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Government/Defense News and Analysis

McAleenan out at DHS

For the fifth time in just under three years, the Trump administration finds itself looking for another Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary, after acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said he would step down. McAleenan, an Obama administration holdover who replaced the embattled former DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, tendered his resignation just a few days after…

DIA analyst arrested for disclosing classified info to two journalists

A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst was arrested for supplying top secret national defense information (NDI) on a foreign country’s weapons systems to two journalists, one of whom he reportedly was engaged with romantically. Henry Kyle Frese, 30, of Alexandria, Va., accessed classified reports in April and May 2018 and passed them to the…

Diplomats used WhatsApp, personal phones to discuss Ukraine policy

Nearly a decade after Hillary Clinton began using personal devices and a private email server while Secretary of State – a practice that sparked a heated debate and congressional investigations during the 2016 presidential election cycle – an early impeachment probe into President Trump revealed that diplomats in the administration used WhatsApp and their personal…

Dems’ SHIELD Act would protect elections, close loopholes on foreign spending

Legislation introduced by House Democrats aims to close loopholes on foreign spending in the U.S. political campaigns to curb election interference. In addition to addressing campaign finance loopholes, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., chairperson of the Committee on House Administration, includes a…

California ‘boldly’ bans facial recognition in body cams, ACLU

With a flourish of a pen Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom blocked police in California from using facial recognition technology in their body cameras. The Body Camera Accountability Act bans the use of facial recognition technology in body cams for three years. It prohibits “a law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer from installing, activating or…

Iran hackers targeted presidential campaign, journalists

A threat group, dubbed Phosphorus, that Microsoft believes to be linked to Iran’s government targeted email accounts associated with a presidential campaign as well as government officials, journalists and prominent Iranians living outside the country. “In a 30-day period between August and September, the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) observed Phosphorus making more than 2,700…

Justice Dept. tells White House to preserve records of communications with foreign leaders

The day after the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the National Security Archive and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations asked a federal judge in Washington to issue a restraining order compelling the White House to preserve records of communications with foreign leaders, including the call between President Trump and Ukraine President…

Following cyber order from Obama, CISPA is back

Lawmakers advance bills that would add to DHS’ cyber responsibilities

The U.S. Senate last week passed a bill requiring the Department of Homeland Security to maintain cyber hunt and incident response teams, while the House passed one that instructs DHS to share protocols for mitigating cyber vulnerabilities. The Senate bill, S.315, aka the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act of 2019, passed by…

Trump

Whistleblower: White House moved record of call with Ukraine president to separate classified network

A whistleblower complaint, declassified and released just minutes before the acting Director of National intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire is to testify before a congressional committee, alleged, among other things, that senior White House officials obfuscated communications between the president and the president of Ukraine by moving records of the call to a separate computer network…

“Cybersecurity as realpolitik”

27 nations ink cybersecurity pledge

Twenty-seven nations signed a statement today reaffirming their commitment to constructing a framework for responsible state behavior in cyberspace. The statement, Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace, created a framework for the nations to show their continuing support for the international rules-based order, and encourage its adherence, implementation and further development, including at the ongoing…

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