Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said Thursday that he would likely be meeting next week with Google executives on his concerns that the work Google was doing with China on artificial intelligence and other technologies was undermining the U.S military.

"This is not about me and Google, this about us looking at the second and third order effects of our business ventures in China [and] the impact it's going to have on U.S. ability to maintain a competitive military advantage and all that goes with it," Dunford said.


Dunford said he had general concerns about other U.S. business ventures in China, but "In the case of Google, they were highlighted because they have an artificial intelligence venture in China."

U.S. companies must realize that in doing business with China, "they are automatically required to have a cell of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in that company and that it's going to lead to that intellectual property from that company finding its way to the Chinese military," Dunford said. "There's a distinction without a difference between the CCP and the government and the Chinese military."


Is workplace surveillance about improving productivity or simply a way to control staff and weed out poor performers?

Courtney Hagen Ford, 34, left her job working as a bank teller because she found the surveillance she was under was "dehumanising".

Her employer logged her keystrokes and used software to monitor how many of the customers she helped went on to take out loans and fee-paying accounts.

"The sales pressure was relentless," she recalls. "The totality was horrible."

She decided selling fast food would be better, but ironically, left the bank to do a doctorate in surveillance technology.

Courtney is not alone in her dislike of this kind of surveillance, but it's on the rise around the world as firms look to squeeze more productivity from their workers and become more efficient.

More than half of companies with over $750m (£574m) in annual revenue used "non-traditional" monitoring techniques on staff last year, says Brian Kropp, vice-president of research firm Gartner.

These include tools to analyse e-mails, conversations, computer usage, and employee movements around the office. Some firms are also monitoring heart rates and sleep patterns to see how these affect performance.

In 2015, 30% used such tools. Next year, Mr Kropp expects 80% will.

And workforce analytics will be a $1.87bn industry by 2025, says San Francisco's Grand Review Research.

So why is business so keen?


The U.S. Army will soon field more pocket-sized drones to its squads and platoons under a recent $39.6 million contract award to FLIR Systems Inc. to support small-unit reconnaissance efforts.

The FLIR Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System, or PRS, resembles a tiny helicopter and flies almost silently. Soldiers can use the onboard camera to look around corners in urban areas or recon unfamiliar terrain.


"The highly capable nano-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems delivered under this contract will support platoon and small-unit level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities as part of the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) Program," according to a recent FLIR press release.

The Army awarded the first SBS phase contract to FLIR for an initial batch of Black Hornets in June, the release states. This latest contract will expand the use of FLIR's Black Hornet for the SBS effort.


A new year means a fresh start, but it doesn't mean that old threats will go away. In fact, in the world of cybersecurity things could get far worse before they get better. Cybercrime continues to increase, as it allows nefarious actors to operate at a safe distance from victims -- and more importantly, law enforcement.

Because it rarely is violent in nature, cybercrime often doesn't get the same response from international law enforcement as other types of crimes. It is far from victimless, however. It is a threat of enormous magnitude, with the potential to affect nearly every company in the world. It even ranks as one of the biggest problems plaguing mankind.

On a global basis, cybercrime will cost US$6 trillion annually by 2021, double the toll of 2015, according to the Official 2019 Annual Cybercrime Report from Cybersecurity Ventures.

This is the largest amount of money generated by illicit means, and it could represent the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history. Cybercrime soon will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined!

Cybercrime is not one thing. It is many -- and fighting it requires understanding the various shapes it comes in. Following is a look at the various types of cybercrime, and things that can be done to fight it.

One of the original cybersecurity threats hardly has evolved, but it is unlikely to go away anytime soon.