Alison Head talks with Howie Schneider, the former editor of Newsday and the founding dean of Stony Brook University's Journalism School, about teaching the nation's first college course in news literacy to today's undergraduates: "Many of our students enter our news literacy class, for example, falsely believing that if a story or website scores high on a search algorithm, it is reliable," Schneider says, "and certainly there are those who now fervently believe that if the 'wisdom of the crowd' collectively rules something to be accurate or true, then it must be true, but a midst this confusion and ambiguity, a growing number of self-interested information hucksters, propagandists, and partisans of all stripes have rushed in to peddle their wares to a vulnerable audience."
I’m Kit Walsh, an attorney at the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. We have been working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to help prevent overly broad patents from issuing on 3D printing technologies. We use a new procedure that allows members of the public to submit examples of relevant prior publications so that patent examiners can better determine whether applicants are asking for an intellectual monopoly that is broader than they deserve under law.
As the Boston Marathon bombings unfolded, thousands of anxious people in the region pulled out their mobile phones to connect with friends and family—and found that calls couldn’t be placed or received. Rumors that officials had shut down these mobile networks for security reasons weren’t true. The system was simply overloaded at a time when people needed it most.
Similar problems are likely to arise in the aftermath of other attacks or natural disasters such as earthquakes, when networks are overwhelmed by an instantaneous, acute need for large numbers of people to communicate at once. Our day-to-day communications networks aren’t always geared to scale up in emergencies. At these times, some citizens and companies need help, and others are eager to help—and all need to communicate. With some emerging technologies and a little advance coordination, we can harness our civic instinct to come together in times of crisis to keep data flowing.
On June 14, 2013, Iran is going to hold their presidential elections, an event we are watching very carefully. During the previous election in 2009, the government cracked down even further on the already limited online freedoms. This included briefly shutting down the Internet as a whole. In the intervening years, Iran has taken their censorship to new levels of sophistication, quietly building a Halal Internet. And is already limiting access to foreign sites in advance of the elections.
In April 2013, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society in collaboration with Microsoft convened an exploratory workshop on “Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem,” which marked the launch of a broader research initiative on this topic. The Berkman student privacy project seeks to surface, identify, and evaluate central privacy issues and opportunities that may emerge when educational institutions consider moving to "the cloud." “The cloud” refers to computer-related services and software provided over the Internet and other networks.
According to the New York Times’ The Lede blog, Global Voices Cuba contributor Elaine Díaz “may be the most important Cuban dissident you’ve never heard of.” Elaine, currently on a visit to the US, is profiled in a June 11 post titled “Cuban Blogger Who Reveres Castro Pushes for Reform.”