Technology

Sonny Patel, Omar Moncayo, Kristina Conroy, Doug Jordan, and Timothy Erickson. 9/2020. “The Landscape of Disinformation on Health Crisis Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ukraine: Hybrid Warfare Tactics, Fake Media News and Review of Evidence.” Journal of Science Communication. Read PublicationAbstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in ways not seen since the 1918–1920 Spanish Flu. Disinformation campaigns targeting health crisis communication during this pandemic seek to cripple the medical response to the novel coronavirus and instrumentalize the pandemic for political purposes. Propaganda from Russia and other factions is increasingly infiltrating public and social media in Ukraine. Still, scientific literature has only a limited amount of evidence of hybrid attacks and disinformation campaigns focusing on COVID-19 in Ukraine. We conducted a review to retrospectively examine reports of disinformation surrounding health crisis communication in Ukraine during the COVID-19 response. Based on the themes that emerged in the literature, our recommendations are twofold: 1) increase transparency with verified health crisis messaging and, 2) address the leadership gap in reliable regional information about COVID-19 resources and support in Ukraine.

Krzysztof Goniewicz, Maciej Magiera, Dorota Rucińska, Witold Pawłowski, Frederick M. Burkle Jr., Attila J. Hertelendy, and Mariusz Goniewicz. 5/2020. “Geographic Information System Technology: Review of the Challenges for Its Establishment as a Major Asset for Disaster and Emergency Management in Poland.” Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.Abstract

Technical and technological progress in the 21st century, especially emerging geographic information system (GIS) technology, offers new and unprecedented opportunities to counteract the impact of crisis situations and emergencies. Computerization and development of GIS enabled the digital visualization of space for interactive analysis of multiple data in the form of models or simulations. Additionally, computerization, which gives rise to a new quality of database management, requires continuous modernization of computer hardware and software. This study examines selected examples of the implications and impact of the GIS commonly used in Poland.

Michael N. Schmitt, Heather A. Harrison Dinniss, and Thomas C. Wingfield. 2004. Computers and War: The Legal Battlespace.Abstract

The use of computers in modern warfare stretches back over decades. Computers have been employed for functions that range from managing materiel and personnel flows into an area of operations to sorting intelligence data and improving the precision capabilities of weapons. In recent conflicts, however, we have witnessed their transformation into a “means of warfare” (weapon) and modern militaries are busily developing information technology “methods of warfare.” This article briefly addresses the legal issues surrounding computer use in classic kinetic-based warfare. Attention then turns to the most significant phenomenon for humanitarian law, namely the employment of information technology during network-centric, four-dimensional operations, which increasingly characterize twentieth-first century conflict.

William Boothby. 11/2005. Cluster Bombs: Is There a Case for New Law?.Abstract

The numerous unexploded bomblets, or submunitions, discarded on the battlefield as a result of cluster munition attacks have attracted widespread criticism, particularly from non‐governmental organizations, prompting suggestions that new international law arrangements should be agreed to address the problem. These ‘dud’ bomblets may pose a post‐conflict risk for troops and civilians alike. The humanitarian concerns raised by this hazard have been recognised for a number of years. An important debate is now under way, however, to try to identify a way of addressing the problem effectively while recognising the essential defense needs of states. Working out which, if any, developments in the law are appropriate to such a problem necessitates an analysis of existing, relevant law. There are numerous general legal principles that limit the weapons which states are permitted to employ in armed conflict. There are also important treaties applicable to particular technologies. There is, then, the legal obligation accepted by many states to review weapons plans to ensure they comply with applicable law. Of particular relevance to the cluster munition debate is the Conventional Weapons Convention (CCW), a framework treaty under which individual protocols have been negotiated to address such diverse technologies as mines and lasers. Following a seminal meeting in Nyon, Switzerland in September 2000, CCW member states started to discuss the problem of unexploded and abandoned explosive ordnance. Having clarified the nature of the problem, they negotiated a Protocol to the Convention. Its focus is the marking, clearance, removal, and destruction of explosive remnants of war.

