USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, April 4 - 10, 2013

Table of Contents

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

North Korea Behind Hacking Attack in March, Claims Seoul
North Korea was behind the cyber attack in March that wiped hard drives on more than 30,000 PCs in TV stations and disrupted banks in south Korea, a spokesman for its internet security agency said on Wednesday, ratcheting up the tension between the two sides another notch.
See the full article (Guardian, Charles Arthur, 4/10/13)
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Iran Plans 'Islamic Google Earth'
The Iranian authorities have long accused Google Earth of being a tool for western spy agencies, but now they have taken their attacks on the 3D mapping service one step further - by planning the launch of an "Islamic" competitor. Iran has often looked at Western web services with a great deal of suspicion.
See the full article (Guardian, Saeed Kamali Dehghan, 4/10/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Disaster Risk Reduction and Conflict Prevention" on April 18 at 1:00pm.
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How to Detect a Nuclear Test on Your iPhone
The increase in data volume, ever-improving connectivity, and the relentless evolution towards ubiquitous sensors in cell phones and other devices affords new opportunities for concerned citizens to participate in solving some of the thorniest health and security issues of our time. In the very near future, anyone with a cell phone will be able to serve as a weapons inspector.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Christopher Stubbs and Sidney Drell, 4/9/13)
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Anonymous Hacker Attack on Israeli Websites 'Causes Little Real Damage'
A cyber attack by the activist group Anonymous targeting Israeli government websites failed to cause serious disruption, officials have said. The attacks followed warnings in the name of the group that it was launching a massive hacking assault to protest against Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.
See the full article (Associated Press, 4/8/13)
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A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood
The C.I.A. has conducted hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan that have killed thousands of people, Pakistanis and Arabs, militants and civilians alike. While it was not the first country where the United States used drones, it became the laboratory for the targeted killing operations that have come to define a new American way of fighting.
See the full article (New York Times, Mark Mazzetti, 4/6/13)
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Smart Bracelet Protects Aid Workers
A hi-tech bracelet could soon be helping civil rights and aid workers at risk of being kidnapped or killed. When triggered, the personal alarm uses phone and sat-nav technology to warn that its wearer is in danger. The bracelets have been developed by the Civil Rights Defenders campaign group in a bid to help workers in war zones and other areas of conflict.
See the full article (BBC, 4/5/13)
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North Korea Twitter, Flickr Accounts Hacked by Anonymous
Hacking group Anonymous continued its assault on one of North Korea's propaganda websites by taking over the site's Twitter and Flickr accounts, two days after saying it obtained 15,000 user records from the site. The state-run website,, could not be accessed early Thursday.
See the full article (NBC News, Suzanne Choney, 4/4/13)
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Why Sticks and Stones Will Beat Our Drones
Military technological evolution can go in both directions. High-tech measures aren't inevitably countered by more high-tech measures. Sometimes, the opposite is true: The most successful countermeasures are low-tech -- and historically, this has been demonstrated just as often as has the opposite.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Rosa Brooks, 4/4/13)
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