David Kirkpatrick

September 3, 2010

Balancing national security and privacy on the internet

An interesting breakdown on the current state of online privacy versus national security.

From the link:

In the wake of revelations that the US military network was compromised in 2008, and that US digital interests are under a relative constant threat of attack, the Pentagon is establishing new cyber security initiatives to protect the Internet. The Pentagon strategy–which is part digital NATO, part digital civil defense, and part Big Brother–may ruffle some feathers and raise concerns that the US Internet is becoming a military police state.

The mission of the United States Department of Defense is to provide military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the nation. The scope of that mission includes emerging threats and the need to deter cyber war and protect the digital security of the nation as well. To fulfill that mission in an increasingly connected world, and with a rising threat of digital attack, the Pentagon wants to expand its sphere of influence.

This really is a tough issue. Certainly you want the nation to be safe, but at the same time the internet is largely a borderless “pseudo-nation” and clamping down too hard — not unlike the great firewall of China — can stifle much of what makes the net great. No easy answers here, but dramatically increasing the power of the government — particularly the military — over the private sector is not an acceptable solution.

November 25, 2008

Obama’s keeping Gates at Pentagon helm

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:47 pm

This should be good news to both Obama supporters and detractors. And very bad news for our enemies abroad.

From the Political Punch link:

Sources tell ABC News that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be staying on in the top Pentagon job, for at least the first year of the Obama administration. “It is a done deal,” a source close to the process tells ABC News.

Gates, while a registered independent, has served numerous Republican administrations. President George W. Bush nominated Gates to replace the Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 midterm elections, when the war in Iraq was spiraling out of control.

The former Eagle Scout is expected to be rolled out immediately after the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend as part of a larger national security team expected to include Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, as Secretary of State; Marine Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.) as National Security Adviser; Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.) as Director of National Intelligence; and Dr. Susan Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

As CIA Director for President George H.W. Bush in 1992, Gates conveyed to incoming President Bill Clinton that he wished to stay on in that role. Clinton did not keep him on, replacing him instead with Jim Woolsey.

— Martha Raddatz and Jake Tapper

March 26, 2008

Silicon photonics tech

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:35 am

From KurzweilAI.net:

Replacing Wire With Laser, Sun Tries to Speed Up Data
New York Times, Mar. 24, 2008Sun Microsystems is planning to announce that is has received a $44 million contract from the Pentagon to explore the high-risk idea of replacing the wires between computer chips with laser beams.The “silicon photonics” technology would eradicate the most daunting bottleneck facing today’s supercomputer designers: moving information rapidly to solve problems that require hundreds or thousands of processors.
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February 20, 2008

Clinton-era Pentagon looked into weaponized laser

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:31 pm

Just from reading this little snippet, this sounds more like a weapon rather than torture — although like any weapon it sounds pretty unpleasant.

From the KurzweilAI.net newsletter:

   
Pentagon report investigated lasers that put voices in your head
PhysOrg.com, Feb. 18, 2008A recently unclassified report from the Pentagon from 1998 has revealed an investigation into using laser beams for potential methods of non-lethal torture.

They include putting voices in people’s heads, using lasers to trigger uncontrolled neuron firing, and slowly heating the human body to a point of feverish confusion, all from hundreds of meters away.
Read Original Article>>