China dive

Among the good things about coming back from Christmas break are all the deep analyses that news outlets save up to publish over the holidays – especially those they can report from countries where celebrating Christmas isn’t that big a deal. That’s what I think accounts for the recent flood in deep media dives into China technology issues. Megan Stifel walks us through some. A Washington Post article explains how China uses the internet to monitor dissent online and then focuses its attention on the rest. A New York Times article explains how China’s government uses its tools to suppress internal dissent against the rest of world. Unsurprising to me is the way social media sites like Twitter have become hapless enablers for China’s speech policy. Later in the podcast, Megan covers another story in the same vein – the growing global unease about China’s success in building Logink, a global logistics and shipping database.

Scott Shapiro, Nick Weaver and Nick Weaver take us through the case against a Harvard professor who lied about his China connections. While it might seem too optimistic to claim that Professor Charles Lieber was wanted especially by the Justice Department, he’s likely Exhibit A as the department defends China Initiative from claims of ethnic profiling.

Megan shares another fascinating story about hack-enabled Insider Trading, helicopters from Zermatt, dueling Extraditions, as well as another example of hack-enabled outsider trading. NYT also suggests that there may be more information on Russian interference in 2016’s presidential election.

Scott describes how Apple AirTags can be used to track individuals. Nick gives us an idea of how difficult it can be to distinguish good and bad Air Tags. It is an issue I believe we can leave to the attorneys representing plaintiffs.

Nick lays out the economics of hacking as a service and introduces us to yet another company in that business – Cytrox. It seems that no one can last long without changing their names. Nick and me explore why this is so and whether or not it will happen to the employees of these businesses.

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Nick discusses why Bitcoin is not always the cybercriminals’ best friend. The truth is that cryptography does not provide proof against rubber-hose cryptanalysis.

In my research to find out why biases in face recognition have been exaggerated, I found that Canada, France and all of the West are placing sanctions on Clearview AI because they believe Clearview AI has violated their privacy rights. Clearview AI, however, is the only U.S. firm doing face recognition as well as Chinese or Russian suppliers.  This is because of a questionable racial bias narrative that has caused IBM, Amazon and Microsoft to withdraw from the market and left us vulnerable to Russian and Chinese technology.

Megan discusses why financial regulators, and not FBI, are the most powerful government foes of end-to–end encryption. JPMorgan Chase was fined $200 million by the FBI for using WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging platforms. Is there not a chip that could have resolved that problem thirty years ago, Chipper? Clipper?

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