• Domestic terrorismU.S. Militias Want to “Blow Up” Capitol: Police Chief

    The acting chief of the US Capitol police urged for security measures to remain in place amid ongoing threats by extremists. “Members of militia groups that were present on January 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union,” Pittman told members of the House Appropriations Committee.

  • IranU.S. Strikes Iran-Backed Militias Blamed for Rocket Attacks in Iraq

    The United States launched air strikes in eastern Syria targeting facilities used by Iran-backed militias. The Pentagon said the strikes, the first military action undertaken by President Joe Biden’s administration since he was sworn into office last month, hit “multiple facilities” at a control point on the Syria-Iraq border used by several Iran-backed militias, including the Iraqi Shiite groups Kaitib Hizballah and Kaitib Sayyid al-Shuhada.

  • SolarWindsSolarWinds Hack Bigger, More Dangerous than Previously Thought, Tech Execs Warn

    By Jeff Seldin

    Executives with technology companies impacted by the massive cybersecurity breach known as the SolarWinds hack are giving U.S. lawmakers more reason to worry, warning the intrusion is both bigger and more dangerous than first realized.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Prosecuting seditionsThe Last Time the Justice Department Prosecuted a Seditious Conspiracy Case

    Lenawee County, Michigan, had an apocalyptic Christian nationalist militia problem about a decade ago. The group called itself the Hutaree, a name that members said meant “Christian Warriors,” though the FBI said it didn’t mean anything at all. The FBI had an informer inside the group, and nine of its members were charged with conspiracy, sedition, and various weapon charges. Judge Victoria Roberts acquitted the Hutaree members of the serious charges of conspiracy and sedition. Why should anyone care about the Hutaree now? Jacob Schulz writes that we should, “because one of those serious charges was seditious conspiracy under 18 U.S.C.§ 2384. It was the last time the Justice Department would use the statute until the present day.” It’s looking more and more like prosecutors might dust off the statute in response to the insurrection of Jan. 6. “The trial judge’s decision in the Hutaree case isn’t binding precedent. But the Hutaree are worth a second look.”

  • Cyber workforceCyber Workforce Protecting U.S. National Security

    By David Vergun

    The Defense Department’s cyber workforce is tasked with defending virtually every system that the department relies on to protect national security.

  • Texas power outagesWinter Storm Could Cost Texas More Money Than Any Disaster in State History

    By Mitchell Ferman

    Lawmakers and analysts say it is too soon for an exact estimate, but the financial damage from the storm has left state lawmakers scrambling to account for the storm in the middle of the 2021 legislative session.

  • ARGUMENT: Climate emergency Is Climate Change a National Emergency?

    Climate change is unlike any problem facing the nation and the world, Mark Nevitt writes: It has been aptly described as the “mother of all collective action” problems and a “super-wicked” problem. “Climate change is complicated by a unique temporal characteristic that penalizes inaction. Because greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stay in the atmosphere for decades, dithering on climate action imposes escalating costs that rise over time,” he writes. “At some point, the effects of climate change will be too acute, have had too much impact, or be too late to stop or reverse.”

  • Earthquakes early warningEarthquake Early Warning in Oregon and Washington

    Starting 11 March 2021, ShakeAlert-powered earthquake early warning alerts will be available for delivery directly to wireless devices in Oregon. In May 2021, Washington state will follow suit and complete the ShakeAlert public alerting rollout across the entire West Coast. California enabled ShakeAlert-powered alerts in October 2019.

  • Our picksTargeting Domestic Violent Extremism | Biden Squeezed on Immigration Policy | The Tyranny of Distance, and more

    •  NATO Spy Drones Used to Monitor Borders Pose Crash Risk, Warn Experts

    •  Why the Science Underpinning the U.K. Government’s Slow Lockdown Release Is Flawed

    •  New DHS Grants Allocate $77 Million to Target Domestic Violent Extremism

    •  Germany Bans Salafist Muslim Group

    •  The Insurrection Highlights the Need for Civics Learning

    •  Biden Squeezed on Immigration Policy, Bracing for Border Crisis

    •  Don’t Knock Yourself Out: How America Can Turn the Tables on China by Giving Up the Fight for Command of the Seas

  • Supply chainsBiden Orders Review to Bolster Supply Chain Resiliency

    By Patsy Widakuswara

    President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday to formally order a 100-day government review of global supply chains and potential U.S. vulnerabilities in key industries including computer chips, electric vehicle batteries, pharmaceuticals and critical minerals used in electronics. On top of the 100-day review of these four key industries, Biden’s order also directs yearlong reviews for six sectors: defense, public health, information technology, transportation, energy and food production.

  • Iran’s nukesIran Confirms End to Snap Inspections as U.S. Seeks to “Lengthen, Strengthen” Nuclear Deal

    Iranian state television has confirmed that the country has ended its implementation of the Additional Protocol, which allows for so-called snap inspections of nuclear-related sites, signaling the further disintegration of atomic safeguards in place since a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

  • Technology regulationHow Much Regulation of the Tech Industry Is Too Much?

    As prominent figures, including former President Donald Trump, are banned from social media platforms for posting disinformation or inflammatory remarks, technology regulation has become a hot topic of debate. “We are living in times where technology has fundamentally changed almost all aspects of our lives,” says UCLA’s Terry Kramer. “It is within this context that we must carefully balance and enable the advantages of technology, which can improve our lives, improve our connectedness, lower the cost of critical goods and services, and improve health care against forces that can create negative externalities. Developing a critical understanding of the trade-offs is essential.”

  • Extremism on lineThe Infrastructure of Hate: Epik Hosts Extremist Groups

    Social media platforms have received the lion’s share of attention for enabling users to spread hate and disinformation and plan and incite violence and terrorist acts. Flying under the radar are infrastructure providers like Epik, a domain registrar and web hosting company that works with nearly 750,000 websites and is ranked among the 50 largest web hosts. While some companies at the infrastructure level have acknowledged a level of responsibility for addressing abuse of their services—for example, this framework by domain registrars signed by leading companies such as GoDaddy, Tucows and Amazon—Epik is not among them.

  • PolarizationHow Shared Partisanship Leads to Social Media Connections

    By Peter Dizikes

    It is no secret that U.S. politics is polarized. An experiment conducted by MIT researchers now shows just how deeply political partisanship directly influences people’s behavior within online social networks. The Twitter experiment shows clear self-selection into social media “echo chambers” due to political preferences.

  • ARGUMENT: Reframing the China InitiativeThe Biden Administration Should Review and Rebuild the Trump Administration’s China Initiative from the Ground Up

    In mid-January an MIT engineering professor Gang Chen was arrested as part of the Trump administration’s China Initiative, which was launched in November 2018 as a prosecutorial response to China’s persistent, pervasive, and well-documented campaign of economic espionage and illicit knowledge transfer. The Chen case demonstrates why the initiative’s overly broad focus on China has been met with relentless criticism from academic institutions and Asian American advocacy groups.

  • Texas power outagesWhat Went Wrong with Texas’ Power Grid?

    On 13 February, a severe winter storm swept across Texas and nearby southern states, bringing sub-zero temperatures and snowfall as far south as the border with Mexico. The polar air that descended on Texas lasted many days, leading to a statewide crisis as energy grids failed to supply enough power, fuels froze, and water pipes burst. Why did it happen? Experts explain.

  • Water securityA Looming Crisis for Local U.S. Water Systems?

    By Sara Frueh

    Water bills in the U.S. are eating up a growing share of household budgets — and becoming increasingly unaffordable for low-income families. In many cities, shrinking populations and aging infrastructure mean increasingly unaffordable water.

  • Our picksTexas: A Disaster Foretold | Terrorist-Reporting App | The Future of QAnon, and more

    ·  Neo-Nazi Terrorists Planned Fortified Compound in Michigan

    ·  Generation Identity: France Begins Shutting Down Far-Right Group

    ·  Families of Pensacola Terror Attack Victims Sue Saudi Arabia

    ·  Far-Right Incidents Surge in German Military

    ·  New App Launched for Reporting Terrorist Material as Extremists ‘Exploit Pandemic’

    ·  Nuclear Warfare or Cyber Warfare: Which Is the Bigger Threat?

    ·  Inside the New $65 Million Push from Progressives to Compete with Conservative Media

    ·  The Future of QAnon, Explained by 8 Experts

    ·  Texas Failed in 3 Big Ways

    ·  The Texas Blackout Is the Story of a Disaster Foretold

  • Iran’s nukesIAEA Chief: Iran to Give “Less Access” to UN Nuclear Inspectors

    The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency said after talks in Iran on February 21 over Tehran’s threat to curb international inspections that the two sides reached an agreement but that Iran will suspend a key document on cooperation and offer “less access” to inspectors.

  • Social mediaFacebook Restores News to Australian Users

    By Phil Mercer

    Facebook is restoring news content to its users in Australia after resolving a dispute with the government. Last week, Facebook blocked Australians from sharing and reading news stories on its platform in a dispute with the government in Canberra.   

  • ExtremismExtremist Minds: These Psychological Traits Might Help Identify People Vulnerable to Becoming Radicalized

    By Leor Zmigrod

    The characteristics of peoples’ brains might offer clues about the political beliefs they hold dear. In a study of around 350 U.S. citizens, we examined the relationship between individuals’ cognitive traits – the unconscious ways in which their brains learn and process information from the environment – and their ideological worldviews. We found parallels between how those with extreme views perform in brain games and the kind of political, religious and dogmatic attitudes they adhere to.

  • ExtremismInoculating against the Spread of Radical-Islamist and Islamophobic Disinformation

    Misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda are core components of radicalization and extremism and apply equally to Islamist radicalization and the generation of Islamophobia. One method of countering disinformation is to inoculate the information consumer.