Unhackable Anti-Surveillance Technology. “Just turning the camera off is not a solution. The operating system for your device is so well written that it allows things like the camera to be turned on and operated remotely without any notification appearing on your screen. . . . Anything you own with a microphone, your computer, your phone or one of those smart speakers like the Echo can be hacked and be an information source.”

Motivating millennials. “While not all generalizations carry true, it’s a fact that millennials are the most socially connected generation to date. They’re used to living life out loud (or on YouTube), and they’re used to linear, rather than hierarchical relationships (vets excluded). How can you take these unique characteristics into account? Here are five tips. . . .”


Cyberwar and Army’s Persistent Training Environment. “Cyber Command is building what its leaders call a Persistent Training Environment. It’s a different sort of cyber firing range, one that can accommodate a much wider host of commercial industry participants, a much wider array of systems, networks and devices; and better emulate a catastrophic cyber attack. Most importantly, operators will be able to train against different threats and attack scenarios continuously, rather than just in occasional exercises. That ability to train round the clock is key . . . .” (Defense One)

Space-based warfare. “To many, space-based weaponry still inhabits the realm of speculation, populated by the overcaffeinated and paranoid. Certainly, the prospect of looking up into the night sky to see menacing constellations of foreign weaponry—dark machines snooping around from satellite to satellite or looking down at us in our cities and suburbs—has inspired no end of conspiracy theories. . . . But paranoia aside, the systems are nevertheless accumulating.” (The Atlantic)

Summer Reading: Code Warriors: NSA’s Code Breakers. “The intelligence community hasn’t always escaped study. Long before Snowden became the patriot or goat, depending on perspective, the Church Committee in the U.S. Senate took a look into the government’s spy agencies after Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon put the CIA and NSA on personal projects. Among the programs the Church Committee found was ‘Minaret,’ originally begun in 1962 as a watch list of Americans traveling to Cuba and then expanded to include suspected narcotics traffickers. The list soon grew . . . .” (The Star-Telegram)


Blowing billions. “Federal agencies are potentially overspending billions of dollars each year by allowing employees to make small purchases on government charge cards instead of using the government’s buying power to negotiate discounts . . . . Agencies spend between $17 billion and $20 billion annually through purchase cards. Employees primarily use the cards for “micro-purchases” of $3,500 or less.” (Government Executive)

Saving millions. “The Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) rule requires federal contractors to report data on individual task orders and purchases made on GSA schedules, including part numbers, quantities and prices paid. While this seems like an additional requirement for vendors, the new process will eliminate some older reporting requirements and is intended to streamline the process. . . . GSA procurement officials expect the new process will save millions a year in processing overhead, namely by eliminating commercial sales practices disclosures and the Price Reductions Clause.” (Federal Times)  


Huey pilot Kettles to receive MoH. “President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor in a July 18 White House ceremony to a daring UH-1D Huey helicopter pilot who displayed extraordinary heroism during the Vietnam War. Retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles is credited with saving some 44 lives on May 15, 1967, while serving as a helicopter commander in the 176th Aviation Company, 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division, near Duc Pho in Vietnam’s central highlands.” (Defense Media Activity)

Afghanistan on the brink. “Since 2001, the United States and its international partners have expended substantial resources to secure, stabilize, and rebuild Afghanistan. Recent developments, however, indicate that progress toward these strategic goals is slipping. . . . The two most concerning contingencies in the next twelve to eighteen months—the collapse of the Afghan government and major battlefield gains by the Taliban—are not mutually exclusive.” (Council on Foreign Relations)

Final days of the FARC. “FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) was founded in 1964 with the help of the Castro government in Cuba. It was inspired by Che Guevara’s notion of a peasant revolution, and land reform has always been at the top of the group’s ideological agenda. It has waged a brutal war against successive Colombian governments, and in the 1980s and 1990s collaborated with the notorious Colombian drug cartels. In the mid-1990s, at the height of its power, FARC has controlled an area the size of Switzerland inside Colombia.” (Homeland Security News Wire)

Related News

Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.