USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


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Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, June 9 - 15, 2011

Table of Contents

**Click here to subscribe to USIP's Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding News Roundup,
which includes a special section on Internet and social media.**

African Village Uses Tech to Fight Off a Rape Cult
Invisible Children, a California-based aid group, in March traveled into Central African Republic to help Dutch group Interactive Radio for Justice upgrade the town's radio to a much longer-range model, boosting [Obo's] self-defense capability. Invisible Children's goal: to increase by 30 times the area the town could keep on alert, while also plugging Obo into a radio-based "early warning network."
See the full article (Wired, David Axe, 6/15/11)
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Ross Says Clinton Is Making U.S. More Tech `Savvy'
Alec Ross, senior adviser for innovation at the U.S. Department of State, talks about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's focus on improving technology to modernize diplomacy. Ross speaks with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West."
See the full article (Washington Post, 6/14/11)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "From Crisis to Community: Mapping as a Peacebuilding Tool" on June 17 at 10:00am. You can also watch the live webcast!
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The Secret History of Iraq's Invisible War
In the early years of the Iraq war, the U.S. military developed a technology so secret that soldiers would refuse to acknowledge its existence, and reporters mentioning the gear were promptly escorted out of the country. That equipment - a radio-frequency jammer - was upgraded several times, and eventually robbed the Iraq insurgency of its most potent weapon, the remote-controlled bomb.
See the full article (Wired, Noah Shachtman, 6/14/11)
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Saving Lives: Tech on the Front Lines at Ramstein
Ramstein is known as the U.S. military's gateway to Europe, since it's where most personnel touch down when deployed there - or to the Middle East and Africa. This week, CNET's Daniel Terdiman had a close-up look of the operations at Ramstein, finding out how the doctors and technicians deploy the latest in technology to make sure that America's wounded warriors receive the best care possible in the shortest amount of time.
See the full article (CBS, Daniel Terdiman, 6/13/11)
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Revolutionary Communication Innovations
New communications tools and behaviors are spurring innovation worldwide, revolutionizing finance, community, business, giving and government. [For example], alternative "mesh" Internet architectures are also emerging as challengers to traditional notions of centralized, institutional control over the web. When the Egyptian government attempted to shut down the country's Internet last February, Egyptian hackers turned to mesh networking to bypass the blackout.
See the full article (CNN, Sam Wainwright, 6/10/11)
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China and the US: Sizing up for Cyber War?
As senior US officials warn that cyber attacks on vital systems would be considered "acts of war" eliciting a real world military response, one professor at the National Defence University surmises that battles of the future might be fought by guys hunched over keyboards in dark basements, rather than strapping lads toting M-16s. In light of recent cyber attacks on Google apparently launched from China, online tensions - the possible precursors to outright conflict - have been spreading from chat rooms, to Gmail accounts and into the meeting rooms of military decision makers in recent weeks.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, Chris Arsenault, 6/9/11)
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The bombs that went off across northern Nigeria on the day of the inauguration of Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's new president, were not the only breach of security recently. The Nigerian government's computers have proven susceptible to a group of hackers called the "Naija Cyber Hacktivists" (NCH). They proclaim their mission on their Twitter page: "In source code we trust, We fighting for a cause...MISSION: Hand over the whip to the horse."
See the full article (Economist, 6/9/11)
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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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