US under Obama Spied on German Chancellor Merkel
US NSA, the technical intelligence branch of the United States, has reportedly spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The NSA was assisted in the same by Denmark’s secret service, the Danish Defense Intelligence Agency. Merkel and many EU leaders, including those from France, Norway, Sweden, etc., are believed to have been tracked.
Danish Broadcasting Corporation recently revealed the scandal. It dates back to the period between 2012 to 2014 when Barack Obama was the US President and Joe Biden his Vice President. The Obama administration was also exposed of spying on its ally countries by a former CIA subcontractor Edward Snowden. Then, Obama had committed to stop spying on allies.
Now, with this allegation coming to light, France has called it “extremely serious” and also said that they would try to find out whether their partners in the EU, the Danes, have committed errors.
The US had codenamed this affair ‘Operation Dunhammer’. The NSA had reportedly developed software called ‘Xkeyscore’ with which it intercepted calls and texts of top EU leaders. Moreover, they are also believed to have set up a data centre on a Danish island to aid their operation.
The disclosure now threatens to impact the recent efforts to better the US-EU ties adversely.
Turkey’s ‘Killer Drone’ attacks and kills a soldier on it own
A Turkish ‘Killer Drone’ has reportedly attacked a retreating convoy of soldiers and killed one of them in Libya. Worryingly, it’s the first case of an autonomous drone shooting and killing a person on its own, said the United Nations. The incident shows how Artificial Intelligence can sidetrack humans and pose a threat to the lives of people.
The drone in question is Turkey’s Kargu-2, a quadrocopter. It is a type of loitering drone that uses machine learning algorithms and real-time image processing to track and hit targets autonomously. It is designed explicitly for asymmetric warfare and anti-terrorist operations. Many such drones could also be linked together to form a drone swarm.
Several experts and non-governmental organisations have been calling for a ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems. Thirty countries have backed the plan as well. Although the accident in Libya calls for limits on AI to be defined, the current geopolitical situation and the arms race across the globe may not let it happen.
Turkey appears to have ignited the new era of autonomous killer robots and drones capable of killing people without manual control and human decision-making.