If one is to realistically entertain the notion of interstellar exploration in timeframes of а human lifespan, а dramatic shift in the traditional approach to spacecraft propulsion is necessary. It has been known and well tested since the time of Einstein that all matter is restricted to motion at sublight velocities ( << З х 10⁸ m/s, the speed of light, or с), and that as matter approaches, the speed of light, its mass asymptotically approaches infinity. This mass increase ensures that an infinite amount of energy would Ье necessary to travel at the speed of light, and, thus, this speed is impossible to reach and represent an absolute speed limit to all matter traveling through spacetime.
Even if an engine were designed that could propel а spacecraft to аn appreciable fraction of light speed, travel to even the closest stars would take many decades in the frame of reference of an observer оn Eaгth. Although these lengthy transit times would not make interstellar exploration impossible, they would certainly dampen the enthusiasm of governments or private individuals funding these missions. After all, а mission whose success is perhaps а century away would bе difficult to justify. In recent years, however, physicists have discovered two loopholes to Einstein’s ultimate speed limit: the Einstein-Rosen bridge (commonly referred to as а “wormhole”) and the warp drive. Fundamentally, both ideas involve manipulation of spacetime itself in some exotic way that allows for faster-than-light (FTL) travel.
Essentially, the wormhole involves connecting two potentially distant regions of space bу а topological shortcut. Theoretically, one would enter the wormhole and instantaneously bе transported to the exit located in а distant region of space. Although no observational evidence of wormholes exists, theoretically they саn exist as а valid solution to general relativity.
The idea that а sufficiently advanced technology may interact with, and acquire direct control over, the higher dimensions is а tantalizing possibility, and one that is most certainly worthy of deeper iпvestigation. Control of this higher dimeпsional space may bе а source of technological control оvег the dark energy density and could ultimately play а role in the development of exotic pгopulsion technologies; specifically, а warp
Of course, this may not bе actualized until many years in the future, but consider the many spectacular physical phenomena that are believed to bе true at this early point in the 21st century. One believes that an energy field called the Higgs boson permeates spacetime and that the interaction of matter with this field is what is responsible for particles acquiring mass. One believes that an exotic ubiquitous energy source, unimaginatively named dark energy, is responsible for the current accelerated expansion of the universe based оп observation of supernova in galaxies billions of light years from Earth. One also believes that the universe may not consist of the three spatial dimension of length, breadth, width, and one of time, but that, in fact, there mау bе as many as seven additional compactified dimensions assuming the topology of а Calabi-Yau manifold, апd that the fundamental building blocks of the universe are, in fact, extended string-like entities.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
DoD Forensic Science Lexicon
May 27, 2018
Department of Defense Forensic Science Lexicon
Page Count: 99 pages
Date: January 2018
Originating Organization: Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency
File Type: pdf
File Size: 956,884 bytes
File Hash (SHA-256): 4C47BA0C862DB9F0E3775053480ED5715945EAEB78510D786286A554C8C2BDC1
The Department of Defense (DoD) performs forensic science in a collaborative environment which necessitates the clear communication of all activities and their results. A critical enabler of communication is the use of a clear, internally consistent vocabulary.
The goal of the Department of Defense Forensics Lexicon is to provide an operational vocabulary to address Forensics. A shared vocabulary enables a common understanding of Forensics, enhances the fidelity and the utility of operational reporting, facilitates structured data sharing, and strengthens the decision making processes across the DoD.
This lexicon encompasses the broad spectrum of scientific disciplines, processes, and equipment associated with performing forensic activities. Additional terms include those related to the programmatic support domains (e.g., doctrine, policy, standards, and accreditation) which enable forensic activity within the DoD.
Excluded from this lexicon are terms and definitions that describe the various types of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and the specific components of IEDs, as those have been previously defined in other well established lexicons.
This Department of Defense Forensics Lexicon was authored by subject matter experts from key organizations and agencies engaged in the full range of forensic activities and the personnel that provide programmatic support to those experts. It was then staffed multiple times across the Defense Forensics Enterprise in order to obtain support and consensus.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD)/Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA) assesses that unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) provide malicious actors an additional method of gaining undetected proximity to networks and equipment within critical infrastructure sectors. Malicious actors could use this increased proximity to exploit unsecured wireless systems and exfiltrate information. Malicious actors could also exploit vulnerabilities within UASs and UAS supply chains to compromise UASs belonging to critical infrastructure operators and disrupt or interfere with legitimate UAS operations.
