Our picksThe most expensive weather year ever; Silicon Valley & “ISIS 3.0”; sinking coastal cities, and more

Published 29 December 2017

· Megadisasters devastated America this year. They’re going to get worse.

· The most expensive weather year ever

· Edward Snowden’s new app turns any Android phone into a surveillance system

· Dear DHS, our federal cybersecurity measures are not enough

· Canadian government looking to step up domestic surveillance, scale back intelligence oversight

· Fighting climate change, and building a world to withstand it

· An explosive wildfire season drives firefighting costs to record levels

· These LA startups are what stand between hackers and your medical devices

· Sea level rise is creeping into coastal cities. Saving them won’t be cheap.

· “ISIS 3.0”: How Silicon Valley gave rise to the next generation of terror

Megadisasters devastated America this year. They’re going to get worse. (Umair Irfan and Brian Resnick, Vox)
Storms, fires, floods, and heat caused unprecedented destruction in 2017. Why?

The most expensive weather year ever (Annie Lowery, The Atlantic)
Economists are tallying the damage from the fires and the hurricanes, and finding their true costs immeasurable.

Edward Snowden’s new app turns any Android phone into a surveillance system (John Russell, Techcrunch)
NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden is among the backers of a new surveillance app that helps guard against computer hijackings.

Dear DHS, our federal cybersecurity measures are not enough (Randy Battat, NextGov)
Agencies need to aim for the gold-standard in encryption.

Canadian government looking to step up domestic surveillance, scale back intelligence oversight (Tim Cushing, Techdirt)
Canada has its own PATRIOT Act — one that was supposed to be fixed by its new heartthrob PM, Justin Trudeau. As Cory Doctorow points out at Boing Boing, Trudeau promised to fix it in post, but that’s not what’s happening.

Fighting climate change, and building a world to withstand it (Adam Rogers, Wired)
Disaster, Pestilence, War, and Famine are riding as horsemen of a particular apocalypse. In 2016, the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere reached 403 parts per million, higher than it has been since at least the last ice age. By the end of 2017, the United States was on track to have the most billion-dollar weather- and climate-related disasters since the government started counting in 1980. We did that.

An explosive wildfire season drives firefighting costs to record levels (Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times)
There have been some years of respite, but in general, firefighting costs have been climbing since 2000.

These LA startups are what stand between hackers and your medical devices (Joseph Marks, NextGov)
Some of the most important cybersecurity work is happening in nondescript offices across the nation.

Sea level rise is creeping into coastal cities. Saving them won’t be cheap. (Nicholas Kusnetz, Inside Climate News)
Norfolk and Miami frequently see nuisance flooding now. The cost to protect them and other coastal cities in the future is rising with the tide.

ISIS 3.0”: How Silicon Valley gave rise to the next generation of terror (Haroon Ullah, Vanity Fair)
The digital battlefield is the least understood component of our ever-changing, 16-year war on terror—and, perhaps, the most dangerous.