• Private prison companies are influencing immigration policy

    Groundbreaking study finds increased support for punitive immigration legislation in districts with privately owned or managed ICE detention facilities. Researchers explain that in recent years, as overall crime rates have dropped nationwide, more and more private prison companies have turned to a new money-making scheme: Partnering with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to detain immigrants in facilities across the country. The researchers also ask: As the scope of private imprisonment grows, is the industry’s influence on politics growing as well?

  • China cracks Top 20 in Global Innovation Index

    China broke into the world’s Top 20 most-innovative economies as Switzerland retained its No. 1 spot in the Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Rounding out the GII 2018 Top 10, from highest ranking to lowest: the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and Ireland.

  • SAFETY Act at 15: 1,000 qualified antiterrorism technologies approved

    For fifteen years now, the S&T Office of SAFETY Act Implementation (OSAI,) under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act, has been approving anti-terrorism technologies for liability protections. It has so far approved more than 1,000 Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies.

  • Your smartphone may be spying on you

    Some popular apps on your phone may be secretly taking screenshots of your activity and sending them to third parties, according to a new study. The researchers said this is particularly disturbing because these screenshots—and videos of your activity on the screen—could include usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other important personal information.

  • Delivering hate: Amazon's platforms are used to spread white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia

    Amazon has been called the “everything store,” but today it is much more than just a store, with publishing, streaming, and web services businesses. Its reach and influence are unparalleled. A new report examined Amazon’s various platforms and services and found that “for growing racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic movements, the breadth of Amazon’s business combined with its weak and inadequately enforced policies provides a number of channels through which hate groups can generate revenue, propagate their ideas, and grow their movements.”

  • The West is ill-prepared for the wave of “deep fakes” that artificial intelligence could unleash

    Russian disinformation has become a growing problem for Western countries. European nations are finally taking action, which is an important first step, but Chris Meserole and Alina Polyakova write “to get ahead of the problem, policymakers in Europe and the United States should focus on the coming wave of disruptive technologies. Fueled by advances in artificial intelligence and decentralized computing, the next generation of disinformation promises to be even more sophisticated and difficult to detect.” Bigger data, better algorithms, and custom hardware promise to democratize the creation of fake print, audio, and video stories. “Deep fakes and the democratization of disinformation will prove challenging for governments and civil society to counter effectively,” Meserole and Alina Polyakova warn.

  • Better detection, analysis of malicious attacks

    DHS S&T has selected Cyber 20/20, Inc. of Newark, Delaware to develop security capabilities for financial services as part of S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). Cyber 20/20’s project—Trained Using Runtime Analysis from Cuckoo Outputs (TURACO)—expands the capabilities of Cuckoo, an open-source sandbox, to better detect and analyze malicious attacks.

  • California’s strict internet privacy law has far-reaching implications

    California’s new internet privacy law, which takes effect in 2020, deemed one of the strictest so far in the United States, could result in a business strategy which offers discounts in exchange for user data. gives residents the right to know what data is collected by companies like Google and Facebook and to request their information not be sold to third parties.

  • Facing “a new era of catastrophes,” book by Wharton profs offers tips for business leaders

    Wharton’s Howard Kunreuther and Michael Useem’s recent book Mastering Catastrophic Risk: How Companies are Coping with Disruption dives into the ways top companies have rebounded after their own worst-case scenarios. “The ‘unthinkable’ has gone from not being on anyone’s radar screen to now being central,” says Useem. “But to think about it, you need tools, and wisdom.”

  • Intrusion Technologies, Louroe Electronics integrate threat detection t technologies

    Most of the casualties in an active shooter attack are killed or injured in the first three minutes. On average, responders arrive and engage the attackers in 4–11 minutes. Intrusion Technologies says that the its AIMS platform, using Louroe’s Digifact-A microphone, detects and activates 360° protective systems in less than four seconds, stopping the would-be assailant before tragedy strikes.

  • Bipartisan bill offers new “pull” incentives for priority antibiotics

    Last week lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bipartisan bill to encourage the development of new antibiotics, a move one expert called the most important antibiotic legislation in a generation. Currently, only a few large drug companies are involved in antibiotic research and development, because the cost of developing the drugs is so high and profit margins are so slim. Most new developments are modifications of existing drugs, and it’s been three decades since the last new class of antibiotics was discovered.

  • Understanding the Gulf Coast's interconnected natural and human system

    The physical and ecological systems, people, and economy in the Gulf Coast are inextricably linked. Improved understanding of the coupled natural-human coastal system will help promote resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems under rapidly changing environmental conditions and support informed decision-making, says a new report.

  • More secure blockchain applications

    Health IT interoperability has been an elusive goal, with data silos between hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and payers making exchange of information difficult. Vanderbilt engineers have successfully developed and validated the feasibility of blockchain-based technologies for secure, confidential sharing of patient medical records in a case study that demonstrates how blockchain could solve a huge healthcare challenge.

  • Asylum seekers are not a “burden” for European economies: Study

    Does the arrival of asylum seekers lead to a deterioration in the economic performance and public finances of the European countries that host them? The answer is no, according to economists who have estimated a dynamic statistical model based on thirty years of data from fifteen countries in Western Europe. On the contrary, the economic impact tends to be positive as a proportion of the asylum seekers become permanent residents.

  • Bank withheld $1.6 million from top bump stock maker after Las Vegas shooting

    In a lawsuit, Slide Fire Solutions, the inventor and manufacturer of the bump stock, accuses Merrick Bank of holding more than $1.6 million of the company’s money “hostage.” The financial institution says it had to hedge its risk in light of threats to Slide Fire’s business arising from the Las Vegas shooting.