US judge blocks Twitter’s bid to reveal government surveillance requests

Twitter | April 20, 2020

Twitter will not be able to reveal surveillance requests it received from the US government after a federal judge accepted government arguments that this was likely to harm national security after nearly six-years of legal battle. The social media company had sued the US Department of Justice in 2014 to be allowed to reveal, as part of its “Draft Transparency Report”, the surveillance requests it received. It argued its free-speech rights were being violated by not being allowed to reveal the details. US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted the government’s request to dismiss Twitter’s lawsuit in an eleven page order filed in the US District Court for Northern California.

Spotlight

Local government has faced unprecedented cuts over the last four years that have impacted dramatically on adult social care and its capacity to deliver. The impact is ultimately felt by people who use social care services. Contrary to what the Government has said repeatedly since the 2010 Spending Review, its injection of an additional £7.2 billion for adult social care over the last four years has not solved the adult social care funding question. Adult social care spending has therefore been kept under control through a combination of budget savings of 26 per cent (the equivalent of £3.53 billion over the last four years), the NHS transfer and at least £900 million of savings from other council services.

Spotlight

Local government has faced unprecedented cuts over the last four years that have impacted dramatically on adult social care and its capacity to deliver. The impact is ultimately felt by people who use social care services. Contrary to what the Government has said repeatedly since the 2010 Spending Review, its injection of an additional £7.2 billion for adult social care over the last four years has not solved the adult social care funding question. Adult social care spending has therefore been kept under control through a combination of budget savings of 26 per cent (the equivalent of £3.53 billion over the last four years), the NHS transfer and at least £900 million of savings from other council services.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Contentsquare Announces Acceptance into the United Kingdom G-Cloud Framework

Contentsquare | November 16, 2022

Contentsquare, the global leader in digital experience analytics, today announced it has been accepted into the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace by the Crown Commercial Service of the UK Government. Contentsquare is now officially part of the UK Government-Cloud 13 Framework, an online service that helps public sector organizations in the UK implement the latest transformative cloud technologies, quickly and easily. Contentsquare was approved as a Cloud Software supplier to deliver actionable insights and data to help public sector organisations manage the accelerated shift to digital and elevate the online experience for their customers. With much of our lives now online, it has never been more important for public sector actors to deliver seamless, intuitive, trustworthy and accessible digital experiences. Government agencies and public organizations have been doubling down on CX and innovation to meet the rising expectations of consumers. “We are thrilled to have been given the G-Cloud stamp of approval and to have our solution be part of the G-Cloud 13 framework, We are looking forward to partnering with the UK public sector to help transform online services and deliver more seamless, more rewarding — and ultimately more human — experiences to their customers.” -Duncan Keene, UK Managing Director at Contentsquare. To support this initiative and Contentsquare’s commitment to the public sector industry, the company also recently hired Verity Buchanan as Public Sector Lead, who brings more than a decade of Public Sector experience to Contentsquare, including her work in the UK justice department, central and local government, as well as in various departments of the NHS. At Contentsquare she is helping build out a team of dedicated account managers to support the unique digital challenges and transformation missions facing the UK Public Sector. About Contentsquare: Contentsquare delivers the power to make the digital world more human. Its AI-powered platform provides rich and contextual insight into customer behaviours, feelings and intent — at every touchpoint in their journey — enabling organisations to build empathy and create lasting impact. The global leader in digital experience analytics, Contentsquare helps organisations everywhere transform the way they do business, allowing them to take action at enterprise scale and build customer trust with security, privacy and accessibility. More than 1000 leading organisations use Contentsquare to grow their business, deliver more customer happiness and move with greater agility in a constantly changing world. Its insights power the customer experience on over 1 million websites worldwide. Founded in Paris and with offices around the world, Contentsquare has raised $1.4B in investment funding from leading investors, including funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Bpifrance, Canaan, Eurazeo, Highland Europe, KKR, LionTree, Sixth Street and SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Germany to Create Its First Quantum Computing Business Cloud

Germany Trade & Invest | November 14, 2022

Germany's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) has contracted software company QMWare and cloud specialist IONOS, together with the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer FOKUS research institute, to construct a platform for quantum computing applications for German industry. The cloud will be the first of its kind in the country. The project, called SeQenC, will run for three years and is part of the ministry's "Digital Technologies for Business" support program. The ministry will be investing tens of millions of euros, although no exact figure was named. During the project's three-year span, selected partner companies from industry and the wider economy will be invited to test out applications in sectors such as telecommunications, logistics, finance, automotive and energy. The project is the latest in a series of quantum computing initiating to come from the BMWK. In late September, the ministry announced that it would put EUR 14 million into a quantum processer prototype developed on the basis of photonic systems. The BMWK has pledged to invest EUR 740 million in quantum computing as a whole. "The German government's investment indicate how serious it is about quantum computing in Germany, Such initiatives not only create superior conditions for businesses active in Germany. They also show that niches are arising for international quantum computing businesses to come to Europe's largest economy and profit from this exciting transformation." -Asha-Maria Sharma, computing industry expert at the German government agency Germany Trade & Invest. Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) is the economic promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. GTAI supports German companies setting up in foreign markets, promotes Germany as a business location and assists foreign companies setting up shop in Germany.

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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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