On behalf of the Azachorok Incorporated Board of Directors serving more than 520 shareholders throughout Alaska, we strongly encourage support for Covid Relief Funds going to Alaska Native Corporations. The Supreme Court is currently deliberating a case that is holding up $330 Million in Covid Relief funds that would otherwise go to Alaska’s economy, when many in our region need it most right now. If the Supreme Court rules against corporations, then the $330 Million could be dispersed nationwide among tribes resulting in a much smaller investment to our state.
It is important the Congress and the Supreme Court recognize the importance and unique role ANCSA Corporations play in Alaska. 100,000 Alaska Native people are served by our corporations in much the same way that tribes serve their populations in the Lower 48. Many of our corporations are more efficient at distributing dividends and aid with infrastructure to do so already set up. We also have mechanisms of accountability that many tribes do not have.
The ANCSA Corporate structure has played a critical role in the prosperity and well-being of Alaska Native people. Our corporations should be celebrated and the proper ruling from the Supreme Court should reflect that. The ruling should also follow the intent of the law from Congress and distribute the Covid Relief funds directly.
It is disappointing to continue to see in-fighting between tribes over monetary resources that do not align with our shared cultural values of helping one another and being neighbors and allies. Sharing resources should build partnership rather than further dividing our indigenous nations. We need unity during these trying times between our tribal nations.
Loren Peterson, CEO & Chairman
Alaska Court System begins remediation from Cybersecurity Attack
The Alaska Court System has begun the remediation phase of recovering from a cyberattack where malware was detected in our network. After disabling the affected equipment and disconnecting online applications from the internet, the court system’s technology department is working tirelessly to restore online services in a secure manner.
Today (May 11th, 2021) we restored email so that the court can receive and send email outside of the court system, including filing by email and distributing orders and notices by e-distribution.
The court system is working on the ability to pay fines and fees and post bail online by credit and debit cards and hope that will be available by next Monday. We know it is disruptive to the public when our systems are not available online.
We still do not have answers to several questions including who launched the attack, why they targeted the court system, and how long it will take for us to be fully back online. Below is a timeline of what we do know:
April 29: one of the court system’s cybersecurity applications alerted the technology department to some unusual activity which triggered it to immediately investigate and engage a cybersecurity consultant. Someone from outside of the court system’s network placed malware on our system including four servers and two PCs.
May 1: the court system disconnected from all online systems to stop the outside actor from being able to connect to our network.
May 6: the court system finished the discovery phase of its response and knows the extent of what the malware affected.
May 6: the court system started the remediation phase of the recovery process, which involves ensuring that every computer and server is clean of malware and that sufficient security measures are in place moving forward.
We do not believe any data including personal or confidential data was extracted from the court system’s computer systems. No credit card information was accessed.
The court system is committed to providing access to justice and to serve the public during this emergency situation. Most hearings and trials have occurred as scheduled. When email could not be received or sent by the court system, we adapted to provide alternative methods to file documents by fax and drop box (Filings by email can now occur again).
Instead of having video hearings, most parties are are now appearing by phone. Jury questionnaires are being physically mailed to jurors summoned for July terms, instead of emailed. Other workarounds provide helpful information to the public while the court cannot update its website, including:
• Daily court calendars and weekly appellate decisions from the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court are being posted through alternative means,
• Forms, including self-help forms, are still available on our website, and
• Public updates and administrative special orders are posted to the court system’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
The court system will continue to make updates on its Facebook page and Twitter account; you can view the updates without having Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Alaska Court System