• Cyberattack Attribution and the Virtues of Decentralization

    In the midst of rising tensions between the United States and Iran over tanker attacks and Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone, reports emerged that U.S. Cyber Command had launched a responsive cyber operation against a group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. As cyber operations by both states heat up, non-governmental actors may play pivotal roles, not just as potential victims and collateral damage from states’ actions, but also as accusers of states.

  • It Sure Looks Like Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy—but Whose?

    In terms of scandals, the sordid saga of Jeffrey Epstein has it all. Mysterious gaudy fortunes. Jet-setting debauchery. Lots of pretty girls—including very young girls. Sex and more sex, not necessarily legal or consensual. Add a battalion of VIPs, including billionaires, A-list celebrities, royalty and no less than two American presidents. The only thing missing was espionage — and it’s not missing anymore.

  • Do Patents Protect National Security?

    On 12 June, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. had asserted more than 200 patents against Verizon Communications Inc., reportedly demanding more than $1 billion in licensing fees. On its face, this would seem to be a private patent dispute. But, in fact, it is an important turn of events for national security: The Verizon-Huawei dispute contradicts a view espoused by many experts, and even the Trump administration, about the relationship between national security and intellectual property rights such as patents.

  • Iranian Nuclear Facility “Has Never Been Repurposed” as Promised under 2015 Nuclear Deal

    Iran’s underground Fordow uranium-enrichment facility has not followed the 2015 nuclear deal. Apparently, it has “never been repurposed” in that “everything required to enrich uranium to weapons grade could be quickly reconstituted in the underground portion of the facility,” continued the report.

  • How Israel and Iran Joined Forces to Kill a Nuclear Weapons Program

    At dawn on 30 September 1980 four American-made F-4E Phantom jets screamed low over central Iraq, each laden with air-to-air missiles and three thousand pounds of bombs. The skimming Phantoms climbed briefly to higher altitude so as to appear on Iraqi radars, before ducking back down to hit the deck. But while two decoy Phantoms maintained their trajectory towards Baghdad, the other two veered southwards towards the real target: Iraq’s Osirak light-water nuclear reactor. The jets were undertaking the first air-strike against a nuclear reactor, and the first preemptive air-strike attempting to prevent a country from developing nuclear weapons capability. Now, the famous Israeli Operation Opera that destroyed the Osirak reactor was still nine months away. The Phantoms soaring towards the reactor in 1980 belonged to the Iranian Air Force.

  • YouTube removes audio copies of neo-Nazi books

    James Mason’s neo-Nazi manifesto, Siege, has inspired a generation of neo-Nazis since it was first published as a single volume in 1992. The book sparked a violent online subculture called Siege Culture, devoted to Mason’s calls for independent terror cells to carry out a race war. YouTube has now taken down uploads of both Siege and the neo-Nazi book The Turner Diaries.

  • Medical Drones for Accident and Emergency

    Drones could revolutionize the way in which emergency medical supplies, such as bags of blood plasma, are delivered to areas hit by disaster, accidents or other life-threatening situations. Research have undertaken a cost analysis of using drones for this purpose.

  • Lessons from Columbine: Testing “Run, Hide, Fight” Approach to Active Shooter Situations

    “Run, hide, fight!” It has become a mantra for how to act during an active shooter situation. The idea is to escape the situation or protect oneself, and counter the gunman as a last resort. But how well does this approach work in an active shooter situation?

  • The State of the Deal: How the Numbers on Iran's Nuclear Program Stack up

    When it comes to the state of the Iran nuclear deal, there are enough figures flying around to make your head spin like atoms in a first-generation gas centrifuge. Here’s a little guide to help you keep track of the score.

  • The Great Replacement, White Genocide Theories: Prevalence, Scale, Proliferation

    A new in-depth study of the Great Replacement and White Genocide, two racist conspiracy theories with hundreds of thousand followers – some of them violent — in Europe and the United States, has found that the proliferation of theses conspiracy theories was helped by their mainstreaming by elected officials, and the active promotion by alternative far-right media outlets.

  • IAEA confirms Iran enriching uranium in excess of 2015 nuclear deal limit

    The United Nations atomic watchdog agency has confirmed that Iran has surpassed the limits on how much it was allowed to enrich uranium under the 2015 international nuclear deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency said its inspectors verified Monday that Iran has passed 4.5 percent enrichment, breaching the 3.67 percent limit set in the accord aimed at restraining Tehran’s nuclear weapons development.

  • How Fake News Could Lead to Real War

    Who really bombed the oil tankers in the Persian Gulf two weeks ago? Was it Iran, as the Trump administration assured us? Or was it Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Israel—or some combination of the three?

  • Transnational Organized Crime and National Security: Hezbollah, Hackers and Corruption

    American law enforcement efforts have become increasingly multifaceted as the government attempts to combat the continuing ingenuity and sophistication of transnational organized criminal groups. Eric Halliday writes in Lawfare that the U.S. government has announced several significant actions taken against transnational organized crime groups. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) promulgated a slew of sanctions against the financial networks of both Hezbollah and Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). The Justice Department announced takedowns of drug trafficking rings spanning the U.S. and Mexico as well as a large-scale organized cybercrime ring composed of members from several Eastern European countries.

  • Report: Pentagon Should Assume U.S. Satellites Are Already Hacked

    The U.S. and its allies need to double down on the cybersecurity of their satellites as space infrastructure becomes ever more integral to national security, according to a recent report. The Pentagon and other Western military forces rely heavily on space-based systems to guide weapons, gather intelligence and coordinate operations around the globe, but security gaps in their satellite infrastructure threaten to bring those functions to a grinding halt or worse, a new Chatham House study found. Jack Corrigan, writing in Defense One, quotes the study’s authots to say that as adversaries like Russia and China ramp up their offensive cyber capabilities, the Western world needs to lock down its space infrastructure against potentially crippling attacks. And in the meantime, “it would be prudent” for countries to assume their systems have already been infiltrated.”

  • How Fake News Could Lead to Real War

    Who really bombed the oil tankers in the Persian Gulf two weeks ago? Was it Iran, as the Trump administration assured us? Or was it Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Israel—or some combination of the three? Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon write in Politico that they believe in the official U.S. position, that Iran was behind the attacks, trying to prod other countries to pressure the U.S. to relax its sanctions makes sense. But the whole unsettling episode opened our eyes to a deeply troubling reality: The current fake news epidemic isn’t just shaking up U.S. politics; it might end up causing a war, or just as consequentially, impeding a national response to a genuine threat. Thus far, public discussion of deep fakes—and fake news more broadly—has focused on domestic politics and particularly elections. That was inevitable after the Russian interference on President Donald Trump’s behalf in 2016—the dimensions of which were laid out in the unprecedented joint assessment of the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation in February 2017 and the Mueller Report.
    But fake news’ implications for foreign and security policy may be as far-reaching—and even more dangerous. Misinformation in geopolitics could lead not only to the continued weakening of our institutions but also to combat deaths. Sure, fake news has been a feature of international relations for a long time, but it’s different now: “Advancing technology that can fabricate convincing images and videos combined with the chronic, exuberant dishonesty of the commander-in-chief and his minions has meant that no one can feel confident in assessing life or death choices in foreign policy crisis. For a democracy—one with global interests—this is a disaster,” Benjamin and Simon write.