U.S. Sees Rapid Increase of Chinese Entering Illegally via Mexico | Florida’s Experiment with Measles | The Secret Locations of ShotSpotter Gunfire Sensors, and more

Leak Reveals the Unusual Path of ‘Urgent’ Russian Threat Warning  (Dell Cameron, Wired)
A decision by US House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) chair Mike Turner to sound the alarm over space-based Russian military research was far more extraordinary than previously reported.
A WIRED review of an internal messaging system used by the United States Congress shows that HPSCI rarely sends members invites to review classified documents and has not—in at least 15 years—alarmed lawmakers by announcing an “urgent” threat against the United States.
The Dear Colleague system is widely used by congressional committees and lawmakers individually to circulate internal memos, invites, and other announcements. This week, WIRED obtained all messages sent House-wide by HPSCI since 2009. Copies of Dear Colleague messages sent since then are backed up by the system. The source of the messages was granted anonymity because their disclosure was not authorized.

Expert Backgrounder: Federalizing the National Guard and Domestic Use of the Military  (William Banks, Just Security)
The potential for the President of the United States to “federalize” the National Guard has recently returned to the spotlight – arising out of ongoing domestic political tensions at the southern border and promises and plans made during a presidential campaign. It is accordingly important to understand the legal and policy framework governing this authority, as well as the history of its use.
The ongoing confrontation between state and federal officials over illegal migration in the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas escalated recently after state law enforcement and National Guard personnel placed razor wire and other obstacles in the middle of the Rio Grande River. After Texas officials refused a federal request to remove the barriers and a lower federal court enjoined federal officials from removing the razor wire, the Supreme Court dissolved the injunction, without explanation. 
Texas Governor Greg Abbott reacted with a statement claiming that the Constitution grants states a right to defend themselves against “invasion,” and that Texas authority “supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.” In addition to expressing outrage at Abbot’s repudiation of federal authority over immigration and the border, some prominent Democrats urged President Joe Biden to federalize the Texas National Guard, a response that would presumably lead to those soldiers removing the state-installed razor wire but also would almost surely escalate the political conflict.
The impulse to deploy the military domestically is not limited by party. Candidate Donald Trump has indicated his intention if re-elected to use the military more aggressively both at the border and to enforce the law in cities such as Chicago and New York, which he has referred to as “crime dens.” 
The norm in our democracy has always been to entrust law enforcement to civilian police, or in circumstances when civilian law enforcement are overwhelmed to rely on citizen militias, today’s National Guard to quell disturbances. Yet Congress has exercised its authority in the Insurrection Act and a few other laws to allow the president to “federalize” the national guard in loosely defined circumstances, overcoming the presumption of state control of law enforcement. U.S. history includes a long list of examples where that power has been considered or actually used. However, the domestic use of federal troops should be weighed as a serious and potentially escalatory step with long-term consequences.

Why the Biden Administration’s New Nuclear Gravity Bomb Is Tragic  (Stephen Young, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
In late October 2023, the Pentagon announced—to the surprise of many, including congressional staffers who work on these issues—that it was pursuing a new nuclear weapon to be known as the B61-13, a gravity bomb.
This is a troubling development for many reasons. First, it is merely the latest in a long line of new nuclear weapons that the United States is building or proposing, in yet another sign that a new nuclear arms race is expanding. In addition, it breaks a promise the Obama administration made to eliminate almost all types of US nuclear gravity bombs, while further undermining President Biden’s pledge to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US security. Most tragically, it further cements an absolute commitment on the part of the United States to retain nuclear deterrence as the centerpiece of its security policy for decades to come. While most of us hope the world can eventually stop relying on the threat of mass murder at a global scale as the basis for international security, the B61-13 moves everyone further away from that day.

Florida’s Experiment with Measles  (Daniel Engber, The Atlantic)
The state of Florida is trying out a new approach to measles control: No one will be forced to not get sick.
Joseph Ladapo, the state’s top health official, announced this week that the six cases of the disease reported among students at an elementary school in Weston, near Fort Lauderdale, do not merit emergency action to prevent unvaccinated students from attending class. Temporary exclusions of that kind while an outbreak is ongoing are part of the normal public-health response to measles clusters, as a means of both protecting susceptible children and preventing further viral spread. But Ladapo is going his own way. “Due to the high immunity rate in the community, as well as the burden on families and educational cost of healthy children missing school,” he said in a letter released on Tuesday, the state’s health department “is deferring to parents or guardians to make decisions about school attendance.”
That decision came off as brazen, even for an administration that has made systematic efforts to lower vaccination rates among its constituents over the past two years. Ladapo’s letter acknowledges the benefits of vaccination, as well as the fact that vulnerable children are “normally recommended” to stay home. Still, it doesn’t bother giving local parents the bare-minimum advice that all kids who are able should get their MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) shots, Dorit Reiss, a professor and vaccine-policy expert at UC Law San Francisco, told me: “I wouldn’t have expected him, in the middle of a measles outbreak, to be willing to sacrifice children in this way.”
The Florida Department of Health has not responded to a request for comment on Ladapo’s future plans, should this situation worsen. For the moment, though, he has chosen to lower the guardrails from their standard height. It’s an escalation of his, and Florida’s, broader push against established norms in public health, especially as they relate to vaccination. 

Here Are the Secret Locations of ShotSpotter Gunfire Sensors  (Dhruv Mehrotra and Joey Scott, Wired)
The gunshot-detection system ShotSpotter has for years drawn criticism from activists and academics who believe the company behind the system, SoundThinking, places its microphone sensors primarily in low-income communities of color. Now, a WIRED analysis of data leaked from the company reveals the secret locations of ShotSpotter sensors around the globe and the US communities most directly impacted by the surveillance.
Until now, the exact locations of SoundThinking’s sensors have been kept secret from both its police department clients and the public at large. A leaked document, which WIRED obtained from a source under the condition of anonymity, details the alleged precise locations and uptime of 25,580 ShotSpotter microphones. The data exposes for the first time the reach of SoundThinking’s network of surveillance devices and adds new context to an ongoing debate between activists and academics who claim ShotSpotter perpetuates biased policing practices and proponents of the technology.

Weapons of Mass Hate Dissemination: The Use of Artificial Intelligence by Right-Wing Extremists  (Federico Borgonovo, Silvano Rizieri Lucini and Giulia Porrino, GNET)
On Telegram, there is a right-wing extremist (RWE) accelerationist collective that disseminates ideologically extremist materials, encourages violence, glorifies terrorism, and demonizes minority populations. The collective functions as a loose network with no formal affiliation to any group but is closely associated with several extremist organizations, including Russian mercenaries, Ukrainian volunteer battalions, Ouest Casual (a French extreme-right pro-violence group), and The American Futurist, which is closely associated with the neo-Nazi James Mason and former members of Atomwaffen Division.

Most of those channels have a neo-Nazi ideological position and distribute guides and instructions on how to commit racially motivated acts of terrorism against the government and authorities. Their propaganda frequently invokes visual themes of militants, terrorists, troops, and scenes from ongoing disputes in the Middle East, Chechnya, the Balkans, and Northern Ireland. 
The collective is highly decentralized. It is, therefore, the actions of individuals that determine the group’s online activities, making them highly unpredictable. At present, one of the most popular methods of RWE propaganda production is generative artificial intelligence (AI).
Through digital ethnographic data collection, this Insight delves into how accelerationists on Telegram use AI to create several types of images to spread propaganda. Furthermore, it considers their exploitation of large language models (LLMs) to obtain information to conduct attacks or interpret manifestos, providing an overview of how violent extremist actors exploit AI for their ideological purposes.