Intelligence

Julian Assange gets a new Australian passport

Fugitive Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been issued with a new Australian passport after lengthy negotiations over whether he was subject to an arrest warrant for a “serious foreign offence”. Richard Baker The Sydney Morning Herald A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade official confirmed in a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday that Mr Assange’s 2018 application for a new passport had been accepted. Consular and Crisis Management Division first assistant secretary Andrew Todd said, “Mr Assange does have an ... Read More »

China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise

The Chinese authorities turned to a Massachusetts company and a prominent Yale researcher as they built an enormous system of surveillance and control Sui-Lee Wee The New York Times BEIJING — The authorities called it a free health check. Tahir Imin had his doubts. They drew blood from the 38-year-old Muslim, scanned his face, recorded his voice and took his fingerprints. They didn’t bother to check his heart or kidneys, and they rebuffed his request to see the results. “They ... Read More »

The AI Road to Serfdom?

Estimates of job losses in the near future due to automation range from 9% to 47%, and jobs themselves are becoming ever more precarious. Robert Skidelsky Project Syndicate Should we trust the conventional economic narrative according to which machines inevitably raise workers’ living standards? LONDON – Surveys from round the world show that people want secure jobs. At the same time, they have always dreamed of a life free from toil. The “rise of the robots” has made the tension between these ... Read More »

As Germany, UK waver on Huawei, China rebuts chief US security claim

Beijing: With Germany and Britain poised to make a decision on Huawei and 5G, China has begun to hit back with new ferocity at claims its national intelligence law compels Chinese companies to obey its… WAtoday Despite Washington’s public pressure on allies to bar Huawei, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre is reported to have decided the security risk is “manageable”, while a German cabinet meeting last week is… Germany is said to be weighing up security conditions that could instead be ... Read More »

Call to ban killer robots in wars

A group of scientists has called for a ban on the development of weapons controlled by artificial intelligence (AI). Pallab Ghosh BBC It says that autonomous weapons may malfunction in unpredictable ways and kill innocent people. Ethics experts also argue that it is a moral step too far for AI systems to kill without any human intervention. The comments were made at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington DC. Human Rights Watch (HRW) is one of the ... Read More »

Trump envoy urges Europe to ‘link arms’ against China

But first Brussels must start correcting the ‘enormous’ trade imbalances that have stoked transatlantic tensions, says Gordon Sondland. By HANS VON DER BURCHARD Politico Donald Trump’s man in Brussels has a simple message for Europe: Let’s be friends — and fight China. Describing China’s influence as “malign,” Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told POLITICO that his country and the EU should overcome their current trade tensions and… “We should … combine our mutual energies — we ... Read More »

Israel extends intelligence document classification period to 90 years

The government of Israel has increased to 90 years the period during which documents belonging to intelligence and security agencies can remain secret, extending it by 20 years. Josef Fitsanakis IntelNews Until last month, government documents produced by Israeli spy agencies, such as its external spy organization, the Mossad, or its domestic security agency, the Shin Bet, could remain hidden from public view for up to 70 years. Last year, however, the administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commissioned a ... Read More »

China’s research in artificial intelligence ‘far outranks’ Huawei threat, expert says

Experts are warning of the threat posed by China’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a survellience state, and say the risk of such authoritarian behaviour spreading to other parts of the world is increasing. Ian Burrows ABC While Chinese technology company Huawei is making daily headlines at the moment, Greg Austin, professor of cyber security, strategy and diplomacy at the University of New South Wales, said there were… “If I were asked which was the bigger threat from ... Read More »

Hackers Turn the Tables on Russia

A new website features documents pilfered from Kremlin officials and agencies. By Amy Mackinnon, Elias Groll FP Russian government officials are getting a taste of their own medicine. A new site that collects hacked and leaked material from around the web late last week published a major collection of documents and emails belonging to Russian government officials and… On Friday, a site calling itself Distributed Denial of Secrets published a 108-gigabyte archive dubbed the “Dark Side of the Kremlin,” which ... Read More »

Prakash citizenship revocation could jeopardise extradition chances, says Law Council

Australia’s peak body for lawyers says the “premature” announcement that Islamic State member Neil Prakash has been stripped of his citizenship could jeopardise efforts to see him face justice in this country. David Wroe The Canberra Times Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses, SC, has said that Turkey – where Prakash is currently in jail facing terrorism charges – would take into account whether or not he was an Australian in considering an… “I am troubled that this potentially ... Read More »

German government cagey on spy cooperation in Pinochet’s Chile

The German Foreign Ministry has refused to shed light on the BND’s cooperation with the CIA to aid General Augusto Pinochet’s brutal regime in Chile. Ben Knight DW The vague responses have outraged the German Left party. The German government has offered only cagey responses to questions about cooperation between the German secret service, the BND, and military dictatorships in Chile and Greece in the late 1960s and early ’70s. The socialist Left party’s Jan Korte submitted 68 questions to ... Read More »

Finland’s grand AI experiment

Inside Finland’s plan to train its population in artificial intelligence. HELSINKI —  Jaana Partanen is not your typical AI programming geek. Janosch Delcker Politico Until a year ago, the 59-year-old dentist from the Finnish town of Mikkeli had no idea what to make of terms like “machine learning” or “neural networks.” Now, Partanen spends her evenings learning the basics of coding and she is thinking about how to apply artificial intelligence to her job, either to help write up medical ... Read More »

Turkey would not allow US to inspect Russian S-400 missile systems: Official

A senior Turkish official says Ankara would not provide the United States with the opportunity to study the advanced Russian-built S-400 air defense missile system, regardless of strong opposition from Washington and… PressTV “Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has assured Russian Ambassador to Ankara Alexei Yerkhov that there are no talks that Turkey will give the United States the chance to inspect S-400 air… English-language Bloomberg news network, citing two sources, recently reported that Turkey had offered the US to survey the S-400 air ... Read More »

North Korea defector hack: Personal data of almost 1,000 leaked

Almost 1,000 North Korean defectors have had their personal data leaked after a computer at a South Korean resettlement centre was hacked, the unification ministry said. BBC A personal computer at the state-run centre was found to have been “infected with a malicious code”. The ministry said this is thought to be the first large-scale information leak involving North Korean defectors. The hackers’ identity and the origin of the cyber-attack is not yet confirmed. The North Gyeongsang resettlement centre is ... Read More »

What’s wrong with Huawei, and why are countries banning the Chinese telecommunications firm?

The Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is under scrutiny around the globe over concerns that its close ties with the Chinese government present national security threats to the U.S., Europe and… Authors: The Conversation Huawei, which denies all the allegations against it, is “the world’s biggest supplier of telecoms gear” and has plans to “dominate the market” for the next generation of wireless communications, called 5G. But its hopes are threatened by governments around the world, which are restricting the company’s ... Read More »

What can Philosophy teach Machine Learning?

A Journey from Socrates to AI via Cognitive Science From Socrates to Cognitive Science Federico Castellano Towards Data Science Since Socrates asked Thrasymachus for a definition of the concept of justice, philosophy posed for the very first time one of the most challenging philosophical questions: what is a concept? For many hundred years, inquiries concerning the nature and structure of concepts caught the attention of the world’s finest minds; yet it wasn’t until the sixteenth and… Empiricists argued that concepts are ... Read More »