Tag Archive | National Security

Is Social Media a Cybersecurity Gamechanger?

February 27, 2013

The Commons Lab just released a new policy memo analyzing the increased potential of social media to exacerbate conflict situations and create cybersecurity threats – a potential “gamechanger” as the United States seeks to ramp up its cybersecurity efforts. The brief is the first in the program’s Policy Memo Series. Author: Dr. Rebecca Goolsby.

Summary: Social media is responsible for much positive change in the world. But these new tools can be used by bad actors to foment strife and undermine stability, as seen during violent incidents in the Assam state of northeast India in July 2012. Cybersecurity efforts must take into account the growing potential for cyber-attack using social media, where hoax messages are incorporated into a stream of otherwise legitimate messages, and understand how quickly mobile apps and text services can disseminate false information. Authorities and volunteers must develop a healthy skepticism about information derived from these systems and new research and tools are needed to facilitate the self-policing of social media.

To download a copy of the report On Cybersecurity, Crowdsourcing, and Social Cyber-Attack (PDF), go to the Commons Lab Reports Collection on Scribd.

via Is Social Media a Cybersecurity Gamechanger? | Commons Lab.

Next generation Total Information Awareness? Software tracks people’s movements and behavior with social media

Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm, by Ryan Gallagher, The Guardian, Feb 10, 2013

A multinational security firm has secretly developed software [named RIOT, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology] capable of tracking people’s movements and predicting future behaviour by mining data from social networking websites. A video obtained by the Guardian reveals how an “extreme-scale analytics” system created by Raytheon, the world’s fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. …But the Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security system capable of analysing “trillions of entities” from cyberspace. ….

For full text of the article, visit Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm | World news | The Guardian.

 

New NRC Report: Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence

Mapping Sciences Committee, National Research Council Preview Report Release, Jan 2013

Authors:
Committee on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence; Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; Board on Higher Education and Workforce; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

Abstract: We live in a changing world with multiple and evolving threats to national security, including terrorism, asymmetrical warfare (conflicts between agents with different military powers or tactics), and social unrest. Visually depicting and assessing these threats using imagery and other geographically-referenced information is the mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As the nature of the threat evolves, so do the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to respond. The challenge for NGA is to maintain a workforce that can deal with evolving threats to national security, ongoing scientific and technological advances, and changing skills and expectations of workers.

Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence assesses the supply of expertise in 10 geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) fields, including 5 traditional areas (geodesy and geophysics, photogrammetry, remote sensing, cartographic science, and geographic information systems and geospatial analysis) and 5 emerging areas that could improve geospatial intelligence (GEOINT fusion, crowdsourcing, human geography, visual analytics, and forecasting). The report also identifies gaps in expertise relative to NGA’s needs and suggests ways to ensure an adequate supply of geospatial intelligence expertise over the next 20 years.

To download a PDF copy of the report, visit Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence.

Drone Programs Sparks Budgetary and Privacy Concerns

By Steve Aftergood, Secrecy News, January 31, 2013

The development of unmanned aerial systems (or drones) for military and civilian applications appears to be accelerating faster than the normal policy process can adapt to it.  Aside from festering doubts about the legality, propriety and wisdom of their routine use in targeted killing operations, drone programs are beset by budgetary confusion, and a host of privacy and other legal problems are poised to emerge with the expanded use of drones in domestic airspace. … Meanwhile, “Perhaps the most contentious issue concerning the introduction of drones into U.S. airspace is the threat that this technology will be used to spy on American citizens,” said a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

For full text of the article visit Secrecy News here.

A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.  See Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues, January 30, 2013.

See also Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends, January 30, 2013.

Additional resources on drone policy issues are available from the Electronic Privacy Information Center here.

GAO Says OMB and Feds Need to Make Coordination a Priority

Geospatial Information

GAO-13-94, Nov 26, 2012

What GAO Found

While the President and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have established policies and procedures for coordinating investments in geospatial data, governmentwide committees and federal departments and agencies have not effectively implemented them. The committee that was established to promote the coordination of geospatial data nationwide–the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)–has developed and endorsed key standards– including a metadata standard that includes descriptive information about a particular set of geospatial data–and established a clearinghouse of metadata; however, the clearinghouse is not being used by agencies to identify planned geospatial investments to promote coordination and reduce duplication. The FGDC has not yet planned or implemented an approach to manage geospatial data as related groups of investments to allow agencies to more effectively plan geospatial data collection efforts and minimize duplicative investments; and its strategic plan is missing key elements, such as performance measures for many of its defined objectives. Further, none of the three federal departments in GAO’s review have fully implemented important activities for coordinating geospatial data, such as preparing and implementing a strategy for advancing geospatial activities within their respective departments.

