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 Pentagon ‘Algorithmic Warfare’ team to ‘open Pandora’s box’ of A.I.

  Late last month, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work announced the launch of an "Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team" under a new program called Project Maven. "As numerous studies have made clear, the Department of Defense (DoD) must integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning more effectively across operations to maintain advantages over increasingly capable adversaries and … Continue reading New Pentagon ‘Algorithmic Warfare’ team to ‘open Pandora’s box’ of A.I.

More A.I. suggested as solution to Pentagon intel overload problem

As the U.S. carries on its "counter-terror" crusade against a wide range of non-state actors within its own borders and outside of them into an era of ever-increasing information flows, the Pentagon is having trouble keeping up with its own intelligence collection capabilities. "The Department of Defense is grappling with an overwhelming preponderance of data, … Continue reading More A.I. suggested as solution to Pentagon intel overload problem

DoD ‘insider threat’ rules may favor biggest contractors, make problem worse

At the end of this month, regulations will come into effect requiring defense contractors to implement "insider threat" detection and prevention programs, with the aim of stopping security breaches. Yet the  approach the Pentagon is taking seems to favor its larger contractors, while potentially stifling innovation from smaller competitors and contributing to the problem it … Continue reading DoD ‘insider threat’ rules may favor biggest contractors, make problem worse

Brain zaps for drone operators the latest in Pentagon ‘super soldier’ tech

In a development that is probably enthusiastically embraced by a subsection of them, video-gamers-turned-drone-operators for the US military are apparently taking another step in the direction of melding with machines: getting their brains jolted with electricity to stay awake as an alternative to taking stimulant drugs. Scientists working for the Defense Department have successfully "used … Continue reading Brain zaps for drone operators the latest in Pentagon ‘super soldier’ tech

$58 billion in cancelled DoD projects just a drop in a bucket of unknown depth

The Pentagon is not known for good bookkeeping. As some readers may recall, the Defense Department's Inspector General reported in June that the DoD cannot account for trillions in spending. So the release of a definite number last week - $58 billion - might come as a relief - except that it's not an amount … Continue reading $58 billion in cancelled DoD projects just a drop in a bucket of unknown depth

Officials, tech execs suggest more bureaucracy, scapegoating as cybersecurity solutions

As hacking fears remain in the media spotlight leading up to the presidential election, a debate is raging in Washington, D.C. over how to best approach cybersecurity and other technological challenges. While there is no consensus, however, there seems to be a common thread among many suggestions: the answer is to hold somebody accountable for … Continue reading Officials, tech execs suggest more bureaucracy, scapegoating as cybersecurity solutions

Detained NSA contractor doesn’t fit ‘insider threat’ profile, raising questions

Following news today that a National Security Agency contractor, Harold Thomas Martin, was arrested over a month ago and secretly detained since then for allegedly stealing classified documents, many questions remain unanswered, but some details are known. Martin worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, the same defense and intelligence community contractor that whistleblower Edward Snowden had been … Continue reading Detained NSA contractor doesn’t fit ‘insider threat’ profile, raising questions

Libya campaign underscores lack of US military oversight, accountability

Following this week's announcement of a new U.S. bombing campaign in Libya, several opinion pieces have been written denouncing President Obama's decision to allow the airstrikes without further authorization from Congress, as well as Congress' inaction on explicitly authorizing force against Islamic State extremists. "Just five years after bombing Libya to dispose of Muammar Gaddafi, … Continue reading Libya campaign underscores lack of US military oversight, accountability