• The mainstreaming of conspiracy theories

    Is paranoia running rampant? Are believers getting the upper hand? The idea that the moon landing was fake is too exotic for most of us. But who truly believes that global warming is a hoax, or that dark forces rule the world? Quite a few people, according to a researcher of conspiracy theories.

  • How are conspiracy theories adopted, and what are their risks?

    Why do people adopt conspiracy theories, how are they communicated, and what are their risks? A new report examines these questions, drawing on research in psychology, information engineering, political science, and sociology.

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

    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. Matt Apuzzo and Adam Satariano write in the New York Times that 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. “The goal here is bigger than any one election,” said Daniel Jones, a former F.B.I. analyst and Senate investigator. “It is to constantly divide, increase distrust and undermine our faith in institutions and democracy itself. They’re working to destroy everything that was built post-World War II.”

  • Iran officially begins unlimited production of enriched uranium, heavy water

    Iran has officially ended its compliance with several commitments under the 2015 nuclear accord, an informed official in the country’s atomic energy body told local media channels on Wednesday.

  • New research on immigration, terrorism, and ideology

    In the 43 years between 1975 and 2017, terrorists — foreign-born, native-born, and unknown – killed 3,518 Americans on U.S. soil (this includes the 9/11 attacks). During the same period, about 800,000 Americans were killed in homicides. Overall, the chance of being murdered by a foreign-born terrorist between 1975 and 2017 was about 1 in 3.8 million per year. The author of a new report says that the main lesson from the report is that there are very few terrorists of any ideology or origin who pose a threat to Americans on U.S. soil, and even fewer who manage to murder Americans. “The ideology, frequency, deadliness, and origins of terrorists are fascinating,” the author says, but these numbers are so small that it is difficult “to be overwhelmed by fear.”

  • The author of “World War Z” is worried about germ warfare

    What if Zika had been cooked up in a lab? Max Brooks, the author of World War Z, writes in Slate that in 2016, he asked that question in an op-ed for the New York Daily News. At the time, Zika was spreading across the country, and Congress seemed to be treating it like the common cold. But what about the next time? What if the next attack comes not from bacteria like anthrax but from a virus like the 1918 influenza? What if someone digs up a frozen, infected corpse or, like Amerithrax, smuggles the disease out of a lab? If we were caught by surprise by a natural outbreak like Zika—which is waning now but was devastating for those affected—how could we even hope to survive an artificial plague?

  • Why are the U.S.'s cyber secrets getting stolen? Because China’s getting better at stealing them.

    The New York Times published a major story last week, drawing on research from the cybersecurity company Symantec. Ben Buchanan writes in Lawfare that the story revealed how a group of elite Chinese hackers known as APT3 had apparently gained access to powerful American hacking tools and used them to penetrate governments and companies of American allies. The Times piece and much of the commentary it solicited linked this case to concerns about the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) ability to protect its most closely guarded and powerful capabilities.

  • Russia has Americans’ weaknesses all figured out

    What are Americans supposed to think when their leaders contradict one another on the most basic question of national security—who is the enemy? Is Russia the enemy, or was the investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election just a slow-motion attack on the president and his supporters? Are Russian fake-news troll farms stirring up resentment among the American electorate, or are mainstream-media outlets just making things up? Jim Sciutto writes in Defense One that U.S. military commanders, national-security officials, and intelligence analysts have a definitive answer: Russia is an enemy. It is taking aggressive action right now, from cyberspace to outer space, and all around the world, against the United States and its allies. But the public has been slow to catch on, polls suggest, and Trump has given Americans little reason to believe that their president recognizes Russia’s recent actions as a threat.

  • Developed countries see economic benefits from combatting terrorism

    A new study suggests that developed counties may see significant economic gains from their efforts to combat terrorist threats. Developing counties, in contrast, appear to suffer economically from counterterrorism threats.

  • We know little about women terrorists

    The first large-scale research project evaluating the characteristics of women involved in jihadism-inspired terrorism finds significant differences between men and women in both their backgrounds and their roles within terrorist groups.

  • Report reveals scale of Russian interference in European democracy

    Evidence of the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency’s long-term interest in European politics and elections has been revealed in two new studies. while Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been well documented, far less has been known about the Internet Research Agency’s European operations, until now.

  • Hysteria over Jade Helm exercise in Texas was fueled by Russians, former CIA director says

    Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision in 2015 to ask the Texas State Guard to monitor a federal military exercise prompted significant criticism. A former CIA director said Wednesday that the move emboldened Russians to next target elections.

  • U.S. official: Executive order not needed to ban Huawei in U.S. 5G networks

    “We have grave concerns about the Chinese vendors because they can be compelled by the National Intelligence Law in China as well as other laws in China to take actions that would not be in the interests of the citizens of other countries around the world. Those networks could be disrupted or their data could be taken and be used for purposes that would not be consistent with fundamental human rights in those countries,” says Robert Strayer, deputy assistant secretary of state for cyber and international communications and information policy.

  • Report highlights 15,000 cases of anti-Semitism in Labour Party ranks

    Labour Against Antisemitism, a campaign by activists to force the party to address the increasing levels of anti-Jewish hate, has submitted a report containing 15,000 online screenshots showing examples of alleged anti-Semitism in the organization. The dossier was submitted to the U.K. Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The dossier, submitted to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), along with a request for a formal EHRC investigation.

  • Iran suspending some nuclear deal commitments

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced Wednesday his country will suspend its compliance with prohibitions on stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water that were imposed as part of the 2015 international agreement on its nuclear program.