New report directs attention at directed energy weapons

Given the officially secretive nature of America's sprawling military presence around the world and its domestic support bureaucracy, the U.S. public is often left in the dark as to what kind of new weapons of war its tax dollars are paying to develop. In the case of things like "high powered microwave" weapons, this "makes … Continue reading New report directs attention at directed energy weapons

Critics see dismal Afghanistan prospects as DoD defends troop buildup

Nearly 17 years into America's involvement in Afghanistan, key observers see little hope for a clear U.S. military victory in the central Asian nation, with news emerging from the country painting an increasingly dire picture, even as America once again builds up its presence there. In a recent interview with Defense News, Chuck Hagel, the … Continue reading Critics see dismal Afghanistan prospects as DoD defends troop buildup

Flawed biometric schemes in Asia highlight mass surveillance risks

Developing more complex and invasive methods of mass surveillance seems to be a constant goal of governments around the world as they pursue ever-increasing control over their citizens' lives. While much has been revealed about Western governments' communications monitoring programs in recent years, however, new developments in China and India offer insights into the potential … Continue reading Flawed biometric schemes in Asia highlight mass surveillance risks

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

Tech companies, governments cracking down on free speech online

It's no surprise that tech companies such as Google and GoDaddy came under pressure to drop clients such as the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer following extremist violence in Charlottesville earlier this month. But given the ongoing controversies over internet censorship not only in the United States but around the world, it is also understandable … Continue reading Tech companies, governments cracking down on free speech online

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

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’

China censorship extends known distance Facebook will go to please governments, maximize profits

The New York Times is reporting this week that social media giant Facebook has developed a new "censorship tool" for use by the Chinese government, in the company's latest aggressive move to get into the potentially lucrative Chinese market. The news comes as Facebook begins new controversial blocking of "fake news" in the US, a … Continue reading China censorship extends known distance Facebook will go to please governments, maximize profits

Election hacking fears fuel cyber arms race

As US officials loudly argue over how to best go about hacking foreign governments, other countries are taking note, and an international hacking arms race seems to be picking up pace. Of the many unexpected topics that came into play in this year's cartoonish US presidential election, one that received considerable attention was Russian hacking … Continue reading Election hacking fears fuel cyber arms race

Snowden weighs in on election results

Following last week's US presidential election, Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed numerous government surveillance programs in 2013 and is now living in Russia, has publicly discussed the results at least twice. "We are starting to substitute open government for sheer authoritarianism, a government based not upon the principle of informed … Continue reading Snowden weighs in on election results