Current Berkman People and Projects

Keep track of Berkman-related news and conversations by subscribing to this page using your RSS feed reader. This aggregation of blogs relating to the Berkman Center does not necessarily represent the views of the Berkman Center or Harvard University but is provided as a convenient starting point for those who wish to explore the people and projects in Berkman's orbit. As this is a global exercise, times are in UTC.

The list of blogs being aggregated here can be found at the bottom of this page.

May 23, 2018

Benjamin Mako Hill
Natural experiment showing how “wide walls” can support engagement and learning

Seymour Papert is credited as saying that tools to support learning should have “high ceilings” and “low floors.” The phrase is meant to suggest that tools should allow learners to do complex and intellectually sophisticated things but should also be easy to begin using quickly. Mitchel Resnick extended the metaphor to argue that learning toolkits should also have “wide walls” in that they should appeal to diverse groups of learners and allow for a broad variety of creative outcomes. In a new paper, Sayamindu Dasgupta and I attempted to provide an empirical test of Resnick’s wide walls theory. Using a natural experiment in the Scratch online community, we found causal evidence that “widening walls” can, as Resnick suggested, increase both engagement and learning.

Over the last ten years, the “wide walls” design principle has been widely cited in the design of new systems. For example, Resnick and his collaborators relied heavily on the principle in the design of the Scratch programming language. Scratch allows young learners to produce not only games, but also interactive art, music videos, greetings card, stories, and much more. As part of that team, Sayamindu was guided by “wide walls” principle when he designed and implemented the Scratch cloud variables system in 2011-2012.

While designing the system, Sayamindu hoped to “widen walls” by supporting a broader range of ways to use variables and data structures in Scratch. Scratch cloud variables extend the affordances of the normal Scratch variable by adding persistence and shared-ness. A simple example of something possible with cloud variables, but not without them, is a global high-score leaderboard in a game (example code is below). After the system was launched, we saw many young Scratch users using the system to engage with data structures in new and incredibly creative ways.

cloud-variable-scriptExample of Scratch code that uses a cloud variable to keep track of high-scores among all players of a game.

Although these examples reflected powerful anecdotal evidence, we were also interested in using quantitative data to reflect the causal effect of the system. Understanding the causal effect of a new design in real world settings is a major challenge. To do so, we took advantage of a “natural experiment” and some clever techniques from econometrics to measure how learners’ behavior changed when they were given access to a wider design space.

Understanding the design of our study requires understanding a little bit about how access to the Scratch cloud variable system is granted. Although the system has been accessible to Scratch users since 2013, new Scratch users do not get access immediately. They are granted access only after a certain amount of time and activity on the website (the specific criteria are not public). Our “experiment” involved a sudden change in policy that altered the criteria for who gets access to the cloud variable feature. Through no act of their own, more than 14,000 users were given access to feature, literally overnight. We looked at these Scratch users immediately before and after the policy change to estimate the effect of access to the broader design space that cloud variables afforded.

We found that use of data-related features was, as predicted, increased by both access to and use of cloud variables. We also found that this increase was not only an effect of projects that use cloud variables themselves. In other words, learners with access to cloud variables—and especially those who had used it—were more likely to use “plain-old” data-structures in their projects as well.

The graph below visualizes the results of one of the statistical models in our paper and suggests that we would expect that 33% of projects by a prototypical “average” Scratch user would use data structures if the user in question had never used used cloud variables but that we would expect that 60% of projects by a similar user would if they had used the system.

Model-predicted probability that a project made by a prototypical Scratch user will contain data structures (w/o counting projects with cloud variables)

It is important to note that the estimated effective above is a “local average effect” among people who used the system because they were granted access by the sudden change in policy (this is a subtle but important point that we explain this in some depth in the paper). Although we urge care and skepticism in interpreting our numbers, we believe our results are encouraging evidence in support of the “wide walls” design principle.

Of course, our work is not without important limitations. Critically, we also found that rate of adoption of cloud variables was very low. Although it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason for this from the data we observed, it has been suggested that widening walls may have a potential negative side-effect of making it harder for learners to imagine what the new creative possibilities might be in the absence of targeted support and scaffolding. Also important to remember is that our study measures “wide walls” in a specific way in a specific context and that it is hard to know how well our findings will generalize to other contexts and communities. We discuss these caveats, as well as our methods, models, and theoretical background in detail in our paper which now available for download as an open-access piece from the ACM digital library.


This blog post, and the open access paper that it describes, is a collaborative project with Sayamindu Dasgupta. Financial support came from the eScience Institute and the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Quantitative analyses for this project were completed using the Hyak high performance computing cluster at the University of Washington.

by Benjamin Mako Hill at May 23, 2018 04:17 PM

May 17, 2018

Berkman Center front page
20 years of the Laws of Cyberspace

Subtitle

Berkman Klein event celebrates how Lawrence Lessig's groundbreaking paper provided structure to the Center's field of study

Teaser

It’s been two decades since Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig published “The Laws Of Cyberspace,” which, in the words of Professor Jonathan Zittrain, “imposed some structure over the creative chaos of what maybe was a field that we’d call cyberlaw.”

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What if an architecture emerges that permits constant monitoring; an architecture that facilitates the constant tracking of behavior and movement. What if an architecture emerged that would costlessly collect data about individuals, about their behavior, about who they wanted to become. And what if the architecture could do that invisibly, without interfering with an individual’s daily life at all? … This architecture is the world that the net is becoming. This is the picture of control it is growing into. As in real space, we will have passports in cyberspace. As in real space, these passports can be used to track our behavior. But in cyberspace, unlike real space, this monitoring, this tracking, this control of behavior, will all be much less expensive. This control will occur in the background, effectively and invisibly. -Lawrence Lessig, "The Laws of Cyberspace," 1998

It’s been two decades since Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig published “The Laws Of Cyberspace,” which, in the words of Professor Jonathan Zittrain, “imposed some structure over the creative chaos of what maybe was a field that we’d call cyberlaw.” Lessig’s groundbreaking paper describes four types of constraints that together regulate behavior – law, social norms, the market, and architecture – and argues that due to its special architecture, cyberspace is different from “real” space and thus subject to new possibilities for control by governments and other centers of power. “The world we are entering is not a world where freedom is assured,” Lessig wrote in 1998, but instead, “has the potential to be the most fully, and extensively, regulated space in our history.”

On April 16, the Berkman Klein Center of Internet & Society hosted a special event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the publication of “The Laws of Cyberspace,” with Lessig, Harvard Law School Professors Ruth Okediji and Jonathan Zittrain, and Dr. Laura DeNardis of American University. The panelists reflected on the paper, and where the field of cyberlaw has taken us over the last two decades, and they considered how some of the concerns raised in 1998 might apply today.

“I was sitting on that bench outside the Lewis building,” recollected Okediji of the day 20 years ago when she first read the paper, “and I will never forget both my sense of sheer terror that we were launching something that we had no idea where it would lead us, and then this sense of skepticism: ‘Well, how does he know he’s right?’” She explained that “The Laws of Cyberspace” led to her own work thinking about internet governance, social interaction on the net and the law. “It’s been 20 years, and Larry was right,” she said.

Lessig told the audience that the paper came in part out of a feeling of frustration. He feared that many internet enthusiasts were taking for granted that the freedom the internet allowed in 1998 was the freedom it would always allow, and he wanted to make the point that the regulability of place is a function of its architecture and thus not guaranteed. Without deliberate interventions, the lack of regulation that so many cherished in the early days of the internet could slip away.

“The architecture of the internet as it originally was made it really hard to regulate, but you might imagine the technology evolving to persistently watch everything you’re doing and enable simple traceability,” he said. “All of these evolutions in the architecture increase the regulability of the space, and then we’d need to decide, ‘Do we like that? Do we want that?’”

Lessig explained that even in 1998, governments and private markets seemed to be interested in increasing regulability and the ability to track what people were doing for the purposes of commerce and control.

“Arrangements of technical architecture are arrangements of power,” explained DeNardis. “This often has nothing to do with governments whatsoever.” For example, the World Wide Web Consortium designs accessibility for disabled people into their protocols, she said, which is an example of how technical architecture is determining public interest issues. DeNardis said that often it’s hard for people without a technical background to be involved in decisions like these, but that there’s currently a surge of people from beyond the technical sphere showing interest in participating in the decisions that shape our experience online and affect issues like identity and privacy. However, she said, this increase in public participation coincides with the proliferation of proprietary standards coming out of closed organizations such as the Internet of Things and social media platforms.

Lessig added that as the space of innovation moves into “islands of innovation,” such as the large tech platforms like Google and Facebook, the generativity of innovations become contingent on each platform’s permission, creating the potential scenario where someone would choose not to create something for fear that the company would “pull the rug out.” This is an example of “how technical change and legal ownership work together to change the basic opportunity to innovate,” he said.

DeNardis made the point that while certain platforms might be islands in terms of interoperability, they are tied together in the backend by the third parties that collect and aggregate data about us. It’s important to look below the surface, she said. “That’s where a lot of the power is. The power to do things like censor LGBT people, the power to restrict people based on architecture-embedded intellectual property rights, and the power to monetize us through big data that’s aggregated with companies we’ve never even signed terms of service with.”

Okediji noted that there’s been little innovation in contract law when it comes to technology. “It’s not just that we’re missing the mark in the area of cyberspace. The regimes that surround cyberspace also have not received the attention they should,” she said, suggesting that the rules and norms around what makes a contract and the practice of “signing away all these rights with a click” might not be ideal.

“What troubles me quite significantly is that we have this 911 mentality when it comes to policy,” said Okediji. “Avoiding something in the future requires us to be thinking about it today, not tomorrow when the problem occurs.”  Rather than dealing with problems only as they come up, she said, we need to ask ourselves ‘What’s the vision for what cyberspace should look like 20 years from now?’”

This article originally appeared in Harvard Law Today.

 

by gweber at May 17, 2018 03:16 PM

ProjectVRM
Our time has come

For the first time since we launched ProjectVRM, we have a wave we can ride to a shore.

That wave is the GDPR: Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation. Here’s how it looks to Google Trends:

It crests just eight days from now, on May 25th.

To prep for the GDPR (and to avoid its potentially massive fines), organizations everywhere are working like crazy to get ready, especially in Europe. (Note: the GDPR protects the privacy of EU citizens, and applies worldwide.)

Thanks to the GDPR, there’s a stink on surveillance capitalism, and companies everywhere that once feasted on big data are now going on starvation diets.

Here’s one measure of that wave: my post “GDPR will pop the adtech bubble” got more than 50,000 after it went up during the weekend, when it also hit #1 on Hacker News and Techmeme. And this Hacker News comment thread about the piece is more than 30,000 words long. So far.

The GDPR dominates all conversations here at KuppingerCole‘s EIC conference in Munich where my keynote Tuesday was titled How Customers Will Lead Companies to GDPR Compliance and Beyond. (The video is up, alas behind a registration wall. I’ll see if we can fix that.)

Ten years ago at this same conference, KuppingerCole gaveEIC award ProjectVRM an award (there on the right) that was way ahead of its time.

Back then we really thought the world was ready for tools that would make individuals both independent and better able to engage—and that these tools that would prove a thesis: that free customers are more valuable than captive ones.

But then social media happened, and platforms grew so big and powerful that it was hard to keep imagining a world online where each of us are truly free.

But we did more than imagine. We worked on customertech that would vastly increase personal agency for each of us, and turn the marketplace into a Marvel-like universe in which all of us are enhanced:

In this liberated marketplace, we would be able to

We’ve done a lot of work on most of those things. (Follow the links.) Now we need to work together to bring attention and interest to all our projects by getting behind what Customer Commons, our first and only spin-off, is doing over the next nine days.

First is a campaign to make an annual celebration of the GDPR, calling May 25th #Privmas.

As part of that (same link), launching a movement to take control of personal privacy online by blocking third party cookies. Hashtag #NoMore3rds. Instructions are here, for six browsers. (It’s easy. I’ve been doing it for weeks on all mine, to no ill effects.)

This is in addition to work following our Hack Day at MIT several weeks ago. Stay tuned for more on that.

Meanwhile, all hands on deck. We need more action than discussion here. Let’s finish getting started making VRM work for the world.

by Doc Searls at May 17, 2018 04:33 AM

May 10, 2018

MediaBerkman
The Law and Ethics of Digital Piracy: Evidence from Harvard Law School Graduates
Harvard Law School is one of the top law schools in the world and educates the intellectual and financial elites. Lawyers are held to the highest professional and ethical standards. And yet, when it comes to digital piracy, they overwhelmingly perceive file sharing as an acceptable social practice – as long as individuals do not derive monetary benefits from it. So should digital files be considered a commons? In this talk, Dariusz and Jerome identify and discuss the social and economic contexts in which file sharing is considered more or less acceptable by law practitioners. In the process, they foster a conversation on the possible changes in regulation that would allow us to catch up with the established social norm. Learn more about this event here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/luncheon/05/Jemielniak_Herguex

by the Berkman Klein Center at May 10, 2018 08:37 PM

Governance and Regulation in the land of Crypto-Securities (as told by CryptoKitties)
Founding members of the CryptoKitties team, Dieter Shirley and Alex Shih, discuss the unique governance, legal, and regulatory challenges of putting cats on the Ethereum blockchain. CryptoKitties is an early pioneer in the space, and, having navigated securities law early on in its release, will share unique insights on classifications. They also discuss some of the more ethical challenges they've been facing, and best practices for approach. Learn more about this event here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/luncheon/05/CryptoKitties

by the Berkman Klein Center at May 10, 2018 08:33 PM

Berkman Center front page
Art that Imitates Art: Computational Creativity and Creative Contracting

Subtitle

Jessica Fjeld and Mason Kortz, Cyberlaw Clinicians at Harvard Law

Teaser

Join us for our last Tuesday Luncheon of the academic year! Cyberlaw Clinicians Jess Fjeld and Mason Kortz for a discussion about copyright in AI-generated works, the need for a shared understanding of what is and isn’t up for grabs in a license, and how forward-thinking contracts can prevent AI developers and artists from having their rights decided by our (often notoriously backwards-looking) legal system.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

May 22 2018 12:00pm to May 22 2018 12:00pm
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
[NEW LOCATION] 23 Everett Street,
Second Floor Conference Room

RSVP required to attend in person
Event will be recorded and posted here soon

Complimenary Lunch Served

Computational creativity—a subdomain of artificial intelligence concerned with systems that replicate or assist human creative endeavors—has been the  subject of academic inquiry for decades. Now, with recent improvements in machine learning techniques and the rising popularity of all things AI, computational creativity is a medium for critically and commercially successful works of art. From a 2016 Rembrandt to Jukedeck’s instant music (or muzak?), AI-assisted and AI-driven works are a reality. This raises mind-bending questions about the nature of creativity, the relationship between the artist and the viewer, even the existence of free will. For many lawyers, it also raises a more immediate question: who owns all of this art?

Join Cyberlaw Clinicians Jess Fjeld and Mason Kortz for a discussion about copyright in AI-generated works, the need for a shared understanding of what is and isn’t up for grabs in a license, and how forward-thinking contracts can prevent AI developers and artists from having their rights decided by our (often notoriously backwards-looking) legal system.

About Jessica

Jessica Fjeld is a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic. She works in diverse areas including intellectual property, media and entertainment (particularly public media), freedom of expression, and law and policy relating to government and nonprofit entities. Before joining the Clinic, Jessica worked in Business & Legal Affairs for WGBH Educational Foundation, and as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP focused in corporate transactions. She received a JD from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent Scholar and Managing Editor of the Journal of Law and the Arts; an MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts; and a BA from Columbia University.

About Mason

Mason Kortz is a clinical instructional fellow at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic, part of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. His areas of interest include online speech and privacy and the use of data products (big or small) to advance social justice. Mason has worked as a data manager for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a legal fellow in the Technology for Liberty Project at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and a clerk in the District of Massachusetts. He has a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in Computer Science and Philosophy from Dartmouth College. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading, and game design.

 

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by candersen at May 10, 2018 04:29 PM

Ethan Zuckerman
Two Bens and a Mark: a talk at Ben Franklin Hall in Philadelphia

I’m speaking today in Ben Franklin Hall in Philadelphia for a conference of Media Impact Funders. And, at the request of the organizers, I’m cosplaying the great hustler himself. My talk builds on one I gave a couple of years ago at Data & Society, but veers in some different directions as I wonder what Franklin might have told an audience of folks with money and good intentions about how to fix some of the problems of our contemporary media environment.

The event is being livestreamed here, if you’d like to tune in.


This is a talk about two Benjamins and a Mark. The first one should be obvious to you. I’m a Franklin fan, and not only because people have observed a resemblance. (Personally, I don’t see it, but whatever.)

Actually, if you’re going to have a favorite founding father, Ben Franklin is not a bad choice. He wasn’t just an inventor, a scientist, a printer and a diplomat — he was a hustler. (As the scholar P. Diddy might have put it, he was all about the Benjamin.) Ben was a businessman, an entrepreneur, and he figured out that one of the best ways to have financial and political power in the Colonies was to control the means of communication. The job he held the longest was as postmaster, starting as postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737 and finally getting fired from his position as postmaster general of the Colonies in 1774, when the British finally figured out that he was a revolutionary who could not be trusted.

(You’d think this might have tipped them off – because Ben had franking privileges he could send letters for free by writing Free – B. Franklin, as he did on this note to John Hancock. But more often, he wrote B. Free Franklin, a coded message to show his support for independence.)

But free and subversive letters weren’t the only privileges Ben got from the post office. He had ample opportunities to hand out patronage jobs to his friends. But his real genius was in seeing the synergies between the family business — printing — and the post. Early in his career as a printer, Franklin bumped into one of the major challenges to publishers in the Colonies — if the postmaster didn’t like what you were writing about, you didn’t get to send your paper out to your subscribers. Once Ben had control over the post, he instituted a policy that was both progressive and profitable. Any publisher could distribute his newspaper via the post for a small, predictable, fixed fee.

What resulted from this policy was the emergence of a public sphere in the United States that was very different from the one Habermas describes, born in the coffee houses of the european bourgeoise. It was a distributed public sphere of newspapers and letters, one that was uniquely well suited to the American experiment. For a nation that spanned the distance between Boston and Charleston, a virtual, asynchronous public sphere mediated by print made more sense that one that centered around meeting face to face.

Franklin died in 1790, but physician and revolutionary – and fellow Philadelphian – Benjamin Rush expanded on Franklin’s vision for a post office that would knit the nation together and provide a space for the political discussions necessary for a nation of self-governing citizens to rule themselves. In 1792, Rush authored The Post Office Act, which is one of the subtlest and most surprising pieces of 18th century legislation that you’ve never heard of.

The Post Office Act established the right of the government to control postal routes and gave citizens rights to privacy of their mail — which was deeply undermined by the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, but hey, who’s counting. But what may be most important about the Post Office Act is that it set up a very powerful cross subsidy. Rather than charging based on weight and distance, as they had before Franklin’s reforms, the US postal system offered tiered service based on the purpose of the speech being exchanged. Exchanging private letters was very costly, while sending newspapers was shockingly cheap: it cost a small fraction of the cost of a private letter to send a newspaper. As a result, newspapers represented 95% of the weight of the mails and 15% of the revenue in 1832. This pricing disparity led to the wonderful phenomenon of cheapskates purchasing newspapers, underlining or pricking holes with a pin under selected words and sending encoded letters home for the price of a paper rather than a letter.

The low cost of mailing newspapers as well as the absence of stamp taxes or caution money, which made it incredibly prohibitively expensive to operate a press in England, allowed half of all American households to have a newspaper subscription in 1820, a rate that was orders of magnitude higher than in England or France. But the really crazy subsidy was the “exchange copy”. Newspapers could send copies to each other for free, with carriage costs paid by the post office. By 1840, The average newspaper received 4300 exchange copies a year — they were swimming in content, and thanks to extremely loose enforcement of copyright laws, a huge percentage of what appeared in the average newspaper was cut and pasted from other newspapers. This giant exchange of content was subsidized by high rates on those who used the posts for personal and commercial purposes.

This system worked really well, creating a postal service that was fiscally sustainable, and which aspired to universal service. By 1831, three quarters of US government civilian jobs were with the postal service. In an almost literal sense, the early US state was a postal service with a small representative government and a tiny military attached to it. But the postal system was huge because it needed to be — there were 8700 post offices by 1830, including over 400 in my home state of Massachusetts alone, which is saying something, as there are only 351 towns in Massachusetts.

I should note here that I don’t really know anything about early American history — I’m cribbing all of this from Paul Starr’s brilliant The Creation of the Media. I also recommend Winnifred Gallagher’s How the Post Office Created America, which continues to modern day and looks at how the post office advances technologies like aviation and, indeed, the internet.

But I teach these stories about the 18th century every year to my students because it helps explain the unique evolution of the public sphere in the US. Our founders built and regulated the postal system in such a way that its function as a sphere of public discourse was primary and its role as a tool for commerce and personal communication was secondary. They took on this massive undertaking explicitly because they believed that to have a self-governing nation, we needed not only representation in Congress, but a public sphere, a space for conversation about what the nation would and could be. And because the US was vast, and because the goal was to expand civic participation far beyond the urban bourgeois, it needed to be a distributed, participatory public sphere. To be clear, this was far than a universal public sphere – the founders saw this as a space for propertied white men – but the infrastructures of post and mail created powerful tools for abolitionists, for newspapers that helped free black men connect across vast distances, that helped carry the case for women’s suffrage.

As we look at the challenge we face today — understanding the influence of algorithms over the public sphere — it’s worth understanding what’s truly novel, and what’s actually got a deep historical basis. The notion of a private, commercial public sphere isn’t a new one. America’s early newspapers had an important civic function, but they were also loaded with advertising — 50–90% of the total content, in the late 18th century, which is why so many of them were called The Advertiser. What is new is our distaste for regulating commercial media. Whether through the subsidies I just described or through explicit mandates like the Fairness Doctrine, we’ve not historically been shy in insisting that the press take on civic functions. The anti-regulatory, corporate libertarian stance, built on the questionable assumptions that any press regulation is a violation of the first amendment and that any regulation of tech-centric industries will retard innovation, would likely have been surprising to our founders.

An increase in inclusivity of the public sphere isn’t new — in England, the press was open only to the wealthy and well-connected, while the situation was radically different in the colonies. And this explosion of media led to problems of information overload. Which means that gatekeeping isn’t new either — those newspapers that sorted through 4300 exchange copies a year to select and reprint content were engaged in curation and gatekeeping. Newspapers sought to give readers what an editor thought they wanted, much as social media algorithms promise to help us cope with the information explosion we face from our friends streams of baby photos. The processes editors have used to filter information were never transparent, hence the enthusiasm of the early 2000s for unfiltered media. What may be new is the pervasiveness of the gatekeeping that algorithms make possible, the invisibility of that filtering and the difficulty of choosing which filters you want shaping your conversation.

Ideological isolation isn’t new either. The press of the 1800s was fiercely opinionated and extremely partisan. In many ways, the Federalist and Republican parties emerged from networks of newspapers that shared ideologically consonant information — rather than a party press, the parties actually emerged from the press. But again, what’s novel now is the lack of transparency — when you read the New York Evening Post in 1801, you knew that Alexander Hamilton had founded it, and you knew it was a Federalist paper. Research by Christian Sandvig and Karrie Karahalios suggests that many users of Facebook don’t know that their friend feed is algorithmically curated, and don’t realize the way it may be shaped by the political leanings of their closest friends.

And finally, fake news certainly wasn’t new. It certainly wasn’t new to Ben Franklin – in fact, fake news reached an early peak in the run up to the English civil war in the 1650s, a half century before Franklin’s birth. You remember, of course, that the English civil war broke out when Charles I married a Catholic, decided to rule without convening parliament, which basically tried to starve him out by denying him money to fight a war with Scotland, leading Charles to arrest five members of the House of Commons and the country to split into warring factions of royalists and parliamentarians, with led to a series of civil wars which the parliamentarians eventually won, executing Charles on 1649 and leading to Oliver Cromwell’s ascent as Lord Protector of the Realm and eventually to the restoration of the monarchy in 1661 by Charles’s son, Charles II. You know all that, of course.

What you may not know is that one of the causes of the civil wars was that Charles, broke and profoundly focused on his own survival, basically could no longer control the press. 1642 – the year the war broke out – “More printed material was published in the year 1642 than in the entire preceding 165 years since William Caxton set up the first London printing press in 1476.” What resulted was a fury of “obnoxious and unlicensed” publications which included satire, complaint literature, lots of radical religious texts. But perhaps the most important publications were “newsbooks”, irregular proto-newspapers, whose content was essentially user-generated, poorly sourced, highly partisan and often shockingly inaccurate. You had two rival orbits of newsbooks, with the parliamentarians in London and the Royalists in Oxford. You had reports of military defeats, reports that the king was dead, all of which were more or less impossible to verify in an age of slow travel on bad roads, long before the telegraph. And you had conspiracy theory – especially anti-Catholic conspiracies – ruling the day. Catholics, of course, were a small minority and an easy target for racial and ethnic hatred, convenient scapegoats for all that was wrong with the kingdom.

Basically, fake news was a significant cause of the English civil war. That’s the bad news. The good news is that England found some ways to recover from the avalanche of fake news. Some are methods we probably wouldn’t endorse – there’s amazing stories of pamphleteers being pilloried and having their ears removed – and the biggest factor in combatting fake news was probably the Great Fire of 1661… which would be like solving Facebook with a California earthquake. But there was also the establishment of the Royal Society.

Michael Hunter’s “Establishing the New Science”, makes the case that the Society was established in part to heal the country, to create a body of knowledge that wasn’t designed to promote either the royalists or the parliamentarians. Writing about the Royal Society, Stephen Marche points out that their motto was – and still is – “Nullius in verba” – take no man’s word for it. Marche suggests that we inscribe this motto on all the world’s cellphones.

When I think of a Royal Society for our age, I don’t think of a central body that checks our facts and tells us what’s true and what’s not – that’s absolutely not what the Royal Society was. Instead, it was a group of thinkers who through experimentation and careful study sought to understand the world how it actually was. This is awfully self serving, but when I look for parallels today, I look towards academics who are trying to build the tools and conduct the studies so that it’s not only the researchers inside Facebook and Twitter who understand these companies and can help hold them responsible.

I mentioned that this talk was about two Bens – Franklin and Rush – and a Mark. Much as we understand the decisions made in the founding of our democracy in terms of archetypical figures – Washington the noble warrior, Franklin the hacker entrepreneur – we think of our contemporary moment through similar personifications. Mark Zuckerberg is the techno-utopian geek we don’t quite trust. He’s very smart, and seems to truly believe that what he’s doing will make the world a better place, but he’s either shockingly naive or profoundly deceptive, because nothing else explains how many times he’s screwed up and how surprised he seems to be every single time something utterly predictable goes wrong.

