Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

District of Columbia | July 23, 2021

‘Fox Hunt’: U.S. charges covert operatives in illegal hunt of Chinese dissidents

District of Columbia | July 23, 2021

The Justice Department on Thursday indicted nine people, including Chinese nationals and an American private investigator, on charges they were part of a Chinese government covert operation called “Fox Hunt” that forcibly repatriated opponents of the Beijing regime. The nine people were charged with acting as illegal agents of China, conspiracy and illegal stalking of dissidents and Beijing regime critics between 2016 and 2019. Prosecutors said the men were operating under the direction of China‘s Communist government and spied on and harassed U.S. residents, pressuring them to return to China. Chinese Fox Hunt teams are made up of undercover agents from the government’s Ministry of Public Security, who were recruited to target dissidents, human rights activists and other political opponents….(Excerpts from the Washington Times)

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District of Columbia | July 23, 2021

Not just the money: Ransomware a growing political threat to U.S. interests

District of Columbia | July 23, 2021

The rising frequency of ransomware attacks against private companies involved in banking, gasoline supplies, beef production and other crucial business may feel like an overhyped national security threat, but a growing number of experts are warning that the attacks represent a cyberwar trend that U.S. adversaries are poised to exploit not for money but for serious geopolitical gain. Analysts predict that as the scope and sophistication of the incidents grow in the coming months and years, states such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are likely to accelerate the use of ransomware to exact foreign policy concessions either directly from Washington or from U.S. allies around the world…(Excerpts from the  Washington Times)

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District of Columbia, Illinois, New York | July 23, 2021

Internet outage hits multiple companies

District of Columbia, Illinois, New York | July 23, 2021

A widespread internet outage hit multiple companies Thursday afternoon and was resolved just before 1 p.m. EST. Connection failures impacted content delivery and cloud service company Akamai, which said the outage was not the result of a cyber attack.Websites for Amazon, Google, Verizon, Delta, HBO Max, Airbnb, AT&T Fidelity, FedEx, UPS, Southwest Airlines, HomeDepot and others may have been impacted across the country and especially in major cities like New York City; Washington, D.C., and Chicago. (Excerpts from Fox News)

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District of Columbia | July 21, 2021

Biden puts cyber at center of his agenda

District of Columbia | July 21, 2021

A series of disruptive cyberattacks targeting sectors from food to energy to technology has forced President Biden to put cybersecurity at the center of his agenda in his first six months in office.

Biden has focused on Russia and China as two nations that present major threats to America’s national and economic security, with cyber issues being prime areas of engagement with those countries as ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure become a constant headache.

The president is regularly briefed on cybersecurity, and the topic drew particular focus during Biden’s second Cabinet meeting since taking office, held Tuesday afternoon.

“We’ve been very clear to other nations as to what we expect in terms of their conduct,” Biden told reporters during the meeting.

Biden campaigned on a pledge to make cybersecurity a top priority as president and experts say that he’s thus far made good on that promise in his personnel choices, responses to attacks and with a sweeping executive order aimed at improving federal cybersecurity…

(Excerpts from the Hill)

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District of Columbia | July 19, 2021

Biden Can Use His Meeting With Jordanian King To Bring A Terrorist To Justice

District of Columbia | July 19, 2021

Arnold Roth talks about what he sees as a personal failure to protect his daughter Malki, who died 20 years ago at the age of 15 along with 14 other civilians (including two Americans) in a Jerusalem terror attack known as the Sbarro Massacre. It’s difficult to hear, especially when the perpetrators of the attack have long been known and one of them, Ahlam Tamimi, is living as a virtual celebrity in her native Jordan after having her sentence commuted during the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.

The instinct is to correct Roth and insist he not blame himself, but it seems disrespectful to question the ways people grieve the life-altering loss of a child. That’s a pain only those who have suffered it can understand. Which is one reason Roth is appealing to President Joe Biden on the eve of his meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II on Monday, to ask him to consider taking a hard line with the important Middle East ally harboring Tamimi, especially considering Jordan has long been a partner in battling terrorism in the region and the U.S. can rightfully ask for her extradition. …

(Excerpts from Townhall)

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District of Columbia | July 18, 2021

Reminiscent of the Obama administration’: Cyberattackers ignore Biden’s red lines

District of Columbia | July 18, 2021

President Biden’s tough talk against cyberattacks from Russia has not stopped an onslaught of ransomware and hacks from hitting the U.S., cybersecurity professionals say.

Mr. Biden said U.S. critical infrastructure was off-limits for Russia-based attackers and repeatedly admonished Russian President Vladimir Putin to take action against cyberattackers. The effort has failed to yield an observable deterrent effect, said Michael Ellis, a former top lawyer at the National Security Agency appointed by President Trump.

“I think it was a little naive perhaps to think that just Biden telling off Putin would actually lead to anything in and of itself,” Mr. Ellis said. “One fault of the Biden administration’s policy so far: Their approach does appear to be again reminiscent of the Obama administration’s — that meeting after meeting to consider an issue but without making a decision. And when you don’t make a decision, that amounts to a decision, in some ways, and that leads to bad results.”…

(Excerpts from the Washington Times)

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