Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Vishnu Kannan
Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 2:13 PM

Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was a CIA source, the Wall Street Journal reports. He was assassinated in February 2017 while on a trip to Malaysia, during which time he allegedly met with a U.S. intelligence officer. The CIA declined to comment on the story.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D.-Conn.) and Todd Young (R.-Ind.) announced they will introduce a resolution aimed at reassessing the U.S.-Saudi Arabia security relationship based on the latter’s human rights record. Their resolution follows a push by a bipartisan group of senators to stop the Trump administration’s arms deal with the Kingdom, according to CNN.

The U.S. Justice Department delivered a formal extradition request for Julian Assange to officials in the U.K., the Washington Post reports. The request follows Assange’s indictment for violations of the Espionage Act and conspiring to hack into a government computer.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that a “malicious cyberattack” against a federal subcontractor compromised images of people leaving or entering the country from an unnamed land port of entry, says The Post. Data stolen from around 100,000 travelers included photos and license plates.

Despite controversy surrounding the U.S. government’s use of facial recognition software, Amazon says they are willing to sell their technology to any department that follows the law, writes Reuters.

The dating app Tinder has agreed to comply with future requests for user information by the Russian government, joining a list of websites and applications known to include social media sites and popular blogs critical of the Russian government, per the Post.

New satellite imagery shows that Sudanese security forces continue to commit “war crimes and other serious human rights violations” in Darfur, Amnesty International says. The Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group, are alleged to have destroyed villages and engaged in “unlawful killings and sexual violence,” according to the Associated Press.

As part of a case in which a British civil rights group challenged parts of the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Act, the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Commissioner ruled that MI5 retained surveillance data for too long and failed to store it safely, characterizing the handling of the data as “undoubtedly unlawful,” according to the BBC.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Sharan Grewal argued that the cancellation of Algeria’s elections is an opportunity for democratization.

Laura Donohue announced Georgetown Law Center’s comprehensive foreign intelligence law collection.

Bobby Chesney discussed Justice Stephen Breyer’s analysis of the denial of cert in al-Alwi.

Steve Vladek wrote that while the manner in which the Trump administration has installed a new acting director of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services may not violate the plain letter of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, it can’t be reconciled with the law’s spirit.

Charlie Dunlap reviewed the facts on Trump’s proposed pardons in military justice cases.

Stewart Baker shared the most recent episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, a conversation covering the prospects for antitrust action against technology companies, a censorship suit in Austria and Russian disinformation.

Mikhaila Fogel shared the Supreme Court’s denial of cert in Al-Alwi v. Trump and the Trump legal team’s brief in the case of Trump v. Mazars USA. She also shared the Justice department’s response to the House Judiciary Committee’s request for further information regarding U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the Russia investigation. She and Hadley Baker shared the livestream of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Part 1 of the Mueller report.

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