• Does Europe need migrants?

    A European Commission-IIASA flagship report has found that an increase in the EU population aged 65+ is certain – regardless of higher fertility or migration. However, raising labor force participation (particularly for women) and improved education of natives and migrants have the power to nullify aging-related worries.

  • Private prisons have a political role in corrections issues in the U.S.

    Private prisons hold more than 120,000 inmates, about 8 percent of all prisoners, for 29 states and the federal government. The two largest private prison companies also operate more than 13,000 beds for immigrant detention. Private prisons play a political role in immigration and incarceration issues in the United States and the industry may face obstacles as well as opportunities in the current political landscape, new research finds.

  • The confused U.S. messaging campaign on Huawei

    For the past several months, American policymakers have sought to convince allies, partners and potential partners to ban Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from supplying the entirety of, or components for, 5G communications networks around the world. This messaging campaign has centered primarily around concerns that Huawei could assist the Chinese government in spying on other countries or even shutting down or manipulating their 5G networks in a warlike scenario. Justin Sherman and Robert Morgus write in Lawfare that the United States’s international messaging on this issue—to allies, partners and potential partners alike—blurs the line between economic and national security risks, and it threatens to undermine U.S. efforts to message these risks in the process.

  • How climate change impacts the economy

    Warmer temperatures, sea level rise and extreme weather will be deleterious to the U.S. economy: Rising temperatures damage property and critical infrastructure, impact human health and productivity, and negatively affect sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and tourism. The demand for energy will increase as power generation becomes less reliable, and water supplies will be stressed. Damage to other countries around the globe will also affect U.S. business through disruption in trade and supply chains.

  • Germany warns Huawei to meet Germany’s security requirements

    Germany warned Huawei that the company must meet Germany’s security requirements before the company will be allowed to bid on building the 5G infrastructure in Germany. Germany has so far resisted U.S. pressure to exclude Huawei from the project. The United States has long suspected Huawei of serving the interests of Chinese intelligence, and Washington has argued that Huawei technology could be used for spying purposes by China.

  • A Florida city paid a $600,000 bitcoin ransom to hackers who took over its computers — and it's a massive alarm bell for the rest of the US

    A Florida city agreed to pay $600,000 worth of bitcoin to hackers who took its computer systems offline with a cyberattack. Riviera Beach’s city council voted to pay the money after an attack in May affected the city’s online services, including email and 911 dispatches. The attack is part of a pattern that has targeted cities around the US. The disruption has cost millions of dollars. Sinéad Baker write in Business Insider that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned in 2018 that local-level governments around the U.S. were being hit with malware that is “among the most costly and destructive.”

  • Cyber protection technology moves from the lab to the marketplace

    MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s technique to protect commodity software from cyberattacks has transitioned to industry and will soon be available as part of a security suite.

  • The U.S. needs an industrial policy for cybersecurity

    Industrial policies are appropriate when market failures have led to the under-provision of a good or service. The cybersecurity industry’s growth has been held back for several reasons, including intractable labor shortages. Vinod K. Aggarwal and Andrew W. Reddie write in Defense One that both the United States and United Kingdom suffer from a documented shortage of skilled programmers and computer scientists working on cybersecurity issues, and the U.S. alone is projected to have a shortage of 1.2 million professionals by 2022, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The market has also been hindered by so-called “information problems,” as firms are often not aware of their own vulnerabilities and avoid sharing information about data breaches given the reputation costs associated with disclosure. So what can the government do about it?

  • Hackers seek ransoms from Baltimore and communities across the U.S.

    The people of Baltimore are beginning their fifth week under an electronic siege that has prevented residents from obtaining building permits and business licenses – and even buying or selling homes. These types of attacks are becoming more frequent and gaining more media attention. Every user of technology must consider not only threats and vulnerabilities, but also operational processes, potential points of failure and how they use technology on a daily basis.

  • WhatsApp's loophole reveals role of private companies in cyber-surveillance

    Last month, WhatsApp’s latest security flaw was discovered, a flaw which allow governments to spy on dissidents, activists, and journalists. An Israeli cyber company is reportedly behind the loophole — and not for the first time.

  • Big tech surveillance could damage democracy

    Data is often called the oil of the 21st century. The more tech companies know about their users, the more effectively they can direct them to goods and services that they are likely to buy. The more companies know about their users, the more competitive they are in the market. But this business model – what I consider spying machines – has enormous potential to violate civil liberties. Big tech is already being used abroad to enhance the power of repressive regimes, as my work and others’ has shown.

  • Scam contractors preying on victims of natural disasters

    Following a natural disaster or strong storm like Hurricane Florence, there is usually a second wave of potential destruction – scam artists looking to line their pockets. “After any major weather-related incident, insurance adjusters and contractors swarm the affected area and, unfortunately, some are looking to take advantage of those in distress,” says one expert.

  • Silicon Valley’s scramble for China

    In August 2012, China launched one of its first major “smart city” projects for the remote oil town of Karamay in the autonomous province of Xinjiang. “Information technology is not just about technology. It should be integrated with all aspects of life in our city and make people’s lives more convenient,” said then Karamay Mayor Chen Xinfa. Nafeez Ahmed writes in Coda Story that A report released last year by subsidiary Deloitte China, titled “Super Smart City: Happier Society with Higher Quality,” celebrates China’s drive to build “super smart cities” which integrate data across services like health care, transport, education and public safety. Billed by Deloitte as a virtual utopia, China’s smart cities represent the biggest and most intrusive surveillance architecture ever built by any single nation, according to experts and analysts.

  • Huawei and the U.S.-China supply chain wars: The contradictions of a decoupling strategy

    In two dramatic policy announcements last month, the Trump administration effectively barred U.S. companies and government agencies from buying telecommunications equipment or services from – or selling any components to – Chinese technology champion Huawei. President Donald Trump signed a broadly phrased executive order restricting any transaction of information communication technology (products or services linked to a “foreign adversary” deemed to pose an “unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States”), while the Commerce Department placed Huawei the company and its affiliates on its Entity List – a designation that requires U.S. firms and foreign companies selling products that contain American components to acquire a license from the U.S. government before trading with a blacklisted company. Darren Lim and Victor Ferguson write in War on the Rocks that these moves represent the latest steps towards “decoupling,” the unwinding of the interlocking supply chains and trading relationships that have made the U.S. and Chinese economies so deeply interdependent over the past two decades. Whether deliberate or not, the restrictions on Huawei have prompted some to argue that we are witnessing the collapse of an open, global market for information communication technology goods and services. Others cite the new policies as the latest confirmation of an emerging “economic” or “technology” Cold War between China and the United States.

  • Exelon / Clinton nuclear officers ratify their first contract with NUNSO/LEOSU

    Clinton nuclear security officers working for Exelon at Clinton Power Station have voted on 8 May 2019, to ratify their first contract with the National Union of Nuclear Security Officers NUNSOLEOSU.