Skip to the main content

Berkman Blog Buzz, week of March 17

A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations. For a complete picture, please visit our Berkman aggregator. Last week’s Blog Buzz is here.

What’s going on … take your pick here or browse below.

*David Weinberger discusses online privacy and tor
*Wendy Seltzer contemplates online privacy re: Google and the DOJ
*Derek Slater considers latest developments in HD content
*David Isenberg reports on the $200 billion telecom "ripoff"
*John Palfrey suggests alternative copyright licenses
*Ethan Zuckerman blogs on blogging ethics
*Rebecca MacKinnon reports on the Chinese censorship hoax

The full buzz.

“Official Google policy is that they don't collect personal info. They 'only' collect your IP address and what you do with it. But that's way too much, Roger implies. In fact, he says, if you can see both sides of a Net transaction such as email, you can match up the IP addresses or the contents and make good, practical guesses about who's talking…”
David Weinberger, “Roger Dingledine and Tor”

“News of the subpoena started many people thinking about how much of their personal lives they turn over to search engines -- and how little they know about what happens with that information next. With a government intent on listening to communications without warrants, could this subpoena be the first step toward a broader sweep of search engine records for other purposes? Our current privacy laws don't do a great job of protecting the information we turn over to third parties, such as search engines…”
Wendy Seltzer, “Google and the DOJ: I’m feeling watched!”

“It breaks their compatible devices and forces them to repurchase products they already own.  Contrary to Thierer's suggestions, the migration to these devices is anything but "natural."  What's natural about consumers being forced to throw out their current HDTV and buy another with less features?  What consumer wants that? Indeed, what is the social benefit of these restrictions?”
Derek Slater, “This is how Hollywood Thanks its Best Customers”

“According to Kushnick, the reason the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the world in broadband-per-capita is that the Bells promised broadband, but then lied, cheated and stole instead of delivering it! Kushnick writes: ‘By 2006, according to telecommunication companies’ own documents, 86 million customers in the United States should have received 45 Mbps service . . . the merger(s) of the phone companies that control the phone networks decreased competition…’”
David Isenberg, “$200 Billion Telecom Ripoff. Summarized!”

“There's still a lack of clarity about what publishers -- bloggers, mainstream media, or whomever is offering an RSS, Atom, OPML, or other XML-based feed of creative content -- allow other people to do with their copyrighted material.  Meanwhile, creativity abounds and aggregation moves forward at a blistering pace…”
John Palfrey, “Idea: Creative Source Licenses”

“He juxtaposes the Al Jazeera Forum - where the vast majority of bloggers were speakers at the conference - with a promotional trip to Amsterdam where 25 bloggers will travel, expenses paid, in exchange for advertising space on their blogs. While this is not something I would be comfortable doing - there’s no advertising space on my blog, for one thing - it’s a reasonable question to ask whether or not this is acceptable behavior for bloggers…”
Ethan Zuckerman, “Blogging Al Kazeera – A dilemma? Or a critic’s agenda”

“I think that the existence of censorship does shape the nature of discourse in the Chinese blogosphere but there are a lot of other things going on that need to be better understood if one is going to understand the nature and long-term impact of the Chinese blogosphere…”
Rebecca MacKinnon, “The Great Chinese Censorship Hoax”

To subscribe to the Berkman Blog Buzz, please email amichel at