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Hillicon Valley — Presented by Ericsson — Tackling the misinformation ‘crisis’

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Follow The Hill’s cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

A report put together by an array of bipartisan commissioners is making the case for government and industry to take action sooner rather than later to combat the “crisis” of online disinformation and misinformation, particularly involving election security issues. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new effort to bring in a talented cybersecurity workforce, and the U.S. is keeping a close eye on a Russian anti-satellite weapons test. 

Let’s jump into the news.

Take action now  

A report from a bipartisan commission published Monday recommends that U.S. government and social media platform leaders take a series of immediate steps to curb the “crisis of trust and truth” stemming from online disinformation and misinformation.

The report, put out by the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder, puts forward recommendations that can be taken to address issues including election security and COVID-19 disinformation and misinformation online, painting a picture of an urgent moment to take action.

Time of the essence: “This crisis demands urgent attention and a dedicated response from all parts of society,” the commissioners wrote in the report. “Every type and level of leader must think seriously about this crisis and their role in it. Each can and should enter this conversation, genuinely listening to the problems and taking real ownership of solutions.”

The report outlines dozens of recommendations to address the crisis, including creating a “national response strategy” to establish roles and responsibilities for fighting disinformation and misinformation across the executive branch, investing in local journalism, diversifying social media platform workforces, and investing in civic education. 

Big names: Commissioners include former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs, former Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), journalist Katie Couric, Prince Harry, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson, and former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos. 

Read more here. 




Resurface your talent pool

A Homeland Security logo is seen at an office of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on June 3

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Monday announced a new program to attract and retain cybersecurity professionals, as major cyber incidents have ticked up over the past year and are drawing more government attention.

New service: The Cyber Talent Management System (CTMS) will streamline and screen the application process for potential cybersecurity professionals, and those hired through CTMS will join the DHS Cybersecurity Service, a team that will work to protect critical infrastructure against cyberattacks. 

The program will initially be aimed at filling vacancies at DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer, but beginning next year will be used to help fill cybersecurity positions at several other DHS agencies. 

“The DHS Cybersecurity Talent Management System fundamentally re-imagines how the Department hires, develops, and retains top-tier and diverse cybersecurity talent,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. 

Lots of roles to fill: A senior DHS official told reporters ahead of the announcement that DHS currently has around 1,500 cybersecurity-related vacancies, of which around 1,000 would likely fit into CTMS. 

“It is our goal to hire 150 into our priority roles in 2022, eventually work those out with both CISA and CIOs, it’s going to be a range of roles from entry level to the expert level,” the official told reporters. 

Read more.



The United States is worried that a major Russian anti-satellite weapons test thought to have taken place over the weekend may have created a potentially dangerous debris field in space, two U.S. officials told CNN.

A rare “debris-generating event” took place, the U.S. Space Command told CNN on Monday, but did not give further details or name Russia as the country to conduct such a test.

“We are actively working to characterize the debris field and will continue to ensure all space-faring nations have the information necessary to maneuver satellites if impacted,” according to a Space Command spokesperson. “We are also in the process of working with the interagency, including the State Department and NASA, concerning these reports and will provide an update in the near future.”

Read more.


A Vietnamese court has sentenced a man to prison after he was found guilty of sharing anti-state posts on Facebook, Reuters reported.

Vietnam’s state news agency reported that Nguyen Tri Gioan, an aquaculture farmer, was convicted of “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the state” during a one-day trial in the central province of Khanh Hoa.

The Communist Party of Vietnam retains tight censorship on the media, tolerating little to no criticism. The government’s stance on media censorship comes despite sweeping economic reform and calls for social change in the county. 

Gioan was accused of posting poems and images on his Facebook page that “slander, distort, defame” the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and its former leader Ho Chi Minh, according to the indictment report.  

Read more.




An op-ed to chew on: Is artificial intelligence more formidable than nuclear weapons?

Lighter click: Emerald mine billionaire says what?

Notable links from around the web:

Amazon push for lower prices could be bad for shoppers everywhere (The Seattle Times / Katherine Anne Long)

‘Scary and chilling’: AI surveillance takes U.S. prisons by storm (Thomson Reuters Foundation / Avi Asher-Schapiro and David Sherfinski)

Biden signs infrastructure bill that includes nearly $2 billion for cybersecurity (CyberScoop / Tim Starks)

There’s a 17-year-old cybersecurity rule at the center of the Robinhood hack (Protocol / Ben Brody)


One last thing: New cyber alliance 

Deputy Treasury Secretary Nominee Adewale Adeyemoto 

The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Sunday that it would work with the Israeli Ministry of Finance to address ransomware and cybersecurity issues.

The task force will aim “to protect critical financial infrastructure and emerging technologies” while also expanding “international cooperation to counter the threat” of ransomware globally, according to a statement from the Treasury Department.

The countries will develop a memorandum of understanding to support information sharing efforts in the financial sector surrounding issues like cybersecurity guidance, incidents and threat intelligence in addition to staff training and other activities, according to the Treasury Department.

“Harnessing both the power of international cooperation and of technology innovation will position us to support economic competitiveness, prosperity, and to combat global threats including ransomware,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in the statement.

Read more.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s technology and cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Tuesday.


Tags Alejandro Mayorkas Prince Harry Wally Adeyemo Will Hurd

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