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TUESDAY, JULY 5, 2016
FATALITY PROMPTS CONCERNS OVER AUTONOMOUS CARS
A Tesla Model S sedan was operating in autopilot mode when it crashed into a tractor trailer this past May, killing its driver Joshua Brown. It is the first reported fatal collision involving a vehicle being piloted by self-driving software. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is investigating the accident, said preliminary reports indicated that the crash occurred when the truck turned in front of the Tesla and the car failed to apply the brakes. Tesla said in a blogpost that “neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied.”

The deadly accident comes as tech companies and automakers are pouring billions of dollars into self-driving technology, and has added more fuel to the debate over the safety of these systems. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told Reuters earlier this year that he planned to propose regulatory guidelines for the broader deployment of self-driving tech by mid-July. (Reuters, NYT)
Air-Gap Hack: Israeli researchers discovered a way to extract limited amounts of data from air-gapped computers using the sound emitted by their cooling fans. The group had previously demonstrated how to hack air-gapped machines using radio waves and other techniques. (Wired)

Cybercrime: In a joint report, British Telecom and consulting firm KPMG called on companies to address the “industrialisation of cybercrime”, warning that today’s hackers often work for complex operations that are akin to businesses. (Guardian)

CCTV: The notorious hacking collective Lizard Squad reportedly commandeered thousands of Internet-connected cameras and used them to jam the websites of government and financial institutions. (HackRead)
CFAA: A group of researchers and a media company are suing the Justice Department claiming that a provision of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be used to criminally prosecute them for performing socially beneficial research. (Wired)

Silk Road: A Secret Service agent who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin seized by the government in the investigation of the online drug bazaar is now suspected of stealing money in at least two other cases. (Reuters)
Transatlantic Data Deal: EU officials are soon expected to approve a proposed data-sharing agreement with the United States after the European Commission said it was satisfied that Europeans’ data would not be unfairly used or retrieved by U.S. intelligence agencies. (NYT)

Encryption Debate: The House Subcommittee on Homeland Security released a research paper that states unequivocally that no current legislation—including the Burr-Feinstein effort—represents the right approach to resolving the conflict between tech companies like Apple and law enforcement. (Wired)

DHS: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson pressed the administration’s case for a proposed reorganization of the division responsible for protecting critical infrastructure from digital threats. Leaders in the House also look to restructure the agency but, unlike the White House, want to keep DHS’s cyber division separate from its mission to guard against physical attacks. (The Hill)
Drone Warfare: The Obama administration released long-awaited details of its secret targeted killings program, reporting that the United States has inadvertently killed between 64 and 116 civilians in drone and other air attacks against terrorism suspects in non-war zones. The numbers are lower than the estimates of many independent groups. (WaPo)
UK: Legal analysts say that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union may prompt a review of its controversial surveillance practices. EU law states that an independent country needs to convince the European regulators that it guarantees individual privacy up to its standards for companies there to keep access to everything from European payroll records to EU residents’ cell-location data. (WSJ)

China: Lu Wei, the gatekeeper of China’s internet, is reportedly relinquishing his post. Analysts say the change is unlikely to lead to any significant pullback from the country’s online censorship. (NYT)

Ukraine: The country’s central bank reportedly urged lenders in April to review security procedures, saying thieves had attempted to steal money from a Ukrainian bank using fraudulent SWIFT transfers. (Reuters)

Must Reads
A New U.S. Approach to Cyber Threats: “The U.S. government has changed its approach to disrupting national security cyber threats. One element of its new strategy involves implementing and institutionalizing a “whole-of-government” approach. No one agency can beat the threat. Instead, success requires drawing upon each agency’s unique expertise, resources, and legal authorities, and using whichever tool or combination of tools will be most effective in disrupting a particular threat,” writes John P. Carlin in the Harvard National Security Journal.

The Anti-Virus Industry’s Security Woes: “Security software is an ideal target for attackers because it’s trusted code that operates with high levels of privilege on machines, giving attackers a great advantage if they can subvert it. In many cases, the same software can be running on every desktop or laptop machine on an organization’s network, exposing a large attack surface to compromise if the software contains vulnerabilities,” writes Kim Zetter in Wired.

The Future of Computing: “By adopting some of the characteristics of the human brain, computers have the potential to become far more compact, efficient, and powerful. And this, in turn, will allow us to take full advantage of cognitive computing – providing our real brains with new sources of support, stimulus, and inspiration,” writes Bruno Michel on Project Syndicate.
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, KAREN J. GREENBERG, DIRECTOR, CENTER ON NATIONAL SECURITY, FORDHAM LAW SCHOOL
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