UAS FACILITATE PHYSICAL ACCESS TO UNSECURED SYSTEMS
UASs provide malicious actors an additional method of gaining proximity to networks and equipment within critical infrastructure sectors. Malicious actors could then use the proximity provided by a UAS to wirelessly exploit unsecured systems and extract information from systems they cannot otherwise access remotely or may not be able to access due to range limitations. This includes networks and devices within secured buildings, as well as networks and devices behind fencing and walls.
UASs can also allow a malicious actor to wirelessly exploit vulnerabilities from a distance (figure 1). The prevalent ownership and operation of UASs by the general public, the distance from which UAS can be operated, and a lack of tracking data can also provide malicious actors a level of anonymity that otherwise may not be available. UASs, in particular UASs, are typically more difficult to detect than a malicious actor attempting to trespass beyond physical barriers.
UAS FOR WIRELESS SYSTEM EXPLOITATION
Malicious actors could utilize UASs in order to wirelessly exploit access points and unsecured networks and devices. This can include using UASs in order to inject malware, execute malicious code, and perform man-in-the-middle attacks. UASs can also deliver hardware for exploiting unsecured wireless systems, allowing malicious actors persistent access to the wireless system until the hardware is detected or runs out of power. While OCIA does not know of a confirmed incident utilizing UASs to exploit wireless systems, researchers have demonstrated this capability.
MALICIOUS ACTORS CAN EXPLOIT COMPROMISED UAS
While UASs can be used as a tool for an attacker, they are also vulnerable to exploitation. Many commercial UAS variations, for example, currently communicate with ground stations and operators using unencrypted feeds. This can allow a malicious actor to intercept and review data sent to and from the UAS.
NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER
(U//FOUO) NCTC Counterterrorism Weekly Open Source Digest December 2018
December 24, 2018
Counterterrorism Weekly 6-18 December 2018
Page Count: 18 pages
Date: December 12, 2018
Restriction: For Official Use Only
Originating Organization: National Counterterrorism Center
File Type: pdf
File Size: 1,684,886 bytes
File Hash (SHA-256): 5DB3EF6875E67FA136A736986BC4F476BD2DA0DBCDC4DD30A0DB7241449EC7B1
(U) Terrorist Profile: Former Jordanian ISIS Official Sa’d Al-Hunayti
(U) Jordanian national Sa’d al-Hunayti was a leading member of the Jihadist Salafi movement in Jordan before he traveled to Syria and joined Nusrah Front then ISIS. Hunayti was ultimately arrested by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) for reportedly being a leader in ISIS-run secret cells in Idlib Province, Syria, that planted IEDs and conducted kidnappings and assassinations in northwest Syria.
(U) During the 1980s, Hunayti studied history at Yarmouk University in north Jordan and was suspended twice for “his political positions.” During this period, he was influenced by Sayyid Qutb’s idea of “governance,” according to Dr. Muhammad Abu-Rumman, a Jordanian researcher who specializes in Political Thought and Islamic Movements. (Sayyid Qutb was the Spotlight topic in the 23 May 2018 issue of this publication.)
(U) In 2011, Hunayti was arrested by Jordanian security forces after demonstrations in Al Zarqa that called for governmental and constitutional reforms. The protests were led by the Islamist movement, which dominated the political opposition, and by the popular protest movement, which encompassed numerous pro-reform organizations. Hunayti was released from Jordanian custody in October 2013.
(U) In April 2014, Hunayti traveled to Syria at the behest of senior Salafi Jihadi ideologue Abu-Muhammad al-Maqdisi to mediate between Nusrah Front and ISIS during their clashes in Deir az-Zour. Bassam al-Nu’aymi, an activist in the Jihadist Salafi movement in Jordan, said that after the failure of his reconciliation initiative, Hunayti received an offer from Nusrah Front leader Abu-Muhammad al-Jawlani to become a Sharia judge and head of the courthouse in northern Syria. The judicial branch faced controversy due to suspicious verdicts, leading to tensions with the Nusrah Front leadership that Hunayti viewed as hindering his “implementation of sharia.”
