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Category Archives: Defense

Preparing Libraries for Nuclear War

JSTOR: “During the Cold War, America’s libraries helped patrons prepare for nuclear war, from stocking reference materials to providing fallout shelters: “From seemingly useless under-desk drills to legit bunkers, the general public was prepared for nuclear war during the Cold War. But what about libraries? Reference librarian Brett Spencer examines how libraries and librarians braced for the coming threat. Many of today’s scholars dismiss the nation’s civil defense push as a propagandistic effort that used fear to unite Americans against Russia. But at the time, the threat felt very real for everyday Americans. The nation’s attempts to shield itself from the coming bomb were reflected across institutions, including libraries. That’s surprising, says Spencer, especially given many librarians’ stance on other Cold War issues, like McCarthyist attempts to control the books in their collections. But despite their resistance to political pressures, librarians “vigorously participated” in civil defense during the 1950s. This participation showed up in library collections. Libraries became clearinghouses for pamphlets, books, and audiovisual materials about how to survive a nuclear attack. The New York Public Library led the charge, collecting “mountains of civil defense booklets” that laid out how to drill for an atomic bomb and survive after one fell…”

Libraries were turned into fallout shelters, urged on by government claims that the stacks “offered excellent radiation shielding.”

U.S. Department of State Personnel: Background and Selected Issues for Congress

CRS report via FAS – U.S. Department of State Personnel: Background and Selected Issues for Congress. Cory R. Gill, Analyst in Foreign Affairs. May 18, 2018. “Shortly after his confirmation as Secretary of State in April 2018, Secretary Mike Pompeo lifted the hiring freeze that former Secretary Rex Tillerson left in place for over a… Continue Reading

AP – US expects fallout from Snowden leaks for years to come

AP: “National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the lid off U.S. government surveillance methods five years ago, but intelligence chiefs complain that revelations from the trove of classified documents he disclosed are still trickling out. That includes recent reporting on a mass surveillance program run by close U.S. ally Japan and on how the… Continue Reading

INTERPOL information database inquiries jump 200 percent

Homeland Preparedness News: “Use of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) global databases has been on the rise in recent years amid growing threats of terrorist attacks in Europe, with inquiries to stolen and lost travel documents data increasing by more than 200 percent since 2014. Delegates recently met at the 48th INTERPOL European Regional… Continue Reading

Withdrawal from International Agreements: Legal Framework, the Paris Agreement, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement

CNN – President Trump announced on May 8 2018 that the US is withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal – Signs Presidential Memorandum to reinstate economic sanctions – and via EveryCRSReport.com – Withdrawal from International Agreements: Legal Framework, the Paris Agreement, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement, May 8, 2018: “The legal procedure through which the… Continue Reading

CRS Report – Artificial Intelligence and National Security

CRS report via FAS – Artificial Intelligence and National Security  – Daniel S. Hoadley, US Air Force Fellow; Nathan J. Lucas, Section Research Manager, April 26, 2018. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing field of technological development with potentially significant implications for national security. As such, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is developing AI… Continue Reading

DHS acknowledges rogue cellphone tower activity in DC

In a break from the Cambridge Analytic saga, this news on expanded use of Stingray cellphone tracking from AP: “…In a March 26 letter to Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that last year it identified suspected unauthorized cell-site simulators in the nation’s capital. The agency said it had not determined… Continue Reading

CRS – Is the Grid More Secure? Not Yet!

NERC Standards for Bulk Power Physical Security: Is the Grid More Secure? Paul W. Parfomak, Specialist in Energy and Infrastructure Policy. March 19, 2018. “Although the electric power sector seems to be moving in the overall direction of greater physical security for critical assets, many measures have yet to be implemented and the process of… Continue Reading

Iraq War continues to divide the U.S. public, 15 years after it began

“Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the American public is divided over whether using military force was the right decision. Nearly half (48%) of Americans say the decision to use military force was wrong, while slightly fewer (43%) say it was the right decision, according to a Pew Research Center… Continue Reading

Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plant

“New computer screenshots released by the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday made clear that Russian state hackers had the foothold they would have needed to manipulate or shut down power plants.” Nicole Perlroth and David Sanger in the NYT: Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants. “The Trump administration accused Russia… Continue Reading

No One Ever Told Me My Job Would Include… Dealing with a Korean Missile Alert!

ALA Library Worklife, March 2018, Michelle A. Moore – “The Hawaii State Library System has mandatory employee training on workplace violence and safety because, let’s face it, things happen. The premise is to make us more aware and prepared to effectively manage a crisis. Hawaii libraries have been closed for hurricanes, tsunami’s, and even volcano… Continue Reading

Social Media Use in Clearance Investigations Act of 2017 – House Report

115TH Congress Report – House of Representatives 2d Session Report 115–512. Social Media Use in Clearance Investigations Act of 2017 “H.R. 3737, The Social Media Use in Clearance Investigations Act of 2017 requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide pertinent data on the current and potential use of social media for clearance investigation… Continue Reading