The week in news - November 10
Bonfire Night in London hosted the annual Million Mask March, organized by the Anonymous collective, with people assembling early Saturday evening in Trafalgar Square. The first march was held five years ago, and in recent years affiliated marches in other cities have taken place. This year, more than 20,000 people indicated they would attend online, which raised concerns for police and law enforcement over safety concerns, particularly in light of reported escalations in previous years. People donning Guy Fawkes masks and Darth Vadar helmets, protesting the government’s use of the Internet to survey civilians and corrupt officials, among other protestations, attended the march.
On Wednesday morning, Hillary Clinton called Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to concede the election. In a shock result that defied polls and predictions, Trump has been formally announced as the President-elect, and will take office on January 20th, 2017. In a campaign period rife with mudslinging, many voters were left dissatisfied. Questions surrounding cyber security were central to the election, particularly in light of FBI Director James Comey’s public statements surrounding Clinton’s storing of classified information. Details of Trump’s cyber security policies, which he has outlined as a top priority, will soon surface, though Forbes calls existing plans ‘thin on the specifics’.
The Investigatory Powers Bill, commonly dubbed the Snooper’s Bill, etches ever closer to enactment. The Bill, which recently underwent a third reading, was originally brought forward by then-Home Secretary Theresa May. After more than 12 months of debate, it is likely to be passed before the year’s end, replacing existing surveillance laws that are scheduled to expire. The new legislation would allow government security systems to hack into computers, tablets, and mobile devices, which has sparked concern among privacy groups. The news coincides with the government’s announcement of a new five-year cyber security plan, titled the National Offensive Cyber Programme. A collaborative effort between the Ministry of Defence and Government Communications Headquarters, the programme outlines an intention to bolster cyber defence, including the launch of their own cyber attacks.
The Agricultural Bank of China has been placed with a $215 million fine by the state of New York, for lacking effective anti-money laundering controls and policies. The bank stands accused of concealing details of Russian, Middle Eastern and Chinese clients, while managers are believed to have attempted to silence a compliance officer for whistleblowing. Ag Bank is also required to install an external officer to monitor new compliance policies. Former Chief Compliance officer Natasha Taft claims she was wrongfully dismissed in New York for reporting serious money-laundering risks within the bank. This marks the latest in a string of crackdowns by the Department of Financial Services, who fined BNP Paribas $8.9 billion for violating sanctions and anti-money laundering laws in May of last year.
Volkswagen’s troubles continue to grow as a stream of headlines flood the press. The automaker’s luxury brand Audi now stands accused of fitting technology to alter carbon dioxide emissions reports by California regulators in a separate scandal to the ongoing ‘Dieselgate’ dilemma. According to the Telegraph, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) discovered the software four months ago. Adding fuel to an already raging fire, German prosecutors have extended their investigation to include the new Chairman, Hans Dieter Pötsch, alongside former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn and the head of brand passenger cars, Herbert Diess. Volkswagen’s investors are currently seeking more than $9 billion in damages.