Creating the Policy and Legal Framework for a Location–Enabled Society (5/2-5/3); Filling the News Gap (5/4)

April 24, 2013
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Upcoming Events / Digital Media
April 24th, 2013

CGA Annual Conference: Creating the Policy and Legal Framework for a Location–Enabled Society

May 2-3, CGIS Tsai Auditorium, Harvard University. Organized by the Center for Geographic Analysis and co-sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.


The 2013 CGA Annual Spring Conference will be held Thursday and Friday, May 2-3, 2013 in the CGIS Tsai Auditorium. It is free and open to the public. Location matters. Energy, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, natural hazards, traffic and transportation, crime and political instability, water quality and availability, climate change, migration and urbanization – all key issues of the 21st century – have a location component. Critical geographic thinking, understanding and reasoning are essential skills for modern societies, and geospatial technologies for location based data collection, management, analysis and visualization have developed rapidly in recent decades. Today, these technologies are widely applied in routine operations in large corporations, entrepreneurial businesses, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the social media of our daily lives. They save cost, improve efficiency, increase transparency, enhance communication, and help solve problems. Location-enabled devices are weaving "smart grids" and building "smart cities;" they allow people to discover a friend in a shoppi ng mall, catch a bus at its next stop, check surrounding air quality while walking down a street, or avoid a rain storm on a tourist route – now or in the near future. And increasingly they allow those who provide services to track, whether we are walking past stores on the street or seeking help in a natural disaster. Such deep penetration of the geospatial technologies into people's daily lives, however, generates policy and legal concerns with privacy, ownership rights of location information, national and homeland security, uncertainty about government funding and regulation, and more. These issues are relatively new to the academic community and to human societies at large. Technology developers, industries, legal experts, policy makers and citizen rights advocates would be well served in talking to one another as they grapple with the opportunities and challenges of a location-enabled society. The Centre for Spatial Law and Policy based in Washington, DC, the Center for Geographic Analysis, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University are co-hosting a two-day program examining the legal and policy issues that will impact geospatial technologies and the development of location-enabled societies. Registration Required. more information on CGA's website>

special event

Filling the News Gap in Cambridge and Beyond: Citizen Journalism and Grassroots Media

Saturday, May 4, 9:30-1:30pm ET, Cambridge Public Library. Co-sponsored by the Berkman Center's Digital Media Law Project, Cyberlaw Clinic, and MIT's Center for Civic Media.


Cambridge Community Television will present a half-day forum entitled "Filling the News Gap in Cambridge and Beyond: Citizen Journalism and Grassroots Media" at the Cambridge Public Library on May 4th. The Berkman Center's Digital Media Law Project and Cyberlaw Clinic are pleased to be co-organizers, along with MIT's Center for Civic Media.

The event will explore the quickly expanding world of citizen journalism: how technology is fueling its growth; how that growth is changing the way we see our world, enact change, and disseminate the news; and how people in communities around the world are taking the initiative to share stories that are left untold by the mainstream media. It is free and open to the public.

The DMLP and the Clinic will participate in a workshop addressing legal issues facing those who gather news. State and federal laws provide tools and protections on which reporters can rely in collecting the facts on which their reporting is based -- enhancing access to government records, shielding from disclosure certain communications between journalists and their sources, and ensuring that journalists can record the acts of public officials in public places. But, these tools and protections are subject to limitations that can frustrate newsgatherers and impede their ability to practice their craft. The session will explore some of the important protections available to citizen journalists and others in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the hurdles that reporters face as they engage in newsgathering activities.

Other workshops will address the ways in which Cambridge residents are filling the void in local news in Cambridge and highlight tools being used by citizen journalists. Exhibitors will be on hand to present the latest technologies available for community reporters, and attendees will learn how to tap into local news outlets as well as how to get started reporting on local news.

Content will be geared toward consumers and creators of local news content; journalists and media professionals; independent and collaborative website owners; legal professionals; and everyone who values local information, civic participation, and social justice.

"Filling the News Gap" commemorates the 25th anniversary of Cambridge Community Television. The event is presented in memory of Karen Klinger, a correspondent with CCTV's NeighborMedia program and community activist who died in December after a six-month battle with cancer. Karen was in the original group of NeighborMedia journalists chosen in 2007. She focused on her neighborhood, Porter Square, particularly on issues related to development, safety and cleanliness. The community looked to her to cover vital issues in Cambridge. Karen was one of very few professional journalists in NeighborMedia, and brought a fierce commitment to the journalistic principles that guided her career. Her efforts to ensure journalistic integrity have had a profound impact on the structure of the NeighborMedia program.

To Register, and for additional information, visit event's Eventbrite page. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

Personalized Learning, Backpacks Full of Cash, Rockstar Teachers, and MOOC Madness

Tuesday, May 7, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.


For decades, policymakers and futurists have heralded digital tools as essential to the the future of learning. Has the moment of disruptive transformational revolution finally arrived? If we are at a watershed moment, what futures are available to us?

Researchers are developing new methods to leverage big data for personalized learning systems. Free-market advocates are envisioning how online learning could let students use vouchers not only to buy whole school experiences, but to buy individual courses from multiple vendors. Most radical of all, technologists and policymakers are exploring ways of using technology to "unbundle teaching", to create a suite of new roles in schools from rockstar teachers to full-time remote classroom observers, much as health care has shifted from the general practitioner to teams comprised of a few surgeons and many orderlies.

In this luncheon presentation we'll explore the different futures made possible by these digital tools, and examine the political and civic implications of transforming schools and learning with networked technologies.

Justin Reich is an educational researcher interested in the future of learning in a networked world. Currently, he is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a visiting lecturer at MIT, and the director of online community, research, and practice at Facing History and Ourselves. RSVP Required. more information on our website>


Bruce Schneier & Jonathan Zittrain on IT, Security, and Power


How does the Internet affect power? How does power affect the Internet? Factors such as ubiquitous surveillance, the rise of cyberwar, ill-conceived laws and regulations on behalf of either government or corporate power, and a feudal model of security collide to create a circumstance in which those in power are using information technology to increase their power, at the expense of users. Bruce Schneier—renowned security technologist and author—discusses these issues and more with the Berkman Center's Jonathan Zittrain. video/audio on our website>


Anil Dash on The Web We Lost


In the past decade, we've seen an unprecedented rise of powerful social networks, connecting millions or even billions of people who can now communicate almost instantaneously. But many of the promises that were made by the creators of the earliest social networking technologies have gone unfulfilled. In this talk, Anil Dash—entrepreneur, technologist, and writer—takes a look at some of the unexamined costs, both cultural and social, of the way the web has evolved. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

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Last updated

April 24, 2013