I feel like the Bens have a lesson or two for Mark. Franklin was an entrepreneur, an inventor. a technical genius and a hustler, much like Mark. He was also a civic visionary, founder of libraries and volunteer fire companies, much as Mark seems to see himself becoming. Franklin ran many successful businesses, including those based around his inventions, but he also published widely, and his work was subject to vigorous public debate in Paris and London. Indeed, while Franklin was made one of the very few non-English members of the Royal Society, his work on lightning rods was the subject of a great deal of controversy, which Franklin followed closely. (As it turns out, he was wrong – pointy lightning rods, which he favored, don’t work as well as blunt ones. But it took over 200 years to figure that out.)

I’d like to see Mark – and the other tech pioneers he’s representing in this talk – do a better job of engaging with their critics, with civil society, with academia, with everyone who sincerely wants them to succeed in making the world a better place and worries they are badly off the mark. I’d like to see Mark learn from Parlio, a brilliant experiment from Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim, a social network build around rules that encourage polite, respectful and serious debate. Or from Mastodon, a decentralized social network that allows different nodes with different rulesets. Or even from Gobo, a project from my lab that lets users control aspects of their newsfeeds – how serious or funny it is, how diverse the political viewpoints are, whether you’d like all the men to shut up and let the women talk for a change.

But I also would like to see us learn from Benjamin Rush, who really brought to fruition Franklin’s vision of the public sphere of print, using the superpower of bureaucracy, regulation and government subsidy to build a public sphere that allowed the peculiar genius of American democracy to evolve. It’s not always enough for a single genius to envision the world – sometimes we need pressure from governments, from activists, from civil society to demand that we live up to aspirations of our tools. Sometimes the free market needs a hand from regulators who have a vision of how they want the world to be, a way that’s more consonant with our vision of how democracy works. With projects like Gobo, I’ve argued that we need many social networks, not just one, and that they can have different rulesets, different audiences and different purposes. I’d love for at least one of those networks to focus on helping us prepare to be citizens in a diverse and complicated world. That network probably needs public support, much as children’s television needs public support if we want it to work well.

So I leave you with a Franklin aphorism: “Well done is better than well said.” It’s well and good for folks like you and me to speculate about what social media is doing well and doing poorly. What we need is vastly more doing, more experiments, more attempts to build the worlds we want to see. I’m glad you’re hearing next from Eli Pariser, a friend who’s both a thinker and an experimenter. And I hope he and I can challenge you to make sure we move from saying to doing, from watching to experimenting, from worrying to making the world better. Thanks for listening.

by Ethan at May 10, 2018 03:03 PM

May 09, 2018

Berkman Center front page
Shaping Consumption: How Social Network Manipulation Tactics Are Impacting Amazon and Influencing Consumers

Subtitle

featuring Renee DiResta

Teaser

This talk examines the ways that these same manipulative tactics are being deployed on Amazon, which is now the dominant product search engine and a battlefield for economically and ideologically motivated actors.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

May 15 2018 12:00pm to May 15 2018 12:00pm
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
Harvard Law School campus
Wasserstein Hall, Room 1015

RSVP required to attend in person
Complimentary lunch will be served
Event will be live webcast below at 12:00 pm on the day of the event

Narrative manipulation issues - such as manufactured consensus, brigading, harassment, information laundering, fake accounts, news voids, and more - are increasingly well-documented problems affecting the entire social ecosystem. This has had negative consequences for information integrity, and for trust. This talk examines the ways that these same manipulative tactics are being deployed on Amazon, which is now the dominant product search engine and a battlefield for economically and ideologically motivated actors.

About Renee

Renee DiResta is the Director of Research at New Knowledge, and Head of Policy at nonprofit Data for Democracy. Renee investigates the spread of disinformation and manipulated narratives across social networks, and assists policymakers in understanding and responding to the problem. She has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civic, and business organizations about understanding and responding to computational propaganda and information operations. In 2017, Renee was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar, and had the opportunity to continue her work with the support of the Presidents Bush, President Clinton, and the LBJ Foundation. In 2018, she received a Mozilla Foundation fellowship and affiliation with the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University to work on their Media, Misinformation, and Trust project. She is a Founding Advisor to the Center for Humane Technology, and a Staff Associate at Columbia University Data Science Institute.

Previously, Renee was part of the founding team of venture-backed supply chain logistics technology platform Haven, where she ran business development and marketing, and a co-founder of Vaccinate California, a parent-led grassroots legislative advocacy group. Renee has also been an investor at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV), focused on hardware and logistics startups, and an emerging markets derivatives trader at Jane Street Capital. Her work and writing have been featured in the New York Times, Politico, Slate, Wired, Fast Company, Inc., and the Economist. She is the author of the O’Reilly book “The Hardware Startup: Building Your Product, Business, and Brand”, and lives on the web at http://reneediresta.com and @noUpside.

 

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by candersen at May 09, 2018 02:01 PM

GAiA releases its annual report highlighting its effort to increase access to medicines to the world’s neediest

Teaser

Global Access in Action (GAiA) launched its annual report today highlighting the major progress made in 2017 to expand access to medicines to the world’s neediest.

Cambridge, May 8, 2018 - Global Access in Action (GAiA) launched its annual report today highlighting the major progress made in 2017 to expand access to medicines to the world’s neediest.

2017 marked a year of significant progress made by GAiA in its effort to improve access to medicines to the vulnerable populations. The annual report showcases major projects undertaken by GAiA, its active engagement with various local and global stakeholders as well as organizational expansion in terms of staffing in the year of 2017.

One of the major projects undertaken by GAiA in 2017 was the expansion of a pilot project that aims to develop a public health sensitive legal framework that allows for sustainability of low-cost medicine supply while providing legal protections that are necessary to incentivize innovations to pharmaceutical companies. The project started in 2016 in Namibia and further expanded to two other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi and Mozambique. The initiative also involved collaboration with Global Good to fight substandard and falsified (S&F) medicines in sub-Saharan Africa with the use of field detection technology- miniature spectrometer.

While access to medicines is an issue at stake, the problem of S&F medicines can exacerbate the existing access challenge. In the introductory letter of the annual report, GAiA’s Co-Directors, William Fisher and Quentin Palfrey stressed that, “Even those who have access are at risk of consuming counterfeit medicines in many countries that often lead to lethal consequences.” GAiA is envisioning and working to establish a quality assurance network among the countries involved in the pilot project to allow for data sharing on S&F medical products.

Along with the expansion of the pilot project, GAiA also published a green paper, “Expanding Access to Medicines and Promoting Innovation: A Practical Approach” in the April edition of Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy exploring practical strategies initiated by pharmaceuticals companies to solve the access barriers in low- and middle- income countries.

Click here to read more about annual report.

About Global Access in Action
Global Access in Action, a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, seeks to expand access to lifesaving medicines and combat the communicable disease burden that disproportionately harms the world’s most vulnerable populations. We accomplish this by conducting action-oriented research, supporting breakthrough initiatives, facilitating stakeholder dialogue, and providing policy advice to both public and private sector stakeholders. GAiA seeks to foster dialogue across traditional boundaries between government, industry, civil society, and academia, and to promote new, innovative solutions amongst these parties to create better outcomes.

by gweber at May 09, 2018 12:38 AM

May 08, 2018

Berkman Center front page
Governance and Regulation in the land of Crypto-Securities (as told by CryptoKitties)

Subtitle

featuring founding members, Dieter Shirley and Alex Shih

Teaser

Join founding members of the CryptoKitties team, Dieter Shirley and Alex Shih, as they discuss the unique governance, legal, and regulatory challenges of putting cats on the Ethereum blockchain.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

May 8 2018 12:00pm to May 8 2018 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Harvard Law School campus
 

Founding members of the CryptoKitties team, Dieter Shirley and Alex Shih, discuss the unique governance, legal, and regulatory challenges of putting cats on the Ethereum blockchain. CryptoKitties is an early pioneer in the space, and, having navigated securities law early on in its release, will share unique insights on classifications. They also discuss some of the more ethical challenges they've been facing, and best practices for approach.

Notes from the talk

Cryptokitties, an online game centered around owning and breeding one-of-a-kind digital cats, is one of the first games to be based on blockchain technology. In a recent discussion led by moderator SJ Klein, Cryptokitties founders, Dieter Shirley and Alex Shih, discussed their business model, as well its as attendant issues of privacy and regulation.

Cryptokitties is unique because of its game design. Cryptokitties represent a form of “digital collectibles,” or “cryptocollectibles” which are distinct from cryptocurrencies. Shirley explained that, “right now, we’ve got what no one else has, which is users. Everyone else has investors or speculators.” However, this uniqueness leads to confusion with regulation.

Regulators have been unsure of how to classify digital collectibles like Cryptokitties. In early conversations with the company, regulators attempted to classify them as securities, but Shih explained, a securities model does not fit the function of Cryptokitties. Shirley further explained that most regulators are just now becoming familiar with how ICOs work, so that was the dominant narrative with which regulators were familiar when they entered into discussion with Cryptokitties. As of now, within North America, Cryptokitties are not classified as securities.

In addition to regulation, there have been questions about privacy. Both Shirley and Shih emphasized that with increasing collection of data about everything people do, society will have to rethink what privacy means. Shirley drew from venture capitalist Albert Wenger, suggesting that rather than a vague notion of privacy, what people truly want is freedom of thought and freedom from persecution, and those principles should guide further conversations about privacy protections.

Looking towards the future, Shirley is focusing on the Cryptokitties users, explaining, “we just want to make the game bigger and better.” Shih added that, “from a digital collectibles point, we’re really just scratching the surface. We’re still figuring out what that means. Our belief is gaming is a great way to build public knowledge and get consumers comfortable with this technology.”

Notes by Donica O'Malley
 

About Axiom Zen

Axiom Zen was named first among Canada’s Most Innovative Companies by Canadian Business. They pride themselves in diversity of talent: a team of ~80 creatives includes published authors, over a dozen former founders, diversity from 20+ national origins, and decades of collective experience at startups and Fortune 500s alike.

Axiom Zen is the team behind ZenHub, the world’s leading collaboration solution for technical teams using GitHub; and the developer of Timeline, named Apple’s Best App of the month, Editor’s Choice in 10 countries, and Best New App in 88 countries. Axiom Zen is the creator of Toby, recognized as Top Chrome Extension of the year by both Google and Product Hunt, and the parent company of Hammer & Tusk, a leader in the world of immersive experiences (AR/VR). Axiom Zen's work has been featured in TIME Magazine, The New York Times, and Fast Company.

About Dieter

Dieter is a partner and chief technical architect at Axiom Zen, an award-winning venture studio specialized in applying emerging technologies to unsolved business problems. Products developed by Axiom Zen have touched 200+ million consumers and are used by the world’s leading companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, and NASA, as well as by eminent academic institutions and government organizations.

Dieter is an original participant in the world of cryptocurrency, mining his first Bitcoin on his home computer in 2010. Since then he has served as a technical architect on a series of advanced blockchain projects including as co-founder of CryptoKitties, the most successful collectibles game on the blockchain. Dieter is also the founding CTO of Cornerstone, a real estate transaction platform being developed in partnership with Ross McCredie, former founder and CEO of Sotheby’s Canada, and Dave Carson, former COO at Sotheby’s Global.

About Alex

Alex Shih is General Partner and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Axiom Zen, an award-winning venture studio specialized in applying emerging technologies to unsolved business problems, including the team behind CryptoKitties, the world’s most successful blockchain application.

Prior to joining Axiom, Alex executed investment strategies across the capital structure in both public and private markets in roles with KKR and Highfields Capital. Alex holds a B.S. / M.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

Links

Download original audio or video from this event

Subscribe to the Berkman Klein events series podcast

by candersen at May 08, 2018 05:22 PM

Your Guide to BKC@RightsCon 2018

Teaser

Going to RightsCon in Toronto? Connect with members of the Berkman Klein community, and learn about their research

Thumbnail Image: 

 

Going to RightsCon in Toronto? Connect with members of the Berkman Klein community, and learn about their research

 

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Is This a New Face of Info War? "Patriotic" Trolling and Disinformation -- the Iran Edition
Simin Kargar
Details: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 10:30-11:45pm – 205A
Online harassment and smear campaigns are increasingly applied as a form of information control to curb free speech and exert power in cyberspace. Targeted harassment of dissidents on social media appears as the most recent form of strategic communication, where particular messages are crafted by state-affiliated actors to manipulate public opinion. This session addresses the circumstances under which these coordinated efforts are likely to emerge, the latest practices of Iran to extend its ideological arms across social media, and the ultimate goals that they pursue.

Young, Safe, and Free: Respecting Children's Online Privacy and Freedom of Expression
Patrick Geary,  Sarah Jacobstain, Jasmina Byrne, Fred Carter, Sandra Cortesi, Ariel Fox, Patrik Hiselius, Natasha Jackson
Details: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 12:00-1:15pm – 206C
This is chance to talk about practical steps that companies and public authorities can take to protect and empower children online. Companies and Data Protection Authorities will share how they consider risks to children's privacy online while still providing children with full, open and enriching online experiences. Civil society organizations will highlight the work that remains to be done, and academic researchers will ground this in evidence about how children exercise their rights to privacy and freedom of expression online. 

Combatting Shutdowns with COST: A Data Driven Policy Tool for Internet Freedom
Arzu Gerbullayeva, Nighat Dad, Isik Mater, Peter Micek, Nicolas Seidler, Alp Toker
Details: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 12:00-1:15pm – 202B
Internet shutdowns cost globally about $2.4 billion USD and cause untold harm to trade, industry, and communities that rely on the free flow of information for growth and prosperity. In this session, we will discuss and develop a concrete roadmap for the introduction of economic arguments into the day-to-day campaigning and policy-work using COST, a new data-driven policy tool that will automate the task of economic estimation. Our international panel brings together experts from legal, technology and policy backgrounds and invites active participation from the audience to better understand how a next-generation policy tool can impact internet freedom and digital rights community. How can we make policy work more visible to under-represented communities? How can we build advocacy tools that empower the general public?

