Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 05 October.
The gun debate is being pushed at a national level as some members of Congress express their continued support for gun control legislation. Although it’s unlikely that any significant legislation will occur, we should probably expect the “bump stocks,” which turn a semi-automatic AR-15 into a pseudo-automatic AR-15, to be the first and perhaps only item on the chopping block. There’s some Republican support in Congress for the ban of bump stocks, which is a clear indicator that we should expect legislation, perhaps as early as this year. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently called the legality of bump stocks “a legitimate question”. “It seems like it’s an obvious area we ought to explore and see if it’s something Congress needs to act on,” he continued. The alternative might be a change in policy at the ATF which could essentially make bump stocks illegal in the near future. (As for the Las Vegas shooting, investigators have yet to release a motive, however, they did say that the shooter spent “decades” acquiring weapons and ammunition as he “led a secret life.”)
NSA’s job just got a tiny bit more difficult in two separate instances. After several open source intelligence firms pinpointed the location and activities of the Russian military through the social media posts of troops, the Russian government is about to ban the use of Facebook for its soldiers. This move is in response to Facebook’s release of Russian-bought ads that targeted American voters in 2016. (Oddly enough, I don’t believe I’ve seen evidence that these ads supported the Trump campaign, although they did support democrats.) On a different note, Hewlett-Packard Enterprises recently admitted that a firm who does business with the Russian military was allowed to review source code for U.S. military cybersecurity monitoring software. A former employee says, “It’s a huge security vulnerability. You are definitely giving inner access and potential exploits to an adversary.” [source]
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