(U) Telegram Suspends Thousands of Violent Jihadist Accounts
(U) On 6 December, the Telegram messaging app suspended over 3,000 “terrorist” accounts. Telegram’s daily report on the “terrorist” accounts it blocks usually cites an average of 200-300 take-downs per day, but this rose to 507 on 5 December and significantly jumped to 3,276 on 6 December.
■ (U) Telegram’s “ISIS Watch” initiative to block channels with “terrorist content” was launched in 2016 after the company came under pressure over the number of violent jihadists operating on its platform. The ISIS Watch channel provided daily and monthly totals for its account suspensions.
■ (U) The Telegram cull followed a recent effort by ISIS to beef up its presence on the platform. ISIS operated a network of multiple channels and groups on Telegram under the “Nashir news agency” brand.
■ (U) Since 12 November, Nashir started advertising a flurry of new Telegram groups to complement its already swelling number of channels, enhancing the overall number of ISIS outlets on the platform.
■ (U) The measure of having dozens of mirror accounts, so far unique to ISIS, was designed to mitigate the impact of take-downs on the group’s media operation. So when 10 or 50 accounts are suspended, other duplicate accounts are still active.
■ (U) In November 2017, Nashir claimed to be operating 600 duplicate channels and groups. While this might have been an exaggerated figure, the group indeed has dozens of active accounts on Telegram. (BBC)
JCAT: (U//FOUO) The desire for and reliance on terrorists and their supporters to communicate electronically with like-minded individuals provides potential investigative avenues through human operations, outreach, and targeting analysis. While a subject’s communications can be anonymized or encrypted, often their participation in online forums, chat rooms, and initial contact with others may not be, providing a window for discovering trends and methods in terrorist COMSEC. (JCAT)
Cross-border gangs play a unique role in the illicit transfer of people and goods across the southwest border. According to law enforcement reporting. Mexican cartels utilize US gangs to smuggle drugs and illegal aliens northbound. and smuggle cash. stolen automobiles. and weapons southbound. US gangs often freelance their work and seek profit-making opportunities with multiple cartels.
(U) Note: The drug cartel boundaries represent a generalized picture of territories and disputed areas in Mexico. The primary focus of this map is to demonstrate the gangs and their Mexican criminal affiliations, rather than the specific areas of cartel operations.
Once hardly noticeable, Chinese investments in U.S. companies are now rising sharply. Cumulative Chinese investments in U.S. companies remain modest compared to those of other major countries. However, a combination of “push and pull” factors are moving China’s annual investment levels closer to levels consistent with China’s current economic stature.
First, the Chinese government has made a conscious decision to diversify its foreign currency assets into hard assets. This has led to the creation of sovereign wealth funds that make portfolio investments in U.S. equities, private firms, and real estate.
Second, the Chinese government has altered its policy guidance toward foreign direct investment (FDI). Whereas it previously encouraged investments almost exclusively toward energy and resource acquisition in developing countries, it now also encourages investments in advanced countries. The government’s goals for these investments include securing energy and mineral resources and acquiring advanced technologies in industries where China wishes to leapfrog existing competitors.
Third, U.S. state governments and, to a lesser extent, the federal government are vigorously trying to attract Chinese greenfield investments in the hope of creating jobs and jump-starting local economies.
Fourth, Chinese investments are being drawn to the United States by the availability of financially weak firms, some of which possess potentially useful technologies for China.
Fifth, some firms that are already competitive with U.S. producers are investing to enhance their U.S. market shares or in response to trade remedies proceedings against unfair trade practices, such as Chinese subsidies.
On an aggregate basis, the economic benefits of Chinese investments in the United States have been modest. The precise benefit is difficult to measure due to the convoluted ownership structures of many Chinese investments and the time lags in official U.S. data. Still, based on a combination of official and private data, it is reasonable to conclude that jobs in Chinese-owned companies in the United States increased by 10,000 to 20,000 workers during the past five years.
