• The time of the trolls

    The West woke up to the threat of Kremlin trolls in 2016, however it had already been very damaging in 2014–2015. The Ukraine crisis saw the deployment of trolls to Facebook and VKontakte, as well as YouTube and Twitter. The investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election showed that trolling was never completely dependent on a technology like bots, nor that it was predominantly about Kremlin employees sitting somewhere in Russia manufacturing anti-Clinton propaganda. Rather, it was ordinary Americans and Europeans that were sharing the messages launched by trolls, and often posting them themselves.

  • Women’s March leaders accused of making anti-Semitic remarks at first organizational meeting

    During the first meeting of the Women’s March in November 2016, leaders of the organization endorsed virulent anti-Semitic tropes, claiming that Jews were “leaders of the American slave trade” and “bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people,” Tablet Magazine reported on Monday. The comments about Jews were made by two of the leaders of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, and were allegedly informed by the teachings of anti-Semitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan, including his book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews.

  • Search underway for suspect in Strasbourg Christmas market attack

    The French police has launched a manhunt for a criminal suspected of opening fire on a Christmas market in Strasbourg on Tuesday evening, killing two people and injuring more than a dozen others. The authorities regard the attack as an act of terrorism. The famous Strasbourg Christmas market has been the target of terrorists in the past.

  • Strasbourg attack suspect has criminal past in Germany

    Cherif Chekatt, 29, the suspect in the Tuesday’s Strasbourg terror attack, has a criminal record in France, Germany, and Switzerland, and spent time in German and French jails. French investigators say the suspect was radicalized in prison and was on a watch list.

  • Sen. Warner: Moscow has closed cyber gap with U.S.

    The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee warns the United States is being outgunned in cyberspace, already having lost its competitive advantage to Russia while China is rapidly closing in. “When it comes to cyber, misinformation and disinformation, Russia is already our peer and in the areas of misinformation or disinformation, I believe is ahead of us,” Senator Mark Warner told an audience Friday in Washington.

  • U.S. must start from scratch with a new nuclear waste strategy: Experts

    The U.S. government has worked for decades and spent tens of billions of dollars in search of a permanent resting place for the nation’s nuclear waste. Some 80,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and millions of gallons of high-level nuclear waste from defense programs are stored in pools, dry casks and large tanks at more than seventy-five sites throughout the country. “No single group, institution or governmental organization is incentivized to find a solution,” says one expert.

  • What should we do with nuclear waste?

    The failure to develop a strategy for permanent storage and disposal of this fuel costs Americans billions of dollars a year and jeopardizes the future of nuclear power as a carbon-free source of energy, according to nuclear security expert Rodney C. Ewing. He recommends a new not for profit independent corporation that’s owned and supported by the utilities that operate nuclear power plants. The new organization would deal only with spent fuel from commercial reactors. Defense waste is an entirely different issue and should, at this time, remain the responsibility of the federal government.

  • Deaths from terrorism fell for the third consecutive year, after peaking in 2014

    The Global Terrorism Index 2018, just released by the Institute for Economic & Peace (IEP), shows the total number of deaths decreased by 27 percent in 2017, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Syria. A drop in fatalities was also reflected in country scores with 94 countries improving, compared to 46 that deteriorated. Alongside the fall in terrorism, the global economic impact of terrorism has also dropped, decreasing by 42 percent to $52 billion in 2017.

  • “Big picture” platforms boost fight against online terror activity

    The fight against terrorism-related content and illegal financing online is speeding up thanks to new platforms that join up different internet-scouring technologies to create a comprehensive picture of terrorist activity. The idea is that when an online tool discovers a fragment of information it can be added to a constellation of millions of others - revealing links that might otherwise have gone undetected or taken much longer to uncover.

  • 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.