Skip to the main content

Berkman Buzz: April 15, 2011


What's being discussed...take your pick or browse below.


* StopBadware reviews the US takedown of the Coreflood botnet
* Doc Searls explains the concept of fourth parties in virtual rights management
* Ethan Zuckerman liveblogs a discussion between Evgeny Morozov and Zeynep Tufekci on Internet and social change
* The Citizen Media Law Project gives an update on the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act
* Writing for the Atlantic, Mike Ananny wonders why apps about sex offenders are connected to apps for gay men
* Weekly Global Voices: "Kenya: Citizen Journalism of the Kibera News Network"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The full buzz.

"Wednesday’s court-sanctioned takedown of the Coreflood botnet by the Department of Justice and the FBI has made big headlines in badware news. This is the second high-profile takedown to make it through the U.S. court system in as many months; Microsoft persuaded a court to allow them to take down the Rustock botnet only a month ago. But there are some key differences in the legal posture and tactics used in Coreflood that should inform future efforts to take down botnets — and invite further questions."
From Isaac Meister's blog post for StopBadware, "The Coreflood takedown: building a better, broader botnet response"

"When the fourth party idea came to me in the first place, I was thinking about voice. That is, first party would be like the first person voice (I, me, mine, ours), while second party would be like the second person singular voice (you, yours), and third party would be like the third person singular voice (he, she, it, them, theirs). I thought fourth party would be defined most clearly as 'a third party for the customer.' What matters most is coming to, and guiding, understandings of fourth parties and what they do, and what makes them distinctive, as customers (in their first party role) gain more tools, independence and power in the marketplace."
From Doc Searls's blog post for Project VRM, "Fourth parties and VRM"

"I was grateful for the chance to hear these two thinkers engage in a debate, though I feel like the points of disagreement in this discussion were harder to identify than in Zeynep’s review of Evgeny’s book. I think Evgeny’s presentation of his arguments has become softer and more careful in the wake of recent events than it was in his book. While I don’t think the Arab Spring invalidates all of Evgeny’s points – I agree strongly with his critique of technocentrism – I think it’s harder to make the case that technology is likely to favor dictators over activists."
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, "Morozov vs.(?) Tufekci at the US Naval Academy"

"So the Congress appears to be considering the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act ("COICA") again. The act would essentially allow the government “to block sites at the domain name (DNS) level” (per Ars Technica) and would impose intermediate liability on credit card companies that did not stop transacting with blacklisted sites. This (much like a jump to conclusions mat) is a terrible, terrible idea."
From Andrew Moshirnia's blog post for the Citizen Media Law Project, "COICA, the Sequel: Back in Blacklist"

"As I was installing Grindr on my Android phone yesterday, I scrolled down to take a look at the list of 'related' and 'relevant' applications. My jaw dropped. There, first on the list, was 'Sex Offender Search,' a free application created by Life360 that lets you 'find sex offenders near you and protect your child ... so you can keep your family safe.' I was flabbergasted. How and why was this association being made? What could one application have to do with other?"
From Mike Ananny's post for The Atlantic, "The Curious Connection Between Apps for Gay Men and Sex Offenders"

"Young people in Kibera, Kenya, which is known to some as Africa's largest slum, are determined to show a different face of the place where they live. With video cameras in hand, they scout the streets for stories to show the world how Kibera sees itself."
From Juliana Rincón Parra's blog post for Global Voices Online, "Kenya: Citizen Journalism of the Kibera News Network"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

The weekly Berkman Buzz is selected from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects and sometimes from the Center's wider network.

Suggestions and feedback about the Buzz are always welcome and can be emailed to