<-- The Filter --> April 2006

April 6, 2006
[0] From the Editor
[1] News
[2] Berkman Updates
[3] Community Talk
[4] Networked: Bookmarks, Webcasts, Podcasts, Tags, and Blogposts
[5] Global Voices: Digital Dose of Global Conversations
[6] Community Links
[7] Upcoming Conferences
[8] Staying Connected
[9] Filter Facts



[0] From the Editor

Before you start in on the Filter, please take a look at our job posting [SPECIAL SECTION] below. If you know someone who would be interested in this job post, please share it with them.  This month’s Filter highlights include:
*An in-depth look at “Google vs. DOJ,” a special feature in Section [1] written by Clinical Director Phil Malone, intern Katie Chang, and fellow Wendy Seltzer
*Prof. Jonathan Zittrain answer in Section [3] to this month’s Community Talk question,  “Why do the xxx domain and others keep getting pushed out?” in Section [3]
*David Sasaki at Global Voices shares bloggers’ reflections on International Women’s Day in Section [5]
As always, please share your questions, comments, and conference links with us  <filter@cyber.harvard.edu>.
~ Amanda Michel




The OpenNet Initiative is a university-based organization, of which the Berkman Center is a member, that researches state-sponsored Internet filtering worldwide.   In the past year, ONI has reported on Internet filtering in countries such as Yemen, China, Burma, Tunisia, and Iran. The OpenNet Initiative recently received a generous $3 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to advance and expand its research.  As the OpenNet Initiative moves into overdrive, broadening its already ambitious research agenda and re-doubling outreach efforts, we are seeking a Research Director to drive the project’s diverse activities and coordinate its world-class team.

For the full Research Director position description, as well as application information:
<http://jobs.harvard.edu> (job #26062)



[1] NEWS: a bit of what’s going on and where to read more

***Special In-depth Edition: Google v. DOJ -- What’s left to talk about

On April 3, Google turned over search records to the Department of Justice following a year-long dispute.  Clinical Director Phil Malone, fellow Wendy Seltzer, and intern Katie Chang highlight its significance.

On March 17, a federal district court in San Jose, California partly granted and partly denied a request by the Justice Department to force Google to produce records related to its search engine.  As part of its defense of the Child Online Protection Act (“COPA”), in an ongoing lawsuit brought by the ACLU in Pennsylvania, the DOJ last August subpoenaed Yahoo!, Microsoft MSN, AOL, and Google demanding originally that they produce the text of every search query entered into their search engines by all users over a two-month period and every URL in their search engine indexes.  Following negotiations with Google, the DOJ reduced the scope of its request to a sample of 50,000 URLs and all search queries entered over a one-week period.  While the other companies complied, Google refused to do so and the government went to court.

The order denied the government’s request for specific search queries entered by Google’s users because Judge Ware said that request was “duplicative” of the request for URLs.  Between the two requests, he found that the demand for search queries raised more concerns over Google proprietary information, user privacy, and burden to Google from the loss of user trust.  He therefore required Google to produce only a random sample of 50,000 URLs in its search database records.

While the DOJ subpoena avoided asking for personally identifying information from Google, the government’s request for the text of specific search queries nevertheless raised serious concerns among privacy advocates who feared that some searches would necessarily reveal private information about the users who entered them.  Judge Ware discussed some of these concerns (without resolving them), noting in his decision that:

"Although the Government has only requested the text strings entered, basic identifiable information may be found in the test strings when users search for personal information such as their social security numbers or credit card numbers through  Google . . . .  The Court is also aware of so-called ‘vanity searches,’ where a user queries his or her own name perhaps with other information.  Thus . . . , a user’s search for ‘[user name] third trimester abortion san jose,’ may raise certain privacy issues . . . .  This concern, combined with the prevalence of Internet searches for sexually explicit material – generally not information that anyone wishes to reveal publicly – gives this Court pause as to whether the search queries themselves may constitute potentially sensitive information."

