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’

AI rivals nukes, DoD algorithmic warfare team leader says

As the U.S. military pushes forward with ambitious artificial intelligence initiatives, those responsible can't seem to resist describing them in unsettling terms. Col. Drew Cukor, a project manager for the new "Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team" (AWCFT) established in April, this week enthusiastically compared recent AI developments to the advent of the atomic bomb during a … Continue reading AI rivals nukes, DoD algorithmic warfare team leader says

Area 51 drone development expanding?

  Less than four years ago, the U.S. government finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51, the notorious military installation in the Nevada desert long associated with unidentified flying objects. It may be that documents mentioning the facility were declassified due to a lack of plausible deniability, given Area 51's high profile in pop culture. … Continue reading Area 51 drone development expanding?

Connecticut bill would allow lethal police drones

Last year, U.S. police used a robot to kill someone for the first time following a mass shooting in Dallas, Texas. Now, this disturbing trend towards automation in policing could move a step further towards normalization. A familiar piece of American foreign policy -- the use of lethal weaponized drones -- may become a part … Continue reading Connecticut bill would allow lethal police drones

Thousands of unreported deadly airstrikes the latest in sloppy Pentagon record keeping

When it comes to reporting numbers of civilians and "combatants" it kills, the Pentagon attempts to paint itself in a positive light. Last summer, after the Obama administration released a report estimating that between 64 and 116 civilians had been killed in drone strikes on the president's watch, it was widely criticized for under-counting by … Continue reading Thousands of unreported deadly airstrikes the latest in sloppy Pentagon record keeping

Drone security lags behind counter-drone tech

The US government's use of unmanned drones has been an open secret for some time. It has been over three years since President Obama admitted that multiple Americans have been killed in drone strikes overseas, and also since the FBI admitted to using surveillance drones to monitor US citizens. This year, the Pentagon has even … Continue reading Drone security lags behind counter-drone tech

Obama talks tech, cybersecurity, censorship at White House conference

President Obama spoke at the "White House Frontiers Conference" in Pennsylvania on Thursday, discussing a wide range of technology-related issues with other panelists, from artificial intelligence to healthcare to cybersecurity. If you are reading this post, though, it may be because you maintain a healthy skepticism towards the "tech sector" or the "innovation space" or … Continue reading Obama talks tech, cybersecurity, censorship at White House conference

U.S., other countries issue drone declaration, but key players absent

The United States was one of 44 countries to sign a declaration Wednesday that sets the stage for a conference next year to create formal rules regarding the export and use of armed, unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones. "As a world leader in the development and deployment of military UAVs, the United States … Continue reading U.S., other countries issue drone declaration, but key players absent

UK pursues aggressive drone policies, exposing govt. employees to legal risks

Despite much hype about the recent "Brexit," top U.K. officials have made clear that the UK/USA "special relationship" in diplomatic and intelligence matters will remain strong as ever. Any lingering doubt about it can safely be disregarded following revelations from the Intercept this week regarding the massive yet shadowy surveillance base in the English countryside … Continue reading UK pursues aggressive drone policies, exposing govt. employees to legal risks

Micro-drones pose increasing privacy threat, but media coverage dissipates

A leading market research firm announced Monday that it expects the global drone market to pass $4 billion annually by 2025. It has been clear for some time that we are entering an era of increasingly pervasive unmanned aerial vehicles, but as the rise of insect-sized micro-drones looms, it appears little is being done to … Continue reading Micro-drones pose increasing privacy threat, but media coverage dissipates