• China syndromeChina Embraces Bigger Internet with Virtually Unlimited IP Addresses

    By John Xie

    China is pushing for the adoption of a new worldwide Internet Protocol that could make the internet bigger and faster, but also potentially less anonymous. The technology, called IPv6, is an upgrade of the internet’s architecture that would allow trillions more electronic devices to have unique addresses online.

  • RobokillersLethal Autonomous Weapons May Soon Make Life-and-Death Decisions – on Their Own

    With drone technology, surveillance software, and threat-predicting algorithms, future conflicts could computerize life and death. “It’s a big question – what does it mean to hand over some of the decision making around violence to machines, and everybody on the planet will have a stake in what happens on this front,” says one expert.

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  • School surveillanceSchools’ Facial Recognition Technology Problematic, Should Be Banned: Experts

    Facial recognition technology should be banned for use in schools, according to a new study. The research reveals inaccuracy, racial inequity, and increased surveillance are the touchstones of a flawed technology.

  • TerrorismIslamic State Holding on in Philippines, Despite Millions in U.S. Spending

    By Jeff Seldin

    Hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars and hundreds of hours spent working with and training Philippine government forces appear to be doing little to dislodge Islamic State fighters entrenched in the country’s south. The assessment, part of a just-released Pentagon report, warns that at best, U.S.-supported efforts in the Philippines have fought IS and other terror groups to a stalemate, with Philippine forces unable to gain the upper hand.

  • AIArtificial Intelligence Is a Totalitarian’s Dream – Here’s How to Take Power Back

    By Simon McCarthy-Jones

    Individualistic Western societies are built on the idea that no one knows our thoughts, desires or joys better than we do. And so we put ourselves, rather than the government, in charge of our lives. We tend to agree with the philosopher Immanuel Kant’s claim that no one has the right to force their idea of the good life on us. Artificial intelligence (AI) will change this.

  • AIMight Technology Tip the Global Scales?

    By Leda Zimmerman

    Benjamin Chang, a fourth-year MIT graduate student, is assessing the impacts of artificial intelligence on military power, with a focus on the U.S. and China. “Every issue critical to world order — whether climate change, terrorism, or trade — is clearly and closely intertwined with U.S.-China relations,” says Chang. “Competition between these nations will shape all outcomes anyone cares about in the next 50 years or more.”

  • Immigrants & the economyCost of Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from Stimulus Funds: $10 billion in Economic Activity

    A new study found that the exclusion of undocumented residents and their families from the COVID-19 pandemic-related $1,200 stimulus payments given to taxpayers resulted in a loss of $10 billion in potential economic output. It also cost 82,000 jobs nationally and 17,000 jobs in California, the research found.

  • Airport securityTSA May Have Missed Thousands of Firearms at Airport Security Checkpoints in 2014-2016

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reported that it found 4,432 firearms in carry-on baggage at airport security checkpoints in 2019, and more than 20,000 firearms since 2014. New research suggests that they could have found even more.

  • FloodsA Warming California Will See Reservoirs Overwhelmed by Floods

    By the 2070s, global warming will increase extreme rainfall and reduce snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, delivering a double whammy that will likely overwhelm California’s reservoirs and heighten the risk of flooding in much of the state.

  • PERSPECTIOVE: FBI exoneratedJustice Department Completes Review of Errors in FISA Applications

    The 2016 application by the FBI to the FISA court for permission to place Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, under surveillance over his suspicious contacts with Russian intelligence officers, was reviewed by the Justice Department’s Inspector General. The DOJ IG found the application to be proper and in line with the department’s guidelines, even though it contained a few minor errors. AG William Barr ordered a second thorough review of the FBI’s application, a review which included a review of the IG’s review as well. The Barr-ordered review has been completed, and the Justice Department reported that most of the errors identified by the Office of the Inspector General were minor, and none invalidated the surveillance application and authorizations. The DOJ review “should instill confidence in the FBI’s use of its FISA authorities,” said FBI Acting General Counsel Dawn Browning, committed the agency to “meeting the highest standard of exactness” and “eliminat[ing] errors of any kind.”

  • Perspective: The Russia connectionA Bible Burning, a Russian News Agency and a Story Too Good to Check Out

    With Election Day drawing closer, the Russian efforts to influence the vote appear to be well underway. One example: A video cooked by a Kremlin-backed video news agency, purportedly showing dozens of BLM protesters in Portland , Oregon, burning a stack of bibles, was seized upon by Trump supporters as evidence, in Donald Trump Jr’s words, that antifa had moved to “the book burning phase.” Matthew Rosenberg and Julian E. Barnes write that “the truth was far more mundane. A few protesters among the many thousands appear to have burned a single Bible — and possibly a second — for kindling to start a bigger fire. None of the other protesters seemed to notice or care.” They add: “The Portland video represents the Russian disinformation strategy at its most successful. Take a small but potentially inflammatory incident, blow it out of proportion and let others on the political fringes in the United States or Canada or Europe spread it.”

