At a glance.
- China accuses US of installing backdoors in Wuhan seismic laboratory.
- Kremlin accuses British Intelligence of enlisting "Ukrainian Nazis" to assassinate pro-Russian African leaders.
- What bot moderation looks like.
- Moscow court fines Reddit, Wikipedia, and Google for unwelcome content about Russia's war.
China accuses US of installing backdoors in Wuhan seismic laboratory.
China's Ministry of State Security has accused the US of "a cyberattack incident targeting the Wuhan Earthquake Monitoring Center. The Global Times, a news service operated by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, quotes Xiao Xinguang of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference: "US intelligence agencies not only actively collect various signal intelligence, but have also long obtained other countries' comprehensive earth system science remote-sensing and telemetry data as strategic intelligence through various means." Chinese statements express concern about collection of technical information and the possibility of collateral interference with earthquake alerts and emergency response.
The Record writes that seismic data could serve as a form of MASINT–that is, measurement and signature intelligence–noting as well that seismic monitoring has long provided information about nuclear testing. China's announcement also serves, whatever merit it may or may not have, as an influence operation, pushback to US accusations of Chinese cyberespionage and staging of potentially disruptive malware in critical infrastructure.
Kremlin accuses British Intelligence of enlisting "Ukrainian Nazis" to assassinate pro-Russian African leaders.
According to the Telegraph, Russian military and diplomatic sources (amplified by state-controlled media) say that Britain's MI6 has assembled a team of Ukrainian "Nazis" and dispatched them, possibly aboard a grain ship now transiting the Black Sea, to kill Africans sympathetic to Russia. “The goal of the Ukrainian unit that has been trained by British intelligence is to carry out acts of sabotage on key infrastructure in Africa and assassinate the African leaders who favour co-operation with Russia,” those sources said.
What bot moderation looks like.
We took a casual look at a subreddit about extraterrestrial life. It was introduced by a bot, which laid down the rules of civility:
"Reminder: Read the rules and understand the subreddit topic(s) listed in the sidebar before posting or commenting. Any content removal or further moderator action is established by these rules as well as Reddit ToS.
"This subreddit is primarily for the discussion of extraterrestrial life, but since this topic is intertwined with UFOs/UAPs as well as other topics, some 'fudging' is permissible to allow for a variety of viewpoints, discussions, and debates. Open-minded skepticism is always welcome in this sub, but antagonistic or belligerent denial is not. Always remember that you're interacting with a real person when you respond to posts/comments and focus on discussing or debating the ideas. Personal attacks are a violation of Rule 1 and will lead to removals and potentially bans depending on severity.
"For further discussion and interaction in a more permissible environment, we welcome you to our Discord: https://discord.gg/G2hNv42t
"I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns."
The bot seems nice. But the comments were immediately in obvious violation of the very civilized conditions the bot laid down. The post under discussion said, simply, "'I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet, and the UFO phenomenon is real.' - Edgar Mitchell, The 6th person to walk on the moon," with a picture of Edgar Mitchell in his Apollo spacesuit below the text. The comments immediately criticized Mr. Mitchell's appearance, his words, his credibility, his very existence. Some of it was kind of funny, but most of it represented the kind of disinhibited snark and smug anger that so cumbers the Internet in general and social media in particular.
Still, the bot seemed nice...
Moscow court fines Reddit, Wikipedia, and Google for unwelcome content about Russia's war.
Cybernews reports that a Russian magistrate court in separate actions Tuesday fined Reddit and Wikipedia a billion rubles each (the equivalent of a bit less than $11.000,000, the ruble not being what it used to be) for their failure to remove content not in line with the Kremlin's view of its special military operation, that is, its war against Ukraine. Wikipedia has been fined before and has no intention of complying with the takedown orders that accompanied the fine.
On Thursday Google was slapped with a similar fine, in this case three million rubles, or about $32,000, for failure to delete content about the special military operation Russia deems false and defamatory.
As we said, the ruble isn't worth what it used to be these days, and that hasn't escaped notice in Russia itself. After the recent drop in value one disgruntled citizen (apparently) hacked a big outdoor news ticker in the Siberian oil town of Surgut to display the message, "Putin is a d*ckh*ad and a thief. 100₽ to the dollar – you've lost your f*cking mind." Video of the crawler is provided by the Financial Times Moscow Bureau Chief in a tweet. "D*ckh*ad" isn't a literal translation of the demotic expression that appears in the message, but it's close enough in terms of perlocutionary force for government work. So there's at least one person dissatisfied with the exchange rate. Hope he or she stays safe.