Online Criticism, Falsified Court Orders & the Role of Intermediaries: Coping With Takedown Requests of Questionable Legitimacy
Adam Holland, Daphne Keller, Eugene Volokh
Details:
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 2:30-3:45pm – 204B
Lumen is a research project devoted to collecting and analyzing requests to remove online materials. Recently, researchers and advocates, including Professor Eugene Volokh, have uncovered an alarming pattern of falsified court orders used to seek and often achieve the removal of online material. The Lumen team will open the workshop with a brief introduction to Lumen and to the site’s API. Once the attendees are familiar with Lumen, they will facilitate a discussion about the implications of falsified court orders within the takedown request landscape.

New Tools for Visualizing Communities, Projects, and Resources: Inspiring Engagement and Exploration
Sandra CortesiJustin Clark
Details: 
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 2:30-3:45pm – 200A
In this tech demo, we will present interactive tools that have been developed at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University to visualizing communities, projects, and resources. 

Documenting ICT Companies' Impact on Civic Freedom & Human Rights Defenders
Rebecca Mackinnon, Jessica Anderson, Ellery Biddle, Peter Micek, Ana Zbona
Details: 
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 4:00-5:00pm – 200A
When internet, mobile, and telecommunications companies fail to put in place human rights-respecting commitments and policies, their practices may directly or indirectly result in the violation of users’ freedom of expression and privacy rights. These violations in turn intensify the global attack by governments and populist demagogues, and non-state actors, including companies, against human rights defenders and journalists. Highlighting this human impact of company policies and practices is crucial in making the case for why companies must institute—and policymakers should support—policies that foster and reinforce respect for internet users’ rights. Although stories of such violations sometimes make the news, until recently there were no systematic efforts to gather evidence in a way that helps all stakeholders better understand the scale and impact of the abuses and attacks.

Language Access and Humanitarian Response: A Matter of Human Rights
An Xiao Mina, Olly Farshi, Natasha Jimenez
Details: 
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 5:15-6:15pm – 205C
The world is seeing an unprecedented scale of migration due to conflict and climate-related natural disasters. People from different linguistic backgrounds are coming together in a number of humanitarian contexts, such as rapid response work and support in refugee sites. Without the ability to communicate effectively, both aid workers and beneficiaries stand to lose significantly. In this panel, members of Meedan and Outside will share their experiences in the field in dialogue with others who are looking at issues of language barriers in humanitarian work.

 

Teaching AI to Explain Itself
Suchana Seth
Details: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 5:15-6:15pm – 205A
A growing body of artificial intelligence algorithms are NOT black-box - they can explain their decision mechanisms. What do "good" explanations look like in the world of accountable algorithms - from the perspective of users, consumers, and regulators of AI? How do we set realistic expectations about explainable or interpretable machine learning algorithms?

Scrutinizing the Little Brothers: Corporate Surveillance and the Roles of the Citizen, Consumer, and Company
Katie McInnis, David O’Brien, Christopher Parsons
Details: 
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018; 5:15-6:15pm – 203B
In this session, we will bring together panelists from Toronto University’s Citizen Lab, the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, and Consumer Reports, each of whom are addressing issues of corporate surveillance and accountability. Panelists will share overviews of their organizations’ goals, challenges their programs face, and changes they hope their projects will effectuate. We will present three different perspectives: the consumer, the citizen, and the company. All three projects are responses to pervasive corporate surveillance and aim to lessen the imbalance between corporations and individuals.

 

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Data Driven Decency: New, Collaborative Experiments to Diminish Online Hate and Harassment Online
Rob Faris, Susan Benesch
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 9:00-10:15am – 205C
In this session we will report on - and brainstorm new possibilities for - experimental methods for diminishing harassment and hate speech online. The speakers will describe the first academic research experiment with an Internet platform that committed in advance to sharing data and allowing publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Participants will be asked to share best practices from their own experiences with collaborative online research. In closing, the moderator will ask for ideas to continue research experiments that aim to diminish hate speech online. Afterward, we will circulate the newly generated ideas, and invite continued collaboration for their implementation.

Secure UX Principles: Let's Build a Checklist of User Security and Good Design
a panel moderated by An Xiao Mina
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 10:30-11:45 – 201C
We present a research and design checklist for people who are developing technologies to help communities at risk. This checklist is designed to promote human rights-centered design by streamlining the process of user research. We believe this resource will aid builders of tools, platforms, and services with limited resources and time. 

Beyond the Hype Cycle: What Does Blockchain Mean for Human Rights Online?
Chris Doten, Yasodara Cordova, Rachel Pipan
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 11:00-11:25– Village Main Stage
The panelists hope to foster a conversation on who is or would like to be using blockchain for human rights and democratic advocacy - and how. In particular, the discussion will include: Information on current pilot projects and lessons learned from the Blockchain Trust Accelerator; Open sharing of other blockchain initiatives, in whatever phase; Discussion of the ways in which blockchain can - and won’t - be useful to the RightsCon community; Ways the Blockchain Trust Accelerator or academic institutions like the Harvard Berkman Center may be able to assist social good-focused organizations.

Mind the Shark: Informational Flow in Natural Disasters, from Fake News to Rumors
An Xiao Mina, Olly Farshi, Natasha Jimenez, Antonio Martinez
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 12:00-1:15pm – 200B
While misinformation has risen to the top of the agenda in journalism, its impact on humanitarian workers has yet to be fully discussed. Misinformation during natural and human disasters is a consistent theme, causing confusion and leading people to miss access to critical resources - whether that’s the frequent false threat of sharks during hurricanes or confusion about where ICE is detaining people fleeing a disaster site. What are the challenges and opportunities in this space? How can we design solutions that address this? This conversation will look at specific cases of address misinformation after disasters, when rapid responders may not even have access to the most current accurate information.

Cross-Harm Collaboration: Building Strategic Responses to Risks and Harms Online
Nikki Bourassa, Chloe Colliver, Henry Tuck
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 1:20-2:20pm – 206D
Recent revelations linking the use of disinformation, fake accounts, and hate speech to sway elections, coupled with the rise of harm from cyber-bullying, coordinated online harassment, misogyny and child sexual exploitation, demonstrate the range of threats facing internet users. Tech companies are asked to tackle these issues, but often by a huge range of uncoordinated voices. In this workshop, ISD and the Berkman Klein Center will discuss the inefficiency of current silos in online harm prevention work, foster cross-sector collaboration on research and projects, and create actionable suggestions for ways to make collaboration successful and useful for CSOs and technology companies.

Translation Project: A Translation Suite for Humanitarian Organizations
An Xiao Mina, Olly Farshi, and Natasha Jimenez,
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 2:30-3:45pm – 200A
As the global population of forcibly displaced people reaches record levels, the language barrier between refugees and those seeking to help them remains among the first challenges in serving their immediate relief needs. The Translation Project seeks to prototype and develop open-source technology and a community of translators to address this pressing need in a way that is scalable and sustainable.

Do Bots Have Rights? Do They Threaten Rights?
Dinah PoKempner, Camille Francois, David Kaye
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 2:30-3:45pm – 203A
This session aims to uncover the potential of social botnets to both advance and to harm rights, and asks whether this type of speech should be protected by human rights law, when, and to what degree. Social bots are being developed for good purposes—such as language learning, practicing social skills, providing guidance, information or entertainment—as well as purposes that pose serious risk to rights, such as trolling, spreading ‘fake news,’ or improperly influencing elections. Artificial intelligence applications are attempting to make social bots more ‘human’ by the day.

Machine Learning, Human Understanding: AI and Access to Knowledge
Jan Gerlach, Maria Paz Canales, Rob Faris, Malavika Jayaram, Caroline Sinders
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 2:30-3:45pm – 206B

This session explores the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and access to knowledge. The panel examines AI’s potential for expanding human participation in the creation of knowledge online. Panelists will discuss the principle of “AI plus human review”, which can empower online communities to collaborate and make decisions collectively, e.g. on Wikipedia. The session will also discuss the effects that machine learning and automatic decision-making about content on internet platforms have on people’s ability to find, engage with, collect, contribute to, and share knowledge.

Reframed! Media Analysis for Digital Inclusion
Belen Febres-Cordero, Nikki Bourassa, Natalie Gyenes
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 4:00-5:00pm – 200B
Access to media analysis tools has generally been limited to academic researchers and industry communications or media professionals. In the absence of tools accessible to community groups or advocacy organizations, there are limited opportunities for more marginalized or vulnerable communities to gather evidence-driven knowledge regarding how their own issues are covered in the media. Global Voices, in partnership with Media Cloud, is piloting an initiative that democratizes access to media analysis tools, bringing them to vulnerable populations so that they can understand, and possibly direct, their own representation in the media.

Internet of (Stranger) Things: Privacy Threats of the Next Generation of Vulnerable Devices
Rob Pegoraro, Ann Cavoukian, Bruce Schneier, Amie Stepanovich, Beau Woods
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 4:00-5:00pm – 206C
As more internet-connected products become available on the markets globally, so, too, are the number of reports of data breach or security flaws of such devices skyrocketing. This session will showcase short presentations about the dangers of an insecure internet of things, highlight existing legal frameworks that do (or don't) provide adequate protections, and discuss proposed solutions, including rules for security and privacy by default, to ensure people and their data are protected.

When Repressive Authorities #KeepItOn
Arthur Gwagwa, Arzu Gerbullayeva, Grace Mutung'u, Alp Toker, Maria Xynou
Details: 
Thursday, May 17th, 2018; 5:15-6:15pm – 204A
The session will debunk the notion that the internet needs to be "controlled" to be safe. This session therefore seeks to develop a stronger analytical and conceptual understanding of the strategies being pursued by the set of leading authoritarian powers in Africa and globally in controlling information online; to assess the nature of the challenge this presents to the Internet Freedom Community; and to determine what opportunities may be available to digital rights activists within these countries—and to those outside seeking to support them—that have not been adequately explored or exploited. It will also equip advocacy strategists with solid facts to lead the global fight against censorship and disruption of networks, information, and communication by presenting an opportunity to discuss other emerging trends in surveillance and censorship, such as new forms of surveillance by police officers and intelligence services such as social media intelligence (SOCMINT) and offer recommendations. 

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Countering Media Manipulation: Linking Research and Action
Robert Faris, Joan Donovan, An Xiao Mina, Claire Wardle
Details: 
Friday, May 18th, 2018; 9:00-10:15am – 206D
Although widespread propaganda and disinformation is not a new phenomenon, its occurrence within today’s online networked environments has wrought new challenges for democracy. A mix of legitimate political entities and malicious actors have exploited and leveraged vulnerabilities in platform architectures to surreptitiously insert false news narratives into unwitting media environments. Worse, these campaigns are often coordinated to take advantage of platform algorithms and muddy the difference between genuine and false. Plentiful opportunities remain to foster greater collaboration within the research community and between researchers, journalists, and media watchdogs. In this workshop, we will identify and put into place better mechanisms to coordinate research efforts and to link researchers with practitioners.

Internet Monitor: Real-time Internet censorship research and visualization tools demo
Casey Tilton, Justin Clark
Details: Friday, May 18th, 2018, 2:30-3:45pm
Interested in learning more about the technology behind real-time Internet censorship research and contributing to the Internet Monitor project? In this session, researchers from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University will demo two tools developed by the Internet Monitor project. First up is the Internet Monitor Dashboard, a tool that compiles and visualizes data about Internet activity and content controls in over 100 countries. Next up is AccessCheck, a tool that lets users test in real time the availability of websites in countries around the world. Test results include a thumbs up/down notification indicating whether the website is available, as well as a screenshot and more detailed data on status codes, timings, and any errors encountered. In addition to testing single urls, AccessCheck allows users to test the availability of lists of country-specific websites that have been created by experts in the censorship practices of governments around the world

Have We Entered a Brave New World of Global Content Takedown Orders?
Vidushi Marada, Jennifer Daskal, Daphne Keller, Vivek Krishnamurthy, Stefania Milan, Jonathon Penney
Details: 
Friday, May 18th, 2018; 4:00-5:00pm – 206C
From the Supreme Court of Canada's Equustek decision to Germany's "NetzDG" law, concerns of a "race to the bottom" are mounting as every country seeks to enforce its national preferences on the global internet. Now that the brave new world of global content regulation is here, what do we do about it? When is it legitimate for a government to enforce its preferences on a global rather than a national basis? And where do private forms of governance, like algorithmic curation on and by social media platforms, fit into this picture? Join our panel of experts from North America, Europe, and South Asia for an update on some of the biggest recent developments in this area and a wide-ranging discussion of how all those who care about the open, global internet should best respond to these trends.

What Keeps a Security Professional Up at Night?
Camille Francois, Jen Ellis, Nathaniel Gleicher, Karl Holmqvist, Beau Woods
Details: 
Friday, May 18th, 2018; 4:00-5:00pm – 206B
The panel will open with brief introductions from panelists working on security at global companies. The first part of the discussion will then focus on the threat of state actors and their changing manifestations (through proxies, obfuscating their capabilities, etc.), as well as public policy and diplomatic options to respond to those threats. The second half of the conversation will then focus specifically on the implications of these changes, giving the audience an understanding of how stakes, restraint, and unintended consequences have and will continue to play out, as well as the challenges in applying existing and developing international norms and laws. Finally, all speakers will be asked to identify the most concerning emerging threats and trends that they see and to forecast how we must adapt to overcome them. An open round of questions with the audience will close the session.

