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14.10.2020

"Internet Freedom Has Taken a Hit During the Covid-19 Pandemic"

https://www.wired.com/story/internet-freedom-covid-19-2020/

Viele Regierungen nutzen die Corona-Pandemie, um die digitale Freiheit durch verstärkte Überwachung und Verhaftungen einzuschränken, beklagt Lily Hay Newman mit Verweis auf die neue Studie "Freedom on the Net" der Organisation Freedom House. "Combined with numerous other geopolitical clashes that have impacted digital rights, Freedom House found that global internet freedom has been broadly curtailed in 2020. 'Political leaders used the pandemic as a pretext to crack down on free expression and limit access to information,' Freedom House director for democracy and technology Adrian Shahbaz told reporters ahead of the report's release. 'We traced three commonly used tactics. First in at least 45 countries, activists, journalists, and other members of the public were arrested or charged with criminal offenses for online speech related to the pandemic. Second in at least 20 countries governments cited the pandemic emergency to impose vague or overly broad speech restrictions. Third, governments in at least 28 countries censored websites and social media posts to censor unfavorable health statistics, corruption allegations, and other Covid-19-related content.'"

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28.09.2020

"A Ransomware Attack Has Struck a Major US Hospital Chain"

https://www.wired.com/story/universal-health-services-ransomware-attack/

Eine große Krankenhauskette in den USA ist am Wochenende Opfer eines Ransomware-Angriffs geworden. "UNIVERSAL HEALTH SERVICES, a hospital and health care network with more than 400 facilities across the United States, Puerto Rico, and United Kingdom, suffered a ransomware attack early Sunday morning that has taken down its digital networks at locations around the US. As the situation has spiraled, some patients have reportedly been rerouted to other emergency rooms and facilities and had appointments and test results delayed as a result of the attack. (…) Ransomware attacks on large organizations have been prevalent since the mid-2010s, but the pace of assaults seems to have increased in recent months. Hospitals, in particular, have long been a favorite target, because patient safety hangs in the balance when a hospital's network goes down."

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19.09.2020

"A Patient Dies After a Ransomware Attack Hits a Hospital"

https://www.wired.com/story/a-patient-dies-after-a-ransomware-attack-hits-a-hospital/

Eine Ransomware-Attacke auf ein Krankenhaus in Düsseldorf habe zum Tod einer Patientin geführt, berichtet Dan Goodin. "German authorities are investigating the unknown perpetrators on suspicion of negligent manslaughter, the Associated Press, German news outlet NTV, and others reported. The event under investigation occurred last Friday when the unidentified woman was turned away from Düsseldorf University Hospital because a ransomware attack hampered its ability to operate normally. The woman was rushed to a hospital about 20 miles away, resulting in about a one-hour delay in treatment. She died."

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07.09.2020

"Julian Assange Lays Out His Case Against US Extradition"

https://www.wired.com/story/julian-assange-us-extradition-case/

Die Anwälte des WikiLeaks-Gründers Julian Assange wollen sich beim wieder aufgenommenen Auslieferungsverfahren in London Andy Greenberg zufolge auf das hohe Selbstmordrisiko ihres Mandanten berufen. "Ahead of Assange's extradition hearing, which began in London today and is expected to last for several weeks, both prosecutors and the WikiLeaks founder's defense lawyers submitted 'skeleton arguments' to the court that lay out in new detail the central arguments they plan to make in Assange's extradition case. The defense document in particular reveals Assange's most complete response yet to the US indictments against him, expanding on an opening statement his attorneys released in February and including snippets of still unpublished written testimony from a long list of witnesses, from free speech advocates and media scholars to four doctors who have assessed Assange's mental health. Assange's lawyers point to what they describe as flaws in the US indictment against their client and the political nature of the prosecution. The document also includes the warnings of psychiatrists who have diagnosed Assange with Asperger's, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which they say could lead him to harm himself if he's extradited into the American judicial system."

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30.08.2020

"Covid Is Accelerating a Global Censorship Crisis"

https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-covid-is-accelerating-a-global-censorship-crisis/

Nicht nur in Autokratien, auch in einigen Demokratien würden Regierungen unliebsame Informationen im Zuge der Coronakrise immer bereitwilliger unterdrücken, stellt Justin Sherman fest. "The pandemic has illuminated how censorship in one country can potentially affect global public health, safety, and security. It has also provided authoritarian and even historically democratic governments with cannon fodder to crack down on coronavirus information within their borders — here and there, against real misinformation, but largely against truthful information the regime doesn’t want getting out. When a crisis arrives, those looking to maintain or expand power are bound to exploit it. And in the case of the coronavirus pandemic, as countries around the world have used the crisis to justify greater state censorship, it’s a reminder for democracies of the importance of promoting and protecting not just internet freedom, but fundamental speech and protest freedoms too."

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26.08.2020

"Ransomware Has Gone Corporate — and Gotten More Cruel"

https://www.wired.com/story/ransomware-gone-corporate-darkside-where-will-it-end/

Der Einsatz von Erpressungstrojanern (Ransomware) werde immer professioneller und gefährlicher, schreibt Brian Barrett. "Guaranteed turnaround times. Real-time chat support. Brand awareness. As ransomware becomes big business, its purveyors have embraced the tropes of legitimate enterprises, down to corporate responsibility pledges. In that same 'press release,' posted to the operators' site on the dark web on August 10 and first reported by cybersecurity news site Bleeping Computer, the DarkSide hackers pinky-swear not to attack hospitals, schools, nonprofits, or government targets. 'The groups are increasingly becoming ruthlessly efficient,' says Brett Callow, a threat analyst at antivirus company Emsisoft. 'They have more of a chance of success the easier they make life for their victims — or the easier they make it to pay them.'"

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09.08.2020

"A British AI Tool to Predict Violent Crime Is Too Flawed to Use"

https://www.wired.com/story/a-british-ai-tool-to-predict-violent-crime-is-too-flawed-to-use/

Eine durch die britische Regierung finanzierte KI-Software zur Vorhersage gewalttätiger Verbrechen habe sich in der Praxis als viel zu ungenau herausgestellt, berichtet Matt Burgess. "The prediction system, known as Most Serious Violence (MSV), is part of the UK's National Data Analytics Solution (NDAS) project. The Home Office has funded NDAS with at least £10 million ($13 million) during the past two years, with the aim to create machine learning systems that can be used across England and Wales. As a result of the failure of MSV, police have stopped developing the prediction system in its current form. It has never been used for policing operations and has failed to get to a stage where it could be used. However, questions have also been raised around the violence tool’s potential to be biased toward minority groups and whether it would ever be useful for policing."

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28.07.2020

"The Age of Mass Surveillance Will Not Last Forever"

http://https://www.wired.com/story/the-age-of-mass-surveillance-will-not-last-forever/

Trotz des scheinbar unaufhaltsam voranschreitenden "Zeitalters der Massenüberwachung" besteht Edward Snowden in diesem Auszug aus dem Buch "Little Brother – Homeland" darauf, dass sich in den vergangenen Jahren etwas wichtiges zum Positiven gewendet habe: "(…) while the system itself was not substantially changed — as a rule, governments are less interested in reforming their own behavior than in restricting the behavior and rights of their citizens — what did change was the public consciousness. The idea that the government was collecting the communications of those who had done nothing wrong had once been treated as a paranoid conspiracy theory (or as the subject of instructive fiction, such as the work you're about to read). Suddenly, this prospect had become all too real — the sort of universally acknowledged truth that can be so quickly waved away as obvious and unremarkable by the crooked timber of our political operators. (…) despite this grim reading from my seven years in exile, I find more cause for hope than despair, thanks in no small part to those lasers and traffic cones in Hong Kong. My confidence springs not from how they are applied — to dazzle cameras and, with a little water, to contain and extinguish the gas grenades of a state gone wrong — but in what they express: the irrepressible human desire to be free."

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02.06.2020

"The Pentagon’s Hand-Me-Downs Helped Militarize Police. Here’s How"

https://www.wired.com/story/pentagon-hand-me-downs-militarize-police-1033-program/

Brian Barrett stellt das Programm vor, das dafür gesorgt hat, dass viele Polizeibehörden in den USA in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten mit ausrangierten Waffen und Fahrzeugen des US-Militärs ausgerüstet worden sind. "It’s easy enough to buy tactical gear in the US, and the Homeland Security Grant Program has funneled billions of dollars to law enforcement agencies to acquire military-grade equipment. But for decades, a primary driver for why it can be so hard to tell a National Guard troop from a local cop has been the Department of Defense itself, through a program that has parceled out everything from bayonets to grenade launchers to precincts across the country. Created as part of 1997’s National Defense Authorization Act, the 1033 program allows the Department of Defense to get rid of excess equipment by passing it off to local authorities, who only have to pay for the cost of shipping. (…) Proponents of the 1033 program say that it keeps cities safer. Detractors say the distribution of controlled items actually increases police violence. Widely circulated studies have argued both sides. But those who have examined the 1033 program in depth more recently argue that the real problem is that no one knows for sure either way, because years of lax record-keeping have made a hash of the underlying data."

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28.04.2020

"The Covid-19 Pandemic Reveals Ransomware's Long Game"

https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-pandemic-ransomware-long-game/

Untersuchungen von Microsoft haben ergeben, dass kriminelle Ransomware-Gruppen die Coronakrise nutzen, um Krankenhäuser und andere Organisationen in kritischen Bereichen zu erpressen. "'The attackers are definitely being what I’ll call rational economic actors, which unfortunately also means vicious,' says Rob Lefferts, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 security. 'We see behavior where they will break into organizations and actually lie dormant, both because they’re doing reconnaissance but also because they are apparently estimating what is the moment in time when that organization will be most vulnerable and most likely to pay.' (…) At the beginning of April, Interpol issued a global warning about the threat of ransomware to health care providers. 'As hospitals and medical organizations around the world are working nonstop to preserve the well-being of individuals stricken with the coronavirus, they have become targets for ruthless cybercriminals who are looking to make a profit at the expense of sick patients,' Interpol secretary general Jürgen Stock said in the notification."

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31.03.2020

"Covid-19 Is Our 9/11. Who Will Be Our Rudy Giuliani?"

https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-is-our-911-who-will-be-our-rudy-giuliani/

Auch Garrett M. Graff fühlt sich durch die Coronakrise in den USA an 9/11 erinnert und beklagt, dass die heutigen Verantwortlichen nicht genügend Tatkraft an den Tag legten. Als positives Gegenbeispiel nennt er u.a. Bundeskanzlerin Merkel. "The Covid-19 pandemic is a clear opportunity for history-making leadership (…). Yet the scale of the economic and public health calamity seems to dwarf the imagination of most of our nation’s leaders. (…) A few countries overseas, like South Korea and Singapore, have fared well in their response to the crisis, but have done so quietly, with national leadership that has not translated far beyond their borders. Perhaps the strongest example of leadership internationally has come from Germany, where Angela Merkel has been speaking bluntly to her country and setting a good example in her personal behavior. The chancellor, who lives in a modest apartment in Berlin and often does her own shopping, was recently 'spotted' buying wine and a single roll of toilet paper, her own not-so-subtle message to avoid hoarding and panic buying. By the end of last weekend, Merkel found herself in self-isolation after having had contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case."

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24.03.2020

"Covid-19 Poses a Heightened Threat in Jails and Prisons"

https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-covid-19-jails-prisons/

Der Coronavirus stelle in den USA besonders in überfüllten Gefängnissen und Haftanstalten eine ernste Bedrohung dar, schreibt Emma Grey Ellis. "The steady influx of new people into prisons and especially jails makes an outbreak more difficult to prevent. According to Daniel Lopez Acuña, a public health physician who helped craft the World Health Organization’s guidance for managing Covid-19 outbreaks in prisons, new arrivals are a frequent vector for prison outbreaks. During the 1918 influenza pandemic, a single new prisoner precipitated a mass outbreak in California’s San Quentin prison. (…) On top of the ease of spread, the incarcerated population also includes a large number of at-risk older adults, due to the long sentences that are common in the US justice system. People in prison are also more likely to be in poor health to begin with."

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21.03.2020

"How Surveillance Could Save Lives Amid a Public Health Crisis"

https://www.wired.com/story/surveillance-save-lives-amid-public-health-crisis/

Sidney Fussell findet, dass eine verstärkte Überwachung der Bevölkerung in der aktuellen Krise nicht rundheraus abgelehnt werden sollte. "Officials have a powerful potential surveillance tool unavailable in past epidemics: smartphones. Government officials are anxious to tap the information from phones to help monitor and blunt the pandemic. White House officials are asking tech companies for more insight into our social networks and travel patterns. Facebook created a disease mapping tool that tracks the spread of disease by aggregating user travel patterns. Such efforts clash with people’s expectations of privacy. Now, there's a compelling reason to collect and share the data; surveillance may save lives. (…) The rapid spread of the disease has prompted even some traditional defenders of personal privacy to acknowledge the potential benefits of digital tracking. 'Public policy must reflect a balance between collective good and civil liberties in order to protect the health and safety of our society from communicable disease outbreaks,' the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote in a blog post earlier this month. (…) a disease surveillance database could include lots of people who did nothing other than sit next to an infected person on a flight. It’s deeply troubling, but could become a necessity in urgent times. 'The problem is, I don't actually believe that that’s where the use of the data ends,' [Jake Williams, a cybersecurity expert and former member of the NSA’s hacking unit,] said. 'I would challenge you to find any government surveillance program, for that matter, that hasn't suffered a large number of abuses.'"

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18.03.2020

"Mass Panic Is Unlikely, Even During a Pandemic"

https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-mass-panic-unlikely-pandemic/

Matt Simon schreibt, dass Naturkatastrophen und Pandemien in vielen Hollywood-Filmen in der Bevölkerung regelmäßig Massenpanik auslösen. In der Realität sei ein solches Verhalten nach Ansicht vieler Experten unwahrscheinlich. "While it might be tempting to panic when you think about coronavirus and all it entails — relatives falling ill, running out of food, or just the thought of isolating yourself for weeks on end — you probably won’t. (…) As humanity confronts the coronavirus, we’re not seeing mass panic right now — far from it, really. Around the world, people are engaging in behaviors that are not only decisive but uplifting. (…) Studying the trope of the panicked populace goes back to the fearful days of the Cold War. The federal government paid for researchers to look at how people behave before, during, and after a disaster. 'Their general notion was that people would fly to pieces, that people would panic, they would fight, they would loot,' says Knowles. 'And that society was basically one missile warning away from total chaos. The sociologists found again and again and again and again that that was just completely wrong, that people are mostly pro-social in a disaster and they don't panic. They help each other, they seek out information.' We’re seeing this play out in real time with the coronavirus crisis, as communities come together to develop systems that facilitate solidarity."

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02.03.2020

"Dictatorships Are Making the Coronavirus Outbreak Worse"

https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-dictatorships-are-making-the-coronavirus-outbreak-worse/

Die selektive Informationspolitik von autoritären Staaten wie China und Iran habe die globale Ausbreitung des Coronavirus in unverantwortlicher Weise begünstigt, so der Vorwurf von Alex Gladstein. Auch in anderen Fällen habe sich gezeigt, dass Diktaturen eine Gefahr für die öffentliche Gesundheit darstellen. "As a new study from The Economist reveals, dictatorships are bad for public health. The report reviews historical data from the International Disaster Database, covering 40 years of impact from diseases ranging from smallpox to Zika to Ebola. Democracies, their analysis concludes, are 'better than other forms of governments at containing and treating outbreaks … [experiencing] lower mortality rates for epidemic diseases than their non-democratic counterparts.' (…) At first glance, highly centralized dictatorships may seem better equipped to mobilize quickly during an epidemic, since they simply don’t respect the rights or wishes of citizens in their plans. One could view the Chinese Communist Party’s enormous amount of new construction and requisition in their race to build more hospitals, more beds, and more testing facilities as a positive thing. But because of the climate of fear they create in order to survive, tyrannies end up flustering innovation and cooperation, and ultimately treat even well-intentioned criticism as a crime against the state."

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08.02.2020

"How AI Is Tracking the Coronavirus Outbreak"

https://www.wired.com/story/how-ai-tracking-coronavirus-outbreak/

Experten verfolgen die globale Ausbreitung des Coronavirus Will Knight zufolge u.a. mit Hilfe einer KI-Software, die weltweite Informationsquellen nach Hinweisen auf den Virus durchkämmt. "With the coronavirus growing more deadly in China, artificial intelligence researchers are applying machine-learning techniques to social media, web, and other data for subtle signs that the disease may be spreading elsewhere. (…) The program is looking for social media posts that mention specific symptoms, like respiratory problems and fever, from a geographic area where doctors have reported potential cases. Natural language processing is used to parse the text posted on social media, for example, to distinguish between someone discussing the news and someone complaining about how they feel. A company called BlueDot used a similar approach — minus the social media sources — to spot the coronavirus in late December, before Chinese authorities acknowledged the emergency."

