DailySA: FCC says Russian cyber company is a national security threat – Forward Observer

DailySA: FCC says Russian cyber company is a national security threat

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Monday, 28 March 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • FCC says Russian cyber company is national security threat
  • Title 42 follow-up
  • GOP requests DOJ re-focus on Chinese espionage
  • USDA significantly increases 2022 price forecast
  • Hazards Warning

UPGRADE TO EARLY WARNING AND GET THESE BRIEFINGS:

  • InFocus: Arctic nations react to Russian expansion
  • Far Left Activity Rollup & Outlook

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

FCC SAYS RUSSIAN CYBER COMPANY IS NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) added Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab to a national security threat list primarily filled by Chinese telecommunication firms. The FCC list is composed of companies determined to pose an “unacceptable risk to the national security” of the U.S. (Analyst Comment: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) banned Kaspersky Lab products in federal systems in 2017. The FCC based its decision on DHS’s assessment; however, the five-year delay indicated the ban is another move in the U.S. strategy to isolate Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. – D.F.)

TITLE 42 FOLLOW-UP: Last week, we reported that the Biden administration is considering repealing border enforcement rules under Title 42, which allows Border Patrol to rapidly expel illegal immigrants from the United States over COVID-19 concerns. The rule is up for review on 30 March, and the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis is warning that up to a million migrants camped out at the southern border will attempt to cross within weeks if the rule is repealed. (AC: Democrat Senators Kirsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, both from Arizona, last week lobbied the administration not to repeal the rule, warning that an influx of migrants would harm already strained border communities. The senators noted that DHS has prepared an “Irregular Mass Migration Contingency Plan” but lacks the ability to process the expected volume of migrants. – M.S.)

GOP REQUESTS DOJ RE-FOCUS ON CHINESE ESPIONAGE: A pack of Republican senators is requesting the Department of Justice to “recognize and reprioritize” its efforts to combat Chinese espionage. As previously reported, last month the DOJ ended efforts under the China Initiative to root out Chinese espionage, citing the dangers of racial bias and profiling. The senators are also requesting information on how the DOJ is moving forward on investigations into political, economic, industrial, economic, and other types of espionage. (AC: FBI Director Christopher Wray testified earlier this year that the FBI is opening a Chinese espionage case about every 12 years. The United States is already poorly equipped to stem aggressive foreign intelligence operations on US soil and the lack of political will to stop it is a national security threat of our own making. – M.S.)

USDA SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES 2022 PRICE FORECAST: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is forecasting all food prices to rise between 4.5%-5.5% this year. This forecast doubles the USDA’s price increase expectations from two months prior. (AC: Over the weekend, Biden warned that food shortages would be “real,” due to disruption of grains from Russia and Ukraine, and other problems. Agriculture officials in Ukraine say farmers will only plant about 50% of spring acreage, and more American farmers are moving from wheat and corn to soybeans. Both are reasons to expect reduced yields and higher prices. Additionally, US pork exports to Mexico are on the rise – up 38% since last year – due to disease and high feed prices reducing Mexico’s hog herd. Nothing we’re seeing will lead to lower food prices or greater availability this year or next. We’ll have a deeper look into the food supply in Thursday’s Economic Early Warning brief. – M.S.)

HAZARDS WARNING

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