In addition, the dispute highlighted a critical fact about search engines that had previously received little attention -- that they may collect and retain massive amounts of personally identifying data about their users and those users’ searches.  Even though the DOJ subpoena did not seek to link any individual search query to a particular user, Google may retain IP address data and other information that could allow either the government or a private litigant in a future case to do just that, using a subpoena to learn all of the precise searches made by a specific person.

Such legally sanctioned intrusions into private personal information may occur because it is currently unclear whether and to what extent search engines may be shielded from compelled disclosure by the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).    Even if Google and other online search companies are careful with the data they keep, their vast storehouses of information would still be vulnerable to subpoena.

Berkman fellow Wendy Seltzer points out that, while the DOJ subpoena to Google itself raised limited privacy concerns, “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?”  Seltzer argues that there are two possible solutions - either that Google keeps less information or Congress passes statutes to increase protection of information kept by search engines.
While the former may be unlikely, Seltzer points out that outrage over the Google subpoena may be just the impetus needed to pass such legislation.  Already, Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass) introduced a bill in Congress that would require every website operator to delete information about visitors if the data is no longer required for a “legitimate” business purpose.  The Eliminate Warehousing of Consumer Internet Data Act of 2006 has received mixed reviews.  According to CNET, it’s unclear that it would have much effect on seeking search terms through a subpoena since it excludes search terms or Internet addresses from the definition of personal, protected information.  NetCoalition, a lobbying group which represents Internet businesses including Google and Yahoo, has voiced concern that the bill would let the government, rather than private businesses, define “legitimate” business purposes.  With no cosponsors, the bill is unlikely to be passed.

In the meantime, other recent developments continue to remind us that, as we routinely put more and more of our private information in the hands of third parties, we are increasingly at risk that our information may be disclosed against our wishes, either through security breaches or government or private subpoenas.  For example, a November 2005 subpoena from a court-ordered receiver in a federal lawsuit in California, FTC v. Ameridebt, Inc., et al., sought from Google all documents concerning a user’s Gmail account, including all mails in the account and all messages the user had deleted.  Google’s Gmail privacy policy states that emails deleted by users may take up to 60 days to be deleted from its active servers and “may remain in our offline backup systems.”   

Outside the email context, numerous firms provide online data storage services where users can store files, records, photos and other data.  Amazon recently announced its S3 Simple Storage Service which, though apparently initially targeted at developers, allows subscribers to store large volumes of personal files on the service provider’s computer. Data stored in such ways may be more vulnerable to disclosure if the government and even private litigants can demand access to it using just a subpoena to the service provider, and particularly if the data continues to be kept in some manner even after the user has taken steps to delete it.  As Berkman fellow Dan Gillmor points out, “What's possibly creepier (than the government going on fishing expeditions in our data) is that companies like Google keep vast storehouses of information that they -- and only they -- decide what to do with, and their transparency on what they do is seriously deficient.”



[2] BERKMAN UPDATES: news from in and around the Center

Upcoming Event: Bloggership Symposium
~Arielle Silver

On April 28th, the Berkman Center will host “Bloggership: How Blogs are Transforming Legal Scholarship.” The conference will feature presentations from some of the biggest names from the legal academic blogosphere, including Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit), Eugene Volokh (The Volokh Conspiracy), Ann Althouse (Althouse), and Larry Solum (Legal Theory Blog). Professor Paul Caron of the University of Cincinnati College of Law organized the conference and will moderate its discussions. Caron is author of the Tax Prof Blog, as well as the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Law Professor Blogs Network.
For more information, including the conference schedule, please see:


StopBadware.org 1st Report Release
~ Luis Villa

This past January the Berkman Center and the Oxford Internet Institute announced StopBadware.org, an initiative aimed at providing the public with information about the worst badware offenders. On March 22, StopBadware.org released its first series of reports.  The reports examined four applications – Kazaa, Waterfalls 3, MoviePipe, and SpyAxe – that were reported by consumers through submitted stories and technical reports.

