Integral Cyber Security | Shield Americans' Sensitive Data from Foreign Foes | Trump’s International Fan Club Descends on Maryland, and more

Most eventual enforcement mechanisms still have to clear complicated and often monthslong rulemaking processes. Still, the administration hopes eventually to limit foreign entities, as well as foreign-controlled companies operating in the U.S., that might otherwise improperly collect sensitive data, the senior officials said.
Data brokers are legal in the U.S. and collect and categorize personal information, usually to build profiles on millions of Americans that the brokers then rent or sell.

Suspicious Powder Sent to Offices of Trump Judge and Attorney General  (Claire Fahy, New York Times)
Envelopes containing white powder were discovered this week at the offices of two key figures in former President Donald J. Trump’s civil fraud trial.
One envelope containing the powder was found Wednesday morning at the New York State Supreme Courthouse in Lower Manhattan, officials said. The court building, at 60 Centre Street, contains offices belonging to Justice Arthur F. Engoron, the judge who oversaw Mr. Trump’s civil trial.
Another envelope was received Tuesday at 1 Empire State Plaza in Albany, according to the New York State Police. Attorney General Letitia James of New York, who brought the case against Mr. Trump, has offices in the building. In addition to the State Police, the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Albany Fire Department, the F.B.I. and a hazmat team responded.
The powder contained in both letters was found to be harmless.

Supreme Court Appears Split Over Ban on Bump Stocks Enacted Under Trump  (Abbie VanSickle, New York Times)
The Supreme Court wrestled on Wednesday over whether the Trump administration acted lawfully in enacting a ban on bump stocks after one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.
The justices appeared split largely along ideological lines over the ban, which prohibits the sale and possession of bump stocks, attachments that enable semiautomatic rifles to fire at speeds rivaling machine guns. Some raised concerns about the broader implications of a reversal.
The case does not turn on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Instead it is one of a number of challenges aimed at curtailing the power of administrative agencies — in this instance, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A decision is expected by late June.
After a gunman stationed on the 32nd floor of a hotel suite opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas in 2017, a ban on bump stocks gained political traction, one of the few pieces of gun control legislation to generate significant discussion. Officials at the Justice Department initially said the executive branch could not prohibit the accessory without action by Congress. But it ultimately reversed course and enacted a ban on its own.

Trump’s International Fan Club Descends on Maryland  (Anna Merlan, Foreign Policy)
Since its founding in the 1970s, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has been a chance to take the temperature of Republican politics. In recent years, that’s looked increasingly fevered, with the Donald Trump wing of the party taking center stage. This year, for instance, a far-right figure named Jack Posobiec called for “the end of democracy” during a panel led by former Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon. But it’s also taking a surprisingly internationalist turn for a group whose theme this year was “Where Globalism Goes to Die.”
Hungarian branch of the conference was founded in 2020, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban, perhaps inevitably, always seems to be the keynote speaker. In 2023, CPAC Brasil launched as well. Between 2017 and 2019, CPAC events also launched in Australia, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea. This year’s Hungarian CPAC, to be held in April, is expected to focus heavily on elections both in the United States and across Europe.

Integral Cyber Security  (Alessio Pecorario, HSTodday)
Comparing the world of George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New Word”, Neil Postman concluded that the present reality leans toward Huxley’s dystopia: an authentic assessment of the future of liberal democracy, he wrote, requires us to reflect deeply on the power that technology itself has placed in humanity’s untrammeled hands, or perhaps on the simple illusion of the control we think to have on it. In our “brave new world” human beings are drowned by so much information (social media) and misinformation (fake news) that we are reduced to passivity, egoism, and conspiracy theories. “Truth”, or at least reason, seems dispersed in a sea of irrelevance, correlation between preferences prompted by the sort of unfiltered emotions on which the Internet is mostly based takes the place of the causation of scientific laws. Every day we become more of a trivial culture, where our desires rather than our fears (as Orwell suggested) might ruin usi.
In such a chaotic world, where technology’s rapid rate of progress is outpacing serious moral and ethical considerations, the sempiternal teachings of traditional religions and philosophies are increasingly invoked by many from the tech, financial and political worlds, to bring back some sort of order, or at least a deeper understanding of the gravity of the transformation in human conduct that may result. Even if we are all aware of the many and powerful contradictions at issue —the hypocrisies and abuses that have occurred and that occur now and then in the “sacred-profane dichotomy”— at least conceptually, religions and philosophies have an advantage over nation-states in terms of both time (they exist way before these modern constructs were established) and space (they transcend national borders whilst pointing to the socio-economic issues that humanity faces).
The sober, reasonable but passionate rediscovery of the time-honored traditions of thought and faith that anticipated not only the technocratic world of today, but also the positivist one of the first scientific and industrial revolutions, can lead humanity towards more inclusive concepts of security, development, and peace, as well as contributing to the ever-more-urgent debate on global regulatory structures of the digital domain.