• Natural gas prices, not “war on coal,” key to coal power decline

    New research finds that steep declines in the use of coal for power generation over the past decade were caused largely by less expensive natural gas and the availability of wind energy – not by environmental regulations. “From 2008 to 2013, coal dropped from about 50 percent of U.S. power generation to around 30 percent,” says one researcher, adding that “the changes in coal power production were actually driven largely by capitalism.”

  • Fake news, the First Amendment, and failure in the marketplace of ideas

    The rise of social media and fake news challenge long-held assumptions about the First Amendment and are undermining the functioning of the “the marketplace of ideas,” a Duke professor argues. “There are a number of very specific ways in which the structure and operation of today’s digital media ecosystem favors falsity over truth; and this shifting balance raises some troubling implications for how we think about the First Amendment,” he says.

  • The rise of online disinformation

    Last week the European Commission took steps to tackle the spread and impact of online disinformation in Europe and ensure the protection of European values and democracies. A new study by the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission, which examined the digital transformation of news media and the rise of disinformation. Among other things, the study finds that true news audiences dwarf false news audiences, though fake news travels faster and further on social media sites, also across echo chambers, and may capture consumer attention longer than true news.

  • EU supports Africa single digital market

    The EU said it was committed to helping Africa build a single digital market so the continent could enjoy the transformative power of e-commerce, as is the case in like Europe. The EU said that assuring affordable broadband connectivity, improving digital literacy and skills, promoting digital entrepreneurship, and using digitalization would be an enabler of sustainable development by deploying e-government, e-commerce, e-health, e-education, and e-agriculture in Africa.

  • Helping banking industry address climate-related risks, opportunities

    Sixteen leading banks from four continents, convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), have published a jointly developed methodology to increase banks’ understanding of how climate change and climate action could impact their business.

  • Your genome may have already been hacked

    On 25 April, California law enforcement announced the possible capture of a long-sought serial killer. Shortly after, it was reported that police had used public DNA databases to determine his identity. This extraordinary event highlights that when you send off a cheek swab to one of the private genome companies, you may sacrifice not just your own privacy but that of your family and your ancestors. In a time of widespread anxiety over the misuse of social media, Americans should also be concerned over who has access to their genetic information.

  • Federal IT, communications technology supply chain vulnerable to Chinese sabotage, espionage

    A new report examines vulnerabilities in the U.S. government information and communications technology (ICT) supply chains posed by China. The report issues a warning about the extent to which China has penetrated the technology supply chain, and calls on the U.S. government and industry to develop a comprehensive strategy for securing their technology and products from foreign sabotage and espionage.

  • Bitcoin more vulnerable to attack than expected

    Calculations by researchers show that Bitcoin is more vulnerable to attack than people had always assumed. If some Bitcoin users were to form a group that controls 20 percent of the currency’s computing power, they could launch an attack and, within a few days, force all other users to accept a new standard for Bitcoin.

  • How cybercriminal spend their illicit gains

    A new study, drawing on first hand interviews with convicted cybercriminals, data from international law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and covert observations conducted across the Dark Web, reveals the socio-economic and spending differences among cybercriminals. Annual earning level of successful cybercriminals push them into some of the higher income brackets.

  • Tracking illicit Russian financial flows

    Trillions of dollars in capital flows into the United States annually, and trillions of dollars in payments are cleared through New York daily. No one knows exactly whom the funds belong to, where they are held, or how they are deployed. No one knows because the U.S. government does not track the money — but it could if it wanted to. What is known is that Russia, other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and China are the primary drivers of non-transparent capital flows worldwide.

  • Webhose takes aim at the Dark Web

    Fans of the popular TV show “Mr. Robot,” which dives deep into the world of shady hackers and the Dark Web that lurks beyond its better-known counterpart, take note: An Israeli startup is serving notice that the hidden is now visible and even your bitcoins won’t shield you from the long arm of the law.

  • Activists cry foul as Russian court orders Telegram app blocked

    A Moscow court has issued an order to block access to Telegram, ruling in favor of the state and against the defiant self-exiled Russian entrepreneur who created the popular messaging app. The 13 April ruling was expected, but is certain to deepen concerns that the government is seeking to close avenues for dissent as President Vladimir Putin heads into a new six-year term. Amnesty International warned that blocking Telegram would be “the latest in a series of attacks on online freedom of expression” in Russia.

  • First annual Electronics Resurgence Initiative summit announced

    The microelectronics community is facing an array of long foreseen obstacles to Moore’s Law, the transistor scaling that has allowed for fifty years of rapid progress in electronics. Current economic, geopolitical, and physics-based complications make the future of the electronics industry uniquely interesting at this moment. The U.S. electronics community will convene in late July to inaugurate a five-year, $1.5B effort to create transformative advances in electronics.

  • Russian court to hear request to block Telegram

    A Russian court says it will begin considering this week a request by state media regulator Roskomnadzor to block the messaging app Telegram. Roskomnadzor has asked the court to block Telegram following the company’s refusal to give the Federal Security Service (FSB) access to users’ messaging data.

  • DHS S&T to demonstrate cyber technologies at RSA

    DHS S&T will exhibit and demonstrate thirteen mature cybersecurity technology solutions that are ready for pilot deployment and commercialization at the RSA 2018 cybersecurity conference, 16-19 April, in San Francisco.