• PerspectiveCorporate Defenses Against Information Warfare

    When asked about Russian election interference during his congressional testimony last month, Robert Mueller said: “They’re doing it as we sit here.” To defend the nation against information warfare, the U.S. government has adopted a policy—by default, not by design—of relying on the private sector to police itself, with limited behind-the-scenes government assistance. Facebook’s website says: “Our detection technology helps us block millions of attempts to create fake accounts every day and detect millions more often within minutes after creation.” These numbers sound impressive, but they do not tell the whole story. To assess the effectiveness of company defenses, we must distinguish among three types of fake accounts: bots, fictitious user accounts, and impostor accounts. Russian agents have created and operated all three types of accounts.

     

  • Climate crisisClimate Change to Shrink Global Economy

    Prevailing economic research anticipates the burden of climate change falling on hot or poor nations. Some predict that cooler or wealthier economies will be unaffected or even see benefits from higher temperatures. A new study, however, suggests that virtually all countries – whether rich or poor, hot or cold – will suffer economically by 2100 if the current trajectory of carbon emissions is maintained: 7 percent of global GDP will disappear by 2100 as a result of business-as-usual carbon emissions – including over 10 percent of incomes in both Canada and the United States.

  • PerspectiveNetflix’s Algorithms Seem to Be a New Entry Point for Conspiracy Theories. Be Aware!

    When the spread of disinformation became a major topic of debate in late 2016, it was discussed mainly in reference to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In the following months, serious problems related to the diffusion of pseudoscientific beliefs, conspiracy theories and disinformation emerged on YouTube and WhatsApp.  Until now, the popular video streaming service Netflix had managed to stay out of the picture. Not anymore.

  • Perspective: Tech raceSetting the Stage for U.S. Leadership in 6G

    Every day there are more headlines about China’s rise in 5G, the next generation of wireless communications technologies, and the economic and national security risks to the United States that go along with these developing technologies. These concerns, particularly the threat of critical infrastructure disruptions, are valid—but the plight of the United States is in part self-inflicted. The U.S. government waited too long to tackle the difficult issues surrounding 5G. As a result, China has unprecedented clout on the global stage regarding the deployment and diffusion of advanced communications technologies. With decisive action today, the U.S. can ensure its status as the undisputed leader in wireless technology within 10 years. In doing so, it will lock in the ability to build secure 6G infrastructure with all the accompanying economic and national security benefits.

  • Perspective: Tech raceThe Quantum Revolution Is Coming, and Chinese Scientists Are at the Forefront

    Quantum technology — an emerging field that could transform information processing and confer big economic and national-security advantages to countries that dominate it. To the dismay of some scientists and officials in the United States, China’s formidable investment is helping it catch up with Western research in the field and, in a few areas, pull ahead. Beijing is pouring billions into research and development and is offering Chinese scientists big perks to return home from Western labs. Last year, China had nearly twice as many patent filings as the United States for quantum technology overall, a category that includes communications and cryptology devices. China’s drive has sparked calls for more R&D funding in the United States.

  • Perspective: China syndromeHuawei Technicians Helped African Governments Spy on Political Opponents

    Huawei Technologies Co., the world’s largest telecommunications company, dominates African markets, where it has sold security tools that governments use for digital surveillance and censorship. But Huawei employees have provided other services, not disclosed publicly. Technicians from the Chinese powerhouse have, in at least two cases, personally helped African governments spy on their political opponents, including intercepting their encrypted communications and social media, and using cell data to track their whereabouts. The incident in Uganda and another in Zambia, as detailed in a Wall Street Journal investigation, show how Huawei employees have used the company’s technology and other companies’ products to support the domestic spying of those governments.

  • Perspective: Territorial waters Drone Rangers and GPS for Fish: The Tech Weapons U.K. Could Deploy to Stop European Rivals Plundering U.K. Seas Post-Brexit

    Figures from the Pew Research Centre, a U.S. think tank, suggest that one in five fish are caught by breaking the law and the illegal fishing industry is now worth $23.5 billion. As the U.K. prepares to leave the EU’s fishing regime, illegal trawling in British territorial waters is expected to increase. Some think technology can solve the problem of illegal activity, with new solutions in the form of satellites, drones, facial recognition and autonomous boats emerging to tackle the issue of illegal fishing head on. These technologies will need to be deployed quickly.

