• Butina pleads guilty to meddling in U.S. politics under the direction of “Russian Official”

    ABC News has obtained a copy of Maria Butina’s plea agreement, and she has decided to plead guilty to conspiracy charges and cooperate with authorities’ ongoing investigations. Butina admits that she and an unnamed “U.S. Person 1,” which sources have identified as longtime Republican operative Paul Erickson, with whom she had a multiyear romantic relationship, “agreed and conspired, with a Russian government official (“Russian Official”) and at least one other person, for Butina to act in the United States under the direction of Russian Official without prior notification to the Attorney General.”

  • TSA’s roadmap for airport surveillance moves in a dangerous direction

    The Transportation Security Administration has set out an alarming vision of pervasive biometric surveillance at airports, which cuts against the right to privacy, the “right to travel,” and the right to anonymous association with others.

  • Hundreds of German neo-Nazis free despite arrest warrants

    The German authorities have a problem finding and arresting violent neo-Nazis. The German government admitted as much in a response to a parliamentary request from an opposition party. The German government has admitted that 467 neo-Nazis are at large throughout the country despite active warrants for their arrest.

  • No time for complacency: How to combat foreign interference after the midterms

    From cabinet officials in the Trump administration to the social media platform companies, there has been widespread acknowledgement in the United States that the Russian government and other authoritarian states targeted the midterm elections and will continue to interfere in U.S. democracy. The administration and Congress have tools at their disposal to raise the costs on those who interfered in the midterms and to deter authoritarian actors from interfering in U.S. democratic institutions and processes in the future. These include punitive measures like sanctions, defensive steps like improving election security and regulating political advertisement online, and congressional oversight functions to hold the administration accountable and keep pressure on tech companies to secure their platforms from manipulation.

  • Russia is trying to undermine Americans’ confidence in the justice system, security experts warn

    Cybersecurity, national security, and legal experts are warning that Russia’s efforts to weaken America’s democratic institutions are not limited to elections — but also extend to the U.S. justice system. “While we all focused on the electoral system, I think this disinformation effort is organized to really attack any of the pillars of democracy,” Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, a former general counsel at the National Security Agency and the CIA, told the Washington Post’s Bastien Inzaurralde. “And when you think of the system that is the most highly regarded among the three branches of government, it is the court system. If you were installed in the position of a Russian disinformation planner, wouldn’t you want to erode that?”

  • DHS S&T awards $1.14 million for improving cyber data privacy

    DHS S&T has awarded a total of $1,149,900 across two organizations to develop new research and development (R&D) capabilities to enhance the management of privacy threats and vulnerabilities.

  • Subtle visual cues in online forums nudge users to reveal more than they would like

    Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but icons may be even more powerful in nudging people to disclose more information online, according to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers. In a study, researchers found that people using an online sexual health forum featuring computer graphics, called icons, that implied a sense of crowd size and connectivity, revealed more sensitive information than visitors to a site without those visual cues.

  • New Australian law would compel tech firms to hand over encrypted data

    Australia’s parliament earlier today (Thursday) passed a controversial measure which will force tech firms to give police access to the encrypted communications of suspected terrorists and criminals. The law, fiercely opposed by big tech firms, has engendered heated debate over national security and privacy at a time law enforcement agencies are struggling with how to access encrypted information to monitor illegal activities. The passage of the law may have global implications for encrypted communications. Critics say the law may unleash unintended consequences.

  • Hezbollah’s goal with tunnel threat was to cut off northern city of Metulla, start war

    The terror tunnels that extend from Lebanon into Israel by Hezbollah were part of the Iranian-backed terrorist group’s strategy to cut off the northern Israeli city of Metulla and start a war, a senior IDF officer said. According to the officer from Israel’s Northern Command, Hezbollah planned to use the tunnels to send forces into Israel and block the entrance to Route 90, cutting Metulla off from the rest of Israel that lies to its south.

  • White nationalist groups are really street gangs, and law enforcement needs to treat them that way

    Law enforcement has a classification problem, and it’s making America more dangerous. For the last two decades, local police and the FBI have categorized the criminal activities of white power groups as isolated incidents or hate-related. We believe that’s wrong and leads to a lack of understanding of the power of these groups and the direction they are taking. It also leads to the under-policing of these groups.

  • American terrorists: Why current laws are inadequate for violent extremists at home

    For Americans, and for the U.S. government, terrorism is a foreign-linked threat, not a domestic danger. Groups which perpetrate violent acts at home are regarded as criminal groups, and law enforcement agencies treat and investigate them as such. The “terrorism” label is not used. Jason Blazakis, who for many years ran the office at the State Department in charge of terrorist designations, argues that this distinction needs to be changed. He offers a method for designating domestic terrorist groups, and for putting them on par with foreign-linked terrorists.

  • Israel announces discovery of first Hezbollah terror tunnel, launches Operation Northern Shield

    The Israeli military announced that it had located a terror tunnel, constructed by Hezbollah, that extended 40 meters (131 feet) into Israel, as it launched Operation Northern Shield, a campaign to eliminate the threat of terror tunnels along Israel’s northern border.

  • British spy chief warns Russia against covert activity after nerve-agent attack

    The head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service has warned the Kremlin not to underestimate the West following a nerve-agent attack on a retired double agent in England that he attributed to covert Russian activity. Alex Younger, head of the Secret Intelligence Service known as MI6, made the remarks on December 3 in a rare public speech – saying that Russia is in a state of “perpetual confrontation” with the West.

  • GOP tells FBI that NRCC computers were subject of major cyber hack during 2018 midterms

    The Republican Party has told the FBI that its computer network was the victim of a major cyber hack during the 2018 midterms campaign. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) said it believes that thousands of sensitive emails were exposed as a result of the attack.

  • Don’t believe the hype about post-Brexit security threats – on either side

    A no-deal Brexit would leave both the EU and U.K.“at greater risk of terror attacks,” security minister Ben Wallace has warned in a speech in London. He went on to add that threats that “begin in Europe” can “quickly reach the shores of the U.K..” These fears are overblown, as intelligence ties with the U.S. and others are compartmentalized from wider diplomatic and political tensions.