Our picksChina Is What Orwell Feared | Doctor Demon Sperm | AI Academy, and more

Published 30 July 2020

·  China Is What Orwell Feared

·  U.S. Warns Russia on Bounties While Trump Cries ‘Fake News’

·  What Were Russian Mercenaries Doing in Belarus?

·  German Far-Right Buys Land for Military Training

·  Britain Is Botching This Cold War Just Like the Last One

·  Misinformation on the Virus Is Proving Highly Contagious

·  Doctor Demon Sperm Is Just the Start of Trump’s Medical Madness

·  Could a New Academy Solve the AI Talent Problem?

·  GAO: More Than Half of COVID-19 Government Contracts Not Competitively Awarded

China Is What Orwell Feared (Ross Andersen, The Atlantic)
Xi Jinping is using artificial intelligence to enhance his government’s totalitarian control—and he’s exporting this technology to regimes around the globe.

U.S. Warns Russia on Bounties While Trump Cries ‘Fake News’ (Erin Banco, Asawin Suebsaeng, Daily Beast)
The secret warnings stand in contrast to what President Trump has said about the intelligence in question.

What Were Russian Mercenaries Doing in Belarus? (Amy MacKinnon, Foreign Policy)
The arrest of more than 30 fighters from Russia’s Wagner Group in Minsk raised government speculation about Russian interference ahead of next month’s election.

German Far-Right Buys Land for Military Training (David Crossland, The Times)
Right-wing extremists are moving into property to set up bases for their activities and anchor themselves in local communities, German intelligence services have warned. Neo-Nazis are seeking land and buildings in rural parts of eastern states, officials said. In Saxony the number of buildings known to be owned by far-right groups rose by five last year to 27. Nationwide, right-wing extremists own 146 properties, according to official estimates. Analysts suspect the true figure is far higher.

Britain Is Botching This Cold War Just Like the Last One (Calder Walton, Foreign Policy)
British politicians and spies are continuing a tradition of sticking their heads in the sand against inconvenient attacks.

Misinformation on the Virus Is Proving Highly Contagious (David Klepper, AP)
As the world races to find a vaccine and a treatment for COVID-19, there is seemingly no antidote in sight for the burgeoning outbreak of coronavirus conspiracy theories, hoaxes, anti-mask myths and sham cures. The phenomenon, unfolding largely on social media, escalated this week when President Donald Trump retweeted a false video about an anti-malaria drug being a cure for the virus and it was revealed that Russian intelligence is spreading disinformation about the crisis through English-language websites. Experts worry that the torrent of bad information is dangerously undermining efforts to slow the virus, which has been blamed for about 150,000 deaths in the U.S. and over a half-million more around the world.

Doctor Demon Sperm Is Just the Start of Trump’s Medical Madness (Molly Jong-Fast, Daily Beast)
Over the last 24 hours, the Trump family has engaged a new tone. Yes, the presidential pivot you’ve been longing for has finally happened. And not a moment too soon. As American deaths hover around 151,000, the president of the United States has finally embraced his conspiracy theory-loving Boomer self and gone full coronavirus misinformation-spreader, a drama that culminated in the president’s large adult son having some features on his Twitter account locked

Could a New Academy Solve the AI Talent Problem? (Lauren C. Williams, FCW)
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence is recommending a new academy to train feds to take on federal agency jobs involving emerging technologies including AI.

GAO: More Than Half of COVID-19 Government Contracts Not Competitively Awarded (Aaron Boyd, Nextgov)
While some of that spending went through existing IDIQs, some $7.7 billion in new contracts were awarded “using the unusual and compelling urgency exception.”