Rational Security 2.0: The ‘Textual Healing’ Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott talked amongst themselves about some of the week's big national security news stories, including:

  • “What’s in a Name?” Observers of the war in Ukraine are increasingly turning to a controversial term to describe the actions of Russian forces: genocide. Why are people suddenly using this word? Is its use appropriate here?
  • “Who’s Afraid of Going Dark?” A recent expose has gone deep into the struggle between big tech companies and NSO Group, the Israeli hacking company that has provided various governments around the world with the ability to access users’ phones and other protected communications. What does this tell us about the future of communications security and the role of companies like NSO Group in it.
  • “Florida Woman Disputes Sanitation Standards.” A federal judge in the Middle District of Florida has adopted an extremely narrow reading of federal law to hold that the Biden administration lacks the legal authority to require individuals to wear masks on airplanes and other transportation systems. What does this holding tell us about where the legal debate around pandemic measures is headed?

For object lessons, Alan endorsed his new favorite Norwegian time travel cop show. Quinta shouted out a piece in G. Elliot Morris's substack on why the Democrats are screwed and what can (and can’t) be done about it. And Scott urged listeners to check out musician Margaret Glaspy, who he recently saw live and brings a rocky vibe and charmingly awkward dance moves to the singer-songwriter motif.

Here are a few other articles and items we discussed, in no particular order: