• Chinese Govt.-Controlled Telecoms Operated in the U.S. with Little or No U.S. Government Oversight

    A bipartisan report released Tuesday by the Senate investigative panel found that U.S. government officials had “exercised minimal oversight” of the risks posed by three Chinese telecom companies which have operated on American communications networks for nearly twenty years. The Trump administration took steps to limit the ability if Huawei and China Telecom to operate in the United States, but U.S. officials have failed to keep an adequate watch on three other Chinese government-controlled companies — China Unicom Americas, China Telecom Americas, and ComNet (USA).

  • EU: China, Russia Waging Broad Pandemic Disinformation Campaign to Deepen Crisis

    The European Union, in an unusually blunt language, has accused Russia and China of a running a broad, sustained, and “targeted” disinformation campaign inside the European Union, aiming to deepen and lengthen the coronavirus pandemic crisis and its negative medical, economic, and social effects. The EU has criticized Russia in the past for its sophisticated disinformation campaign aiming to weaken the West and undermine liberal democracies, but the direct criticism of China is a break from the EU recent approach, which saw it tiptoeing around China’s many transgressions.   

  • Why Are German Neo-Nazis Training in Russia?

    Militant far-right extremists from Germany, Sweden, and Finland are receiving combat training in Russia. IntelThe training camps are run by the right-wing extremist Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), which, in April, was designated by the United States as a terrorist organization – the first white supremacist group to be so designated. Russia’s active campaign to weaken the West and undermine liberal democracies has so far been limited to covert and overt support of populist, far-right, polarizing leaders and political movements in the West. Western intelligence services are worried that military training of far-right extremists is part of the next chapter in Russia sustained, disciplined campaign to undermine Western democracies.

  • Militias Evaluate Beliefs, Action as President Threatens Soldiers in the Streets

    So-called “militias” and “patriot groups” have different beliefs and viewpoints, but most of these citizen-focused organizations share a concern about government infringement on individual liberties. The protests over the killing of George Floyd saw largely peaceful demonstrations being met by well-armed police, often equipped with military gear, and National Guard troops. That puts these groups in a curious position. Their public activity has long championed the importance of individual constitutional rights, and they believe in the right to use armed resistance against government overreach. But many of these groups’ members have also been supporters of the president, who is now speaking openly of taking the sort of far-reaching government action these groups have long warned against.

  • Why Were Out-of-State National Guard Units in Washington, D.C.? The Justice Department’s Troubling Explanation

    Over the previous week, thousands of National Guard troops from states across the country arrived in Washington, D.C., as part of the Trump administration’s response to the largely peaceful protests taking place across the city. “But under what legal authority were they deployed to D.C. in the first place?” The mayor of Washington, D.C. asked Attorney General William Barr the same question – but Steve Vladeck writes that Barr’s response, that the deployment of the troops was under the authority of 32 U.S.C.§ 502(f), raises two vexing possibilities, neither of them reassuring: either Barr is wrong about 32 U.S.C.§ 502(f), or he is right.

  • Under Pressure, Britain Pushes Back on Huawei Dependence

    The Trump administration’s campaign to keep Chinese tech giant Huawei out of its allies’ 5G networks appears to be gaining ground in Britain. Earlier this year, the British government proposed to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei restricted access to the U.K. 5G infrastructure, but relentless U.S. pressure; mounting opposition from Conservative Party backbenchers; and China’s conduct during the coronavirus epidemic have pushed the government to change course. Now, British officials are trying to forge an alliance of 10 democracies to develop their own 5G technology and reduce dependence on the Chinese firm.

  • Calls for New Federal Authority to Regulate Facial Recognition Tech

    A group of artificial intelligence experts — citing profiling, breach of privacy and surveillance as potential societal risks — recently proposed a new model for managing facial recognition technologies at the federal level. The experts propose an FDA-inspired model that categorizes these technologies by degrees of risk and would institute corresponding controls.

