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We need to talk about Yemen

The briefing argues that greater transparency over the UK’s role in the conflict would benefit the government for many domestic reasons, particularly given the levels of public and parliamentary scepticism about arms sales and secret wars.

What British War on Terror?

This briefing by Emily Knowles explores how the UK is using drones, Special Operations Forces (SOF) like the SAS, intelligence assets, and military advisers to tackle groups like ISIS, and why this allows a large number of military operations to fall through cracks in policy designed to scrutinise the use of force. Unlike when the […]

Remote-control warfare briefing | #17

Commissioned by the Remote Control project, the seventeenth in our monthly remote-control briefing series from Open Briefing has been published. The briefings cover developments in five key areas of remote warfare: special forces, private military and security companies, unmanned vehicles and autonomous weapon systems, cyber warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. This month’s stories include: […]

Britain’s culture of no comment

This briefing by Emily Knowles, Remote Control Project Manager, examines how the UK is lagging behind its allies on transparency over its use of Special Operations Forces (SOF). Britain has a culture of no comment regarding the use of its SOF. This culture is harming oversight at a crucial juncture for modern warfare. The UK’s […]

Remote-control warfare briefing | #16

Commissioned by the Remote Control project, the sixteenth in our monthly remote-control briefing series from Open Briefing has been published. The briefings cover developments in five key areas of remote warfare: special forces, private military and security companies, unmanned vehicles and autonomous weapon systems, cyber warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. This month’s key stories include: coalition […]

Remote Control Project Briefing – ‘Drone Chic’

Commissioned by the Remote Control project this report from Caroline Kennedy-Pipe (University of Hull), James I. Rogers (University of York) & Tom Waldman (University of York) examines the current biases in the depictions of drones as precise, clean and value free. Drawing upon the discussions and debates at the ‘Who Bears the Cost?’ workshop sponsored by Remote Control in St Andrews in September, 2015, the authors raise a series concerns which challenge the conventional views of drones and then make several recommendations.

Remote-control warfare monthly briefing | #13

Commissioned by the Remote Control Project, the thirteenth in a series of monthly briefings from Open Briefing on remote-control warfare looks at key developments in the areas of special forces, private military and security companies, unmanned vehicles and autonomous weapon systems, cyber warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. This month’s stories include news that the UAE and Saudi Arabia have pledged special forces to confront Islamic State and support the Syrian armed opposition and the US president has announced a Cybersecurity National Action Plan underpinned by $19 billion in proposed federal spending on cyber security.

Mass surveillance: security by ‘remote control’ – consequences and effectiveness

This briefing paper, by the Remote Control project, looks at the implications and effectiveness of mass surveillance as a counter-terrorism strategy following the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013.

The briefing finds that mass surveillance programmes are leading to a number of unforeseen consequences, including the proliferation of surveillance technologies to authoritarian regimes, a decrease in public trust in government and the weakening of internet security. As well as this, doubts over the ability of mass surveillance to thwart terror plots have also been found.