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Category Archives: Defense

Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in WW II Europe

National Archives presentation available via YouTube and C-SPAN – Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe, Thursday, January 23, 2020.

“While armies have seized enemy records and rare texts as booty throughout history, it was only during World War II that an unlikely band of librarians, archivists, and scholars traveled abroad to collect books and documents to aid the military cause. They collected enemy texts, followed advancing armies to capture records, and seized Nazi works from bookstores and schools. When the war ended, they found and helped restitute looted collections hidden in cellars and caves. In Information Hunters, cultural historian Kathy Peiss reveals how book and document collecting became part of the new apparatus of intelligence and national security, military planning, and postwar reconstruction.”

Senate Intel Releases Bipartisan Report on Obama Admin Response to Russian Election Interference

“Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) today released the third volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russian election interference, “U.S. Government Response to Russian Activities.” The report examines the Obama Administration’s reaction to initial reports of election interference and the steps officials took or did… Continue Reading

Artificial intelligence, geopolitics, and information integrity

Brookings – The Global Race for Technological Security – Discover the Security Implications: “The report [142 pages PDF] explores the intersection of AI and information integrity in the specific context of geopolitics. Before addressing that topic further, it is important to underscore that the geopolitical implications of AI go far beyond information. AI will reshape… Continue Reading

GAO – Trump administration violated the law by withholding Ukraine aid

GAO – Office of Management and Budget—Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance. B-331564: Jan 16, 2020. In the summer of 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withheld from obligation funds appropriated to the Department of Defense (DOD) for security assistance to Ukraine. In order to withhold the funds, OMB issued a series of nine… Continue Reading

NSA Takes Step Toward Protecting World’s Computers, Not Just Hacking Them

The New York Times: “The National Security Agency has taken a significant step toward protecting the world’s computer systems, announcing Tuesday that it alerted Microsoft to a vulnerability in its Windows operating system rather than following the agency’s typical approach of keeping quiet and exploiting the flaw to develop cyberweapons. The warning allowed Microsoft to… Continue Reading

US Budgetary Costs and Obligations of Post-9/11 Wars through FY2020: $6.4 Trillion

Watson Institute, Neta C. Crawford – November 13, 2019: “Summary – Since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $6.4 Trillion through Fiscal Year 2020 in budgetary costs related to and caused by the post-9/11 wars—an estimated $5.4 Trillion in appropriations in current dollars and an additional minimum… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues January 12, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues January 12, 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

U.S. Killing of Qasem Soleimani: Frequently Asked Questions

EveryCRSReport.com: U.S. Killing of Qasem Soleimani: Frequently Asked Questions. January 8, 2020. “The January 2, 2020, U.S. killing in Iraq of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) Commander Qasem Soleimani, generally regarded as one of the most powerful and important officials in Iran, has potentially dramatic implications for the United States. For Congress, it raises… Continue Reading

Bots Are Destroying Political Discourse As We Know It

The Atlantic: “Text-generation software is already good enough to fool most people most of the time. It’s writing news stories, particularly in sports and finance. It’s talking with customers on merchant websites. It’s writing convincing op-eds on topics in the news (though there are limitations). And it’s being used to bulk up “pink-slime journalism”—websites meant… Continue Reading

How to use your phone to spot fake images surrounding the U.S.-Iran conflict

Poynter: “Military conflicts — like the one that is sparking between the United States and Iran — are usually surrounded by false images and outdated videos that go viral on social media. It happened in Turkey the other day. To avoid that misinformation scenario, the International Fact-Checking Network developed a step-by-step guide to teach citizens… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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