Our picksStopping the next ISIS; flawed crime reporting system; record year for gun deaths, and more

Published 12 December 2018

  Trump administration won’t back up president’s terror claim

  When cyberattacks occur, who should investigate?

  Start small to stop the next ISIS

  FBI moves to fix critical flaw in its crime reporting system

  The grim future of urban warfare

  Guns killed more people than car crashes in 2017

  Global warming is setting fire to American leadership

  As climate change bites in America’s Midwest, farmers are desperate to ring the alarm

Trump administration won’t back up president’s terror claim (Erin Banco, Lachlan Markay, Daily beast)
Data provided by his own administration shows that the issue is more complex than he implied in pushing for the border wall.

When cyberattacks occur, who should investigate? (John S. Davis II, Jonathan William Welburn, Benjamin Boudreaux, Jair Aguirre, RAND)
A world with more and more networked devices, the growing availability of cyber weapons, and the absence of accountability in cyberspace has led to the emergence of a digital wild west of cyber conflict and vigilantism. The private sector has responded accordingly with market solutions that can help defend against aggressors where government does not. These solutions include products like anti-virus software aimed at protecting average users against common attacks.
In a perfect world, cyberattackers would be attributed transparently with full confidence and be held accountable to prevent a repeat or future attack. But holding the attacker accountable should require a burden of proof that is scientific in methodology, consistent with that of other attacks and generally accepted.
As an alternative to the market and the sporadic and political decisions of national governments to publicly attribute, consider a solution in which a qualified, widely accepted, non-governmental body could conduct investigations and preside over cyber attribution decisions. Such a body could narrowly focus on engaging in attribution investigations in a transparent, systematic and consistent manner. The membership of such a body could be made up of technical and policy experts, perhaps on fellowship from private cybersecurity firms. More importantly, to avoid the perception of politicization or bias, the membership could be geopolitically diverse with mechanisms for dissent.
To prevent descending further into the digital wild west where every computer user must fend for itself, some thought could be given to creating a structure for enabling systematic accountability. We believe that creating a global body with a narrow focus on investigating and assigning responsibility for cyberattacks could be the first step to creating a digital world with accountability.

Start small to stop the next ISIS (Dafna H. Rand, Rebecca Wolfe, Foreign Policy)
One year on from the defeat of the Islamic State, the new U.S. Congress should draw on lessons learned from efforts to counter violent extremism.