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Berkman Buzz, week of June 23, 2006

A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations. If you'd like to receive this by email, just sign up here.

In addition to our look at the past week's online Berkman conversations, we're taking a close look at conversations from "Identity Mash-Up", a conference we hosted on the future of digital identity management.  Conference panels were recorded and are available through AudioBerkman.

From Identity Mash-Up... Take your pick here or browse below.

* Mary Rundle asks if tools can achieve legal interoperability.
* David Berlind narrates the history of Higgins (the mouse).
* John Palfrey calls scholars and practioners to action.
* Phil Whindley extols systems and personnel interoperability.
* Louise Guay shares her presentation on My-Virtual-Model.
* Ejovi Nuwere questions real benefits of homogeneous databases.
* Johannes Ernst recaps the conference's public announcements.
* Dave Kearns sees reputation as unique quality.
* Doc Searls explains significance of the 'intention economy.'
* Kim Cameron marvels over My-Virtual-Model.
* AudioBerkman documents conference panels.

And goings on at the Berkman Center.

* Urs Gasser looks at alternative TPM design choices.
* OpenNet Initiative releases maps of Internet censorship.
* Ethan Zuckerman explains 'phone as cow.'
* Tim Armstrong talks back to summer camp directors.
* Wendy Seltzer publicly debates DRM and innovation.
* Creative Commons "licenses your (office) documents."
* Rebecca MacKinnon documents Skype's censorware.

The full buzz.

"...In combination, will these legal provisions and tools allow an individual to have greater say over what happens to his personal data – giving him effective notice, choice, access, and security?  Will the combination of law and technology enable government to access and share personal data in the name of legitimate purposes, while at the same time preventing the misuse of data?  Will these tools enable a sort of “legal interoperability” that accommodates different legal requirements regarding the protection of personal data and government uses of it, while enabling efficient web services?..."
Mary Rundle, "International Personal Data Protection and Digital Identity Management Tools"

"...Who were these people and where the heck did Higgins come from? While eating lunch at this week's conference, I pinned down  Mary Ruddy who is vice president of marketing and business development at Parity Communications — a company that played a critical role in the evolution of Higgins.  Ruddy, as it turns out, was one of the key catalyzing forces behind the idea of Higgins.  Two of the others were Parity's CEO Paul Trevithick and John Clippinger, a fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society who was also the master of ceremonies at the ID Mashup Conference.  Here's the full Q&A ..."
David Berlind, "Passion, common vision drove Higgins to success. Not big vendor agendas."
* Walk through Higgins with David Berlind here

"...The creative opportunities of the web have never been more wonderful and should be embraced. But the privacy and security stakes are rising as we bring our digital identities come online, more and more, and as our digital native children start to experience the good and the bad of this brave new world. What’s the role of schools, and universities, and parents, and kids, and companies, and governments? As the wisdom of the crowd is relied upon to make more and more decisions, what’s the due process when your privacy and security is at stake, if things go wrong? JZ has some good ideas, and so do others. We need to get on with the planning and the building of this foundation, and fast..."
John Palfrey, "Re-envisioning privacy and security on-line"

"... This is really a historic development in the Internet identity space. Microsoft, before their own implementation of CardSpace even ships, is linking up with the larger identity community, including OpenID, LID, i-Names, and Higgins. Make no mistake, they've been participating and giving leadership to that community for a long time, but until now, it wasn't clear that all the various systems would be interoperable. OSIS aims to change that. ..."
Phil Windley, "OSIS links Internet identity systems"

"... The US and American companies are thinking about how cool a homogeneous database with everyones verified info would be and all the benefits that come from it but not enough people are thinking about the dangers of such databases. What would the social security system look like if we took into consideration identity fraud before building it? ..."
Ejovi Nuwere, "Identity Mashup conf"

"... At the Harvard Berkman Identity Conference this week, I had the honor of making the following announcement:  * There will be an open-source implementation of Microsoft CardSpace (previously known as InfoCard), which will run on a variety of platforms, under a liberal license of all necessary intellectual property from Microsoft.  * The client-side "identity selector" components will be developed in the Eclipse Higgins project.  * The server-side components will be developed in the Apache Heraldry project. ..."
Johannes Ernst, "Announcing OSIS: A Giant Step to Reduce Uncertainty in the Digital Identity Marketplace"

"... As I envision reputation, though, I believe it to be a unique quality of each persona. That is, no single persona could have more than one reputation. So each digital context of your identity would develop both it's own persona and it's own reputation. ..."
Dave Kearns, "I only know him by reputation"

David Berlind interviews Doc Searls on 'the intention economy.'

