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The SolarWinds Body Count Now Includes NASA and the FAA

#artificialintelligence

Some blasts from the past surfaced this week, including revelations that a Russia-linked hacking group has repeatedly targeted the US electrical grid, along with oil and gas utilities and other industrial firms. Notably, the group has ties to the notorious industrial-control GRU hacking group Sandworm. Meanwhile, researchers revealed evidence this week that an elite NSA hacking tool for Microsoft Windows, known as EpMe, fell into the hands of Chinese hackers in 2014, years before that same tool then leaked in the notorious Shadow Brokers dump of NSA tools. WIRED got an inside look at how the video game hacker Empress has become so powerful and skilled at cracking the digital rights management software that lets video game makers, ebook publishers, and others control the content you buy from them. And the increasingly popular, but still invite-only, audio-based social media platform Clubhouse continues to struggle with security and privacy missteps. If you want something relaxing to take your mind off all of this complicated and concerning news, though, check out the new generation of Opte, an art piece that depicts the evolution and growth of the internet from 1997 to today.


The SolarWinds Body Count Now Includes NASA and the FAA

WIRED

Some blasts from the past surfaced this week, including revelations that a Russia-linked hacking group has repeatedly targeted the US electrical grid, along with oil and gas utilities and other industrial firms. Notably, the group has ties to the notorious industrial-control GRU hacking group Sandworm. Meanwhile, researchers revealed evidence this week that an elite NSA hacking tool for Microsoft Windows, known as EpMe, fell into the hands of Chinese hackers in 2014, years before that same tool then leaked in the notorious Shadow Brokers dump of NSA tools. WIRED got an inside look at how the video game hacker Empress has become so powerful and skilled at cracking the digital rights management software that lets video game makers, ebook publishers, and others control the content you buy from them. And the increasingly popular, but still invite-only, audio-based social media platform Clubhouse continues to struggle with security and privacy missteps. If you want something relaxing to take your mind off all of this complicated and concerning news, though, check out the new generation of Opte, an art piece that depicts the evolution and growth of the internet from 1997 to today.


The Morning After: 'Cyberpunk 2077' runs into another delay

Engadget

Cyberpunk 2077's woes have continued long after the game launched, with all the issues that entailed. CD Projekt Red announced yesterday that we'll have to wait until the second half of March for the next big patch. The developer cited that recent ransomware hack as the major culprit -- it initially planned to launch the 1.2 patch in February. As you're probably aware, February ends this week. The news is especially frustrating for PS5 owners as the game hasn't returned to the PlayStation Store since it was pulled.


AI drives the evolution of technology and data governance

ZDNet

Since 2019, government-sponsored initiatives around AI have proliferated across Asia Pacific. Such initiatives include the setting up of cross-domain AI ethics councils, guidelines and frameworks for the responsible use of AI, and other initiatives such as financial and technology support. The majority of these initiatives builds on the country's respective data privacy and protection acts. This is a clear sign that governments see the need to expand existing regulations when it comes to leveraging AI as a key driver for digital economies. All initiatives to date are voluntary in nature, but there are indications already that existing data privacy and protection laws will be updated and expanded to include AI.


Clearview AI Raises Disquiet at Privacy Regulators

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The data protection authority in Hamburg, Germany, for instance, last week issued a preliminary order saying New York-based Clearview must delete biometric data related to Matthias Marx, a 32-year-old doctoral student. The regulator ordered the company to delete biometric hashes, or bits of code, used to identify photos of Mr. Marx's face, and gave it till Feb. 12 to comply. Not all photos, however, are considered sensitive biometric data under the European Union's 2018 General Data Protection Regulation. The action in Germany is only one of many investigations, lawsuits and regulatory reprimands that Clearview is facing in jurisdictions around the world. On Wednesday, Canadian privacy authorities called the company's practices a form of "mass identification and surveillance" that violated the country's privacy laws.


Trump made a mess of tech policy. Here's what Biden is inheriting.

