Rethinking ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ | Nightmarishly Efficient Future of Drone Warfare | Updating Critical Infrastructure Security, and more

America’s Federal Government Has Ruthlessly Crushed Organized Crime  (Economist)
The deorganization of crime is largely thanks to one of America’s most successful laws—the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which was passed in 1970 to target the Italian American mafia, or La Cosa Nostra (our thing). Over the past five decades, that law has been deployed to target the leadership of hierarchical crime groups. In the 1980s and 1990s it crippled the mafia, as hundreds of its members were imprisoned. But it has since been used more widely. 

The Tiny and Nightmarishly Efficient Future of Drone Warfare  (Mark Bowden, The Atlantic)
Despite daily reports of lands taken or lands liberated in the nine-month war, the Ukraine conflict has been largely fought in the air, with artillery shells, rockets, cruise missiles, and, increasingly, drones.
Small, cheap, relatively slow-moving, carrying far less of a wallop than a cruise missile or a 500-pound bomb, the Shaheds in particular have bedeviled Ukraine’s otherwise excellent air defenses. Preprogrammed with a target and released in groups of five, the triangular, propeller-driven drones are relatively easy to destroy—if you can find them. They fly low and slow enough to be mistaken on radar for migrating birds. If launched in bunches, as the Russians have been doing, enough are able to evade even the best defenses to do substantial damage. In October, Ukraine estimated that it was shooting down 70 percent or more of the Shaheds, but the ones they missed were enough to debilitate the nation’s electrical grid.

Manchester Arena Terrorist Attack Report Shows Why Emergency Service Staff Must Be Well Trained (Tom Wood, The Scotsman)
The evidence of poorly trained security guards lacking the confidence to confront the suspected bomber. The lack of coordination between emergency services. The inexplicable decision by firefighters to stand off until their safety was assured. It has a familiar ring to it. The scandal of young vulnerable girls being systematically abused by gangs of men in northern English towns had similar threads running through it. Police and social work stepping back for fear of being smeared as racist while back-up systems were either absent or inadequate to sound the alarm. It’s an old maxim that all you need to succeed is good trained people and good systems of governance. In both the Manchester bombing and the gang grooming cases, there was neither. I wonder how this could have come about. For decades, the emergency services, including social work and other local agencies, have exercised their contingency plans for all manner of major incidents. From table-top exercises to complex live dress rehearsals, all scenarios were catered for. Fire, flood, terrorism, rail crashes, you name it, we exercised for it, all with the intention of training ourselves and getting to know the people we would be working with. The theory was simple, get used to working with other agencies in the good times and it’s easier in an emergency.

5 Ways to Update Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Policy in an Era of Strategic Risk  (Bob Kolasky, HSToday)
Adversarial nation-state actions now threaten U.S. critical infrastructure in an attempt to weaken America’s national and economic security.

What’s in the Commerce Department’s Recent Export Controls on Technology Bound for China?  (Vishnu Kannan and Mubashar Rizvi, Lawfare)
On Oct.7, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced a new slate of export controls designed to restrict the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) access to advanced semiconductors, supercomputers, and semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
This new filing, experts observe, is the most recent step in a years-long evolution of U.S. export controls policy on technology vis-a-vis China. It follows high-profile actions during previous U.S. administrations against companies like ZTE, Huawei, and SMIC.
In general, the new interim final rule does three things. First, it imposes new controls targeting chips above certain performance thresholds, computer commodities containing those chips, and so-called supercomputers. Second, it imposes new controls targeting the items used to manufacture those chips and on end-user controls that govern the activity of U.S. persons potentially supporting the development of chips destined for military use. Third, it establishes measures to minimize the short-term effects of the first two on supply chains.

UN Counterterrorism and Technology: What Role for Human Rights in Security?  (Tomaso Falchetta and Anna Oosterlinck, Just Security)
The first meeting of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) held outside of U.N. headquarters in New York since 2015 marked important advances in engaging with civil society and experts who have questioned the embrace of counterterrorism approaches that too often backfire or result in human rights violations. But the Delhi Declaration that emerged reflected little of that input. Prepared mostly in advance, the meeting’s outcome document merely confirmed the trend towards further expansion of the U.N. counterterrorism agenda related to the use of new and emerging technologies, with little attention to the abuses committed by governments in the process. 
The Oct. 28-29 meeting, conducted in India, was convened to discuss a specific element of the fight against terrorism: “Countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.” The Security Council has sought for more than 20 years to address the perceived exploitation of information and communications technology (ICT) and related technologies for terrorist purposes. Adopted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, Security Council resolution 1373 referred from the beginning to ICT and the abuse of communications technologies by terrorists.