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PCC Publishes its Rules of Procedure

PCC Publishes its Rules of Procedure

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has published its 2017 Rules of Procedure (Rules), which shall guide the PCC in the handling of complaints, referrals from regulatory agencies, and motu proprio inquiries, as well as in the conduct of its investigations. Under the Rules, the PCC, through the Enforcement Office, shall conduct a 90-day preliminary inquiry on the basis of a verified complaint, referral by a regulatory agency, or a directive from the Chairman and the Commissioners of the PCC 
(Commission), to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to conduct a full administrative investigation for any violation of the Philippine Competition […]

Asia Business Law Journal Interviews JJ Disini on Fintech

“Fintech”, short for financial technology, has become a major buzzword in recent years, especially in the most developed countries of the world. It is, however, still a relatively murky concept in some areas of the Asia-Pacific, even though it has already brought significant change to the economic landscape in the region. Many experts are seeing enormous fintech opportunities in the Asia-Pacific, and are also predicting the region to surpass the US and Europe in fintech innovations. Some say that government support, regulatory facilitation, consumer willingness, and easy access to capital are just a few of the reasons contributing to this […]

FS-ISAC, Singapore Partner in New Cybersecurity Initiative

FS-ISAC, Singapore Partner in New Cybersecurity Initiative

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) announced this week that they are entering a partnership which will focus on conducting cybersecurity exercises and exchange of information on the current threat landscape. The three-year partnership is expected to enhance security threat intelligence sharing between the two organizations which will bolster Singapore’s capability to fight cybercrime. The CSA manages the country’s cybersecurity operations and has centralised oversight of national cybersecurity functions, while the FS-ISAC is in charge of cybersecurity for the financial services and banking industry. Source: ZDNet

Ukrainian Govt Hit by Password-Stealing Malware

Ukrainian Govt Hit by Password-Stealing Malware

ESET researchers revealed this week that a cyber espionage group is attacking the Ukrainian government with data-stealing malware which creates a backdoor into the system. The hackers are reportedly using a remote access trojan called Vermin which is delivered with two other malware strains – Sobaken RAT and Quasar RAT, with the latter being an open source form of malware freely available online. The malware are capable of monitoring what happens on screen, and downloading additional payloads and uploading files. They can also make audio recordings of sounds near the user’s computer, extract  passwords from browsers, and log keystrokes. The […]

Facebook Vows to Take Down Fake News That Incite Violence

Facebook Vows to Take Down Fake News That Incite Violence

Facebook vowed this week to take action against false information on its platform intended to incite violence and physical harm. The social network says it will be working with outside local and international organizations, and use its own internal image recognition technologies to help spot the offending items. However, a spokesperson said that reducing the distribution of misinformation, instead of removing it outright, strikes the right balance between free expression and having a safe and authentic community. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said that they won’t be taking down false news that does not meet these criteria.   Source: CNBC

Robocall Company Exposes Thousands of US Voter Data

Robocall Company Exposes Thousands of US Voter Data

Kromtech Security expert Bob Diachenko said that he has recently discovered a trove of files containing hundreds of thousands of voter records on an Amazon S3 bucket which was completely accessible to anyone even without a password. The storage, which belonged to a Virginia-based political campaign and robocalling company, had around 2,600 files including spreadsheets and recordings of US political campaigns. Diachenko said that the files were packed with voters’ full names, home addresses, and political affiliations. Information such as gender, phone numbers, age, birth year, ethnicity, language spoken, education, as well as a jurisdiction breakdown based on district or […]

Softbank’s Chief Exec Criticizes Japan for not Allowing Ride Sharing

Softbank’s Chief Exec Criticizes Japan for not Allowing Ride Sharing

SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son slammed on Thursday the Japanese government’s ride-sharing ban and said the country had fallen behind overseas rivals in areas such as artificial intelligence and fintech. Addressing customers and suppliers at an annual company event, Son remarked that Japan is being “stupid” for making ride-sharing illegal. A spokesman for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport previously pointed out that the government considers ride-sharing problematic since it was unclear who was in charge of maintenance and operation which could cause problems from the points of both safety and user protection.   Source: Reuters  

Mastercard to Join Fiat and Cryptocurrency with New Patent

Mastercard to Join Fiat and Cryptocurrency with New Patent

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Mastercard this week a patent the company filed last May which describes a method that links blockchain-based assets to fiat currency accounts. Mastercard says that the plan will significantly help customers by speeding up the transaction time of cryptocurrencies while providing security for the payee. It added that the solution would may help alleviate the wariness of merchants, retailers, and other service providers to accept blockchain-based payments, and at the same time making consumers more willing to trade in cryptocurrency if the decentralised nature of the technology was somewhat removed. Source: […]

EU Hands Google 4.3 Billion Euro Fine in Android Antitrust Case

EU Hands Google 4.3 Billion Euro Fine in Android Antitrust Case

The European Commission this week handed down a record fine of 4.3 billion euros to Google after it had been found that the Alphabet-owned company’s mobile device strategy had unfairly strengthened its dominance of search. It is currently the largest fine ever imposed by a regulator against a firm after competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager previously penalized the company 2.4 billion euros in another investigation, a ruling that is still being appealed by Google. Google’s Android OS had been the target of the Commission’s scrutiny since April 2015 after trade group Fairsearch made a complaint. Android had 64% of the market […]

Facebook’s Fake News Policy Exposed as “Toothless” in Congressional Hearing

Facebook’s Fake News Policy Exposed as “Toothless” in Congressional Hearing

Observers remarked Tuesday in Facebook’s Congressional hearing that the social network’s policy on fake news is actually “toothless”, as it continued to allow far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to operate his Infowars page on the platform. Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of policy, explained that they can only take the page down if it posts enough content to violate the company’s threshold which depends on the severity of different types of violations. Bickert also revealed that the social network had a three strikes policy for inappropriate behavior. However, she did not explain anything beyond that, or on the details of the […]

Egypt Passes “Social Media” Law

Egypt Passes “Social Media” Law

Egypt’s parliament passed a law this week which will allow the state to take action against social media accounts and journalists caught spreading “fake news”. The law dictates that social media accounts and blogs that have more than 5000 followers will be considered as media outlets which will be subject to prosecution for publishing misinformation or incitement to break the law. It also prohibits the creation of websites without first getting a license from the Supreme Council. Critics of the law expressed their disappointment in the approval, and said that it will give legal basis to the government’s crack down […]

US Lawmakers Tell Tech Giants to Resist Vietnam’s New Cybersecurity Law

US Lawmakers Tell Tech Giants to Resist Vietnam’s New Cybersecurity Law

Google and Facebook was recently urged by seventeen lawmakers to resist Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law which many expect to give the country’s communist government more power to crack down on dissent. The Congressional Vietnam Caucus told the execs of both companies to resist coercion to aid and abet censorship, and added that such are issues that need to be raised diplomatically and at the highest levels. Jeff Paine, Managing Director of the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), likewise said that the law created “great uncertainty” for Vietnam’s reputation as an investment destination. Source: Reuters