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Category Archives: Defense

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

The Drone Databook – study of military drone capabilities

The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College – “The Drone Databook [September 2019] is an in-depth survey of the military drone capabilities of over 90 countries around the globe that are known to possess and operate unmanned aircraft. This study includes information about each country’s active drone inventories, drone units, training… Continue Reading

U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress

CRS Report via FAS – U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 23, 2019: “The U.S. role in the world refers to the overall character, purpose, or direction of U.S. participation in international affairs and the country’s overall relationship to the rest of the world. The U.S. role in the… Continue Reading