• Overall number of nuclear warheads decreases, but modernization of world nuclear forces continues

    The modernization of nuclear forces continues, even as the overall number of nuclear warheads continues to decline. At the start of 2019, nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 13,865 nuclear weapons. This marked a decrease from the approximately 14,465 nuclear weapons in 2018.

  • How China could shut down America’s defenses

    Advanced U.S. weapons are almost entirely reliant on rare-earth materials only made in China—and they could be a casualty of the trade war. Keith Johnson and Lara Seligman write in Foreign Policy that President Donald Trump has often argued that China has much more to lose than the United States in a trade war, but critics say his administration has failed to address a major U.S. vulnerability: Beijing maintains powerful leverage over the war-making capability of its main strategic rival through its control of critical materials.

  • Dystopian Future Watch: Is San Francisco’s facial recognition ban too little, too late?

    Life just keeps creeping along, leading us step-by-step closer to living in a Philip K. Dick dystopian future—in real-time. And often, in our surveillance culture, we are willing participants to work alongside Big Brother. Harmon Leon writes in the Observer that Remember how fun it used to be to see facial recognition and retina scanning in sci-fi movies? We loved it in RoboCop and Blade Runner, right? Now, many of these biometrictechnologies have become a nightmarish reality.

  • Virginia Beach shooting reflects trend toward more powerful handguns

    Like most mass shooters, the Virginia Beach gunman used a handgun. And like a growing number of American gun-buyers, he had a preference for some of the most powerful weapons available on the market. The use of semiautomatic handguns since 1990 has outpaced an already growing gun market.

  • Showing emergency responders the fastest, safest path to incident scenes

    Getting to your destination has never been easier, thanks to a number of popular global positioning systems (GPS) -based navigation apps available for download on smart devices. For first responders, there can be drawbacks to using the same apps and following the same routes as everyone else. When every second counts getting to an emergency scene, good enough just won’t cut it.

  • Finding fake fingerprints

    From a security perspective, what’s to stop a third party “lifting” your fingerprint, and creating a facsimile of its loops, whorls and arches with a piece of a skin-like rubbery material and then presenting this to the biometric device to gain access? The simple answer is nothing!

  • 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.

  • San Bernardino Court asked to review cell-site simulator, digital search warrants likely improperly sealed

    Since the California legislature passed a 2015 law requiring cops to get a search warrant before probing our devices, rifling through our online accounts, or tracking our phones, EFF has been on a quest to examine court filings to determine whether law enforcement agencies are following the new rules.

  • Telling early moment that indicates a coming megaquake

    Just 10 seconds into a quake, GPS data can detect signs of acceleration that point to an event’s magnitude. Likewise, that moment — gleaned from GPS data on the peak rate of acceleration of ground displacement — can indicate a smaller event.

  • U.S.: Russia may be testing low-yield nukes, in violation of treaty

    A top U.S. military official has said that U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia may be conducting low-yield nuclear testing that may be violation of a major international treaty. Lieutenant General Robert Ashley said in a speech on 29 May that Russia could be doing tests that go “beyond what is believed necessary, beyond zero yield.”

  • Responding to the rise in domestic terrorism: Don’t forget prevention

    The April attack on a synagogue in Poway, California, was the latest demonstration of the rise in extremist violence in the United States committed not by “jihadists” inspired by ISIS or other international terrorists, but by white supremacists, neo-Nazis or other right-wing groups. Eric Rosand writes in Lawfare that with the Tree of Life Synagogue attacks still fresh in many Americans’ minds, post-Poway discussions further highlighted how the resources and tools available to prevent right-wing extremist violence or domestic terrorism in the United States are dwarfed by those available to deal with the jihadist-inspired violence that data shows to be a much lesser threat. Rectifying this imbalance requires urgent attention.

  • Crime fighting got easier as burglars reveal all

    The expertise of experienced burglars puts them streets ahead of householders, and even well ahead of other criminals, according to a new study. The results could lead to a step-change in how we fight this crime.

  • Ghost guns are everywhere in California

    Feds say nearly a third of firearms recovered in California are homemade, unserialized, and untraceable. Experts say the accessibility of ghost guns is aided by a cottage industry of retailers selling nearly completed firearms that require no screening to purchase.

  • Small device alerts responders to changes to thermal conditions

    When firefighters rush into burning buildings, they know the thermal environment may change in a matter of seconds, exposing them to potentially lethal temperatures. Burn Saver is a body-worn technology that continuously monitors thermal conditions and warns firefighters when those conditions become threatening.

  • DARPA tests advanced chemical sensors

    DARPA’s SIGMA program, which began in 2014, has demonstrated a city-scale capability for detecting radiological and nuclear threats that is now being operationally deployed. DARPA is building off this work with the SIGMA+ initiative that is focused on providing city- to region-scale detection capabilities across the full chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threat space.