Artificial Intelligence: Governance and Inclusion
Eduardo Magrani, Chinmayi Arun, Sandra Cortesi, Christian Djefal, Malavika Jayaram
Details: 
Friday, May 18th, 2018; 5:15-6:15pm – 201B
Even though the developing world will be directly affected by the deployment of AI technologies and services, policy debates about AI have been dominated by organizations and actors in the Global North.. As a follow up to the international event “Artificial Intelligence and Inclusion” held in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year, this discussion will focus on development of AI, and its impact on inclusion in areas such as health and wellbeing, education, low-resource communities, public safety, employment, among others. The goal of this roundtable is to bring these debates to the RightsCon community, enlarging the conversation and deepening the understanding of AI inclusion challenges, governance and opportunities, to identify and discuss areas for research, education and action.

Something missing? Let us know at buzz@cyber.harvard.edu if you're a current member of the BKC community and your session isn't listed here!

by djones at May 08, 2018 03:11 PM

May 03, 2018

Benjamin Mako Hill
Climbing Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier is an enormous glaciated volcano in Washington state. It’s  4,392 meters tall (14,410 ft) and extraordinary prominent. The mountain is 87 km (54m) away from Seattle. On clear days, it dominates the skyline.

Drumheller Fountain and Mt. Rainier on the University of Washington CampusDrumheller Fountain and Mt. Rainier on the University of Washington Campus (Photo by Frank Fujimoto)

Rainier’s presence has shaped the layout and structure of Seattle. Important roads are built to line up with it. The buildings on the University of Washington’s campus, where I work, are laid out to frame it along the central promenade. People in Seattle typically refer to Rainier simply as “the mountain.”  It is common to here Seattlites ask “is the mountain out?”

Having grown up in Seattle, I have an deep emotional connection to the mountain that’s difficult to explain to people who aren’t from here. I’ve seen Rainier thousands of times and every single time it takes my breath away. Every single day when I bike to work, I stop along UW’s “Rainier Vista” and look back to see if the mountain is out. If it is, I always—even if I’m running late for a meeting—stop for a moment to look at it. When I lived elsewhere and would fly to visit Seattle, seeing Rainier above the clouds from the plane was the moment that I felt like I was home.

Given this connection, I’ve always been interested in climbing Mt. Rainier.  Doing so typically takes at least a couple days and is difficult. About half of people who attempt typically fail to reach the top. For me, climbing rainier required an enormous amount of training and gear because, until recently, I had no experience with mountaineering. I’m not particularly interested in climbing mountains in general. I am interested in Rainier.

On Tuesday, Mika and I made our first climbing attempt and we both successfully made it to the summit. Due to the -15°C (5°F) temperatures and 88kph (55mph) winds at the top, I couldn’t get a picture at the top. But I feel like I’ve built a deeper connection with an old friend.


Other than the picture from UW campus, photos were all from my climb and taken by (in order): Jennifer Marie, Jonathan Neubauer, Mika Matsuzaki, Jonathan Neubauer, Jonathan Neubauer, Mika Matsuzaki, and Jake Holthaus.

by Benjamin Mako Hill at May 03, 2018 11:59 PM

John Palfrey
Celebration of AfLatAm@50 at Phillips Academy

John Palfrey

Opening Remarks – Celebration of AfLatAm@50

April, 2018

Good evening.  Let me please begin by thanking Emily Ndiokho, Class of 2018, for her leadership tonight in MC-ing this event and also for her leadership throughout her time at Andover.  As president of AfLatAm this year — in fact, the 50th president of AfLatAm — as a CAMD scholar, and all-around wonderful leader on campus, Emily deserves all of our thanks and praise.  Let’s please have a round of applause for Emily.

I am delighted to welcome all of you — Andover students, alumni, current and former faculty and staff, and honored guests — as we launch the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the AfLatAm program. More than 300 alumni have traveled to campus to celebrate this milestone and—as importantly—to engage in discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion at our school and in our society at large.  I am particularly excited to hear tonight’s keynote address by Hafsat Abiola, class of 1992 and one of the very best speakers I’ve ever heard.  We are all in for a treat tonight!

I’d like also to take a brief moment to thank our colleagues who have worked so hard on this event.  There are too many to name everyone, but in particular I’d like to acknowledge LaShawn Springer, CAMD dean; Linda Carter Griffith, Assistant Head of School for Equity, Inclusion, and Wellness; and Jenny Savino from the Office of Alumni Engagement.  Their teams and colleagues have worked so hard to put this event together.  I’d like to acknowledge also the support of our current and former Trustees, who stand behind and make possible all we do here at Andover, five of whom are here tonight: Gary Lee, class of 1974 and Allison Picoctt, class of 1988, who are current board members, and three former board members: Chris Auguste, class of ’76; George Smith, class of ’83, and Rejji Hayes ’93.  Thanks to each of these trustees here tonight.

In its 240th year, Andover is animated by many of the same ideals that were set forth by the Phillips family in the 18th century.  Among those ideals, we take very seriously the charge that the school would be “ever equally open to Youth (of requisite qualifications) from Every Quarter.”

Of course, when our founders codified these words in the Constitution of Phillips Academy in 1778, the ideal was far from our aspiration for today’s modern school.  We don’t know exactly how Samuel Phillips and his co-founders truly defined “every quarter,” but they almost certainly meant white boys from local families.  What we do know is that they likely envisioned a school that would admit sons of the working classes, not just the wealthy – they described it as a “public free school” and the very first class of students included a boy who traveled from Jamaica.

Though our founders’ vision of the quarters from which youth might come to Andover would fall far short of what we embrace today, I believe that the real genius of those few words written down hundreds of years ago is their inherent challenge: that we should be “ever equally open.” This requires each new generation to strive to find students from every conceivable background as we seek to educate the future leaders who will change our world for good.

Andover is a place—a vibrant, living community. But it is also an idea. And in both spheres—that of the real and that of the ideal—it is imperfect, always changing, always seeking truth.

Fifty years ago, steeped in social movements that had impacted our country and our campus for decades, the Af-Lat-Am program emerged as both a marker of change and a beacon of hope to lead us further toward a greater inclusiveness. Those student and faculty pioneers strove for a greater understanding of the experience of African Americans and LatinX students, and a greater appreciation of how much more complete Andover could be when we continually strive to be “ever EQUALLY open to Youth from EVERY Quarter.”

Andover’s Need Blind Admission Policy, now in its 11th year, is one cornerstone of this commitment. Need-blind admission stands out as Andover’s single most important financial priority. Currently,

  • Nearly half of our students today receive financial aid.
  • Andover has awarded $22 million in scholarships in this year

We are extremely proud to be the only school of our kind that is need blind.  No other school can claim a financial aid program as comprehensive as ours. And it is the modern path by which we ensure access for all. These are important steps and we should be proud and grateful for the many people who have generously made it possible.

Yet access alone is not enough. Diversity alone is not enough.  These commitments are necessary, but they are not sufficient.

A few years ago, we embraced at Andover a strategic plan that called for a renewed focus not just on diversity but on equity and inclusion.

To lead our work in this area, Linda Carter Griffith – LCG to our students and families – began a new leadership role—the first position of its kind for independent schools—as Assistant Head of School for Equity and Inclusion (her title has since expanded to incorporate wellness).  Linda’s work focuses on supporting all members of the Andover community so they can achieve their full potential.  She brings the experience of a devoted teacher and seasoned administrator to this senior position at our school.

Why is LCG’s role and work so crucial?

From Ferguson to Baltimore, from Staten Island to Charlottesville, our country continues to struggle to come to grips with the enduring presence and legacy of white supremacy.  From every vantage point, we must all look anew at the history and structures of our institutions and the degree to which we have an extraordinary amount of work to do.  That includes at Andover.

Each year, Andover welcomes more than 1,100 students to campus with as many distinct experiences and points of view.  Emily and her fellow students come from nearly every state and 45 countries.

In a world marked by global unrest and political discord, we rely on the principles of equity and inclusion to guide our thinking and actions. Linda’s leadership has been incredibly important to our community.  Through partnership with the Community and Multicultural Development Office, student groups, and other faculty across campus, we’ve devoted ourselves as a community to probing matters of ideology, gender, identity, citizenship, and race.  Guest speakers have challenged us on politics and policy; students have joined the #NeverAgain movement advocating for tighter gun control, #MeToo to advocate for gender equality and an end to gender-based violence, and a host of social justice activities.

We can’t and we don’t shy away from those issues that challenge us to hear—and better understand—one another.  I truly believe that this is how we will grow and learn as a community.

Our commitment to equity and inclusion is fundamentally about keeping our promise to every student who comes here. It is our goal to ensure that everyone is valued equally and has an equal chance to thrive at Phillips Academy and beyond. I couldn’t be more excited about the young people at Andover today, nor more pleased with the strength of our faculty. Even as we remain deeply grounded in our founding values of 1778, in 2018 we are learning and growing as an institution in ways that directly benefit every student.

Where does this lead us? Guided by our core values, Andover will continue to thrive and struggle and lean into tough issues — issues on which members of our community are bound to disagree. And I hope that each of you will play a pivotal role in this.

This reunion, AFLATAM@50, is very much a celebration of our past—of student leaders who pressed us forward, of faculty and staff who worked tirelessly to address inequity—but it also is a commitment to the future and to the necessary, difficult, and extraordinarily important work that must still be done.  I look forward to continuing on this important journey with all of you, with our faculty and our staff and our students.  Thank you.

by jgpalfrey at May 03, 2018 07:12 PM

Justin Reich
Playing Games in Teacher Education: How Do Preservice Teachers Respond to Game-Based Learning.
Undergraduates at West Virginia University take on the role of school designers to better understand fundamental ideas in education and school design.

by Justin Reich at May 03, 2018 05:45 PM

May 01, 2018

Berkman Center front page
The Law and Ethics of Digital Piracy: Evidence from Harvard Law School Graduates

Subtitle

Featuring Dariusz Jemielniak and Jérôme Hergueux

Teaser

When do Harvard law students perceive digital file sharing (and piracy) as fine?

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

May 1 2018 12:00pm to May 1 2018 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Harvard Law School campus
 

Harvard Law School is one of the top law schools in the world and educates the intellectual and financial elites. Lawyers are held to the highest professional and ethical standards. And yet, when it comes to digital piracy, they overwhelmingly perceive file sharing as an acceptable social practice – as long as individuals do not derive monetary benefits from it. So should digital files be considered a commons? In this talk, Dariusz and Jerome identify and discuss the social and economic contexts in which file sharing is considered more or less acceptable by law practitioners. In the process, they foster a conversation on the possible changes in regulation that would allow us to catch up with the established social norm.

About Dariusz

Dariusz Jemielniak is a Wikipedian, Full Professor of Management at Kozminski University, and an entrepreneur (having established the largest online dictionary in Poland, ling.pl, among others). 

Dariusz currently serves on Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. In his academic life, he studies open collaboration movement (in 2014 he published "Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia" with Stanford University Press), media files sharing practices (among lawyers and free knowledge activists), as well as political memes' communities. 

He had visiting appointments at Cornell University (2004-2005), Harvard (2007, 2011-2012), and University of California, Berkeley (2008), where he studied software engineers' workplace culture.

About Jérôme

Jerome is an Assistant Research Professor at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), a Fellow at the Center for Law and Economics at ETH Zurich, and a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. From 2011 to 2014, Jerome spent three years as a Research Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center, where he did most of his Ph.D. work.

Jerome is a behavioral economist operating at the boundaries between psychology, economics and computer science. In his research, he typically couples experimental methods with the analysis of big data to uncover how psychological and cognitive traits shape our behavior over the Internet, with a particular focus on online cooperation, peer production and decision making. He is strongly involved with Professor Yochai Benkler in the Cooperation project. He is also involved with the Mindsport Research Network, which he helped launch together with Professor Charles Nesson.

Jerome completed a Ph.D. in Economics at Sciences Po and the University of Strasbourg. He holds Master’s degrees in both International Economics and International Affairs from Sciences Po, and a B.A. in Economics & Finance from the University of Strasbourg.

Jerome originates from the French region of Alsace. He has lived in France, Egypt, the U.S., Jordan and Switzerland. Jerome speaks French, English and Arabic and is heavily interested in public policy and international affairs.

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by candersen at May 01, 2018 05:29 PM

April 29, 2018

Ethan Zuckerman
Because America’s Family Leave Policy Sucks, Too.

When my friends and colleagues began working on the first Make the Breast Pump Not Suck hackathon in 2014 (http://www.kanarinka.com/project/mit-breast-pump-hackathon/), they were focused on the machine itself. The breast pump has evolved very little from its hospital origins, and it’s widely hated as loud, painful, hard to clean, ugly and awkward. The hackathon they organized did amazing work to design better breast pumps, but it also revealed a larger problem: It’s not just the breast pump that sucks – America’s family leave policy sucks, too.

The breast pump often becomes such a problem because mothers don’t have paid family leave and some need to get back to work immediately after giving birth. This puts parents in impossible positions – they want to do what’s right for their baby, but everything in American society is stacked to prevent them from caring for their child.

When the hackathon team reloaded and started working on the 2018 hackathon, we added a policy summit, focused on questions of paid family leave policy, a two-day discussion focused on issues of equitable design of policy and practical strategies for winning paid leave at federal, state or company by company levels.

