OUR PICKSAre Smart Phones at the Border Protected by the Fourth Amendment | The American Face of Authoritarian Propaganda | Fighting ‘Terrorism’ on Streets with AI Spycraft, and more

Published 22 September 2023

·  Homeland Security and the Shutdown Threat: Planning for an Unnecessary Contingency
Government shutdown will cause an increased risk to the nation’s homeland security

·  The American Face of Authoritarian Propaganda
For Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin, Tucker Carlson fulfills a need

·  The FTC, 1Health.io, and Genetic Data Privacy and Security
A genetic testing company publicly stored consumers’ genetic data with no encryption. The FTC stepped in.

·  Smart Phones at the Border: What Does the Fourth Amendment Protect?
The circuit courts’ split grows more pressing after a district court decision requires warrants for cell phone searches at the border

·  One Day on the Border: 8,900 Migrants Arrested, and More on the Way
Driven by desperation, families and individuals are pushing across the southern border

·  The Man Who Trapped Us in Databases
Hank Asher was a drug smuggler with a head for numbers — until he figured out how to turn Americans’ private information into a big business

·  Misinformation Research Is Buckling Under GOP Legal Attacks  (
An escalating campaign, led by Rep. Jim Jordan and other Republicans, has cast a pall over programs that study political disinformation and the quality of medical information online

·  American White Nationalists Are Fleeing US Sites for Russian Platforms. Here’s Why
The Russian government doesn’t need to do anything to encourage the spread of extremism ‘because it’s already cooking’

·  New Orleans DA Fights ‘Terrorism’ on Streets with AI Spycraft
Prosecutors work with former intelligence officers and artificial-intelligence tools to gather and analyze evidence

·  Far-Right Violence a Growing Threat and Law Enforcement’s Top Domestic Terrorism Concern
·  Hammerskins: German Branch of US-Based Neo-Nazi Group Banned  (DW)
The Hammerskins Germany is an offshoot of the Hammerskins Nation founded in the United States in 1988

Homeland Security and the Shutdown Threat: Planning for an Unnecessary Contingency (Bob Kolasky, HSTosday)
Having lived through the last government shutdown while working at DHS, I can attest to the disruption that the lack of funding played in executing necessary homeland security programs.

The American Face of Authoritarian Propaganda  (Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic)
“Axis Sally” was the generic name for women with husky voices and good English who read German and Italian propaganda on the radio during World War II. Like the Japanese women who became collectively known as “Tokyo Rose,” they were trying to reach American soldiers, hoping to demoralize them by telling them their casualties were high, their commanders were bad, and their cause was lost.
Tucker Carlson, who also repeats the propaganda of foreign dictators while speaking English, doesn’t have anything like the historical significance of Axis Sally or Tokyo Rose, though his level of credibility is similar. But when Carlson speaks on behalf of Viktor Orbán or Vladimir Putin, his words are repeated in Hungary and Russia, where they do have resonance: Look, a prominent American journalist supports us.
I don’t know what Carlson’s motivation is—he did not respond to a request for comment—but his words also circulate in the far-right American echo chamber, where they are sometimes repeated by Republican presidential candidates. What is clear is that Carlson’s hatred of American institutions, and of many Americans, is the starting point for many of his diatribes. But the real world is full of difficult, hard-to-explain problems; even the best solutions might require difficult trade-offs. Once, Americans did have at least a few politicians who nevertheless sought to find these solutions, and our political system seemed to allow us to have arguments about them. Authoritarians, by contrast, seek power in order to hide the problems, steal money, arrange favors for their friends, and manipulate the political system so that they can’t ever lose power. That’s what Putin did, and that’s what Orbán does too. Carlson is simply the American face, and the English-speaking voice, of that confidence trick.