#Washington; #Russia; #Iran; #Hacking; #USElection; #SecurityThreat; #CyberSecurity
Washington, Oct 22 (Canadian-Media): While senior Trump administration officials had been complaining against Iran in actively interfering in the presidential election, many other intelligence officials said they were more concerned about Russia for hacking into state and local computer networks in breaches that could allow Moscow broader access to American voting infrastructure, media reports said.
Hacking. Image credit: Pixaby
The discovery of the hacks came as American intelligence agencies were able to pieced together details of Russia’s plans to interfere in the presidential race in its final days or immediately after the election on Nov. 3.
Although there was no evidence of any change by Russia in vote tallies or voter registration information, the Russian-backed hackers had penetrated the computer networks.
Nonetheless, both the Iranian and the Russian activity could pave the way for “perception hacks.”
Officials say Russia’s ability to change vote tallies nationwide is limited.
A hacking group believed to be operating on behalf of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the F.S.B. — the successor agency to the Soviet-era K.G.B. — has infiltrated multiple state and local computer networks in recent weeks, according to officials and researchers.
The Russian hackers were able to get inside some election administrators’ systems and had access to voting information. The officials fear that Russia could change, delete or freeze voter data, making it harder for voters to cast ballots, invalidating mail-in ballots or creating enough uncertainty to undermine election results.
“It’s reasonable to assume any attempt at the election systems could be for the same purpose,” said John Hultquist, the director of threat analysis at FireEye, a security firm that has been tracking the Russian group’s foray into state and local systems. “This could be the reconnaissance for disruptive activity.”
China, #ChinaAmbassador, #Canada, #HongKong, #CongPeiwu
Ottawa, Oct 16 (Canadian-Media): Cong Peiwu, China’s Ambassador to Canada urged Ottawa during a video conference Oct 16 from the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa not to grant asylum to Hong Kong protesters, fleeing a widely criticized national security law imposed by Beijing.
Hongkong protesters: Wikipedia
"We strongly urge the Canadian side not (to) grant so-called political asylum to those violent criminals in Hong Kong," Cong said the video press conference and added,
"So if the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport holders in Hong Kong, and the large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong SAR, you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes," Cong said.
His said that his government demands that Canada release Meng immediately but insisted her case and his government's prosecution of Kovrig and Spavor are not linked.
"We oppose any remarks that interfere in our internal affairs. And I would like to point out, there is no coercive diplomacy on the Chinese side," Cong said.
#Germany, #AlfredWegenerInstitut; #MOSAiCPolarResearchExpedition; #Sexism
Germany, Oct 6 (Canadian-Media): Antje Boetius, the director of the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, which led the year-long MOSAiC polar research expedition, says dress codes that prohibit female participants from wearing tight-fitting clothing are not meant to be sexist, media reports said.
MOSAiC polar research expedition. Image credit: website
Antje Boetius' announcement came days after an incident of sexual harassment on the ship, placing blame on female passengers and their dress codes, journalist Chelsea Harvey reported.
"These clothing regulations are so normal for people joining expeditions, and they are existing on research vessels worldwide," Antje Boetius told CBC. "It would have not occurred to me that this was linked to gender," CBC News reported.
Billed as the world's largest and longest polar research mission, the MOSAiC Expedition aimed at making groundbreaking observations about the changing climate embedded scientists in Arctic sea ice for one year.
During the mission's final phase, female participants aboard the mission's support ship 11 months previously had been told wearing tight or revealing clothing could pose a "safety risk" with men at sea for an extended period.
The Alfred-Wegener-Institut did not initially comment on Harvey's reporting when it was first published in September.
But amid growing reaction to CBC's reporting on the story, the institute released a lengthy statement accusing the CBC and Harvey of "scandaliz[ing] and sexualiz[ing] gender-neutral regulations that are perfectly commonplace on commercial and research vessels."
"We were told there are a lot of men on board this ship … and some of them are going to be on board this ship for months at a time," Harvey told CBC last month. "In my meeting … what we were told was this was a 'safety issue.'"
The statement signed by 18 members of the MOSAiC School, saying that policies made on this cruise, and the communication of those policies implied that "women's dress may invite or justify experiencing harassment or misconduct."
Even though many leading polar institutions are led by women, sexism still widespread in the sciences, and in polar research in particular multiple studies revealed that numbers of female researchers experience some form of harassment in their careers.
But Boetius was perplexed that the clothing policy described by Harvey could be perceived as sexist.
"We think there are many more important issues to address," she said and added,
"For all the struggles we fight, to think that coming with clean clothes to a mess room, that this is a gender issue," she said, "this is not the fight we need to fight."