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Category Archives: Defense

DHS acknowledges rogue cellphone tower activity in DC

In a break from the Cambridge Analytic saga, this news on expanded use of Stingray cellphone tracking from AP: “…In a March 26 letter to Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that last year it identified suspected unauthorized cell-site simulators in the nation’s capital. The agency said it had not determined the type of devices in use or who might have been operating them. Nor did it say how many it detected or where. The agency’s response, obtained by The Associated Press from Wyden’s office, suggests little has been done about such equipment, known popularly as Stingrays after a brand common among U.S. police departments. The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the nation’s airwaves, formed a task force on the subject four years ago, but it never produced a report and no longer meets regularly.”

“Wyden said in a statement Tuesday that “leaving security to the phone companies has proven to be disastrous.” He added that the FCC has refused to hold the industry accountable “despite repeated warnings and clear evidence that our phone networks are being exploited by foreign governments and hackers.”

CRS – Is the Grid More Secure? Not Yet!

NERC Standards for Bulk Power Physical Security: Is the Grid More Secure? Paul W. Parfomak, Specialist in Energy and Infrastructure Policy. March 19, 2018. “Although the electric power sector seems to be moving in the overall direction of greater physical security for critical assets, many measures have yet to be implemented and the process of… Continue Reading

Iraq War continues to divide the U.S. public, 15 years after it began

“Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the American public is divided over whether using military force was the right decision. Nearly half (48%) of Americans say the decision to use military force was wrong, while slightly fewer (43%) say it was the right decision, according to a Pew Research Center… Continue Reading

Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plant

“New computer screenshots released by the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday made clear that Russian state hackers had the foothold they would have needed to manipulate or shut down power plants.” Nicole Perlroth and David Sanger in the NYT: Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants. “The Trump administration accused Russia… Continue Reading

No One Ever Told Me My Job Would Include… Dealing with a Korean Missile Alert!

ALA Library Worklife, March 2018, Michelle A. Moore – “The Hawaii State Library System has mandatory employee training on workplace violence and safety because, let’s face it, things happen. The premise is to make us more aware and prepared to effectively manage a crisis. Hawaii libraries have been closed for hurricanes, tsunami’s, and even volcano… Continue Reading

Social Media Use in Clearance Investigations Act of 2017 – House Report

115TH Congress Report – House of Representatives 2d Session Report 115–512. Social Media Use in Clearance Investigations Act of 2017 “H.R. 3737, The Social Media Use in Clearance Investigations Act of 2017 requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide pertinent data on the current and potential use of social media for clearance investigation… Continue Reading

CRS updated repot – U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues. Amy F. Woolf, Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy. March 6, 2018. “…At the present time, the U.S. land-based ballistic missile force (ICBMs) consists of 400 land-based Minuteman III ICBMs, each deployed with one warhead, spread among a total of 450 operational launchers. This force is consistent with… Continue Reading

Who Should Be Armed in Florida Schools? Not Teachers, Lawmakers Say. But Maybe Librarians.

The New York Times: “One of the big questions facing Florida lawmakers after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is whether schoolteachers ought to be allowed to carry weapons. Gov. Rick Scott argues that schools would not be safer with armed teachers. His fellow Republicans in the legislature, however, appear much more open… Continue Reading

Recommended – The best books on Military Strategy

Via Five Books: “Texts about military strategy take us back into the mists of time but what it is, and what the nature of war is, remains hotly debated. Antulio Echevarria II of the US Army War College talks us through key books, both old and new, on military strategy.” Continue Reading

Internet Archive Posts Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex

Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex – United States Military: “This collection was a special project originally done as part of the Internet Archive’s 20th Anniversary celebration on October 26, 2016 highlighting IA’s web archive. The collection consists of all the Powerpoint files (57,489) from the .mil web domain.” Motherboard: The Pentagon Has the Worst PowerPoint Slides… Continue Reading

Looming National Security Crisis: Young Americans Unable to Serve in the Military

The Heritage Foundation Report – “The military depends on a constant flow of volunteers every year. According to 2017 Pentagon data, 71 percent of young Americans between 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the United States military. Put another way: Over 24 million of the 34 million people of that age group cannot… Continue Reading

CRS – Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons, Amy F. Woolf. Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy. February 13, 2018. “Recent debates about U.S. nuclear weapons have questioned what role weapons with shorter ranges and lower yields can play in addressing emerging threats in Europe and Asia. These weapons, often referred to as nonstrategic nuclear weapons, have not been limited by… Continue Reading