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Press review EX - 24 March

Extrema Ratio focuses on the topics we work on, including geopolitcs, cybersecurity, critical technologies, foreign interference, disinformation, international law, national security.


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China-Russia alliance for a new global order


‘The Strategy of Denial’ author Elbridge Colby discusses the growing relationship between Russia and China on ‘The Ingraham Angle.’

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition.





 

China

Reuters

Chinese authorities raided the office of U.S. corporate due diligence firm Mintz Group in Beijing and detained five local staff, the company said, putting foreign companies in China on alert just as the country hosts an international economic forum.

News of the raid and detentions comes as Sino-U.S. relations have spiraled downwards following months of diplomatic tensions, including over the U.S. military downing in February of a suspected Chinese spy balloon and a planned U.S. transit next week by the president of Taiwan, the self-governed island China claims as its territory.

Adve

CNN

Laura He

The Chinese government considers some advanced technology, including content recommendation algorithms, critical to its national interest. It views TikTok’s technology as sensitive and has taken steps since 2020 to ensure it can veto any sale by its Beijing-based owner, ByteDance. Who owns the keys to TikTok’s algorithms and the vast troves of data collected is at issue.

Outline of the plan for the strategy to expand domestic demand (2022-2035) Center for Security and Emerging Technology The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the State Council This document is China’s short- to mid-term strategy for expanding domestic demand in its economy. Although its theme is increasing Chinese consumer demand, the strategy is wide-ranging and includes calls to increase the quantity and quality of the supply of goods and services and to improve China’s social safety net. It does not, however, set any metrics to measure how well the strategy is being implemented.

Tencent taps AI technology amid first annual revenue drop Nikkei Asia Cissy Zhou Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings said that artificial intelligence technology could be a "growth multiplier" for the company as it reported its first-ever annual revenue decline. As the Microsoft-backed ChatGPT takes the tech world by storm, Chinese search engine giant Baidu has unveiled Ernie Bot, its answer to the rival chatbot, with Tencent and other Chinese tech companies also announcing plans for similar services and AI-generated content.

GZero Daily

“Tell me who you walk with,” the saying goes, “and I’ll tell you who you are.” Well, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva is rolling deep to his upcoming summit with Xi Jinping, taking nearly 250 businesspeople along for the ride. More than a quarter of them are from Brazil’s powerful meat export industry alone.

That tells you everything about the trip’s main focus: trade, trade, and more trade. And why not? It was during Lula’s last stint as president that China displaced the US as Brazil’s largest commercial partner, fueling a historic economic boom as it gobbled up huge quantities of Brazilian meat, soybeans, and iron ore. Nowadays, facing a much tougher economic and political environment, Lula is keen to recapture some of that commercial magic.

But the geopolitical context also matters. Important as China is commercially, the US is Lula’s most important regional security and investment partner, and Washington was Lula’s first trip beyond Latin America as president. As the US-China rivalry deepens, Lula and his dealmaking entourage will need to tread carefully in a world that is splitting apart under their feet.

  • Hungary is a safe space for Putin. The Hungarian government said Thursday it wouldn’t jail Vladimir Putin if he came to Hungary, despite the International Criminal Court’s recent issuance of an arrest warrant for the Russian president for war crimes. Budapest’s reasoning was a doozy: While they have signed and ratified the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, they say they haven’t gotten around to incorporating it into Hungarian law yet, so no-can-do on arresting Putin. It’s all purely hypothetical, as there’s no chance of Putin going to Hungary any time soon. But that’s the point. Hungary’s avowedly “illiberal” PM Viktor Orban has long made clear that he won’t just toe the EU party line on Russia. He’s reluctantly gone along with EU sanctions on Russia, but he’s also said the EU is needlessly expanding and prolonging the war by arming Ukraine – something his government won’t do. Moscow, for its part, says arresting Putin abroad would be “an act of war.”

USA

Reuters

China's defence ministry said on Friday that it yet again had to monitor and drive away the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Milius that entered its territorial waters in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands.

"We sternly demand the U.S. to immediately stop such provocative acts, otherwise it will bear the serious consequences of unforeseen incidents," a spokesperson said in a statement from the Ministry of National Defence.

Reuters

The Biden administration on Thursday added 14 Chinese companies to a red flag list, forcing U.S. exporters to conduct greater due diligence before shipping goods to them because U.S. officials have been unable to inspect the listed entities.

Being added to the list can potentially start a 60-day clock that could trigger much tougher penalties.

