Elon Musk should call for a ban on self-driving Teslas

Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, made headlines in August for joining a group of leading artificial intelligence experts in calling on the United Nations to ban fully autonomous weapons systems, sometimes referred to as killer robots. Yet a recent report on another Musk venture, Tesla, Inc., highlights the somewhat contradictory nature of his … Continue reading Elon Musk should call for a ban on self-driving Teslas

U.S. plans even more aid for state-subsidized arms exporters

It's been a busy year for American arms sales -- "busier than ever" as one official put it in June. In the first eight months of 2017, by the latest count, the total value of U.S. "arms transfer notifications" has almost doubled compared to the same period last year, reaching $48 billion. The Trump administration's … Continue reading U.S. plans even more aid for state-subsidized arms exporters

NDAA requires declassification of toxic exposure records

We may soon learn more about the extent to which the United States' military has allowed its own soldiers to be exposed to a wide range of poisons -- on purpose, in some cases, as part of chemical weapons experiments. In what Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News calls "an unusual … Continue reading NDAA requires declassification of toxic exposure records

The Pentagon’s classified plan to create Skynet

Despite growing concerns from experts and the public about the security of increasingly interconnected machine networks and the potential dangers of artificial intelligence leading to "killer robot" technology, top military strategists are pushing forward with ambitious plans to vastly expand the Defense Department's concept of "network centric warfare." In a recent article on the Pentagon's … Continue reading The Pentagon’s classified plan to create Skynet

U.S. should test propaganda before using it, psy-ops commander says

The Pentagon's propaganda activities -- what it now euphemistically refers to as "military information support operations" (MISO) -- have a long history of both using trickery and deception to provide incredible tactical advantages in some cases, and failing spectacularly in others. "When employed correctly Military Information Support Operations (MISO--formerly PSYOP [psychological operations]) as a force … Continue reading U.S. should test propaganda before using it, psy-ops commander says

DoD grants temporary clearances to rapists, murderers to avoid ‘horrific impact’ on weapons development

In the past few years, various aspects of the United States' security clearance system for allowing individuals to access classified information have come under scrutiny, following some major failures and embarrassments. In 2014, a massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management led to the exposure of sensitive information on tens of millions of … Continue reading DoD grants temporary clearances to rapists, murderers to avoid ‘horrific impact’ on weapons development

CIA, DoD eager to tap AI capabilities they don’t understand

An artificial intelligence arms race seems to be officially underway following Russian President Vladimir Putin's comment last week that whoever comes to dominate the field "will be the ruler of the world." This is one area, at least, where top U.S. policymakers can apparently agree with Putin. The military and the Central Intelligence Agency are … Continue reading CIA, DoD eager to tap AI capabilities they don’t understand

New documents show how feds view domestic terror cases

Two "official use only" government documents published this week offer insight into federal investigators' perceptions of the domestic terrorism suspects they pursue, making them especially relevant in light of revelations in a recent in-depth article from The Intercept exploring the murky world of undercover terrorism stings. "Analysis of 57 fully adjudicated FBI international terrorism cases … Continue reading New documents show how feds view domestic terror cases

U.S. acknowledges civilian casualties as death toll keeps rising

The Pentagon's recent admission that more U.S. troops are deployed to war zones than previously disclosed has caused some controversy. But another consistently underestimated number -- that of civilian casualties of America's wars -- has received less attention, even as the death toll continues to mount seemingly without interruption. On Friday the U.S.-led coalition fighting … Continue reading U.S. acknowledges civilian casualties as death toll keeps rising

After Trump speech, Blackwater founder still pushing Afghanistan mercenary plan

Last week, following U.S. President Donald Trump's speech on Afghanistan, Erik Prince, founder of the controversial mercenary contractor firm Blackwater, said that Trump would soon have to rethink what he described as "a kind of Obama-lite policy." Now, however, it appears that it is Prince who is rethinking his policy proposal, or at least his … Continue reading After Trump speech, Blackwater founder still pushing Afghanistan mercenary plan