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Category Archives: Defense

CRS Report to Congress on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

The following is the August 16, 2019 Congressional Research Service In Focus report – International Discussions Concerning Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems. “As technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), advances, lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS)—weapons designed to make decisions about using lethal force without manual human control—may soon make their appearance, raising a number of potential ethical, diplomatic, legal, and strategic concerns for Congress. By providing a brief overview of ongoing international discussions concerning LAWS, this In Focus seeks to assist Congress as it conducts oversight hearings on AI within the military (as the House and Senate Committees on Armed Services have done in recent years), guides U.S. foreign policy, and makes funding and authorization decisions related to LAWS…”

61% of Voters Say They Believe Russia Will Try to Interfere in 2020 Election

Morning Consult: “With less than six months until the first presidential primary vote is cast in Iowa, more voters are saying it’s likely that Russia will try to interfere in the next presidential election, according to a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll. But the survey suggests that the prospect won’t deter them from heading to the… Continue Reading

Modernization of Secrecy System is Stalled

Secrecy News: “Today’s national security classification system “relies on antiquated policies from another era that undercut its effectiveness today,” the Information Security Oversight Office told the President in a report released yesterday. Modernizing the system is a “government-wide imperative,” the new ISOO annual report said. But that is a familiar refrain by now. It is much the… Continue Reading

Edward Snowden memoir to reveal whistleblower’s secrets

The Guardian – In Permanent Record, the former spy will recount how his mass surveillance work eventually led him to make the biggest leak in history – “After multiple books and films about his decision to leak the biggest cache of top-secret documents in history, whistleblower Edward Snowden is set to tell his side of the… Continue Reading

White House Blocked Report on Climate Change and National Security

The New York Times – The White House Blocked My Report on Climate Change and National Security – Politics intruded on science and intelligence. “That’s why I quit my job as an analyst for the State Department. Ten years ago, I left my job as a tenured university professor to work as an intelligence analyst… Continue Reading

U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia: The Corporate Connection

Center for International Policy – U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia: The Corporate Connection, by William Hartung and Cassandra Stimpson, July 29, 2019 – “This report provides information on arms offers to Saudi Arabia involving the four largest U.S. arms suppliers to that nation: Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics. Over 90% of U.S. arms… Continue Reading

Senate Intel Committee Unveils Election Security Report In Wake Of Mueller Hearings

NPR – “The Senate intelligence committee has released its report detailing Russia’s targeting of election systems in 2016 along with recommendations for protecting American elections from foreign interference. The committee’s final report on election security [redacted] appeared Thursday as the 2020 presidential race gets underway in what promises to be a bitter and divisive election… Continue Reading

China slams U.S., says it’s open to using force to reunify Taiwan

Axios: “China criticizes the U.S. for undermining global stability and says it won’t “renounce use of force” against Taiwan in a defense white paper published on Wednesday. Details: Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a news conference if “anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will certainly fight, resolutely defending the country’s… Continue Reading

China has reached parity with US on this year’s Fortune Global 500 list

Washington Post Daily Dot: “China has reached parity with the United States on this year’s Fortune Global 500 list, which dropped this morning. “As the Chinese Century nears its third decade, Fortune’s Global 500 shows how profoundly the world’s balance of power is shifting,” Geoff Colvin writes in the magazine. “American companies account for 121… Continue Reading

Learn about the Mueller Report – A Podcast Series from Lawfare

Lawfare – “For the past several weeks, a group of us has been working on a project to tell the story of the Mueller Report in an accessible form. The Mueller Report tells a heck of a story, a bunch of incredible stories, actually. But it does so in a form that’s hard for a… Continue Reading

New deepfake detection tool should keep world leaders safe—for now

MIT Technology Review: “..a new digital forensics technique promises to protect President Trump, other world leaders, and celebrities against such deepfakes—for the time being, at least. The new method uses machine learning to analyze a specific individual’s style of speech and movement, what the researchers call a “softbiometric signature.”  The researchers, from UC Berkeley and… Continue Reading