These reports reflect a lot of work on the part of the Stopbadware.org team, of which I’ve been lucky to take part as an engineer and project manager.  While most of our time was spent documenting malicious behavior, it also involved thinking through many complicated issues.  For example, if one piece of software comes attached to another and the second piece of software is badware, is the first guilty by association? How do you draw the line between a behavior that is acceptable with users permission and behavior that is always unacceptable? And what does it mean to “ask permission” anyway?

We hope that the resulting reports have made these discussions accessible to everyone (hopefully more than just dry, factual documentation of an application’s popups!).  So far, so good - nearly 50,000 people have read the reports since they were posted and many have commented on them. If you want to be alerted when our next round comes out, you can "sign up here":


iLaw Mexico
~ Catherine Bracy

Our most recent iLaw in Mexico City on March 16-17 was a great success. Attended by over 100 people, it marked the first foreign iLaw where all six current faculty members—Profs. Lessig, Zittrain, Benkler, Fisher, Nesson, and Palfrey— were in attendance. We were also pleased to be joined by Clara-Luz Alvarez, the Commissioner of Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Commission, who co-lectured with John Palfrey on Spam.  The seminar also coincided with the launch of Creative Commons Mexico (<http://creativecommons.org/worldwide/mx/>). The next iLaw program will be held in Lima, Peru on June 27-28 and will feature Profs Fisher and Lessig with a focus on intellectual property.

If you would like to receive information about iLaw Peru, please consider joining our monthly ‘conferences, workshops, and seminars’ mailing list. <http://cyber.harvard.edu/signup/>

iLaw Mexico website:
Creative Commons Mexico:
GlobalVoices covered iLaw Mexico here:


Upcoming Event: “Beyond Broadcast: Reinventing Public Media in a Participatory Culture”
~ Susie Lindsay

What will public media look like in the future? How can broadcasters utilize the explosion of new participatory media technologies? Established broadcasters have great expertise in producing inspiring, educational, and entertaining programming - programming that is created by few and distributed to many. New media technologies are providing opportunities for personal and collaborative production. Any individual can be a producer – and find many outlets to distribute – yet few have the brand or trust that public and community broadcasters do. Since public broadcasting’s mandate is to serve the public interest – there is a wonderful conceptual connection between participatory opportunities in new media and public broadcasters. But how would it look? How would it work?

Come join the Berkman Center on May 12-13 for *Beyond Broadcast: Reinventing Public Media in a Participatory Culture.* Topics to be discussed on day one include: what is developing in this space; what broadcasters and emerging web-based participatory services are doing; law and policy; and the sustainability and organization of communities online. Day two of the conference is the second meeting of the Open Media Developers Summit and will focus on implementing the technologies and processes discussed on day one. Rather than a traditional meeting with panels and speakers, this day is about getting a group of smart people with diverse view points to work on these issues.

Check out the website, register for the conference, and comment on our blog at <http://www.beyondbroadcast.net>. Also note – any tags with beyondbroadcast (one word) will be fed into the front page of our blog!



3] COMMUNITY TALK: Your questions and comments

How it works: Each month we select a question submitted from the Berkman community and answer it.  If you’ve been puzzling over a recent event or a question you’d like to ask, email it to filter@cyber.harvard.edu by April 21.
Featured Question: “Why do the xxx domain and others keep getting pushed out? It seems to me that there is very little downside to adding this domain.” ~ Jason C.

According to  Prof. Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University and Visiting Professor at Harvard Law: “People should be perfectly happy to see lots of new top-level domains—dozens or even hundreds of them. I think that having them be “sponsored,” as .museum is, might even be helpful for certain applications—bona fide banks might exist in .bank, for example, making it harder for phishers to trick people into thinking they were at another web site. But domain names work best when they are not meant to vouch for or against the content found within them, because they’re not really built to digitally certify anything. In the meantime, we should be indifferent to whether .xxx is created—or even to whether US Government pressure delays a decision by ICANN on the matter. This is because domain names themselves don’t really matter these days [people use search]. It should come as no surprise, given the way ICANN is structured, that it’s easy for any number of powerful parties to stop something it wants to do.”