What’s remarkable to me as a newcomer to this movement is the coherence of the ask. The panelists we heard from today were unified on what family leave should include:

  • At least 12 weeks of paid leave
  • Robust coverage – at least 2/3rds of salary, up to $4000 a month
  • Universality – the benefit applies to everyone in the business, with no carve out for small employers. The same benefits apply to freelancers and self-employed people
  • Portable, so people in the gig economy can take the benefit from one job to another
  • Comprehensive – Family leave includes not just parental leave, but govers a wide range of issues. We need to care not just for new babies, but for aging parents or sick children
  • Secure against retaliation – we need to overcome the danger that someone loses employment for taking family leave

There’s also widespread support for the idea that family medical leave needs to happen at the federal level, if only because we know that many states won’t opt to offer the benefit, and those states are ones whose citizens need this support the most. The differences are around tactics. Vicki Shabo of National Partnership for Women and Families is seeking support for the FAMILY act, Co-sponsored by Senator Gillibrand and Representative DeLaura. 32 bipartisan senators are now on board, as are 154 House members. The bill accomplishes most of the goals stated above and is funded through a small payroll tax on employees and employers (0.4%, split between the employer and employee) and administered through a new federal agency.

Sherry Leiwant of Better Balance pointed out that states are often the laboratories for policy experimentation where new ideas get worked through. She sees potential to build family leave around temporary disability insurance, which was instituted through payroll taxes in some states in the 1940s and 50s, but excluded pregnancy and childbirth until the late 1970s. But while TDIs give states a framework they could use to implement family leave, they aren’t universal, usually cutting out agricultural workers, seasonal workers and part time workers.

Some of the most exciting moves towards family leave policies have come from businesses. Erik Rettig of Small Business Majority points out that 85% of his member companies support paid family leave. Small businesses tend to be like families, he explains – they don’t want to lose employees that they have personal relationships with and have spent time training. But he notes that small businesses, individually, have little political power. As advocates, we should be targeting chambers of commerce, business leagues and other groups that can influence at scale.

Brianna Cayo Cotter of PL+US and Girshriela “Gigi” Green, OUR Walmart had the most powerful story about making change at scale through influencing corporations. Gigi explains that she and other Walmart associates began pushing the company for reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers as early as 2011. When she and colleagues learned that salaried managers were receiving 10 weeks paid maternity leave, and hourly associates were receiving none, she and colleagues started a petition campaign that ended up with more than 100,000 signatures.

Petitioning the company directly didn’t work. Gigi and Our Walmart, with support from PL+US, spoke in front of the Walmart shareholder meeting, addressing an audience of 15,000, demanding that the company implement fairer policies. Shortly after, Walmart agreed to offer equivalent benefits to full time associates, though they insisted that they made this decision without outside pressure.

The scale of this change is hard to overstate: Walmart is the largest employer of women in the world. The victory is far from complete. This isn’t true family leave, but maternity leave, and it doesn’t address part time workers who work full-time hours. But it’s an amazing step forward. Gigi chokes up talking about it, telling us that she’d worked with women whose children had died on Walmart properties because they had inadequate leave and support.

Brianna from PL+US believes that shareholders can be the most powerful voice for change within corporations. She’s begun working with a firm that invests hundreds of billions of dollars, and is using their leverage to push for change within the companies they support. “They’ve become very powerful activist voices, pushing for these rights within the companies they invest in.”

Today’s conversation pivots to tactics to reach these common goals. What campaigns, pressures and strategies will bring family leave to more Americans. Erik argues that we work best when we understand what businesses need, and how our asks are consistent with business priorities and processes. Brianna reminds us that businesses care about customers, investors and their board – pressure them and you can win. Gigi puts it simply: “I know what didn’t work. Going to them politely and asking for what was right didn’t work. It wasn’t until we petitioned and sooke out that change really happened.”

More to come, on the new strategies emerging from the policy summit, and new inventions from the hackathon.

by Ethan at April 29, 2018 02:21 PM

April 27, 2018

MediaBerkman
Force of Nature: Celebrating 20 Years of the Laws of Cyberspace
Professor Lawrence Lessig is joined by Professors Ruth L. Okediji, Laura DeNardis, and Jonathan Zittrain to reflect on the 20th anniversary of Professor Lessig's foundational paper "The Laws of Cyberspace," and how the landscape of Internet law has changed in the two decades since. Learn more about this event: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/04/Lessig

by the Berkman Klein Center at April 27, 2018 08:32 PM

Honoring All Expertise: Social Responsibility and Ethics in Tech
Social scientists, computer scientists, historians, lawyers, political scientists, architects, and philosophers share some short glimpses into how we can better incorporate social responsibility and ethics into the development of new technology. More info about this event here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/luncheon/04/ethicaltech

by the Berkman Klein Center at April 27, 2018 08:20 PM

Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code
Blockchain technology is ultimately a dual-edge technology that can be used to either support or supplant the law. This talk looks at the impact of blockchain technology of a variety of fields (finance, contracts, organizations, etc.), and the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain-based systems. Learn more about this event here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/04/DeFilippi

by the Berkman Klein Center at April 27, 2018 08:11 PM

Justin Reich
From Pockets of Innovation to Systems of Inspired Learning
To move beyond pockets of innovation requires a shared language of pedagogy and a community dedicated to improvement.

by Beth Holland at April 27, 2018 05:07 PM

April 24, 2018

Berkman Center front page
Encryption Policy And Its International Impacts: A Framework For Understanding Extraterritorial Ripple Effects

Teaser

This paper explores the potential international ripple effects that can occur following changes to domestic encryption policies.

Publication Date

2 May 2018

Thumbnail Image: 

Author(s)

This paper explores the potential international ripple effects that can occur following changes to domestic encryption policies.  Whether these changes take the form of a single coherent national policy or a collection of independent (or even conflicting) policies, the impacts can be unexpected and wide-ranging.  This paper offers a conceptual model for how the ripple effects from national encryption policies might propagate beyond national borders. And we provide a set of factors that can help policy-makers anticipate some of the most likely ripple effects of proposed encryption policies.

Read Ryan Budish's post from May 2, 2018, about the paper on Lawfare.

Producer Intro

Authored by

by gweber at April 24, 2018 03:10 PM

Benjamin Mako Hill
Hyak on Hyak

I recently fulfilled a yearslong dream of launching a job on Hyak* on Hyak.

Hyak on Hyak

 


* Hyak is the University of Washington’s supercomputer which my research group uses for most of our computation-intensive research.
M/V Hyak is a Super-class ferry operated by the Washington State Ferry System.

by Benjamin Mako Hill at April 24, 2018 01:58 AM

Mako Hate

I recently discovered a prolific and sustained community of meme-makers on Tumblr dedicated to expressing their strong dislike for “Mako.”

Two tags with examples are #mako hate and #anti mako but there are many others.

I’ve also discovered Tumblrs entirely dedicated to the topic!

For example, Let’s Roast Mako describes itself “A place to beat up Mako. In peace. It’s an inspiration to everyone!

The second is the Fuck Mako Blog which describes itself with series of tag-lines including “Mako can fuck right off and we’re really not sorry about that,” “Welcome aboard the SS Fuck-Mako;” and “Because Mako is unnecessary.” Sub-pages of the site include:

I’ll admit I’m a little disquieted.

by Benjamin Mako Hill at April 24, 2018 01:57 AM

Is English Wikipedia’s ‘rise and decline’ typical?

This graph shows the number of people contributing to Wikipedia over time:

The Rise and Decline of Wikipedia The number of active Wikipedia contributors exploded, suddenly stalled, and then began gradually declining. (Figure taken from Halfaker et al. 2013)

The figure comes from “The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System,” a well-known 2013 paper that argued that Wikipedia’s transition from rapid growth to slow decline in 2007 was driven by an increase in quality control systems. Although many people have treated the paper’s finding as representative of broader patterns in online communities, Wikipedia is a very unusual community in many respects. Do other online communities follow Wikipedia’s pattern of rise and decline? Does increased use of quality control systems coincide with community decline elsewhere?

In a paper that my student Nathan TeBlunthuis is presenting Thursday morning at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI),  a group of us have replicated and extended the 2013 paper’s analysis in 769 other large wikis. We find that the dynamics observed in Wikipedia are a strikingly good description of the average Wikia wiki. They appear to reoccur again and again in many communities.

The original “Rise and Decline” paper (we’ll abbreviate it “RAD”) was written by Aaron Halfaker, R. Stuart Geiger, Jonathan T. Morgan, and John Riedl. They analyzed data from English Wikipedia and found that Wikipedia’s transition from rise to decline was accompanied by increasing rates of newcomer rejection as well as the growth of bots and algorithmic quality control tools. They also showed that newcomers whose contributions were rejected were less likely to continue editing and that community policies and norms became more difficult to change over time, especially for newer editors.

Our paper, just published in the CHI 2018 proceedings, replicates most of RAD’s analysis on a dataset of 769 of the  largest wikis from Wikia that were active between 2002 to 2010.  We find that RAD’s findings generalize to this large and diverse sample of communities.

We can walk you through some of the key findings. First, the growth trajectory of the average wiki in our sample is similar to that of English Wikipedia. As shown in the figure below, an initial period of growth stabilizes and leads to decline several years later.

Rise and Decline on Wikia The average Wikia wikia also experience a period of growth followed by stabilization and decline (from TeBlunthuis, Shaw, and Hill 2018).

We also found that newcomers on Wikia wikis were reverted more and continued editing less. As on Wikipedia, the two processes were related. Similar to RAD, we also found that newer editors were more likely to have their contributions to the “project namespace” (where policy pages are located) undone as wikis got older. Indeed, the specific estimates from our statistical models are very similar to RAD’s for most of these findings!

There were some parts of the RAD analysis that we couldn’t reproduce in our context. For example, there are not enough bots or algorithmic editing tools in Wikia to support statistical claims about their effects on newcomers.

At the same time, we were able to do some things that the RAD authors could not.  Most importantly, our findings discount some Wikipedia-specific explanations for a rise and decline. For example, English Wikipedia’s decline coincided with the rise of Facebook, smartphones, and other social media platforms. In theory, any of these factors could have caused the decline. Because the wikis in our sample experienced rises and declines at similar points in their life-cycle but at different points in time, the rise and decline findings we report seem unlikely to be caused by underlying temporal trends.

The big communities we study seem to have consistent “life cycles” where stabilization and/or decay follows an initial period of growth. The fact that the same kinds of patterns happen on English Wikipedia and other online groups implies a more general set of social dynamics at work that we do not think existing research (including ours) explains in a satisfying way. What drives the rise and decline of communities more generally? Our findings make it clear that this is a big, important question that deserves more attention.

We hope you’ll read the paper and get in touch by commenting on this post or emailing Nate if you’d like to learn or talk more. The paper is available online and has been published under an open access license. If you really want to get into the weeds of the analysis, we will soon publish all the data and code necessary to reproduce our work in a repository on the Harvard Dataverse.

Nate TeBlunthuis will be presenting the project this week at CHI in Montréal on Thursday April 26 at 9am in room 517D.  For those of you not familiar with CHI, it is the top venue for Human-Computer Interaction. All CHI submissions go through double-blind peer review and the papers that make it into the proceedings are considered published (same as journal articles in most other scientific fields). Please feel free to cite our paper and send it around to your friends!


This blog post, and the open access paper that it describes, is a collaborative project with Aaron Shaw, that was led by Nate TeBlunthuis. A version of this blog post was originally posted on the Community Data Science Collective blog. Financial support came from the US National Science Foundation (grants IIS-1617129,  IIS-1617468, and GRFP-2016220885 ), Northwestern University, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and the University of Washington. This project was completed using the Hyak high performance computing cluster at the University of Washington.

by Benjamin Mako Hill at April 24, 2018 01:54 AM

April 23, 2018

Berkman Center front page
Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code

Subtitle

A book talk featuring author, Primavera De Filippi

Teaser

Blockchain technology is ultimately a dual-edge technology that can be used to either support or supplant the law. This talk looks at the impact of blockchain technology of a variety of fields (finance, contracts, organizations, etc.), and the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain-based systems.

Event Date

Apr 23 2018 4:00pm to Apr 23 2018 4:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Harvard Law School campus

This talk will look at how blockchain technology is a dual-edge technology that could be used to either support or supplant the law. After describing the impact of this new technology on a variety of fields (including payments, contracts, communication systems, organizations and the internet of things), it will examine how blockchain technology can be framed as a new form of regulatory technology, while at the same time enabling the creation of new autonomous systems which are harder to regulate. The talk will conclude with an overview of the various ways in which blockchain-based systems can be regulated, and what are the dangers of doing so.

About Primavera De Filipi

Primavera obtained a Master degree in Business & Administration from the Bocconi University of Milan, and a Master degree in Intellectual Property Law at the Queen Mary University of London. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence, where she explored the legal challenges of copyright law in the digital environment, with special attention to the mechanisms of private ordering (Digital Rights Management systems, Creative Commons licenses, etc). During these years, she spent two months at the University of Buffalo in New York and one year as a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. Primavera is now a permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS), where she founded the Institute of Interdisciplinary Research on Internet & Society (www.iriis.fr). Primavera was a former fellow and current faculty associate at the Berkmain-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Visit here for additional bio information for Primavera including her online activities, research interests, recent publications, and online videos.

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by candersen at April 23, 2018 09:38 PM

April 19, 2018

Justin Reich
Five Answers About EdTech Experiments: A Response to Benjamin Herold
An argument for why it is a good thing when education technology providers test new ideas with small randomized controlled trials.

by Justin Reich at April 19, 2018 09:19 PM

Cyberlaw Clinic - blog
Former Clinic Students Present Harvard Law Review Student Notes

Of the four students whose work is represented in the Harvard Law Review’s April 2018 “Developments in the Law” issue, three are former students in the Cyberlaw Clinic and all have taken classes with our staff. The issue of the Law Review focuses on challenges posed by the vast amount of personal information that individuals now store digitally and with third party technology companies. The student authors, Audrey Adu-Appiah, Chloe Goodwin, Vinitra Rangan, and Ariel Teshuva, presented on their work to a packed room on Thursday, April 18, at the Law School, followed by a conversation moderated by Chris Bavitz.

