Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Christiana Wayne
Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 4:51 PM

On Sunday, Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, was targeted by hackers likely from Russia, reports Reuters. The company said in a statement Monday that the ransomware attacks affected “servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems.” JBS cancelled shifts at several plants in the U.S. and Canada and shut down all Australian operations on Monday. This attack comes a few weeks after Colonial Pipeline suffered a ransomware attack that hamstrung fuel delivery in the southeast U.S. for several days. Meat prices have increased during the coronavirus pandemic due to labor shortages, and the cyberattack could push prices even higher if production delays continue. The White House said that the FBI is investigating the matter.

European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová says the United States must limit its national security agencies’ access to Europeans’ data before the EU will make a deal on transatlantic data flow of people’s digital information, writes Politico. Last July, EU judges ruled that the U.S. must better protect Europeans’ data, including passing new legislation on bulk EU data collection. Since the ruling, Washington and Brussels have been working on a deal to ensure data flow across the Atlantic can continue. Jourová emphasized that the EU’s main concern is U.S. national security agencies, not private companies, and she emphasized the importance of legally binding legislation to restrict bulk collection by federal authorities. She told Politico, “We have to be absolutely sure that there is no mass surveillance of data of Europeans when it travels to the U.S.”

As international oil companies have been forced by courts and investors to cut emissions, national oil companies in Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates hope to step in, reports Reuters. A Dutch court ruled that Shell must drastically cut emissions, and shareholders have accused ExxonMobil and Chevron of underperforming on climate change goals. The constraints will require international companies to cut back output, but oil demand remains high. A top executive for Russia’s Gazprom says, “The West will have to rely more on what it calls ‘hostile regimes’ for its supply.”

On Tuesday, seven European Union countries will roll out a digital coronavirus certificate system that will allow travel within the EU, according to the New York Times. The “digital green certificate” will include the vaccination status of citizens, plus, whether they have recovered from the virus or tested negative in the past 72 hours. The European Commission plans to introduce the program to all 27 countries on July 1. According to the commission, the system will not retain any data due to privacy concerns.

The Biden administration will suspend oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, reports the Washington Post. This decision by the Interior Department is a reversal of one of the Trump administration’s major environmental policies. The move will end almost a dozen leases in the refuge—land that has been at the center of political debate for decades. The department’s reversal of the Trump policy enacted in the final weeks of his presidency could be subject to major legal challenges.

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