HPCR and Center Security Peace Studies Gadjah Mada for and University. 7/2002. Building Sustainable Peace and Fostering Development in Papua - E Conference Report.Abstract

From 20th June through the 5th of July 2002, the Conflict Prevention Initiative of the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (CPI HPCR) in cooperation with the Center for Peace and Security Studies at the University of Gadjah Mada (CSPS) carried out a series of activities under the theme: “Building sustainable peace and fostering development in Papua”. This event was an effort to gather ideas and support from those representing Papua in the fields of peacebuilding and development. Using the Internet to discuss policies in the field of conflict prevention, this CPI-CSPS event also aimed at providing a platform for spreading information and strengthening networks between participants and decision makers at the national and international levels. The event started with a roundtable discussion at the University of Gadjah Mada on 20-22 June 2002, with 8 people from Papua representing the academic world, NGOs, religious organizations, customary institutions, women’s groups and youth. The main ideas that emerged during this discussion then became entry points for the e-conference, an online virtual discussion online in Indonesian. The e-conference took place between 24 June and 25 July 2002, with the participation of 89 people from various backgrounds. Simultaneously, an e-forum was carried out in English, with the participation of 32 people.

Diane Coyle and Patrick Meier. 1/2009. New Technologies in Emergencies and Conflicts: The Role of Information and Social Networks.Abstract

This paper explores communication technology advances as an opportunity for humanitarian organizations to harness modern technology to communicate more effectively with communities affected by disasters and to allow members of those communities to communicate with each other and with the outside world. People in affected communities can recover faster if they can access and use information. A look at the use of communications technology during disasters in recent years shows that while communication advances have played a positive role, their full potential has not yet been realized.

Patrick Meier and Jennifer Leaning. 9/2009. Applied Technology to Crisis Mapping and Early Warning in Humanitarian Settings.Abstract

The purpose of this Working Paper Series on Crisis Mapping is to briefly analyze the current use, and changing role, of information communication technology (ICT) in conflict early warning, crisis mapping and humanitarian response. The authors demonstrate that ICTs have the potential to play an increasingly significant role in three critical ways by: facilitating the communication of information in conflict zones, improving the collection of salient quantitative and qualitative conflict data, and enhancing the visualization and analysis of patterns.

Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and LLC Trellon. 7/2011. Strike Range: Apparent Deployment of SAF Mobile Rocket Launchers Near South Kordofan.Abstract

Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery captured on 28 June has identified four vehicles consistent with BM-21 mobile multiple rocket launcher (MRL) systems at an apparent Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) camp southwest of El Obeid, North Kordofan, Sudan.

Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and LLC Trellon. 8/2011. Special Report: Evidence of Burial of Human Remains in Kadugli, South Kordofan.Abstract
SSP's identification on 14 July 2011 of a cluster of white bundles in Kadugli as consistent with human remains wrapped in white plastic tarps or body bags was controversial at the time. Although publicly questioned by a US government official, it has now been established by SSP through the collection of additional imagery and eyewitness reports.
Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and LLC Trellon. 5/2011. SAF Troops, Tanks, and Artillery Massing at El Obeid Barracks.Abstract

Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has identified a previously unidentified assembly of SAF forces at the El Obeid Barracks, approximately 440 kilometers (273 miles) from Abyei town and the contested border line between North and South Sudan. Based on analysis of available transportation logistics and the formation of the units, SSP has concluded that the forces at El Obeid are capable of imminent forward deployment and could reach Abyei town in less than a day.

Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, United Nations UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme he (UNOSAT), Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, DigitalGlobe, and LLC Trellon. 4/2011. The Razing: Intentional Burning Confirmed at El-Feid, Nuba Mountains.Abstract

The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed that at least 356 structures in the town of el-Feid, located in the Nuba Mountains region of South Kordofan State, Sudan, have been razed. There is evidence that an area in Um Barmbita has also been burned, but no visible structures appear to have been destroyed. SSP cannot confirm based on the imagery collected whether the scorched area in Um Barmbita was intentionally burned. There is evidence of scorching at several points between and around the two communities, which are an estimated 15 to 20 kilometers apart. The razing of el-Feid underscores the rising tensions in the Nuba Mountain region as next month's South Kordofan State gubernatorial elections approach.

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