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Category Archives: Defense

Implementation of Agreement between US and China on Science and Technology

U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2016-03522 Doc No. C06306089 Date: 05/11/2017 UNCLASSIFIED – Implementation of Agreement between the United States and China on Science and Technology Public Law 107-314. [via FAS]
“Federal agencies continued to advance a range of U.S. objectives during the reporting period between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2015. During this period, administering activities under the S&T Agreement cost each of eight federal agencies an average of 11 percent of 90 employees’ salaries (OS-12/13/14/15, military 0-4/5/6, and Senior Executive Service). Science and technology engagement with the United States continues to be highly valued by the Chinese government. This enables DOS and other federal agencies to use ongoing dialogues and cooperation to encourage the Chinese to support democratic and meritocratic principles and to adopt appropriate protection of intellectual property, scientific merit review processes, and transparent publishing of scientific data. Accordingly, engagement under the S&T Agreement likely has positively influenced the foreign and domestic policies of China. Cooperative activities also accelerated scientific progress in the United States and provided significant direct benefit to a range of U.S. technical agencies. DOS projects that activities undertaken during the next two years will likely be a continuation of current activities. Most activities are conducted under implementing agreements and arrangements, such as memoranda of understanding, which often are in effect for five or more years…”

Questions increase over determining extent of Russia election hacking

NPR – If Voting Machines Were Hacked, Would Anyone Know? – “As new reports emerge about Russian-backed attempts to hack state and local election systems [Link], U.S. officials are increasingly worried about how vulnerable American elections really are. While the officials say they see no evidence that any votes were tampered with, no one knows… Continue Reading

GAO – DoD Actions Needed to Address Five Key Mission Challenges

Department of Defense: Actions Needed to Address Five Key Mission Challenges, GAO-17-369: Published: Jun 13, 2017. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2017. “The Department of Defense (DOD) faces five key challenges that significantly affect the department’s ability to accomplish its mission. These include the need to (1) rebalance forces and rebuild readiness; (2) mitigate threats to cyberspace… Continue Reading

Trends in Nuclear Explosion Monitoring Research & Development – A Physics Perspective

Secrecy News – Steven Aftergood: “This document… reviews the accessible literature for four research areas: source physics (understanding signal generation), signal propagation (accounting for changes through physical media), sensors (recording the signals), and signal analysis (processing the signal).” Source: Trends in Nuclear Explosion Monitoring Research & Development — A Physics Perspective, Los Alamos National Laboratory, LA-UR-17-21274,… Continue Reading

James Comey’s testimony to Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Follow Up

Opening Statement – Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, June 8, 2017. [Bloomberg Will Livestream James Comey’s Testimony on Twitter] From Comey’s testimony this morning: “There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did… Continue Reading

Commentary by Barbara Fister – How Not To Fight Terrorism

Insider HigherEd – How Not To Fight Terrorism – Some thoughts on the role information plays in the response to recent attacks. Barbara Fister. June 5, 2017 [Snipped] “I suppose it’s inevitable, given that information-driven tech-centered global corporations dominate the list of Big Rich Companies, that information systems play a significant role in 21st century… Continue Reading

NSA contractor charged in leak of classified document on Russian hacking and US election

Washington Post – “A 25-year-old government contractor has been charged with mishandling classified information, after authorities say she gave a top-secret National Security Agency document to a news organization [See article by The Intercept]. Reality Leigh Winner was accused of gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information — the first criminal charge filed in a leak… Continue Reading

Iraq: US military admits failures to monitor over $1 billion worth of arms transfers

Amnesty International: “The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified Department of Defense (DoD) audit, obtained by Amnesty International following Freedom of Information requests. The government audit, from September 2016, reveals that the DoD “did… Continue Reading

DHS Privacy Office, New FOIA Subscription document library released

Via Jenny Groom – New FOIA documents now available: FEMA Frequently Requested Records – https://www.dhs.gov/publication/fema-records Presidential Transition Records – https://www.dhs.gov/publication/presidential-transition-records Countering Violent Extremism – https://www.dhs.gov/publication/countering-violent-extremism# Congressional Correspondence Logs – https://www.dhs.gov/publication/congressional-correspondence-logs Continue Reading

CRS – Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, updated May 19, 2017. [Via FAS] “The United States, partner countries, and the Afghan government are attempting to reverse recent gains made by the resilient Taliban-led insurgency since the December 2014transition to a smaller international mission consisting primarily of training and advising the Afghanistan National Defense and Security… Continue Reading

Presidential Authority to Permit Access to National Security Information

SECRECY NEWS From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy: Presidential Authority to Permit Access to National Security Information, CRS Legal Sidebar, May 17, 2017. “Don’t Be So Quick to Call Those Disclosures ‘Legal‘ by Elizabeth Goitein, Just Security, May 17, 2017 “Why Trump’s Disclosure to Russia (and Urging Comey to Drop the Flynn Investigation, and… Continue Reading

How The Intercept visualized and open-sourced a database of terrorism prosecutions since 9/11

“Last month, The Intercept published “Trial and Terror,” a database of – and series of stories about – the 796 people prosecuted for international terrorism by the United States since the attacks of September 11, 2001. To accompany the database, Moiz Syed, a data journalist and designer at The Intercept, developed a visualization to convey details of the cases, including the most… Continue Reading