Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare

The use of computers and the Internet in conducting warfare in cyberspace.

Show Us the Money: Federal Broadband Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A number of readers have reached out to us at Benton asking for help figuring out where to find all the pools of broadband support appropriated by Congress over the past year. So we've decided to create this placeholder for all the funding we've seen in the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and the American Rescue Plan.

The Last Broadband Gifts From the 116th Congress

With great drama, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 became law on December 27, 2021. The $2.3 trillion COVID relief and government spending bill extended unemployment benefits and ensured the government can keep running. The $900 billion COVID relief provision includes over $7 billion to help improve connectivity in the U.S.

How an Investigation of Fake FCC Comments Snared a Prominent DC Media Firm

Millions of records that the Federal Communications Commission’s top lawyer once fought to hold back from state law enforcement officials now serve as key evidence in a year-long probe into cases of Americans being impersonated during the agency’s latest net neutrality proceeding.

Verizon to end location data sales to brokers

Verizon is pledging to stop selling information on phone owners’ locations to data brokers, stepping back from a business practice that has drawn criticism for endangering privacy. The data has allowed outside companies to pinpoint the location of wireless devices without their owners’ knowledge or consent. Verizon said that about 75 companies have been obtaining its customer data from two little-known CA-based brokers that Verizon supplies directly — LocationSmart and Zumigo.

Trump Administration Weighs Building US 5G Network to Counter China

Some White House officials view next-generation 5G wireless service as a “key area of competition,” and they say that the threat from China, in particular, justifies a “moonshot” government effort like the construction of the interstate highway system. A National Security Council memo urges the Trump administration to consider extraordinary efforts to clear the way for the new technology or even to help build it in order to counter the growing economic and political threat from China’s aggressive efforts to develop 5G. 

The Rising Threat of Domestic Terrorism: A Review of the Federal Response to Domestic Terrorism and the Spread of Extremist Content on Social Media

This report is a culmination of three years of investigation into domestic terrorism and the federal response. This report focuses on the rise in domestic terrorism, the federal response, the allocation of federal resources to addressing domestic terrorism, and the role of social media companies in the proliferation of extremist content. The expansion of social media has led to increased recruitment, dissemination, and coordination of domestic terrorist and extremist related activities.

Elon Musk's other unfinished project

There’s one bit of the future that Elon Musk has built and isn’t interested in using: A potential power that researchers have identified in his Starlink satellite system. For the past two years, Todd Humphreys, an Army-funded researcher at the University of Texas in Austin, and a team of researchers reverse-engineered signals sent from thousands of Starlink internet satellites in low Earth orbit to ground-based receivers, finding that the constellation could form a precise navigation sy

Internal Documents Show How Close the FBI Came to Deploying Spyware

During a closed-door session with lawmakers, FBI Director Christopher Wray was asked whether the bureau had ever purchased and used Pegasus, the hacking tool that penetrates mobile phones and extracts their contents. Director Wray acknowledged that the FBI had bought a license for Pegasus, but only for research and development.

Tech for good, evil and companionship at Web Summit

The future-of-tech conversations at Web Summit  in Lisbon could have played on a split screen.

Mysterious company with government ties plays key internet role

An offshore company that is trusted by the major web browsers and other tech companies to vouch for the legitimacy of websites has connections to contractors for US intelligence agencies and law enforcement, according to security researchers, documents, and interviews. Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, nonprofit Firefox, and others allow the company, TrustCor Systems, to act as what’s known as a root certificate authority, a powerful spot in the internet’s infrastructure that guarantees websites are not fake, guiding users to them seamlessly. The company’s Panamanian registration records sho