USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


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Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, June 2 - 8, 2011

Table of Contents

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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.**

Can Technology End Conflict?
Jared Cohen wants what every Miss World contestant used to want - world peace. But as the head of a new Google spin-off, dubbed Google Ideas, he might be in more of a position to achieve it. Mr Cohen describes the venture as think/do-tank aiming to find web-based solutions for some of the world's most difficult problems.
See the full article (BBC, Jane Wakefield, 6/8/11)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Engaging Extremists" on June 16 at 9:30am.
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Foreign Policy: If Drones had Feelings, They'd be Hurt
Killer robots. Video-game warfare. Unlawful weapons. Terminators. Drone-attack commentary has become synonymous with reports of civilian carnage, claims of international-law violations, and worries about whether high-tech robotic wars have become too easy and fun to be effectively prevented. But the debate over drones is misleading the public about the nature of the weaponry and the law.
See the full article (NPR, Charli Carpenter and Lina Shaikhouni, 6/8/11)
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'Doomsday Plane' Would Save President and Joint Chiefs in Apocalypse Scenario
In the event of nuclear war, a powerful meteor strike or even a zombie apocalypse, the thoroughly protected doomsday plane is ready to keep the president, secretary of defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff and other key personnel in the air and out of danger. It may not deflect a Twitter photo scandal, but it can outrun a nuclear explosion and stay in the air for days without refueling.
See the full article (ABC, Michael Murray, 6/7/11)
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Cyberwar, Stuxnet and People in Glass Houses
Firing off Stuxnet might have seemed like a good idea, but since everyone is vulnerable (and some are more vulnerable than others) it is possibly a road that was better avoided. When it comes to cyberspace, the connected world is living in a glass house, and we all know that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, Haroon Meer, 6/7/11)
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China Gets Angry about Cyberwar Allegations
China ratcheted up criticism Friday of the United States following back and forth charges about cyberwarfare. A day earlier, the government responded angrily to accusations that it was directly involved in a hacking scheme designed to trick American government workers, Chinese political activists, journalists and Asian regional defense representatives into giving up their Google email passwords.
See the full article (MSNBC, Ed Flanagan, 6/3/11)
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Cyberattacks May Be 'Acts Of War'
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon (in a report expected to be made public next month) has said an act of computer sabotage may constitute an "act of war." Pentagon spokesman Colonel David Lapan told reporters: A response to cyber-incident or attack on the U.S. will not necessarily be a cyber-response. All appropriate options would be on the table.
See the full article (NPR, Ira Flatow, 6/3/11)
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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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