"Enforcing our export controls is a crucial part of protecting American national security," U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said in a statement following the announcement. "We are committed to using all of the tools at our disposal to establish how advanced US technology is being used around the globe."

TikTok creators, some US Democratic lawmakers oppose ban on app Reuters David Shepardson TikTok creators and three US Democratic Party lawmakers called a press conference in Washington for broad-based privacy legislation that would address all large social media companies in opposing any potential ban on the Chinese-owned short video-sharing app used by more than 150 million Americans at a time when relations between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated.

US cyber officials make urgent push to warn businesses about vulnerabilities to hackers CNN Sean Lyngaas US cybersecurity officials are unveiling a new program to warn critical American companies that their systems are vulnerable to ransomware attacks before the hackers can successfully strike. The program is straightforward and relies on backchannels between researchers, government officials, and potential victims.

SEC sues Tron founder Justin Sun, Lindsay Lohan, other celebrities over crypto sales Reuters Chris Prentice and Jonathan Stempel The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday charged Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun with fraud and accused eight celebrities of illegally promoting his crypto assets. Sun and his companies Tron Foundation, BitTorrent Foundation, and Rainberry were accused of having since August 2017 schemed to distribute billions of crypto assets known as Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT) and artificially inflated trading volume.



Americas

People smugglers use TikTok to promote their services Digital Journal Valentin Diaz Technology-savvy criminals using the popular video-sharing app are posing a growing challenge to Mexican and US authorities fighting a regional migration crisis. An AFP investigation found dozens of similar accounts offering to smuggle irregular migrants around the region, including in Guatemala, Colombia, and Ecuador.

North Asia

Toshiba to accept takeover bid from group of Japanese companies Nikkei Asia Toshiba is set to accept a takeover offer by a coalition including Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), with the acquisition being financed by investments from approximately 20 Japanese companies and worth around 2 trillion yen ($15.3 billion). The resolution was passed at a board meeting on the day and JIP is expected to conduct a takeover bid and take Toshiba private.

German and South Korean agencies warn of Kimsuky's expanding cyber attack tactics The Hacker News Ravie Lakshmanan German and South Korean government agencies have warned about cyber attacks mounted by a threat actor tracked as Kimsuky using rogue browser extensions to steal users' Gmail inboxes. Kimsuky refers to a subordinate element within North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau and is known to"collect strategic intelligence on geopolitical events and negotiations affecting the DPRK's interests." The intrusions are designed to strike "experts on the Korean Peninsula and North Korea issues" through spear-phishing campaigns.

Southeast Asia

Commercial tech gaining ground in military domain: Lawrence Wong The Straits Times Andrew Wong At the fourth Singapore Defence Technology Summit on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong pointed out that the days of cutting-edge technology being traced back to government-backed research are numbered, as research and development by commercial enterprises outstrip that of the public sector in the vast majority of developed countries and that is why it is in the interest of countries and militaries to work closely with companies to ensure that new technologies contribute to collective security instead of undermining it.

South & Central Asia

Indian army mulling over technology infusion to counter China’s cyber capabilities: report Republic World Yuvraj Tyagi The Indian Army has engaged in the development and integration of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Quantum computing, and Augmented Reality. The Indian Army Chief stressed the significance of achieving self-reliance in the defence sector and further called for the integration of modern technology and warfighting systems to enhance the Indian Army’s operational capabilities.

Ramadan Cyber Blitz: Pakistan and Bangladesh Hackers attack Indian cyberspace as holy month looms Times Now The Indian cyber landscape has been thrown into chaos as two notorious hacker groups from Bangladesh and Pakistan have launched a coordinated and malicious cyberattack on multiple Indian websites. The timing of these cyberattacks is intriguing, coming just before the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

India’s 4G, 5G tech sought after across world, including US: Minister The New Indian Express Rakesh Kumar Indigenously developed 4G and 5G technology is sought after all over the world including countries like the US, said telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday. Vaishnaw, on the sidelines of the communication ministers’ conclave, said that the locally-developed technology is not only sought after by neighboring countries but many western countries.

Europe

Bilateral meeting between UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama Gov.UK Prime Minister's Office and The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama at Downing Street today, as part of a wider visit by the Albanian leader to London. They noted significant opportunities to grow trade, investment, and technology links, including assisting Albanian cyber defence to protect against online threats.

