USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, May 31 - June 6, 2013

Table of Contents

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China Seen in Push to Gain Technology Insights
A government-financed research institute in the Pearl River Delta here boasts an impressive range of specialties, from robotics to nanomedicine to magnetic resonance imaging. But not all the cutting edge developments may be the result of indigenous innovation, according to American prosecutors. Though considerable attention has been focused on Chinese cyberespionage efforts, the institute is at the vanguard of a related push to bolster China's competitiveness by acquiring overseas technology directly from Chinese scientists working in the United States and other developed countries, say American officials and analysts.
See the full article (New York Times, Edward Wong and Didi Kirsten Tatlow, 6/5/13)*NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Does Mobile Technology Exacerbate Wartime Violence?
You might have heard of 'conflict minerals' making their way into your cell phone, but has it occurred to you that cell phones could be fueling violent conflicts? A recent article in the American Political Science Review by Jan Pierskalla and Florian Hollenbach argues just that.
See the full article (techPresident, Jessica McKenzie, 6/5/13)
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How Google Helps Islamic Extremists
YouTube has an automated system to submit copyright claims. This system is designed to give an easy way for rights-holders to protect their content. However, the problem is that this system is blind and gives undue power to anyone who submits a copyright notice - no matter how blatantly fraudulent or how false. Islamists have discovered this flaw and have since used this filing copyright notices and taking down content.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Shawn Ahmed, 6/4/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Reform, Revolution or Status Quo? Regional Dynamics in a Changing Arab World" on June 12 at 10:00am.
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Russian, Iranian Technology is Boosting Assad's Assault on Syrian Rebels
Sophisticated technology from Russia and Iran has given Syrian government troops new advantages in tracking and destroying their foes, helping them solidify battlefield gains against rebels, according to Middle Eastern intelligence officials and analysts. The technology includes increased numbers of Iranian-made surveillance drones and, in some areas, anti-mortar systems similar to those used by U.S. forces to trace the source of mortar fire.
See the full article (Washington Post, Joby Warrick, 6/1/13)
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Can Technology Pave the Road for Peace in the Middle East?
For the last two years, several dozen Palestinian entrepreneurs have been getting training from Israeli high tech experts courtesy of the American firm Cisco Systems. The sessions feature no talk of politics. The training sessions are an example of privately funded economic initiatives that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have praised in recent trips here.
See the full article (Atlantic, David Rohde, 6/1/13)
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Hagel Chides China for Cyberspying
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took China to task Saturday for alleged cyberespionage, drawing a sharp response from a Chinese general who questioned whether the United States' growing military presence in Asia is anything more than a challenge to Beijing's rise.
See the full article (Washington Post, Ernesto Londoño, 6/1/13)
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U.S. Lifts Ban on Technology Exports to Iran to Help Dissenters
The United States has lifted decades old restrictions on U.S. technology exports to Iran in efforts to facilitate communication among dissenters and thwart censorship and crackdowns by the Iranian government. The move will immediately allow the sale of mobile phones, computers, tablets, satellite receivers, and other personal communications equipment and software to Iranian citizens, but not to government officials or groups involved with the regime.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Mary Casey and Jennifer Parker, 5/31/13)
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