• SpiesU.S. looking to place more spies worldwide

    The U.S. premier spy agency is looking to expand its presence around the globe in order to eliminate so-called “intelligence gaps” and take on the growing threat from major powers like Russia and China. CIA Director Gina Haspel on Monday called the shift from counterterrorism back to more traditional espionage against nation-states “a strategic priority,” saying the need to get better intelligence on current and potential U.S. rivals is among “the hardest issues” facing the spy agency.

  • Undocumented immigrantsUndocumented immigrant population roughly double current estimate

    The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States is roughly twice as high as commonly believed, according to new research. The research found that the number of undocumented immigrants living in the country is about 22.1 million, nearly twice the most prominent current estimate of 11.3 million. Even using extremely conservative parameters, the study estimates a population of 16.7 million undocumented immigrants, nearly 50 percent higher than the widely-accepted population figure.

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  • SurveillanceCombining multiple CCTV images could help catch suspects

    Combining multiple poor-quality CCTV images into a single, computer-enhanced composite could improve the accuracy of facial recognition systems used to identify criminal suspects, new research suggests. Researchers have created a series of pictures using a ‘face averaging’ technique – a method which digitally combines multiple images into a single enhanced image, removing variants such as head angles or lighting so that only features that indicate the identity of the person remain.

  • SurveillanceU.K. surveillance regime violated human rights

    By David Ruiz

    On September 13, after a five-year legal battle, the European Court of Human Rights said that the U.K. government’s surveillance regime—which includes the country’s mass surveillance programs, methods, laws, and judges—violated the human rights to privacy and to freedom of expression. The court’s opinion is the culmination of lawsuits filed by multiple privacy rights organizations, journalists, and activists who argued that the U.K.’s surveillance programs violated the privacy of millions.

  • HateThe Road to Power: Idaho outfit behind rash of racist, anti-Semitic robocalls

    The Road to Power, a white supremacist and anti-Semitic broadcasting outlet based in Sandpoint, Idaho, continues to ramp up its tactic of robocalling communities nationwide with racist, anti-Semitic and bigoted language. The calls, which have targeted communities in California, Idaho, Iowa, Florida and Pennsylvania, seek to exploit current events by disseminating vile, offensive commentary. 

  • HateJewish Labour MP given police escort at her own party’s conference after months of anti-Semitic abuse

    A Jewish Labour MP was forced to rely on police protection at the party’s annual conference that kicked off yesterday, as a colleague said anti-Semitic Labour members should be send to Auschwitz to learn the consequences of hatred towards Jews.

  • Conspiracy theorySomething’s going on here: Building a comprehensive profile of conspiracy thinkers

    By Joshua Hart

    By and large, people gravitate toward conspiracy theories that seem to affirm or validate their political views. Republicans are vastly more likely than Democrats to believe the Obama “birther” theory or that climate change is a hoax. Democrats are more likely to believe that Trump’s campaign “colluded” with the Russians. But some people are habitual conspiracists who entertain a variety of generic conspiracy theories.

  • Our picksRe-branding doomsday preparations; battlefield nuclear reactors; rise of YouTube’s reactionary right, and more

    ·  ‘It’s not crazy’: Colorado woman hopes to re-brand doomsday preparation movement

    ·  U.S. urged to rapidly prepare for electromagnetic pulse attack

    ·  President loosens secretive restraints on ordering cyberattacks

    ·  Forensic finder exploring Windows calls attention to mail pile

    ·  Build small nuclear reactors for battlefield power

    ·  Trump administration seeks to limit access to U.S. for immigrants who use or are likely to use public assistance

    ·  Those motherf**kers are dead Meat’: Far-right militia threatens Muslims on leaked audio

    ·  The rise of YouTube’s reactionary right

  • The Russia watchHow Russia helped swing the election for Trump; contest to troll the world; Mariia Butina in prison

    ·  How Russia helped swing the election for Trump

    ·  “The Apprentice” book excerpt: At CIA’s “Russia House,” growing alarm about 2016 election interference

    ·  Rosenstein’s departure is a national emergency

    ·  With Rod Rosenstein possibly on his way out at the Justice Department, who will protect Robert Mueller’s investigation?

    ·  Mueller has been questioning Michael Cohen on Trump’s Russia ties

    ·  U.S. blacklists Russian entities tied to election meddling

    ·  Why Russians keep visiting Mariia Butina in prison

    ·  U.K. gov plans cyber warfare unit to tackle threat posed by Russia, North Korea and Iran

    ·  Russia is running an actual contest to troll the World

  • SyriaAfter downing of Russian plane, Moscow to supply S-300 missile system to Syria

    Russia has announced it will supply Syria with an S-300 ground-to-air missile system, saying it will improve the allied country’s defenses and help avert a repeat of the downing of a Russian warplane by Syrian forces a week ago. Speaking on 24 September, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Moscow will deliver the S-300 within two weeks and will also provide Syrian government forces with updated automated systems for its air-defense network.

  • Cyber operationsWhy it’s unwise for the U.K. to boast about its cyberattack capability

    By Joe Devanny

    The U.K. government is very publicly investing more money in its ability to conduct cyberattacks and, at the same time, it is becoming increasingly open in talking about the attacks it has conducted in the past – and those it might conduct in future. There are risks involved in publicly signaling the imminence of cyber and other attacks, especially against capable adversaries with a demonstrable appetite for taking risks and a cavalier attitude about collateral damage. The U.K. needs to think more carefully about how it integrates cyber operations, and communication about them, into its wider approach – not only towards Russia but across the whole spectrum of national security operations.

