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2016 Presidential CampaignPatriot ActThursday, May 28, 2015

The Patriot Act in Policy and the Presidential Campaign | Tobias Gibson

The Patriot Act in Policy and the Presidential Campaign By Tobias Gibson, NSN Non-Resident Fellow May 28, 2015 | The Hill Recent developments have all but guaranteed the demise of significant programs of the USA Patriot Act. The history of the act is well-documented, and the sprint to the June 1 deadline has been the subject of front-page news, commentary and presidential election hopes. Many politicians have expressed why they support the renewal of Section 215, the controversial section that the executive branch has interpreted to allow unlimited storage of “metadata.” Other politicians have opined about supposed civil liberties violations due to the government’s storage of this data. Pundits, too, have expressed, concern, support or even indifference about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) metadata collection… Read More ›

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ethics and New Defense Technology | Tobias Gibson

Ethics and New Defense Technology By Tobias Gibson March 3, 2015 | The Hill “What did you dream? It’s alright we told you what to dream.” — Pink Floyd, “Welcome to the Machine” Recently, there have been two trends, which when combined have a potential disconcerting impact for the future. First, with the rise of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers and educational opportunities, there has been a move to limit or cut the study in, and of, traditional liberal arts disciplines such as history, English and philosophy. The idea seems to be that STEM fields do not require the understanding of something as “soft” as culture or ethics. At the same time, there is very clearly a move toward increasing dependence on, and use of,… Read More ›

North KoreaMonday, December 22, 2014

Bill French Quoted on North Korea Cyberattack by IBTimes

Is The North Korea Cyberattack On Sony An Act Of War? By Horward Koplowitz  December 22, 2014 | International Business Times President Barack Obama’s declaration Sunday that the North Korean attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment was an act of “cyber vandalism” and not an act of war has far-reaching implications for the U.S. response to the crippling hack that led Sony to cancel the release of the comedy film “The Interview.” Not only was the president correct in his assessment of the incident, experts said, but characterizing the attack as “cyber vandalism” and not war minimizes the chances of escalation between the two countries. The North Korean cyberattack wasn’t an act of war because no violence was inflicted and Americans’ physical security wasn’t in danger by Sony… Read More ›

Heather HurlburtIranNSAFriday, June 28, 2013

Heather Hurlburt Quoted in Politico on the Cartwright Investigation and the Shape of the Iran Debate

Cartwright saga part of wider Iran debate By Phillip Ewing | Politico Pro June 28, 2013 James Cartwright never wanted a shooting war with Iran to become a forgone conclusion. The former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs said so in public, urging audiences to expand their thinking about how the U.S. should to try to deter Tehran. The question raised Thursday night was whether he said so in private to The New York Times, even giving reporter David Sanger classified details about America’s cyberstrategy, including the cyberweapon Stuxnet. Heather Hurlburt, director of the National Security Network, said when she went back and looked at the Times stories, she remembered the impression they created when they first appeared last year. “You did very much have… Read More ›

ChinaClimate SecurityNorth KoreaThursday, June 13, 2013

Taking Stock of the Obama-Xi Summit

Last week’s unprecedented two day summit between Presidents Obama and Xi exceeded many expectations, providing forward momentum on cooperation to denuclearize North Korea and a commitment on cooperation to reduce hydrocarbon emissions on both sides of the Pacific. Progress on the most controversial aspect of the summit’s agenda – cybersecurity – proved elusive, though there was forward movement immediately preceding the meeting. Perhaps most significant, though, was the framing of the meeting as two great powers who recognize that avoiding the historical precedent for conflict between emerging and established powers will benefit both sides. Summit highlights shared  desire to chart a new course for the great power relationship; giving it content rather than conflict will be the overarching challenge for the foreseeable future. Richard Bush… Read More ›

ChinaCompetitivenessdiplomacyMilitarySouth China SeaThursday, June 6, 2013

Rightsizing Xi and Obama: What’s at Stake and Going Forward

On Friday and Saturday, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet for an unprecedented two day summit in California. The summit is an opportunity to “rightsize” the relationship – not offering many concrete deliverables but building toward the blend of competition and cooperation that offers the best path toward a stable, prosperous and increasingly open Pacific future. Among the many important issues on the table, the four issues of cybersecurity, economic competition, military relations and China’s often serious disputes with American allies require the greatest clarity and care to set the stage for progress across the board.  Tackling cybersecurity:  What’s at stake: Sino-U.S. relations in cyberspace are perhaps the most immediate and sensitive issue confronting Xi and Obama. Chinese officials have pushed back… Read More ›

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Progress and Challenges on Cybersecurity

Today, there were fresh reminders of the serious cybersecurity challenge facing the United States as Anonymous claims to have stolen personnel information from the State Department and a cybersecurity firm publishes detailed evidence that appears to link the Chinese military to cyber espionage. Last week, the Obama administration issued an executive order to improve data sharing and create incentives for private firms to heighten cyber security. But new legislation is also needed — and lawmakers must learn from past failed attempts and more successfully balance security, privacy and commerce concerns. Cyber-espionage threatens America’s economic competitiveness, security and individual well-being. A recent classified National Intelligence Estimate report highlights the challenge of cyber espionage. The Washington Post reports, “The report, which represents the consensus view of the… Read More ›

2012 ElectiondiplomacyIranMissile DefenseMitt RomneyNukesWednesday, July 25, 2012

Where Romney, “the Generals” Don’t Align

Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC summarized the policy community’s response to Governor Romney’s national security speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday: “Mitt Romney is yet to be specific … he has laid out a contrast but not a specific policy.” Meanwhile Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol warned  Romney not to short change national security. One of Romney’s themes is that he would listen to generals on the ground in setting policy specifics. However, the speech itself didn’t touch on several issues of topical concern to military leaders – veterans’ affairs, cybersecurity, the role of nuclear weapons; and left aside the advice of military and security experts on several others, most notably Iran and missile defense. Keeping promises to veterans. Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs,… Read More ›

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