USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

 

United States Institute of Peace

 

Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, January 9 - 15, 2014

Table of Contents

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USIP's Science, Technology, and Peacebuilding Roundup will now be merged with the Media and Conflict Roundup. We’ve noticed that many of you subscribe to both Roundups and to make it more efficient for you, we have decided to proceed with one Roundup in a new format. You can look forward to this new design next Thursday, January 23rd.


Diplomacy 3.0 Starts in Stockholm
Digital diplomacy has been redefining itself since its inception. It has evolved from 140 characters to a myriad of opportunities embedded in the very nature of the digital era, from crowdsourcing to big data. While we have not yet outgrown Twitter and Facebook -- still key ingredients for any government's digital strategy -- foreign policy is fast moving towards more innovative ways to change its elitist undertones and become a truly participatory, collaborative forum.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Adreas Sandre, 1/15/14)
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Nigeria Can Reduce Poverty by Embracing Technology
Embracing technology is an essential factor for Nigeria if it wants to reduce its high poverty indices, according to Umar Bindir, director-general of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP). Speaking to journalists in Abuja at the official commissioning of the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) at the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Bindir said technology could rapidly create jobs which in turn would reduce poverty in Nigeria.
See the full article (HumanIPO, Paul Adepoju, 1/15/14)
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We Hacked North Korea With Balloons and USB Drives
At the base of a mountain almost two miles from the North Korean border, the giant helium balloons slowly float upward, borne by a stiff, cold wind. These are not balloons in the conventional sense—the transparent, cylindrical tubes covered in colorful Korean script are more than 20 feet in length and each carries three large bundles wrapped in plastic. The characters painted on one of the balloons reads, “The regime must fall.”
See the full article (Atlantic, Thor Halvorssen and Alexander Lloyd, 1/15/14)
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The Future of War: As the Nature of War Changes, the Familiar Dividing Lines of Our World Are Blurring Across the Board
The future of warfare will be shaped by the role of ever-smaller drones; robots on the battlefield; offensive cyber war capabilities; extraordinary surveillance capabilities, both on the battlefield and of particular individuals; greater reliance on Special Operations Forces operating in non-conventional conflicts; the militarization of space, and a Moore's Law in biotechnology that has important implications for bio-weaponry.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, Thomas E. Ricks, 1/15/14)
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Scores Die in Ferry Accident as They Flee Violence in South Sudan
After a month of fighting in South Sudan, nearly half a million people have fled their homes and thousands have been killed. The Satellite Sentinel Project, a nonprofit group, released satellite photographs showing homes destroyed in the town of Mayom, in Unity State, a region where there are large oil reserves. The satellite pictures also showed damage to oil storage tanks and manifolds in the state.
See the full article (NY Times, Nicholas Kulish, 1/14/14)*NY Times subscription may be required to access full story
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In Sudan, Civil Society says It's Struggling to Work Around US Sanctions' Block on Tech
In Sudan, you cannot download an app via Google play, or update software. No transactions can take place over the Internet because you cannot use a credit card. Transferring money to Sudan from the US is also close to impossible, including in times of crisis, like the massive flooding in August 2013, when some in the diaspora tried sending money to give family back home assistance. US sanctions have blocked a number of products in Sudan, including vital technology tools, and while the US Treasury Department tried to ease web restrictions in 2010, civil society members in Sudan continue to hit roadblocks in accessing technology.
See the full article (TechPresident, Amanda Sperber, 1/14/14)
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N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers
The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks. While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.
See the full article (NY Times, David E Sanger and Thom Shanker, 1/14/14)*NY Times subscription may be required to access full story
Click to read "The Parochial Web " an Olive Branch Post by Anand Varghese.
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Do We Need Cyber Warfare Treaties? Study Looks at Legacy of Stuxnet
Over the last few years, Iran, China and the United States have all deployed weapons capable of damaging physical infrastructure, all without a single explosion. Unlike conventional weapons, these cyberweapons aren't restricted by international treaties — partly because governments know so little about their neighbors' electronic arsenals.
See the full article (NBC News, Kelth Wagstaff, 1/13/14)
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German Government Using New Technologies to Track Former Nazis and Neo-Nazis
Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the German government is ramping up its efforts to pursue prosecution of individuals who committed war crimes during the Nazi era. In turn, Germany has started to use new technologies to identify former Nazi criminals and combat neo-Nazis.
See the full article (PBS, 1/12/14)
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USIP's Science, Technology, and Peacebuilding Roundup will now be merged with the Media and Conflict Roundup. We’ve noticed that many of you subscribe to both Roundups and to make it more efficient for you, we have decided to proceed with one Roundup in a new format. You can look forward to this new design next Thursday, January 23rd.

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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