"... And to top it off, we got an eye-opening presentation by Montreal’s Louise Guay.  Her My Virtual Model is a must-see. Louise is a real visionary.  Doc was reeling.  For example, she offers us a personal avatar - you set it up with your measurements and characteristics and use it to find outfits with the look you want.  And guess what?  People are actually using it.  And I’m just brushing the surface of her thinking. ..."
Kim Cameron, "Open source identity selector announced"

"... Against this backdrop, the present working paper  takes it as its baseline that many countries have already enacted legislation or will soon legislate on TPM in order to comply either with international obligations under WIPO, or with international free trade agreements involving a party that has powerful content industries such as the U.S. Thus, the immediate question before us is no longer whether the second and third layer of protection of digital works is appropriate or viable. Rather, at this stage, attention should be drawn to the alternative design choices that remain with countries that face the challenge of drafting or revisiting a legal regime aimed at protecting TPM. ..."
Urs Gasser, "Legal Frameworks and Technological Protection of Digital Content: Moving Forward Towards a Best Practice Model"

"... We at the OpenNet Initiative have entered into a collaboration with Rogers and his team at to produce a series of issue-crawler maps of Internet censorship. The first of these is called A Censored Network (PDF), showing censored sites in Iran. ..."
OpenNet Initiative, "A Censored Network: Iran"

"... Readers of this blog are no doubt aware that I’m interested in different models for low-cost computing: the One Laptop Per Child effort, AMD’s 50×15 Personal Internet Communicator, the Simputer, as well as the adoption of multifunction mobile phones in developing nations. (Caslon Analytics has a useful article on some paths being explored - And some abandoned - in the search for an inexpensive device.) In analyzing the economics of these devices, rather than the technology behind them, I find it’s useful to think in terms of analogies. For example, the key insight Iqbal Qadir had in founding Grameen Phone was the realization that “a phone could be a cow“. In other words, a woman could purchase a phone and generate income from it, selling phonecalls to her neighbors, using the proceeds to pay the loan used to buy the phone, and eventually to create a better life for her children. ..."
Ethan Zuckerman, "FlexGo: the repo man on a microchip"

"... Today brings a new warning from the NYT on this digital peril: Young People’s Web Postings Worry Summer Camp Directors. The opening graf seems to channel Helen Lovejoy, labeling “sites like MySpace, Facebook and Friendster” a “scourge” of summer camp directors. Add the new story to this week’s news of a lawsuit against MySpace alleging that it failed to prevent a user from sexually assaulting a child, and it looks like only a matter of time before Congress starts calling for an investigation of this whole Internet thingy. So what’s going on with the summer camps? ..."
Tim Armstrong, "More Alarmism Over Social Networking Sites"

"... The Wall Street Journal Online invited me to debate DRM with the MPAA's Fritz Attaway: - 'DRM' Protects Downloads, But Does It Stifle Innovation?. He says it enables "consumer choice"; I say it disables user innovation and technology development. ..."
Wendy Seltzer, "DRM Debate with the MPAA's Fritz Attaway"

"... Microsoft has released an tool for copyright licensing that enables the easy addition of Creative Commons licensing information for works in popular Microsoft Office applications. The software is available free of charge at Microsoft Office Online and will enable the 400 million users of Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint to easily select Creative Commons licenses from directly within the application they are working in. ..."
Creative Commons weblog, "License your (office) documents"

"... Now the bad news: TOM-Skype installs and runs censorware on your computer without you even knowing. When Nart Villeneuve, the world's technical expert on internet censorship, started playing with TOM-Skype, he found that when he installed the client software, a piece of censorware called ContentFilter.exe also installed itself on his machine. ..." 
Rebecca MacKinnon, "Skype's Chinese censorware"

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