Berkman Buzz: February 21, 2013

February 21, 2014

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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New Media Cloud report on mapping the Trayvon Martin controversy


News coverage about the killing of Trayvon Martin started as a short-lived, local Florida news piece, but through strategic activation of traditional broadcast media and participatory online activism, eventually became the most-widely covered story about race in the last five years. The story drew immense coverage from professional journalists and active public engagement online and offline, offering a potent case study for examining the role and influence of participatory media on media agendas.

To make this research possible, we’ve been building Media Cloud with colleagues at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. It’s a toolset for rigorous, quantitative studies of media agendas and frames. Media Cloud collects stories from a corpus of more than 27,000 mainstream media and blog sources, and uses a link-following methodology to expand the corpus to other relevant sources.

From Erhardt Graeff's blog post for tha MIT Center for Civic Media, "Mapping the Trayvon Martin Media Controversy"
About Media Cloud

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RT @readmatter And our hottest trending story this week? "Is the Internet good or bad? Yes", by @zeynep:
Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep)

Kate Darling interviewed by PBS on the future of robots in human society


As technology speeds forward, humans are beginning to imagine the day when robots will fill the roles promised to us in science fiction. But what should we be thinking about TODAY, as robots like military and delivery drones become a real part of our society? How should robots be programmed to interact with us? How should we treat robots? And who is responsible for a robot's actions? As we look at the unexpected impact of new technologies, we are obligated as a society to consider the moral and ethical implications of robotics.

From PBS, "The New Rules of Robot/Human Society | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios"
About Kate | @grok_

Bruce Schneier wants to break up the NSA

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The NSA has become too big and too powerful. What was supposed to be a single agency with a dual mission -- protecting the security of U.S. communications and eavesdropping on the communications of our enemies -- has become unbalanced in the post-Cold War, all-terrorism-all-the-time era.

Putting the U.S. Cyber Command, the military's cyberwar wing, in the same location and under the same commander, expanded the NSA's power. The result is an agency that prioritizes intelligence gathering over security, and that's increasingly putting us all at risk. It's time we thought about breaking up the National Security Agency.

From Bruce Schneier's post for CNN, "It's time to break up the NSA"
About Bruce | @schneierblog

Axel Arnbak critiques government hacking

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Governments around the world are increasingly hacking into IT-systems. But for every apparent benefit, government hacking creates deeper problems. Time to unpack 9 of them, and to discuss one unique perspective: in response to a proposed hacking law in 2008, the German Constitutional Court created a new human right protecting the ‘confidentiality and integrity of IT-systems’. The rest of the world should follow suit, and outlaw government hacking until its deep problems are addressed.

From Axel Arnbak's blog post for Freedom to Tinker, "9 Problems of Government Hacking: Why IT-Systems Deserve Constitutional Protection"
About Axel | @nickgrossman

Massachusetts high court requires warrant for cell phone tracking

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On Tuesday, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued its ruling in Commonwealth v. Augustine (available here). The Court ruled that police officers need to obtain a warrant before they obtain information about your location from a cell phone service provider. The Cyberlaw Clinic filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, arguing against warrantless collection of location records. The Court agreed that location data is sufficiently sensitive to require constitutional protection, building on its decision last year requiring warrants for GPS tracking.

From Kit Walsh's blog post for the Cyberlaw Clinic, "Massachusetts High Court Requires Warrant for Cell Phone Tracking"
About Kit | @NeuroKit

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For those of you doing #Opendata Day events tomorrow - check out looks cool. #odd14 #opendatadayDavid Eaves (@daeaves)

Violence Escalates as Protests Continue in Venezuela

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Venezuela is going through an economic, political and social crisis which brought about thousands of citizens taking the streets to express [es] their discontent. For more than a week, Venezuelans have been involved in mass protests that, until now, have caused five deaths and hundreds of wounded and incarcerated people.

From Jessica Carrillo's post for Global Voices, "Violence Escalates as Protests Continue in Venezuela"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

February 21, 2014