Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Elliot Setzer
Friday, June 12, 2020, 11:37 AM

President Trump yesterday dismissed police misconduct as only the result of a few “bad apples,” and said he would sign an executive order encouraging better practices by police departments while rejecting more far-reaching proposals to combat police brutality and racial injustice, reports the New York Times.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper yesterday announced an “After Action Review” of the controversial use of the National Guard in response to nationwide demonstrations last week, writes the Hill.

Sen. Ed Markey yesterday urged Attorney General William Barr to give an account of how surveillance technology has been deployed against Americans during recent protests over the killing of George Floyd, according to Reuters. Markey asked whether the Department of Justice had authorized the use of facial recognition, unmanned aircraft or cellphone tracking technology in connection with the protests.

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved an amendment from Sen. Tim Kaine intended to block President Trump from deploying active-duty troops against protesters, reports the Hill. On the same day, the committee also approved a proposal from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to strip Confederate names from military bases and other Defense Department facilities within the next three years, writes NBC.

Microsoft said yesterday it would not sell facial recognition technology to U.S. police departments until there is federal regulation governing its use, according to Reuters. The announcement came after Amazon declared it would pause police use of its “Rekognition” service for a year.

The Trump administration plans to reinterpret the Missile Technology Control Regime, a Cold War-era arms agreement between 34 nations, with the goal of allowing U.S. defense contractors to sell more drones to more expansive group of countries, writes Reuters.

Twitter today announced it had permanently removed more than 32,000 accounts linked to three separate operations attributed to China, Russia and Turkey, according to Politico. Almost three quarters of the deleted accounts tweeted predominantly in Chinese languages and posted “narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China,” including deceptive narratives about Hong Kong.

North Korea today vowed to increase its nuclear weapons capabilities, citing deteriorating diplomatic ties with the United States, reports the New York Times.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Roger Parloff discussed the shoddy history behind a key precedent in the Flynn case.

Elliot Setzer shared an executive order authorizing sanctions against International Criminal Court personnel.

Setzer also shared briefs from Michael Flynn, the Department of Justice and U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan in the Flynn case.

David Priess shared a job announcement for an Associate Editor position at Lawfare.

John Bellinger and Sean Mirski analyzed the first significant setback for suits under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a conversation about protecting free expression online with Eileen Donahoe, executive director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University.

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