Trump administration heightens effort to return asylum seekers to Mexico

Reuters | April 01, 2019

The Trump administration is intensifying measures to curb the flow of Central American asylum seekers crossing into the United States from Mexico, officials said on Monday, including sending more people back to Mexico to wait for their asylum claims to be heard by U.S. courts. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency will speed up the reassignment of 750 officers to parts of the border dealing with the largest numbers of immigrants, a shift the administration first announced last week.

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And the federal government was left helpless while congressional republicans forced a shutdown. This wasn’t the first time the federal government shut down, as you can see from the graphic, but it may have been the most absurd.

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And the federal government was left helpless while congressional republicans forced a shutdown. This wasn’t the first time the federal government shut down, as you can see from the graphic, but it may have been the most absurd.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, CYBERSECURITY

Viasat & Inmarsat Receive UK Government Approval for Proposed Combination Under National Security & Investment Act

Inmarsat | September 17, 2022

Viasat Inc., (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, and Inmarsat, a leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, today announced the receipt of approval of the proposed combination of their businesses by the UK Government under the National Security & Investment Act. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that the transaction does not pose a risk to the UK's national security. In March 2022, the companies committed to economic undertakings with BEIS, which underlined their pledge to strengthen and advance the UK's National Space Strategy. The economic undertakings include an expansion in the number of highly skilled jobs in key areas and a 30% increase in overall research and development spending in the UK. "The combination of Viasat and Inmarsat creates a leading global communications innovator with enhanced scale and scope to affordably, securely and reliably connect the world. The UK Government's clearance of Viasat's proposed acquisition of Inmarsat under the National Security and Investment Act is another important step forward on the road to closing the deal, and we would like to thank the UK Government for their close collaboration throughout the process. Viasat has been a trusted partner of the UK's defence and national security communities for more than a decade, including in the provision of its market-leading encryption products. The combined company, whose global international business headquarters will be situated in the UK, will build upon the strong UK relationships that Viasat and Inmarsat already enjoy and allow us to deepen our contribution to the UK's National Space Strategy." -Mark Dankberg, Executive Chairman and CEO of Viasat. Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, added: Inmarsat is proud of our decades of close work with the UK government. Today's approval brings us closer to delivering the new jobs and investment to the UK that have been committed by both Inmarsat and Viasat. Together, we will be well-positioned to compete in a robust market that has both well-funded new entrants and other industry players in the process of consolidating. About Viasat: Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For over 35 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. About Inmarsat: Inmarsat delivers world leading, innovative, advanced and exceptionally reliable global, mobile communications across the world – in the air, at sea and on land - that are enabling a new generation of commercial, government and mission-critical services. Inmarsat is powering the digitalisation of the maritime industry, making operations more efficient and safer than ever before. It is driving a new era of inflight passenger services for aviation, while ensuring that aircraft can fly with maximum efficiency and safety. Furthermore, Inmarsat is enabling the rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and enabling the next wave of world-changing technologies that will underpin the connected society and help build a sustainable future. And now Inmarsat is developing the first-of-its-kind, multi-dimensional communications network of the future, ORCHESTRA. In November 2021, Inmarsat and Viasat announced the planned combination of the two companies, to create a new leader in global communications. The deal is scheduled to close in the second half of 2022.

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CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Department of Defense Awards Accrete Multi-Million Dollar AI Production OT Software Licensing Contract

