USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, August 8 - 14, 2013

Table of Contents

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

Covert Twitter Ops: Israel's Latest (Mis)Adventure in Digital Diplomacy
There's a new front in the social media wars: Israeli university campuses. In cooperation with Israel's national student union, Haaretz reported today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office is planning to create "covert units" of students who will fight for the country -- on social media, that is.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Elias Groll, 8/14/13)
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Dalai Lama's Chinese Website Hacked and Infected
The Chinese-language website of the Tibetan government-in-exile, whose spiritual head is the Dalai Lama, has been hacked and infected with viruses. Experts at computer security company Kaspersky Lab warned that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) site had been compromised. It is believed the malicious software could be used to spy on visitors.
See the full article (BBC, Joe Miller, 8/13/13)
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How Much Data the NSA Really Gets
Fear not, says the NSA, we "touch" only 1.6% of daily internet traffic. If, as they say, the net carries 1,826 petabytes of information per day, then the NSA "touches" about 29 petabytes a day. They don't say what "touch" means. Ingest? Store? Analyze? For context, Google in 2010 said it had indexed only 0.004% of the data on the net.
See the full article (Guardian, Jeff Jarvis, 8/13/13)
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Sinai Drone Strike Reports Downplayed by Israel
Egyptian helicopters fired on a meeting of suspected militants in the country's Sinai Peninsula, officials said Sunday, killing at least 12 people as authorities stepped up their attacks following an Israeli drone strike in the region. The helicopter attack came as Egyptian and Israeli officials tried to downplay the drone strike Friday in the largely lawless Sinai.
See the full article (AP, Ashraf Sweilam, 8/11/13)
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Scientific Feud: Does Global Warming Make Us More Violent?
A group of scientists recently released a paper claiming that global warming makes violent conflict more likely. Others, though, have sharply criticized the study, leading to a widening scientific tiff. In related news, it has been a hot summer.
See the full article (Spiegel, 8/11/13)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Water Security and Conflict Prevention Summit" on September 10 at 8:30am.
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Satellite Images Show Syria Neighborhoods Before and After Scud Missile Strikes
Newly released aerial photos from Syria’s largest city, taken between September 2012 and May 2013, depict widespread destruction of historic and cultural sites, evidence of infrastructure damage and “relentless bombardment” in civilian areas — all signs, according to Amnesty International, that the Syrian regime has shown “utter disregard” for international law.
See the full article (Washington Post, Caitlin Dewey, 8/9/13)
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Snowden’s E-mail Provider is Closing, Cannot Legally Say Why
The e-mail service used by National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden is suspending operations. And they can’t tell us why — although this cryptic post heavily suggests it has something to do with a government request for information.
See the full article (Washington Post, Andrea Peterson, 8/8/13)
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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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