• Foreign-influence operationsDOJ’s new initiative: Alerting public to foreign-influence activities targeting U.S. democracy

    The Department of Justice on Thursday announced that DOJ will begin to alert the public about foreign operations targeting U.S. democracy. The new DOJ initiative is aims to counter hacking and disinformation campaigns such as the one Russia undertook in 2016. The government will inform American companies, private organizations, and individuals that they are being covertly attacked by foreign actors attempting to affect elections or the political process. “Exposing schemes to the public is an important way to neutralize them,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. “The American people have a right to know if foreign governments are targeting them with propaganda,” he said.

  • Foreign-influence operationsNew cosponsors for the bipartisan DETER Act

    More lawmakers have joined Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) in sponsoring the DETER Act. DETER uses the threat of powerful sanctions to dissuade hostile foreign powers from meddling in U.S. elections by ensuring that they know well in advance that the costs will outweigh the benefits. “We must make sure Putin understands that we will not overlook his hostilities, and he will face punishing consequences if he tries to interfere in our elections again,” Rubio said. “Vladimir Putin would like nothing more than to continue sowing discord and meddling in Western democracies without consequence. Passing this legislation would help improve Americans’ faith in their system of government and send an unmistakable signal to the Kremlin that it’s not worth trying it again,” said Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

  • The Russia connectionRussia interfered in 2016 election, continuing “malign influence operations to this day”: FBI Director Wray

    FBI director Chris Wray on Wednesday pushed back against President Donald Trump’s recent comments that cast doubt on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. On Monday, two hours after the Trump-Putin summit, Director of National Security Dan Coats issued a terse statement reaffirming his agreement with the U.S intelligence community’s conclusions. “My view has not changed, which is that Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day,” Wray told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt at the Aspen Security Forum.

  • The Russia connectionRussian intelligence, masquerading as the “Cyber Caliphate,” cyber-harassed U.S. military families

    Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) sent a letter last week to Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging the Department of Justice to investigate cyber harassment of U.S. military families by Russian intelligence services. Russian intelligence officers, masquerading as the “Cyber Caliphate,” had launched an intimidation campaign against several U.S. military spouses in 2015.

  • Migrant childrenImmigrant infants too young to talk called into court to defend themselves

    By Christina Jewett and Shefali Luthra

    The Trump administration has summoned at least seventy infants to immigration court for their own deportation proceedings since 1 October 2017, according to Justice Department data. These are children who are unable to speak and still learning when it’s day versus night. The number of infants under age 1 involved has been rising — up threefold from 24 infants in the fiscal year that ended last 30 September, and 46 infants the year before.

  • Extremists & politicsLabor leader Corbyn under fire from his own party, rabbis for anti-Semitism

    British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused by his own MPs of being an “anti-Semite and a racist,” who turns a blind eye to anti-Jewish sentiments in the Party. Veteran Labor MP Dame Margaret Hodge on Tuesday labelled an “anti-Semite and a racist” three hours after Labor’s highest governing body ignored pleas of the Jewish community and rejected the internationally recognized definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

  • Extremists & politicsExtremist candidates appear on ballots around U.S.

    Far-right extremists – and at least one on the far left — are making their presence felt in mainstream American politics, and voters will find a record number of them on the ballot this fall. Around the country, in blue and red states alike, members of the extremist right – and their racist, anti-Semitic views – are enjoying more exposure today than at any time in recent history.

  • Terrorism & social mediaEU law enforcement, Google take on terrorist online propaganda

    Europol, the European law enforcement agency, conducted a 2-day gathering of European law intelligence and enforcement services, attended by representatives from Google, to improve the tracking and removal of online terrorist propaganda being disseminated on various Google platforms.

  • The Russia connectionRussia, post-World Cup, plans to intensify aggression against West: U.S., U.K. intel sources

    Sources familiar with intelligence collected by the United Kingdom, the United States, and other allies say that Russian intelligence agencies are about to ramp up operations targeting Western countries. The growing concern about Russia’s plans preceded the meeting earlier this week between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Intelligence officials in the United States and the United Kingdom told CNN that the Russians ordered a relative lull in activity during the month-long soccer tournament, which was hosted by Russia.

  • The Russia connectionU.S. steps up charges against alleged Russian “agent” in Washington

    A U.S. grand jury has stepped up criminal charges against a woman accused of acting as a covert agent for Russia by cultivating ties with U.S. politicians, while Russian officials denounced the case. The U.S. grand jury late on 17 July charged Maria Butina, 29, a student at American University in Washington and founder of a Russian gun-rights group, with conspiracy and acting as an agent of the Russian government.

  • CybersecurityCongress must adopt stronger safeguards for wireless cybersecurity: Expert

    Thanks to the advent of cell phones, tablets and smart cars, Americans are increasingly reliant on wireless services and products. Yet despite digital technology advancements, security and privacy safeguards for consumers have not kept pace. One expert told lawmakers that Congress should take immediate action to address threats caused by cell-site simulators by “ensuring that, when Congress spends about a billion taxpayer dollars on wireless services and devices each year, it procures services and devices that implement cybersecurity best practices.”

  • The president & the intelligence communityIntel director Coats: Russia interfered in 2016 election

    In Monday’s joint press conference in Helsinki, President Donald Trump sided with President Vladimir Putin’s “powerful denials” of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and questioned the unanimous verdict of the U.S. intelligence community – a verdict based on national technical means, digital forensics, and human sources – that there is a mountain of incontrovertible evidence confirming Russia’s meddling. Shortly after the press conference, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a terse statement defending the veracity of the intelligence community’s assessment.

  • The president & the intelligence communityDonald Trump’s fight with his own intelligence services will only get worse

    By Dan Lomas

    Those wanting a robust response by the United States to Russian foreign policy in Europe and the Middle East were worried about the Trump. But the worst was yet to come: in an extraordinary 46-minute joint news conference after the two men met, Trump refused to support the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had intervened in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While it’s foolhardy to predict the future at the best of times, never mind under the Trump administration, it’s certain that America’s spies and President Trump face a stormy future.

  • The Russia connectionU.S. charges woman with links to Kremlin, U.S. politicians as covert Russian agent

    Maria Butina, a 29-year old Russian national in the United States on a student visa, cultivated ties with American conservative politicians and groups – especially the NRA – and was close to people around Donald Trump. She bragged at parties in Washington that she could use her political connections to help get people jobs in the Trump administration after the election. She was arrested on Monday and charged with being a covert Russian agent. The criminal complaint says that she reported to Aleksandr Torshin, a Russian oligarch who doubles as a cut-out for Russian intelligence. Torshin became a lifetime member of the NRA in 2012, and is now being investigated for allegedly steering millions of dollars from the Kremlin to the NRA in 2016, which the NRA then used to fund pro-Trump advertising and campaign events.

  • Iran’s nukesIran sues U.S. at World Court for leaving nuclear deal

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has confirmed that Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States over the re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, claiming the move violates the nuclear treaty Tehran signed with the United States and five other world powers.