Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The Fuse Box Full Of Robot Doctors

MacGibbon on federal Legacy cyber risk
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is 'begging for war', South Korea branded 'scabby sheep'

Toxic and Predatory Barrowing millionaire factory: Macquarie staff victims of upskirting predatory behaviour

Cortana, open Alexa!”  Having one of your voice assistants give orders to the other (NYT)

Can Government Keep Up with Artificial Intelligence?

Doc.Ai Is Creating Robo-Doctors That Can Converse With Patients MedCity News

Universal Robots’s devices are designed to work directly alongside humans without being confined to a cage for safety, as with many other industrial models. But IOActive was able to remotely hack the software that controls the robot and disable key safety features. This could result in them being programmed to injure the humans around them.
SUZANNE VENKER: The Whistleblower At Google

Imran Awan’s still-active email address is linked to the name of a House staffer who specializes in intelligence and homeland security matters for Indiana Democratic Rep. André Carson. Court documents and emails obtained by TheDCNF show Awan used the address 123@mail.house.gov in addition to his standard imran.awan@mail.house.gov account.
He and two of his Pakistani-born brothers, as well as his wife, are at the center of an FBI investigation over their IT work with dozens of Democratic congressional offices. Authorities shut down Awan’s standard email account Feb. 2, and he was arrested by the FBI at Dulles International Airport trying to board a flight to his native Pakistan on July 25.
Authorities apparently did not realize Awan has a second account that is not linked to his identity. While his main email address began rejecting mail after it was shut down, the 123 address was still accepting mail Tuesday.
Mail sent via Gmail fills in the name of the account-holder of 123 as Nathan Bennett, whose LinkedIn profile says his individual legislative portfolio covers “national security and foreign affairs” and includes work on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Via FAS – Domestic Terrorism: An Overview, Jerome P. Bjelopera, Specialist in Organized Crime and Terrorism. August 21, 2017

The Library of Congress has put the papers of Alexander Hamilton online for the first time in their original format. The Library holds the world’s largest collection of Hamilton papers—approximately 12,000 items concentrated from 1777 until Hamilton’s death in 1804, including letters, legal papers and drafts of speeches and writings, among other items. Now, for the first time, these original documents—many in Hamilton’s own hand—will be available for researchers, students or the generally curious anywhere in the world to explore, zoom in and read at loc.gov/collections/alexander-hamilton-papers/

“In August 2017, SecurityScorecard analyzed and scored the current security posture of 552 small, medium and large U.S. government organizations with more than 100 public-facing IP addresses, to determine the state of government cybersecurity programs today.

  •  Top performing U.S. State and Federal government organizations in security across small, medium and large IP footprint sizes.
  • Which government agencies had the best security out of all 552 organizations scored.
  • Where government ranks in security amongst 18 industries including Finance, Healthcare, Technology, and Retail.”
Spying on the Smart Home: Privacy Attacks and Defenses on Encrypted IoT TrafficNoah ApthorpeDillon ReismanSrikanth SundaresanArvind NarayananNick Feamster,arXiv:1708.05044 [cs.CR]
“The growing market for smart home IoT devices promises new conveniences for consumers while presenting new challenges for preserving privacy within the home. Many smart home devices have always-on sensors that capture users’ offline activities in their living spaces and transmit information about these activities on the Internet. In this paper, we demonstrate that an ISP or other network observer can infer privacy sensitive in-home activities by analyzing Internet traffic from smart homes containing commercially-available IoT devices even when the devices use encryption. We evaluate several strategies for mitigating the privacy risks associated with smart home device traffic, including blocking, tunneling, and rate-shaping. Our experiments show that traffic shaping can effectively and practically mitigate many privacy risks associated with smart home IoT devices. We find that 40KB/s extra bandwidth usage is enough to protect user activities from a passive network adversary. This bandwidth cost is well within the Internet speed limits and data caps for many smart homes.”

login.gov offers the public secure and private online access to participating government programs. With one login.gov account, users can sign in to multiple government agencies. Our goal is to make managing federal benefits, services and applications easier and more secure. Because login.gov is a shared service, users need fewer passwords and learn fewer interfaces. Also, security experts protect one service instead of many. Dedicated teams of design and security experts also will continuously improve it. Saving time and money – login.gov handles software development, security operations, and customer support. This frees up government departments to focus on their missions while reducing costs and improving security. Built cooperatively – login.gov works with the private sector and nonprofits to identify and implement best practices and new standards. login.gov builds on groundwork laid by the National Institute for Standards in Technology, the Cybersecurity National Action Plan, and the Federal Acquisition Service.” [h/t Pete Weiss]

How to Regulate Artificial Intelligence

The individual merit principle has produced public service leaders that look and talk the same, think alike and mix in the same circles. Heads of service are hatching plans to overturn decades of affiliation bias.
News Release, Former IRS Official Karen L. Hawkins to Chair ABA Section of Taxation:

Karen L. Hawkins of Yachats, Ore., has been selected to chair the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, the nation’s largest organization of tax lawyers. Hawkins will serve a one-year term, to be succeeded by Eric Solomon, of Washington, D.C., who will serve this year as chair-elect.
Hawkins served as the director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), where she oversaw the standards of practice for tax professionals. Prior to government service, she was a partner in the San Francisco law firm of Taggart & Hawkins PC, where she specialized in civil and criminal tax controversy. .


They only loaned me the Steinway

Former Guinean Minister of Mines Mahmoud Thiam has been convicted of receiving US$8.5m in bribes in a New York court, and given a 7 year prison sentence. Thiam, who learned his trade as a Wall Street banker, was accused of taking bribes from China International Fund Ltd. to help them secure valuable mining rights in the country.
Thaim used the cash to pay for a Steinway grand piano, renovations to his 30-acre New York estate, and ski lessons amongst other things. Thaim claimed the money was a loan. Of course, as everyone knows, it is quite normal to lend a government minister $8.5m to spend on luxury items!

