• Laser uranium enrichment technology may create new nuclear proliferation risks

    A new laser-based uranium enrichment technology is based on a new uranium separation concept, which relies on the selective laser excitation and condensation repression of uranium-235 in a gas. Experts worry that this new enrichment technology may provide a hard-to-detect pathway to nuclear weapons production.

  • Eyewitnesses who collaborate make fewer mistakes in police interview

    Two recent studies show that witnesses make fewer errors when they are interviewed together than when they are interviewed separately. This stands in sharp contrast with current police guidelines to always interview witnesses separately.

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  • Looking for ways to predict response to hurricane evacuation orders

    Millions of people will likely be in harm’s way as a new hurricane season unfolds in the United States. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts up to eight hurricanes in the 2016 season, and as many as four major storms with winds of 111 miles per hour or more. What people do – or do not do – to get out of harm’s way is of keen interest to disaster and emergency response officials. Plans and contingencies work best when they are based on reliable predictions.

  • License and registration, please: how regulating guns like cars could improve safety

    In the midst of the Senate’s failure to agree on measures designed to tighten controls around the sales of firearms, a new idea is emerging: Regulating guns like cars. In some regards, we are already there. Operating a firearm, like operating a motor vehicle, requires a license in many jurisdictions. Certain types of criminal offenses – domestic violence in the case of firearms, drinking and driving in the case of automobiles – can result in a suspension or revocation of that license. These rules focus on the competency of users. Regulating guns like cars is a more tried and true approach to managing dangerous technologies than the simplistic prohibitionist logic of simply keeping guns away from those we categorize as “the bad and the mad.”

  • Iran’s use of civilian planes to arm Assad could jeopardize $25B Boeing deal

    The $25 billion aircraft deal that Boeing recently struck with Iran could be jeopardized by Tehran’s continued support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Boeing’s jets will be sold to the state-owned Iran Air, which was sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2011 partially due to its transport of “potentially dangerous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-related cargo” and “missile or rocket components” to Syria. A Western intelligence report seen by Reuters in 2012 noted that Iran continued using civilian aircraft to transport large amounts of arms and personnel to aid Assad.

  • Australia 20 years after gun reform: No mass shootings, declining firearm deaths

    Australia introduced unprecedented gun laws following a mass firearm shooting in April of 1996. Since these major gun law reform twenty years ago, Australia has seen no mass shootings and an accelerating decline in intentional firearm deaths, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports. “The absence of mass shootings in Australia in the past two decades compares to thirteen fatal mass shootings in the eighteen years prior to these sweeping reforms,” says one of the study’s authors.

  • Intelligence agencies spy on our data by manipulating computer chips

    Researchers work to develop mechanisms that will render the Internet of Things more secure. They focus on a specific security gap: the manipulation of computer chips, that is, hardware components. These components can be found not only in PCs and laptops, but also in all other devices with integrated electronics; those include credit cards, cars, and smartphones, as well as large industrial facilities and medical equipment.

  • Community policing practices to prevent violent extremism

    A new manual designed for police departments identifies a set of promising practices for using community policing to prevent violent extremism. “Creating a comprehensive community outreach program can build the kind of trust necessary to combat violent extremism,” said the manual’s lead author.

  • Integrating military, civilian trauma care systems could prevent up to 20% of U.S. trauma deaths

    The leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 46 is trauma — a disabling or life-threatening physical injury that results from an event such as a motor vehicle crash, gun violence, or fall. In 2013, trauma cost approximately $670 billion in medical care expenses and lost productivity. Of the 147,790 U.S. trauma deaths in 2014, as many as 20 percent — or about 30,000 — may have been preventable after injury with optimal trauma care. Mass casualty incidents and increasing foreign and domestic threats to homeland security lend urgency to the translation of wartime lessons to civilian trauma systems, says a new report.

  • White House: Uranium discovered by IAEA likely tied to Iran’s nuclear weapons program

    Obama administration officials concluded that particles of uranium found at Iran’s Parchin military base and revealed in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s final report on the country’s past nuclear activities were likely tied to the regime’s nuclear weapons program. The admission further underscores concerns that the IAEA’s investigation into Iran’s nuclear activities at Parchin should not have been closed following the report’s publication.

  • Losing control: The dangers of killer robots

    New technology could lead humans to relinquish control over decisions to use lethal force. As artificial intelligence advances, the possibility that machines could independently select and fire on targets is fast approaching. Fully autonomous weapons, also known as “killer robots,” are quickly moving from the realm of science fiction toward reality. While the process of creating international law is notoriously slow, countries can move quickly to address the threats of fully autonomous weapons. They should seize the opportunity presented by the Convention on Conventional Weapons review conference, to be held this December, because the alternative is unacceptable: Allowing technology to outpace diplomacy would produce dire and unparalleled humanitarian consequences.

  • Datacasting helps first responders with live video streaming via smartphone

    When torrential storms caused widespread flooding in Houston, Texas, in mid-April, first responders needed a way securely to share information amongst their many organizations. Luckily the DHS S&T First Responders Group’s (FRG) datacasting system was available. Datacasting provides public safety users with the capability to transmit secure video and data over existing broadcast television signals to a targeted audience. Even in an emergency situation, where other wireless services often fail due to network congestion, datacasting still provides a reliable platform to quickly send large files.

  • Trump calls for profiling of Muslims, surveillance of mosques

    Providing more details about his response to the Orlando shooting, Donald Trump on Sunday proposed the profiling of Muslims by law enforcement, and the nation-wide implementing of a Muslim surveillance programs which was used for a while by the NYPD, but which was discontinued after it had failed to yield a single useful lead.

  • Tracking, analyzing how ISIS recruits through social media

    A team of researchers has developed a model to identify behavioral patterns among serious online groups of ISIS supporters that could provide cyber police and other anti-terror watchdogs a roadmap to their activity and indicators when conditions are ripe for the onset of real-world attacks. The researchers apply the laws of physics to study how terrorist support groups grow online, and how law enforcement can track activities.

  • FBI's approach to digital investigations puts security at risk: Expert

    A cybersecurity expert argues that the FBI’s recent and widely publicized efforts to compel Apple Computer to write software to unlock an iPhone used by a terrorist in California reflects an outdated approach to law enforcement that threatens to weaken the security of all smartphones, potentially putting the private information of millions of smartphone users at risk and undermining the growing use of smartphones as trusted authenticators for accessing online information.