29 Jan 2019

Deepfake videos: Inside the Pentagon’s race against disinformation

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working with universities and research collaborations around the country to combat deep fake technology. Deep fakes pose a unique and near-existential threat to countries like the U.S. where free media and fair elections are an important cornerstone of civic life. Deep fake

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29 Jan 2019

The Pentagon Wants to Stop Enemies From ‘Poisoning’ AI

Through a “Guaranteeing AI Robustness against Deception” program, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working to guard against malicious manipulation of A.I. systems. In its project solicitation, DARPA writes that “the growing sophistication and ubiquity of ML [Machine Learning] components in advanced systems dramatically…increases opportunities for new, potentially

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25 Jan 2019

Budget Office: U.S. to spend projected $494 billion on nuclear weapons programs over next 10 years

The estimate for total U.S. spending on nuclear arsenal modernization and maintenance has been increased to $494 billion over the next 10 years, increasing 23% over the 2017 estimate. This rise will likely become a point of significant debate in the next year in the relevant congressional committees, and could

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25 Jan 2019

US Military Eyes Tiny Nuclear Reactors for Deployed Troops

The U.S. military is funding research towards small, mobile nuclear power stations for forward operating bases. The military has been conducting research on small nuclear reactors since the 1950s, but funding has come and gone during periods of sequestration. Now, with the immense energy requirements and logistical difficulties in securing

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25 Jan 2019

The Pentagon flew more drones for domestic missions in 2018 than the last 7 years combined

The U.S. military has supported domestic missions with drones several times in the past decades, but 2018 marked a highpoint of military drone usage domestically, surpassing the past seven years combined and suggesting a continued support relationship in 2019 and beyond. Of the 2018 missions, four supported forrest firefighting efforts

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18 Jan 2019

Pentagon Releases 2019 Missile Defense Review

“Military superiority is not a birthright granted to us,” the Pentagon’s freshly-released Missile Defense Review reads in the preface. “It is the product of diligence, creativity, and sustained investment.” Most recently, this creativity and sustained investment may mean installing space-based sensors to monitor and help destroy incoming missiles. The U.S.

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10 Jan 2019

Pentagon Owns Fewer Buildings Than It Previously Thought: Audit

One of the discoveries of the recent military audit is that the Pentagon has significantly fewer buildings than what is listed in its books. This finding may change ongoing requests for base closures and other measures. In the Navy, the audit revealed that 6.5% of building infrastructure had been demolished

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27 Dec 2018

How the new acting Pentagon chief views cybersecurity

“President Donald Trump announced in a Dec. 23 tweet that Patrick Shanahan will become acting secretary of defense Jan. 1, replacing outgoing Pentagon chief Jim Mattis two months early. While it is not clear how long Shanahan will remain in the job, he is on the short list of officials

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13 Dec 2018

Pentagon to Take Over All Security Clearances in Nine Months, Officials Say

“The Defense Department and Office of Personnel Management expect to have merged two offices and moved 2,000 federal employees and a 600,000-case backlog of security clearance investigations nine months from now. The new office will be established under the Defense Security Service by Oct. 1, Director for Defense Intelligence Garry

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10 Dec 2018

Trump reverses course, tells Pentagon to boost budget request to $750 billion

Reversing his pledge to cut defense funding by 5% to $700 billion for fiscal year 2020, Trump has requested a $750 billion budget proposal from SecDef Mattis. Military officials had been fighting vigorously against the cut as failing to meet their “strategy-driven” request of $733 billion. One source indicated that

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