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Category Archives: Defense

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

New Website Provides Acquisition-Related Coronavirus Information

JD Supra – “If you’re looking for a single place to find information concerning the federal government’s response to the coronavirus that impacts contractors, the General Services Administration (GSA) recently uploaded a webpage on the acquisition.gov website that aims to deliver: https://www.acquisition.gov/coronavirus. While it is not a comprehensive source, the site includes selected links to… Continue Reading

Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook

Politico – “The 69-page document / PDF [and embedded in this article], finished in 2016, provided a step by step list of priorities – which were then ignored by the administration. “The strategies are among hundreds of tactics and key policy decisions laid out in a 69-page National Security Council playbook on fighting pandemics, which… Continue Reading

Surprising sources of light pollution in states around the US

Mysterious Light Sources Alex Altair: “I got my first telescope in 2017, in time for the Great American Eclipse. I started paying attention to the concept of light pollution, including finding detailed maps of what places had high or low amounts of light pollution. After looking up nearby areas that were potentially good for stargazing,… Continue Reading

New Online Resource: War Powers and Presidential Practice

Just Security – “Today we are excited to announce the release of the War Powers Resolution Reporting Project, a product of the Reiss Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law. (Bridgeman is the project’s lead author and researcher; Goldbrenner is the executive director of the Reiss Center.) Intended for use by policymakers,… Continue Reading

Oversight Subcommittee Seeks Information About Ring’s Agreements with Police, Local Governments

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 19, 2020)—”Today, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter to Amazon seeking information about its subsidiary Ring Inc.’s partnerships with city governments and local police departments, along with the company’s policies governing the data it collects. Ring sells internet-connected home surveillance equipment, such… Continue Reading