interests. According to a Reuters

19 June, 2019
Russia denies meddling in the 2019 European Parliament elections in wake of EU report

Russia has denied participating in a disinformation campaign after the European Commission released a preliminary report, saying it had found evidence that sources from the country meddled in the European elections, which took place at the end of May. The report, published on Friday, found “continued and sustained disinformation activity” by Russian groups to spread

18 June, 2019
The ‘intellectual dark web’ launches anti-censorship social network

Canadian psychologist and champion of the so-called “intellectual dark web,” Jordan B. Peterson has announced the launch of a new social media platform called Thinkspot, created in defiance of the censorship that conservative and alt-right internet users claim they regularly experience online. Peterson claimed, in an interview with comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan, that

17 June, 2019
Hong Kong protesters mask digital footprint to avoid arrest

Protesters campaigning against a new extradition law in Hong Kong deleted Chinese apps and reverted to using cash and buying single-ride subway tickets to avoid being identified by security forces. Those who went to protests were warned not to take selfies or pictures of the people there, but instead, to take wide shots, avoiding showing

13 June, 2019
Huawei exec defends company to UK parliament

With the British Tory party facing a tumultuous leadership battle that won’t reach a conclusion until July 22, readers could be mistaken for thinking a range of pressing issues might be on pause. Yet earlier this week, the House of Commons heard from Huawei’s global cybersecurity and privacy officer, who defended the firm’s record on

11 June, 2019
Kazakh authorities label protestors “radical elements” as they arrest hundreds

Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets angered by the results in Kazakhstan’s snap election which crowned their long-time leader’s hand-picked successor as the new president. So what did the Interior Ministry do? Arrest 600 demonstrators and label them as “radical elements seeking to destabilize society.” Kazakh authorities are using a familiar disinformation playbook

New AI tool lets you “rewrite” a video, raising concerns

Deepfakes, or AI-powered fake videos, are a well-known disinformation issue, but so far a theoretical one. That may change sooner than expected. After an AI startup unveiled an uncanny computerized Joe Rogan impersonator last month, researchers at Stanford and several other universities have created something similar for video. Feed the algorithm forty minutes of a

7 June, 2019
Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov arrested amid police controversy

One of Russia’s most prominent investigative journalists was arrested in the center of Moscow Thursday as he was on route to visit a source after police said they found illegal drugs in his backpack. The independent news outlet Meduza, say that the police planted the drugs on their reporter, 36-year-old Ivan Golunov, as a way

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