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Jan 13, 2020

U.S. Government Issues Powerful Security Alert: Upgrade VPN Or Expect Cyber-Attacks

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government, policy

The United States Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued an alert that strongly urges users and administrators alike to update a VPN with long-since disclosed critical vulnerabilities. “Affected organizations that have not applied the software patch to fix a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability,” the CISA alert warns, “can become compromised in an attack.” What has dictated the need for this level of Government agency interest and the urgency of the language used? The simple answer is the ongoing Travelex foreign currency exchange cyber-attack, thought to have been facilitated by no less than seven VPN servers that were late in being patched against this critical vulnerability. The vulnerability in question is CVE-2019–11510, first disclosed way back in April 2019 when Pulse Secure VPN also released a patch to fix it.

Critical VPN security vulnerability timeline

The CISA alert provides a telling timeline that outlines how the Pulse Secure VPN critical vulnerability, CVE-2019–11510, became such a hot security potato. Pulse Secure first released an advisory regarding the vulnerabilities in the VPN on April 24, 2019. “Multiple vulnerabilities were discovered and have been resolved in Pulse Connect Secure (PCS) and Pulse Policy Secure (PPS),” that advisory warned, “this includes an authentication by-pass vulnerability that can allow an unauthenticated user to perform a remote arbitrary file access on the Pulse Connect Secure gateway.” An upgrade patch to fix the problem, which had been rated as critical, was made available at the same time. Warning users that the vulnerabilities posed a “significant risk to your deployment,” Pulse Secure recommended patching as soon as possible.

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Jan 7, 2020

I spy, with my little satellite AI, something beginning with ‘North American image-analysis code embargo’

Posted by in categories: government, military, policy, robotics/AI

The US government has placed software designed to train neural networks to analyse satellite images under new export controls in a bid to prevent foreign adversaries using said code.

The decision, made by Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), is effective today. Vendors shipping software subject to the controls – in that the applications help machine learning systems annotate satellite images in a particular way – will have to apply for a license to sell their products to customers outside of the US and Canada.

“Items warrant control for export because the items may provide a significant military or intelligence advantage to the United States or because foreign policy reasons justify control,” the BIS said.

Jan 4, 2020

Steven Kwast | The Urgent Need for a U.S. Space Force

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, ethics, government, law, policy, sex, space

Starfleet Begins


Steven L. Kwast is a retired Air Force general and former commander of the Air Education and Training Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in astronautical engineering, he holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a past president of the Air Force’s Air University in Montgomery, Alabama, and a former fighter pilot with extensive combat and command experience. He is the author of the study, “Fast Space: Leveraging Ultra Low-Cost Space Access for 21st Century Challenges.”

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Jan 1, 2020

5G, AI, data privacy and mass surveillance — 12 biggest tech policy challenges India will have to face in 2020

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government, internet, nuclear energy, policy, robotics/AI, surveillance

As access to the internet grows, so do the risks associated with being online. Cybersecurity threats are on the rise as data hackers find new ways to breach through firewalls. Earlier this year bad actors were able to gain access to the administrative serves of India’s largest nuclear power plant with a simple phishing email.

The government want to increase its cyber might to ward off such hazards but experts feel some of its policies might do the exact opposite.


2020 will be a busy year for India with the 5G spectrum auction still pending, Personal Data Protection Bill under discussion, and the deadline for social.

Continue reading “5G, AI, data privacy and mass surveillance — 12 biggest tech policy challenges India will have to face in 2020” »

Dec 29, 2019

Germany just guaranteed unemployed citizens around $330 per month indefinitely. The policy looks a lot like basic income

Posted by in categories: economics, policy

Germany’s supreme court recently ruled that an old policy that suspended payments if individuals didn’t actively search for work was unconstitutional.

Dec 20, 2019

Cops Can Now Get Warrants for Entire DNA Websites

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, law enforcement, policy

To that end, Fields decided to ask a Florida judge to grant him a warrant that would override the new policy, allowing him to search GEDmatch’s entire database, including users who hadn’t opted in — and Judge Patricia Strowbridge did just that, the detective announced at a recent police convention, according to the NYT.

Legal experts told the NYT that this appears to be the first time a judge has approved a DNA website warrant this broad, with New York University law professor Erin Murphy calling it “a huge game-changer.”

“The company made a decision to keep law enforcement out, and that’s been overridden by a court,” Murphy told the newspaper. “It’s a signal that no genetic information can be safe.”

Dec 11, 2019

Exclusive: Interview with US presidential candidate

Posted by in categories: economics, genetics, geopolitics, life extension, policy, robotics/AI, transhumanism

Last week, the transhumanist activist Zoltan Istvan announced his candidacy for President of the United States in next year’s elections. The writer, humanitarian and outspoken advocate of radical science is no stranger to the issues surrounding Longevity, and has spoken widely on subjects including AI, genetic editing, technology policy, and futurism.

In 2016, Istvan ran as an independent presidential candidate and travelled across the United States, spreading his message from a coffin-shaped bus, known as the “Immortality Bus.” This time he’s on the ballot, running against Donald Trump as a candidate for the Republican party in next year’s primaries. Things are a bit more serious this time.

Among his key policies, Istvan includes transhumanism, universal basic income and the need to beat China in the global innovation race – an issue we addressed in our Jamie Metzl interview. We spoke to him to find out more about his views on the Longevity sector.

Dec 10, 2019

Want to Do Crimes? Upgrade to 5G, Apparently

Posted by in categories: internet, law enforcement, policy

Europe’s police agency is worried that the 5G will interfere with law enforcement’s ability to track people.

Catherine De Bolle, head of Europol is asking European Union leaders to allow their agency to be more engaged in policy conversations involving the adoption of 5G technology, Reuters reports.

Dec 5, 2019

DeepMind co-founder moves to Google as the AI lab positions itself for the future

Posted by in categories: law, policy, robotics/AI

The personnel changes at Alphabet continue, this time with Mustafa Suleyman — one of the three co-founders of the company’s influential AI lab DeepMind — moving to Google.

Suleyman announced the news on Twitter, saying that after a “wonderful decade” at DeepMind, he would be joining Google to work with the company’s head of AI Jeff Dean and its chief legal officer Kent Walker. The exact details of Suleyman’s new role are unclear but a representative for the company told The Verge it would involve work on AI policy.

The move is notable, though, as it was reported earlier this year that Suleyman had been placed on leave from DeepMind. (DeepMind disputed these reports, saying it was a mutual decision intended to give Suleyman “time out … after 10 hectic years.”) Some speculated that Suleyman’s move was the fallout of reported tensions between DeepMind and Google, as the former struggled to commercialize its technology.

Dec 5, 2019

Nevada toys with 1 GW of storage by 2030

Posted by in categories: business, energy, policy

In what has been a crazy year for Nevada, the Public Utilities Commission is ending on an equally crzay note, proposing 1 GW of energy storage to be deployed across the state by the last day of 2030.

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