  • Our picksACLU for Disbanding DHS | Russia’s Space Weapons | Scammers & COVID-19, and more

    ·  Justice Department Completes Review of Errors in FISA Applications

    ·  Facial Recognition Has Been Used Unlawfully and Violated Human Rights, Court of Appeal Rules in Landmark Case (

    ·  The ACLU Has Officially Called to Abolish the Department of Homeland Security

    ·  The Dissent Channel: Meet the Investigative Reporter Uncovering the Dark Side of Homeland Security

    ·  NBAF: DHS and USDA Are Working to Transfer Ownership and Prepare for Operations, but Critical Steps Remain

    ·  Facebook Removed Nearly 40% More Terrorist Content in Second Quarter

    ·  A Russian Satellite Weapon Shows the Danger of Hazy Rules in Space

    ·  How Scammers Use Faked News Articles to Promote Coronavirus “Cures” that Only Defraud Victims

  • China syndromeA Ban on WeChat and TikTok, a Disconnected World and Two Internets

    By Fang Bing, Adam Xu, Jiu Dao

    President Trump’s new executive orders banning Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat marked a significant escalation in the ongoing technology tensions between the U.S. and China. Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, predicted in 2018 that within the next decade, there would be two distinct Internets: one led by the U.S. and the other one led by China. Only two years after his comments, that prediction seems to have become a reality.

  • Designer pathogensHow Do We Know Whether a Virus Is Bioengineered?

    Since the onset of the pandemic, theories – or, rather, conspiracy theories – and no-evidence assertions argued that the coronavirus was intentionally engineered by Chinese scientists as a potential bioweapon, despite the consensus of scientists and intelligence experts that the virus’s genetics indicate that it is most likely a zoonotic pathogen. The scientists relied on a Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) analysis to reach their conclusion, but there are other detection tools – trouble is, these other tools may be used to engineer viruses for bioattacks.

  • TerrorismThe Impact of COVID-19 on Terrorism

    While government leaders are focused on fighting COVID-19, the threat of terrorism has not gone away. In fact, homeland security experts have warned that violent extremists may seek to take advantage of the fear and disruption around the pandemic to further their agenda and recruit new members.

  • PrivacyConsumers Consider Third-Party Use of Personal Location Data as Privacy Violations

    The National Security Agency issued a warning to its employees 4 August that cellphone location data could pose a national security risk. But how do consumers feel about their location data being tracked and sold? New research yielded surprising results.

  • Coastal challengesFacing Climate Threats, Landmarks May Have to Adapt and “Transform”

    How much effort should be spent trying to keep Venice looking like Venice – even as it faces rising sea levels that threaten the city with more frequent extreme flooding? As climate change threatens cultural sites, preservationists and researchers are asking whether these iconic locations should be meticulously restored or should be allowed to adapt and “transform.”

  • Water securityOverhauling the Circulatory System of the American West

    It might be tempting to think of cowboys and cattle drives, but the real story of the American West can be summed up in one word: water. While the costs might be daunting, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has teamed up with the Oregon-based Farmers Conservation Alliance to radically reimagine the role of irrigation systems in the West.

  • ARGUMENT: Disturbing overreachI Ran the DHS Intelligence Unit. Its Reports on Journalists are Concerning.

    The intelligence arm of the Department of Homeland Security, known as the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS I&A), has been the subject of extensive criticism recently, first for questionable intelligence support to law enforcement in Portland, Oregon, and then for its deeply problematic intelligence reports naming U.S. journalists reporting on I&A’s own actions. Gen. Francis X. Taylor (USAF, retd), who served as under-secretary of intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security from 2014 to January 2017, writes that the investigation of the mistakes DHS I&A made in Portland and in reporting on journalists “should focus not only on personnel on the ground, but—more importantly—on those who demanded that the intelligence agency depart from its guidelines,” and he adds that “it is important to distinguish between the danger of I&A acting beyond its authority and the value that the office can provide when it works well.”

  • ARGUMENT: Useful idiotsHow Sen. Ron Johnson’s Investigation Became an Enabler of Russian Disinformation: Part I

    Senator Ron Johnson’s investigations involving Ukraine have become a conduit of Russian disinformation, Ryan Goodman and Asha Rangappa write. Johnson has been warned before about being used as a vehicle for Russia disinformation, but chose not to heed those warnings. Goodman and Rangappa write: “Part of the Kremlin’s effort is to drive a wedge between Ukraine and the United States, part is to sow political discord inside the United States, and another part is, as now confirmed publicly by the U.S. intelligence community, to support Trump’s re-election bid. Johnson has enabled all three.”

  • Our picks: China syndromeChina’s Imperial Ambition | TikTok’s “Spyware” Risk? | Hard-Line Chinese Intellectuals, and more

    ·  U.S.-China Relations Are Entering a Dangerous Period

    ·  “Clean Up This Mess”: The Chinese Thinkers Behind Xi’s Hard Line

    ·  China’s Emerging Middle Eastern Kingdom

    ·  Iran’s Pact with China Is Bad News for the West

    ·  TikTok Is Inane. China’s Imperial Ambition Is Not.

    ·  Is This Trump’s Real TikTok ‘Spyware’ Risk?

    ·  Chinese Tech Companies Could Face Trouble in Europe

    ·  Why Is the United States Effectively Banning WeChat and TikTok?

  • Our picksRussia’s No-Clinical-Trials Vaccine | Rare-Earth Mistakes | Lattice-Based Cryptography, and more

    ·  Victims of Libyan-Backed Terrorism Face New Compensation Battle

    ·  Alleged ISIS Member Living Off Benefits in the U.K.

    ·  Pro-Iran Troll Posed as WHO Official to Push Racist Coronavirus Hoax

    ·  Russia Says Coronavirus Vaccine Is Ready, Thorough Clinical Trials Be Damned

    ·  On Rare Earths, the Pentagon Is Making the Same Mistake Twice

    ·  Cutting Corners in the Race for a Vaccine

    ·  What is Lattice-Based Cryptography & Why Should You Care

    ·  Why Terrorism Continues in Nigeria and How to Turn the Tide