Catherine Marsh: problem solver

Development of new tools for tackling the U.S. intelligence community’s most difficult problems is the task facing Catherine Marsh, newly-appointed director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. Working within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Marsh succeeds Stacey Dixon, deputy director since last May of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  [node:read-more:link]

AI proliferation an oversight challenge

The growing use of artificial intelligence throughout the U.S. government eliminates bias, preparing the workforce and defining ethical use, but the Director of National Intelligence’s office says it also poses a challenge to oversight. Accordingly, DNI’s inspector general has begun explorin the creation of an IG community of interest to induce collaboration between various departments and agencies. [node:read-more:link]

Ex-CIA officer conspired to help China

A former Central Intelligence Agency case officer who pleaded guilty to conspiring to spy on behalf of China has been sentenced to 19 years in prison. Jerry Chun Shing Lee, had worked for the CIA in several locations and had intimate knowledge of its classified information and names of covert CIA officers in China. [node:read-more:link]

Korea-Japan intelligence agreement

South Korea has opted to continue an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan just hours before it was scheduled to expire. The future of the General Security of Military Information Agreement had been threatened by a deepening trade and diplomatic dispute. South Korea had announced in August that it would terminate the pact and Japan responded by canceling Japan’s status as a favoured trading partner. [node:read-more:link]

Facial recognition challenged

Draft bipartisan legislation which would require law enforcement to have a warrant to use facial recognition technology to track U.S. citizens has been introduced in Congress by Delaware Democrat Chris Coons and Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee. The growing use of facial recognition has raised concerns about individual privacy and civil liberties. [node:read-more:link]

Fadden laments “dysfunctional” West

Richard Fadden — a former former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, former Deputy Minister of National Defence and former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service — has received the 29th Vimy Award from the Conference of Defence Associations. He used his acceptance speech to say, among other things, that perhaps one of the greatest threats faced by a “dysfunctional” West is a lack of a common threat assessment. Fadden also said China and Russia are strategic adversaries, not just aggressive competitors. [node:read-more:link]

JEDI contract goes to Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. has secured a $10-billion Department of Defense contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud data storage program. Amazon Web Services, sole host for the U.S. intelligence community’s cloud storage for six years, had been considered the front-runner in the often litigious bidding process. [node:read-more:link]

Confidence in AI lacking?

The U.S. administration’s Office of Science & Technology Policy says it is trying to foster public trust and build government agencies’ confidence in regulating artificial intelligence technologies. The OSTP’s assistant director for artificial intelligence says in a memorandum that the goal is to establish some common principles and some predictability across agencies in terms of how they think about regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to the use of AI. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. intelligence official arrested

Henry Kyle Frese, a Defense Intelligence Agency official in Virginia, has been charged ith leaking classified information to two journalists. Arrested by the FBI Oct. 9 when he arrived for work, the 30-year-old is alleged to have accessed at least five classified reports and provided information about another country’s weaponry to one of the journalists with whom he had a relationship. [node:read-more:link]

The mission against the West

A hitherto unknown unit within Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, is reported to be conducting operations to destabilize Europe and its allies. The New York Times quotes a retired GRU officer as saying that Unit 29155 is comprised of agents who carry out assassinations and other missions designed to foment unrest abroad. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine envoy quits

Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO and the Department of State’s unpaid prt-time special envoy for Ukraine, has stepped down. He reportedly quit because he felt he could no longer be effective due to the mounting controversy over President Donald Trump’s conversations with his Ukrainian counterpart. Volker is expected to appear before a congressional committee this week. [node:read-more:link]

The “Terminator” factor

The U.S. Air Force officer who heads the Joint Artificial Intelligence Centre in the Department of Defense says there is “no stronger proponent” for AI within the DoD. However, as the U.S. begins a multi-billion-dollar modernization of its Nuclear Command, Control and Communications facilities, LGen Jack Shanahan says he pauses when AI is considered for NC3. [node:read-more:link]

Alleged spy’s lawyer awaits more information

The lawyer for Cameron Ortis, the RCMP intelligence director accused of preparing to share classified secrets, says he is waiting for key information. Ian Carter says he only has an initial synopsis of the case against his client but does expect more disclosure by the Crown this week. [node:read-more:link]

High-level rift over Saudi attack

The U.S. administration evidently is divided over whom to blame for the recent drone attck on Saudi Arabian petroleum installations. The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Johnathan Hoffman, says that while there are indications that Iran was in “some way” responsible, he declined to definitively blame Iran. This was after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was “abundantly clear” that Iran was responsible. [node:read-more:link]


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