Future Tense newsletter: Trump’s idea for a U.S.-Russia cybersecurity unit is unbearably dumb.

Future Tense Newsletter: Trump’s Idea for a U.S.-Russia Cybersecurity Unit Is Unbearably Dumb

Future Tense Newsletter: Trump’s Idea for a U.S.-Russia Cybersecurity Unit Is Unbearably Dumb

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 12 2017 1:29 PM

Future Tense Newsletter: Trump’s Idea for a U.S.-Russia Cybersecurity Unit Is Unbearably Dumb

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday.

AFP/Getty Images

Greetings, Future Tensers,

It seems like when it comes to U.S. cybersecurity, there’s no way to get around the bear in the room: Russia. After months of speculation over Russia’s involvement with hacking the U.S. election, President Trump announced and quickly rescinded a planned U.S.-Russia cybersecurity alliance. If you think that would maybe be the worst idea since Soylent, you’re not alone. Josephine Wolff explains why a cyber-alliance with Russia would be stupid and how we should actually be thinking about international diplomacy in the field. In what Wolff says is an odd overcorrection, the White House is reportedly considering bans on federal agencies’ use of Kaspersky Lab software because of growing concerns the company is selling user data to the Russian government.


With a confusing news cycle of hacks and intrigue, one thing is clear: Maintaining election integrity for 2020 is going to take a lot more than just international handshakes. While the administration has homed in on “voter fraud” as a major threat to U.S. elections, Lawrence Norden advises that we should instead focus on replacing old machines and making sure there’s a paper trail to allow for audits.

Other things we learned this week while ruminating on the impact of the iPhone on our love lives:

  • Speech on ice: Jon Penney describes how even the threat of censorship can keep women and minorities from expressing themselves online.
  • Subtweets: The State Department tried to take a page from the celebrity playbook and start a Twitter feud. Jacob Brogan explains why it failed miserably.
  • It takes a village: Will Oremus looks at a Facebook plan to bring back the company town model.
  • Reel justice: The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the First Amendment guarantees your right to film the police officers while they’re working, something that Mark Joseph Stern sees as a promising step.
  • Connected kids: Tech giants are rallying around California legislation that would increase internet access for juvenile inmates, helping them bridge gaps in digital education.

Event: Join Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California’s 33rd Congressional District, tomorrow, Thursday, July 13, for the latest installment of our “My Favorite Movie” series. He’ll be hosting a screening Ex Machina at Washington’s Landmark E Street Cinema. You may RSVP for yourself and up to one guest here.

From a future without emails,

Tonya Riley
for Future Tense

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.