USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, June 27 - July 10, 2013

Table of Contents

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

NSA Leaker Snowden Claimed U.S. and Israel Co-wrote Stuxnet Virus
Edward Snowden made new allegations in an interview published Monday with the German newspaper Der Spiegel -- chief among them is that the United States teamed up with Israel to create the Stuxnet virus, and that nations like Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany and New Zealand have worked with the American government on surveillance programs.
See the full article (CBS, Chenda Ngak, 7/9/13)
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Hackers in Four-year Effort to Steal South Korea Military Secrets: Study
A mysterious group of computer hackers has spent four years spying on the South Korea military, U.S. security software maker McAfee said Monday, citing evidence uncovered from malicious software samples. The findings, which were not confirmed by authorities in Seoul, provide one possible motive for ongoing attacks on South Korea that date to 2009.
See the full article (Reuters, Jim Finkle, 7/9/13)
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Talking Cyberthreat With China
We confront the problem of I.T. weaponry and national security today with the same uncertainty that we brought to nuclear weapons during the early years of the Cold War. We’re aware something dangerous is in our hands; we are less certain what to do about it. And while the very newness of the field means discussion now is necessarily tentative, one of the lessons of today’s technology is that newness creates the possibility for fast progress.
See the full article (New York Times, Joshua Cooper Ramo, 7/9/13) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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US-made Monitoring Devices Detected on Iran and Sudan Networks
American-made devices used for internet monitoring have been detected on government and commercial computer networks in Iran and Sudan, in apparent violation of US sanctions that ban the sale of goods, services or technology to the autocratic states. Several of the devices, manufactured by California-based Blue Coat Systems, were also discovered in Syria.
See the full article (Independent, Ellen Nakashima, 7/9/2013)
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US Government, Industry Fed up with Chinese Cyber Theft; What’s Being Done?
As U.S. and Chinese officials meet this week in Washington to discuss cyber issues -- as well as broader strategic and economic issues -- a number of Congress members and computer security experts say they are fed up with China stealing proprietary data from American companies.
See the full article (PBS NewsHour, Ray Suarez, 7/8/13)
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How Military Counterinsurgency Software Is Being Adapted To Tackle Gang Violence in Mainland USA
In the last 10 years, researchers have revolutionised the way military analysts think about insurgency and the groups of people involved in it. Their key insight is that insurgency tends to run in families and in social networks that are held together by common beliefs.Now the US Army is adapting this technology to help the police tackle gang violence.
See the full article (PBS NewsHour, Ray Suarez, 7/8/13)
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Iran Stuxnet Leak Probe: US Gen James Cartwright 'Target'
A retired high-ranking US general is under investigation for allegedly leaking classified information about a covert cyber attack on Iran's nuclear programme, US media report. Retired Marine General James "Hoss" Cartwright has been informed by the Justice Department that he is a target in their inquiry, NBC News reports.
See the full article (BBC, 6/28/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Real Politics of Iran: Views from Within" on July 15 at 2:00pm.
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Peace: The Next Big Frontier For Social Technology
Peace innovation is already happening. We often read about how social can be used to topple corrupt governments, and install others, but the larger work of building “civil society” is relatively obscure. But one of the lessons learned in this arena is that by combining offline engagement (interactive event design) with online engagement, organizations seeking to make peace can more effectively get to the issues.
See the full article (Forbes, Giovanni Rodriguez, 6/28/13)
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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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