USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, July 5 - 11, 2012

Table of Contents

The Ultimate Assault: Charting Syria's Use of Rape to Terrorize Its People
A new project tracks reports of sexualized violence in Syria, where the attacks appear to be orchestrated by government security forces. [A] still-unidentified woman posted [a] video to YouTube on February 11, 2012. It is one of the earliest reports on our live, crowd-sourced map of sexualized violence in Syria. The Women's Media Center project Women Under Siege has been collecting reports for three months.
See the full article (Atlantic, Lauren Wolfe, 7/11/12)
Click to read "Atrocity Prevention through Persuasion and Deterrence," a USIP Peace Brief by Jonas Claes.
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US Urged to Recruit Master Hackers to Wage Cyber War on America's Foes
Instead of prosecuting elite computer hackers, the US government should recruit them to launch cyber-attacks against Islamist terrorists and other foes, according to a leading military thinker and government adviser. The brilliance of hacking experts could be put to use on behalf of the US in the same way as German rocket scientists were enlisted after the second world war, said John Arquilla, a professor of defence analysis at the US Naval Postgraduate School.
See the full article (Guardian, Rory Carroll, 7/10/12)
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House Panel Launches Probe of UN Agency over Technology Shipments to North Korea
A House panel launched an investigation Monday into whether a U.N. agency sent computers and other technology to Iran and North Korea in possible violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions. The Foreign Affairs Committee probe comes on the heels of a State Department review of the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization. State Department officials said they were aware of allegations that the transfer or material may have violated U.N. sanctions.
See the full article (AP, 7/9/12)
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The Eyes Have It
Even as the dining room smouldered, soldiers moved about taking fingerprints and scanning eyes of the corpses of Taliban fighters. After the scans, the information was compared with a biometric database. The data are passed on beyond Afghanistan, to America's army, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Agreements to share data exist with dozens of allied countries. Yet as the system grows, so do worries about it. It is involuntary and shrouded in secrecy.
See the full article (Economist, 7/7/12)
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CNN's Bogus Drone-Deaths Graphic
A column claims that zero innocents have been killed during strikes inside Pakistan this year -- information neither CNN nor anyone else can verify. The casual CNN reader can be forgiven for drawing that conclusion. What the authors neglect to mention is this bit from the May 29, New York Times story that explains how the United States government -- and perhaps our allies of convenience inside Pakistan? -- define "militant."
See the full article (Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf, 7/6/12)
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Did we miss anything?



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