• China has announced plans to build a massive underwater observation system that will cover the disputed East and South China Seas. The system will take five years to build and will be used for scientific research, disaster prevention and national security.
     
  • Three million North Koreans use Koryolink, the government’s mobile phone network. But expanded mobile use has been accompanied by expanded state surveillance.
     
  • Facebook has apologised after ‘mistakenly’ banning the use of a temporary profile picture option that commemorates the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.
     
  • Is South Korea the most technologically advanced avoider when it comes to digital diplomacy? Or should that accolade go to Japan?
     
  • Under tougher and tougher surveillance, China’s cyber criminals find creative ways to chat through technical, typographic and linguistic tricks.
     
  • Multinational social media companies operating in Southeast Asia are facing a dilemma as governments in the region crack down (paywalled) on Internet freedom. The Thai Government is extending their censorship policies to on-demand video streaming.
     
  • Through a partnership with state-owned China Electronics Technology Group, Microsoft has created a customised version of Windows 10 for the Chinese Government that will ‘enable the government to use its own encryption algorithms within its computer systems.’
     
  • Why did a video of a South Korean politician sliding his suitcase to a male assistant go viral online?
     
  • A sigh of relief for foreign businesses with the Chinese Government giving them a 19-month grace period to comply with strict new cyber data rules that require companies to store their data in China. Xinhua says the new laws are designed to safeguard China’s cyberspace sovereignty and are not a trade barrier. But it sounds like foreign firms have largely been left in the dark about the changes.
     
  • According to new FireEye research, a hacking group with suspected ties to the Vietnamese Government (known as APT32 or OceanLotus) has been conducting cyber espionage operations against foreign governments, businesses, dissidents and domestic journalists since 2014.
     
  • Taiwan’s marriage equality ruling last week was accompanied by some fairly crafty cross-Strait trolling on Weibo and strict censorship instructions by the government.
     
  • In 2016 Chinese investment into Israel increased tenfold to US$16.5 billion, with much of that increase money flowing into Israel’s cyber and start-up sector from Chinese tech companies.
     
  • Singapore has released a Pokemon-Go-inspired augmented reality game where users hunt for military vehicles to promote the first Army ‘open house’ the Ministry of Defence has held in five years.

Photo by Flickr user Philippe Put.