Our picksChild separation & int. law; surprise nuke attack; What Plum Island is really like, and more

Published 22 June 2018

  The short-sightedness of Obama-era cyber operations policy

  So what’s Plum Island really like? One reporter’s inside tour

  Plum Island group tours halted by Homeland Security

  “Zero tolerance” and the detention of children: Torture under international law

  Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy leaves no room for discretion

  Email hacking: A constant threat to political aspirations

  Prove it: Nuclear posture and the fear of surprise attack

  More deceit uncovered in Iran deal

  Southern Poverty Law Center has been labeling Christian groups “extremist” — now they’re fighting back

The short-sightedness of Obama-era cyber operations policy (James Van de Velde, Cipher Brief)
The Trump Administration is likely deliberating now the U.S. Department of Defense’s role in defending US interests via cyberspace – specifically, whether to continue President Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 20. U.S. military cyber operations will likely be determined by this internal debate. The previous administration emphasized caution in the application of power via cyberspace. Limits were set and rules established. Yet no other domain has such limits (though arguably states can inflict much more damage in all of the other domains). The result was predictable:  adversaries stole massive amounts of U.S. wealth and proprietary information, strategically placed malicious capabilities on U.S. civilian infrastructure that can cause civilian damage in times of crises or war, and terrorist groups used social media to transform their local grievances into a global movement, while most of the (cyber) DoD sat by idly.

So what’s Plum Island really like? One reporter’s inside tour (Julie Lane, Suffolk Times) Tell people you’re visiting Plum Island and be prepared for a litany of the perils in store for you. You’ll be reminded of persistent rumors springing from dire biological experiments that have taken place there and that still might be going on. A recent trip to the 840-acre, three-mile-long island just east of Orient Point, a place that has been fertile ground for conspiracy theories of all stripes, a fortress the best-selling author Thomas Harris thought suitable for his uber-villain, Hannibal Lector, did have some dangers.

Plum Island group tours halted by Homeland Security (Rachel Siford, Suffolk Times)
Tours of federally owned Plum Island have been halted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, citing pending litigation and the anticipated relocation of operations from the island. “The Department of Homeland Security has revised its Plum Island visitor policy to suspend all non-mission-related visits to Plum Island and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center,” said John Verrico, DHS chief of media relations, science and technology directorate. “This change is due to current litigation over the island’s future, the increasing activities related to DHS’s ultimate departure and the need to ensure proprieties of the future sale.”