The U.S. Navy now has an unmanned drone warship. Could it be hacked at sea?

The U.S. 'Sea Hunter' unmanned ship, a DARPA project.

The U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are now testing a new unmanned drone warship.

The first Navy drone ship is a 132-foot ACTUV (Antisubmarine warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) known as Sea Hunter, which cost around $120 million to build. The military says more can now be produced for $20 million or so each. But some are concerned that with no humans at the controls, these “robot ships” could be hacked, pwned remotely, and used by America's enemies to attack the United States.

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Riot Control Robot Unveiled in China Looks Ominously Like a 'Doctor Who' Dalek, May In Fact Be One

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“China's first intelligent security robot debuts in Chongqing,” reads the headline in the Chinese Communist Party official newspaper People's Daily. The riot control robot has a name, “AnBot,” and it's freaking everyone out even more than your regular garden variety riot control robots because the damn thing looks like a Dalek from Doctor Who. And nothing good comes from a Dalek.

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Powerful photographic portraits of Veterans For Bernie Sanders

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My photographer friend Clayton Cubitt, whom I met here in the Boing Boing comments a decade ago, did an amazing project to support the campaign of U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

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Turns out the U.S. military really is dropping “cyber bombs” on ISIS

Daily Beast

There's been an awful lot of talk about “cyber pathogens” and “cyber bombs” lately from the mouths of American officials discussing terrorism, and how we will vanquish it. President Obama mentioned “cyber ops” against Islamic State terrorists in one recent address. Today, we know a little more about what was behind last week's cyber-hawkish hacking headlines.

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U.S. military claims to be dropping 'cyber bombs' on ISIS

Robert Work, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense,  April 7, 2016.  REUTERS

America's military forces are dropping "cyber bombs" on Islamic State terrorist groups for the first time, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told reporters accompanying him on a military flight on Tuesday.

The ISIS internet attacks, whatever the particulars really may be, are part of a stepped-up coordinated effort to put increasing pressure on the militant organization.

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Obama touts nuclear arms reduction record, but he's failed to reduce US nukes stockpile

Just two BFFs discussing nuclear security at this week’s summit. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Obama is touting his record on reducing nuclear arms, but he's been a dismal failure at reducing the US's stockpile, writes Freedom of the Press Foundation's Trevor Timm at the Guardian today.

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Watch a submarine crack through pristine ice in the Arctic Circle

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Last week, the United States Navy launched exercises at the new Ice Camp Sargo in the Arctic Circle. Seen above, the nuclear submarine USS Hampton surfaces through the ice. It's a majestic sight, but let's not forget the goal here:

"(This exercise) is our continued commitment to the development of undersea warfare capabilities and tactics in all areas of the world," said Rear Adm. Jeff Trussler, commander, Undersea Warfighting Development Center. "Our superiority in delivering effects in and from the undersea domain to the operational commanders is dependent on the regular exercise and demonstration of these capabilities."

I'd imagine that as the polar ice caps melt, and possible energy reserves are uncovered, the region will quickly become a new battleground. Sadly.

"Navy Submarines Arrive in Arctic for Ice Exercise 2016" (US Pacific Command)

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Chelsea Manning gets the US Army to cough up its "insider threat" training docs

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Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning writes, "I filed my Freedom of Information Act request in 2014 for Training Material related to the Insider Threat Program. I had almost forgoten about it, when the package arrived in the mail. In it was this slideshow." Read the rest

Russia's military uses gigantic wooden comedy props for punishment

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Russian soldiers who screw up are made to carry gigantic wooden props that illustrate their sins: for example, if you're caught looking at your phone, you have to run around with a massive fake wooden cellphone strapped to your back until you've learned your lesson.

Other punishments include carrying massive guns made out of logs (showing up without your weapon), carrying huge logs painted to look like cigarettes (caught smoking on duty), and carrying massive log-swords (forgetting your bayonet).

Russian Army Punishments [Semper Annoying]

(via Super Punch)

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DoD wants $660M to respond to Freedom of Information request on "Hotplugs"

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The Department of Defense sent Muckrock a demand for $660 million as a requirement for fulfilling a Freedom of Information Act request for records about the Hotplug, a gadget that allows you to transport computers without shutting them down -- used by law enforcement to move suspect computers to forensic facilities without shutting them down and potentially parking drives in an encrypted state. Read the rest

Liberated Yazidi sex slaves become a vengeful, elite anti-ISIS fighting force

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The Force of the Sun Ladies is an all-woman brigade of fighters who were formerly enslaved by ISIS during the occupation of Mosul. Read the rest

That time the DoD paid Duke U $335K to investigate ESP in dogs. Yes, dogs.

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Michael from Muckrock writes, "Government research often pushes the boundaries between science and science fiction. Today, the proud bearer of that mantle is often DARPA, experimenting with robots, cybernetics, and more. But in the sixties, during the height of the Cold War, this research often went into more fantastical realms, even exploring whether ExtraSensory Perception (ESP) was possible. Thanks to FOIA, MuckRock looks back on the paranormal history of American surveillance." Read the rest

Solving the "Longbow Puzzle": why did France and Scotland keep their inferior crossbows?

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The longbow was vastly, demonstrably superior to the crossbow, but only England adopted it as a common military weapon; the Scots and French stuck with the inferior crossbow for nearly a century -- why? Read the rest

Army decides to stop putting soldiers' Social Security numbers on their dog tags

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In a major policy change that sounds like a Very Good Idea, the U.S. Army announced today that dog tags will no longer include the Social Security numbers of the soldier wearing them. SSNs have been part of this identification system for over 40 years.

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Army says Petraeus shouldn't be punished under military law for leaking top-secret materials

Former General David Petraeus with lover-hagiographer Paula Broadwell

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Army is recommending retired general David H. Petraeus not face further punishment for screwing his biographer and leaking top-secret materials to her.

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In historic shift, U.S. military to open all combat jobs to women

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter holds a news conference at the Pentagon.  REUTERS

The Associated Press is reporting today that U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter will soon announce a historic change: The military will open all combat jobs to women.

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Paid Patriotism: Pentagon spent millions bribing sports teams to recognize military service

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Army service members stand at attention and salute during the singing of the National Anthem on the field at Giants Stadium for a pre-game ceremony honoring veterans, Nov. 15. A Coast Guard detachment sang the National Anthem and were joined by a joint-service color guard before the New York Jets game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chief Master Sgt. James A. Roy, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, presented the coin for the pre-game coin toss.(Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Randall A. Clinton)

Those big, splashy shows of gratitude to America's soldiers at halftime? They're the best patriotism the taxpayers' money can buy. Read the rest

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