Around Town …

  • WikiLeaks tweets that the next document dump will be larger than the Iraq logs, adding, global history will be “redefined” because of it.   WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange needs arresting.
  • North Korea has been secretly building a uranium enrichment facility.  No surprise.  Expect sanctions to make a comeback, soon. May be too late, North Korea seems to have other plans.
  • The Hill newspaper reports,  Cardin-McCain whistleblower bill could be a threat to U.S.-Russian ties.  Thea measure would force the State Department to deny visas and impose financial sanctions on certain individuals involved in the death of a Russian attorney, Sergei Magnitsky.
  • K Street trade security insiders speculate about the future of export control reform in a new Congress.  Here is sampling.  Most say nothing will happen because incoming Republicans are not interested.  Tip, keep your counsel for a few weeks … the new Export Enforcement Coordination Center alone, and the process used to create it, will provide ample fodder for oversight and, maybe, genuine reform.
  • U.S. export control laws hurt Israeli sales of technology to India, or so says several Israeli defense companies.  Stay tuned.  More noise on this issue expected.
  • Clif Burns over at the Export Law Blog pens: “Huawei Claims CCATS Filings Are Constructive CFIUS Notices.”  This is likely just the beginning of a tough regulatory toward for the Chinese company.  With very close ties to the Chinese military, the Congress has already started to question a proposed sale of equipment by Huawei to several U.S. companies (some that contract with the federal government).  Several high-ranking Senators have ask for more information on these proposed deals.
  • Off topic but interesting, WiFi radiation is hurting, trees?  Forget the trees, what about the humans…
  • Over at National Review Online, Nathan Sales correctly argues that TSA should be allowed to do what “Customs routinely does: use basic passenger data to single out the ones who are most likely to be terrorists.”  You mean, they were not doing so already?  Expect that intr-agency computer systems will not be able to “talk” to each other.
  • The Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released yesterday an updated list of Cuba Service Providers.  Seems as if several new companies have opened to provide remittance and travel services to Cuba.  Good luck.  The incoming Republican Congress may dampen business prospects for the next two years.
  • The incoming Republican class of Members of Congress have been given a series of tips to avoid making mistakes the first term in office.  One particular item should be read by some folks on K Street:  “A member of Congress cannot order a federal agency to do something or decide a matter a certain way. … You may not directly or indirectly threaten reprisal against any federal agency officials, or promise favoritism or benefit.”  Read more about Hitting the Ground Running, here.
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