• The Russia connectionPeter Smith met Flynn in 2015

    Peter W. Smith, the GOP operative who raised $100,000 in his search to obtain Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from Russian hackers before allegedly killing himself in May 2017, had a well-established business relationship Trump former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Previous reports indicated Smith knew both Flynn and his son well, but on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal explains the backstory behind their connection.

  • SurveillanceChicago should reject a proposal for private-sector face surveillance

    By Shahid Buttar

    A proposed amendment to the Chicago municipal code would allow businesses to use face surveillance systems that could invade biometric and location privacy, and violate a pioneering state privacy law adopted by Illinois a decade ago. EFF joined a letter with several allied privacy organizations explaining the EFF’s concerns, which include issues with both the proposed law and the invasive technology it would irresponsibly expand.

  • Climate threatsDealing with critical risks from climate change beyond adaptation and mitigation limits

    This year has brought new temperature records in Africa and Asia, the hottest European summer in recent history, with associated droughts, and forest fires as far north as the Arctic Circle, severe flooding in India and Bangladesh, and massive cyclone damage in Fiji, the Philippines and China. Research has shown that the frequency and severity of extreme weather and climate-related hazards is likely to increase as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Climate mitigation and adaptation will increasingly not be enough to manage the effects from such hazards, and experts now call for a climate policy mechanism designed to manage climate-related losses and damages in particularly vulnerable countries.

  • CybersecurityPublicizing a firm's security levels may strengthen security over time

    Cyberattacks grow in prominence each and every day; in fact, 2017 was the worst year to-date for data breaches, the number of cyber incidents targeting businesses nearly doubling from 2016 to 2017. Now, new research has quantified the security levels of more than 1,200 Pan-Asian companies in order to determine whether increased awareness of one’s security levels leads to improved defense levels against cybercrime.

  • Flood insuranceComprehensive flood insurance

    Insurance is a valuable recovery tool for individuals and communities impacted by disaster. While it doesn’t prevent the unexpected from happening, it does provide financial peace of mind, a safety net when disaster occurs. Insurance offers critical financial protection and resources that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance programs do not provide. FEMA recommends all homeowners with properties in flood prone areas purchase flood insurance. Despite the known financial benefits of flood insurance, there is a large and persistence flood insurance gap in the nation.

  • ImmigrationHiring highly educated immigrants leads to more innovation and better products

    By Gaurav Khanna and Munseob Lee

    Much of the current debate over immigration is about what kind of impact immigrants have on jobs and wages for workers born in the United States. Seldom does anyone talk about how immigration leads to a wider variety of better products for the American consumer. We recently conducted a study to shine more light on the matter.

  • SuperbugsRamping up fight against antimicrobial resistance

    The U.S. government is challenging world leaders, corporations, and non-governmental groups to step up their efforts against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The AMR Challenge asks for at least one commitment in one of five areas: improving antibiotic use in humans and animals; reducing antibiotics and resistant bacteria in the environment; developing new antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics; enhancing data collection and sharing; and improving infection prevention and control.

  • Climate threatsU.S. among top nations to suffer economic damage from climate change

    For the first time, researchers have developed a data set quantifying what the social cost of carbon—the measure of the economic harm from carbon dioxide emissions—will be for the globe’s nearly 200 countries, and the results are surprising. New study indicates global warming is costing U.S. economy about $250 billion per year.

  • 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.

  • Truth decayFacebook’s war on fake news is gaining ground

    In the two years since fake news on the Internet became a full-blown crisis, Facebook has taken numerous steps to curb the flow of misinformation on its site. Under intense political pressure, it’s had to put up a fight: At the peak in late 2016, Facebook users shared, liked, or commented on an estimated 200 million false stories in a single month. A new study is shedding light on a key question: Are Facebook’s countermeasures making a difference?

  • CyberinsureanceCyber insurance market to double by 2020: Munich Re

    Cyber risks are one of the biggest threats to the digital and networked economy. The most important thing for companies is to ensure they have the best possible technical prevention. Munich Re says it is developing insurance products and services that offer policyholders the greatest possible protection.

  • CybersecurityDojo by BullGuard establishes lab at Cyber@BGU

    Dojo by BullGuard, an Internet of Things (IoT) security specialist, and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), have announced a partnership to develop advanced technologies for automated IoT threat detection, employing artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.

  • The Russia connectionTwitter, Facebook face senators again

    The Senate Intelligence Committee is set to hear from two top social media executives today (Wednesday) on what they have been doing to combat the spread of propaganda and disinformation online and how they are prepared to help secure the integrity of upcoming elections. The committee will hear from Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg – but one chair, reserved for Google cofounder Larry Page, may remain empty. The committee extended the invitation to Google CEO Sundar Pichai as well as Larry Page, who is CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, but the company wanted to send senior vice president Kent Walker instead. The committee made it clear it is not interested in hearing from Walker.

  • WildfiresWildfire risk does not depress housing demand in wildfire-prone areas

    Demand for real estate rebounds in high-risk areas within one to two years of a wildfire, a new study finds. The study found that real estate prices for homes in wildfire-prone areas fall relative to homes in low-risk areas immediately following a blaze. But the effect is only temporary: Sale prices in risky areas rebound within one to two years.

  • Truth decayFake social media followers may derail the booming influencer marketing business

    Celebrities, social media stars, and other online personalities have taken a hit to their credibility in recent months, as millions of their followers have been exposed as fake or bought. This has created a bigger problem for advertisers and consumers, who no longer can trust in high follower numbers as a measure of influence and credibility.