H. Keith Melton on Cuba’s “Acoustic Attack”

The U.S. State Department recently revealed that some government employees working in the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba were sent home due to symptoms resembling a concussion, with at least one employee suffering from hearing loss. State Department officials have said this was an “acoustic attack,” using sonic devices outside the range of audible sound that were placed either inside or outside the diplomats’ residences. This week, The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spends 15 minutes with H. Keith Melton, an intelligence historian, author, and board member of the International Spy Museum, who recently co-authored Spy Sites of Washington, DC with former CIA Director of the Office of Technical Service Robert Wallace. Here, they talk about the history of espionage activities between the U.S. and Cuba, and which country is the biggest espionage threat to the United States.

Rob Joyce on White House Cybersecurity

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. This week, The Cipher Brief’s CEO and Publisher Suzanne Kelly spends 15 minutes with Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator. Prior to his role in the new administration, Joyce was chief of the NSA’s elite hacking unit named Tailored Access Operations. Joyce now leads the government’s coordination of all things cyber, a big job to take on considering the number of agencies, departments, and threats. Suzanne spoke with Joyce about his role, and what he sees as the biggest cyber threats today.

Best of Special Featuring Jason Matheny, Director of IARPA

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. This week, The Cipher Brief brings you a special best of episode of one of our most fascinating guests, Jason Matheny, Director of IARPA, the research branch for the intelligence community that works on ways to tell the future. The Cipher Brief’s CEO and Publisher, Suzanne Kelly, spoke with Jason about what exactly IARPA does, what keeps him up at night, and if there’s ways to predict political instability and unrest.

Ambassador James Dobbins on America's Future Abroad

A U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, envoy to Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia: James Dobbins has had years of experience representing U.S. interests abroad. Along with his numerous positions, he was also lead negotiator to the Bonn Agreement, which re-created the state of Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion. In this week’s 15 Minutes podcast, The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge speaks with Ambassador Dobbins about his experiences as a diplomat, what role the U.S. has abroad under the Trump administration, and his new book, Foreign Service: Five Decades on the Frontlines of American Policy.

Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Russia, Fake News, and Twitterbots

15 minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. It’s a rough time for liberal democracies – with fake news and election hacking creating a growing erosion of trust in governments. Estonia, a small country in eastern Europe and previously under the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence, was hit by a wave of cyber attacks in 2007, which many believe Russia orchestrated. Since then, Estonia and former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves have been focused on building up cyber defenses. This week, The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spends 15 minutes with President Ilves, who is now a visiting fellow at Stanford’s Institute for International Studies. Here, they talk about fake news, twitterbots, and the future of artificial intelligence.

Secretary Ray Mabus on Innovation in the Navy

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. The U.S. Navy protects our seas around the clock. But what else does the Navy do? It innovates – a lot. Ray Mabus, who was Secretary of the Navy under both Obama Administrations and held that post longer than anyone since World War I, created a fully green fleet during his tenure. Now, 65 percent of energy on navy bases around the world comes from non-fossil fuels. This week, The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spends 15 minutes with Secretary Mabus, who was previously the Governor of Mississippi and U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Here, he tells Kaitlin about other innovations in the Navy, like unmanned underwater vehicles that compete with Russia and China on underwater capabilities.

15 Minutes with Former Members of the Armed Services

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. This week, The Cipher Brief celebrates Independence Day by looking back at interviews we did with men who served this country in the Armed Forces. From Robert 'Buzz' Patterson, a former air force pilot and military aide to President Clinton, to Senator John McCain, a former naval pilot and POW, to Jack Keane, a retired four-star general, these men have made important sacrifices for and contributions to national security.

Secretary James on Space Based Missile Defense

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. As the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force under President Obama, one of Deborah Lee James' principal concerns was U.S. advancement un space. She believes it's mission-critical for the United States to better protect its satellite communication and missile warning systems. The Cipher Brief's Fritz Lodge joined Secretary James for a discussion on the role of U.S. armed forces in space - and some of the game-changing advancements that may come soon in space-based missile defense. 

Sandy Grimes on the Rick Ames Mole Hunt

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. From 1985 to 1994, CIA officer Aldrich Ames was actually a spy for the Soviets. At the time of his arrest in ’94, he had compromised more CIA assets than any other mole in history. This week, The Cipher Brief’s Leone Lakhani spends 15 minutes with former CIA officer Sandy Grimes, who was instrumental in uncovering Ames. She had worked beside him as a young officer with the CIA’s Soviet bloc division. Here, she shares her personal experiences with Ames and why she believes he was such a valuable Soviet target.

Scott Carpenter on Using Technology to Stay Safe Online

There’s seldom a day that we don’t hear about cyber attacks, hacks, and how governments and the general public should protect against cyber threats or criminals. One company says its mission is to use technology to do just that: keep people safe online. The company’s called Jigsaw. It’s a technology incubator created by Google. But how do they do it? The Cipher Brief’s Leone Lakhani spends 15 minutes with Jigsaw’s Managing Director Scott Carpenter to find out.