USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, June 16 - 22, 2011

Table of Contents

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US Expert Says Robots are Changing the Face of War
News headlines these days are filled with stories about unmanned aerial vehicles and their role in America's "war on terror." Yet drones are merely the most visible part of a much broader technological revolution that is changing the nature of war - and raising a host of profound ethical and political questions along the way. Peter Singer is a leading defense expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington and he believes that advances in military robotics are bringing us to a watershed moment in the history of warfare.
See the full article (RFE/RL, Christian Caryl, 6/21/11)
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British Police Arrest Man Suspected in String of High-profile Hacking Attacks
A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of hacking attacks on Sony and the CIA website, British police said Tuesday. The Metropolitan Police said the arrest took place following a joint operation by its Internet crimes unit and the FBI. Police would not say if the suspect was tied to the Lulz Security. Lulz hackers recently called for "war" on governments that control the Internet.
See the full article (AP, 6/21/11)
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Google, IBM, YouTube, And Kabul? Pentagon Hosts Afghan Tech Entrepreneurs in the US
When you think of Afghanistan, what's the first thing that comes to mind? How about "The next Bangalore"? Probably not. But there's a team at the Pentagon working on that. And last week, they brought five Afghan entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley and New York to give them a glimpse of the US tech industry. "We're showing them what a startup environment feels like," says Paul Brinkley, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense.
See the full article (Fast Company, E. B. Boyd, 6/20/11)
Click to read "Promoting Stability and Resolving Provincial Disputes in Afghanistan," a USIP Peace Brief by Shahmahmood Miakhel and Noah Coburn.
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War Evolves With Drones, Some Tiny as Bugs
Two miles from the cow pasture where the Wright Brothers learned to fly the first airplanes, military researchers are at work on another revolution in the air: shrinking unmanned drones, the kind that fire missiles into Pakistan and spy on insurgents in Afghanistan, to the size of insects and birds. The drones in development are designed to replicate the flight mechanics of moths, hawks and other inhabitants of the natural world.
See the full article (New York Times, Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker, 6/19/11)
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Special Report: Government in Cyber Fight but Can't Keep Up
The Pentagon is about to roll out an expanded effort to safeguard its contractors from hackers and is building a virtual firing range in cyberspace to test new technologies, according to officials familiar with the plans, as a recent wave of cyber attacks boosts concerns about US vulnerability to digital warfare.
See the full article (Reuters, Phil Stewart, Diane Bartz, Jim Wolf and Jeff Mason, 6/16/11)
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China Military Paper Urges Steps against US Cyber War Threat
China must boost its cyber-warfare strength to counter a Pentagon push, the country's top military newspaper said on Thursday after weeks of friction over accusations that Beijing may have launched a string of Internet hacking attacks.
See the full article (Reuters, Chris Buckley, 6/16/11)
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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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