USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, September 6 - 12, 2012

Table of Contents

The NSA Wants Hackers, and It Wants Them on Its Side
Hey, hackers: The NSA is out to get you. If you're an American who can code malware to infiltrate a network, or snoop on SMS messages, or stop a distributed denial-of-service attack in your sleep, you're a person of interest. Age is of little consequence. Location likewise. The NSA's mission is simple: It's trying to identify formidable hackers. But not to arrest them. To recruit them.
See the full article (Fast Company, Neal Ungerleider, 9/12/12)
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DoD Looking to Automate its Cyber Defenses
What's the Pentagon's next big focus in cyber security technology? I'll give you a hint: it has to do with sifting through reams of data and deciding how to respond at incredibly high speeds. How do you do that? Automation. The sheer volume of cyber security incidents that the Pentagon must monitor at any given time on its more than 15,000 networks is so staggering that the only way to manage the threat is to have a system that automatically detects suspicious software.
See the full article (Foreign Policy, John Reed, 9/11/12)
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Crackdown on Sale of UK Spyware over Fears of Misuse by Repressive Regimes
The continuing export of British-made surveillance technology has been thrown into question after the government admitted it had moved to restrict sales of spying software to Egypt. Human rights campaigners say the government's decision to restrict the export of Gamma International's software, the first time it has taken action on such an issue, is a significant step towards the regulation of surveillance technologies. However, many other products remain a cause for concern.
See the full article (Guardian, Jamie Doward, 9/8/12)
Click to read "How Business Can Foster Peace," a USIP Special Report by John Forrer, Timothy L. Fort, and Raymond Gilpin.
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Nigeria Mobile Phone Masts to Get 24-hour Protection
Nigeria's police chief has ordered a 24-hour surveillance of all telecom installations after attacks on mobile phone masts across the north. Militant Islamist group Boko Haram said it had carried out the attacks, affecting nine mobile phone companies, on Wednesday evening. It had threatened such attacks, accusing the firms of helping security agencies to monitor its members.
See the full article (BBC, 9/7/12)
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What if Technology Could Undermine Drug Violence in Brazil?
A debate in Rio de Janeiro focuses on how access to information and technology among low-income youth might weaken the drug trade and empower young people in favelas. Whether or not increased access to information and technology weaken the drug trade and empower young people in favelas on any significant scale, the youth mobilization now taking place in Rio de Janeiro brings up some thorny questions, as do the young people themselves.
See the full article (Christian Science Monitor, Julia Michaels, 9/6/12)
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Sudan's Dictator Wants Satellites to Stop Spying on His Crimes
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has issues with satellites. It's not that he would mind some of his own, if Sudan suddenly developed a working space program. It's rather those pesky foreign satellites snooping on Bashir's war crimes and state-orchestrated genocide that he wants to get rid of. On Wednesday, Bashir called on the African Union to find ways to "protect" the continent from spy satellites.
See the full article (Wired, Robert Beckhusen, 9/6/12)
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