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05.02.2020

"The Terrifying Science Behind the Locust Plagues of Africa"

https://www.wired.com/story/the-terrifying-science-behind-the-locust-plagues-of-africa/

Ostafrika wird derzeit von einer massiven Heuschreckenplage heimgesucht, die die Ernte und damit Lebensgrundlagen bedroht. Matt Simon erläutert den wissenschaftlichen Hintergrund des Ausbruchs, der u.a. auch mit dem Krieg in Jemen zusammenhängt. "Yemen, ravaged by war, no longer had the means to deploy the specially trained crews that spray common pesticides that kill the insects in a matter of hours. (It’s too dangerous for farmers and other regular folks to spray the pesticides themselves.) Then, catastrophically, heavy rains hit the country, providing yet more breeding opportunities for the invading locusts. Early last summer, the plague jumped the gulf and landed in Somalia, then continued its march into Ethiopia and Kenya. (…) It’s a menace that may only grow stronger, because locusts will likely be winners on a warming planet. (…) 'If climate change does accelerate aridification and temperature — as it's predicted to do in many areas — it would be very easy to imagine that some locust species could expand their range,' says Overson, of the Global Locust Initiative. 'For the desert locust, this would increase the already daunting geographic area that needs to be monitored.' If these are the end times, Planet Earth certainly isn’t being subtle about it."

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03.02.2020

"Mysterious New Ransomware Targets Industrial Control Systems"

https://www.wired.com/story/ekans-ransomware-industrial-control-systems/

Die derzeit größte Bedrohung für digitale Kontrollsysteme industrieller Infrastrukturen gehe offenbar nicht von Nationalstaaten, sondern von Cyberkriminellen aus, schreibt Andy Greenberg. "Over the last month, researchers at security firms including Sentinel One and Dragos have puzzled over a piece of code called Snake or EKANS, which they now believe is specifically designed to target industrial control systems, the software and hardware used in everything from oil refineries to power grids to manufacturing facilities. (…) It's not yet clear if responsibility for the industrial-targeted ransomware lies with state-sponsored hackers (…) or actual cybercriminals seeking to make a profit. But Vitali Kremez, a researcher at Sentinel One who first publicized the discovery of EKANS earlier this month along with a group of researchers known as Malware Hunter Team, argues that industrial control systems make natural targets for ransomware attackers. Like hospitals and governments, they have a disproportionate amount to lose if they go offline. (…) EKANS could signal that industrial hacking tactics are proliferating to common criminals. 'It implies an increasing willingness and ability of non-state actors to significantly impact or impair critical infrastructure entities,' says Slowik. As disturbing as the idea of Iranian hackers waging cyberwar on its neighbors' physical infrastructure may be, the prospect of criminal hackers making a business of breaking those systems for profit may be even worse."

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29.01.2020

"The US Is Losing Its Fight Against Huawei"

https://www.wired.com/story/uk-huawei-5g-networks-us/

Trotz jahrelanger Bemühungen der US-Regierung, Großbritannien von einem Boykott Huaweis zu überzeugen, hat sich London für eine Beteiligung des chinesischen IT-Riesen am 5G-Ausbau ausgesprochen. Auch andere Verbündete, darunter Deutschland, suchen Garrett M. Graff zufolge nach Wegen, keine der beiden Supermächte vor den Kopf zu stoßen. "'Our allies aren’t standing with us in the way that we thought,' one senior Trump administration official told me last year while I was reporting on the anti-Huawei campaign. Countries like Germany especially have said they felt stuck between the US and China, unable to afford alienating either economic superpower. (…) the UK’s decision surely shifts the debate in Huawei’s favor. The promise from Ciaran Martin, well-respected head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Center, that the government’s approach “will ensure that the UK has a very strong, practical, and technically sound framework for digital security in the years ahead,” provides calm and cover to other countries wrestling with similar decisions. Italy, for one, appears poised to allow Huawei into at least parts of its network, meaning that the US will almost certainly confront NATO allies whose wireless systems rely at least in part on Chinese technology."

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08.01.2020

"Did Twitter Help Stop War With Iran?"

https://www.wired.com/story/donald-trump-iran-twitter-war/

Ein Krieg zwischen den USA und dem Iran ist nach Ansicht von Garrett M. Graff möglicherweise auch durch die regen Twitter-Aktivitäten von US-Präsident Trump und Irans Außenminister Zarif vorerst verhindert worden. "For all the Sturm und Drang about the toxic culture of Twitter, it seems possible that the leaders of both Iran and the United States turned to the social media site Tuesday to help ensure that a tense night in the Middle East didn’t escalate into all-out war. After a week when Twitter seemed to bring out the worst impulses of President Donald Trump’s bombast — including an ill-conceived (and potentially illegal) threat over the weekend to bomb Iranian cultural sites — both Trump and Iran’s English-speaking foreign minister tweeted out Tuesday night that neither wished to escalate tit-for-tat attacks into a true war. Their exchange, what Middle East expert Ilan Goldenberg called 'real time deescalatory twitter,' came in the hours after Iranian rockets targeted Iraqi bases that housed US and allied personnel, apparent retaliation for the US assassination of Iran’s Quds Force leader, General Qasem Soleimani, in a Baghdad airstrike."

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16.12.2019

"ISIS Is Now Harder to Track Online — but That's Good News"

https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-isis-is-now-harder-to-track-onlinebut-thats-good-news/

Nachdem der "Islamische Staat" nun auch vom Instant-Messaging-Dienst Telegram entfernt worden sei, habe die Terrormiliz ihre letzte leicht zu findende Internetpräsenz verloren, schreibt Rita Katz von der SITE Intelligence Group. Obwohl die Arbeit von Sicherheitsexperten damit erschwert werde, sei dies eine gute Nachricht. "In its earlier days, the group relied on a platforms like Twitter to recruit in broad daylight. As Twitter finally cracked down harder, ISIS switched to Telegram in 2015, where it capitalized on a wealth of new tools and capabilities: channels, chat groups, media archiving, end-to-end encryption. While Twitter served as a place to fish for recruits and pull them into discussions on other platforms, Telegram gave ISIS a one-stop-shop for everything. And while technologies like the Dark Web are often thought of as fitting to the group’s security demands, they are largely useless to its outreach goals. ISIS needs to be where more users already are; otherwise, it’s just talking to itself alone in an empty room. Sure, mine and other terrorism researchers’ jobs just got a lot harder as ISIS bounces between platforms, but it is in many ways proportionate: The harder it is for us to find terrorist hangouts, the harder it is for prospective recruits."

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25.10.2019

"Microsoft Is the Surprise Winner of a $10B Pentagon Contract"

https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-surprise-winner-dollar10b-pentagon-contract/

Im Wettstreit um einen milliardenschweren Pentagon-Auftrag hat sich Microsoft für viele Experten überraschend gegen Amazon durchgesetzt. "The corporate war to provide cloud computing for US warfighters is over. Late Friday, the Department of Defense announced that Microsoft has won the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, known as JEDI. The decision was the culmination of a two-year process that also included Google, IBM, and Oracle, and where Amazon was long seen as the favorite. JEDI, potentially worth $10 billion over 10 years, has been positioned by the Pentagon as crucial to modernizing its use of technology — and making the US military more deadly. (…) The contract fomented bruising competition among some of the world’s largest technology companies. Amazon was seen as the favorite because it dominates the cloud computing market, and already had major government contracts, including with the CIA. (…) JEDI has also highlighted the challenges tech companies that are also major consumer brands face when they work with the US government department that specializes in killing people."

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09.10.2019

"Trump Takes Aim at a Critical Cold War Treaty With Russia"

