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Category Archives: Defense

Thousands of contracts highlight quiet ties between Big Tech and U.S. military

NBC News: “Over the past two years, thousands of tech company employees have taken a stand: they do not want their labor and technical expertise to be used for projects with the military or law enforcement agencies. Knowledge of such contracts, however, hasn’t been easy for tech workers to come by. On Wednesday, newly published research from the technology accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry revealed that the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, have secured thousands of deals with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Hewlett Packard and even Facebook that have not been previously reported. The report offers a new window into the relationship between tech companies and the U.S. government, as well as an important detail about why such contracts are often difficult to find…”

Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues June 21, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues June 21, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

New annual report from Information Security Oversight Office

2019 Report to the President – Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), June 2020: “…Our Government’s ability to protect and share Classified National Security Information and Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) continues to present serious challenges to our national security. While dozens of agencies now use various advanced technologies to accomplish their missions, a majority of them… Continue Reading

Complaint: Trump Sues John Bolton Over His Memoir

Law.com – “…This is a civil action by the United States to prevent Defendant John R. Bolton, a former National Security Advisor, from compromising national security by publishing a book containing classified information,” the Justice Department said in its complaint Tuesday in Washington. The Trump administration on Tuesday went to court in Washington in an… Continue Reading

Ranking the Best Health Care by Country

Kottke.org: “In a his book out today, Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?, oncologist & bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel compares the outcomes of several countries’ health care systems. The US spends more than any other nation, nearly $4 trillion, on healthcare. Yet, for all that expense, the US is not ranked #1 — not… Continue Reading

Congress Civilian Control of the Military and Nonpartisanship

CRS report via LC: Congress,Civilian Control of the Military, and Nonpartisanship, June 10, 2020: “The possible use of federal armed forces as part of the U.S. executive branch’s response to incidents of violence during racial justice protests has raised questions about how the military is controlled by domestic political institutions and the U.S.military’s relationship with… Continue Reading

We Mapped Where Customs and Border Protection Drones Are Flying in the U.S. and Beyond

Gizmodo: “Over nearly a decade since that standoff, the details of CBP’s drone operations have been vague. Previous reporting and public documents suggest that the agency operates a fleet of 10 Predator drones that are legally permitted to patrol within 100 air miles of the border—CBP also asserts the power to do so within 100… Continue Reading

Senate Report – FCC failed to monitor Chinese telecoms for almost 20 years

ars technica: “The Federal Communications Commission and other US agencies have failed to properly oversee Chinese telecom companies that operate in the United States, according to a bipartisan Senate report released today. After a year-long investigation, the staff report by the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations “found that the FCC and ‘Team Telecom’—an informal… Continue Reading

How to Dispose of Live Ammo Left by Police

Gizmodo: “On Tuesday [June 2, 2020], Washington, DC, resident Ed Felten tweeted an image of a black bulb resembling a Christmas ornament, lying in a patch of spring grass. “Very relieved that the unexploded flash-bang grenade that my daughter found and innocently picked up this morning didn’t explode in her face,” Felten, former White House… Continue Reading

Zoom or Not? NSA Offers Agencies Guidance for Choosing Videoconference Tools

NextGov: “Video conferencing platforms Zoom and Microsoft Teams are both FedRAMP-approved, but while Zoom offers end-to-end encryption, Microsoft Teams does not.  These are just two of nine factors the National Security Agency cites in its guide to help federal workers choose commercial telework tools for “safely using collaboration services,” as necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.… Continue Reading