USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, March 21 - 27, 2013

Table of Contents

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

Kenya's Odinga Says Technology Failures Led to Vote Fraud
Lawyers challenging Uhuru Kenyatta's victory in the Kenyan presidential election said on Wednesday new technology meant to counter fraud had broken down, leading to a manipulated vote count. Lawyers for Odinga told the Supreme Court that the failure of an electronic system to transmit numbers from polling stations to a tallying center and the breakdown of other equipment had undermined the chances of a transparent vote.
See the full article (Reuters, James Macharia, 3/27/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Consolidating Democratic Gains, Promoting African Prosperity" on March 29 at 9:00am.
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Don't Call Africa's Tech Hub 'Silicon Savannah'
People have dubbed it "Nairobbery" for a reason. Crime is still a crushing reality in Kenya's capital of Nairobi. Yet life in the city is changing for its 3 million inhabitants. The recent presidential elections earlier this month passed peacefully, a marked improvement over the disastrous 2008 elections, when 1,000 people died and the country nearly tipped into civil war. Now that the election has passed without violence, it will be investors, both foreign and African, that will decide its future.
See the full article (Mashable, Monty Munford, 3/26/13)
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Legal Experts: Stuxnet Attack on Iran Was Illegal 'Act of Force'
A cyberattack that sabotaged Iran's uranium enrichment program was an "act of force" and was likely illegal, according to research commissioned by a NATO defense center. The 20 experts who produced the study were unanimous that Stuxnet was an act of force, but were less clear about whether the cyber sabotage against Iran's nuclear program constituted an "armed attack," which would entitle Iran to use counterforce in self-defense.
See the full article (Wired, Kim Zetter, 3/25/13)
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Rabid Response
Nuclear deterrence isn't the best analogy for addressing cyber-threats, and it is certainly the wrong policy. All through the Cold War, and even now, the United States had early-warning satellites that used infrared sensors to pinpoint where nuclear-tipped missiles may have come from, thus fulfilling the critical attribution criterion on which deterrence hinges. Nothing remotely equivalent exists in cyberspace.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Yousaf Butt, 3/22/13) *Foreign Policy sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Microsoft and the Global Network Initiative
China's surveillance of Skype is not particularly surprising. What is surprising is that Skype owner Microsoft is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, an anti-internet censorship and pro-privacy organization. [NPR] speaks to Ethan Zuckerman, director of MIT's Center for Civic Media, about the Global Network Initiative and its apparent shortcomings.
See the full article (NPR, 3/22/13)
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World Water Day 2013: Water as a Catalyst for Peace
Today we celebrate World Water Day - a day to raise awareness on the global water challenge and to advocate for the sustainable management of water resources. If water resources continue to be poorly managed, food and energy production will decline, and waterborne disease will increase. When combined with poverty, social tensions, and weak leadership and institutions, water challenges may lead to social disruptions that cause state instability and regional tension.
See the full article (Forbes, 3/22/13)
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