Musk discounts intel-gathering cars concern

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is discounting reports that China had banned his companies automobiles from military facilities due to fears that onboard cameras could be used to gather intelligence. “There's a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information,” he says. “If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down.” [node:read-more:link]

Turkish detainees charged with espionage

Twenty-six persons, including 16 former Turkish Aerospace Industries employees and a former member of the government’s defence procurement agency, were detained today on suspicion of espionage. They also are accused of what Turkey says is a terrorist organization run by an exiled Muslim cleric. [node:read-more:link]

Italian frigate commander arrested

An Italian navy officer identified as a frigate captain has been arrested while allegedly handing over classified documents to a Russian officer posted at his country’s embassy in Rome. A national police special operations unit carried out the arrests March 30 “during a clandestine meeting between the two” at which money changed hands. [node:read-more:link]

Explosion at Iranian nuclear plant

A power failure apparently caused by a planned explosion struck Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment site April 11 in what Iranian officials was sabotage. Israeli and U.S. intelligence sources have said Israel was involved. [node:read-more:link]

Pentagon tackles Chinese influence

A surge in Chinese companies’ investment in U.S. defence suppliers has prompted the Pentagon to approve more than $311 million in potential partnerships with the private sector in a bid to contain Beijing;s influence. The Trusted Capital program targets, among others, companies involved in artificial intelligence and biotechnology. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign interference at new levels

The Canadian Security Intelligence Services says last year saw the highest level of foreign espionage and interference directed at Canadian targets since the end of the Cold War. “The fluid and rapidly evolving environment caused by COVID-19 has created a situation ripe for exploitation,” CSIS Director David Vigneault says in his latest annual report. “Violent extremism, foreign interference, espionage and malicious cyber activity, accelerated, evolved and in many ways became much more serious.” [node:read-more:link]

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]


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