Accrete | November 18, 2022

Accrete has secured a five-year multi-million dollar Production Operational Technology (OT) software licensing contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for Argus™, Accrete's highly configurable, dual-use open-source threat detection AI software solution, worth tens of millions of dollars. The exact contract value and deal terms cannot be disclosed per government guidelines. Argus continuously analyzes the open-source web to predict anomalous and nefarious behavior hidden in plain sight. Argus performs work that would otherwise require thousands of intelligence analysts at an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in areas critical to national security such as supply chain risk management, vulnerability research, intellectual property theft, social media intelligence, insider threat detection, and anti-money laundering. Argus reads, understands, and learns from an exploding universe of dynamic, unstructured data, including news, blogs, think tank publications, strategy papers, social media chatter, financial filings, microprocessor manuals, and binaries in multiple languages. The AI software automatically extracts, normalizes, and maps relationships between entities, models influence, and surfaces behavioral anomalies indicative of potentially illicit activity that are too complex for humans to identify. "We are at the dawn of an entirely new type of conflict, driven by rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Whereas nuclear proliferation threatened entire populations, AI proliferation individualizes warfare by manipulating targeted groups through digital means. Using AI, bad actors can propagate disinformation to exploit ignorance and weaken civil society causing billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy, As a prime defense contractor licensing configurable dual-use AI software directly to the DoD, Accrete is in a unique position to scale its business with the Defense, Intelligence, and Special Operations communities, as well as other government and enterprise customers, and bolster national security as well as intelligence competitiveness in previously unimaginable ways." -Prashant Bhuyan, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Accrete, Inc. In 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter established in collaboration with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to strengthen U.S. national security by accelerating DoD adoption of commercial technology, awarded Accrete with an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Prototype contract after Accrete outperformed 65 other companies in a competitive review. The DoD accepted the Argus prototype within 15 months, and Accrete worked closely with the DIU and the DoD to transition the OTA Prototype contract into a first-of-its-kind multi-year Production OT AI software licensing deal. William Wall, who leads Accrete’s federal sales subsidiary, Accrete AI Government, and formerly served as a U.S. Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), said, "We are extremely excited to announce this award, especially as this is the first production OTA that our DoD customer has ever awarded. There are very few start-up technology companies that successfully navigate the extremely challenging OTA process through prototype acceptance and transition into a multi-year production OT software licensing agreement. Our success is a testament to the efficacy, scalability, and configurability of our AI technology and, more importantly, to our employees' relentless focus on providing solutions that are tightly aligned with end-user requirements. As we continue to scale, Accrete looks forward to providing its growing customer base with powerful dual-use AI solutions that not only drive efficiency through the automation of analytical work but also produce mission-critical insights beyond human capacity.” Zachary Smith, Accrete AI Government’s Program Manager and retired special agent who spent most of his 23-year Air Force career focused on countering human, technical, and cyber-based threats, observed, "Based on Argus' blazing speed and scale, in seconds, analysts will be able to research and visualize complex relationships that would have taken at least a month of steady research and annotation. Within the framework of the DoD's acquisition risk review process, Argus will enable supply chain risk analysis to be more efficient and effective while delivering enhanced value at a lower cost per insight." Accrete's continuously learning AI technology enables the templatization of analytical workflows. Templates such as Argus for Threat Detection learn from sparse data and are configurable for use cases including supply chain influence, social media intelligence, reverse engineering, and logistics disruption for both government and commercial customers. In addition to helping the DoD predict bad actors that may be intentionally obscuring identities to influence the supply chain, Argus has also been enabling the U.S. Air Force to reverse engineer binaries from microprocessor manuals to detect vulnerabilities in firmware. Accrete’s dual-use AI solutions have also been proven in industry, including media and entertainment companies automating talent scouting to predict emerging talent from social chatter; insurance brokers automating lead generation to find the shortest path to the hottest lead; private equity and venture firms automating pitch deck review through smart table extraction; and automobile dealerships automating the writing of marketing content. About Accrete: Accrete's mission is to create AI so powerful that it amplifies human reasoning and enables government entities and commercial enterprises to grow in previously unimaginable ways. Accrete, founded in 2017, delivers configurable dual-use AI solutions that automate complex analytical work for both government and enterprise customers with a focus on defense, intelligence, and cybersecurity. Accrete has 128 employees globally and is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Alexandria, Va. and Wellesley, Mass.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, CYBERSECURITY

Electrosoft Awarded $11.7M GSA Contract to Improve Identity, Credential and Access Management (ICAM) Governance and Solutions

Electrosoft | September 19, 2022

Electrosoft Services, Inc., an award-winning federal IT and professional services firm specializing in cybersecurity, announced today it has been awarded an $11.7 million prime contract from the General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), Identity Assurance and Trusted Access Division (IATAD). The IATAD coordinates the government-wide civilian agency execution of ICAM policies and standards to align with the Federal ICAM (FICAM) Architecture. Electrosoft will support IATAD programs to assure the availability of a consistent and effective set of ICAM policies, standards and governance practices and compliant, interoperable and secure ICAM products and solutions in the marketplace. Under the newly awarded Federal Public Key Infrastructure (FPKI) Subject Matter Expert (SME) Support Services contract, Electrosoft will assist IATAD with development, management and execution of the division's responsibilities from an innovative and strategic perspective, including: FPKI policy and operational governance including support to the FPKI Policy Authority (FPKIPA) and associated working groups; Strategy development for test and evaluation of shared ICAM solutions under the FIPS 201 Evaluation Program, including operating the Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) test laboratory; and Guidance and playbook creation based on the FICAM Architecture and identity management policies, standards and initiatives. "GSA leads the field in delivering government-wide trust services and ICAM solutions that enable agencies to better achieve their mission goals, Under this contract, Electrosoft will leverage more than 16 years of FPKI and ICAM thought leadership to provide the GSA OGP IATAD with support and subject matter expertise to meet their mission objectives." -Dr. Sarbari Gupta, Electrosoft CEO. About Electrosoft: Electrosoft delivers comprehensive technology-based solutions and services that propel mission success for federal government customers. Specializing in cybersecurity, Electrosoft supports civilian and defense organizations in advancing cybersecurity postures, modernizing technology ecosystems and adopting agile approaches to improve operational efficiency and security. Recognized for deep domain knowledge and mature management practices, the company is rated at Maturity Level 3 for CMMI-DEV and CMMI-SVC and is certified under ISO 9001, ISO 20000-1 and ISO 27001. The rapidly growing 8(a), economically disadvantaged, women-owned small business (EDWOSB) and WOSB is headquartered in Reston, Virginia.

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