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Tech/Cyber

January 15, 2017
Bob Work, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, will tell you the Third Offset is the next generation of warfare. It may take at least ten years but it will showcase the rise of the machine, and the decline of the human in the business of operating weapons systems.
January 15, 2017
Imagine a weapon that strikes on its own, without the slightest hint of human judgment or compassion. It’s a chilling prospect, and not so far in the future unless the world calls a halt to such weapons’ development.
January 15, 2017
War, often rationalized as an extension of policy by violent means, has always been a deeply human experience. It defines much of human history and, unsurprisingly, changes in technology accompany—and are often driven by—adaptations in the conduct of warfare.
January 8, 2017
On November 29, Royal Assent was given to the UK Investigatory Powers Act, after eight months of intensive Parliamentary scrutiny, with hundreds of amendments made, following lengthy pre-legislative debate in three Parliamentary Committees.  The Act draws on the input from three separate, indepen
January 8, 2017
Surveillance law is absolutely necessary because it compels the government to write down, for all to clearly see, the rules that they must abide by as they undertake intrusive powers, often in secret, to investigate criminal activity and protect a country.
January 8, 2017
On January 1st, the United Kingdom began the implementation of the Investigatory Powers Act, widely considered the most comprehensive—and intrusive—surveillance law in the Western world.
December 25, 2016
Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017.
December 18, 2016
On December 1, Congress authorized sweeping new government hacking and surveillance authorities by allowing changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to take effect.
December 18, 2016
What if the U.S. government could force entry—in other words, hack—into electronic devices around the world, using only one warrant, even if the owners of those devices were not suspected of any criminal activity - and it would be legal?
December 18, 2016
With the growth of cybercrime facilitated by the global nature of the Internet, law enforcement is adapting their toolsets to better tackle the challenges presented by technologies that blur legal jurisdiction.
December 11, 2016
Do Chinese authorities need more laws to surveil people? From the earliest days of the Chinese Communist Party, authorities have kept the closest of eyes on all behavior for signs of dissent.
December 11, 2016
China’s new Cybersecurity Law, which received parliamentary approval in November and will go into effect in June of 2017, is not necessarily novel.
December 11, 2016
Last month, China’s legislature passed the Cybersecurity Law, which is due to take effect next summer. The controversial law has received a number of criticisms from technology companies, Western government officials, and human rights advocates.
December 4, 2016
Is a future where people can be arrested for crimes they have not yet committed dystopian or utopian? While this scenario remains the fodder of science fiction, new tools are rapidly challenging our libertarian conceptions of innocent until proven guilty.
December 4, 2016
The world has seen an enormous surge in the amount of data available, particularly human-generated digital exhaust from our Internet and communications habits. But only a small portion of this data is actually useful for security professionals. The U.S.
December 4, 2016
What if it were possible to predict where a crime took place before it actually occurred – even determining the identity of the culprit in advance? Social scientists have long believed that historical crime trends influence future patterns.
November 27, 2016
Amidst a rash of data breaches where compromised passwords provided the vector of attack – think Target, Anthem, OPM, or more recently, the Democratic National Committee – industry and government are working together to bolster their defenses. 
November 27, 2016
The use of biometrics to authenticate identity has been the subject of great debate for years, with opposing sides arguing its value for security, privacy, and convenience.
November 27, 2016
Cyberspace has grown into a vital domain of everyday life—we work, socialize, play, and conduct financial transactions online. Our lives now have a digital touch, and much like in the physical world, our identities are at the core of our virtual experience.
November 20, 2016
Discussions on artificial intelligence (AI) too often revolve around concerns about the sensationalist threat of “killer robots,” usually featured in science-fiction films or computer games. Killing is depicted as easy and rapid, done by steel-clad monsters with super-human abilities.
November 20, 2016
New technologies are changing the face of future warfare and few will be as impactful as the fusion of artificial intelligence into weapons systems.
November 20, 2016
Should humans delegate the responsibility of decisions over life and death to computer algorithms? The answer is not as simple as it seems—and it is the fundamental question concerning the military application of artificial intelligence in the future.
November 15, 2016
Drones have traditionally been used by Western militaries as a tool in counterterrorism efforts, but insurgent and terrorist groups are increasingly turning to small hobby drones to bolster their own efforts.
November 15, 2016
There is growing evidence that non-state actors are incorporating drone technology into their unconventional tactics, prompting concerns from militaries on how they can effectively counter this emerging threat.
