USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, July 18 - 24, 2013

Table of Contents

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

A Bizarro Drone That Would Deliver Peace and Oxycontin Instead of Missiles
Drones have a lot of uses, but spreading peace and distributing drugs are typically not among them. Imagine then, if all of a sudden an unmanned flying vehicle appeared above your head, its goofy clown face smiling down at you as it unloads a cloud of Oxycontin. You'd probably feel very very good, which is the whole point behind Axel Brechensbuaer's Peace Drone, a conceptual machine that the industrial designer created as an anti-violence alternative to predator drones.
See the full article (Wired, Liz Stinson, 7/24/13)
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Peace Through Profits? Inside The Secret Tech Ventures That Are Reshaping The Israeli-Arab-Palestinian World
Nearly 100 times over the past two years Israeli high-tech experts and Palestinian entrepreneurs have gotten together in the hope of making Israel's "Startup Nation" economic miracle a cross-border affair. And it's just one of dozens of business-driven dialogues quietly-in many cases secretly-proliferating across the Holy Land.
See the full article (Forbes, Richard Behar, 7/24/13)
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Viber Attacked By Syrian Electronic Army
Viber has confirmed a situation earlier this morning in which Viber appeared to have been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (a pro-government group of computer hackers aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad). AppleSpot originally reported on the hack that affected the Viber support page, though it was unclear the extent to which hackers accessed Viber systems.
See the full article (TechCrunch, Jordan Crook, 7/23/13)
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Attacks in Cyberspace are Capable of Influencing Global Politics
Syria's ongoing civil war has unexpectedly given rise to one of the most high-profile hacking groups to date, proven capable of influencing global politics. The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) - which aims to spread counter-revolutionary propaganda and hit back at news outlets it says present biased reports of the conflict that began in March 2011 - has duped numerous Western media outlets into handing over the electronic keys to their Facebook, Twitter and other accounts.
See the full article (Guardian, Jarno Limnéll, 7/22/13)
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U.S. Military Drone Surveillance is Expanding to Hot Spots beyond Declared Combat Zones
As the Obama administration dials back the number of drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, the U.S. military is shifting its huge fleet of unmanned aircraft to other hot spots around the world. This next phase of drone warfare is focused more on spying than killing.
See the full article (Washington Post, Craig Whitlock, 7/20/13)
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Primitive Human Society 'Not Driven by War'
Researchers from Abo Academy University in Finland say that violence in early human communities was driven by personal conflicts rather than large-scale battles. They say their findings suggest that war is not an innate part of human nature, but rather a behaviour that we have adopted more recently.
See the full article (BBC, 7/18/13)
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The Danger of Mixing Cyberespionage With Cyberwarfare
China has recently been accused of intense spying activity in cyberspace, following claims that the country uses cyber tactics to gain access to military and technological secrets held by both foreign states and corporations. In this context, the rhetoric of cyberwar has also raised its head.
See the full article (Wired, Jarno Limnéll, 7/18/13)
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Click here to subscribe to USIP's Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding News Roundup,
which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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