Links to Berkman conversations happening online

Technology Developments:

[BerkmanAudio] Berkman Discussion About Gather.com <http://cyber.harvard.edu/audio/uploads/45/46/david_w_archive_2006-03-28....

[BerkmanAudio] Berkman Discussion with Roger Dingledine of Tor <http://cyber.harvard.edu/audio/uploads/45/41/dingledine_2006-03-14.mp3>


Citizen Media and the Future of Journalism:

[BLOGPOST] Dan Gillmor, "Straw Men Versus Citizen Journalists" <http://citmedia.org/blog/2006/04/02/straw-men-versus-citizen-journalists/>


Digital Media

[PAPER] Tim Armstrong, "Digital Rights Management and the Process of Fair Use"

[BLOGPOST] Wendy Seltzer, "Don't Miss CATO vs. the DMCA" <http://wendy.seltzer.org/blog/archives/2006/03/21/dont_miss_cato_vs_the_...

[BLOGPOST] Urs Gasser, "French Supreme Court Upholds Legality of DRM on DVD"

[BLOGPOST] John Palfrey, "Idea: Creative Source Licenses"


Internet Politics, Governance, and Regulation:

[BLOGPOST] "Basic Design Principles for Anti-Circumvention Legislation (Draft)" Urs Gasser, <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ugasser/2006/03/22#a744>

[INTERVIEW] Diane Cabell on WIPO, UDRP, ICANN, and Creative Commons <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/home?wid=10&func=viewSubmission&sid=973>

[WIKI] John Palfrey's class debates merits of public wi-fi online on wiki

[REPORT] OpenNet Initiative, "Internet Filtering in Yemen"


Internet and Culture:

[PODCAST] David Weinberger on the future of knowledge <http://cyber.harvard.edu/audio/podcast2?wid=12&func=viewSubmission&sid=54>



[WEBSITE] Free Hao Wu, Global Voices Regional Editor


Internet and Developing Countries:

[INTERVIEW] Mike Best on the use of computers and communication techniques in social and economic development  <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/home?wid=10&func=viewSubmission&sid=965>

[WIKI] Charles Nesson, "Justice in Jamaica" <http://hcs.harvard.edu/~cyberlaw/wiki/index.php/Restorative_Justice_in_J...



[5] Global Voices:
Digital Dose of Global Conversations

Global Voices, a non-profit global citizens’ media project, is sponsored by and was launched from the Berkman Center by Berkman Fellows Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman. David Sasaki, Global Voices Latin America Regional Editor, compiled the monthly digest below. Please check out Global Voices at <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org>

Inspired by International Women's Day, bloggers across the globe commented on the achievements, accolades, and the continuing hardships of their mothers, sisters and daughters.  Beginning in Africa, Sokari Ekine surveyed the reflections of Africa's female bloggers in a two part series, "Honouring African  Women."

Part I: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/08/iwd-honouring- african-women-
Part II: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/08/iwd-honouring- african-women-

Arab bloggers also honored the women of their lives this month with Mothers’ Day homages in Lebanon and proud commemoration of the feats  and resilience of Iraqi women despite having "to cope with the  prejudice of some western journalists."

Lebanon: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/19/this-week-on- the-lebanese-blogosphere-mom-dad-and-god/>
Iraq: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/17/landing-at-the- iraqi-blogodrome-7/>

Continuing the theme, two countries of the Americas inaugarated their first female head of state. Georgia Popplewell took a look at how Jamaican bloggers responded to Portia Simpson-Miller's inaugaration while Rosario Lizana gauged the reaction of Chilean bloggers to the swearing in of Michelle Bachelet.

