Our picksVaccination timebomb; no facial recognition for SF police; LA fire season beginning, and more

Published 13 May 2019

·  Russia is targeting Europe’s elections. So are far-right copycats.

·  If you fear the Deep State, history explains why

·  “Vaccination timebomb” warning as 83 percent of parents of tots read “anti-vaxx” websites

·  San Francisco may ban police, city use of facial recognition

·  A Cisco router bug has massive global implications

·  China to bid on D.C. Metro rail deal as national security hawks circle

·  Los Angeles fire season is beginning again. And it will never end.

·  Algeria and America: A complicated past, an uncertain future

·  How Trump might designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization

·  Is Trump yet another U.S. president provoking a war?

·  White House mulls plan to send up to 120,000 troops to Iran: NYT

Russia is targeting Europe’s elections. So are far-right copycats. (Matt Apuzzo and Adam Satariano, New York Times)
Less than two weeks before pivotal elections for the European Parliament, a constellation of websites and social media accounts linked to Russia or far-right groups is spreading disinformation, encouraging discord and amplifying distrust in the centrist parties that have governed for decades.
European Union investigators, academics and advocacy groups say the new disinformation efforts share many of the same digital fingerprints or tactics used in previous Russian attacks, including the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Fringe political commentary sites in Italy, for instance, bear the same electronic signatures as pro-Kremlin websites, while a pair of German political groups share servers used by the Russian hackers who attacked the Democratic National Committee.
The activity offers fresh evidence that despite indictments, expulsions and recriminations, Russia remains undeterred in its campaign to widen political divisions and weaken Western institutions. Despite online policing efforts by American technology companies, it remains far easier to spread false information than to stop it.
Russia remains a driving force, but researchers also discovered numerous copycats, particularly on the far right. Those groups often echo Kremlin talking points, making it difficult to discern the lines between Russian propaganda, far-right disinformation and genuine political debate.

If you fear the Deep State, history explains why (John Gans, The Atlantic)
Unaccountable National Security Council staffers manage America’s foreign policy. Past reforms only amplified their influence.

“Vaccination timebomb” warning as 83 percent of parents of tots read “anti-vaxx” websites (Ben Gelblum and Gemma Francis, TLE)
Experts are warning the UK could be facing a ‘vaccination timebomb’ as more young parents turn to anti-vaccination sites online.
Research revealed half of parents – including 59 per cent of those under 25 – feel the so-called ‘anti-vaxx’ movement is becoming more influential.
A significant 83 per cent of young mums and dads with children aged five and under – the age when most vaccines are administered – admit reading anti-jab scare stories, compared to 65 per cent of parents overall.
Currently, just over half of parents carry out their own research before deciding whether to vaccinate their child, the study for UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and parenting site ChannelMum.com found. (Cont.)