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ISIS builds quadcopter “bomber” with DJI drone and badminton supplies

Downed drone outside Mosul shows off-the-shelf tech creatively used to kill.

“Nothing is impossible”: Trump donation server defaced

"Pro_Mast3r" takes over server associated with campaign donations.

Former US Army National Guard member jailed for supporting ISIS

The 27-year-old has been charged with attempting to help members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

US visitors may have to reveal social media passwords to enter...

"If they don't want to cooperate, then you don't come in."

Trump’s ban becomes an H-1B fight

The U.S. technology industry warned President Donald Trump that his immigration order will hurt the U.S. economy by making it more difficult for businesses to attract overseas workers.

The administration's seven-country ban is, for the tech industry...

Microsoft to feds: Please exempt our immigrant workers hit by travel...

"There is no evidence that they pose a security or safety threat to the United States."

Judge orders halt to Trump’s immigration executive order

Court ruling, however, was silent about refugees and tourists trying to enter US.

Tech sector begins legal assault on Trump immigration order

Amazon, Expedia formally join Washington state's lawsuit opposing executive order.

Trump immigration ban means a war with tech

The decision by President Donald Trump to impose a broad immigration ban on seven countries may have an impact he didn’t foresee.The ban, a 90-day moratorium on admissions and re-entry in the United States unveiled on Friday, isn’t about H-1B visa-holders specifically.

And it doesn’t grow out of the his voiced concerns about the use of that visa to displace U.S. workers.
Instead it affects tourists, business and student visas.

Those with permanent residency, or green cards, are also affected.[ Commiserate with your fellow techies -- check out "7 hardware horror stories from the help desk." | Have a tech story to share? If we publish it, we'll send you a $50 American Express gift card -- and keep you Anonymous.
Send it to offtherecord@infoworld.com. | Follow InfoWorld's Off the Record on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter. ]
Trump’s ban, issued through an executive order, affects all visa types in seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The action is ostensibly intended as an anti-terrorism measure.
It targets some, but not all, Muslim-majority countries; Saudi Arabia, for instance, is not on the list.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

More, cheaper, bigger, faster: The defense and cyber strategy of Donald...