While hardly significant relative to overall U.S. employment and even to jobs in other countries’ U.S. affiliates, any job creation is welcome given continued slackness in the U.S. labor market.
Chinese FDI in U.S. companies has helped stabilize some financially troubled firms. Portfolio investments by sovereign wealth funds also have helped the economy by solidifying the financial system and providing liquidity to certain property markets.
Chinese investments have occurred in all U.S. regions and in many sectors. According to one private data source, they have been especially prominent since 2007 in the Southwest, Great Lakes, Southeast, and Far West regions, and in the fossil fuels and chemicals, industrial machinery, and information technology industries. According to another private source, as well as government data, the financial sector is also a major recipient of Chinese FDI.
These welcome, though still modest, economic benefits are counterbalanced by policy challenges tied to Chinese FDI. First, U.S. affiliates of Chinese companies are not pure market actors and may be driven by state goals, not market forces. China’s outward investments are dominated by state-owned and state-controlled enterprises (SOEs). These entities are potentially disruptive because they frequently respond to policies of the Chinese government, which is the ultimate beneficial owner of U.S affiliates of China’s SOEs. Likewise, the government behaves like an owner, providing overall direction to SOE investments, including encouragement on where to invest, in what industries, and to what ends.
Second, SOEs may have unfair advantages relative to private firms when competing to purchase U.S. assets. SOEs benefit from substantial subsidies in China and their investments in developing countries also receive ample financial support from the national and sub-national governments, state-owned financial institutions and local governments. Government pronouncements out of China suggest that investments in the United States and other advanced countries will also receive ample financial support. This raises the possibility that Chinese largesse could determine market outcomes for purchases of U.S. businesses.
Third, an increased SOE presence may be harmful to the U.S. economy. In China, SOEs are a major force but as a group they are less efficient and profitable than private firms. To the extent that SOEs purchase U.S. companies on the basis of artificial advantages and operate inefficiently, they may not be beneficial to long-term U.S. economic performance.
Fourth, Chinese investments will create tensions related to economic security and national security if they behave in accordance with China’s industrial policy as articulated in the 12th Five Year Plan, government pronouncements, and official investment guidance. China’s current policy guidance directs firms to obtain leapfrog technologies to create national champions in key emerging industries, while investment guidance encourages technology acquisition, energy security, and export facilitation. Based on this juxtaposition, some will conclude that Chinese FDI in the United States is a potential Trojan horse. Indeed, this study describes three investments in new energy products after which production utilizing the desired technology was shifted to China.
U.S. data collection efforts related to FDI are substantial. However, they likely undercount Chinese FDI due to the complicated ownership structures of many Chinese investments. Moreover, although Chinese-owned companies report their data to the U.S. government, many data points are not publically disclosed due to standard U.S. reporting procedures that protect the identities of individual firms. This issue will resolve itself in the coming years if Chinese FDI grows as expected because limits on disclosure will no longer apply.
The United States is relatively open toward FDI, though there are some sectoral restrictions and a national security review undertaken by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). There are a host of laws that subject foreign investors to rules on antitrust, foreign corrupt practices, and trade in arms and sensitive technology products. However, there is no procedure that explicitly considers issues related to economic security, one of the major concerns about Chinese FDI.
Portfolio investments in equities fall under the purview of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). SEC disclosure requirements and practical considerations make it highly unlikely that Chinese SOEs could successfully collude to accumulate significant equity positions in important U.S. firms.
Reverse mergers offer a back door into U.S. capital markets but are not an effective way to acquire important U.S. assets. Indeed, the target of a reverse merger is typically a shell company devoid of meaningful assets. This technique is typically used by private firms that have difficulty accessing capital in China or by provincial SOEs trying to support restructuring efforts in China. There is no indication that any major SOE has used or plans to use this technique to enter the U.S. capital market.
The Chinese legal and regulatory framework for outward FDI requires approvals by three agencies at sub-national and/or national levels. For SOEs, the primary gatekeeper is the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), though for some investments approval from the State Council is required. The process is widely considered to be cumbersome and is being reformed to facilitate outward FDI.