• SURVEILLANCEApple and Google Are Introducing New Ways to Defeat Cell Site Simulators, But Is it Enough?

    By Cooper Quintin

    Cell-site simulators (CSS)—also known as IMSI Catchers and Stingrays—are a tool that law enforcement and governments use to track the location of phones, intercept or disrupt communications, spy on foreign governments, or even install malware.

  • SURVEILLANCEThere’s a Cop in My Pocket: Policymakers Need to Stop Advocating Surveillance by Default

    By Tarah Wheeler and Geoffrey Cain

    All this year, U.S. leaders have attempted to pass a wave of misguided online security bills, designed to break that encryption and place Americans in a panopticon of surveillance by default. Encryption, cybersecurity, and technology policies, like the RESTRICT and EARN-IT Acts, with nonexistent tradeoffs address symptoms, not problems, and they do it badly.  

  • ARGUMENT: REGULATING COMMERCIAL SPYWAREThe Scourge of Commercial Spyware—and How to Stop It

    Years of public revelations have spotlighted a shadowy set of spyware companies selling and servicing deeply intrusive surveillance technologies that are used against journalists, activists, lawyers, politicians, diplomats, and others. Democratic nations (thus far) lag behind the United States in executing spyware-related policy commitments.

  • EXPLOSIVES THREATBetter Resources to Mitigate Explosive Threats

    Every second counts when responders encounter an explosive device, and critical decisions must be made quickly in order to neutralize the threat while also ensuring the security of civilians, property, and the responders themselves.

  • POLITICAL VIOLENCEAmericans in Former Confederate States More Likely to Say Violent Protest against Government Is Justified, 160 Years After Gettysburg

    By Alauna Safarpour

    Americans living in the Confederate states that violently rebelled against the United States during the Civil War express significantly greater support for the notion that it can be justifiable to violently protest against the government. Residents of what are known as the Border States, the slave states that did not secede from the Union, are also more likely than residents of Union states to say it can be justifiable to violently protest against the government.

  • AIHow an “AI-tocracy” Emerges

    By Peter Dizikes

    Many scholars, analysts, and other observers have suggested that resistance to innovation is an Achilles’ heel of authoritarian regimes. But in China, the use of AI-driven facial recognition helps the regime repress dissent while enhancing the technology, researchers report.

  • FORENSICSForensics Lab Cracks Case on Newer, “Greener” Gunshot Residue

    Discoveries by forensic scientists about how gunshot residue behaves on skin, hair and fabric will allow crime scene investigators to catch up to the proliferation of new, eco-friendly types of ammunition and make faster, more informed decisions at crime scenes and in forensic laboratories.

  • CYBERWARFrom Wadham to GCHQ and Back: Robert Hannigan on Cybercrime, Spying and the AI Tsunami Coming Our Way

    Is the much-vaunted cyber-Armageddon likely or even possible? One experts says that “‘State cyber threats do get overplayed. They can’t do everything and countries over-estimate their cyber capabilities – just as they over estimate their military capability.” The expert  insists, however, that “The challenges are ‘moving very fast’, as potential attackers learn fast.”

  • TECHNOLOGYResearch Agenda Prepares for the Future of Science and Technology

    By Melanie Cummings

    DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) works to prepare DHS for  the future of science and technology. The requires remaining aware (and ahead) of emerging science and technology threats along with harnessing the latest advancements in science and technology as cutting-edge solutions for homeland security operational challenges.

  • SPYWAREThe Executive Order on Commercial Spyware: Implications and Prospects

    By Rohit Kumar Sharma

    The growing national security threat from misuse of commercial spyware is increasingly being recognized. The US has been taking the lead in addressing the growing menace of unregulated spyware companies and the proliferation of intrusive tools. The Biden administration’s latest Executive Order will ensure that commercial spyware firms will be subjected to unprecedented scrutiny.

  • ARGUMENT: CHINESE DRONESU.S. Reliance on Chinese Drones: A Sector for the Next CHIPS Act?

    More and more lawmakers from both parties are beginning to pay attention to the issue of drones and national security. Different bills seek to regulate federal agency procurement and use of certain foreign-made unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or drones. Annie I. Antón and Olivia C. Mauger write that “Building on the bipartisan consensus to enact the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS) Act, there is a compelling case that UASs should be a next sector for similar action.”

  • SURVEILLANCETech Mandated by U.K. Online Safety Bill “Could Turn Phones into Surveillance Tools”

    By Laura Gallagher and Caroline Brogan

    Tech mandated by the U.K. government’s Online Safety Bill could be used to turn millions of phones into facial recognition tools. It would be possible, for example, for governments to use client-side scanning (CSS) to search people’s private messages, for example performing facial recognition, without their knowledge.

  • ARGUMENT: REGULATING SPYWAREPEGA Committee Votes on Spyware Recommendations

    In July 2021, the Pegasus Project—a consortium of 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in 10 countries—broke the story that several governments were using the Israel-made Pegasus spyware against journalists, activists, politicians, academics, and even heads of state. Responding to the public backlash, the European Parliament set up a committee of inquiry (PEGA committee) to investigate the allegations concerning misuse of spyware on the continent.

  • SURVEILLANCEAppeals Court Should Reconsider Letting the FBI Block Twitter’s Surveillance Transparency Report

    By Andrew Crocker

    Twitter tried to publish a report bringing much-needed transparency to the government’s use of FISA orders and national security letters, including specifying whether it had received any of these types of requests. However, without going to a court, the FBI told Twitter it could not publish the report as written. Twitter sued, and last month the federal Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit upheld the FBI’s gag order.

  • GUNSHOT DETECTIONEnhanced Community Safety by Reimagining Gunshot Detection

    A new gunshot detection system delivers new capabilities that significantly improve the response and management of outdoor shootings. The portable system employs two methods of detection for increased accuracy and reduced false positives.