Enlarge / Where's the defense and cyber-weapon procurement budget going, Mr. President-elect?Getty Images | Joe Raedle reader comments 75 Share this story Since Election Day, President-elect Donald Trump has taken an inordinate interest in some of the minutia of defense policy. His tweets (particularly about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Air Force One presidential aircraft replacement program) have sent shockwaves through the defense industry. The same is true of the cyber realm—particularly in his treatment of the intelligence community that currently dominates the US' cyber-defense capabilities. The one thing that is certain is that Trump wants more muscle in both departments, urging an increase in the number of troops, ships, planes, and weapons deployed by the Department of Defense; the end of defense budget sequestration; and an expansion of the US nuclear and ballistic missile defense arsenal. And he has also pledged a new focus on offensive "cyber" capabilities, as outlined by his campaign, "to deter attacks by both state and non-state actors and, if necessary, to respond appropriately." That sort of aggressive posture is not a surprise. But the policies that will drive the use of those physical and digital forces are still a bit murky. Considering the position Trump has taken regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and his attitudes toward Russia, Trump's statements may hint at a desire for a Fortress America—armed to the teeth and going it alone in every domain of conflict. Saddle up While not quite on a Reagan-esque scale, the Trump surge would (based on his statements) bring forces back above their active size during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (though less than during the 2007 "surge" period of the Iraq War). Trump declared that he'll add about 60,000 more active duty soldiers to the Army, increase the Navy's fleet to 350 ships, increase the Marine Corps' strength by over a dozen battalions (roughly 12,000 Marines), and "provide the Air Force with the 12,000 fighters they need." On the strategic front, Trump has tweeted that he wants to expand and improve the US military's nuclear capabilities, modernizing and increasing weapons to improve their deterrent value. The modernization effort had already been queued up by President Barack Obama's administration, including the new Long Range Strike Bomber program awarded to Northrop Grumman. But those investments have been at the expense of other military (particularly Air Force) programs. Trump has also proposed investment in a "serious missile defense system" based on updating the Navy's Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers' Aegis systems and building more Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The ballistic missile defense version of Aegis and the Standard Missile 3 (RIM-161) missile it controls are currently only capable of intercepting short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, not intercontinental ballistic missiles; to have a chance at taking down a US-targeted threat from North Korea, for example, they would have to be very close to the launch site and hit it early in its launch (the boost phase). How will Trump pay for all this hardware? By "conducting a full audit of the Pentagon, eliminating incorrect payments, reducing duplicative bureaucracy, collecting unpaid taxes, and ending unwanted and unauthorized federal programs," whatever those might be. There's certainly some room in the budget to be gained through increased administrative efficiency, as a Defense Business Board report found that the DOD could save as much in $125 billion in overhead (though that number may have been slightly inflated, as it was based on corporate, and not military, business models). Cyber up On the cyber side, it appears Trump wants to put the military on point for cyber defense. The campaign platform pushed for the DOD to place a new emphasis on offensive capabilities, including making enhancements to the US Cyber Command—currently led by NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers—to increase its offensive punch and turn it into an effective cyber-deterrence force. “As a deterrent against attacks on our critical resources, the United States must possess the unquestioned capacity to launch crippling cyber counter-attacks,” Trump said in a speech in October. Just exactly how that would work isn't clear. Given the difficulty of attribution—a point Trump made repeatedly in his castigation of intelligence findings of Russian interference in the election—the kind of very attributable cyber force that US Cyber Command would wield as part of the Strategic Command would likely not act as much of a deterrent to low-level intrusions, espionage, and information operations. Yet those make up the majority of what has recently been dumped into the "cyberwarfare" shopping cart. Trump's policy outline also calls for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to participate in Trump's vaunted "Cyber Review Team," contributing experts to evaluate "all US cyber defenses"—including critical infrastructure in the private sector—alongside law enforcement and experts from private industry. The Cyber Review Team, which may or may not have anything to do with the group being headed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has a big mandate: The Cyber Review Team will provide specific recommendations for safeguarding different entities with the best defense technologies tailored to the likely threats and will follow up regularly at various federal agencies and departments. The Cyber Review Team will establish detailed protocols and mandatory cyber awareness training for all government employees while remaining current on evolving methods of cyber-attack. On the domestic end, the Trump administration would seek to take the same model that has been applied to terrorism to the cyber side, creating joint task forces that put Department of Justice, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security personnel alongside state and local law enforcement to respond to "cyber threats." Nothing Trump or his proxies have said indicates any policy around shaping what "norms" in the world connecting the digital to the physical should be. If anything, Trump's position seems to be that a cyber-armed world is a polite world—or at least one that will be polite to the United States, the only confirmed state cyberwar actor to hit another nation's infrastructure (aside from squirrels). The eyes have it It will take some time to see how Trump's indifference toward the US' obligations toward allies will affect overall defense and cyber-security policy. But if reports are true regarding US intelligence officials warning allies of Trump's Russia ties and if Trump goes forward with weakening the US involvement in NATO, his views could significantly affect both—especially in the realm of digital intelligence collection. A weakened relationship with the other members of the "Five Eyes" group—the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada—on a military level could impact the National Security Agency's (and the CIA's) ability to collect intelligence from infrastructure that has up until now been widely shared. Only one thing is for certain: the defense industry should be expecting an aircraft carrier full of dollars headed in their direction.

Is Assange Coming to America? Unlikely

'I don't pay a lot of attention to Mr. Assange's tweets,' President Obama said during his final press conference.

Is Julian Assange coming to the US? Probably not.

"I don't pay a lot of attention to Mr. Assange's tweets, so that wasn't a consideration" in deciding to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, President Obama said today during his final press conference in office.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual misconduct charges. In January, WikiLeaks—the site he founded—tweeted that "If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case."

On Tuesday, President Obama did just that, commuting Manning's sentence to time served. She will be released in May after serving seven years in a military prison. She was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 for stealing documents from a classified Defense Department network and submitting them to WikiLeaks, which published the information.

Today, Obama defended the decision, arguing that Manning served her time.

