Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Wrongfully Accused by Aliens and Algorism

Aussie cyber security gets $1.35B funding boost

Known as the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, it will include $470 million to hire an extra 500 cyber security experts in the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), which intercepts electronic communications from foreign countries.

Mystery of $2bn of loans backed by fake gold in China

Nasdaq-listed Kingold's play for trove of property stymied by corruption probe

More than a dozen Chinese financial institutions, mainly trust companies, loaned 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) over the past five years to Wuhan Kingold Jewelry Inc. with pure gold as collateral and insurance policies to cover any losses.

Kingold is the largest privately owned gold processor in central China's Hubei province. Its shares are listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York. The company is led by Chairman Jia Zhihong, an intimidating ex-military man who is the controlling shareholder.

What could go wrong?

True leadership means not turning a blind eye to uncomfortable truths
Philosophers most retweeted by philosophers on Twitter (with over 1000 followers) — also check out the graph, linked at the top, of philosopher retweet relationships

Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm - ars technica: “Civil rights activists have filed an official complaint against the Detroit police, alleging the department arrested the wrong man based on a faulty and incorrect match provided by facial recognition software—the first known complaint of this kind. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the complaint (PDF) Wednesday on behalf of Robert Williams, a Michigan man who was arrested in January based on a false positive generated by facial recognition software. “At every step, DPD’s conduct has been improper,” the complaint alleges. “It unthinkingly relied on flawed and racist facial recognition technology without taking reasonable measures to verify the information being provided” as part of a “shoddy and incomplete investigation.”…

The New York Times – “In what may be the first known case of its kind, a faulty facial recognition match led to a Michigan man’s arrest for a crime he did not commit…A nationwide debate is raging about racism in law enforcement. Across the country, millions are protesting not just the actions of individual officers, but bias in the systems used to surveil communities and identify people for prosecution. Facial recognition systems have been used by police forces for more than two decades. Recent studies by M.I.T. and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, have found that while the technology works relatively well on white men, the results are less accurate for other demographics, in part because of a lack of diversity in the images used to develop the underlying databases. Last year, during a public hearing about the use of facial recognition in Detroit, an assistant police chief was among those who raised concerns. “On the question of false positives — that is absolutely factual, and it’s well-documented,” James White said. “So that concerns me as an African-American male.” This month, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM announced they would stop or pause their facial recognition offerings for law enforcement. The gestures were largely symbolic, given that the companies are not big players in the industry. The technology police departments use is supplied by companies that aren’t household names, such as Vigilant Solutions, Cognitec, NEC, Rank One Computing and Clearview AI. Clare Garvie, a lawyer at Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology, has written about problems with the government’s use of facial recognition. She argues that low-quality search images — such as a still image from a grainy surveillance video — should be banned, and that the systems currently in use should be tested rigorously for accuracy and bias. “There are mediocre algorithms and there are good ones, and law enforcement should only buy the good ones,” Ms. Garvie said. About Mr. Williams’s experience in Michigan, she added: “I strongly suspect this is not the first case to misidentify someone to arrest them for a crime they didn’t commit. This is just the first time we know about it.”…

Happy birthday GST, you haven't changed - 200 Proof Liberal

"The old rule of thumb I have is any tax reform at any moment is three banner headlines from defeat."

~Chris Richardson

Canberra Times by Colin Brinsden
Monday 29 June 2020
You can almost sense the collective eye-roll when prime ministers and treasurers talk about a new round of tax reform and the first question is: "Will you raise the GST?"
It's a valid question for a meaningful overhaul of our tax system, but it is one both sides of politics would rather ignore and leave in the too-hard basket.
That's despite a wealth of economists, tax experts and international institutions, like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Monetary Fund, urging changes to the GST to be included in any tax reform.

Shakespeare on Tax Reform: 20 years of the GST

There has been some recent commentary noting that 1 July 2020 will be the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the GST. It is also the 90th anniversary of the introduction of the Wholesale Sales Tax which the GST relaced, the 45th anniversary of the Asprey Review report which advocated a broad-based consumption tax, the 35th anniversary of the Hawke Cabinet endorsing Keating’s Option C, with Keating famously rolled on the position in the following month, the 25th anniversary of the then Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, promising that they would never introduce a GST. And whilst on anniversaries, there was a Fightback birthday cake that had an impact as well.

