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Category Archives: Defense

Treasury expert identifies ransom payments as key source of terrorist revenue

“ISIS broadcast its killing of captured American journalist James Foley [note: there is no link to the video - only to a more in depth article about Jim Foley] to show the U.S. what awaits anyone who challenges the Islamic State’s march across Iraq and Syria. Foley’s killing was a blunt and stomach-churning bit of messaging thatContinue Reading

Charity says military use of food pantries has been rising for years

Stars and Stripes: “The number of military families who struggle to put food on the table has been growing in the years since the Great Recession, the nation’s largest network of soup kitchens and food pantries said [August 19, 2014] that increase convinced the Feeding America charity to study servicemembers who use the food assistanceContinue Reading

Tablets join the Navy toolkit for managing maintenance procedures

Kris Osborn – Defense.org: “The Navy has begun a new pilot program to put tablets on board a destroyer in order to reduce paperwork and more efficiently streamline maintenance procedures, service officials said. Roughly 20 wireless tablets will soon arrive on board the USS Laboon, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer currently pier side in Norfolk, Va., Rear Adm.Continue Reading

Defense Department military equipment distributed free to states around the country

New York Times – “Most U.S. counties have received at least some military equipment through a free Pentagon surplus program.” See also Tools of War in Counties Across the U.S. – “State and local police departments, like the one in Ferguson, Mo., get some of their military-style equipment through a free Defense Department program created in the early 1990s. BelowContinue Reading

Report: British spy agency scanned for vulnerable systems in 32 countries

PCWorld via Mikael Ricknäs: “British intelligence agency GCHQ used port scanning as part of the “Hacienda” program to find vulnerable systems it and other agencies could compromise across at least 27 countries, German news site Heise Online has revealed. The use of so-called port scanning has long been a trusty tool used by hackers to find systems theyContinue Reading

Paper – TSA device flaws compromise airport security

Via FCW.com: “The cybersecurity vulnerabilities uncovered in a number of the Transportation Security Administration’s electronic security and personnel management devices are part of a growing problem for federal IT managers, according to the expert that discovered and reported the flaws. Billy Rios, director of threat intelligence at Qualys, a large security tech firm, presented a paper in earlyContinue Reading

Extensive interview of Edward Snowden – Wired

James Bamford, via Wired: “..Snowden will continue to haunt the US, the unpredictable impact of his actions resonating at home and around the world. The documents themselves, however, are out of his control. Snowden no longer has access to them; he says he didn’t bring them with him to Russia. Copies are now in the handsContinue Reading

Big Data in Materials Research and Development

“Big Data in Materials Research and Development is the summary of a workshop convened by the National Research Council Standing Committee on Defense Materials Manufacturing and Infrastructure in February 2014 to discuss the impact of big data on materials and manufacturing. The materials science community would benefit from appropriate access to data and metadata for materialsContinue Reading

Infographic: A Day in the Life of DHS

Nextgov: “Twelve years ago in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security was established and consolidated 22 agencies into one organization. Its goal: prevent and respond to attacks and disasters — manmade or otherwise — and safeguard citizens All 22 components have unique missions and plenty gets done inContinue Reading

SIGAR – Afghanistan: Quarterly Report to the United States Congress

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Quarterly Report to the U.S.  Congress. July 30, 2014 “This report summarizes SIGAR’s oversight work and updates developments in the three major sectors of Afghanistan’s reconstruction effort from April 1 to June 30, 2014. It also discusses whether the reconstruction is sustainable. During this reporting period, SIGAR published 30 audits, inspections, alertContinue Reading

Why Is the Economy Still Weak? Blame These Five Sectors – NYT

Neil Irwin: “The economy keeps underperforming. Yes, new G.D.P. data last week were better than expected. But the United States is still producing around $800 billion a year less in goods and services than it would if the economy were at full health, and as a result millions of people aren’t working who would be ifContinue Reading

Security Clearances: Tax Debts Owed by DOD Employees and Contractors

SECURITY CLEARANCES: Tax Debts Owed by DOD Employees and Contractors, GAO-14-686R: Published: Jul 28, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014. “In summary, GAO found that about 83,000 Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors who held or were determined eligible for secret, top secret, or sensitive compartmented information (SCI) clearances, or related interim clearances, had unpaid federal taxContinue Reading