USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, November 14 - 20, 2013

Table of Contents

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

CCTV to be Deployed on Kenya-Somalia Border’
Kenya is working on a surveillance system to monitor activity on its border with Somalia as a mitigation measure to prevent terrorist attacks of the magnitude of Westgate siege, Interior and Coordination of National Government, Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Ole lenku has said. Speaking to CNN’s Nima Elbagir on Monday, Ole Lenku admitted that the incredibly porous, 800 kilometres Kenya-Somali border was a major ‘panya’ route for terrorists especially the Al Shabaab drawn from Somalia.
See the full article (Biztech Africa, Omondi Julius Odera, 11/19/13)
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Stuxnet's Secret Twin
Three years after it was discovered, Stuxnet, the first publicly disclosed cyberweapon, continues to baffle military strategists, computer security experts, political decision-makers, and the general public. A comfortable narrative has formed around the weapon: how it attacked the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz, how it was designed to be undiscoverable, how it escaped from Natanz against its creators' wishes. Major elements of that story are either incorrect or incomplete.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Ralph Langner, 11/19/20)
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Norway Spying On Phones In 'Conflict Areas' Outside Country
Norway's military intelligence chief has admitted his country spies on millions of phone calls in conflict areas around the world and shares that data with allies, including the United States. Lt. Gen. Kjell Grandhagen, head of the Nordic country's military intelligence agency, says some of the calls involved Norwegian citizens. He said his agency's actions were legal under Norwegian law when there are suspicions of terrorism-related activity.
See the full article (AP, 11/19/13)
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Iran Unveils New 'Biggest' Drone
Iran says it has developed a drone with a range of 2,000km (1,200 miles), which would enable it to cover much of the Middle East, including Israel. The Islamic Republic's Defense Minister said the unmanned aircraft could carry out reconnaissance missions or launch missile strikes. Hossein Dehghan said sanctions imposed by "enemies" would not stop progress.
See the full article (BBC, 11/18/13)
Click to read "Navigating the Rise of Sunni-Shia Violent Sectarianism" an Olive Branch Post by Qamar-ul Huda.
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Wired Humanitarianism
A new class of technologies - including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - promises to dramatically restructure the logistics of aid. Aid agencies fear that the [military] use of drones is hindering their access and is generating new threats. And yet some in the relief community who are optimistic about the potential application of drones for humanitarian action - from search and rescue to the delivery of aid. There is some evidence of this already taking place, with drones used by peace-keepers in Bosnia in the early 1990s and more recently deployed in the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Haiti.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Robert Muggah, 11/18/13)
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Inside Avaaz – Can Online Activism Really Change the World?
With 30 million members, Avaaz is an organisation with ambitions to save us all through technology. In just six years, Avaaz – which means "voice" in various languages – has become a global pressure group to be reckoned with. It's a new kind of activism that isn't issue-led, it's issues-led. It's human rights abuses in Burma, or it's the Syrian civil war, or it's threats against the Great Barrier Reef or it's homophobia in Costa Rica. It's whatever its supporters, guided by the Avaaz team, choose to click on most this month.
See the full article (Guardian, Carole Cadwalladr, 11/16/13)
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Jeremy Hammond, Hacker for Anonymous, Sentenced to 10 Years
A Chicago computer hacker tied to the group known as Anonymous was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for cyberattacks on various government agencies and businesses, including a global intelligence company. Jeremy Hammond, 28, was handed the maximum term for the December 2011 hacking of Strategic Forecasting, an attack his lawyers contend was driven by concern about the role of private firms in gathering intelligence domestically and abroad.
See the full article (Washington Post, 11/15/13)
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'Killer Robots' Could Be Outlawed
The first steps towards the outlawing of "killer robots" could be taken on Thursday, as a UN committee meets to decide whether to investigate banning the controversial technology. Campaigners are hoping that representatives from 117 states gathering for a two-day annual meeting in Geneva will agree to an inquiry into the development of the machines, which they say pose a serious threat to the world.
See the full article (Telegraph, Harriet Alexander, 11/14/13)
Click to read "Afghan-U.S. Accord May Be At Risk in Informal Assembly This Week" an Olive Branch Post by Scott Smith.
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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

Did we miss anything?

There will be no News Roundup distributed next week. Happy Thanksgiving from USIP’s PeaceTech Initiative!



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