Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Emily Dai
Thursday, November 18, 2021, 2:02 PM

Internal documents reviewed by AP News show that Facebook is still struggling to rein in hate speech and misinformation on its platform in Myanmar. Three years ago, an internal investigation found that Facebook was used to “foment division and incite offline violence” in the Southeast Asian country, and the company pledged to develop tools to stop the spread of hate speech. Facebook flagged Myanmar as a “Tier-1” at-risk country and trained systems to detect “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”  However, after a military takeover of Myanmar in February, the platform has been exploited by hostile actors to spread violent messages. Citing internal documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen, AP News reports that Facebook was aware that its increased efforts to curb hate speech in Myanmar were inadequate. 

President Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will hold their first in-person meeting Thursday of the North American Leaders’ Summit, according to Bloomberg. 

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s first day on his trip to Africa was marred by increasing turmoil in Sudan and Ethiopia, reports the New York Times. As Blinken met with officials in Nairobi, Kenya, security forces in Sudan shot and killed at least 15 pro-democracy protesters and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed lashed out at international critics for his handling of the country’s civil war. 

A new report released Tuesday presents the results of the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General’s investigation of the department’s actions and response to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, says the Hill. The findings concluded that overall, Pentagon officials “did not improperly delay or obstruct the DoD’s response” to the Jan. 6 riot.

European Union spokesman Eric Mamer announced Thursday that there would be no negotiation with Belarus over the migrants at its border with Poland, according to Reuters. Mamer said that the EU would instead focus on getting aid to migrants and repatriating them.

The wife of a Christian aid worker worker believed to be held hostage by Islamist extremists in Mali said Wednesday that her husband’s captors are seeking a multimillion-dollar ransom demand and is seeking outside help to raise the funds, writes the Washington Post. Els Woodke said she believes her husband, Jeff Woodke, is in the custody of an al-Qaeda affiliate known as Jamaa Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin and that she received information that her husband was alive. Els said that although the U.S. government has relaxed a few policies about paying ransom for families of U.S. hostages, some challenges still remain. 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Hannah Bloch-Wehba and Jacob Schulz talk about alternative channels for police transparency and the different sources that inhibit public access to police practice.

Jack Goldsmith and Bob Bauer discussed the National Emergencies Act reform with an IEEPA exclusion.

Mark Nevitt reviewed the key takeaways and surprises from the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Jim Dempsey wrote about how vulnerability disclosure and management practices can help address the cybersecurity of artificial intelligence.

Howell also shared an episode of Rational Security, in which the hosts were joined by David Priess to discuss the migrant crisis in Belarus, the increasing number of U.S. nationals taken by foreign governments as hostages and the scattered refuse of a Russian anti-satellite weapon across outer space.

In a paper for the Hoover Institution's Aegis Series, Orin Kerr explored whether governments can purchase user records as an end-run around the warrant requirement imposed by Carpenter v. United States.

Bryce Klehm announced this week’s Lawfare Live, in which Benjamin Wittes, Scott R. Anderson and Quinta Jurecic will discuss the Jan. 6 committee’s recent actions and current litigation.

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