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Report: Pete Hoekstra Emerges as Top Contender for Director of National Intelligence

Pete Hoekstra, the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, has emerged as the top candidate for the director of national intelligence position, The Hill reported Sunday. President Trump commended Hoekstra’s work in the Netherlands and his plans to collaborate with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and other panel members to find a successor to the retiring DNI and 2019 Wash100 Award winner Dan Coats. 

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USSOCOM Working on AI, Machine Learning Strategy

David Spirk Jr., chief data officer of the Special Operations Command, said at a National Defense Industrial Association-hosted conference that the command is developing a strategy for emerging technology initiatives, National Defense Magazine reported Friday. Spirk said the strategy will help SOCOM plan its allocations for artificial intelligence and machine learning efforts for fiscal years 2022 to 2026. 

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NIH Invests in Research Efforts at Morgan State University

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a total of $35M in grants to Morgan State University for academic research efforts including training and the establishment of an innovation center. An amount of $16.9M will go to the second phase of a program that aims to train biomedical researchers, NIH said Friday

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Air Force Holds Survivability Exercise, Tech Demo for Airmen

The U.S. Air Force conducted an exercise to train aircrews in surviving various mission scenarios. Eleven airmen from the Travis Air Force Base tested Somewear Labs-built hotspot devices with combat-configured smartphones while they performed evasion training under the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program, the service branch said Friday

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CISA Director Chris Krebs: 2020 Elections Need Paper Ballots

Chris Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and 2019 Wash100 Award recipient, spoke about the importance of backup paper ballots for the upcoming 2020 elections, CNN reported Friday. The paper ballot backups are necessary to perform audits that information technology is not capable of, he said during the DEFCON cyber conference that took place from Aug. 8 to 11. 

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Federal Government to Solicit Anonymous Info on Cyber Vulnerabilities

The federal government is testing the use of a portal through which ethical hackers would report cyber vulnerabilities in software, Cyberscoop reported Friday. Interested contributors would submit input via SecureDrop, an open source software that allows individuals to anonymously submit input such as information on cyber weaknesses.

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Brett Goldstein: Defense Digital Service Seeks Cyber Talent at DEF CON’s Aviation ‘Village’

The Defense Digital Service sees the aviation “village” at the DEF CON security conference in Las Vegas as an opportunity to recruit and hire cybersecurity professionals, Fedscoop reported Friday. “In this room and throughout the convention is some of the best security talent in the world,” said Brett Goldstein, head of DDS.

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CBO Estimates DoD Spending to Reach $776B by 2034

The Congressional Budget Office released a report stating that the Department of Defense’s projected $718B spending from 2020 to 2024 would increase to $776B or 13 percent by 2034. CBO assessed DoD’s Future Years Defense Program which includes the department’s projected costs for programs within a five-year period.

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