Jamaica: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/31/the- blogosphere-responds-to-jamaicas-first-woman-prime-minister/>
Chile: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/11/fisrt-woman- president-in-chile/>

AIDS activist Hu Jia and documentarian/blogger Wu Hao were both recently detained by authorities in China without being charged. John Kennedy points out that "what is significant about both these two separate incidents is the role blogs have played." Hu Jia’s wife,  Zeng Jin Yan and Wu Hao’s sister, Nina both started weblogs to  document their individual ordeals of freeing their loved ones. Thanks to Kennedy’s translations, you can read the reaction of Wu Hao’s sister when she found out that Hu Jia was set free.


"Don't Block the Blog!" is the message and campaign of Pakistani  bloggers who have been unable to access their Blogger-based blogs  since February 28th, just days before U.S. President George W. Bush  visited the country. But Omer Alvie explained that Bush's visit wasn't the catalyst for the block.


Thousands of Belorussian protesters took to Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk to protest election irregularities and the authoritarian ruling style of President Lukashenko. In the days that followed the election a small "tent city" formed with the hope that a "Denim Revolution" would transpire much like Ukraine’s "Orange”  Revolution and Krygyzstan’s "Tulip” Revolution. Veronica Khokhlova captured the online commentary from the protesters in real time. And then, once the protesters were forcibly removed by riot police, Khokhlova demonstrated how "Post-Soviet bloggers continue a good old Soviet tradition of coping with reality and expressing dissent  through political jokes."

Protest: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/23/belarus- protest-stories-and-conversations/>
Jokes: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/04/02/belarus- political-jokes/>

When Francophone Editor Alice Backer sat down to interview Anthony Mica Katombe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo via instant  messenger, she hardly could have expected that gunmen were  surrounding his hometown of Kinshasa that Kofi Annan was visiting to check in on a rocky electoral process, and that an electrical outage would interrupt their chat. Regardless, they both overcame the obstacles and have an intriguing conversation to show for it. When asked why the DRC has a more active blogging community than neighboring countries, Katombe responds, "he who aches the most screams the loudest."

<http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/29/drc-a-chat-with-blogger- tony-katombe/>



Featuring our friends and affiliates

iCommons <http://icommons.org/>

Stop AOL's Email Tax!, Electronic Frontier Foundation, <http://www.dearaol.com/>

Many To Many: Public Media and the Blogosphere, a new video made available by the Center for Social Media <http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/future/m2m.mov>

IP Quotes, Public Knowledge <http://www.publicknowledge.org/resources/quotes>

"Digital Search & Seizure: Updating Privacy Protections to Keep Pace with Technology" report, Center for Democracy and Technology <http://www.cdt.org/publications/digital-search-and-seizure.pdf>

"Bound by Law?" comic, Duke Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain, <http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/digital.html>

Peer-to-Patent-Project, New York Law School's Institute for Law & Policy, <http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent/about.html>




Upcoming Berkman Conferences:

* “Bloggership: How Blogs are Transforming Legal Scholarship” will be held Friday, April 28, 2006 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in the Ames Moot Courtroom on the second floor of Austin Hall at Harvard Law School. The conference is free and open to the public. For more information, including the conference schedule, please see: http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/bloggership

* “Beyond Broadcast: Reinventing Public Media in a Participatory Culture” will be held May 12-13 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Get involved on the planning wiki: <http://www.beyondbroadcast.net/>


*  April 5-7: International Symposium on Intelligent Environments: Improving the quality of life in a changing world – Cambridge, United Kingdom,

* April 6-7: Association for Learning Technology (ALT) Spring Conference and Research Seminar 2006 – The Netherlands, <http://www.alt.ac.uk/conferences.php>

* April 10-12: Open Source and Sustainability 2006 – Oxford, United Kingdom, <http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk/events/2006-04-10-12/>

* April 11-13: International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies (WEBIST) – Setubal, Portugal, <http://www.webist.org/>

* April 18-20: Asia Commons: Asian Conference on the Digital Commons – Bangkok, Thailand,

