• DOMESTIC TERRORISMModern-Day Outlaws, “Sovereign Citizens” Threaten the Rule of Law

    By Christine Sarteschi

    The FBI considers sovereign citizens a domestic terrorism threat. My research into sovereign citizens has found they have long been active in the U.S. and other countries. At the core of their beliefs is the denial of the government’s legitimacy. They commonly do not register their vehicles, acquire driver’s licenses or car insurance, or pay taxes. And they pose a significant threat to the public.

  • ELECTION INTEGRITYElection Administration Performance Linked to Counties’ Economic, Racial Makeup

    By Sara Zaske

    “The federal government and states may set general directives about how elections are to be administered, but a lot of those actions are carried forth by county-level governments.,” says Professor Michael Ritter, lead author of a new study on election administration.

  • ELECTION INTEGRITYVoter Advocacy Groups Ask Feds to Step in After Texas Allowed Some Voters’ Ballots to Be Identified

    By Natalia Contreras

    The request comes as state and local officials undermined ballot secrecy in their bids for election transparency. After Texas lawmakers changed several laws to increase transparency, researchers demonstrated that the secret choices voters make in the voting booth can be identified using public, legally available records.

  • CHINA WATCHIs China Exporting Its Political Model To The World? A New Report Says Yes.

    By Reid Standish

    Debate has raged for decades over whether Beijing is actively exporting its authoritarian system abroad, but a new report based on a trove of previously unexamined government documents shows how China is experimenting with spreading its model to other countries.

  • DISINFORMATIONBanning Fake News Traffickers Online Improved Public Discourse

    When Twitter banned more than 70,000 traffickers of false information from its platform in the wake of the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the impact went beyond the silencing of those users. A new study found that the crackdown by Twitter also significantly reduced the number of misinformation posts by users who stayed on the platform but had been following those who were kicked off.

  • DISINFORMATIONJoint Efforts Needed to Combat Disinformation

    By Janosch Delcker

    The spread of fake news is destabilizing societies and fueling anti-democratic movements around the world. Collaborative efforts are needed to tackle the problem, says a new report.

  • SCIENTISTSReports: Russian Physicists Being Denied Entry to U.S.

    By Daniil Sotnikov

    After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the US government attempted to make it easier for Russian scientists to enter the United States. But there are reports that it has actually become more difficult.

  • ELECTION INTEGRITY2020’s ‘Fake Elector’ Schemes Will Be Harder to Try in 2024 – but Not Impossible

    By Derek T. Muller

    Electors will gather across the United States in December 2024, just weeks after the election, and formally cast votes for president and vice president. They will send their votes to Congress, which will count them and determine who received the most votes. Typically, the casting of electoral votes is little more than a ceremonial process. But the last time this process happened – in 2020 – it was anything but typical.

  • MIGRATIONBiden’s Immigration Order Won’t Fix Problems Quickly – 4 Things to Know About What’s Changing

    By Jean Lantz Reisz

    Biden’s executive order prevents everyone who crosses the U.S.-Mexico border without a visa, and not passing through an official port of entry, from seeking asylum. It goes into effect when the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border each day exceeds an average of 2,500. Effectively, this is a ban on asylum.

  • BIOSECURITYHow Secure Is Gene Synthesizing Research?

    Critics warn that the benefits of gene synthesizing research are undermined by security measures which are not sufficiently tight to prevent such research form being used by bad actors to do harm. One expert writes: “The problem is that governments don’t mandate security across the industry — and even though it’s a crime to ship DNA sufficient to generate the entire infectious 1918 influenza, there’s no law against shipping pieces of it.” The International Gene Synthesis Consortium disagrees.

  • ELECTION INTEGRITYTexas Tells Local Election Officials to Stop Releasing Information That Exposes How Some People Vote

    By Natalia Contreras

    Texas’ top election official issued emergency guidance to counties aimed at protecting ballot privacy. The emergency guidance from the secretary of state comes after reports in Votebeat and The Texas Tribune confirmed the choices some voters make can later be identified through legally available records.

  • ELECTION INTEGRITYNew Voter Registration Rules Threaten Hefty Fines, Criminal Penalties for Groups

    By Matt Vasilogambros

    Lawmakers in several states have enacted a variety of voter registration laws over the past four years. The measures add new requirements around registering and communicating with voters and threaten hefty penalties for violations. The stated goal of the new laws is to prevent fraud, but some voting rights groups contend their real purpose is to dampen participation by likely Democratic voters.

  • EXTREMISM“Fight Until Victory”: Speakers & Guests Declare Full Support for Terrorism at “People’s Conference for Palestine”

    The “People’s Conference for Palestine,” held in Detroit, MI on 24-26 May, offered insight into the strategies and goals of the most influential forces driving a movement that has gained increasingly widespread and mainstream support as the Israel-Hamas war has dragged on.

  • POLITICSMuslim Drift to Republican Party Stalls Amid Gaza Conflict

    By Masood Farivar

    The war in Gaza is shaking Muslim Americans’ political loyalties ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. Disenchanted by President Joe Biden’s embrace of Israel, many Democratic-leaning Muslims who once backed him are now vowing to withdraw their endorsement. But it’s not just Muslim Democrats abandoning their once-preferred candidate. Some Muslim Republicans are also wavering amidst their own party’s support of Israel.

  • POLITICSElection Monitors Nervously Practice for the ‘Big Dance in November’

    By Matt Vasilogambros

    Georgia’s May primary tested voter engagement groups and political parties. If the upcoming presidential election is like the championship game, consider last month’s primary in Georgia the scrimmage.