Morning Security Brief: Cyberwar, Global Health, NYPD Surveillance, and More

By Sherry Harowitz

► President Obama has the authority to order a preemptive cyberattack, according to a New York Times article, but the authority is considered one that must be used with restraint. "A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review," the NYT reports. The review, in the works for two years, comes at a time of heightened concern about attacks, specifically from China.

► About one-third of the world’s population is thought to have a latent form of Tuberculosis, and it becomes active in about 10 percent of that population, reports Bloomberg. Among a population of 8,000 immigrants tested for it, 23 percent had it; 43 percent of those headed for the United States had it. It was the most commonly diagnosed disease among immigrants and has become a new vector by which the disease spreads throughout the world. Standard tests don’t detect it, so governments are reviewing screening procedures and more are expected to use a new test that does detect latent TB.

► The New York Police Department's surveillance of Muslims is being challenged in court by civil rights lawyers, reports Fox. "[C]ivil rights lawyers complained that the NYPD has monitored public places where Muslims eat, shop and worship and has kept records and notes about police observations" without "any evidence of unlawful or terror-related activities."

► A suicide bomber has attacked Iraqi government-backed forces, killing four people and injuring 20, in the town of Taji, north of Baghdad, reports Voice of America. No one has claimed responsibility. The attack comes one day after an attack on police headquarters in Kirkuk killed 15 to 30 people and injured about 150, according to the report. ⇒ The mystery of King Richard III's final resting place appears to have been solved, reports Reuters. A body has been found with a cleaved skull and curved spine, and researchers say DNA proves it is that of the famous royal.


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