November 15, 2016
Last month, Kurdish forces in northern Iraq shot down an Islamic State drone booby-trapped with explosives that later killed two Peshmerga soldiers as they inspected it.
November 6, 2016
On Tuesday, people around the United States will flood to local polling places to cast their vote for the future leadership of the United States. Voting—the very foundation of representative democracy—is predicated on privacy, anonymity, and freedom from outside influence or coercion.
November 6, 2016
When it comes to cybersecurity preparations for the 2016 election, it is now officially too late.
November 6, 2016
With elections around the corner and ongoing fears of Russian interference and vulnerabilities in electronic election systems, The Cipher Brief sat down with Rachel DeLevie-Orey of the Atlantic Council to discuss the current state of the U.S.
October 30, 2016
All Americans – including both company executives and law enforcement officials across the nation – want to keep our country safe and secure.
October 30, 2016
At least twice in the past year, the U.S. was Twappled.  That is, multibillion-dollar U.S. corporations used their significant position in their respective industry to obstruct the U.S.
October 30, 2016
Earlier this month, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper described reaching out to the private
October 23, 2016
After much hand-wringing, the U.S. publicly admitted that the Russian government is interfering with the Presidential election. This was an open secret for weeks, but pious hopes for the bilateral relationship postponed any confirmation.
October 23, 2016
Most political leaders understand that governments that fail to respond to public provocations by foreign states do so at their own risk. In recent years, the U.S.
October 23, 2016
Now that the Obama administration has publicly attributed the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other political entities to “Russia’s senior-most officials,”
October 9, 2016
As cyber attacks against U.S. government and private networks have increased in severity in recent years, the Congress and President have actively sought to identify, with the assistance of the U.S. private sector, conditions in U.S.
October 9, 2016
The past year has proven to be a contentious and disruptive time for the technology sector.
October 9, 2016
A confusing legal landscape and ever changing technology has created a challenging environment for businesses to navigate.  The Cipher Brief recently spoke to Chris Pogue, the Chief Information Security Officer at Nuix, about the nature of the problem and what needs to be done to bring govern
October 2, 2016
The risk of attack or theft from cyber-enabled actors has been made extremely clear to both private businesses and governments. The last few years have demonstrated that any connected device – be it a computer, a phone, or even a car – can be hacked by someone.
September 25, 2016
Observers around the world were shocked when news broke about a major bank heist in Bangladesh. This was no ordinary robbery though – this time, the thieves stole tens of millions of dollars by exploiting a flaw in the SWIFT network—an internationally recognized code for banks.
September 20, 2016
There are two different types of insider threat: negligent and malicious. Negligent insiders are people who give attackers access by mistake. For example, the employee who clicks on a spear-phishing email and lets hackers into their employer’s networks is a negligent insider.
August 28, 2016
In the wake of a series of hacks against government and private networks, it is clear that Russia and China are among the most active and proficient nations in regards to cyber operations.
August 21, 2016
Every day, the line between cyber-threats and physical threats grows thinner – blurring the crucial distinction between attacks on networks and attacks on materials objects.
July 31, 2016
Many metaphors have been applied to the Internet—information superhighway, World Wide Web, cyberspace, etc.—each evoking its different aspects.
July 31, 2016
After years of the U.S. suffering losses valued in the billions of dollars due to economically-motivated cyber espionage from China, there are some signs that China has begun to reduce its intrusions into U.S. private sector firms’ computer networks.
July 31, 2016
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack raised the threat of Chinese cyber-espionage in a way that the American people had never seen before. American businesses, on the other hand, should have been extremely familiar with it.
July 24, 2016
The issue of government access to privately held data about American citizens is an important one, and the debate about privacy has expanded into the field of social media.
July 24, 2016
Social media is a potentially powerful source of information for the Intelligence Community, but the tensions between the government and the tech industry have made it more difficult for the IC to partner with industry in order to efficiently utilize it.
July 24, 2016
The clash between the tech industry and the federal government over data access has become an enduring part of the national narrative about countering violent extremism.
July 21, 2016
When it comes to cyber attacks, one of the biggest problems is correctly determining who, exactly, is attacking you. This is called attribution, and it is extremely difficult, since many sophisticated actors are capable of obscuring or destroying evidence as to who they are.
July 11, 2016
One year ago, on July 10, 2015, Katherine Archuleta resigned her position as Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the face of intense criticism following the announcement that OPM had been the victim of the worst breach of a government network in U.S. history.

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