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Australian Consumer Watchdog to Oversee New Consumer Data Right

Australian Consumer Watchdog to Oversee New Consumer Data Right

It was revealed this week that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been put in charge of overseeing the country’s new Consumer Data Right (CDR) which seeks to give Australians ownership of their data by providing open access to information on various services transactions. ACCC chairman Rod Sims said that while the CRR is not intended to be a “one-stop shop” for regulation and control of consumer data, it is instead something that will give consumers the right to safely access their data that is kept by business and direct how it is shared. Sims also clarified that […]

ZTE Drops More Executives, Gets Temporary Reprieve from US Govt

ZTE Drops More Executives, Gets Temporary Reprieve from US Govt

The US government this week reportedly granted temporary reprieve to China’s ZTE Corp, allowing it to conduct business needed to maintain existing networks and equipment while working to lift the supplier ban that was imposed on it. Reuters said that the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Services authorization runs from July 2 until Aug. 1. ZTE also revealed in exchange filings last Tuesday that one other senior executive had left. However, a source said that seven other, including the vice presidents of legal, finance and supply chain departments had been removed in a radical overhaul of its management. […]

ZTE Unveils New Board to Lift US Ban

ZTE Unveils New Board to Lift US Ban

Chinese telecom giant ZTE revealed this week a new board in fulfillment to an agreement it entered with the US government to lift the ban on its business in the country. According to exchange filings last Friday, Li Zixue was elected as the company’s new chairman, while the old board and senior management, headed by Chairman Yin Yimin, have submitted their resignation on June 29. Even though the company had already paid a $1 billion penalty and put $400 million in an escrow account as part of the deal, the U.S. Department of Commerce still has to work out the […]

New Study Says Most American Think Social Media Filters Political Views

New Study Says Most American Think Social Media Filters Political Views

In a study released by the Pew Research Center last Thursday, it was shown that around seven out of ten Americans think that social media platforms such as Facebook censor political viewpoints. Polling 4,594 American adults between May 29 and June 11, PRC found that roughly 72% believed that social media platforms were biased and intentionally suppressed political speech. The belief was said to be especially prevalent among Republicans, which is as high as 85%. 51% of the respondents said that tech companies should be regulated more than they are now, as opposed to 9% who said that they should […]

China’s Blockchain Index Ranks Ethereum First, Bitcoin at 13th

China’s Blockchain Index Ranks Ethereum First, Bitcoin at 13th

In the newly released Global Public Chain Assessment Index of the Chinese government, Ethereum was voted as the top public blockchain in the cryptocurrency space, while Bitcoin came only in 13th place. The index, which has 28 blockchain projects with their corresponding cryptocurrencies, ranked Steem, Lisk, NEO and Komodo in second, third, fourth, and fifth places respectively. Created and released by the China Center for Information Industry Development, which is part of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in Beijing, the index evaluates each blockchain according to usefulness, innovativeness, and technological capability. Source: Reuters

Tianjin Announces $16 Billion AI Fund

Tianjin Announces $16 Billion AI Fund

Last Thursday, China’s northern port city of Tianjin announced that it will be allocating around 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) to support the growth of country’s artificial intelligence sector. The funds will be used for the development of intelligent robots and hardware and software while around 30 billion will go to intelligent devices and upgrades for traditional industries. A separate fund of 10 billion will be set up to promote intelligent manufacturing. Tianjin vice mayor Sun Wenkui also pledged around 30 million yuan for each scientific research institution, whether a provincial- or national-level body, that sets up in the province. […]

Zuckerberg to Testify Before US House Panel Next Week

Zuckerberg to Testify Before US House Panel Next Week

It was announced last Wednesday that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11 over the misuse of Facebook user data by a political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook said that it had already shut down the accounts of Cambridge Analytica and its parent company and is investigating whether the firm still has the data. However, governments are still pressuring the social network to do more to protect user privacy and misinformation on its platform. It is said that Zuckerberg is also being invited to appear by two other […]

Amazon Cuts Ties with Top Lobbying Firms

Amazon Cuts Ties with Top Lobbying Firms

Bloomberg reported last Friday that Amazon has cut its ties to top Washington lobbying firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Squire Patton, and replaced them with outsiders. Amazon hired Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc as replacements a week after US president Donald Trump blasted the retail giant for not paying enough taxes, taking advantage of the USPS, and taking businesses from smaller retailers. Both firms are outside lobbyists who have previously worked with Airbnb Inc and Oracle Corp. Amazon is said to have 15 lobbyists, with another 15 […]

Chinese Cyber Criminals Create 5 Million Strong Botnet

Chinese Cyber Criminals Create 5 Million Strong Botnet

Researchers from Check Point recently reported that a Chinese cyber criminal group is creating a botnet made up of almost 5 million Android smartphones powered by a malware named Rottensys. Rottensys was originally used only to aggressively show ads, but cyber crooks have reportedly deployed a Lua-written module to give the malware more capabilities including the silent installation of additional apps and UI automation. The malware is said to be active only in the Chinese market as of now and is being bundled in Chinese apps, infecting mostly popular local phones such as Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo, LeEco, Coolpad, and […]

Facebook: No Evidence Pointing to Russian Brexit Interference

Facebook: No Evidence Pointing to Russian Brexit Interference

Last Wednesday, Facebook’s UK policy director Simon Milner told the House of Commons Committee on Digital, Culture Media and Sport that they have found no new evidence on Russia’s use of social media to disrupt Brexit. Milner said that they reviewed both Facebook accounts and activities of thousands of advertisers during the period leading up to the June referendum, which was the same methodology used in identifying the social media activity of the Russian propaganda group that disrupted the 2016 US presidential elections. However, in contrast with the results of the inquiries into Russia’s involvement in US politics, the investigation […]