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Analysis and Commentary

The Intercept’s Invitation To Criminality—And To Intelligence Agencies

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Intercept posted an interesting document yesterday designed to help a certain class of would-be-criminals—leakers of classified information—but which will, I would imagine, interest a different group of people too.

Analysis and Commentary

Automation Has Already Saved Lives

by John Villasenorvia New York Times
Thursday, January 29, 2015

We can't afford not to take advantage of vehicle automation technologies. With proper design, testing and regulation, advanced vehicle automation has the potential to greatly reduce the number of injuries and fatalities attributable to motor vehicle accidents.

Analysis and Commentary

A Speech by General Hayden

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Events which took place at a Washington and Lee School of Law symposium on “Cybersurveillance in the Post-Snowden Age” include a speech by General Michael Hayden about NSA and surveillance matters.

In the News

The Cobweb

quoting Anatol Shmelevvia The New Yorker
Monday, January 26, 2015

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 took off from Amsterdam at 10:31 A.M. G.M.T. on July 17, 2014, for a twelve-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur. Not much more than three hours later, the plane, a Boeing 777, crashed in a field outside Donetsk, Ukraine. All two hundred and ninety-eight people on board were killed.

Analysis and Commentary

Breaking Bad Drones

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, January 22, 2015

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 Threatcomes this story from the Associated Press:

Analysis and Commentary

Reactions To NYT Story On North Korean Cyber Penetration

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, January 19, 2015

David Sanger and Martin Fackler write in the NYT that the NSA “drilled into the Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world, picked through connections in Malaysia favored by North Korean hackers and penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies,” and also placed malware in North Korean computer systems “that could track the internal workings of many of the computers and networks used by the North’s hackers.” 

Analysis and Commentary

Obama’s War On Science

by Henry I. Millervia National Review Online
Monday, January 19, 2015

His administration’s lawlessness extends to genetic engineering.

Analysis and Commentary

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Precautionary Principle and Genetically Modified Organisms

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, January 19, 2015

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Antifragile, Black Swan, and Fooled by Randomness, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent co-authored paper on the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the use of the Precautionary Principle. Taleb contrasts harm with ruin and explains how the differences imply different rules of behavior when dealing with the risk of each. Taleb argues that when considering the riskiness of GMOs, the right understanding of statistics is more valuable than expertise in biology or genetics. The central issue that pervades the conversation is how to cope with a small non-negligible risk of catastrophe.

Stanford Oval
In the News

Stanford To Host White House Summit On Cybersecurity And Consumer Protection

quoting Amy Zegartvia Stanford News
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The White House announced Tuesday that it will host a Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford on Feb. 13, convening major stakeholders to help shape public and private sector efforts to protect consumers and companies from growing network threats.

Smartphone Image
In the News

It’s A Terrible Idea To Allow Cellphones In Schools

quoting Chester E. Finn Jr.via New York Post
Sunday, January 11, 2015

It’s too bad for Mayor de Blasio that 13-year-olds aren’t usually included in public opinion polls. If they were, his approval rating might have climbed significantly this week when he decided to lift New York City public schools’ ban on cellphones.


Energy Policy Task Force

The Task Force on Energy Policy addresses energy policy in the United States and its effects on our domestic and international political priorities, particularly our national security.