"The notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital classified information would think that it goes unpunished... I don't think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served," the president said. "It has been my view that given she went to trial, that due process was carried out, that she took responsibility for her crime, that the sentence that she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received and that she had served a significant amount of time, that it made sense to commute and not pardon her sentence.

"I feel very comfortable that justice has been served," Obama added.

As for Assange, it does not look like the president will use his remaining time in office to get on the line with the exiled WikiLeaks founder. "I refer you to the Department of Justice" on that issue, he said today.

The DOJ has been investigating WikiLeaks over Iraq War data dumps.

For his part, Assange no longer appears ready to jump on a plane to the US:

Assange is still happy to come to the US provided all his rights are guarenteed despite White House now saying Manning was not quid-quo-pro.

— WikiLeaks (@WikiLeaks) January 18, 2017

Assange's lawyer tells The Telegraph that Assange wanted the president to grant Manning clemency and release her immediately rather than commuting the sentence and releasing her in May.

As The Telegraph notes, the US has not requested extradition, but Assange believes it could happen if he makes his way to Sweden.

WikiLeaks’ Assange confident of winning 'any fair trial' in the US

WikiLeaks said that its founder Julian Assange is confident of winning ‘any fair trial’ in the U.S. and indicated that the founder of the whistleblowing website would stand by all the promises he had made in return for clemency to Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. soldier who disclosed classified data relating to the Iraq War to the site. On Tuesday, Manning’s prison sentence was commuted by U.S. President Barack Obama raising questions whether Assange would keep his part of a deal he proposed online, and agree to extradition to the U.S. WikiLeaks has recently also been a thorn in the side of the Democrats in the U.S. by releasing embarrassing emails leaked from the Democratic National Committee that showed that the organization had favored candidate Hillary Clinton over her rival Senator Bernie Sanders for the party nomination for the presidential elections.
It also published mails from the account of John Podesta, chairman of Clinton’s campaign. U.S. government officials including from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have pointed a finger to Russia for orchestrating the leaks, though WikiLeaks has said it does not collaborate with states in the publication of documents. Last week, WikiLeaks had tweeted that if “Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case.” On Tuesday, WikiLeaks tweeted that Assange was confident of winning any fair trial in the US. “Obama’s DoJ prevented public interest defense & fair jury,” it added.

The new administration of President-elect Donald Trump takes charge on Friday. WikiLeaks also quoted Assange’s counsel Melinda Taylor as saying that Assange is standing by everything that he has said on the “Assange-Manning extradition ‘deal’.” Assange is holed in the embassy in London of the government of Ecuador as U.K. police say they will arrest him if he comes out, to meet an extradition request from Sweden where he is wanted for questioning in a sexual assault investigation. His supporters have expressed concern that if he he is sent to Sweden he could be extradited from there to the U.S. to face espionage charges. A wrinkle is that WikiLeaks claims it does not know of an extradition request sent by the U.S.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Taylor wrote that “US authories consistently affirmed is ongoing national security prosecution against him, but refused 2 affirm/deny sent extradition request.” She added that the U.K. also refuses “to affirm or deny that they have received an extradition request -not the same thing as there being no extradition request.”  Government officials in both countries could not be immediately reached for comment after business hours. In a letter to Loretta E. Lynch, U.S.

Attorney General, Assange’s lawyer in the U.S., Barry J. Pollack, wrote in August that although the Department of Justice had publicly confirmed through court documents and statements to the press that it was conducting an on-going criminal investigation of Assange, the department did not provide him substantive information on the status of the investigation.

The letter was published online by WikiLeaks. The pending investigation into Assange, mentions of which are said to have been made in court documents in the Manning case, is plainly based on his news gathering and reporting activities, Pollack wrote.
Its intention was not to aid U.S. enemies or obstruct justice but to inform people about “matters of great public interest,” he added. In a statement on Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence, Assange said that “in order for democracy and the rule of law to thrive, the Government should immediately end its war on whistleblowers and publishers” such as WikiLeaks and himself.

The statement did not refer to his promise to face extradition to the U.S. “Mr.

Assange should not be the target of any criminal investigation.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the DOJ the status of its investigation, any request it wants to make for extradition, and its basis for such a request,” Pollack wrote in an email late Tuesday.