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NSA: From Angry Birds to the GOP

NSA: From Angry Birds to the GOP

On the heels of Obama’s signal intelligence speech and just a day before the president’s State of the Union address, yet another Snowden document dump has come to the fore, this time detailing data collection activities from leaky mobile apps, such as Angry Birds. Mobile networks have proven to be a rich resource for the […]

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FISC jurists: White House reforms too “cumbersome”

FISC jurists: White House reforms too “cumbersome”

Three days before Obama’s highly anticipated speech on Friday, January 17, and amidst further revelations of the National Security Agency’s surveillance powers, former Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court officials are raising a ruckus. Judge John D. Bates—former presiding judge of the FISC and current director of the Administrative Office of the United States Court—has raised a number […]

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Year in Review: 2013 in Drones

Year in Review: 2013 in Drones

From botched attacks to UAV landings to Jeff Bezos’ fleet, drones have made headlines in 2013. Here are some of the most important 2013 events in the UAV world. X-47B carrier landing The X-47B, Northrop Grumman’s unmanned aerial combat vehicle (UCAV) designed for carrier-based operations, made headlines earlier this year as it became the first unmanned […]

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Out with the Old, in with the Old

Out with the Old, in with the Old

On Dec. 11, 2013, a U.S. drone strike mistakenly struck a wedding convoy in an isolated region of Yemen, taking out five suspected Al Qaeda militants along with a dozen civilians in the process. The Obama administration’s “new” drone policy—announced by the president on May 23, 2013, in a speech at National Defense University—promised more […]

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DOJ on Drones: “Let’s Talk”

DOJ on Drones: “Let’s Talk”

The Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Justice has released his year-end review, “Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice.” Up there on the list of “challenges” facing the DOJ? Domestic use of drones, particularly by law enforcement. IG Michael Horowitz emphasizes that while unmanned systems will undoubtably prove to be hugely […]

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Drones vs. Shotguns: Drone Hunting in Deer Tail

Drones vs. Shotguns: Drone Hunting in Deer Tail

In one of the odder efforts to “protect” Fourth Amendment rights, a small town in Colorado has taken to the practice of “drone hunting.” Led by Phil Steel, the Deer Tail drone hunters have proposed an ordinance that seeks “to defend the sovereign airspace of the Town of Deer Trail, Colorado, and that of its […]

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Google tentatively enters the Military Industrial Complex

Google tentatively enters the Military Industrial Complex

Last Friday, December 13, Google announced its acquisition of Boston Dynamics, a prominent robotics manufacturer. Boston Dynamics is most famous for producing robots resembling animal-like quadrapeds and bipeds with remarkable agility and balance. Despite a streak of other robotics company acquisitions in the past half year, Google’s purchase of Boston Dynamics is significant in that […]

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Save a DARPA Researcher, Play a Video Game

Save a DARPA Researcher, Play a Video Game

In an effort to speed up the “formal verification”—the process of checking whether a design or model adheres to a certain set of requirements—the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants you to play online games. DARPA’s Crowd Sourced Formal Verification (CSFV) project, as per their website, “seeks to replace the intensive work done by […]

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Why Do We Love (or Hate) Drones?

Why Do We Love (or Hate) Drones?

A couple of months ago I attended DARC, the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference, at New York University. The conference brought together a mishmash of computer nerds, drone aficionados, engineers, policy wonks and a handful of (mostly friendly) robots. One of the strangest debates—one that is playing itself out among the American public and policymakers […]

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Message to Congress: No More Starships Please

Message to Congress: No More Starships Please

  “With a decade of experience now to draw from, this is the moment to ask ourselves hard questions — about the nature of today’s threats and how we should confront them.” —- President Obama (May, 2013) “The biggest, meanest, most advanced destroyer ever operated by the U.S Navy is about to hit the water […]

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Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr. on Defense

Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr. on Defense

Hosted by Sarwar Kashmeri, the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions podcast series will headline issues together with the leaders whose decisions today will mold the foreign policy of tomorrow. Each podcast will deal with a different Great Decisions topic in the 2014 series, a list of which can be found here. Our first podcast will […]

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A Candid Discussion with Ron Deibert

A Candid Discussion with Ron Deibert

Ronald J. Deibert, is Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Canada Center for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs,at the University of Toronto. Dr. Deibert is also a co-founder and a principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative and Information Warfare Monitor. Considered one of the world’s leading experts on cyber […]

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Strategic Stability in Cyberspace

Strategic Stability in Cyberspace

The unclassified version of the 2013 Annual Report to Congress on the Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China provides a glimpse of the military build-up and capabilities of China in the second decade of the 21st century: “The U.S. Department of Defense seeks to build a military-to-military relationship with China that is sustained and substantive, while encouraging China to cooperate […]

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Jaws, Nuclear Weapons, and Cyber War

Jaws, Nuclear Weapons, and Cyber War

“It’s all psychological. You yell barracuda, everybody says, ‘Huh? What?’ You yell shark, we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.” In the summer of 1975, the budding auteur, Steven Spielberg, created a virtual panic at America’s beaches with ingeniously crafted screen images of a certain Great White Fish. The top […]

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Well, what are we going to do with those cyber baddies

Well, what are we going to do with those cyber baddies

U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers chairs the House of Representatives’ panel on intelligence, which this week overwhelmingly approved a new cyber security bill designed to enhance data sharing between the government and private industry to protect computer networks and intellectual property from cyber attacks. Yet the day before it passed, Rogers had a more novel idea […]

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