USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, December 13 - 19, 2012

Table of Contents

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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.**

Do the United States and China Need a Cybersecurity Hotline?
A red telephone for the Internet age, and four other ways digital security in the People's Republic could move ahead in 2013. There are rumors that there will be another round of bureaucratic reforms in the spring. Chinese analysts have pointed out that one of the great weaknesses in their defenses is that institutional oversight of cybersecurity is fragmented and ineffective, and there is a low degree of information-sharing between the government and industry.
See the full article (Atlantic, Adam Segal, 12/19/12)
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"Tainted" Technology Has Seed of Conflict Mineral Solution Within
Hearing about the problematic sourcing of minerals for our technology, like many of the stories we push to the back of our minds this time of year, can lead to despondency and a sense of disempowerment - after all what can we do about it? The solution's in the problem. Bandi Mbubi's TEDx talk suggests that increased use of technology is a key part of solving the conflict minerals problem.
See the full article (Forbes, Andy Robertson, 12/19/12)
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North Korea Satellite 'Tumbling in Space'
North Korea appears to be struggling to control a satellite it put into orbit last week, a space expert has said. The Unha-3 satellite was launched on board a long-range rocket on 12 December, in defiance of sanctions and international warnings. Pyongyang says the device, the size of a washing machine, is working and is beaming revolutionary songs to Earth. But US astronomer Jonathan McDowell says it may be tumbling, and does not yet appear to be transmitting.
See the full article (BBC, 12/18/12)
Click to read "Assessing North Korea's Missile Launch" a USIP On the Issues by Michael Lekson.
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Billionaire-backed Palestinian VC Fund Sadara Invests in Mobile Job-Matching Firm Souktel
Beyond the bullets and bombs amid the conflict in Palestine and Israel, a tech-oriented venture capital fund has been vetting startups being hatched in the nascent Ramallah IT sector. Sadara Ventures, the first Palestine-based venture capital fund, is deploying money raised from U.S. billionaires to invest in Souktel, a job-matching company created for use on basic mobile phones.
See the full article (Forbes, Kerry A. Dolan, 12/18/12)
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Instagram Arms Control: WMD Prevention Versus Internet Freedom
We must not take internet freedom for granted and push too hard on "promoting social verification technologies". Few things are as important to long-term strategic interests of the United States and the United Kingdom as preventing the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and preserving the internet as a secure and uncensored resource for people around the world.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, Eddie Walsh and Mark Jansson, 12/13/12)
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SpyPhone: Pentagon Spooks Want New Tools for Mobile 'Exploitation'
The Pentagon wants to upgrade its spy corps. And one of its first jobs will be finding out what's on your iPhone. If the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) gets its way, it'll send an expanded cadre of spies around the world to scope out threats to the U.S. military. And it won't just be a larger spy team, it'll be a geekier one. The DIA wants "technical exploitation" tools that can efficiently access the data of people the military believes to be dangerous once their spies collect it.
See the full article (Wired, Spencer Ackerman, 12/13/12)
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The 5 Most Disruptive Technologies of 2012
The most disruptive technologies in 2012 include energy storage technology no one thought would ever work, gesture-based interfaces that will make touch screens look as quaint as floppy disks, and computers and connectivity so cheap they're adding billions more people to the internet. But this is also a story about education, economic development, opportunity, government transparency and even revolutions--all of which, pundits argue, could flow from this level of connectedness.
See the full article (Atlantic, Christopher Mims, 12/13/12)
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Click here to subscribe to USIP's Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding News Roundup,
which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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Happy holidays from USIP's Center of Innovation for Science, Technology and Peacebuilding!



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