US, Albania on 'hunt' for Iranian cyber actors Voice of America Jeff Seldin Albania blamed the cyberattacks in July and September of last year on Iran and ordered all Iranian officials out of the country. Now, a US cyber team sent to Albania to help the country recover and “hunt” for more dangers says the efforts have turned up “new data and information about the tools, techniques, and procedures of malicious cyber actors, attempting to disrupt government networks and systems.”

Cyber threats to EU transport sector sends urgent call for enhanced cybersecurity Help Net Security The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity publishes its first cyber threat landscape report dedicated to the transport sector. It analysed and mapped the cyber threats faced by the transport sector, identifying prime threats, analysing incidents, assessing threat actors, analysing their motivations, and introducing major trends for each sub-sector, thereby providing new insights.

UK

UK and Israel agree on technology, trade and cybersecurity roadmap to 2030 Tech Monitor Sophia Waterfield The UK and Israeli governments have signed an agreement lasting until 2030 to boost economic and technological geopolitical ties. The country is the latest nation to work with the UK on tech and cybersecurity, as the UK moves to solidify itself as a “tech superpower”.

TikTok to be blocked from parliamentary devices and network over cyber security fears Sky News Faye Brown TikTok will be blocked from all parliamentary devices and the wider parliamentary network in the latest ban imposed on the Chinese-owned social media app. The application can still be used on personal devices while on the parliamentary estate, provided the devices aren't connected to the parliament's WIFI network.

UK to challenge governments that use tech for 'tools of oppression' Computerworld Charlotte Trueman The UK government's International Technology Strategy is a roadmap for helping the country reach “tech superpower status” by 2030 and challenge foreign governments that use technology as "tools of oppression." The strategy outlines four principles — to be open, responsible, secure, and resilient — and details various priorities and actions, including international collaboration, to support the delivery of the UK’s Science and Technology Framework and establish a set of global technology-based partnerships to deliver “mutually beneficial” objectives.

NZ & Pacific Islands

Amazon group's web services signs cooperation deal with New Zealand government Radio New Zealand The web services division of the $1.6-trillion Amazon group has signed a cooperation deal with the New Zealand government. The new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) contains echoes of what Amazon Web Services (AWS) sought in correspondence with the government over the past two years and includes how AWS will work with the government to increase the public service's uptake of cloud services.

More than half of Kiwi businesses hit by cyber-attack last year: report Human Resources Director Magazine Dexter Tilo Findings released by Kordia revealed that 55% of 213 surveyed businesses were subject to a cyber-attack in the past year, with phishing accounting for 37% of the attacks reported. The attacks saw commercially sensitive data or intellectual property accessed or stolen for almost one-fourth of the businesses. It also caused a loss of future business or sales for one-fifth of the businesses because of reputation damage.

World

AUKUS tech sharing clears first hurdle in US Congress The Australian Financial Review Matthew Cranston The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday AEDT designed to loosen controls on sharing military technology under the AUKUS agreement with Australia and Britain. The legislation would direct the US State Department to report to Congress on efforts to implement the advanced capabilities pillar of the AUKUS alliance, and to identify key export controls that Congress must ease to make the pact a success.

Cyber security in energy market to reach $21.8 billion, globally, by 2031 at 11.3% CAGR: Allied Market Research PR Newswire The rise in need and requirement to keep information, data, and devices secure in energy sector and the surge in risks of cyber-attacks on the energy industry for the execution of mass operations drive the growth of global cyber security in the energy market. According to the report published by Allied Market Research, global cyber security in energy industry generated $8.6 billion in 2021, and is anticipated to generate $21.8 billion by 2031, witnessing a CAGR of 11.3% from 2022 to 2031.

Australia

Urgent warning over remote access scams in Australia 7NEWS Australia Rhiannon Lewin Australians have been warned of a sneaky way in which criminals can take control of our devices. The scams, known as ‘Remote Access Scams’, have been detected in increased numbers, NSW Police warned. The scammers, who pretend to be from well-known companies or financial institutions, get in contact with victims asking to access the person’s device remotely.

Canva brings all of the hot artificial intelligence tools into one platform Rappler Ralf Rivas Growth has been seismic for the AI market as image, video, and text-generating tools push industries in a new direction. But a critical issue that these tools face is that each generative AI tool is accessed separately. Australian multimedia design company Canva takes the first step of consolidating all of these features into one platform in a simpler manner for everyday users.


Photo: La Cina di Xi Jinping - Verso un nuovo ordine mondiale sinocentrico? Gabriele e Nicola Iuvinale

2023

Stango Editore


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