Adu-Appiah presented on her Note, “The Video Privacy Protection Act as a Model Intellectual Privacy Statute,” arguing that while the VPPA is often seen as niche legislation and has been somewhat compromised by recent amendments, as originally passed it could be a strong model for a more general intellectual privacy regime which would apply to written materials as well as audio-visual ones.

Summarizing her Note, “Cooperation or Resistance? The Role of Tech Companies in Government Surveillance,” Goodwin argued that the two narratives that dominate discussion of tech companies’ involvement in government surveillance — that they are either doormats or bulwarks, depending on your perspective — is a vast oversimplification. Goodwin calls for new regulation that will align these companies’ incentives with those of their users.

Teshuva presented on a related topic to Goodwin’s, but focused particularly on the issue of standing to challenge legitimate surveillance of foreign individuals that sweeps up the communication of people located in the U.S., which would otherwise require a warrant from law enforcement. Her Note, “Standing, Surveillance, and Technology Companies,” points out that the present state of the law makes it extremely difficult for individuals to gain standing to challenge these practices, and vests the protection of their interests largely in the tech companies whose platforms they are using.

In what she described as a “hard right turn,” Rangan looked at how trusts and estates law is being impacted by these same developments. In her Note “What is an ‘Electronic Will’?” she argued that state legislatures need to parse the various types of electronic wills in order to instruct probate courts on how to properly evaluate this evidence of testators’ intent.

Following the students’ presentations, Professor Bavitz led an engaging discussion, highlighting issues such as the role of individuals in effecting change that drew connections between all four of the Notes presented.

by jessicafjeld at April 19, 2018 06:04 PM

April 18, 2018

ProjectVRM
GDPR Hack Day at MIT

Our challenge in the near term is to make the GDPR work for us “data subjects” as well as for the “data processors” and “data controllers” of the world—and to start making it work before the GDPR’s “sunrise” on May 25th. That’s when the EU can start laying fines—big ones—on those data processors and controllers, but not on us mere subjects. After all, we’re the ones the GDPR protects.

Ah, but we can also bring some relief to those processors and controllers, by automating, in a way, our own consent to good behavior on their part, using a consent cookie of our own baking. That’s what we started working on at IIW on April 5th. Here’s the whiteboard:

Here are the session notes. And we’ll continue at a GDPR Hack Day, next Thursday, April 26th, at MIT. Read more about and sign up here. You don’t need to be a hacker to participate.

by Doc Searls at April 18, 2018 04:50 PM

April 17, 2018

Berkman Center front page
Honoring All Expertise: Social Responsibility and Ethics in Tech

Subtitle

featuring Kathy Pham & Friends from the Berkman Klein Community

Teaser

Learn more about social responsibility and ethics in tech from cross functional perspectives featuring social scientists, computer scientists, historians, lawyers, political scientists, architects, and philosophers.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Apr 17 2018 12:00pm to Apr 17 2018 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Harvard Law School

Notes from the Talk

The Ethical Tech Working Group at the Berkman Klein Center, led by BKC Fellow Kathy Pham, meets weekly to discuss the ethics of technology and to bridge the gap between industry and academia. In their recent series of lightning talks, eleven members of the group share insights into issues related to technology, ethics, and social responsibilities, highlighting the value that each of their own disciplinary trainings bring to the table.

Luke Stark begins by explaining that ethics codes, “serve functions beyond deterring behavior.” They also establish moral authorities. Regarding technological innovation, Stark asks, “how do we as a community tackle these new devices and the issues they bring, within our own shared ethos?” Salome Viljoen suggests that, contrary to popular belief, regulation does not necessarily halt innovation—it can also lead to safer innovation. Regulation may offer a more “holistic means of ‘doing’ technology.” For rapidly growing industries in the past, regulation has proven valuable. The EPA, for example, has had some success in mediating the consequences of polluting industries.

A pervading theme across the talks is the need for social and computer sciences to collaborate. Mary Gray explains that both are interested in studying social life online; they deeply need each other. Social sciences offer “great tools for exploring society and human condition,” helping researchers build theories. Computer science offers “great tools for mapping and measuring networks/nodes/edges,” allowing researchers to test theories. Ben Green likewise speaks to the disciplinary split between so-called “hard” and “soft” sciences, based on his experience as a computer science graduate student, who wanted to understand social and policy work. At first, he was discouraged from doing so. However, by reaching out across the university, he found people, like those in the ethical tech working group, who shared an interest in collaborating across perspectives.

Jenn Halen’s research is influenced by similar experiences. She argues that people who make decisions about technology, like policy makers and tech procurement officers, can decide to use technology in a way that “gets them closer to the world they want to live in.” However, they need to make these decisions within a “complex puzzle of human interactions,” and social science is a valuable tool for analyzing these interactions. An example of this research is Boaz Sender and Dean Jansen’s reflection on ethics in the open source movement. The original goal was, “to deeply empower individuals and put them in control of their computing destiny.” However, the social benefits of the movement have not been evenly distributed, and overall, corporations and their shareholders are the largest beneficiaries—not individuals. The continuing shift from personal computing to the cloud has exacerbated this inequality. Joanne Cheung wants more of this community-focused research on technology, rather than research that focuses solely on human-computer interaction. Cheung turns to Greek mythology for inspiration, suggesting that we shift from a view of ourselves as “users” to “muses.”

Several speakers also make calls for interventions within higher education. Doaa Abu-Elyounes argues that to bridge the legal, professional, and technological worlds, law school courses must be modified to include technological considerations, such as analyzing self-driving cars in a unit on transportation law. Jenny Korn recommends mandating critical race theory coursework within computer science curricula. She asks, “how might ethics related to considerations of race help us to improve society, not repeat injustices?” Korn reminds the audience that without active discussions of race and building of spaces for people of color, we reproduce whiteness in both the academy and technological industries. Like Korn, Kathy Pham wants engineers and technologists to learn humanistic and social science perspectives that will influence their decision-making processes. Pham began the working group because she wanted to think more deeply about the social responsibility of technologists. Based on her career experiences at a big tech corporation and in the federal government, she saw that decisions are often made without users in mind—this inevitably causes problems. The interdisciplinary conversations like those happening in the Ethical Tech Working Group seek to intervene in the current state of technological ethics and offer solutions derived from diverse perspectives.

Notes by Donica O'Malley

Event Description

The Ethical Tech Working Group at the Berkman Klein Center will host a series of lighting talks exploring social responsibility and ethics in tech. Speakers will draw on their perspectives as computer scientists, critical race and gender scholars, designers, ethnographers, historians, lawyers, political scientists, and philosophers to share reflections on what it will take to build more publicly-accountable technologies and how to bridge diverse expertise from across industry and academia to get there. Please join us and add your voice to the discussion.  

Doaa Abu-Elyounes

Doaa Abu-Elyounes is a second year S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School, where she researches the effect of artificial intelligence algorithms on the criminal justice system. Before starting her S.J.D, Doaa Completed an LL.M at Harvard Law School. Doaa is originally from Israel, where she completed an LL.B and LL.M in the University of Haifa with a special focus on law and technology. After law school, Doaa worked at the Supreme Court of Israel as a law clerk; and at the Israeli Ministry of Justice as an advisor to the Director General of the Ministry. During her time in the Berkman Center, Doaa will focus on algorithmic accountability and governance of AI in criminal justice. In particular, she will analyze the impact of risk assessment tools involving AI on the criminal justice system.

Joanne Cheung

Joanne K. Cheung is an artist and designer. Her work focuses on how people, buildings, and media contribute to democratic governance. She enjoys thinking across scales and collaborating across differences. 

She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, M.F.A. from Bard College Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, and is currently pursuing her M.Arch at Harvard Graduate School of Design. 

Mary Gray

Mary L. Gray is a Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. She chairs the Microsoft Research Lab Ethics Advisory Board. Mary maintains a faculty position in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with affiliations in Anthropology, Gender Studies and the Media School, at Indiana University. Mary’s research looks at how technology access, social conditions, and everyday uses of media transform people’s lives.  Her most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America, looked at how youth in the rural United States use media to negotiate their identities, local belonging, and connections to broader, political communities. Mary’s current project combines ethnography, interviews, and survey data with large-scale platform transaction data to understand the impact of automation on the future of work and workers’ lives. Mary’s research has been covered in the popular press, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian. She served on the American Anthropological Association’s Executive Board and chaired its 113th Annual Meeting. Mary currently sits on the Executive Board of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R). In 2017, Mary joined Stanford University’s “One-Hundred-Year Study on Artificial Intelligence” (AI100), looking at the future of AI and its policy implications.

Ben Green

Ben Green studies the intersections of data science with law, policy, and social science, with a focus on cities. He is a PhD Candidate in Applied Math at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Ben's research focuses on the uses of data and technology by city governments; the intersection of data, algorithms, and social justice; and the impacts of algorithms and technology on society. He is currently writing a book about the politics and sociology of smart cities. Outside of academica, Ben has extensive experience working in municipal government. He recently spent a year working for the Citywide Analytics Team in the City of Boston, where he developed analytics to improve public safety operations and civic engagement strategies for the City’s new open data program. Ben previously worked as a Fellow at the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship, and partnered with the City of Memphis, TN using machine learning to identify blighted homes. He also worked for a year at the New Haven Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking. Ben completed his undergraduate degree in Mathematics & Physics at Yale College. His graduate work has been funded by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Herbert Winokur SEAS Graduate Fellowship.

Jenn Halen

Jenn Halen is a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center. She works on research and community activities for the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative. Jenn is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Minnesota and a former National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her research broadly focuses on the ways that new and emerging technologies influence, and are influenced by, politics. She will study the complex social and political implications of advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence, especially as it relates to issues of governance. She also works on issues of cyber security, human rights, and social justice. Jenn enjoys ballet, almost everything geek-related, and good vegan food.  She makes excellent vegan mac and cheese, and she will probably tell you about it.

Jenny Korn

Jenny Korn is an activist of color for social justice and scholar of race, gender, and media with academic training in communication, sociology, theater, public policy, and gender studies from Princeton, Harvard, Northwestern, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. She will examine identity and representation through online and in-person discourses, focusing on how popular concepts of race and gender are influenced by digital interactions, political protest, and institutional kyriarchy.

Kathy Pham

Kathy Pham is a computer scientist, cancer patient sidekick, product manager, and leader with a love for developing products, operations, hacking bureaucracy, building and and leading teams, all things data, healthcare, and weaving public service and advocacy into all aspects of  life.  As a 2017-2018 fellow at the Berkman Klein Center, Kathy will explore artificial intelligence, and the ethics and social impact responsibility of engineers when writing code and shipping products. Most recently, Kathy was a founding product and engineering member of the of the United States Digital Service, a tech startup in government at the White House, where she led and contributed to public services across the Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Talent, and Precision Medicine. She sits on the advisory boards of the Anita Borg Institute local, and the “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck” initiative. Previously, Kathy held a variety of roles in product, engineering, and data science at Google, IBM, and Harris Healthcare Solutions. In the non-work world, Kathy founded the Cancer Sidekick Foundation to spread Leukemia knowledge and build a cancer community, started Google's First Internal Business Intelligence Summit, founded Atlanta United For Sight, placed first at the Imagine Cup competition (basically the World Cup but for tech geeks) representing the United States with a news Sentiment Analysis engine, spoke at the White House State of STEM 2015, and invited as of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Guest at the 2015 State of the Union address. She has also been spotted at the gaming finals for the After Hours Gaming League for StarCraft II, speaking at tech conferences, and hosting food themed Formula 1 Racing hangouts. Kathy holds a Bachelors and Masters of Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, and from Supelec in Metz, France.

Luke Stark

Luke Stark is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Dartmouth College, and studies the intersections of digital media and behavioral science. Luke’s work at the Berkman Klein Center will explore the ways in which psychological techniques are incorporated into social media platforms, mobile apps, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems — and how these behavioral technologies affect human privacy, emotional expression, and digital labor. His scholarship highlights the asymmetries of power, access and justice that are emerging as these systems are deployed in the world, and the social and political challenges that technologists, policymakers, and the wider public will face as a result. Luke holds a PhD from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and an Honours BA and MA from the University of Toronto; he has been a Fellow of the NYU School of Law’s Information Law Institute (ILI), and an inaugural Fellow with the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Technology, Society, and Policy (CTSP). He tweets @luke_stark; learn more at https://starkcontrast.co.

Salome Viljoen

Salome is a Fellow in the Privacy Initiatives Project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Salome’s professional interest is the intersection between privacy, technology and inequality. Before coming to the Berkman Center, Salome was an associate at Fenwick & West, LLP, where she worked with technology company clients on a broad variety of matters. She has a JD from Harvard Law School, an MsC from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Political Economy from Georgetown University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and hanging out with her cat.

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by candersen at April 17, 2018 05:28 PM

April 16, 2018

MediaBerkman
THEFT! A History of Music
Again and again there have been attempts to police music; to restrict borrowing and cultural cross-fertilization. But music builds on itself. To those who think that mash-ups and sampling started with YouTube or the DJ’s turntables, it might be shocking to find that musicians have been borrowing — extensively borrowing — from each other since music began. Then why try to stop that process? The reasons varied. Philosophy, religion, politics, race — again and again, race — and law. And because music affects us so deeply, those struggles were passionate ones. They still are. Professors James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins (Duke Law School) discuss Theft! A History of Music, their graphic novel about musical borrowing. Learn more about this event here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/luncheon/04/Boyle

by the Berkman Klein Center at April 16, 2018 06:09 PM

April 15, 2018

John Palfrey
Head of School Bookshelf, 2017-2018

Each term as head of school at Phillips Academy, I’ve put out a series of books for the faculty to enjoy.  Colleagues are free to keep the books, pass them along to others, or bring them back to the bookshelf in the head of school’s office.  I choose titles that relate in one way or another to the mission of our school and conversations underway on our campus.  I thought I’d post the list for all three terms at once this year:

Spring, 2018 main selections:

Julia Alvarez (Abbot Academy ’67), In the Time of the Butterflies (Algonquin, Reprint edition, 2010)

Mary Beard, Women and Power (Liveright, 2017)

Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing (Vintage, Reprint edition, 2017)

Chris Hughes (Phillips Academy ’02), Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn (St. Martin’s Press, 2018).

