When the USA Freedom Act passed earlier this summer, the NSA was pushed to stop collecting phone records in bulk. The question of what would happen to the massive amount of data it’d already collected on people remained. That question was answered today: Those old troves of metadata are mostly going in the garbage. »
Who even knew that Puma was an acronym—Pointer Upgrade Mission Ability— or that it has become the standard small drone of special operations forces? It provides capabilities never before available in small craft, and is significantly different than Raven. All of these small drones have some crucial difference that add… »
Little heralded or known, in the actual revolution that brought small drones into virtually every combat unit of all four military services, Pointer was a pioneer. Developed first for the Marine Corps in 1986, Pointer was the first hand-held drone—45 pounds and transportable in a backpack. They were used in Desert… »
Just because something works, we don’t necessarily need it. Such is the case with Fire Scout, a Navy unmanned helicopter that operates from small ships, though it can fly 115 miles or so from its mother ship. But is there any reason to have an unmanned helicopter that operates at sea? One that, in the era of a fully… »
Is radical transparency the best solution to expose injustice in this technocratic world, a world that is changing faster than law can keep up with? That question became even more relevant to me, a privacy activist, when I found myself in the WikiLeaks archive, because I worked at Hacking Team nine years ago. »
Rent a drone. Things became so bad in Afghanistan and Iraq—last time that is, before the surge and before the sausage factory could churn out enough official drones—that the military started renting them. Pixel-by-the-hour, they called it: Contractors would own them and operate them.
FBI Director James Comey has some advice for the tech companies and great people of America: Work harder at coming up with custom encryption solutions for law enforcement, or the terrorists win. »
Here’s an oddity in the world of drones: The S-100 Camcopter, manufactured by the Austrian company Schiebel, is operated by both the super-secret SEAL Team 6 and the Chinese Navy. Both the Pakistani and Indian armed forces fly it (the video above is courtesy of the Brazilian Navy). One has mysteriously crashed in… »
Ancient by information age standards, Hunter is an Army drone that’s been in use since the Kosovo War in 1999. At 2,000 pounds, it’s neither sleek nor personal, more of a family car that’s hardy enough to have abundant cup holders than a hot rod. But with a heavy fuel internal combustion engine that allows it to… »
Global Hawk is one of those drones so monumental and confounding that it becomes a perfect target for our cynical tendency to search for negatives, to decry the high cost and delight in mechanical flaws—as if any war machine could be perfect. »
Does Homeland Security have a sense of humor? This is Liberty City, the Grand Theft Auto inspired “urban obstacle course” where the department tests drones for potential public safety applications. »
A convict lawyer, sitting in jail, obsessed with a wacky theory that the government tracked him by sending secret rays into his house... ends up discovering a secret government cell phone tracking program. Sounds like bizarre noir, right? But it’s true. »
Without public notice or debate, the Obama administration has expanded the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international Internet traffic to search for evidence of malicious computer hacking, according to classified NSA documents.