USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, November 3 - 9, 2011

Table of Contents

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

Researchers Spot Blue Coat Web Control Gear in Another Repressive Regime: Burma
Since Web filtering and network monitoring gear from Blue Coat Systems turned up in Syria last month, the company has been scrambling to avoid a reputation as an Internet arms provider to the world's most repressive dictatorships. A new report from Canadian researchers won't help: it shows that Blue Coat gear has been used in Burma, too.
See the full article (Forbes, Andy Greenberg, 11/9/11)
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IAEA Says Foreign Expertise Has Brought Iran to Threshold of Nuclear Capability
Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran's government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles. Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.
See the full article (Washington Post, Joby Warrick, 11/6/11)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "What's Parliament Got to do With it?: Elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran" on November 18 at 2:00pm. You can also watch the live webcast!
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When War Stops, the Impact on the Environment Lives On
The marginal, semi-arid lands where so many displaced persons' camps are located may have been able to effectively support their small dispersed resident populations in the past. However, sudden large concentrations of people living in the crowded camps that emerge during conflict or after natural disasters can rapidly deplete the land's carrying capacity and make it difficult for the environment to recover.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Erin Patrick, 11/4/11)
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Rwanda Returns More Than 90 Tons of Smuggled Minerals to Congo
Rwanda has returned more than 90 metric tons of minerals this year smuggled from Democratic Republic of Congo. Electronics-industry auditing rules resulting from a U.S. law to prevent the mineral trade from supporting armed groups in Congo are spurring companies and nations in the region into implementing tracing programs and technology to monitor their mineral exports.
See the full article (Bloomberg, Michael J. Kavanagh, 11/3/11)
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Jimmy Wales: 'Wikipedia Can Topple Tyrants'
[Wikipedia founder Jimmy] Wales is tirelessly optimistic. His optimism about man's capacity to play fair and find compromises is accompanied by the firm belief that technology - and specifically its ability to open up access to information - is a force for good. "Suddenly people's access to information explodes. And the possibilities for political change are enormous. It means they're connected, that they can organise revolutions, they can learn what's going on in other countries."
See the full article (Telegraph, Kate Day, 11/3/11)
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Cold War Redux Warning Over Cyberspy Threat
It's like the Cold War never ended: U.S. intelligence agencies see Russia and China as the most significant threats to the nation's interests. Cyberattacks by Chinese and Russian intelligence services, as well corporate hackers in those countries, have swallowed up large amounts of high-tech American research and development data, and that stolen information has helped build their economies, U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded.
See the full article (CBS, 11/3/11)
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