FAS Roundup: August 12, 2013

Military tests data mining of social media, news from Fukushima and much more.

From the Blogs

Army Establishes Insider Threat Program: In wake of the Bradley Manning verdict, the Secretary of the Army formally established the Army Insider Threat Program.  The directive requires development and implementation of “a technical capability to monitor user activity on the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network” used by Manning as well as on the Joint World Intelligence Communication System. In order to facilitate the identification of insider threats, the directive authorizes the sharing of counterintelligence and a variety of other sensitive information, including personal medical information. Yet, this is still a pending initiative rather than an accomplished fact.

More News from Fukushima: Recent reports from Japan have revealed that there is radioactive contamination in the groundwater, and it is headed towards the sea. Japanese officials are trying to stop the water from entering the sea, but the contaminated groundwater is rising to the surface. In a new post on the ScienceWonk Blog, Dr. Y investigates whether or not these changes are expected, why they are happening, and whether or not these changes bode ill for the Japanese and the environment around the reactor plants.

Military Tests Data Mining of Social Media for Special Ops: The U.S. military has been investigating the use of sophisticated data mining tools to probe social media and other open sources in order to support military operations against money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorism and other threats. But the window for doing so may be closing as the social media landscape changes. U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) National Capital Region (NCR) conducted a series of experiments over the past year under the rubric “QUANTUM LEAP” that was intended to test “non-traditional” tools and techniques to advance the SOCOM mission.

U.S. Trade Policy and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as chemical facility security and U.S. trade policy.

Publication: NATO Risks Unity Over Emerging Technologies Divide

Adjunct Fellow for Emerging Technologies Mr. Michael Edward Walsh published an op-ed in Al Jazeera on August 10, 2013. In his piece, Walsh argues that NATO must demonstrate more conviction and devote more resources toward finding a common approach on countering the potential threats posed by emerging science and technology issues. Otherwise, the differing political, moral, and ethical perspectives could lead to contradictory unilateral approaches by member states.

Read the article here.

Call for Applications: NPEC Public Policy Fellowship for Government Staffers

The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center  (NPEC) Public Policy Fellowship is designed to educate policymaking staffers in the U.S. government on the essentials of issues related to nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear energy.  Participants will include policy staffers committed to protecting U.S. and international security against the threats posed by the further spread of nuclear weapons.

The lecture-based seminars are taught by Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center;  and Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists. The deadline to apply is September 11, 2013.

For more information on the fellowship and application information, click here.

Position Opening: Associate Director for the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is seeking an associate director for its program in arms control, disarmament and international security (ACDIS); it is a 12 month position. The Associate Director, under the direction of the ACDIS Director, will write, administer and manage grants, coordinate conferences and workshops, and manage ACDIS print publications and web pages.  The Associate Director will represent ACDIS and demonstrate strong administrative responsibility, while advocating for the international goals and initiatives of ACDIS, the Center for Global Studies (CGS), and the University.

For more information click here.

FAS in the News

Aug 11: The Independent“Revealed: What The West Has Given Syria’s Rebels”

Aug 9: Politico“Obama’s NSA Plans Bring Skepticism”

Aug 9: CNN“The ‘Radical’ Nuclear Missile Test That Made History”

Aug 9: The Baltimore Sun“The DOJ’s Public Information Arm Isn’t Sure Whether It’s Been Collecting Our Phone Data Or Not”

Aug 8: The Tampa Tribune“Socom Experiment: Can Twitter Stop Terror?”

Aug 8: Russia Today“Pentagon Considers Employees Unhappy With US Policies A Security Threat”

Aug 7: Washington Post“Mining Social Media: The New Way Of Life”

Aug 7: Nextgov“Military Illegally Aided ICE In Money Laundering Case, Civil Rights Lawyer Says”

Aug 7: Mother Jones“QUANTUM LEAP: The US Special Ops Project To Exploit Your Twitter Account”

Aug 7: Huffington Post“Unhappy With U.S. Foreign Policy? Pentagon Says You Might Be A ‘High Threat'”

Aug 7: Wall Street Journal“Echoes From A Past Leak Probe”

Aug 6: Nextgov“Special Ops Mined Social Media For Data To Advance Mission”

Aug 6: Al Jazeera“Al-Qaeda Might Attack Guantanamo, Claims US”

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