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Category Archives: Defense

House Intelligence Committee Releases Draft Report As Part of Impeachment Inquiry

“Today, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the draft report – “The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report” – to all Members and the public. The Committee will vote tonight [the vote was 13-9] to issue the report, before the Chairman of the Committee transmits it and any accompanying materials to the House Judiciary Committee consistent with H.Res. 660…This report reflects the evidence gathered thus far by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in coordination with the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States. The report is the culmination of an investigation that began in September 2019 and intensified over the past three months as new revelations and evidence of the President’s misconduct towards Ukraine emerged.  The Committees pursued the truth vigorously, but fairly, ensuring the full participation of both parties throughout the probe. Sustained by the tireless work of more than three dozen dedicated staff across the three Committees, we issued dozens of subpoenas for documents and testimony and took more than 100 hours of deposition testimony from 17 witnesses.  To provide the American people the opportunity to learn and evaluate the facts themselves, the Intelligence Committee held seven public hearings with 12 witnesses—including three requested by the Republican Minority—that totaled more than 30 hours…”

Mobile apps developed in Russia are potential counterintelligence threats

One more time – “For all of you that used the FaceApp to see what you would look like in old age, the FBI just told @SenSchumer that “the FBI considers any mobile application or similar product developed in Russia, such as FaceApp, to be a potential counterintelligence threat…” [via Frank Thorpe – producer and off-air… Continue Reading

Here’s One Reason the U.S. Military Can’t Fix Its Own Equipment

The New York Times – Opinion: “Manufacturers can prevent the Department of Defense from repairing certain equipment, which puts members of the military at risk…In the United States, conversations about right-to-repair issues are increasing, especially at federal agencies and within certain industries. In July, the Federal Trade Commission hosted a workshop to address “the issues… Continue Reading

Congressional Participation in Litigation: Article III and Legislative Standing

CRS Report – Congressional Participation in Litigation: Article III and Legislative Standing Updated November 8, 2019 – Since the founding, the federal courts have played a critical role in adjudicating legal disputes, including ones involving executive action. As the Supreme Court stated in Marbury v. Madison, “where a specific duty is assigned by law .… Continue Reading

How Not to Plot Secret Foreign Policy: On a Cellphone and WhatsApp

The New York Times – “Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor at the center of the impeachment investigation into the conduct of Ukraine policy, makes a living selling cybersecurity advice through his companies. President Trump even named him the administration’s first informal “cybersecurity adviser.” But inside the National Security Council, officials expressed wonderment… Continue Reading

Update Complete: U.S. Nuclear Weapons No Longer Need Floppy Disks

The New York Times: The Defense Department has transitioned away from a 1970s-era nuclear command and control system that relied on eight-inch floppy disks. The “modernizing” effort was quietly completed in June. “The system, called Strategic Automated Command and Control System, or SACCS, “is still in use today but no longer uses floppy disks,” David Faggard,… Continue Reading

This Is How the U.S. Military’s Massive Facial Recognition System Works

Medium OneZero: Documents obtained by OneZero show how the military captures biometric data around the world. “Over the last 15 years, the United States military has developed a new addition to its arsenal. The weapon is deployed around the world, largely invisible, and grows more powerful by the day. That weapon is a vast database,… Continue Reading

US Dept of Interior to ground its drones over Chinese spying risk

cnet: “The US Department of the Interior is grounding its fleet of more than 800 aerial drones over concerns about Chinese spying and cyberattacks. The fleet will remain grounded until a full review is completed by Secretary David Bernhardt, the department said Thursday. However, drones being used for emergency rescues and disasters will remain in… Continue Reading

Democrats unveil procedures for Trump’s impeachment inquiry rebutting GOP attacks

Washington Post – “House Democrats unveiled new procedures for the impeachment inquiry of President Trump on Tuesday, responding to Republican demands for due process by setting out rules for future public hearings delving into whether Trump should be removed from office. The resolution backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hands the lead role to… Continue Reading

How Amazon.com moved into the business of U.S. elections

Reuters: “The expansion by Amazon Web Services into state and local elections has quietly gathered pace since the 2016 U.S. presidential vote. More than 40 states now use one or more of Amazon’s election offerings, according to a presentation given by an Amazon executive this year and seen by Reuters. So do America’s two main… Continue Reading

The US military is trying to read minds

MIT Technology Review – A new DARPA research program is developing brain-computer interfaces that could control “swarms of drones, operating at the speed of thought”. What if it succeeds? – “In August, three graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University were crammed together in a small, windowless basement lab, using a jury-rigged 3D printer frame to zap… Continue Reading

Legal Authority to Repurpose Funds for Border Barrier Construction

CRS report via FAS – Legal Authority to Repurpose Funds for Border Barrier Construction. Updated October 2, 2019: “President Trump has prioritized the construction of border barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Over the course of negotiations for FY2019 appropriations, the Administration asked Congress to appropriate $5.7 billion to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for… Continue Reading