One of the curses of too much education is that you cannot just experience life as it is, but constantly see what is going on around you as concrete illustrations of abstract principles.
200 Proof Liberals — a new group political philosophy blog

In a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it isn’t always clear what ethicists should be focusing on — so the first step is to “triage” ethical issues themselves, says David Shaw (Basel, Maastricht)

Representative Image

Big Tim a brother of Big Tolstoy of Kenya 🇰🇪 fame ...

“They succeed in keeping people in their place” — to see what something’s function is, see what it actually does. Todd May (Clemson) and George Yancy (Emory) on the police

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient ever of a Nobel Peace Prize, has graduated from Oxford –the NYT couldn’t resist noting in the sub-headline that the philosophy, politics, and economics major is “currently unemployed”

The Economy Isn’t About Money. It’s About Putting Food on the TABLE

American elite culture today is oriented around hostility to people who have unpopular but accurate observations. Our laws and rules incentivize cheaters, looters, and superficial intellectual frauds. Of course we can't handle a public health crisis.

$1.4 Billion in Stimulus Funds Sent to Dead People, Watchdog Finds NYT

The Economy Isn’t About Money. It’s About Putting Food on the Table

Our Enlightenment predecessors recognized not one but five economies – and the pandemic has reinvigorated our taste for them.

What is a cyber attack, what are the targets and who is behind them? Inside the hacking attacks bombarding Australia

TikTok: Beneath Its Fun Exterior Lies A Sinister Purpose.“TikTok is a very irresponsible company, dangerous by design. And not simply by carelessness, mistake or default: this is a deep and patent irresponsibility, a philosophy focused on the constant capture of all kinds of user data… the type of app you would expect from a Chinese company operating in China that makes a few cosmetic changes to adapt it to the West — if that — applying the same criteria and philosophy it does in China. In short, not recommendable for children or adults, particularly thanks to its sinister content recommendation system. And now under the benevolent guise of a Western CEO formerly at Disney.”

Federal Reserve Board: “The Federal Reserve today published the FraudClassifier model—a set of tools and materials to help provide a consistent way to classify and better understand the magnitude of fraudulent activity and how it occurs across the payments industry. The model was developed by the Fraud Definitions Work Group, which was comprised of Federal Reserve and payments industry fraud experts. “The FraudClassifier model can help address the industrywide challenge of inconsistent classifications for fraud involving ACH, wire, or check payments,” said Jim Cunha, secure payments strategy leader and senior vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “The  FraudClassifier model enables payments stakeholders to classify fraud in a simple and similar manner. It can be applied across an organization to help ensure greater internal consistency in fraud classification, more robust information and better fraud tracking.” The key advantage of the FraudClassifier model is the ability for organizations to use it to classify fraud independently of payment type, payment channel or other payment characteristics. The model presents a series of questions, beginning with who initiated the payment to differentiate payments initiated by authorized or unauthorized parties. Each of the classifications is supported by definitions that allow for consistent application of the FraudClassifier model across the industry. The Fraud Definitions Work Group also developed and recommended an industry adoption roadmap, which outlines a strategy and potential steps to encourage voluntary industrywide use of the FraudClassifier model.

  • Learn more—and sign up to access  educational resources and support tools for the FraudClassifier model—by visiting FedPaymentsImprovement.org.”

A chain of stupidity’: the Skripal case and the decline of Russia’s spy agencies Guardian

Israel was at the centre of the most important news story this week – but you won’t have heard about it Independent Robert Fisk

Public servants across Australia hit with pay freezes, job cuts

ALL IN: State and federal public service employees across the country have been dealt major blows as governments attempt to grapple with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Hong Kong’s Cartoonists Aren’t Giving Up on Dissent The Nation

How to read between the lines of China and the EU’s diplomatic statementsQuartz

Inside China’s race to beat poverty FT

China’s Go West plan fails to capture imagination of foreign firms suffering from ‘regional development plan fatigue’ South China Morning Post

Chinese structures appear near site of border clash with India, satellite images show NBC