NSA From Frying Pan Into the Fire
NSA Euro Data Collection Flows Back to Local Deals, But Wait There’s More
- Le Monde somewhat backtracked [in French] yesterday on its accusations that the NSA had conducted mass data collection in France. On Monday an article in the German press claimed there was a deal in place between US and French authorities. This was not only asserted by NSA director Gal Keith Alexander during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday, but Le Monde then got confirmation from an unnamed high-ranking French intelligence officer that the DGSE (roughly, France’s CIA) had indeed established a data-sharing protocol with NSA at the end of 2011. However another official denied that DGSE could/would transfer as high a volume of data as was reportedly collected by their American counterparts.
Smaller Defense Firms Hurt More
- Prime contractors reports Q3 sales down 3% or so, but Mantech is not so lucky, with a 12% decline from a year ago, at $567M. More than half the drop is linked to lower Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) revenue. Their bookings reached $647M thanks to strong growth in cyber/intelligence, so this might be just a bump on the road.
Syrian Chemical Capabilities
- According to the Joint Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Syria “has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants”. This is by far easier than destroying the chemical weapons themselves.
Paying for Korean Peace
- South Korea and the US still haven’t agreed on the cost-sharing terms to sustain the presence of American troops on the peninsula.
21st Century Manufacturing
- The UK Government Office for Science released a report [PDF] on the future of manufacturing, noting the rising share of services as a share of revenue for firms with an industrial focus. As one of the leading examples along these lines, Rolls Royce already makes more than half of its revenue from services. They see a $260B service market in military engines for the next 20 years, vs. just $155B for engines themselves.
Flying Like an Insect
- Researchers at EPFL, a Swiss federal technology institute, have developed a spherical robot that can keep flying after bumping into objects. This lowers the payload since sensors meant to help avoid obstacles are not needed. Search and rescue in messy indoor environments is an obvious potential application. Video below: