<--The Filter--> February 2005

February 8, 2005
No. 7.02 <--The Filter--> 02.08.05

[1] In the News
[2] Berkman News
[3] Conference Watch
[4] Bookmarks
[5] Quotables
[6] Filter Facts


* Blogs in China, Politics in South Korea: Reports on Filtering

More news on the great "Firewall of China" emerged this month
regarding censorship of blogs. The OpenNet Initiative -- a research
partnership of the Citizen Lab, the Berkman Center, and the Advanced
Network Research Group -- published a report analyzing patterns of
blog-filtering by Chinese blog-providers at the behest of the Chinese
government. The report explains that blogs are censored based on
keywords, including the names of political leaders, references to
Tiananmen Square, and terms related to the Falun Gong movement. While
the filtering systems are "relatively coarse," the study documents
blocking of entire blog posts and the substitution of banned words
with characters like "*." Chinese officials also made another wave of
arrests in the state's crackdown on online gambling. ChinaTechNews
reports that the three-month campaign has resulted in 58 arrests.

OpenNet Initiative Report: <http://www.opennetinitiative.net/bulletins/008/>
Gambling Crackdown: <http://www.chinatechnews.com/index.php?action=show&type=news&id=2302>

Also, the OpenNet Initiative has just released a report on South
Korea's blocking of North Korea-related sites and the inadvertent
blocking of a much larger number of unrelated sites.  This collateral
blocking, done by ISPs at the government's direction, prevents South
Koreans from accessing sites on the same servers as the political
sites, but with no pro-North Korea content.

The Complete Report: <http://www.opennetinitiative.net/bulletins/009/>

* Blogs and Journalism

This month, the Berkman Center co-hosted the conference "Blogging,
Journalism & Credibility: Battleground and Common Ground" with the
American Library Association and Harvard's Shorenstein Center to bring
attendees, representing both bloggers and classical journalism
together to discuss how blogs are affecting the media -- and vice
versa. The conference generated a storm of speculation, criticism,
commmentary, and discussion, both online and off. During the course of
the conference, most people agreed that pitting bloggers and
journalists as adversaries misses a broader point. The shared
challenge, several participants argued, is improving ways of
communicating information. And participants often differed sharply on
the best mechanisms -- either diffuse and grassroots, or top-down and
directed -- for accomplishing this goal.

Conference Website: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/webcred/>
Collected Reactions from Participants: <http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/01/26/brkm_own...
Aggregated Feeds of Attendees: <http://cred.conventionbloggers.com/>

* Skewed Spam Stats

Conflicting reports this month have given a murky picture of trends in
spam. While several online "tsunami scams" received considerable
attention, experts disagree about the larger picture of fraudulent and
unsolicited commercial email. The Director of AOL's "Antispam
Operations" said that spam had declined sharply from a peak of 2.4
billion per day to 1.3 billion spam messages, according to the
Washington Post. Other experts have argued, by contrast, that the
CAN-SPAM Act has been completely ineffective at reducing spam. A
report from MX Logic argued that the volume of spam increased in 2004
and that 77% of email traffic is spam.

AOL's Spam Decline: <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30433-2004Dec27.html>
MX Logic on Spam Increase: <http://www.mxlogic.com/news_events/01_03_05.html>


* Three New Publications for the Digital Media Project

The Berkman Center's Digital Media Project released three new papers
this month. "Content & Control: Assessing the Impact of Policy Choices
on Potential Online Business Models in the Music and Film Industries"
examines emerging business models for digital media distribution --
from projects like Shawn Fanning's SNOCAP and Apple's iTunes to more
experimental projects -- and the policy questions they raise.
Researchers also released the white paper, "Copyright and Digital
Media in a Post-Napster World: 2005 Update," which builds on our 2003
research on the state of digital media to reflect major legal,
political, and technological changes in the past year. Digital Media
Project researchers, led by Berkman Fellow Urs Gasser, also released
the International Supplement to this White Paper. This Supplement
broadens the white paper's perspective to examine how regulatory and
legal frameworks around the world are influencing the use and
distribution of new media.

Content and Control: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/media/content_and_control>
Copyright and Digital Media in a Post-Napster World: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/media/wp2005>
International Supplement: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/media/wpsupplement2005>

* Welcome Zephyr Teachout and Henrik Schneider

The Berkman Center welcomes two new Fellows this month: Henrik
Schneider and Zephyr Teachout.

Schneider hails from Budapest, Hungary. He has previously been
involved in both non-profit (NGO/University) and profit oriented work
(at Accenture), and at Bekrman will study the role of policies in
handling the social effects of constant changes of Information
Technology environments at workplace.  More information on Henrik
Schneider will soon be available on the Berkman Center website.

A graduate of Duke Law School, Teachout co-founded the Fair Trial
Initiative to support attorneys working on death penalty cases, and
more recently worked as director of online organizing (in charge of R
& D) for the Howard Dean campaign. Teachout plans to study new,
internet driven, continuous offline communities -- a version of what
is called "voluntary assocations" in political science.


* Coming Months Bring Two Internet Law Programs

Two Internet Law Program sessions will take place in mid-2005.  ILaw,
a three-day residential program with an online compononent, addresses
the most controversial cyberlaw issues being debated by lawmakers in
the U.S. and internationally.  Join the top experts in the field in
Turin, Italy, May 25-27, or in Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 22-24.




* February 8-10, 2005, San Francisco, CA - Emerging Technology,
  Business and Policy for Senior Executives

* February 14-20, 2005, Vancouver, BC - Music Library Association 74th
  Annual Conference

* February 21-25, 2005, Mumbai, India - International Conference on
  Information Management in a Knowledge Society

* February 23-25, 2005, Algarve, Portugal - IADIS International
  Conference: Web Based Communities 2005


* March 3-5, 2005, Cambridge, MA - Morph05 @ Harvard: Whose News -
  Media, Technology and the Common Good

* March 4-5, 2005, Ottawa, Ontario - The Concealed: Anonymity,
  Identity and the Prospect of Privacy

* March 9-11, 2005, Washington, D.C. - IAPP National Summit 2005

* March 29-April 1, 2005, Shanghai, China - The Seventh Asia Pacific
  Web Conference <http://apweb05.csm.vu.edu.au/>

* March 29-April 1, 2005, Hong Kong - IEEE International Conference on
  e-Technology, e-Commerce and e-Service


* April 2-7, 2005, Portland, Oregon – CHI 2005: Technology, Safety,
  Community: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

* April 12-15, 2005, Seattle, WA – PANOPTICON: 15th Annual Conference
  on Computers, Freedom & Privacy <http://cfp2005.org/>

* April 13-16, 2005, Vancouver, British Columbia - Museums and the Web
  2005: The International Conference for Culture and Heritage On-line

* April 21-22, 2005, San Antonio, Texas - Conference on Business and
  the Internet <http://www.triof.org/cbi/>

* April 27-28, 2005, Cambridge, UK - International Forum on “Less is
  More - Simple Computing in an Age of Complexity”


* Software Freedom Law Center

* Eyes on the Screen

* Roundup: MSN Search


*Special theme: On Blogging, Journalism, and the Conference*

We hear there is a conference at Harvard this weekend on blogging and
ethics.... So glad Harvard is looking into this because we're not sure
anyone could figure out whether or not to trust blogs unless Harvard
tells them what the deal is. We look forward to future chin scratching
to come on even weightier topics: Crossing the Street: Should You
Look?; Mixed Nuts: Why Does the Brazilian Nut Always Wind Up on Top?

- Wonkette on "Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility"

With the exception of the "metro" section reporter covering a 12-car
pile-up on the freeway, I think most practicing journalists today are
as Webby as any blogger you care to name.... The premature
triumphalism of some bloggers indicates that they haven't paid
attention to how Webified journalists have become.

- Slate Columnist Jack Shafer reacts to "Blogging, Journalism, and
  Credibility" <http://slate.msn.com/id/2112621/>

If you don't know what blogging is by now and you're reading this in a
newspaper please fold it up and boot up your computer. You're missing
a revolution.

- Frank Bajak, AP Technology Editor, on "Blogging, Journalism, and

We started this event -- and an associated little firestorm -- by
broaching the topic of credibility on the web.... Over the past two
days, we made some progress in that direction. But not frankly all
that much progress. We're certainly a long way from a shared set of
principles, or a code of ethics, or even an understanding of how they
could come about.

- John Palfrey, Berkman Center Executive Director, on "Blogging,
  Journalism, and Credibility"


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Editor: Wendy Koslow
Contributors: Mary Bridges, Erica George

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Last updated

January 16, 2008