  • Perspective: Nuclear powerCan Nuclear Power Be Saved?

    Whither nuclear power? That question has become more important as energy policies evolve to emphasize emissions-free “green” energy and an increased electrification of the U.S. economy. Some environmentalists consider nuclear power to be crucial to reducing carbon emissions; others continue to vehemently oppose nuclear power and believe that our energy must come solely from renewable sources.  The public, encouraged into hysteria by dramatizations of nuclear-plant accidents such as the film The China Syndrome and HBO’s Chernobyl, is split. Meanwhile, the nuclear-power industry itself is in a parlous state for a variety of tangled reasons.

  • Private securityLEOSU Defeats SPFPA for Representing Paragon Protective Service Officers

    In an impressive victory, the Law Enforcement Security Officers Union (LEOSU) won the representation election and will be representing the protective service officers at Paragon Systems, Inc. The company protects federal facilities throughout Louisville, Kentucky. “LEOSU is the strongest, fastest-growing law enforcement and security police union in America,” stated LEOSU Organizing Director Steve Maritas, “And I promise you that LEOSU will deliver for our new members with Paragon just like we have for our other Paragon PSO members from around the country.”

  • Perspective: China syndromeGood for Google, Bad for America

    Google’s decision to start an AI lab in China while ending an AI contract with the Pentagon, is disturbing. Goggle may argue that it operates in a world where “AI and its benefits have no borders,” but Peter Thiel argues that this way of thinking works only inside Google’s cosseted Northern California campus, quite distinct from the world outside. “The Silicon Valley attitude sometimes called ‘cosmopolitanism’ is probably better understood as an extreme strain of parochialism, that of fortunate enclaves isolated from the problems of other places — and incurious about them,” he writes. In the 1950s, the cliché was that “what’s good for General Motors is good for the country.” Google makes no such claim for itself; “it would be too obviously false,” Thiel writes. Instead, Google talks about what is good for the world – but “by now we should understand that the real point of talking about what’s good for the world is to evade responsibility for the good of the country.”

  • VisasForeign-Born PhDs Deterred from Working in Startups Because of Visa Concerns

    Foreign-born Ph.D. graduates with science and engineering degrees from American universities apply to and receive offers for technology startup jobs at the same rate as U.S. citizens, but are only half as likely to actually work at fledgling companies, a study finds.

  • PerspectiveUnlocking Market Forces to Solve Cyber Risk

    Markets have been slow to adjust to the multi-dimensional perils of cyber risk. Even headline-grabbing cyber incidents such as breaches of Equifax, Target, Anthem, Sony and Home Depot—along with NotPetya’s devastation of Merck, FedEx, and Maersk—have thus far had only fleeting impacts on assessments of major corporations’ prospects by investors, credit rating agencies and insurers. This disparity reflects the broader problem of a “cyber risk gap” between corporations’ exposure to cyber risks and the adequacy of their efforts to address it. Investors, insurers, credit rating agencies and others presently face this gap, and have been only slowly waking up to its magnitude.

  • CybersecurityPracticing Cybersecurity Gets Easier

    It’s expensive to train the people who defend us from cyberattacks. When big companies hold a large-scale exercise, they often take several months to prepare for it. Lots of people and computers, routers and other hardware form a complex infrastructure to create an attack that is as realistic as possible. That’s a good approach, but at the same time it is time consuming and expensive. This is where the Norwegian Cyber Range comes in, enabling medium and smaller players to train, too.

  • Nuclear powerNuclear Power Offers an Abundant Supply of Low-Carbon Energy. But What to Do With the Deadly Radioactive Waste?

    By John Vidal

    The dilemma of how to manage nuclear waste — radioactive materials routinely produced in large quantities at every stage of nuclear power production, from uranium mining and enrichment to reactor operation and the reprocessing of spent fuel — has taxed the industry, academics and governments for decades. Along with accidents, it has been a major reason for continuing public opposition to the industry’s further expansion despite substantial interest in nuclear power’s status as a low-carbon power source that can help mitigate climate change. The race is on to develop new strategies for permanently storing some of the most dangerous materials on the planet.

  • CybersecurityTech Companies Not Doing Enough to Fight Phishing Scams

    Technology companies could be doing much more to protect individuals and organizations from the threats posed by phishing, according to new research. However, users also need to make themselves more aware of the dangers to ensure potential scammers do not obtain access to personal or sensitive information.