Nuclear Friend-Shoring? | ShotSpotter Keeps Listening for Gunfire After Contracts Expire | Cisco Firewalls Hacked to Access Government Networks, and more

As described by the House’s select committee on Jan. 6 and Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of the former president in Washington, D.C., the effort involved a plan to flip the Electoral College vote to Trump by putting forward “alternate slates” of electors claiming a Trump victory in states won by President-Elect Joe Biden. With guidance and encouragement from the Trump campaign and other supporters of the president, Republican officials and party members in seven states—Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, Georgia, and Arizona—prepared certificates declaring themselves to represent or potentially represent the rightful electors in those states, over the official electors certifying the vote for Biden. The idea was to either flip the electoral tally to Trump outright during Congress’s counting of the vote on Jan. 6 or generate enough legal uncertainty to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from certifying Biden’s victory. 
The scheme features prominently in Smith’s D.C. indictment of Trump and in the indictment of Trump and 18 other co-defendants in Georgia court by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. These two cases have understandably received the most attention—after all, they feature charges against Trump himself. But over the past three years, the other states targeted by the fake electors plot have conducted their own investigations, too. And in some, fake electors are facing criminal charges.
With such a sprawling landscape of investigations and prosecutions, it can be difficult to keep track of where everything stands. Here, we’ve provided an overview of the state of play across the country. In Michigan and Nevada, fake electors are facing criminal prosecution in state court, while a criminal probe continues in Arizona and possibly in Wisconsin as well. Civil litigation in the latter state has also resulted in a settlement barring the Wisconsin fake electors from serving as electors in any contest in which Trump is on the ballot. Meanwhile, in New Mexico and Pennsylvania, fake electors appear unlikely to face criminal charges.

The Unreality of Columbia’s ‘Liberated Zone’  (Michael Powell, Powell, The Atlantic)
As the war has raged on and the death toll has grown, protest rallies on American campuses have morphed into a campaign of ever grander and more elaborate ambitions: From “Cease-fire now” to the categorical claim that Israel is guilty of genocide and war crimes to demands that Columbia divest from Israeli companies and any American company selling arms to the Jewish state.
Many protesters argue that, from the river to the sea, the settler-colonialist state must simply disappear. To inquire, as I did at Columbia, what would happen to Israelis living under a theocratic fascist movement such as Hamas is to ask the wrong question. A young female protester, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, responded: “Maybe Israelis need to check their privilege.”
Of late, at least one rabbi has suggested that Jewish students depart the campus for their own safety. Columbia President Minouche Shafik acknowledged in a statement earlier today that at her university there “have been too many examples of intimidating and harassing behavior.” To avoid trouble, she advised classes to go virtual today, and said, “Our preference is that students who do not live on campus will not come to campus.”

Congressional Push for Oil Sanctions Puts Biden in a Bind  (Keith Johnson, Foreign Policy)
The Biden administration has been loath to unleash the oil weapon to bring misbehaving countries to heel, leery of spiking oil prices in an election year. But U.S. President Joe Biden’s hand may be forced, with lawmakers in Congress pushing fresh sanctions against countries such as Iran that could remove a big chunk of oil from an already finely balanced market.
The question is whether additional sanctions on major oil producers will lead to an oil price spike later this year, just in time to dampen Biden’s reelection bid—or whether the gusher of oil from the Americas will allow Washington to keep a lid on both global oil prices and global bad behavior.
The latest congressional push included a new sanctions bill targeting Iranian oil exports (and their Chinese buyers) as part of an omnibus that finally appropriated funds for defense assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and the Asia-Pacific. If passed, signed into law, and fully enforced—and the last is a big if—that could remove more than 700,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil from the market, almost half of Iran’s current exports.
But that’s not all. The sanctions bill came just days after the Biden administration, under bipartisan pressure from Congress, withdrew sanctions relief from Venezuela due to Caracas’s repeated broken pledges about allowing free elections. That could be an issue in the future for the heavy grades of oil beloved by U.S. Gulf Coast oil refiners. All the while, against Washington’s wishes, Kyiv keeps using long-range drones to target the soft underbelly of Russia’s oil industry, damaging its ability to export petroleum products.
Together, the new measures threaten to further tighten an oil market that doesn’t have much slack right now. Benchmark crude in London remains around $86 a barrel, as OPEC and its partners have said they will keep voluntarily curbing their oil output through June to prop up prices and as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East keep oil markets on edge.

ShotSpotter Keeps Listening for Gunfire After Contracts Expire  (Max Blaisdell and Jim Daley, Wired)
When Mayor Brandon Johnson announced in February that Chicago would stop using the gunshot-detection system known as ShotSpotter by year’s end, local activists were elated.
Ever since 2021, when the police fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo while responding to a ShotSpotter alert, the Stop ShotSpotter Campaign has been pressuring the city to ditch the technology. Johnson’s decision not to renew the Windy City’s contract with ShotSpotter was seen as the culmination of the campaign’s efforts.
But ending the contract may not be enough to remove the company’s more than 2,500 sensors from neighborhoods on the city’s South and West Sides, where they’re disproportionately located. Internal emails reviewed by South Side Weekly and WIRED suggest that ShotSpotter keeps its sensors online and, in some instances, provides gunshot-detection alerts to police departments in cities where its contracts have expired or been canceled. The emails raise new questions about whether the more than 2,500 sensors in Chicago will be turned off and removed, regardless of Johnson’s decision.

‘ArcaneDoor’ Cyberspies Hacked Cisco Firewalls to Access Government Networks  (Andy Greenberg, Wired))
Network security appliances like firewalls are meant to keep hackers out. Instead, digital intruders are increasingly targeting them as the weak link that lets them pillage the very systems those devices are meant to protect. In the case of one hacking campaign over recent months, Cisco is now revealing that its firewalls served as beachheads for sophisticated hackers penetrating multiple government networks around the world.
On Wednesday, Cisco warned that its so-called Adaptive Security Appliances—devices that integrate a firewall and VPN with other security features—had been targeted by state-sponsored spies who exploited two zero-day vulnerabilities in the networking giant’s gear to compromise government targets globally in a hacking campaign it’s calling ArcaneDoor.
The hackers behind the intrusions, which Cisco’s security division Talos is calling UAT4356 and which Microsoft researchers who contributed to the investigation have named STORM-1849, couldn’t be clearly tied to any previous intrusion incidents the companies had tracked. Based on the group’s espionage focus and sophistication, however, Cisco says the hacking appeared to be state-sponsored.