Briefs: Conflict + Security

Conflict-Free Products: Ethics in the Marketplace

Image: MauroCateb
Flickr, creative commons for commercial use

The idea of “conflict-free” products is spreading. Originating in the role of mineral industries in Africa, it centers on the concept that some products are ethically questionable because their ingredients or inputs are sourced from areas facing armed conflict, thereby contributing to instability and war.

To date, the idea of conflict products has mostly been applied to select, high-profile conflicts, but this could change. Activists and governments are moving to increase consumer awareness of the issue, reduce the trade in such goods, and change business behaviors.

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The Future of Cybercrime: Impact on Business


New technologies will enable an expanded set of cyberthreats, and by 2020 cybercrime will become a key driver shaping how the Internet is governed, how data is used and stored, and how countries, companies, and consumers engage with each other in cyberspace.

These are among the key conclusions of “Project 2020: Scenarios for the Future of Cybercrime,” a study by the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA), a global nonprofit concerned with cybercrime, in collaboration with Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency.Read more…

Wildcard: The Splintered Internet


The Internet “is arguably the most transnational economic and political network in human history,” one that has “greatly benefited the spread of commerce and ideas.” The US, along with many allies, has been a champion of a free and open Internet, and US-based multinational companies have reaped substantial rewards from Internet economic activity. Some other nations have sought, to varying extents, to control Internet content and access. Because of its global nature, providing a ready highway for hackers and spies, it has been argued that the Internet threatens to weaken national borders.

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Top Global Risks: Is the World Riskier?


The world is slightly more at risk in 2013 than it was in 2012, according to Global Risks 2013, the eighth annual edition of this authoritative series on global risk from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to the 1,000-plus experts surveyed by WEF, almost all of the top 50 global risks identified in 2012 are deemed more likely to manifest in the next 10 years than they were in 2012. Many were seen as having greater potential impact than a year ago as well.

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Cyberspace and Cybersecurity to 2025: Three Scenarios


The next decade will see enormous growth in cyberspace: more people, more devices, more connectivity, more data. The expansion of connectivity offers abundant opportunities for businesses, governments, and individuals, but also significant risks, especially those related to cybersecurity.

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