  • EncryptionEconomic benefit of NIST’s encryption standard at least $250 billion

    NIST has released a study that estimates a $250 billion economic impact from the development of its Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) over the past twenty years. AES is a cryptographic algorithm used to encrypt and decrypt electronic information. It was approved for use by the federal government in November 2001 and has since been widely adopted by private industry. Today, AES protects everything from classified data and bank transactions to online shopping and social media apps.

  • CybersecurityA new cybersecurity research group focuses on human behavior

    Sociologist David Maimon’s earliest research examined the effects neighborhoods have in determining why some people in neighborhoods engage in crime and deviant behaviors. In 2010, he turned his focus to cybercrime and the unique online ecosystem in which cybercriminals thrive. Maimon leads the Evidence-based Cybersecurity Research Group at GSU. “The notion of ‘cybersecurity’ in academic literature and the world is still technical,” he said. “Our work is unique in that we focus on human behavior.”

  • Immigration & terrorismFormer U.S. officials challenge report linking terrorism, immigration

    By Jeff Seldin

    A group of former national security officials is pushing back against a controversial Trump administration report on the link between terrorism and immigration, saying the report gives the false impression that immigrants are responsible for the majority of terrorist attacks in the United States.

  • BiosecurityDOD lagging on lab biosecurity: GAO

    For three years, the DoD has been attempting to implement security reforms after reports revealed that an Army lab at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah accidentally sent 575 live samples of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, to 194 labs over the course of a decade. The GAO says the Department of Defense (DoD) is still short of meeting goals meant to improve the department’s biosafety and biosecurity programs, leaving government labs still at risk.

  • EarthquakesAfter the Big One: Understanding aftershock risk

    In early September 2018, a powerful earthquake on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan triggered landslides, toppled buildings, cut power, halted industry, killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds. The national meteorological agency warned that aftershocks could strike for up to a week following the main event. “A large earthquake will typically have thousands of aftershocks,” said Stanford University’s Gregory Beroza. “We know that a big earthquake changes something in Earth’s crust that causes these aftershocks to happen.”

  • ResilienceThe importance of community networks to disaster resilience

    Research finds that community networks and better official communication could aid in response and resilience to disasters. Researchers who worked in Houston and Corpus Christie after Hurricane Harvey write that they found “first, missed opportunities to harness social capital for disaster preparedness and, second, a greater need for government agencies and disaster relief organizations to effectively communicate with the public before, during and after disasters.”

  • Our picksU.S. biodefence strategy; science behind home disaster preparedness; NSA curbs spying, and more

    ·  Revamped U.S. biodefence strategy adds natural disasters and lab accidents

    ·  Applying America’s superpowers: How the U.S. should respond to China’s informatization strategy

    ·  Hurricane Maria: 4 ways the storm changed Puerto Rico — and the rest of America

    ·  U.S. to prioritize attacks against foreign adversaries under new cyber strategy

    ·  The science behind home disaster preparedness kits is a disaster

    ·  Finding homes for immigrant kids is hard. Trump’s making it harder — by arresting their relatives.

    ·  It’s getting harder for international STEM students to find work after graduation

    ·  NSA curbs spying after security breach

  • The Russia watch Nothing to fear but FEAR itself; U.S. outgunned in fight against Russia’s disinformation; dissecting the Trump-Russia Dossier, and more

    ·  We have nothing to fear but FEAR itself

    ·  Quick notes on the Rosenstein revelations

    ·  Russian propagandists seize Kavanaugh controversy to sow division online

    ·  Beware of Russian fake news

    ·  Trump’s State Department outgunned in fight to counter Russian disinformation around globe

    ·  Who spread disinformation about the MH17 crash? We followed the Twitter trail.

    ·  Select Committee on fake news: Russian trolls divided societies and turned countries against one another

    ·  Dissecting the Trump-Russia Dossier

    ·  Brits warned Trump against releasing Carter Page surveillance docs

    ·  California launches new effort to fight election disinformation

  • Cyber strategyU.S. prepared to strike in cyberspace

    The United States is prepared to go on the offensive in cyberspace to ensure adversaries know there is a price to pay for hacks, network intrusions and other types of attacks. President Donald Trump signed a new National Cyber Strategy on Thursday, calling for a more aggressive response to the growing online threat posed by other countries, terrorist groups and criminal organizations.

  • Mass shootingsAnxiety surrounding mass shootings closes ideological divides -- briefly

    People who feel anxious surrounding mass shootings tend to abandon their political ideology on typically divided issues, according to a study. Yet policymakers — especially those seeking gun law reforms trying to stem the number of mass shootings — in recent years have largely failed to capitalize on attitudes surrounding this type of anxiety.

  • Truth decayAmnesty International toils to tell real videos from fakes

    Increasingly sophisticated artificial-intelligence video tools, like FakeApp, are raising concerns by helping the technically astute create realistic computer-generated videos known as “deepfakes.” A deepfake video can put a person’s face on somebody else’s body, make them say words they never uttered, show them in a place they’ve never been, or even put them at an event that never occurred.