Skip to content

Category Archives: Technology

“The Future of Violence” on Diane Rehm

By
Monday, March 30, 2015 at 5:02 PM

This morning, Gabriella Blum and I had the pleasure of appearing on the Diane Rehm Show to discuss The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones——Confronting A New Age of Threat. It was a good discussion for those who missed the book’s launch event at Brookings. Here’s the audio:

The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones—Confronting a New Age of Threat

By and
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 10:51 AM

We’re thrilled to announce the publication today of our new book, The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones——Confronting A New Age of Threat. The book takes on what we think is a pretty big question: How do you govern a world in which anyone can attack anyone from anywhere? Technologies of attack have . . .
Read more »

Data Analytics and Policing

By
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 9:25 AM

This interesting article on the NYPD’s use of data analytics came across my desk the other day.  Here is the abstract: The New York City Police Department’s Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center integrates data from a variety of sources, including sensors (cameras, license plate readers, and environmental detectors) and records (arrests, complaints, summonses, 911 calls, . . .
Read more »

Did the Secret Service Watch the Lawfare Drone Smackdown?

By
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 2:07 PM

Over at Defense One, Patrick Tucker has an interesting article headlined: “Did the White House Use Drone Killing Technology?” It opens: At about 3 a.m. on Monday morning, a small quadcopter drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle, crashed on the White House lawn. White House officials said that the drone, by itself, was unarmed and didn’t . . .
Read more »

Breaking Bad Drones

By
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 12:32 PM

Just in time for Gabriella Blum and my forthcoming book, The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones: —Confronting A New Age of Threat, comes this story from the Associated Press: Police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot. Tijuana police spokesman . . .
Read more »

Help An Elementary School Find Its Lost Drone

By
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 2:39 PM

It seems Chesterbrook Elementary, of Fairfax County, Virginia, has lost its drone—and now wishes to enlist the help of the community in locating it. Such is the gist of the below email, sent by a school official earlier today. (I have embedded the video and pictures, which are linked in the original.)  Chesterbrook isn’t that far . . .
Read more »

Lawfare Buys A Bitcoin—Buying the Coin

By
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 11:04 AM

So . . .  you can’t explore bitcoins unless you actually have one in hand. If you don’t then, well, it’s really all pretty theoretical. We wanted to have some skin in the game, so to speak, so we decided we needed a bitcoin of our own.  For reasons that will become clear as we . . .
Read more »

Safety At The Turn of the Last Century — A Satire

By
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 3:06 PM

MEMORANDUM TO DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION From:   BoFT Safety Inspectors Re:         Auto-mobile Issues Date:     Circa 1910 We write with concern regarding the safety of the newest transportation innovation the “auto-mobile.” As you know the auto-mobile is a novel technology that has yet to be fully tested by the government. We therefore think . . .
Read more »

Senator Feinstein Intends to Introduce Drone Safety Legislation

By
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has announced that she plans to introduce new legislation aimed to “significantly strengthen drone safety laws to protect U.S. airline passengers and U.S. airspace.” The announcement comes in a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Heurta, in which she cites evidence of more than 190 drone safety incidents in the last nine . . .
Read more »

WSJ on the FAA’s Draft Rules for Commercial Use of Small Drones

By
Monday, November 24, 2014 at 11:32 AM

I missed yesterday’s intriguing little report from Jack Nicas and Andy Pasztor, which opens: Highly anticipated federal rules on commercial drones are expected to require operators to have a license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls, according to people familiar with the rule-making . . .
Read more »

NTSB Overturns ALJ Ruling in Pirker Drone Case

By
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Robot-inclined folk probably already know the story of Rafael Pirker.  In 2011 he flew his Ritewing Zephyr powered glider over the University of Virginia, while taking aerial photos; allegedly the aircraft also performed some dangerous, low-altitude maneuvers.  This brought on Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) enforcement and a $10,000 fine. It was therefore quite a big . . .
Read more »

The Navy’s Scary New Death Ray

By
Monday, November 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Got a problem with Iranian UAVs threatening your ships? Want to remotely start fires on small boats? The US Navy has just what you need: the 30 kilowatt-class Laser Weapon System (LaWS). Defense News reports that the US Navy debuted the system this past August on the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship currently based . . .
Read more »

NYT on Autonomous Weapons and Ways to Regulate Them

By and
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

The New York Times has a useful article today on autonomous weapon systems and debate about their regulation.  The issue is also on the discussion agenda this week in Geneva for the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapon.  The Times article says: Warfare is increasingly guided by software. Today, armed drones can be operated by . . .
Read more »

Dronestagram

By
Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Stumbling around the internet last night, I found this gem: Dronestagram. It’s exactly what you would think; a free, user-built collection of videos and pictures shot by drones from all around the world. In this great little project you can… Take part in the “Drone de France”: Or, tour the rest of the world with . . .
Read more »

Look Who Else Has Drones: ISIS and Al Nusra

By
Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Since the introduction of drone technology to the battlefield, countless academics, policymakers, and military planners have pondered a disturbing question: what happens when other countries or non-state actors have access to them? In Syria, we may be starting to see the effects that the dissemination of drone technology will mean for the future of war. In . . .
Read more »

Hawk v. Drone

By
Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Excellent!

New Tech and National Security Law — 3D Printing Redux

By
Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Just as Ben seems taken with Drone technology, I’ve become a fan of 3D Printing (otherwise known as Additive Manufacturing) and its national security implications.    And it’s becoming a bit of a “thing” here in Washington DC as the 2nd Annual Additive Manufacturing for Government conference later this year will attest.  But the real attraction . . .
Read more »

Drone Dance

By
Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Austrian drone-swarm dance with lights. Very cool.

Government Files Reply in Klayman v. Obama, ACLU Moves to Participate in Oral Argument

By
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 9:20 AM

On Friday the government filed its response and reply brief in Klayman v. Obama, (1) arguing that the Judge Richard Leon erred in granting plaintiff-appellee-cross-appellants a preliminary injunction against Section 215 bulk telephony-metadata collection and (2) countering Klayman et al.’s cross-appeal for additional preliminary injunctive relief against government programs that involve “internet data surveillance activity.” Most of . . .
Read more »

The FBI’s Facial Recognition Program

By
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Earlier this week, the FBI announced the completion of its “next generation” facial recognition program.  The system, now “fully operational” will house more than 52 million faces, which (assuming no duplication) is roughly 1 in 6 Americans.  The system is said to be only moderately effective — it will typically return 50 possible matches for . . .
Read more »