* April 20: LIFE: Life Cycle Information for E-Literature – London, United Kingdom, <http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ls/lifeproject/conference.shtml/>

* April 20-21: Innovate and Motivate: Next Generation Libraries – Online conference, <http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlevents/virtualconference.htm>

* April 21-23: Access to Knowledge – New Haven, Connecticut,

* April 26-28: E-gov Asia 2006: The Asian e-Government Conference - Bangkok, Thailand, <http://www.egovonline.net/egovasia/index.asp/>

* April 26-27: Technology Policy for a Flattening World: Educause Policy 2006 – Washington, DC, <http://www.educause.edu/Policy/1477/>

* April 26-28: The Impact of Internet on the Mass Media in Europe – Delphi, Greece,

* April 26-28: e-gov Asia 2006: The Asian e-Government Conference – Bangkok, Thailand, <http://www.egovonline.net/egovasia/index.asp/>

* April 27-28: ECEG 2006: 6th European Conference on e-Government – Marburg, Germany, <http://www.academic-conferences.org/eceg/eceg2006/eceg06-home.htm/>

* April 28: NETLAW 2006 - Toronto, Canada, <http://www.canadianinstitute.com/Telecommunications___Technology/Netlaw_...

* May 3-5: IST-Africa 2006 - Pretoria, South Africa,

* May 17-21: ICTe Africa - Nairobi, Kenya,

* May 18-19: Persuasive '06: First International Conference on Persuasive Technology for Human Well-being, The Netherlands, <http://www.persuasivetechnology.org/>

* May 20-21: OPML Camp, <http://opml.com>

* May 22: Collaborative Web Tagging Workshop - Edinburgh, Scotland,

* May 23-26: WWW 2006: 15th International World Wide Web Conference - Edinburgh, Scotland,

* May 24: Supporting Open, Distance and eLearning (ODeL) in African Universities - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, <http://www.avu.org/workshops/odel2006/>

* May 24-26: eLearning Africa: 1st International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, <http://www.elearning-africa.com/conference.php>

* May 24-26:  IASSIST (International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology) 2006 - Ann Arbor, Michigan, <http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/iassist/>

* May 31-June 1: Legal Aspects of e-Repositories and e-Collections - Coventry, United Kingdom, <http://www.jisclegal.ac.uk/events/eRep_06/eRep_program.htm>



how to find out about Berkman's weekly events

* Every Friday we feature the week's online conversations in the Berkman Buzz. If you would like to receive the Buzz via email, please send an email to amichel AT cyber.harvard.edu with "Buzz subscribe" as the subject line. To take a look at last week's Berkman Blog Buzz, go here:

* We webcast every Tuesday Luncheon Speakers event. Luncheon Series events start at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time. The webcast link is <http://harmony.law.harvard.edu/webcast.sdp> We will also host an IRC chat during the discussion - drop in and we'll take your questions from there:
<irc://irc.freenode.net/Berkman>. Tune in!

* If you are unable to tune in to one of our events, please check out Berkman's Audio Event Archive to listen in at a later time. <http://cyber.harvard.edu/audio/archive>
The Berkman Center’s audio and podcasts are also available through iTunes, ODEO, and Podnova.

***iTunes: <http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=1352385...
***ODEO: <http://odeo.com/channel/79770/view>
***Podnova: <http://www.podnova.com/index_podnova_station.srf?url=http://feeds.feedbu...

* The Berkman Center sends out an events email every Wednesday. If you'd like to be notified of upcoming events - virtual and otherwise - please sign up by emailing <egeorge@cyber.harvard.edu>.


* Talk Back
Tell us what you think — send feedback and news announcements to:

* Subscription Info
Subscribe or Unsubscribe:

* About Us
Filter is a publication of the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School.
Editor: Amanda Michel

* Not a Copyright
This work is hereby released into the public domain. Please share it.
To read the public domain dedication, visit:

Last updated

January 16, 2008