• Click Here to Kill

    The idea of an online assassination market was advanced long before it was possible to build one, and long before there was anything resembling the dark web. Susan Choi writes that a threshold had been crossed: advances in encryption and cryptocurrency make this dark vision a reality: Journalists at BBC News Russia confirmed that on 12 March 2019, the first known case of a murder being ordered on the dark web and successfully carried out by hired assassins. The FBI and DHS are worried.

  • Understanding Iran’s Nuclear Escalation Strategy

    Iran is back in the nuclear game. Eric Brewer and Ariane Tabatabi write that the United States and the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal must prepare for what may be a significantly more challenging year ahead with additional Iranian nuclear escalatory measures. “By withdrawing from the agreement and already firing its most potent rounds (i.e., oil and banking sanctions), the United States is limited in its ability to deter further Iranian nuclear advances. Iran, on the other hand, still has more chips it can play,” they write.

  • What the Washington Post Gets Wrong About the United States and Afghanistan

    To accuse U.S. officials of deceit and duplicity in their dealings with the American people is a serious charge. Michael O’Hanlon writes that this is arguably what happened in Vietnam, to a large. Now, the Washington Post has accused U.S. officials of both parties and several recent administrations of a similar pattern of untruthfulness and deceit with regard to the American-led mission in Afghanistan since 2001. “Does this charge hold up?” O’Hanlom asks. His answer: “The short answer is no.”

  • The Crossfire Hurricane Report’s Inconvenient Findings

    The DOJ IG report, Michael Sanchez, writers, confounds the hopes of Donald Trump’s more ardent admirers by failing to turn up anything resembling a Deep State cabal within the FBI plotting against the president, or deliberate abuse of surveillance authorities for political ends – but it also paints a disturbing picture of the FBI’s vaunted vetting process for FISA warrant applications.

  • Justice Department Inspector General’s Report Raises Troubling Questions About FBI’s Role in FISA

    The Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI’s initiation of the Russia probe met legal standards, but the report issued last Monday by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) strongly criticized the FBI’s handling of one aspect of the probe: the request for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) wiretap of ex-Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page and subsequent renewals of the FISA. Peter Margulies writes that along with the record of Russian election interference compiled in the Russia probe, institutional reforms to the FISA process will be a valuable legacy of the investigation.

  • Germany Tightens Gun Control Laws

    The Bundestag has on Friday approved new firearm regulations, requiring gun owners to undergo a security check-up every five years, and justify their need to own a firearm. Hunters, collectors, and sportsmen will be exempted. Critics from the left said the law does not go far enough to deal with homemade weapons, while the far-right Alternative for Germany said the law would deprive thousands of Germans of their rights.

  • The Nexus Between Nuclear Energy & Nuclear Security

    Despite the plentiful and relatively cheap energy available in the upper-income countries, nearly one billion people worldwide have no consistent access to electricity, with another one billion having reduced access to healthcare due to energy poverty and a further 2.7 billion relying on biomass as their primary source of energy. Any program hoping to ameliorate these challenges would almost certainly require a radical expansion in global electricity generation. While renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, will inevitably play a role in any low-carbon future, any genuinely sustainable energy future would also require a massive investment in nuclear energy.

  • DARPA Wants Smart Suits to Protect Against Biological Attacks

    DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, wants to accelerate the development of innovative textiles and smart materials to better and more comfortably protect humans from chemical and biological threats.

  • Despite His Criminal Record, Cody Wilson Is Back in the 3D-Printed Gun Business

    After an international manhunt, Wilson pleaded guilty to a felony in Texas court. But the particulars of his deal left him in a legal gray area that allows him to own and work with firearms.

  • Rapid DNA Identifies Boat Fire Victims

    Thirty-four people died in a tragic boat fire on 2 September 2019, off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, California. Thanks to a technology funded by the DHS S&T, the 33 passengers and one crew member who died were quickly identified.

  • Information Technology Can Save Police Lives

    Police officers face well-documented risks, with more than 50,000 a year assaulted on the job in the United States. But new research has found that the use of information technology by law enforcement agencies can significantly cut the number of police killed or injured in the line of duty, reducing violence as much as 50 percent.

  • Unlawful Metadata Access Is Easy When We’re Flogging a Dead Law

    After watching this year’s media raids and the prosecution of lawyers and whistleblowers, it’s not hard to see why Australians wonder about excessive police power and dwindling journalistic freedom. But these problems are compounded by another, less known issue: police, and other bodies not even involved in law enforcement, have broad powers to access metadata. Each year, police alone access metadata in excess of 300,000 times.

  • Intelligent Camera Detects Roadside Bombs Automatically

    Roadside bombs are sneaky and effective killers. They are easy to manufacture and hide, making it the weapon of choice for insurgents and terrorists across the world. Finding and disabling these lethal devices is difficult. Dutch engineers have developed a real-time early-warning system. When mounted on a military vehicle, it can automatically detect the presence of those bombs by registering suspicious changes in the environment.

  • Could the New Zealand Volcanic Eruption Have Benn Predicted?

    The agency that monitors geological activity in New Zealand, GeoNet, had issued warnings that a volcano off the country’s North Island was showing signs of “moderate volcanic unrest” but it might not have been possible to predict that it would suddenly erupt on Monday, according to geologists.

  • No More Survivors Expected after New Zealand Volcano Erupts

    Five people were confirmed dead and eighteen others injured, with many more missing, after a volcano erupted on Monday afternoon while dozens of cruise ship passengers were exploring White Island, a small, picturesque, uninhabited island of the coast of New Zealand.