Feb 16, 2018

Indictments part of U.S. cyber deterrence strategy

A Kremlin mounting of the guard cerimony. (Mikhail Japaridze / Getty)

Russia is unlikely to extradite the 13 Russians indicted by Mueller for meddling in the 2016 election. Still, the U.S. has plenty of reasons for moving forward.

The bottom line: The "name and shame" approach is mostly meant to embarrass a foreign government, scare potential collaborators for future operations and let an adversary know the U.S. is on to them.

Flashback: In 2014, the U.S. indicted five Chinese hackers accused of a military operation to steal intellectual property. Later that year, then-Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese President Xi Jingping reached an agreement for China to stop hacking for that purpose. The U.S. has also indicted Iranian hackers for attacking critical infrastructure and banks, and Russian hackers and affiliated hackers for an attack on Yahoo.

The impact: While accused Russians are safe within the confines of Russia, they are no longer able to travel to any country with a friendlier extradition policy. Its hardly the same as imprisonment, but does serve as a threat to anyone considering helping Moscow in the future.

Go deeper

5 mins ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.