USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, May 2 - 8, 2013

Table of Contents

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19-Hour Internet Outage in Syria Ends
Internet connections in Syria are coming back online after a nearly day-long outage, according to data from service tracking companies. The outage began at approximately 3 p.m. ET Tuesday, sparking fears the country's military was preparing an assault against rebel forces following an Israeli airstrike on a Hezbollah-bound shipment of guided missiles in Damascus.
See the full article (Mashable, Alex Fitzpatrick, 5/8/13)
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US Accuses China Government and Military of Cyber-spying
China's government and military have targeted US government computers as part of a cyber espionage campaign, a US report on China says. Intrusions were focused on collecting intelligence on US diplomatic, economic and defence sectors which could benefit China's own defence programme, it says. This is the first time the Pentagon's annual report has directly linked such attacks to the Beijing government.
See the full article (BBC, 5/7/13)
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Israel Says Google's 'Palestine' Page Harms Peace Hopes
A senior Israeli official accused Google on Monday of setting back Middle East peace hopes by putting the name "Palestine" under the banner of its search page for the Palestinian territories ( Palestinians hailed Google's move as a virtual victory on the long path to the state they seek in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, which Israel seized in the 1967 war.
See the full article (Reuters, Dan Williams, 5/6/13)
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This Box Keeps Information Flowing During a Crisis
The people behind Ushahidi, a software platform for communicating information during a crisis, have now developed what they are dubbing a "backup generator for the Internet" - a device that can connect with any network in the world, provide eight hours of wireless connectivity battery life, and can be programmed for new applications, such as remote sensing.
See the full article (MIT Technology Review, David Talbot, 5/5/13)
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On the Frontline of the Fight Against Cybercrime
Symantec's Dublin hub, with 800 workers including 60 in its security division, plays a key part in global computer security. Inside the tightly controlled security area of Symantec's Dublin headquarters, a screen on the wall flashes up hacking hotspots as they are detected around the world. The Irish office was the first to detect the Stuxnet virus, which has caused severe damage to the Iranian nuclear programme in Natanz.
See the full article (Guardian, Henry McDonald, 5/5/13)
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Pentagon Warns North Korea Could Become a Hacker Haven
North Korea is barely connected to the global internet. But it's trying to step up its hacker game by breaking into hostile networks, according to a new Pentagon report. So far, suspected North Korean cyber efforts are more like vandalism and espionage than warfare. But the Pentagon believes Pyongyang is going to lean into network attacks in the future, largely out of necessity.
See the full article (Wired, Spencer Ackerman, 5/3/13)
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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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