Unrest in Hong Kong continues, as do lawfare and information operations waged from Beijing. The Internet Society has protested a ruling by the Hong Kong High Court that effectively criminalizes using the Internet for communications not in the government's interest. The proscribed communications are ones that, nominally, promote violence, but the ruling seems more expansive than that. It's also likely, the Internet Society believes, to exert a chilling effect on online communications, with attendant pressure on platforms to err on Beijing's side when they perform content moderation.
And, in the face of widespread takedowns of coordinated inauthenticity, Quartz reports that Beijing's line on Hong Kong is being circulated through an unlikely channel: Pornhub, which is exactly what its name suggests. Much of this activity seems the work of centrally inspired but independently operating patriotic actors.
Trend Micro describes renewed activity by APT33, the suspected Iranian threat group active against oil, gas, and defense targets.
Researchers at Intezer and IBM's X-Force describe a new ransomware strain, PureLocker, which attacks enterprise production servers. PureLocker, the researchers believe, is associated with the criminal groups Cobalt Gang and FIN6, who are thought to have obtained it on the black market from a malware-as-a-service provider.
Facebook's Community Standards Enforcement Report says the social network took down tens of millions of pages whose contents violated its community standards, proscribing terrorist inspiration, child exploitation, bullying, and incitement to suicide or self-harm, among other things. Facebook also offered examples of how it draws the line on impermissible content.