• SuperbugsFDA Details Rising Sales of Antibiotics for Meat Production

    New data released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows that the amount of medically important antibiotics sold and distributed for use in food-producing animals rose by 9 percent between 2017 and 2018, after a 3-year decline. “I’m concerned that we’re going in the wrong direction,” says one expert.

  • China syndromeTelefonica Deutschland Chooses Huawei to Build Its German 5G Network

    Rebuffing U.S. pressure, German mobile provider Telefonica Deutschland announced Wednesday that it has chosen Finland’s Nokia and China’s Huawei to build its 5G network in Germany, the company. Huawei is a global leader in constructing equipment and infrastructure for ultra-high-speed 5G data networks, but the intelligence services of leading Western countries have argue that Huawei is a security threat because of its close ties with the Chinese military and intelligence establishments. 

  • Arms salesGlobal Arms Sales Up 4.6 Percent Worldwide; U.S. Companies Dominate

    Sales of arms and military services by the sector’s largest 100 companies (excluding those in China) totalled $420 billion in 2018, marking an increase of 4.6 percent compared with the previous year. The new data from SIPRI’s Arms Industry Database shows that sales of arms and military services by companies listed in the Top 100 arms-manufacturing companies have increased by 47 percent since 2002. The database excludes Chinese companies due to the lack of data to make a reliable estimate.

  • Climate & businessThe Challenges Facing Fisheries Climate Risk Insurance

    The world’s first “Fisheries Index Insurance” scheme, launched by an international consortium in July, is a sovereign-level instrument designed to protect Caribbean fishing communities from extreme weather events which may become more frequent and intense due to climate change. But insurance schemes with the potential to improve the resilience of global fisheries face a host of future challenges, researchers say.

  • Perspective: RansomwareGoing After the Good Guys: The Government’s Ransomware Identity Crisis

    Government agencies find it difficult to keep pace with the rapidly evolving cybercrime – especially when it comes to ransomware and malware. Ryan Blanch, a criminal defense attorney who has been involved in myriad cybercrime cases, writes that “sometimes, the government seems to be going after the good guys instead of the bad guys.”

  • Perspective: ExtremismTelegram: The Latest Safe Haven for White Supremacists

    Telegram, the online social networking, may not be as popular in the U.S. as Twitter or Facebook, but with more than 200 million users, it has a significant audience. And it is gaining popularity. ADL reports that Telegram has become a popular online gathering place for the international white supremacist community and other extremist groups who have been displaced or banned from more popular sites.

  • CybersecurityMobile Devices Blur Work and Personal Privacy Increasing Cyber Risks

    Organizations aren’t moving quickly enough to identify cyber security threats linked to the drive toward using personal mobile devices in the workplace, cybersecurity researchers warn. “The breakneck speed of digital transformation brought with it opportunities as well as threats,” one researcher said. “Organizations don’t appear to be keeping up with the pace of change, deliberately putting the brakes on digital transformation because it comes with security challenges.”

  • The Russia connectionTwo Russians Charged with Series of Hacking, Bank Fraud Offenses, Malware Deployment

    The U.S. Justice Department announced computer hacking and bank fraud charges against Russian national Maksim Yakubets, the alleged leader of a cybercriminal organization that has illicitly earned more than $100 million since 2016. Simultaneously, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against Yakubets and his Evil Corp, which is behind the widespread use of a multifunctional malware package that has harvested online banking credentials from infected computers in more than 40 countries. The Justice Department alleges that Yakubets “also provides direct assistance to the Russian government’s malicious cyberefforts, highlighting the Russian government’s enlistment of cybercriminals for its own malicious purposes.”

  • Perspective: Weather businessWeather Is Turning into Big Business. And That Could Be Trouble for the Public.

    This may well be the future of weather forecasting: “Now for your local weather forecast: That’ll be $10, please.” Climate change is inflicting an increasingly heavier costs on the U.S. economy, and those rising costs — along with advances in data-gathering and processing, and cheaper access to low Earth orbit — have spurred start-ups and established companies to get into the business of weather forecasting.

  • DronesShould Santa Use a Drone to Deliver Gifts to Well-Behaved Children?

    Santa has always run a one-sleigh operation, but a new analysis could help him speed deliveries and save energy, if he ever decided to add a drone to his route. The new routing algorithm anticipates the day trucks and drones cooperate to drop packages at your doorstep quickly and efficiently.

  • Perspective: China syndromeFCC Bans Use of Federal Funds in Purchases of Chinese Telecom

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on 22 November blocked U.S. telecommunications providers from using an $8.5 billion subsidy fund – the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF) — to buy Chinese-made telecommunications gear deemed a national security threat to critical infrastructure. The U.S. said that given Huawei and ZTE’s close relationship and legal obligations to the Chinese government, their gear poses a threat to telecommunications critical infrastructure, as well as to national security.

  • Perspective: China syndromeThe Case That Could Hand the Future to China

    What would the future look like if China leads 5G technology? We should contemplate this question because, as Mercy Kuo writes, fifth-generation cellular network technology, or 5G, will transform our daily lives with such inventions as autonomous-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and smart cities. If we want to maintain U.S. technology leadership and protect our values, we should be clear-eyed about the perilous consequences that could come with losing our unique lead.”

  • Election securityFlaw in iVote System Used in Australian Election

    Flaws in the iVote internet and telephone voting system used in the 2019 New South Wales election could have made it vulnerable to undetectable voter fraud, a new report has revealed. A new report has shown how the iVote system suffers from an error in its verification process that could allow the verification of votes to be “tricked”, meaning some valid votes could be converted into invalid ones, and not counted.

  • CryptocurrenciesCryptocurrency and National Insecurity

    By Clea Simon

    A recent exercise at Harvard’s Kennedy School explored the dangers of large sums of money being secretly sent to hostile nations. The exercise brought together administration veterans, career diplomats, and academics to dramatize a very real prospect — the rise of an encrypted digital currency that would upend the U.S. dollar’s dominance and effectively render ineffective economic sanctions, like those currently applied to North Korea.

  • Energy & healthSwitching to Renewable Energy May Save Thousands of Lives in Africa

    With economies and populations surging, an industrial revolution is inevitable on the African continent. The question is, what’s going to power it? With renewable energy cheaper and more efficient than ever, countries in Africa have the unique opportunity to harness abundant renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal to leapfrog the dependence on fossil fuels that has poisoned the air and environment in Europe, the U.S., India and China. But will they?