USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, February 23-29, 2012

Table of Contents

**Click here to subscribe to USIP's Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding News Roundup,
which includes a special section on Internet and social media.**

Drone Strikes Tracked near Afghan-Pakistan Border
Pakistani journalist Pir Zubair Shah has been following drone strikes in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than half a decade. He talks to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about his recent article in Foreign Policy magazine titled "My Drone War."
See the full article (NPR, 2/29/12)
Click to read "From Peaceful Schools to Peaceful Communities in Pakistan," a USIP Grant Highlight by Barmak Pazhwak.
[Return to top]

Arrest of Iranian Scientist, Like Covert Struggle with Iran, Shrouded in Secrecy
The arrest in Los Angeles in December of Seyed Mojtaba Atarodi, a U.S.-educated electrical engineer who teaches at a leading Iranian university, comes as the U.S. uses export controls to try to restrict Iran's acquisition of U.S. technology, including for its military and nuclear programs. But the Atarodi case bears another hallmark of the long-running U.S.-Iran conflict: It's cloaked in secrecy.
See the full article (AP, 2/29/12)
Click to read "Sanctions and Saber-Rattling ," a USIP On the Issues by Raymond Gilpin.
[Return to top]

On Satellites, Human Rights and Syria
Working with software developers Ushahidi and others, [the PAX Project] seeks to create "the ideal of open source intelligence" in the hands of NGOs who can use it to mobilize international responses. What the current fascination with atrocity drones, human rights satellites and iPhones belies is the fact that in Syria today we don't need more harrowing images. We know what is happening and we know who is responsible. But there are no quick military fixes or technological shortcuts.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Simon Adams, 2/29/12)
[Return to top]

African Elections: How to Save Votes
Could smartphones help reduce electoral fraud in Africa and in other regions? At a recent forum hosted by the Brookings Institution, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, presented findings from experiments in Afghanistan and Uganda which suggest that they can. Local researchers were deployed to polling stations armed with digital cameras and smartphones to take photographs of the publicly posted election tallies. The research found that this alone can cut electoral fraud by up to 60%.
See the full article (Economist, 2/28/12)
[Return to top]

China's Advances in Space Unnerve US Military Leaders
The rise of China's space program may pose a potentially serious military threat to the United States down the road, top American intelligence officials contend. China continues to develop technology designed to destroy or disable satellites, which makes the United States and other nations with considerable on-orbit assets nervous. Even Beijing's ambitious human spaceflight plans are cause for some concern, since most space-technology advances could have military applications.
See the full article (MSNBC, Mike Wall, 2/28/12)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "The Week That Changed The World" on March 7 at 8:30am.
[Return to top]

Interpol Website Suffers 'Anonymous Cyber-attack'
Interpol's website appears to have been the victim of a cyber-attack after the international police agency announced the arrests of 25 suspected members of the hacking activist group Anonymous in Europe and South America. Interpol announced that the arrests had been made under the umbrella of Operation Unmask, which it said was launched in mid-February in the wake of a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from the four countries against targets including the Colombian defence ministry and presidential websites, a Chilean electricity company and Chile's national library.
See the full article (Guardian, Ben Quinn, 2/28/12)
[Return to top]

Think Again: Cyberwar
"Cyberwar is coming!" John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt predicted in a celebrated Rand paper back in 1993. Since then, it seems to have arrived -- at least by the account of the U.S. military establishment. Time for a reality check: Cyberwar is still more hype than hazard. Consider the definition of an act of war: It has to be potentially violent, it has to be purposeful, and it has to be political. The cyberattacks we've seen so far, from Estonia to the Stuxnet virus, simply don't meet these criteria.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Thomas Rid, 2/27/12)
[Return to top]

Click here to subscribe to USIP's Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding News Roundup,
which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

Did we miss anything?




Share this: FacebookDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend




Click here to unsubscribe