USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, August 15 - 21, 2013

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.**

NSA Gathered Thousands of Americans’ E-mails Before Court Struck Down Program
The National Security Agency unlawfully gathered as many as tens of thousands of e-mails and other electronic communications between Americans as part of a now-discontinued collection program, according to a 2011 secret court opinion. The 86-page opinion, which was declassified by U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday, explains why the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled the collection method unconstitutional.
See the full article (Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima, 8/21/2013)
[Return to top]

Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Leaking Government Secrets
A military judge sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning on Wednesday to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, a gigantic leak that lifted the veil on military and diplomatic activities around the world. The judge said that Private Manning was dishonorably discharged. She reduced him to the lowest rank of private, from his previous rank of private first class.
See the full article (New York Times, Charlie Savage and Emmarie Huetteman, 8/21/13)*NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
[Return to top]

Can New X-Ray Vision Technology Defeat the Staying Power of IEDs?
A new X-ray system of innovative optical processing technology will allow soldiers to identify potential bombs from the safety of their vehicles, providing a potentially powerful weapon against insurgents’ signature weapon, the IED. Unveiled last month in London, Raytheon UK‘s Soteria vehicle-mounted system is the latest solution offered by the defense industry.
See the full article (Wired, Allen McDuffee, 8/21/13)
[Return to top]

Iranian School Kids Will Now Learn ‘Drone-hunting’ Skills
This fall, while American grade school students learn under the Obama administration’s Common Core that 3 x 4 can totally be 11 as long as there’s a good reason for the answer, Iranian students will learn a much more useful life skill: how to hunt for unmanned U.S. drones. Paramilitary units from the theocratic nation’s Revolutionary Guards will provide the lessons, reports the Daily Mail.
See the full article (Yahoo, 8/20/13)
[Return to top]

Report: NSA Can ‘Reach Roughly 75% of All U.S. Internet Traffic’
A new report by the Wall Street Journal [says that] the NSA “has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic.” And while the NSA is only supposed to “target” foreigners, the NSA sometimes “retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S.”
See the full article (Washington Post, Timothy B. Lee, 8/20/13)
[Return to top]

PRISM Works Because a Ton of Data Moves Through U.S. Servers. That’s Also Why it Could Fail.
One of the reasons electronic surveillance tools such as PRISM work so well is because much of the world’s Internet traffic goes through U.S. servers. The American companies that own and operate that equipment can be subpoenaed and the data handed over to the government. But that works only so long as the traffic keeps going where intelligence agencies want it to go.
See the full article (Washington Post, Brian Fung, 8/20/13)
[Return to top]

How Big a Threat is State Sponsored Computer Hacking?
In recent times, hacking has featured in the news a little more literally that organisations would like - everyone from the BBC to Reuters has had social media accounts compromised. But governments themselves are believed to target other nations to search for intelligence, information and data that might be useful.
See the full article (BBC, 8/19/13)
[Return to top]

Is Glenn Greenwald's Journalism Now Viewed as a 'Terrorist' Occupation?
The detention at Heathrow on Sunday of the Brazilian David Miranda is the sort of treatment western politicians love to deplore in Putin's Russia or Ahmadinejad's Iran. His "offence" under the 2000 Terrorism Act was apparently to be the partner of a journalist, Glenn Greenwald, who had reported for the Guardian on material released by the American whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
See the full article (Guardian, Simon Jenkins, 8/19/13)
[Return to top]

In Classified Cyberwar against Iran, Trail of Stuxnet Leak Leads to White House
The Obama administration provided a New York Times reporter exclusive access to a range of high-level national security officials for a book that divulged highly classified information on a U.S. cyberwar on Iran's nuclear program, internal State Department emails show.
See the full article (Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough, 8/18/13)
[Return to top]

How Drones Fundamentally Alter The Nature Of Conflict
The use of drones in the war on terror has been getting a lot of attention. Morning Edition's Renee Montagne talks to author Mark Bowden about his article on the U.S. government's use of drones in this week's The Atlantic magazine.
See the full article (NPR, Mark Bowden, 8/15/13)
[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: FacebookTwitterDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend