Our picksProliferating troll farms; zoonotic threats; Silicon Valley’s spy wars, and more

Published 16 April 2018

· How every campaign will have a troll farm of its own

· “Threats,” “ultimatums,” and “espionage”: Inside Silicon Valley’s spy wars

· Military is ready to fend off Chinese and Russian hackers, Cyber Command nominee says

· Why the USDA decided not to over-regulate CRISPR crops—and what it means for agriculture’s future

· Zoonotic threats: As unpredictable as they are dangerous

· Too early for a ban: The U.S. and U.K. positions on lethal autonomous weapons systems

· How lawmakers want to rein in Facebook

· Congress wants answers on FBI’s ‘going dark’ problem in wake of DOJ IG report

How every campaign will have a troll farm of its own (Clint Watts, Daily Beast)
Russia started it, but politicians will proliferate it. Online trolling could become a service for campaigns everywhere…

“Threats,” “ultimatums,” and “espionage”: Inside Silicon Valley’s spy wars (Nick Bolton, Vanity Fair)
Foreign agents have been stealing tech companies’ secrets since the 70s. But now, in the wake of Facebook’s public crisis, the biggest companies in the world are coping with the challenge on an unprecedented level.

Military is ready to fend off Chinese and Russian hackers, Cyber Command nominee says (Wade Bennett, American Military News)
The U.S. is fully prepared to wage war in the cyberspace, according to recently disclosed written testimony from Army Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the Washington Fee Beacon reported.

Why the USDA decided not to over-regulate CRISPR crops—and what it means for agriculture’s future (Val Giddings, Genetic Literacy Project)
On 28 March, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that “USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests.” This is a big deal and a very good thing.

Zoonotic threats: As unpredictable as they are dangerous (Jared Kaltwasser, Contagion Live)
In epidemiology, some things are highly predictable. For instance, it’s a sure bet that whenever the next outbreak of some strange-sounding disease occurs, the media will start calling, the public will start worrying, and the government will rush in with promises of new research funding. (See H1N1; West Nile; Ebola; Zika.) The boom-and-bust pattern of public attention repeats itself over and over again.

Too early for a ban: The U.S. and U.K. positions on lethal autonomous weapons systems (Hayley Evans, Lawfare)
The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) is meeting for the second time to discuss emerging issues in the area of LAWS. As two of the countries reportedly investing in developing LAWS, the U.S. and the U.K. are ones to watch at this week’s conference.

How lawmakers want to rein in Facebook (Jack Corrigan, Nextgov)
Mark Zuckerberg’s marathon testimony foreshadowed that regulations are coming.

Congress wants answers on FBI’s ‘going dark’ problem in wake of DOJ IG report (Sean Lyngaas, Cyberscoop)
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray Friday slamming the FBI’s handling of the San Bernardino shooter’s locked iPhone, adding that the bureau’s claim that it couldn’t bypass encryption on some 7,800 devices last year seems “highly questionable.”