• Out-of-Context Photos Are a Powerful Low-Tech form of Misinformation

    When you think of visual misinformation, maybe you think of deepfakes – videos that appear real but have actually been created using powerful video editing algorithms. The creators edit celebrities into pornographic movies, and they can put words into the mouths of people who never said them. But the majority of visual misinformation that people are exposed to involves much simpler forms of deception. One common technique involves recycling legitimate old photographs and videos and presenting them as evidence of recent events.

  • Germany: Members of Extreme-Right Terror Network Arrested

    German police said a group of far-right plotters were planning attacks against politicians, asylum seekers, and Muslims. The ultimate goal of the group, of which several members were arrested, was to instigate a civil war in the country.

  • Researchers Identify Security Vulnerabilities in Voting App

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest in using internet and mobile technology to increase access to the voting process. At the same time, computer security experts caution that paper ballots are the only secure means of voting. Mobile voting application could allow hackers to alter individual votes and may pose privacy issues for users.

  • Protecting Anonymity of Glassdoor Commenter

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is asking a state court to protect the identity of an anonymous Glassdoor commenter who is being targeted by their former employer. EFF filed a motion to quash a subpoena for identifying information of its client after the cryptocurrency exchange company known as Kraken filed suit against several anonymous reviewers seeking to identify them based upon a claim that they breached their severance agreements. Speakers’ opinions about their former workplace are protected by the First Amendment, EFF says.

  • U.S. Charges Huawei with Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, Racketeering

    Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei and a number of its subsidiaries were charged with conspiracy to steal trade secrets and racketeering in a federal indictment made public Thursday. The charges also accuse the company of flouting U.S. sanctions by operating subsidiaries in North Korea and Iran. The indictment represents the latest U.S. effort to clamp down on a Chinese telecom company that American officials say has plundered the intellectual property of its rivals in a bid for market dominance.

  • Out of Africa: U.S. Pulling Out Combat Troops Operating on Continent

    The United States is starting to change its force posture in Africa, announcing it is bringing home part of an infantry brigade and replacing them with specialized military trainers. Pentagon officials described the move as “the first of many” that will impact the way the U.S. military operates on the continent, as it shifts its focus from counterterrorism to the great power competition. The shift comes as a new U.S. report warns the danger from terrorist groups in Africa is spreading and that many African forces are not ready to take on the terror threat alone.

  • Framing the Climate Crisis as a Terrorism Issue Could Galvanize Action

    In many vulnerable regions of the world, the climate crisis has exacerbated loss of farmable land and increased water scarcity, fueling rural-urban migration, civil unrest, and violence. As a result, worsening geopolitical instability has aided the rise of terrorism and violence in the Middle East, Guatemala, and the Lake Chad Basin of Africa. Yet when people hear the words, “global warming,” they typically don’t think of terrorism. If they did, politicians would be far more likely to undertake drastic action to address the climate crisis.

  • We Once Fought Jihadists. Now We Battle White Supremacists.

    The truth about so-called domestic terrorism? There is nothing domestic about it. The old distinction between two types of terrorism – Islamist terrorism being regarded as “international” terrorism, while far-right terrorism is considered to be “domestic” terrorism – is not only no longer relevant: it obscures an emerging reality of an international far-right terrorism, thus hobbling efforts to fight it effectively, Max Rose and Ali H. Soufan write. “The truth about so-called domestic terrorism? There is nothing domestic about it.”

  • Senior Huawei Official Acknowledges Ability to Clandestinely Access Mobile Networks

    A senior Huawei official has conceded that the company can clandestinely access users’ mobile networks. “Huawei itself has provided evidence that it builds backdoors into its products,” Herb Lin writes. “In particular, the [Wall Street] Journal [on 12 February 2012] quoted a senior Huawei official as saying that network access without operator permission ‘is extremely implausible and would be discovered immediately.’ This statement is extremely significant in understanding what Huawei equipment can and cannot do.” Lin adds: “Huawei has not said that network access without operator permission is technically impossible—only that it is implausible and would be discovered immediately. These are very different claims.”

  • White Supremacist Propaganda Distribution Hit All-Time High in 2019

    White supremacist propaganda distribution more than doubled in 2019 over the previous year, making it the highest year on record for such activity in the United States. The data in a new report shows a substantial increase of incidents both on- and off-campus. A total of 2,713 cases of literature distribution – an average of more than four per day – were reported nationwide, compared to 1,214 in 2018. This is nearly 160 percent increase in U.S. campus propaganda incidents during the fall semester.

  • Digital Authoritarianism: Finding Our Way Out of the Darkness

    From Chinese government surveillance in Hong Kong and Xinjiang to Russia’s sovereign internet law and concerns about foreign operatives hacking the 2020 elections, digital technologies are changing global politics — and the United States is not ready to compete, Naazeen Barma, Brent Durbin, and Andrea Kendall-Taylor write. The United States and like-minded countries must thus develop a new strategic framework to combat the rise of high-tech illiberalism, but “as a first step, U.S. government officials need to understand how authoritarian regimes are using these tools to control their populations and disrupt democratic societies around the world.”

  • Election Security after Iowa

    The Iowa caucus debacle offers an illustration of election security failure in action, and the failure was followed by public anger and the spreading of conspiracy theories. Simon Handler writes that “If the Iowa caucus delay is any indication of how the public may react to an electoral snafu, a great deal more mayhem could arise from a far more serious threat.” In 2015 Russian cyberattacks shutdown power stations in Ukraine, causing blackouts in parts of the country. “Disrupting power distribution at the right moment in the right portions of the U.S. grid, targeting a few select states or counties, could cause just enough disruption to bring on a level of chaos that would dwarf what happened in Iowa,” Handler writes.

  • Mass Shootings: Trends, Effective Prevention, Policy Recommendations

    In the last decade, thousands have been killed or injured as a result of mass violence in the United States. Such acts take many forms, including family massacres, terrorist attacks, shootings, and gang violence. Yet it is indiscriminate mass public shootings, often directed at strangers, that has generated the most public alarm. Now, 41 scholars have contributed 16 articles on the topic to a special issue of Criminology & Public Policy.

  • U.S.: Chinese Government Hackers Behind Equifax Breach

    Chinse government hackers stole the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans in 2017, when they successfully hacked Equifax. China has been using its vast network of intelligence agencies to conduct a sustained campaign aiming to collect data on the citizens of the United States and other countries, and systematically steal scientific research and innovation, in order to weaken Western economies and accelerate China’s march toward global scientific and economic hegemony.

  • Senate Intel: Obama Admin “Frozen by ‘Paralysis of Analysis’” in Its Response to Russian Election Interference

    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday released the third volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russian election interference. The report examines the Obama administration’s reaction to initial reports of election interference and the steps officials took or did not take to deter Russia’s activities. The 2016 Russian interference in the elections on behalf of Donald Trump was unprecedented in the history of the United States, but “Frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived, Obama officials debated courses of action without truly taking one,” said Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina).