Pentagon opens ‘bug bounty’ to Five Eyes, teenager wins again

The U.S. military, building on the perceived success of its first "bug bounty" contest last year, has once again opened its cyber-defenses to scrutiny by outside hackers -- and this time not only by Americans. And, once again, the winner was a teenager. "Though inviting foreigners to hack military networks may sound unsafe, Air Force … Continue reading Pentagon opens ‘bug bounty’ to Five Eyes, teenager wins again

Military gives $1.2m of equipment to federal agents posing as police

Cases of random people impersonating police officers, confusingly to many of the rest of us, are not uncommon. A recently revealed investigation, however, flips the typical script -- with real federal agents posing as members of a fake federal law enforcement agency in order to obtain over a million dollars worth of military gear through … Continue reading Military gives $1.2m of equipment to federal agents posing as police

DoD officials offer conflicting hints on killer robot policy

It's been a busy year in the world of robotics and the politics surrounding it, the latest development coming in the form of potentially conflicting comments from two Pentagon officials hinting at what the future of an international killer robot ban -- or lack thereof -- might look like. Not only has the job-killing potential … Continue reading DoD officials offer conflicting hints on killer robot policy

Iris scanning on the rise

While mass monitoring of internet and phone communications, along with image- or video-based technologies such as automated license plate readers and facial recognition, have received increasing media coverage in recent years, one area of surveillance -- iris recognition -- has gotten less attention. But that is starting to change. Earlier this month The Intercept, which … Continue reading Iris scanning on the rise

Police body cameras increasingly incorporate facial recognition

The last few years have seen the rapid rise of body-worn cameras used by police departments around the United States, fueled by tens of millions of dollars in Justice Department funding. While originally justified on the basis of increasing police accountability and transparency, however, body cameras' usefulness is in question as they begin to incorporate … Continue reading Police body cameras increasingly incorporate facial recognition

Trump Jr. emails breathe new life into Russia collusion investigation

Last week, I deigned to cite a hidden-camera hit job on my one-time employer CNN by conservative activist James O'Keefe when I quoted John Bonifield, a medical unit producer for the network, saying that based on his conversations with others at the company, including high-level executives, that it was his opinion that allegations of Donald … Continue reading Trump Jr. emails breathe new life into Russia collusion investigation

Five Eyes look to ‘engage’ with tech companies

Officials from the so-called "Five Eyes" group of English-speaking countries, which closely cooperate on surveillance and intelligence matters, are pushing to work even more closely not only with each other, but with major private sector players in the tech industry. Following a conference late last month in Ottawa, official representatives of the countries involved -- … Continue reading Five Eyes look to ‘engage’ with tech companies

More battles erupt in Trump-CNN war

It’s been a rough couple of weeks, to say the least, for CNN. Since June 26, the network has accepted resignations from three journalists over a story it had to retract regarding a Trump associate’s alleged ties to Russia, been the subject of a series of hidden-camera hit pieces by controversial conservative activist James O’Keefe’s … Continue reading More battles erupt in Trump-CNN war

DHS embraces poisoned candy paranoia

Have you overheard the fry cooks at your local fast food establishment furtively discussing jihad amidst seemingly harmless banter about how customers are really better off not knowing what's in the secret sauce? What about that potential Salafist lurking at the salad bar, measuring the dimensions of the sneeze-guard? If you've seen this kind of … Continue reading DHS embraces poisoned candy paranoia

U.S. arms sales ‘busier than ever,’ oversight of military ‘a joke’

It is no secret that the United States spends lavishly on its military, far more than any other country in the world. The reason U.S. politicians often give for this is that America faces unparalleled threats, largely from rogue non-state terrorist groups waging unconventional, asymmetric warfare against it. Yet while such groups, almost by definition, … Continue reading U.S. arms sales ‘busier than ever,’ oversight of military ‘a joke’