• HAVANA SYNDROMEU.S. Still Searching for “Havana Syndrome” Answers

    By Jeff Seldin

    The CIA has concluded a mysterious illness plaguing American diplomats and other officials around the world is not nearly as widespread as initially feared and is most likely not the work of a foreign adversary. But the agency also cautioned that a smaller number of cases continue to defy explanation.

  • THE RUSSIA CONNECTIONHow the U.S. Is Making Gains in an Uphill Battle Against Russian Hackers

    By Scott Jasper

    U.S. policy and actions in response to cyberattacks connected to Russia have changed distinctly since the Biden administration took office. The Biden administration has taken unprecedented steps to impose costs on Russian cyber criminals and frustrate their efforts, but we should be realistic about what national cyber defense can and can’t do.

  • EXTREMISMThreats to the U.S. Jewish Community: The Facts

    According to the FBI’s annual data on hate crimes, defined as criminal offenses which are motivated by bias, crimes targeting the Jewish community consistently constitute more than half of all religion-based crimes.

  • CHINA WATCHChina’s Long-Arm Policing Overseas

    Just around Christmas last year, China’s global hunt for “fugitives” hit a new milestone. Since its launch in 2014 as part of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, 10,000 are claimed to have been successfully returned from over 120 countries around the globe under Sky Net (and junior partner Fox Hunt) operations.

  • ARGUMENT: Countering DisinformationHow to Support a Globally Connected Counter-Disinformation Network

    From undermining democracy to inciting genocide, the global dangers of disinformation on social media are now well known. Kevin Sheives writes that despite countless calls for better legal regulation or intensified content moderation, the efforts of governments and social media companies to combat this threat have proven either woefully inadequate or dangerous to democratic practice. “Civil society, not governments or social media companies, can best diminish disinformation,” he writes.

  • EXTREMISMPolarization: Parties Lead and Voters Follow

    Party polarization tends to come before voter polarization, according to new research. “People often rely on political parties as a source of information, so it makes sense to expect them to follow the lead of parties and other political elites,” says one researcher.

  • CHINA WATCHSecurity Flaws in China’s Mandatory Olympics App for Athletes

    By Jeffrey Knockel

    Athletes arriving at the Winter Olympics in China will have to install a Chinese-made app, called MY2022, on their smartphones, and fill in detailed information about themselves. China says that app, which the athletes will have to carry with them and periodically update, will be used to report health and travel data when they are in China. Athletes who fail to install the app, or who fail to fill in and update the information, will be sent home. Cyber analysts have found serious security and privacy flaws in the app.

  • CHINA WATCHEnvisioning the Overthrow of China’s Xi Jinping

    By Natalie Liu

    On 14 October 1964, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was deposed. Members of the Politburo, led by Leonid Breshnev and Alexei Kosygin, informed Khrushchev that he was being replaced, and he was escorted to a villa in a secluded area on the shores of the Black Sea, where he lived comfortably, if modestly, until he died on 11 September 1971. Is this scenario possible in today’s China? Could the fate of Chinese president Xi Jinping be similar to that of Khrushchev? One expert says the answer is “Yes” to both questions.

     

  • ARGUMENT: FRAGILE DATA SUPPLY CHAINSHome for the Holidays? The Global Implications of a State-Level Cyberattack

    The 4 December 2021 cyberattack on the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) appeared, at first blush to be a local-to-Maryland problem. Maggie Smith writes, however, that “the MDH hack points to a concerning development at the nexus of cybercrime and data supply chains,” as it “shows how fragile data supply chains can be and signals how easy it is to disrupt even the most critical data flows by stopping the upstream flow of data that provides the insights and statistics on which the nations’ decision-makers rely.”  

  • ARGUMENT: CIVIL WARSWarnings of “Civil War” Risk Harming Efforts Against Political Violence

    A year on from the Jan. 6 riots, experts warn of catastrophic political violence, while political commentators invoke the specter of the 1860s. Anjali Dayal, Alexandra Stark, and Megan A. Stewart write that the emerging cottage industry of speculation and alarm specifically about a civil war in the United States worries them. “The shape and content of this debate … risks mis-framing an urgent problem for non-specialist audiences.”

  • TERRORISMHostage Situation Continuing in Texas

    The FBI joined local and state police to surround a synagogue in Coleville, Texas, a city of about 26,000 residents about 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth, where a man has been holding the rabbi and four other people hostage since late morning. A few minutes ago, the hostage taker released a man who was suffering from a medical condition.

  • TERRORISMU.S. Judge Orders Colombia’s Now-Demobilized Insurgents to Compensate Family of Kidnapped Politician

    A Pennsylvania federal judge ruled on Thursday that Colombia’s now-demobilized Marxist guerrilla, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), will have to pay $36 million in compensation to the son of Ingrid Bentacourt, a Colombian politician who was kidnapped by FARC in 2002 and held hostage for six years.

  • THE RUSSIA CONNECTIONMassive Cyberattack Targeting Ukraine’s Government Websites

    Several Ukrainian government websites have been targeted in a massive cyberattack amid heightened tensions between the West and Russia, which has massed troops and military equipment near the border with Ukraine.

  • CHINA WATCHBritish Intelligence Shines Light on Chinese Spy 'Hiding in Plain Sight'

    By Jamie Dettmer

    Pressure is mounting on Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, MI5, to explain why it did not alert lawmakers sooner about the activities of a suspected Chinese spy, who the security service now say was “knowingly engaged in political interference in the U.K.”

  • CIVIL WARSCivil War in the U.S. Is Unlikely Because Grievance Doesn’t Necessarily Translate Directly into Violence

    By Ore Koren

    Claims that America is at the greatest risk of civil war since, well, the Civil War, recently received additional support from some experts in the field of political science. But civil wars are rare events. But even if a civil war in America is unlikely, this does not preclude the occurrence of other forms of less intense violence. Concerns about increased violent extremism in the United States recently led the U.S. Justice Department to establish a new domestic terrorism group.