Our picksBe Afraid of the Next ‘Lab Leak’ | Snarled Chip Supply Chains | China Wants to Write the Tech Rules for 5G, and more

Published 3 December 2021

·  You Should Be Afraid of the Next ‘Lab Leak’

·  Far Right Is Using Twitter’s New Rule Against Anti-Extremism Researchers

·  The Taliban Are Banned by Facebook. Then Why Are They Allowed to Post?

·  Biden Explores Talks as China Builds Arsenal

·  Huawei Sanctions Snarled Chip Supply Chains

·  Now That We’ve Left Afghanistan, Expect Fewer Islamic Terrorist Attacks on Americans

·  Will Germany’s Compulsory Vaccine Plan Backfire?

·  China Wants to Write the Tech Rules for 5G. Experts Say That’s a Big Problem

·  U.S. to Lead Global Effort to Curb Authoritarians’ Access to Surveillance Tools

·  Suspected Chinese Hackers Breach More U.S. Defense and Tech Firms

You Should Be Afraid of the Next ‘Lab Leak’  (Jon Gertner, New York Times)
Covid might not have come out of a medical research lab, but it raises some urgent questions about how those facilities operate.

Far Right Is Using Twitter’s New Rule Against Anti-Extremism Researchers  (Drew Harwell, Washington Post)
Neo-Nazis and far-right activists are coaching followers on how to use a new Twitter rule to persuade the social media platform to remove photos of them posted by anti-extremism researchers and journalists who specialize in identifying episodes of real-world hate. Advocates said they worry the new policy will suppress efforts to document the activities of the far right and will prove to be a gift to members of hateful movements eager to keep their identities concealed. “It’s going to be emboldening to the fascists,” said Gwen Snyder, an anti-fascist researcher and organizer in Philadelphia. Snyder’s Twitter account was suspended early Thursday after someone reported a 2019 tweet of hers showing photos of a local mayoral candidate attending a public rally alongside the extremist group the Proud Boys. After The Washington Post asked about the suspension, Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy said the tweet was not in violation and that “our teams took enforcement action in error.” On Tuesday, Twitter said its new “private information policy” would allow someone whose photo or video was tweeted without their consent to request the company take it down. Twitter said the rule would help “curb the misuse of media to harass, intimidate and reveal the identities of private individuals, which disproportionately impacts women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.

The Taliban Are Banned by Facebook. Then Why Are They Allowed to Post?  (Rimal Farrukh, Vice)
For years, Facebook has prohibited the Taliban from using its platform under its counter-terrorist and hate group community standards. Although the Taliban remains blocklisted, recently revealed internal memos show that the company has allowed certain exceptions, mostly for the armed group’s Ministry of Interior, following its takeover as the de facto government of Afghanistan. According to The Intercept, Facebook contradicted its own community standards under its “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” policy in late September.