https://www.wired.com/story/trump-open-skies-withdrawal/

US-Präsident Trump erwägt Berichten zufolge, den 1992 von NATO- und ehemaligen Warschauer-Pakt-Staaten unterzeichneten Vertrag über den Offenen Himmel (Open Skies) aufzukündigen. Das vertrauensbildende Abkommen erlaubt den Unterzeichnern, das Territorium anderer Vertragsteilnehmer auf festen Routen mit Beobachtungsflugzeugen zu überfliegen. Garrett M. Graff berichtet, dass der US-Kongressabgeordnete Eliot Engel vor den Folgen eines Austritts der USA gewarnt habe. "'[I] strongly urge you against such a reckless action,' Engel wrote. 'American withdrawal would only benefit Russia and be harmful to our allies’ and partners’ national security interests. ... The US should prepare for the challenge that Russia presents — not abandon mechanisms that provide the US with an important tool in maintaining surveillance on Russia.' While the Trump administration and Capitol Hill allies like senator Tom Cotton, the Republican from Arkansas, have long expressed frustration with the deal, Monday’s movement seemed to blindside foreign policy and arms control experts, who quickly expressed puzzlement and outrage that Trump would unwind what’s been seen as a cornerstone of global defense. (...) If the Trump administration does pull out, the collapse of the Open Skies agreement would be the latest in a series of little noticed but significant moves by the White House to undo the patchwork of arms control agreements that have kept at bay a new nuclear arms race between the two nuclear superpowers."

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04.08.2019

"The Wrong Way to Talk About the El Paso Shooter's Manifesto"

https://www.wired.com/story/wrong-way-talk-about-shooter-manifesto/

Nach Ansicht einiger Extremismus-Forscher sollten die Medien den Botschaften von Massenmördern wie dem Schützen von El Paso nicht zu viel Aufmerksamkeit widmen, schreibt Brian Barrett. "(...) extremism experts advocate for 'strategic silence' rather than a detailed accounting. Report on the manifesto’s existence, sure, and on its role in recruitment. In doing so, though, be sure to think about whom the coverage benefits. 'Do we really need to break down the specifics of the manifesto to understand that the action was motivated by violent hatred,' Phillips asks. 'If you quote the manifesto verbatim, that’s going to frame the conversation in their terms. It’s going to go along with their game. They become the center of the universe, and everyone else revolves around them.' (...) Already there are signs that the media has gotten more savvy. While several news sites have quoted the manifesto verbatim, they have done so in brief snippets. Very few outlets seem to have linked to it directly."

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29.07.2019

"How the West Got China's Social Credit System Wrong"

https://www.wired.com/story/china-social-credit-score-system/?fbclid=IwAR2u6zni8Dsyu2SM4Wgplc2rNkP7tDGPjQ
IzsjyH2O3-pLCqynMl983QkdA

Die westliche Berichterstattung über das chinesische Sozialkreditsystem ist von vielen Missverständnissen und Übertreibungen geprägt, meint Louise Matsakis. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser übertriebenen Darstellungen könne nicht zuletzt das Ausmaß der westlichen Überwachungsmaßnahmen heruntergespielt werden. "With just over a year to go until the government’s self-imposed deadline for establishing the laws and regulations governing social credit, Chinese legal researchers say the system is far from the cutting-edge, Big Brother apparatus portrayed in the West’s popular imagination. 'I really think you would find a much larger percentage of Americans are aware of Chinese social credit than you would find Chinese people are aware of Chinese social credit,' says Jeremy Daum, a senior research fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center in Beijing. The system as it exists today is more a patchwork of regional pilots and experimental projects, with few indications about what could be implemented at a national scale. (...) Western concerns about what could happen with China’s Social Credit System have in some ways outstripped discussions about what's already really occurring. Critiques are often based on worst-case scenarios far off in the future, and run the risk of minimizing the troubling aspects of the project as it is in place today. The exaggerated portrayals may also help to downplay surveillance efforts in other parts of the world. 'Because China is often held up as the extreme of one end of a spectrum, I think that it moves the goalposts for the whole conversation,' says Daum. 'So that anything less invasive than our imagined version of social credit seems sort of acceptable, because at least we’re not as bad as China.'"

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20.06.2019

"The Global Hawk Drone Iran Shot Down Was a $220M Surveillance Monster"

https://www.wired.com/story/iran-global-hawk-drone-surveillance/

Bei der durch den Iran abgeschossenen US-Drohne vom Typ RQ-4A Global Hawk handle es sich um eine 220 Millionen US-Dollar teure "massive Überwachungsplattform", berichtet Lily Hay Newman. "It's likely, though, that this particular Global Hawk was a typical surveillance workhorse, says [Ulrike Franke, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations], and was downed for geopolitical reasons rather than with the specific goal of technological reconnaissance. (...) It's currently unknown at what altitude the drone was flying when it was downed, but if it was in its high-altitude zone it would have been a somewhat difficult target to nab. Still, Franke emphasizes that such an interception is within the bounds of Iran's known capabilities. 'Part of the selling point is Global Hawks fly so high and normally they should be secure from being shot down,' Franke says. 'It’s not incredibly difficult to shoot down a system like that, but it’s comparatively difficult. It shows resolve on the political side.'"