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Drone Reading Roundup (Updated)

Disclaimer: These links were collected and accessed on April 8, 2012. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather is a short bibliography of recent articles on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/ sUAV) and drones, with a primary focus on the legal and policy issues surrounding their use within the United States.

FAA LEGISLATION AND REGULATION OF DRONES

  • Conference Report on H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012, Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 16 (February 1, 2012), House of Representatives, Pages H230 – H304, Posted to FAS Website: http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2012/02/faa-uas.html

VIDEOS

REFERENCES

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The Impact of Domestic Drones on Privacy, Safety and National Security

On April 4, 2012, Governance Studies at Brookings Institution will hold a forum focused on the privacy, safety and national security implications of drones in American airspace. A panel of experts will address the challenge of realizing the many potential benefits of drones while minimizing the risks that will accompany their growing use.

For more information and to register for this event, visit The Impact of Domestic Drones on Privacy, Safety and National Security – Brookings Institution.

Looking at the National Security Implications of Social Media

By Eric Rasmussen, MD of AccessAgility in Communia Blog, Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson Center, February 23, 2012

In December 2011 I [Dr. Eric Rasmussen] was asked to keynote a workshop for the Office of Naval Research on a topic I knew rather little about: The National Security Implications of Social Media. Nice chance to go look stuff up and explore a realm I’d so far seen only through my own superficial exposure and the incidental comments of my teenaged daughters and their boyfriends. The topic was chosen, of course, because others thought the question contained a depth that likely extended far beyond the trivial and into areas that might require alteration of policy, legislation, or mindset. I found far more of value than I expected, and the very real national security implications I eventually drew were in areas I had not considered before my research began.

“Social media” is, as might be expected, a loaded term across the generations with a number of formal definitions. It seems reasonable to go to Wikipedia, an exceptionally good example of social media, for a recursive definition: “Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue.” Many would add specific mention of the creation and exchange of user-generated content that moves far beyond simple dialogue into entertainment, education, persuasion, and polemic. …

For full text of this article, visit Looking at the National Security Implications of Social Media « Communia.

DARPA’s Spy Telescope Will Stream Real-Time Video from Any Spot on Earth

DARPA‘s Spy Telescope Will Stream Real-Time Video  from Any Spot on Earth

by Ms. Smith, NetworkWorld, December 19, 2011

…Satellites zooming in at any time on any spot on globe to stream real-time video is like something you see in the movies, but DARPA has envisioned a giant spy eye with a massive contact lens peering down at our planet to meet national security needs. This lens would be about 66 feet in diameter and would be attached to a space-based spy telescope in order to hover in orbit and “take real-time images or live video of any spot on Earth.” DARPA said such capabilities do not currently exist, but the Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) program will change all of that….

For full text of the article via Privacy and Security Fanatic: DARPA’s Spy Telescope Will Stream Real-Time Video from Any Spot on Earth.

DHS | Presidential Policy Directive / PPD-8: National Preparedness

March 30, 2011

PRESIDENTIAL POLICY DIRECTIVE/PPD-8 NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS

SUBJECT: National Preparedness

This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. Our national preparedness is the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. Everyone can contribute to safeguarding the Nation from harm. As such, while this directive is intended to galvanize action by the Federal Government, it is also aimed at facilitating an integrated, all-of-Nation, capabilities-based approach to preparedness.

Therefore, I hereby direct the development of a national preparedness goal that identifies the core capabilities necessary for preparedness and a national preparedness system to guide activities that will enable the Nation to achieve the goal. The system will allow the Nation to track the progress of our ability to build and improve the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from those threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation.

The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism shall coordinate the interagency development of an implementation plan for completing the national preparedness goal and national preparedness system. The implementation plan shall be submitted to me within 60 days from the date of this directive, and shall assign departmental responsibilities and delivery timelines for the development of the national planning frameworks and associated interagency operational plans described below.

For full text of PPD-8, visit DHS | Presidential Policy Directive / PPD-8: National Preparedness.

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