This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – May 4, 2022

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Dozens of Russian organizations hacked
  • Can Venezuela help the West drop Russian oil?
  • No-Knock raids sometimes fatal with little accountability

• Dozens of Russian organizations were hacked after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. Hackers obtained terabytes of data from dozens of government agencies, oil and gas companies and financial firms. The Intercept reports that hacked material was collected and circulated by the group “Distributed Denial of Secrets” which gained fame in 2020 for the release of 270 gigabytes of data from US law enforcement in the midst of protests organized in response to the police murder of George Floyd.

(“Russia is Losing a War Against Hackers Stealing Huge Amounts of Data,” Intercept, April 22, 2022)

• After the US banned imports of Russian oil, Venezuela – with some of the world’s largest oil reserves, now has an opportunity to regain access to US refineries and consumers. Three top Biden administration officials met with Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro in March a few days before the US announced its ban on Russian oil. There’s now anticipation of a thaw in US-Venezuelan relations, while US oil service companies lobby to restart drilling in the oil rich South American nation.

( “Enemies with Benefits,” Economist, April 23, 2022; “US Oil Service Firms Join Push for Revamped Venezuela license,” Reuters, April 21, 2022)

• During the Covid pandemic, it was easier for police investigative units to obtain no-knock warrants to enter homes unannounced, with the justification often being a search for illegal drugs. A recent investigation by the Washington Post found that police rely heavily on confidential informants, but experts said they can be unreliable — incentivized to trade questionable information for reduced sentences or other beneficial treatment.

(“No-Knock Raids Have Led to Fatal Encounters and Small Drug Seizures,” Washington Post, April 15, 2022)

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo

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