Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Hyemin Han
Friday, September 9, 2022, 4:37 PM

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The United States has started an airlift operation to send supplies to Pakistan amid monthslong flooding in the country, which has affected more than 33 million individuals. According to U.S. Agency for International Development head Samantha Power, the week-long effort employing two to three U.S. C-17s (large cargo planes) will establish a “beachhead” inside Pakistan’s flood zone to distribute humanitarian supplies. In her address, Power said that the goal is to help shelter 300,000 people.

The European Union is considering draft rules that will ban products that are made with forced labor, whether they originate within union or are imported to any of the 27 union nations, reports Reuters. The proposal is a reaction to human rights violations in Xinjiang, China, where over hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are suspected to be working in forced conditions. The proposed draft rules are expected to be announced next Tuesday.

A federal judge has prevented the enforcement of an Arizona law that would have hampered the ability of individuals to film law enforcement officials within eight feet if the officer tells the individual to stop. The American Civil Liberties Union and multiple media organizations had filed suit opposing the law—which had been approved by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and a Republican-controlled state legislature on July 6—arguing that it violated the First Amendment. Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and the prosecutor and sheriff’s office in Maricopa County indicated that they would not attempt to defend the law. The law would have taken effect on Sept. 24. 

U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks threw out Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and former FBI officials accusing them of conspiring to create the Russian election interference investigation against him. Middlebrooks wrote in the opinion that Trump “is seeking to flaunt a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him, and this Court is not the appropriate forum.” The Associated Press reports that Trump plans to appeal the dismissal.

Ukrainian forces are making a “very sharp and rapid” advance in southeast Kharkiv, Ukraine, which was previously a part of the Russian frontline. This breakthrough may mark a turning point in the war, according to Reuters. In a livestream, leader of the Russian-backed administration in Kharkiv Vitaly Ganchev said that while “the enemy is being delayed as much as possible,” Ukrainian forces have taken control of several settlements.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as well as its Minister of Intelligence Esmail Khatib for engaging in malicious cyber efforts against the United States and its allies since at least 2007. According to the U.S. Treasury Department’s press release, one of the most recent attacks linked to the MOIS was a July cyberattack on Albanian computer systems that required the government to temporarily stop providing online services for citizens. As a part of the sanctions regime, all property and interests in property of Khatib and MOIS within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and “U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a new law that authorizes the North Korean military to use nuclear weapons when faced with potential attack against its leadership or “important strategic objects” of the country, reports the Washington Post. According to remarks that Kim gave to the Supreme People’s Assembly, the new nuclear weapons policy was needed to “draw an irretrievable line so that there can be no bargaining over our nuclear weapons.”

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Quinta Jurecic, Natalie Orpett, and Benjamin Wittes analyzed the legal flaws in U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s recent opinion granting the appointment of a special master to oversee privilege claims in documents seized at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

Paul Rosenzweig and Katie Stoughton argued that Cloudflare’s decision to stop offering security services to Kiwi Farms, while the right decision, is an example of how content moderation decisions happen outside the traditional confines of websites and service providers.

Stewart Baker discussed the applicability of the “disclose-and-patch” system for cryptocurrencies, arguing that institutional innovation and new laws will likely have to be instituted in order for cryptocurrency security to match that of other digital technologies.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Stephanie Pell sat down with Justin Sherman, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, to discuss the whistleblower complaint filed by former Twitter executive Peiter Zatko detailing security, privacy, and integrity issues with Twitter’s platform. 

Katherine Pompilio shared the Justice Department's motion for partial stay of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to grant former President Trump’s request for a special master to oversee materials seized during the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago residence. 

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