One computer security concern is that various insiders — including hardware and software manufacturers, and governments which may compel them to comply — will build back doors into their products to allow the security to be compromised. Doing this is a terrible idea. A back door put in for government surveillance or police use is […]


There are several reasons to conclude that the world today is experiencing a nuclear arms race alongside conventional military buildup by many actors and a breakdown of multilateral cooperation. Partly driven by US ballistic missile defence development, Russia began deploying weapon systems meant to counter them like the Topol-M in the 1990s. Now they are […]


In Victoria today, about ten young Indigenous protestors were arrested after occupying the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources building. Meanwhile, British security authorities have categorized Greenpeace and the Extinction Rebellion with far-right groups and neo-Nazis. Today’s George Monbiot column calls out how government security forces have often been more focused on threats to […]


Clearly one of the principal things we need to learn as part of dealing with climate change is how to get along with one another as an international community. For one thing, we cannot afford the inevitably vast and frantic fossil fuel use which any great-power conflict would involve. More optimistically, it will only by […]

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In chapter 10, book 3 of the Lord of The Rings, Treebeard describes to Gandalf how Saruman will be guarded in Orthanc following the destruction of Isengard by the Ents: ‘Leave it to the Ents!’ said Treebeard. ‘We shall search the valley from head to foot and peer under every pebble. Trees are coming back […]


Pieter Basedow


in Security

If you are interacting with Toronto’s Pieter Basedow (age 60) it would be a good idea to question what he says about himself. For organizations he lists as past employers and volunteer positions it would be prudent to ask them what experience they actually had with him and what they think of him now. Related: […]


Over the years I have written a variety of academic papers on various aspects of nuclear weapons and nuclear power: 1) Written for an undergrad international relations course at UBC and subsequently published in a journal and given an award: “The Space Race as ‘Primitive’ Warfare.” UBC Journal of International Affairs. 2005. p. 19-28. 2) […]


This week’s Economist is reporting about the growing danger of armed conflict between the United States and Iran: The brewing conflict between America and Iran As America and Iran act tough, the risk of conflict is growing President Donald Trump’s fixation with undoing “Barack Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement” in the form of the Joint Comprehensive […]


After [redacted by the CIA] left, Boris had to keep introducing harsher and harsher methods, because Abu Zubaydah and other terrorists were trained to resist them. In a democracy such as ours, there is a glass ceiling on harsh techniques that the interrogator cannot breach, so a detainee can eventually call the interrogator’s bluff. And […]


The [redacted by the CIA] picture [of Khallad, alias of Walid bin Attash] had been in the CIA’s possession when Steve Bongardt and the Cole team had been shown the [redacted] three pictures on June 11, 2011. If it has been shown to the Cole team, Steve and the other agents would have identified the […]