Mashable

It's hard to focus on the nitty gritty of tech policy when the world is on fire. Take, for example, his fight against Big Tech in the name of "anti-conservative bias" (no, it doesn't exist), which resulted in an assault on Section 230. Experts say the true aim of those efforts was to undermine content moderation, and normalize the white supremacist attitudes that helped put people like Trump in power. Unfortunately, those allegations will have life for years to come as a form of "zombie Trumpism," as Berin Szoka, a senior fellow at the technology policy organization TechFreedom, put it. Trump may be gone from office and Twitter.


Privacy Protection of Grid Users Data with Blockchain and Adversarial Machine Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Utilities around the world are reported to invest a total of around 30 billion over the next few years for installation of more than 300 million smart meters, replacing traditional analog meters [1]. By mid-decade, with full country wide deployment, there will be almost 1.3 billion smart meters in place [1]. Collection of fine grained energy usage data by these smart meters provides numerous advantages such as energy savings for customers with use of demand optimization, a billing system of higher accuracy with dynamic pricing programs, bidirectional information exchange ability between end-users for better consumer-operator interaction, and so on. However, all these perks associated with fine grained energy usage data collection threaten the privacy of users. With this technology, customers' personal data such as sleeping cycle, number of occupants, and even type and number of appliances stream into the hands of the utility companies and can be subject to misuse. This research paper addresses privacy violation of consumers' energy usage data collected from smart meters and provides a novel solution for the privacy protection while allowing benefits of energy data analytics. First, we demonstrate the successful application of occupancy detection attacks using a deep neural network method that yields high accuracy results. We then introduce Adversarial Machine Learning Occupancy Detection Avoidance with Blockchain (AMLODA-B) framework as a counter-attack by deploying an algorithm based on the Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) model into the standardized smart metering infrastructure to prevent leakage of consumers personal information. Our privacy-aware approach protects consumers' privacy without compromising the correctness of billing and preserves operational efficiency without use of authoritative intermediaries.


Google workers have formed a union

Engadget

A group of 226 engineers and other Google workers have formed a union, according to an article and opinion piece in the New York Times. Called the Alphabet Workers Union, it is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America and was organized in secret over the last year or so. "We are joining together -- temps, vendors, contractors, and full-time employees -- to create a unified worker voice," wrote the Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw, the executive chair and vice chair of the Alphabet Workers Union. "We want Alphabet to be a company where workers have a meaningful say in decisions that affect us and the societies we live in." The union represents a small minority of the company's 260,000 strong employee and contractor workforce.


The privacy wins worth celebrating in an otherwise dreary 2020

Mashable

Let's talk about the good things that happened this year. Yes, 2020 has been a relentless nightmare that's unspooled at rapidly shifting speeds -- and it's showing no signs of magically abating as the clock strikes 12 this New Year's Eve. But you, who by some combination of luck or fate are still thinking and breathing, know this already. What you may be less aware of, however, is that despite the undeniable pain and tragedy 2020 has wrought, there are developments worth celebrating. While each passing year seemingly brings with it news of further digital indignities thrust upon your life, 2020 witnessed genuine progress when it comes to protecting your privacy.


Our Top 10 Digital Law Predictions For 2021 - Technology - Australia

#artificialintelligence

But there is no doubt that the pandemic has hastened the adoption of emerging digital technologies, ushered in a new era of remote and flexible working arrangements, increased organisations' reliance on digital infrastructure and exposed our tech-related strengths and weaknesses alike. Leaving 2020 in the rear-view mirror, we count down our top 10 predictions for 2021 and beyond in the domain of Digital Law in Australia. Despite an existing principles-based framework for the protection of privacy under the Privacy Act, in recent years the Federal Government has preferred to introduce parallel privacy requirements, such as the 13 Privacy Safeguards under the Consumer Data Right legislation and the privacy aspects of the upcoming Data Availability and Transparency Act for Government agencies. These nascent regimes are similar enough to the existing privacy regime to encourage complacency and different enough to give any compliance function a headache. Overlapping and often sectorial regulation adds to the increasing complexity of privacy law in Australia.