At a glance.
- DoJ IG reports on its inquiry into FBI use of FISA warrant process.
- Huawei predicts Chinese government retaliation should the US impose further sanctions.
- FCC policy aims to hobble robo-calls.
US Justice Department IG finds issues in FBI's use of the FISA warrant process.
The US Justice Department Inspector General has released the report on the FBI's conduct with respect to the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act. The report found that conduct not only distinctly wanting, but also of long duration: problems with the Bureau's handling of FISA matters predates the 2016 US elections.
The IG was particularly concerned about the way the Bureau handled requests for FISA surveillance warrants. The findings in the latest report go beyond the seventeen issues the IG surfaced in the earlier look at Operation Crossfire Hurricane, and they suggest that there are deeper systemic issues with the FISA process, quite independent of any agents’ or officials’ biases, commitments, or individual misconduct. The systemic issues largely come down, apparently, to insufficient and defective oversight of the process itself. “Institutional weaknesses,” the Washington Post calls them.
Huawei responds to US deliberations about further sanctions.
The US is considering imposing stiffer restrictions on Huawei, ones that would cut the Chinese manufacturer off from its US chip suppliers. WIRED worries that the main effect of such restrictions would be to jump-start a domestic Chinese chip industry, but Huawei has worries of its own about the sanctions. These are sufficiently troubling that it moved the company’s rotating chairman Eric Xu to tell CNBC that “The Chinese government would not sit there and watch Huawei being slaughtered,” adding “I believe there would be counter-measures.”
The FCC seeks to crack down on robo-calls.
Yesterday the US Federal Communications Commission announced that it would mandate the use of the STIR/SHAKEN authentication standards with a view to cracking down on robo-calls that evade caller ID. The hope is that adopting the new standards would make it more difficult to illegally spoof phone numbers by making it possible for carriers to verify that caller ID information accompanying a phone call matches the phone number used to make the call. "Today’s Order requires all originating and terminating voice service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN in the Internet Protocol (IP) portions of their networks by June 30, 2021, a deadline that is consistent with Congress’s direction in the recently-enacted TRACED Act," the announcement says. TransNexus has a useful explanation of STIR/SHAKEN.