• CounterintelligenceDOD Recognizes Virginia Tech’s Contribution to Counterintelligence

    DOD’s Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency last month awarded Virginia Tech the 2018 Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence to the university. The award, given annually since 2010, recognizes up to four companies or institutions, out of about 10,000, which exhibit the best counterintelligence results and cooperation to support the U.S. government’s efforts to detect and stop foreign entities from stealing national security information.

  • Considered opinion: Truth decayA College Reading List for the Post-Truth Era

    By Michael T. Nietzel

    “We live in a time beset with belittlement of science, hostility toward expertise and attacks on traditional democratic institutions,” Michael T. Nietzel, president emeritus of Missouri State University, writes. “It’s a post-truth period where conspiracy theories and crackpot ideas flourish. If the facts conflict with someone’s sense of identity or political ideology, then the facts are disposable. They can be replaced with notions that feel better or reverberate on social media.” What is the best way to achieve the goal of making young students less susceptible to dangerous s stupidities and toxic conspiracy theories? Nietzel has a suggestion — although he admits it is increasingly rare as an academic expectation: serious reading. He offers seven recent books which champion reason over emotion, distinguish facts from fallacies, and enumerate the dangers of ignoring the truth.

  • Perspective: School shootingsU.S. School Spends $48 Million on Curved Corridors and Hiding Places to Foil Mass Shooters

    A school in the United States has spent $48 million redesigning its buildings with curved corridors, hiding places, and cement barriers in a bid to thwart mass shooters. The project at Fruitport High School in Michigan is aimed at reducing casualties in the event of an attack by hampering the sight lines available to a gunman in corridors. Cement barriers are being installed in hallways for pupils and teachers to take cover. Classroom windows looking on to hallways are being covered with impact-resistant film. Each classroom will also have a corner, called a “shadow zone,” that is not visible from the hallway.

  • VisasForeign-Born PhDs Deterred from Working in Startups Because of Visa Concerns

    Foreign-born Ph.D. graduates with science and engineering degrees from American universities apply to and receive offers for technology startup jobs at the same rate as U.S. citizens, but are only half as likely to actually work at fledgling companies, a study finds.

  • Perspective: RansomwareHackers’ Latest Target: School Districts

    Some hackers demand ransom; others sweep up personal data for sale to identity thieves. But whatever hackers’ motives, school systems around the country have been the targets of their cyberattacks. Nearly two-thirds of school districts in the United States serve fewer than 2,500 students, and many do not have a staff member dedicated solely to cybersecurity.

  • CounterterrorismDHS S&T announces $35M Funding for Terrorism Prevention, Counterterrorism Research

    The rapidly evolving, diverse terrorist threat continually exploits technological advances to adapt the nature and expand the reach of its tactics. DHS S&T announces $35 million funding opportunity for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). TPCR will support academic-led innovation that supports DHS in staying a step ahead of emerging terrorist tactics.

  • PerspectiveThe 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?

  • Truth decayFinnish students outperform U.S. students on “fake news” digital literacy tasks

    A recent study revealed students at an international school in Finland significantly outperformed U.S. students on tasks which measure digital literacy in social media and online news. The researchers suggest this may be due to the Finnish and International Baccalaureate curricula’s different way of facilitating students’ critical thinking skills compared to the U.S. system and curriculum.

  • School safetyHow Columbine became a blueprint for school shooters

    By Jillian Peterson

    When twelve students and one teacher were killed in Littleton, Colorado twenty years ago, it not only became what at the time was the worst high school shooting in U.S. history. It also marked when American society was first handed a script for a new form of violence in schools. Since the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School, we identified six mass shootings and forty active shooter incidents at elementary, middle or high schools in the United States. In twenty – or nearly half – of those forty-six school shootings, the perpetrator purposely used Columbine as a model.

  • GunsDo armed guards prevent school shootings?

    By Alex Yablon

    The presence of guns in schools is a fact of life for millions of American children. Forty-three percent of public schools had an armed law enforcement officer during the 2015-2016 school year. Does increasing armed school security could reduce deaths from active shootings or deter the attacks in the first place? Experts say the data is not encouraging. Guns have stopped some mass shootings — but not usually in schools.

  • GunsFirearm deaths surges in school-age children

    Firearm-related deaths in school-age children are increasing at alarming rates in the United States where homicide rates are about 6- to 9-fold higher than those in comparably developed countries. This epidemic poses increasingly major clinical, public health and policy challenges.

  • RadicalizationIf we want students to feel safe at school, we can’t encourage teachers to spot potential extremists

    By Clarke Jones

    Governments have been reaching into schools to try to nip violent extremism in the bud for some time. The Obama administration announced a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program in 2014. Programs like these have also been introduced without adequate evidence for their effectiveness. Delivering a program that hasn’t been properly evaluated could make the underlying issues worse. It could ultimately increase youth vulnerabilities (rather than resilience) to radicalization, and other antisocial behaviors.

  • CybersecurityExpanding cybersecurity education to fill job market shortfall

    Experts say that the U.S. cyber workforce shortfall is growing. By the 2022, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals is predicted to be 1.8 million. Colleges and universities expand their cybersecurity education offerings.

  • Skilled-work visasReform of U.S. skilled-worker visa program wins praise

    The Trump administration’s new rules for a U.S. visa program widely used for technology workers are getting cautious praise from Silicon Valley amid surging demand for high-skill employees. The H-1B visa program, which admits 85,000 foreign nationals each year, will give higher priority to people with postgraduate degrees from U.S. universities, under a final rule the Department of Homeland Security published in January.

  • China syndromeChina exerting “sharp power” influence on American institutions

    China is penetrating American institutions in ways that are coercive and corrupt, while the United States has not fully grasped the gravity of the situation, a Hoover Institution expert says. “An ultimate ambition for global hegemony” is driving China’s multifront efforts to manipulate US state and local governments, universities, think tanks, media, corporations, and the Chinese American community, said Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at Hoover.