Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Victoria Gallegos
Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 3:07 PM

Former Capitol security officials and the chief of the Washington police blamed the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement for intelligence failures in advance of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and the slow deployment of National Guard forces, writes the New York Times. Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund stated “none of the intelligence we received predicted what actually occurred,” while Robert Conte, chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department attributed the slow authorization of National Guard forces to the Defense Department, noting that the Army was reluctant to send troops. Sund, Conte and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving all said they believed the siege was coordinated.

The Biden administration will sanction Moscow in a collective response to Russian cyber espionage and the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, writes the Washington Post. In addition to sanctions, the Biden administration will release a strong statement attributing the SolarWinds attack to the Kremlin. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the U.S. response “will include a mix of tools seen and unseen, and it will not simply be sanctions,” in an attempt to “ensure that Russia understands where the United States draws the line on this kind of activity.” 

Facebook made a deal with the Australian government to restore news pages in Australia. The agreement comes after Facebook removed news content from its platform last week in response to new laws nearing passage that would require Google and Facebook to pay for content provided by traditional media outlets, reports the Wall Street Journal. The government made some amendments to the legislation, including an additional negotiation round with media companies before a binding arbitration. The company stated it intends to strike deals with Australian media organizations to pay for content and is satisfied with the new legislative changes. 

The Senate Intelligence Committee began hearings on the massive SolarWinds breach on Tuesday afternoon, reports the Hill. Sudhakar Ramakrishna, SolarWinds CEO; Brad Smith, Microsoft President; Kevin Mandia, FireEye CEO; and George Kurtz, Crowdstrike President and CEO, will testify on the cyber breach that impacted at least nine government agencies and 100 private sector groups.

The Senate confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in a 78-20 vote, writes the Associated Press.  

The Canadian House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to recognize China’s treatment of the Uighur minority as genocide, becoming the second country to do so after the U.S., according to the BBC. Prime Minister Trudeau and most members of his cabinet abstained from the vote, as Trudeau has said further examination is needed. 

Malaysia deported over 1,000 Myanmar nationals back to Myanmar, reports Reuters. 1,086 citizens were sent back via three of Myanmar’s naval ships, despite the Kuala Lumpur High Court granting a stay that would have halted the deportations until at least Wednesday morning.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Alexandra Klass examined the lessons learned from the Texas grid failure. 

Harsha Panduranga and Faiza Patel explained how former President Trump’s travel ban did not make Americans safer. 

Tia Sewell shared a livestream of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of Merrick Garland to be the Attorney General. 

Nicol Turner Lee shared an episode of TechTank, titled “Should Free Speech Be Regulated Online?” 

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, featuring a conversation between Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes and David Hoffman, associate general counsel and global privacy officer for the Intel Corporation, about trust and technology development. 

Karman Lucero critiqued the Department of Justice’s China Initiative and offered suggestions to improve it. 

Elsa Kania and Joe McReynolds argued the Biden administration should review and rewrite the China Initiative. 

Mary Anne Frank argued Section 230 serves as an anti-social contract in her paper published in Lawfare’s Digital Social Contract series. 

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