Further Reading

  • China Masters Political Propaganda for the Instagram Age“ – The New York Times. The regime in Beijing has learned more effective techniques to inculcate patriotism and belief in the Communist Party than their forebearers used, including prompting studios to make more appealing films about recent Chinese history, coopting popular cartoons, and developing apps. Of course, restricting access to the internet the rest of the world sees and tirelessly monitoring and policing social media also help.
  • How Tim Cook Won Donald Trump’s Ear“ – The Wall Street Journal. Savvy moves by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple have kept him and the company he leads free from Presidential barbs on Twitter and have resulted in key Apple goods being exempted from tariffs on Chinese imports even though Cook support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 97% of Apple employee political donations went to the Democrats in 2018.
  • France set to roll out nationwide facial recognition ID programme“ – South China Morning Post. President Emmanuel Macron is pushing France to be the first EU nation to use facial recognition technology to enroll all citizens in a national digital identity program, Alicem, starting as early as next month. The plan is being challenged in court, France’s data protection authority is concerned the program violates the General Data Protection Regulation, and it was hacked an hour after being announced in April. Even though the Interior Ministry says the initial facial scans will be deleted and not used to monitor people, there is opposition. Since February, the city of Nice has been running trials of a facial recognition system on its CCTV system. Nonetheless, this may the start of a trend in Europe because the new European Union Commission has articulated plans to use facial recognition technology, and a British court rejected a challenge to the use of the technology by police in South Wales to make real time identifications.
  • India Is Creating A National Facial Recognition System, And Critics Are Afraid Of What Will Happen Next“ – BuzzFeed News. India is also well on its way to a pervasive surveillance state through the increasing use of facial recognition technology and linking disparate data bases. Critics of the Modi regime argue that safety and security policy rationales are ruses for surveilling Minorities, especially Muslims, and anyone opposed to the right-wing government.
  • Tim Cook defends pulling Hong Kong app, echoing police view” – Bloomberg. Under pressure from China’s government, Apple removed HKmap.live from its App Store that Hong Kong protestors had been using to track the real time location and activities of police. In a memo leaked to Bloomberg, Cook claimed “Over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present.” China is Apple’s number two market, and its decision to remove the Taiwanese flag from available emojis on its devices suggests the company is most interested in appeasing Beijing. See also China criticizes Apple for app that tracks Hong Kong police” – AP.
  • Surveillance contractor that violated rules by copying traveler images, license plates can continue to work with CBP” – The Washington Post. Even though it violated Customs and Border Protection’s rules on handling sensitive information, a contractor whose trove of license plate data was hacked last month can continue contracting with CPB subject to specified requirements going forward. Perceptics kept copies of license plates and travelers on its systems in violation of its agreement with CPB.
  • Political Campaigns Know Where You’ve Been. They’re Tracking Your Phone.” – Wall Street Journal. The political world is now tapping into the treasure trove of information the apps on your smartphone are broadcasting and monetizing day and night. A particularly effective use is to identify potential voters by those who attend rallies or church.
  • NSA director rebukes Beijing for ‘weaponizing’ disinformation in Hong Kong protests” – cyberscoop. General Paul Nakasone calls out the People’s Republic of China for waging an information campaign against protestors in Hong Kong that bears similarities to other, external campaigns.
  • Hong Kong protesters get pro bono cybersecurity help from Silicon Valley” – MIT Technology Review. A U.S. company provided 500 security keys to protestors to fend off Chinese attempts to hack and take over accounts. These are the same type of security keys Google has started using, which they claim have functioned as 100% effective and safe multi-factor authentication.
  • Marco Rubio seeks U.S. government probe of TikTok over Chinese censorship concerns” – The Washington Post. Florida’s senior Senator and one-time presidential candidate is asking the Department of the Treasury to investigate Bytedance which turned music.ly into Tik Tok, an app with over 1 billion users. Rubio wants the agency to use its CFIUS powers to delve into the company’s suppression of free speech, particularly related to the unrest in Hong Kong.
  • How Telegram Became White Nationalists’ Go-To Messaging Platform” – Vice News. Favored by ISIS, Telegram, an end-to-end encrypted messaging app has become home to many white supremacists who can no longer use 8chan. White supremacists are utilizing the app’s capacity for unlimited uploads of photos and videos to private channels that critics claim is far more violent and threatening than on other platforms.

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