At a glance.
- Beijing proposes guidelines for platforms' use of algorithms.
- A new Information Commissioner for the UK.
- Considerations on international norms of cyber conflict.
China considers checking ‘unethical’ algorithms.
On the heels of Beijing’s new data protection law, the Cyberspace Administration of China has proposed a set of guidelines intended to bridle platforms’ use of algorithms for ends the state sees as socially disruptive, CNBC reports. Among the prohibited practices, Bloomberg says, are price discrimination, manipulating rankings, crafting phony profiles, shaping public conversations, compromising national security or the public order, promoting non-mainstream values, spreading negative energy, and facilitating addictive use or spending. The guidelines, which could affect domestic e-commerce, ride-sharing, and social media platforms in addition to international firms like Apple, would also require companies to explain their ranking algorithms and provide an easy opt-out option. Bloomberg compares Beijing’s crackdown with concerns that have been raised on Capitol Hill over the social impacts of companies like Facebook and Google, contrasting the pace of regulation in the two countries.
The UK’s next IC is no friend of Facebook.
Computing notes the United Kingdom’s selection of New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards as its preferred candidate for the position of Information Commissioner, as well as Edwards’ past comments that Facebook is composed of “morally bankrupt pathological liars.” The Information Commissioner works to “uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.”
Notes on international norms of cyber conflict and the conduct of cyber diplomacy.
In discussing his paper “Big Data and the Future Law of Armed Conflict in Cyberspace,” University of Virginia law professor Paul Stephan recaps the escalatory risks of merging cyberspace norms and conventional laws of warfare, and reviews the controversial roles of AI in national security. He argues that cyberattacks on datasets are not equivalent to kinetic attacks in terms of the justified response, and encourages more work on how to preserve privacy while developing strategically competitive datasets.
Former US cyber diplomat Chris Painter assesses with Federal News Network the current administrative, regulatory, threat, norms, and solutions landscape, marking President Biden’s “real strides” towards elevating cybersecurity.
War on the Rocks weighs in on how to restructure the US State Department in light of modern challenges, arguing for creating a centralized Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy and preserving distinct centers of authority over emerging technologies. Cyberspace is a developing domain encompassing “political, economic, humanitarian, and security concerns” and deserving of focused attention on the goal of establishing an “open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet,” the piece maintains, while emerging technologies represent diverse, specialized capacities with uncertain futures.