OUR PICKSU.S. Infrastructure Is Broken | Wiretap Bill That Critics Call “Stasi-Like” | The Warship’s Remote Operator: Who Is the Captain Now?, and more

Published 16 April 2024

·  U.S. Infrastructure Is Broken. Here’s an $830 Million Plan to Fix It
WIRED spoke with U.S. transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg about recent grants to fix ancient roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure before it’s too late

·  US Senate to Vote on a Wiretap Bill That Critics Call “Stasi-Like”
A controversial bill reauthorizing the Section 702 spy program may force whole new categories of businesses to eavesdrop on the US government’s behalf, including on fellow Americans

·  Supreme Court Appears Skeptical of Using Obstruction Law to Charge Jan. 6 Rioters
The justices considered the gravity of the assault and whether prosecutors have been stretching the law to reach members of the mob responsible for the attack

·  The Warship’s Remote Operator: Who Is the Captain Now?
The U.S. Navy has begun employing “ships” that can be operated remotely, raising questions about responsibility and control

·  Call in the Coast Guard: How Maritime Law Enforcement Can Combat China’s Gray-Zone Aggression
Despite renewed emphasis by the Biden, Trump, and Obama administrations, America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific has struggled under Chinese pressure

·  Review Finds U.S. Troops Did Not Spot ISIS-K Suicide Bomber Before Abbey Gate Attack
The U.S. for the first time identified the terrorist as Abdul Rahman al-Logari

·The Great Replacement Theory & Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists
Debating U.S. border policies and expressing grievances with state and federal immigration policiescan often take on an increasingly violent overtone when incorporating rhetoric from the great replacement theory

U.S. Infrastructure Is Broken. Here’s an $830 Million Plan to Fix It  (Matt Simon, Wired)
There’s one word that will get any American fuming, regardless of their political inclination: infrastructure. Pothole-pocked roads, creaky bridges, and half-baked public transportation bind us nationally like little else can. And that was before climate change’s coastal floodingextreme heat, and supercharged wildfires came around to make things even worse.
US infrastructure was designed for the climate we enjoyed 50, 75, even 100 years ago. Much of it simply isn’t holding up, endangering lives and snapping supply chains. To bring all those roads, railways, bridges, and whole cities into the modern era, the Biden-Harris administration last week announced almost $830 million in grants through 2021’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The long list of projects includes improved evacuation routes in Alaska, a new bridge in Montana, restored wetlands in Pennsylvania, and a whole bunch of retrofits in between.
“We know that if we want to build infrastructure that lasts for the next 50 or 100 years, it’s got to look different than the last 50 or 100 years,” says US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg.

US Senate to Vote on a Wiretap Bill That Critics Call “Stasi-Like”  (Dell Cameron, Wired)
The United States Senate is poised to vote on legislation this week that, for the next two years at least, could dramatically expand the number of businesses that the US government can force to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant.
Some of the nation’s top legal experts on a controversial US spy program argue that the legislation, known as the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA), would enhance the US government’s spy powers, forcing a variety of new businesses to secretly eavesdrop on Americans’ overseas calls, texts, and email messages.
Those experts include a handful of attorneys who’ve had the rare opportunity to appear before the US government’s secret surveillance court.

Supreme Court Appears Skeptical of Using Obstruction Law to Charge Jan. 6 Rioters  (Adam Liptak, New York Times)
The Supreme Court seemed wary on Tuesday of letting prosecutors use a federal obstruction law to charge hundreds of rioters involved in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
A decision rejecting the government’s interpretation of the law could not only disrupt those prosecutions but also eliminate half of the charges against former President Donald J. Trump in the federal case accusing him of plotting to subvert the 2020 election. (Cont.)