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18.06.2019

"US to Russia on Nuke Experiments: Do as We Say, Not as We Do"

https://www.wired.com/story/us-to-russia-on-nuke-experiments-do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do/

Nach dem Vorwurf der US-Regierung, dass Russland "wahrscheinlich" gegen den Kernwaffenteststopp-Vertrag von 1996 verstoße, macht Patrick Malon auf Experimente des US-Militärs aufmerksam, die ebenfalls als Verstoß gegen das Abkommen interpretiert werden könnten. "In a maze of tunnels 900 feet beneath the Nevada desert, US nuclear weapons scientists have since the 1990s been intermittently agitating flecks of plutonium with chemical high explosives, carefully trying to push them to the brink of a chain reaction capable of yielding nuclear force. In a separate network of underground tunnels about 4,800 miles away, in the northern Russian archipelago of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Circle, Russia conducts its own such experiments, meant to model the key chemical and physical actions that occur in the run-up to a full-blown nuclear explosion, without actually causing one. (...) Because the experiments are designed to closely simulate such explosions, 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries in 2016 called them violations of the 'spirit and letter' of the treaty (...). Washington dismissed that claim, but on May 29, the Trump administration abruptly leveled similar accusations at Russia, when a top intelligence official vaguely accused its scientists of transgressing the test ban treaty by conducting experiments meant to be barred. The irony of the recent charge is that it comes just as the US Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration is about to step up the pace of the country’s complex and costly nuclear simulation experiments, the Center for Public Integrity has learned."

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11.03.2019

"The Huawei Case Signals the New US–China Cold War Over Tech"

https://www.wired.com/story/huawei-case-signals-new-us-china-cold-war-tech/

Der Streit um das chinesische Unternehmen Huawei erinnert Zachary Karabell an den Kalten Krieg, in dem die USA und die Sowjetunion darum wetteiferten, andere Länder mit Panzern und Flugzeugen auszurüsten. Nun gehe es um die Vorherrschaft bei der Gestaltung der technologischen Infrastruktur in Europa, Asien, Lateinamerika und Afrika. "(...) if you are not American or Chinese, it can be difficult to discern how arrangements between the US government and American technology companies differ fundamentally from relationships between the Communist Party and Chinese technology companies. In a world where the two increasingly dominant technology superpowers, China and the US, are jockeying for position globally, other countries and foreign companies see all choices as potentially compromising their own domestic security. Or to put it differently: Who do you want spying on you, the Americans or the Chinese? If it’s going to be both, how do you best protect yourself? In that light, Washington’s fight against Huawei looks less like a clear case of defending against Chinese government espionage and cyber threats. It looks more like a cyber version of a new Cold War, where the United States and China are both attempting to line up proxies and divide the world into technology spheres of influence."

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15.01.2019

"Facebook's '10 Year Challenge' Is Just a Harmless Meme — Right?"

https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-10-year-meme-challenge/

Kate O'Neill macht darauf aufmerksam, dass Facebooks aktuelle "10 Year Challenge" genutzt werden könnte, um die Algorithmen von Programmen zur Gesichtserkennung zu "trainieren". "Is it bad that someone could use your Facebook photos to train a facial recognition algorithm? Not necessarily; in a way, it’s inevitable. Still, the broader takeaway here is that we need to approach our interactions with technology mindful of the data we generate and how it can be used at scale. I’ll offer three plausible use cases for facial recognition: one respectable, one mundane, and one risky. The benign scenario: Facial recognition technology, specifically age progression capability, could help with finding missing kids. (...) Facial recognition's potential is mostly mundane: Age recognition is probably most useful for targeted advertising. (...) Like most emerging technology, there's a chance of fraught consequences. Age progression could someday factor into insurance assessment and health care. For example, if you seem to be aging faster than your cohorts, perhaps you’re not a very good insurance risk. You may pay more or be denied coverage. (...) The broader message, removed from the specifics of any one meme or even any one social platform, is that humans are the richest data sources for most of the technology emerging in the world. We should know this, and proceed with due diligence and sophistication."

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