Jane Edwards

White House Issues National Strategy for Planetary Protection

White House

The White House National Space Council has released a new strategy that seeks to protect the Earth and other planetary bodies from biological contamination associated with space exploration activities and ensure safe and sustainable commercialization and exploration of space. For the first objective, the government should come up with a forward contamination framework and risk-informed decision-making implementation strategies. 

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DOJ’s John Demers on Cyber Hack Linked to Russia, Threats Posed by China

John Demers

John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice (DOJ), said the federal government is still in the process of analyzing the damage brought by a massive cyber breach linked to Russia. DOJ launched a program called China Initiative in an attempt to counter the Asian country’s efforts to steal U.S. government secrets and intellectual property.

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CBO Examines Decline in Entrepreneurship Since Early 1980’s

Entrepreneurship

A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report says the rate at which new companies formed or entered the market dropped from 10 percent in 1982 to 8 percent in 2018. CBO said in the report published Tuesday that new firms operating for less than five years accounted for 29 percent of all businesses in 2018. 

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Incoming Administration Expected to Support Small Businesses With $400B Procurement Effort

Federal Contracting

Contracting opportunities for minority-owned and small businesses are likely to increase under the administration of President-elect Joe Biden given his campaign’s proposed $400 billion procurement effort. The Biden campaign’s website says the $400 billion plan seeks “to support small businesses and tackle inequities in the federal contracting system,” by expanding the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) development program. 

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Army Advances Multidomain Ops With New Research on Reinforcement Learning; Alec Koppel Quoted

U.S. Army

A team of U.S. Army researchers took another step to make the service’s multidomain operations concept a reality by making training reinforcement learning-based policies less unpredictable in order for ground robots and other autonomous systems to adapt to evolving conditions on the battlefield. The Army conducted the research in partnership with Google Deepmind, Princeton University and University of Alberta.

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Greg Allen: Acquisition Authority in FY 2021 Defense Policy Bill to Help JAIC Move Faster

Greg Allen

Greg Allen, chief of strategy and communications at the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), told C4ISRNET in an interview published Monday that the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), if signed into law, would provide JAIC acquisition authority and enable it to move faster. 

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FAA Issues Two Final Rules for Unmanned Aircraft; Steve Dickson Quoted

Steve Dickson

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released two final rules that will require remote identification of unmanned aircraft and permits small drone operators to fly at night and over people under specific conditions. “The new rules make way for the further integration of drones into our airspace by addressing safety and security concerns,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.

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Mike Pompeo: Investment Ban to Cover ETFs, Index Funds, Subsidiaries of Firms Linked to Chinese Military

Mike Pompeo

State Secretary Mike Pompeo has announced that the Department of the Treasury (DoT) will prohibit U.S. companies and individuals from investing in index funds, exchange traded funds and subsidiaries of Chinese companies with ties to the Chinese military. Pompeo said in a statement published Monday the move is in compliance with an executive order signed in November 2020. 

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Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider on Role of Space in Joint All-Domain C2

Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider

Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider, acting chief technology and innovation officer (CTIO) for the U.S. Space Force, said space is at the center of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept. She added that JADC2 is “grounded in space” and noted that the service will continue to improve and evolve the Unified Data Library (UDL).

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Former Gov’t Cyber Officials Discuss Possible Outcomes If Adversaries Get Into DoD Networks; Jan Tighe Quoted

Cyber Hacks

Although the Department of Defense (DoD) reported that there has been no sign of breach to date linked to a cyber vulnerability involving SolarWinds’ Orion Network Management products, former cybersecurity officials at the government discussed several scenarios that could occur as a result of hackers making their way into DoD’s computer networks. 

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