USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, December 22 - 28, 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.**

Stealth Tech, Facebook Revolutions, Shadow Wars: The Most Dangerous Year Ever
When 2011 began, Osama bin Laden was still alive, U.S. troops were still fighting in Iraq, and Iran could only dream about capturing our most advanced spy drone. By the end of the year -- everything had flipped upside-down. America's shadow wars grew, as its conventional conflicts shrank. Secret tech was suddenly not so secret any more.
See the full article (Wired, Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman, 12/28/11)
[Return to top]

Stuxnet Weapon Has at Least 4 Cousins: Researchers
The Stuxnet virus that last year damaged Iran's nuclear program was likely one of at least five cyber weapons developed on a single platform whose roots trace back to 2007, according to new research from Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab. Security experts widely believe that the United States and Israel were behind Stuxnet, though the two nations have officially declined to comment on the matter.
See the full article (Reuters, Jim Finkle, 12/28/11)
[Return to top]

China GPS Rival Beidou Starts Offering Navigation Data
China has been working on the system since 2000 to provide an alternative to the US government-run Global Positioning System (GPS). The move should make China's military less dependent on foreign technology. Beijing plans to send a further six satellites into space by 2012 to extend the system to most parts of Asia, and then expand the network to a total of 35 satellites offering global coverage by 2020.
See the full article (BBC, 12/27/11)
[Return to top]

Under Obama, an Emerging Global Apparatus for Drone Killing
The Obama administration's counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda's leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential.
See the full article (Washington Post, Greg Miller, 12/27/11)
[Return to top]

Science and Censorship: A Duel Lasting Centuries
The specter of censorship loomed over science last week with news that a federal advisory panel had asked two leading journals to withhold details of experiments out of fear that terrorists could use the information to make deadly flu viruses. But science and secrecy go back centuries, their conflicting agendas often rooted in issues of war and advanced weaponry.
See the full article (New York Times, William J. Broad, 12/26/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
[Return to top]

Cyber Cold War Rhetoric Haunts the US and China
In January 2010, a Google executive announced "a new approach to China" in a blog post, revealing that the firm had "detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack... originating from China" and that it would reconsider business operations there. In the ensuing two years, US rhetoric about China and cyber security has become ever more breathless.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 12/25/11)
[Return to top]

China, Russia and the New Digital Spy Game
During the Cold War, the Soviets and Americans engaged in an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse intelligence (and counter-intelligence) over a period of decades, careful not to let flare-ups at the periphery of their respective blocs escalate into a global "hot war." Is the U.S. now engaging in a similar game of cat-and-mouse with the Chinese, this time played out on the periphery of the Internet?
See the full article (Washington Post, Dominic Basulto, 12/24/11)
[Return to top]

The Internet and Latin America: The Rise of the Virtual World and Emerging Cyber Security Issues
Throughout the world, many regions have embraced the internet as a vital communication and business tool, and Latin America has been no exception. Additionally, we are witnessing a rise in the importance of cyber security as cases of hacking and other cybercrimes proliferate.
See the full article (COHA, W. Alex Sanchez, 12/23/11)
[Return to top]

Melting Arctic Brings New Opportunities
The Arctic Ocean, which exists in a precarious balance between ice and water, is more susceptible to climate change than anywhere else on Earth. These changes have sparked justifiable excitement about the economic opportunities that will result from easier access, while giving rise to unfounded concerns about military conflict.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, Michael Byers, 12/22/11)
[Return to top]

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

Did we miss anything?



Share this: FacebookDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend


Click here to unsubscribe