Inside Pentagon’s Shaky Efforts to Combat Russian Disinformation | Backdoor in XZ Utils That Almost Happened | Texas, Military Federalism, and the Southern Border

The stories had a huge impact. One poll in late March of that year found that more than a quarter of Americans believed the US-Ukraine bioweapons theory. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene authored a bill that gave the charges an air of credibility.
We now know the story was a massive Russian disinformation campaign, boosted by China and followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Nevertheless, it sent a little-known Defense Department office into damage control mode.
That’s what I found in the trove of acronym-heavy documents that I obtained from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, also referred to as DTRA, the division that was singled out by Russia and accused of operating biowarfare labs in Ukraine. I filed a FOIA request with DTRA and asked for emails, memos, letters, reports, talking points – pretty much everything – to find out what happens when a government agency becomes the target of a disinformation campaign by a foreign adversary.

Sen. Ossoff Announces Significant Funding Increase for Border Security Technology  (HSToday)
U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff today announced a funding boost to purchase new border security technology.
Sen. Ossoff announced this year’s bipartisan government funding bill, which passed Congress and has now been signed into law, includes a 23% increase in funding to purchase and deploy next-generation technology to help strengthen border security, combat human trafficking, and prevent illegal drugs from crossing the border.
The funding will help purchase new surveillance towers, new tunnel detection technology, mobile surveillance technology, and more.

The Threat of Weapons in Space  (Charles W. Stiles, HSToday)
Most of our lives are without worry about what impacts the sky, stars, and heavens above. What is happening in space has been relegated to the fiction of Star Trek and Star Wars, the purview of NASA scientists and engineers, or the domain of university astronomy and physics departments. This all helps form our fundamental understanding of space, stimulates creative thinking, and reveals how we perceive threats. Recent news events have brought forward the reality that space is quickly becoming the next battlefield. The beginning of a ‘space race’ and its accompanying interest in dominating outer space began with the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik in 1957. While the former Soviet Union is dissolved, the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continue to have very aggressive space programs with routine satellite launches and a focused effort to maintain an advantage and dominance in space.i 
The threat of weapons in space and U.S. vulnerabilities must be better understood to avoid misinformation published on various social media and television news outlets.  Outer space and operations in space present our nation with a problematic set of geopolitical dynamics, including technical and economic challenges. Opposing space forces of Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are credible and are a significant threat to our nation’s well-being. Our adversary’s goals do not align with accepted space treaties or international laws but rather pursue the ability to develop and launch capabilities designed to influence and threaten sovereign states’ policies and actions by creating a superior force. This article seeks to act as a primer and to better define the current threat by reviewing creditable open-source information of our adversary’s space capabilities and examining them against the backdrop of Space law, U.S. policy, economic impacts, and countering threats to protect our continuity of government, critical infrastructure, military forces, and the homeland. 

Backdoor in XZ Utils That Almost Happened  (Bruce Schneier, Lawfare)
Last week, the internet dodged a major nation-state attack that would have had catastrophic cybersecurity repercussions worldwide. It’s a catastrophe that didn’t happen, so it won’t get much attention—but it should. There’s an important moral to the story of the attack and its discovery: The security of the global internet depends on countless obscure pieces of software written and maintained by even more obscure unpaid, distractible, and sometimes vulnerable volunteers. It’s an untenable situation, and one that is being exploited by malicious actors. Yet precious little is being done to remedy it.
Programmers dislike doing extra work. If they can find already-written code that does what they want, they’re going to use it rather than recreate the functionality. These code repositories, called libraries, are hosted on sites like GitHub. There are libraries for everything: displaying objects in 3D, spell-checking, performing complex mathematics, managing an e-commerce shopping cart, moving files around the internet—everything. Libraries are essential to modern programming; they’re the building blocks of complex software. The modularity they provide makes software projects tractable. Everything you use contains dozens of these libraries: some commercial, some open source and freely available. They are essential to the functionality of the finished software. And to its security.
You’ve likely never heard of an open-source library called XZ Utils, but it’s on hundreds of millions of computers. It’s probably on yours. It’s certainly in whatever corporate or organizational network you use. It’s a freely available library that does data compression. It’s important, in the same way that hundreds of other similar obscure libraries are important.

Texas, Military Federalism, and the Southern Border  (Emily Berman and Chris Mirasola, Lawfare)
Putting aside whether Texas’s actions have sufficiently obstructed federal law enforcement efforts to justify the invocation of Section 252 or any other provision of the Insurrection Act, Abbott’s bellicose tone brings to mind state governors’ defiance of federal law during the civil rights era. President Eisenhower, for example, invoked the Insurrection Act to federalize the Arkansas National Guard, thereby preventing the governor from using these troops to block Black students from integrating Central High School in Little Rock. President Kennedy did much the same in 1963 by invoking the Insurrection Act to federalize the Alabama National Guard so that the governor could not use them to prevent Black students from enrolling in segregated public schools.
But the military deployments at the southern border today, and the contemporary legal architecture surrounding them are, in at least two respects, far more complicated than these historical examples. And invoking the Insurrection Act to federalize the Texas National Guard is not a panacea for the tensions between state and federal authorities on the southern border. In fact, state deployments of troops outside the federal chain of command are bolstered substantially by federal statutory authorizations that either did not exist or were not implicated in these previous situations in which presidents invoked the Insurrection Act. At the same time, these provisions of federal law also provide some options for the federal government to prevent states from exploiting these authorities to undermine federal power.