USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, July 28 - August 3, 2011

Table of Contents

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

Ex-CIA Official Sounds Alarm about Hackers' Next Targets
The former director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center raised concerns Wednesday about an impending "code war" in which hackers will tamper not just with the Internet but with technology that runs real-world infrastructure. Somewhat fittingly, Cofer Black's keynote talk at the Black Hat hacker conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was interrupted by a literal alarm: flashing lights, sirens and the whole bit.
See the full article (CNN, John D. Sutter, 8/3/11)
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Report on 'Operation Shady RAT' Identifies Widespread Cyber-spying
A leading computer security firm has used logs produced by a single server to trace the hacking of more than 70 corporations and government organizations over many months, and experts familiar with the analysis say the snooping probably originated in China. Among the targets were the Hong Kong and New York offices of the Associated Press, where unsuspecting reporters working on China issues clicked on infected links in e-mail, the experts said.
See the full article (Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima, 8/2/11)
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Water Shortages Threaten Renewed Conflict between Pakistan, India
As population growth and climate change increase competition for water around the world, India and Pakistan may find water a growing source of conflict, analysts say. The two South Asian countries have a long history of tensions over issues as diverse as terrorist attacks and rights to Kashmir. Diplomatic initiatives have helped reduced these tensions in recent years.
See the full article (AlertNet, Shahid Husainw, 8/2/11)
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Telecomix Take on Syrian Surveillance
Telecomix is a loosely organized group of technophiles. They call themselves internauts -- like astronauts -- but instead of exploring space, they're Internet adventurers. For the past several months, Telecomix has been building ad-hoc communications systems all over the Middle East. Telecomix is a group kind of like the hacker collective Anonymous, but its members don't crash or deface websites -- they use their tech savvy to help others.
See the full article (Marketplace, Steve Henn, 8/1/11)
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Technology Not Bombs
When you hear the word "Israel" what do you think? Whatever your views, political, social, or religious, you're likely to have an opinion. But are you thinking technology and innovation? The point of this article is not to change the way you think about the peace process or broader political issues, but rather seeks to provide an alternative spotlight on Israel, one that accentuates technology, not bombs.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Daniel Seal, 7/28/11)
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U.S. Government says Stuxnet Could Morph into New Threat
U.S. government cyber security experts are warning that the Stuxnet virus could become more menacing, more than a year after it surfaced in an attack believed to be targeted against Iran's nuclear program. The Department of Homeland Security has spent the past year studying the sophisticated malicious software, the first of its type designed to attack computer systems that control industrial processes, two officials said in testimony prepared for a congressional hearing.
See the full article (Reuters, Jim Finkle, 7/28/11)
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Congo Asks U.S. to Use OECD Guidance for Conflict-Mineral Rules
Democratic Republic of Congo appealed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to prevent forthcoming conflict-mineral rules from causing a "de-facto embargo" on trade from the Central African nation. The SEC, which is writing regulations for companies dealing in minerals from war-torn eastern Congo, should follow due- diligence guidance developed by the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu wrote in a July 15 letter published on the commission's website.
See the full article (Businessweek, Michael J. Kavanagh, 7/28/11)
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China vs. U.S.: The Cyber Cold War is Raging
On April 8, 2010, traffic to about 15% of the world's websites was rerouted to China. It isn't publicly known what happened to that traffic when it passed through China. But a report filed late last year by Congress' U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said the hijacked traffic could easily have been captured, censored, or even replaced with other data without anyone's knowledge.
See the full article (CNN, David Goldman, 7/28/11)
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