  • Military Prestige during a Political Crisis: Use It and You’ll Lose It

    Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walked himself into a civil-military problem when he walked across Pennsylvania Avenue – in his battle fatigues! – last week. Jim Golby and Peter Feaver write that Milley was literally following President Donald Trump, who was on his way for a photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in order to counter stories about the president holed up in his basement while riots raged outside. “Presidents who are struggling politically have a powerful incentive to wrap themselves in military garb precisely because the American public holds the military in high esteem. But, when the language of national security is stretched to provide cover for what is otherwise viewed as a nakedly partisan effort, it jeopardizes the very esteem for the military on which the administration relies,” they write.

  • U.S. Accuses Foreign Actors of Inflaming Tensions over Floyd Killing

    U.S. adversaries are starting to weaponize protests that have gripped parts of the country “to sow divisiveness and discord,” according to top law enforcement officials who refused to share additional details. The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI allege that unnamed countries are actively manipulating information to make the situation in the United States worse.

  • German, Swedish, Finnish Neo-Nazis Receive Military Training at Russian Camps

    Militant far-right extremists from Germany, Sweden, and Finland are receiving combat training in Russia. The training camps are run by the right-wing extremist Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), which, in April, was designated by the United States as a terrorist organization – the first white supremacist group to be so designated. Russia deployed the foreign nationals to Russian militias operating in eastern Ukraine. Sources in German intelligence said they were worried that when the Germans come home from their stint in Ukraine, they would add military know-how and experience to the rising tide of far-right terrorism in Germany.

  • The Future Bioweapons Threat: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Experts discussing the lessons of the coronavirus epidemic for preparations for a bioweapon attack, are worried that the failures to detect, mitigate, and respond to COVID-19 may make a future biological weapon attack more likely. These experts agree that the U.S. has a long way to go in addressing biological threats from natural and man-made sources. Further, the U.S. needs to adapt to new realities – a time where citizens’ trust of government is significantly lower, where citizens actively protest experts and their recommendations, and where misinformation is one tap on a smartphone away.

  • The Importance of Building Trust in Contact Tracing Apps

    In the very real need for speed around excellent contact tracing in the COVID-19 environment, the voice of the people is getting lost, according to an expert. New researchhighlights the need for digital contact tracing solutions to have exceptional speed, high take-up rates, and demonstrable value. Researchers say that without significant uptake of the technology, digital contact tracing is close to useless.

  • Invoking “Terrorism” Against Police Protestors

    President Trump on Sunday tweeted that the United States should designate Antifa, a movement of leftists radicals prone to violence, as a “terrorist” organization. Shirin Sinnar writes that leaving aside the fact that current law does not grant the president the authority to designate the movement a terrorist organization, the deeper issue is this: “The sad irony in all this is that, over the past two years, some on the left have vocally supported an expansion of domestic terrorism frameworks” – calls which neglected the many concerns that civil rights groups.

  • Department of Homeland Security Law Enforcement Agencies Require Expanded Oversight

    Hundreds of Department of Homeland Security officers have been called up to serve along with other federal law enforcement officers and the National Guard to provide security within the District of Columbia. The question is whether the deployed officers are adequately trained and prepared for the current tense environment. “Repurposing law enforcement officers to work in a tense civic moment is not as easy as it might sound,” Carrie Cordero writes. If they are not well prepared, “the consequences can range from the embarrassing to the dangerous.”

  • Trump's “Antifa” Accusations Spark Debate in Germany, the Movement's Birthplace

    After Donald Trump claimed most protesters in the U.S. were “antifa,” Germany’s Social Democrats rushed to declare solidarity with the movement. But which movement? And why did other politicians object? What the word means is simple enough in German. Antifa is short for antifaschistisch, or anti-Fascist. In the most literal sense, one might hope this label could apply to almost all modern German people and politicians. But does antifa refer to all those opposed to fascism, or does it refer only to black-clad anarchists and leftists staring down German police in the streets?