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DHA Evaluating Authoritarian Tech Vendors

DHA Evaluating Authoritarian Tech Vendors For Australian Government.

DHA Evaluating Authoritarian Tech Vendors For Australian Government.

DHA Evaluating Authoritarian Tech Vendors – Australia’s Department of Home Affairs is preparing strategic advice for the Federal Government around the risks of ‘authoritarian tech vendors’.

DHA’s reporting covers strategies to mitigate data collection on social media platforms and via hardware and seeks to set out a proactive approach to mitigate risks. It’s not certain what is meant by hardware – whether mobile phones, computers, or other devices.

Regardless, it’s a vast and complex brief, given it covers the back ends of huge global digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Linked-In, We-Chat and, given its powerful data collection capabilities, Google.

Then there’s the data collection capabilities of cloud-based solutions’ vendors, most of whose apps unquestionably poke their noses into user data in a way consumers would certainly find disconcerting if revealed during the sales process.

Given the scope of DHA’s reporting, it’s hard to know whether anything specific will emerge. Home Affairs first assistant secretary, Cyber Security Policy, Pete Anstee, recently pointed out the security classification of the review meant this was unlikely. Instead, DHA’s advice is likely to express itself as Federal Government policy.

The inclusion of ‘hardware’ into the DHA’s scope is something for security people to pay attention to, given the Federal Government’s decision to remove Chinese CCTV cameras managed by trusted third party VMS solutions running on third party servers and switches from government applications.

DHA Evaluating Authoritarian Tech Vendors

Here the risk is not likely to be material but potential. ASIO has pointed out that possibilities are considered a threat by risk assessors – for instance, social media is not a threat in itself, according to ASIO, but the way it’s designed leaves it open to abuse by foreign powers.

On the hardware front, that focus on potential risk is likely to colour the government’s attitude to any network-connected device sourced from a manufacturer considered to pose a risk.

ASIO has said social media had benefited from an era of connectivity that had little regulation, “creating the conditions to allow disinformation and misinformation to proliferate and indeed flourish”.

“Many of the deliberate design features of the platforms, such as recommender algorithms that prioritise content or make personalised content suggestions, or those that allow for anonymity and identity shielding, or have limited content moderation capabilities, can exacerbate the risk of the platform or service being used to conduct foreign interference,” said ASIO’s submission to the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media.

Home Affairs minister Clare O’Neil ordered the review in September 2022, asking for a range of options on how to deal with consumer platforms based in “countries with a more authoritarian approach to the private sector”. The report is due in August.

You can register to track the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media here and see more SEN news here.

“DHA Evaluating Authoritarian Tech Vendors For Australian Government.”

DHA Evaluating Authoritarian Tech Vendors 2 LR
DHA Evaluating Authoritarian Tech Vendors.
John Adams
John Adamshttps://sen.news
A professional writer and editor who has been covering the security industry since 1991, John is passionate about clever applications of technology and the fusion of sensing and networking. A capable photographer John enjoys undertaking practical reviews of the latest electronic security systems.


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