Jacob Zuma’s Son, “Im not corrupt”, “I’m just a likeable guy”.

Ever since the Gupta leaks scandal hit the press in South Africa, questions have been circulating about Duduzane Zuma’s extravagant lifestyle and his links to the controversial Gupta family. The Gupta family, a wealthy Indian family with extensive business interests in South Africa have been accused of using their political connections to their personal benefit.

Duduzane has been treated particularly kindly by the Guptas, who paid for his extravagant wedding in 2015, and whose companies have funded a luxury lifestyle of fast cars and five star hotels.

So why would this group of businessmen be so kind to the president’s son? Duduzane has sought to douse any suspicion that this might be to curry favour with his father, revealing all in a no-holds-barred interview with the BBC. Apparently, the Guptas didn’t expect anything from their gifts, they simply gave him things because they like him, he is “just a likeable guy”. Ahhh, cute.

Do not stuff up this institution

An excellent piece by Nathan Lynch, republished on MichaelWest.com lays out what goes wrong when banks pursue profits over sound principles and anti-money laundering controls.

The story describes how the Commonwealth Bank of Australia became a money laundering hub after introducing automatic paying-in machines. “Smurfs” then would spend hours feeding in notes into the machines before the deposited money was transferred to accounts in the Far East.
The story reveals how a drive for profits at the bank led them to ignore the implementation of anti-money laundering controls that were introduced on similar machines in other banks, such as placing a daily limit on the amount a customer could pay in before having to speak to a bank employee.

It's a Myth That Corporate Tax Cuts Mean More Jobs The New York Times - Op-Ed

Report: Corporate Tax Cuts Boost CEO Pay, Not Jobs Institute for Policy Studies

Failure to Prevent the Facilitation of Tax Evasion: New United Kingdom Corporate Criminal Offence The National Law Review

Nairobi Tax Haven A Step Closer Tax Justice Network Africa
Negative ramifications foreseen with enactment of NIFC Bill

Chinese oil giant Sinopec probed by the U.S. over Nigeria bribery allegations Bloomberg

Too late, too little? The IMF and international tax flight UNU-WIDER Blog
See also: Policy diffusion within international organizations - A bottom-up analysis of International Monetary Fund tax work in Panama, Seychelles, and the Netherlands UNU-WIDER Working Paper

Trump wants to cut US corporate tax to 15pc to compete with Ireland silicon republic
Read about Tax 'Competition', or Tax Wars, here.

Challenging us to think big at Oxfam on gender and extractive industries The Politics of Poverty Blog“How can more equitable tax policy help eliminate gender injustice and increase women’s agency over their own lives and livelihoods?”

Aussie Tax Avoidance Taskforce – Trusts: ‘What gets our attention' International Investment

Germany is willing to give Netherlands access to Panama Papers DutchNews.nl

France's tax authority demands €600 million in tax from MicrosoftThe Local

Venezuela’s Ex-Prosecutor accuses President Maduro of Corruption OCCRP

Pakistan National Assembly passes bill to protect ‘whistleblowers’ in corruption cases Dawn

Bangladesh: Owner of Collapsed Building Jailed for Corruption OCCRP

Bank propagandists play hide and seek Michael West
'They have wailed long and hard about the dastardly injustice of bank taxes but peak body, the Australian Banking Association (ABA), is still yet to respond to questions about its own murky disclosures and secretive financial status ...'

UK: How big firms avoided up to £25bn in taxes Daily Mail

Court Grants Billionaire Rybolovlev’s Request for Sotheby’s Documents in Ongoing Feud With ‘Freeport King’ artnet 

Is Hong Kong's Reputation for Financial Secrecy About to Change? The Diplomat'Hong Kong commits to identifying companies’ beneficial owners – or does it?'. Cites TJN's Financial Secrecy Index.   

The Anonymous Companies That Protect Human Traffickers FACT Coalition

United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S., Caught on Email finews Asia
A Swiss private bank has reportedly handed over to authorities nearly 900 pages of paperwork related to a client allegedly linked to Malaysia's 1MDB scandal

Liechtenstein's LGT Bank plays up princely ties to woo Asian clients Reuters

Malawi, others lose $50 billion in tax evasion The Times Malawi

Apple Gets $208 Million in Tax Breaks to Build Iowa Data Center Bloomberg Technology / Associated Press"Critics questioned the wisdom and fairness of giving such tax breaks to one of the world's richest companies"
Australian Taxation Office's Tax Avoidance Taskforce sets out strategy against trust schemes STEP

Why Britain must end its role as Europe's offshore secrecy haven Herald Scotland

Exposed: the Scottish firms busting sanctions for Russia Herald Scotland

U.S. watchdog may fine Habib Bank, Pakistan's biggest lender, up to $630 million Reuters' ... for “grave” compliance failures relating to anti-money laundering rules and sanctions'

Ex-Banker Gets 7 Years in Prison for Taking Bribes While African Minister BloombergSee also: Ex-Guinea Minister Imprisoned for China Bribery OCCRP

UK: Big companies’ tax underpayment rises 14% to £24.8bn Financial Times' ... heightened scrutiny of multinationals’ tax affairs is partly a response to a public backlash against tax avoidance'

Commonwealth Bank of Australia hit with second regulatory probe after money laundering claims Reuters

See also: Smart Laundromat: The inside story of CBA money-laundering scandal Michael West / Nathan Lynch: 'There are no shortage of international case studies where banks that sideline their risk and compliance teams enjoy rapid short-term profitability, while the tail risks accumulate'

Shell companies: Feds widen hunt for dirty money in Miami real estate Bradenton Herald