To listen to the interview, click here.
Disaster Response To Improve With First Responder Interoperability As FirstNet Operational March 2018:
The present experience with the 2017 hurricane season (i.e. last month, Harvey; this month, Irma – can’t we just name the storms after climate change deniers like Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt, please) has underscored the need for improved interoperability between first responders so as to allow for improved communication and allocation of scarce resources in a time-sensitive environment (see: A National Guard vehicle vanished near Houston. Soldiers used Snapchat to find it: http://wapo.st/2gv3cpl). To this end, it is interesting to note the 3/30/17 award to AT&T by the U.S. Department of Commerce of a $46.5bn 30-year contract to build and operate FirstNet, the nationwide first responders network that will be operational in March 2018 (see: FirstNet, broadband network to enable police and fire responders to talk to each other, ready to launch: http://wapo.st/2voYqz7). The key to FirstNet’s optimal functioning will be the performance of interoperability software provided by Mutualink, Inc. (see: https://mutualink.net/) whereby secure distributed networks can be employed to organize and coordinate the delivery of emergency response planning and services on a national scale to meet local circumstances. Mutualink field tests have shown a 50% improvement in response times, mitigating damage and loss of life. With hurricanes bearing down, best to have the right people in the right place at the right time.
Facebook Testifies To Enabling Putin Trolls In 2016 U.S. Presidential Election:
In closed door Congressional testimony yesterday, Facebook owned up to facilitating the activities of the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency, a known “troll” operation (see: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html?mcubz=1) and accepted over $100k in payment for advertising related to such activities. This flies directly in the face of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s November 2016 statements that the company’s social network had not served to further efforts by Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The testimony places Facebook in a difficult position as “under federal law and Federal Election Commission regulations, both foreign nationals and foreign governments are prohibited from making contributions or spending money to influence a federal, state or local election in the United States. The ban includes independent expenditures made in connection with an election. Those banned from such spending include foreign citizens, foreign governments, foreign political parties, foreign corporations, foreign associations and foreign partnerships, according to the FEC. (Permanent residents who hold green cards, however, are not considered foreign nationals.) Violators face civil penalties, as well as criminal prosecution, if they are found to have knowingly broken the law.” Clearly, Facebook will have much more explaining to do. Meanwhile, Brad Parscale who was digital director for the Trump campaign and has already testified before Congress in July 2017 may be one of a team of U.S. citizens who offered direction to focus Internet Research Agency acitivities. Also of interest is Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based data analytics firm backed by U.S. citizens Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon, which played a key role in directing the 2016 Trump campaign’s online activities. We have previously written on the campaign’s digital aspects in November 2016 (see: https://gvaresearch.com/facebooks-fake-news-problem-is-not-just-a-u-s-issue-its-a-global-one/).