Alex Soojung Kim Pang, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less (Basic Books, 2016)

David Schwartz (Phillips Academy ’72), The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of The Nuclear Age (Basic Books, 2017)

Bonus choices for Spring 2018 (a few copies of each set out for faculty):

Danielle Allen, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (Liveright, 2015) (we bought 1000+ copies to share with all on campus interested in reading it in advance of Prof. Allen’s May 9, 2018 All School Meeting, one in the year-long series of discussions of citizenship)

Malinda S. Blustain and Ryan Wheeler, Glory, Trouble, and Renaissance at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology (University of Nebraska Press, 2018) (Congrats to the team at the Peabody!)

Michael Lewis, Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life (W.W. Norton, Reprint edition 2008)

Craig A. Miller, This is How it Feels (CreateSpace, 2012) (trigger warning: about surviving suicide; mentioned by Riverside Trauma Center suicide prevention trainings on our campus.)

Winter 2018 Main Selections:

Ta-Nehisi Coates, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy (One World, 2017)

Jeffrey J. Froh and Giacometti Bono, Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character (Templeton Press, 2015) (h/t to faculty member Allen Grimm who gave me an inscribed copy)

Julie Lythcott-Haims, Real American: A Memoir (Henry Holt, 2017)

Ben Sasse, The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) (editorial comment: I think it is safe to say that this book has not resonated as fully with our faculty as many of the other titles I offered have.  I thought the perspective of a Republican US Senator on raising young people in this country was worth offering all the same.)

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel (Random House, 2017)

Eli Shafak, Three Daughters of Eve (Bloomsbury USA, 2017)

Winter 2018 Bonus Selection:

Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014) (this book appeared on a previous HOS Bookshelf as careful watchers of this space will recall; Prof. Rankine spoke at Andover in January as part of our MLK, Jr., Day celebration)

Fall 2017 Main Selections:

Danielle Allen, Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. (Liveright, 2017)

Robert Gottlieb, Avid Reader: A Life (FSG, 2016)

Ian Haney Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class (Oxford University Press, 2015, rev. ed.)

John McPhee, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process (FSG, 2017)

Jessica Shattuck, The Women in the Castle (William Morrow, 2017)

Fall 2017 Bonus Selections:

Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Scribner, 2016) (why: previously on HOS bookshelf; brought back with additional copies given her visit to campus early in the Fall)

Erwin Chemerinsky & Howard Gilman, Free Speech on Campus (Yale University Press, 2017) (why: alternate take on the book I just wrote)

Sigal Ben-Kamath, Free Speech on Campus (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) (why: ditto)

I also put out copies of the book I wrote, called Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education (MIT Press, 2017).

by jgpalfrey at April 15, 2018 09:08 PM

Berkman Center front page
Force of Nature

Subtitle

Celebrating 20 Years of the Laws of Cyberspace

Teaser

Join us as we celebrate 20 years of the Laws of Cyberspace and the ways in which it laid the groundwork for our Center's field of study.

Event Date

Apr 16 2018 4:00pm to Apr 16 2018 4:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm 
Harvard Law School

Celebrating 20 years of the Laws of Cyberspace and how it laid the groundwork for Berkman Klein Center's field of study.

Please join us as we recognize the 20th anniversary of the paper The Laws of Cyberspace (Taipei March '98) by Professor Lawrence Lessig. Join Professor Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, along with Professor Ruth L. Okediji, the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center, and Dr. Laura DeNardis, Professor in the School of Communication at American University, with moderator, Professor Jonathan Zittrain, the George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Director of the Harvard Law School Library, and Faculty Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. 

About Professor Lessig

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Lessig serves on the Board of the AXA Research Fund, and on the advisory boards of Creative Commons and the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries. Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.

About Professor Okediji

Ruth L. Okediji is the Jeremiah Smith. Jr, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center. A renowned scholar in international intellectual property (IP) law and a foremost authority on the role of intellectual property in social and economic development, Professor Okediji has advised inter-governmental organizations, regional economic communities, and national governments on a range of matters related to technology, innovation policy, and development. Her widely cited scholarship on IP and development has influenced government policies in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America. Her ideas have helped shape national strategies for the implementation of the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). She works closely with several United Nations agencies, research centers, and international organizations on the human development effects of international IP policy, including access to knowledge, access to essential medicines and issues related to indigenous innovation systems.

About Dr. DeNardis

Dr. Laura DeNardis is a globally recognized Internet governance scholar and a Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC. She also serves as Faculty Director of the Internet Governance Lab at American University. Her books include The Global War for Internet Governance (Yale University Press 2014); Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability (MIT Press 2011); Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance (MIT Press 2009); Information Technology in Theory (Thompson 2007 with Pelin Aksoy), and a new co-edited book The Turn to Infrastructure in Internet Governance (Palgrave 2016). With a background in information engineering and a doctorate in Science and Technology Studies (STS), her research studies the social and political implications of Internet technical architecture and governance. 

She is an affiliated fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project and served as its Executive Director from 2008-2011. She is an adjunct Senior Research Scholar in the faculty of international and public affairs at Columbia University and a frequent keynote speaker at the world’s most prestigious universities and institutions. She has previously taught at New York University and Yale Law School. 

About Professor Zittrain

Jonathan Zittrain is the George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at the Harvard Law School Library, and co-founder of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.  His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education.

He performed the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia, and as part of the OpenNet Initiative co-edited a series of studies of Internet filtering by national governments: Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet FilteringAccess Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace; and Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Board of Advisors for Scientific American.  He has served as a Trustee of the Internet Society and as a Forum Fellow of the World Economic Forum, which named him a Young Global Leader. He was a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Federal Communications Commission, and previously chaired the FCC’s Open Internet Advisory Committee. His book The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop Itpredicted the end of general purpose client computing and the corresponding rise of new gatekeepers.  That and other works may be found at <http://www.jz.org>.

Links

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by candersen at April 15, 2018 09:07 PM

April 12, 2018

Justin Reich
Pockets of Innovation - The Quest for Inspired Learning
Though most examples of innovation highlight big projects or new courses, inspired learning may occur in more subtle, nuanced ways.

by Beth Holland at April 12, 2018 06:19 PM

MediaBerkman
Remedies for Cyber Defamation: Criminal Libel, Anti-Speech Injunctions, Forgeries, Frauds, and More
“Cheap speech” has massively increased ordinary people’s access to mass communications — both for good and for ill. How has the system of remedies for defamatory, privacy-invading, and harassing speech reacted? Some ways are predictable; some are surprising; some are shocking. Prof. Eugene Volokh (UCLA) lays it all out. Learn more about this event here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/luncheon/04/Volokh

by the Berkman Klein Center at April 12, 2018 04:52 PM

April 11, 2018

Cyberlaw Clinic - blog
The Cyberlaw Clinic Prepares for Final Stage in 1201 Exemption Proceedings

Still of YouTube Video of Section 1201 RoundtablesThe Cyberlaw Clinic is preparing for the last segment in the seventh triennial proceeding for exemptions to the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA—the oral hearings, which are to be held on April 12th, at 2:00 p.m. ET in Washington, D.C and will be livestreamed online here.  At this hearing, there will be two panels of testifying witnesses—one in support of the exemption, the other in opposition—appearing before a panel of Copyright Office representatives. The Clinic is coordinating the efforts of the supporting experts, which includes Cyberlaw Clinic Instructional Fellow Kendra Albert, Jessica Meyerson of the Software Preservation Network, Henry Lowood of the Stanford University Libraries, Lyndsey Jane Moulds of Rhizome at the New Museum, and Jonathan Band of the Library Copyright Alliance. The majority of the time will be spent addressing specific questions posed by the Copyright Office during the hearing.

These upcoming oral hearings follow the last round of comments, for which the Cyberlaw Clinic filed a reply comment on behalf of the Software Preservation Network. (Thank you to Austin Bohn, Erin Thomas, and Erika Herrera for their hard work on the reply comment.)

The comment focused on responding to arguments and objections raised by the plethora of opposition comments submitted on February 12th. The opposition comments were an opportunity for parties opposing the exemption to submit arguments following the initial comment submitted in December. Hearteningly, opponents generally agreed that the preservation of digital works is a worthwhile effort and that current systems are ineffective. To that end, there was general support for an exemption to further enable software preservation, but the disagreement came in the practical details and scope of the proposed exemption.

In its reply, the Clinic continued to emphasize the urgent need to preserve the software and digital works that are continually becoming more vital parts of society. As mentioned in a prior blog post,  software loss is an urgent problem that is only worsening as new content and information are “born digital.” The research and study of software history, the development of future software, and the preservation of software-dependent works rely on the institutions that engage in software archival pursuits.

Narrowing the exemption

The class of works proposed in the original comment was limited by both use and user, requiring the user be a library, museum, archive, or other cultural heritage institution using it for the purposes of preservation.  But in order to further address the opponents’ concerns that the exemption is too broad, the Clinic proposed a compromise: limiting the class of works to software that is “no longer reasonably available in the marketplace.” Adding this constraint reduces the number of works covered by the exemption to those most urgently in need of preservation and reduces the already minimal risk of market impact. Meanwhile, it remains a workable standard that preservationists can easily apply to digital works—an important characteristic to enable their urgent work.

The Clinic further argued that the exemption for software preservation should include all software, including video games, despite pushback from the the Entertainment Software Association. In both the original comment and the recent reply, the Clinic provided examples of non-infringing preservation activities regarding video games that are not covered under the existing video game exemption. The proposed exemption should apply to video games that are not covered under an existing exemption, so long as the other limitations of exemption are met. Overall, the Clinic proposed a compromise in an effort to address the concerns of the opposition while advocating for a workable and sustainable standard that gives certainty to preservationists as they apply it to digital works.

In addition to considering the class of works that the exemption applies to, the exemption is also limited to non-infringing uses of those works.  The Clinic argued that many activities undertaken by cultural institutions to preserve software are fair use, and as such, the software preservation exemption should not be limited to the contours of § 108. The opposition comments did not provide any contrary doctrinal analysis, instead focusing on the breadth of the proposed exemption.

In sum, the reply brief focused on responding to the oppositions’ concerns and identifying compromises where possible. Ultimately, the Clinic is most concerned about obtaining an exemption that enables traditionally conservative, risk-averse software preservationists to focus on their important—and urgent—work of software preservation rather than worry about their potential legal liability.

Next Steps for the Cyberlaw Clinic

The upcoming oral hearing is the final formal stage in the exemption proceedings and the only opportunity for opponents to respond to the final reply comment submitted by the Clinic. After concluding the hearings, the Register will produce a recommendation that influences the Librarian’s Final Decision, both of which are anticipated to be published in early fall of this year.

 

by Clinic Staff at April 11, 2018 02:19 PM

April 10, 2018

Berkman Center front page
THEFT! A History of Music

Subtitle

Professors James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins (Duke Law School) discuss Theft! A History of Music, their graphic novel about musical borrowing.

Teaser

Theft! A History of Music is a graphic novel laying out a 2000-year long history of musical borrowing from Plato to rap.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Apr 10 2018 12:00pm to Apr 10 2018 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

You can download the book here.

Notes from the Talk

Artistic musical expressions like mash-ups and sampling are often thought of as unique and new phenomena emerging from participatory culture in the digital age. However, as James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins, Professors of Law at Duke University, argue in their recent talk, “remix isn’t America’s future; remix is America’s past.” Boyle and Jenkins drew from their comic book, Theft: A History of Music, in which they tell the story of 2,000 years of musical borrowing.

Boyle and Jenkins chose to tell this story in a comic book format for two reasons. The first was to make scholarship accessible to a wider audience, outside of academia. The second was to use “remix in the service of talking about remix.” In other words, in the book, they use copyright limitations and exceptions within their own writing and art, in order to explain these same phenomena.

Two recent developments in copyright and its applications in the music industry concern Boyle and Jenkins. The more recent is the “Blurred Lines” case, in which a jury found that Robin Thicke and Pharrel Williams infringed on the copyright of “Got To Give it Up” by Marvin Gaye. The verdict was recently upheld by the 9th Circuit. The other development is a lawsuit involving unlicensed sampling of Funkadelic’s “Get Off Your Ass and Jam,” wherein the sample is largely unrecognizable, but the court still ordered that sampling more than one note requires a license. These developments are reflective of Lawrence Lessig’s idea of a “permission culture,” in which every time we “re-make” culture, we need to pay a fee, get a license, or at least ask permission.

Boyle and Jenkins ask the audience to consider the fact that if we had applied today’s legal rules during the times of jazz, blues, and rock 'n roll, we would likely not have these musical genres. Boyle summarizes this point, asking about the future: “what forms of music will we not have, and not know that we didn’t have, because we didn’t have them?” Overall, however, Boyle and Jenkins maintain some optimism for the outlook of music in American culture. They conclude with a quote from their book that expresses this confidence: “The staff of music is long, but it bends to harmony.”

notes by Donica O'Malley

Event Description

This comic book lays out 2000 years of musical history. A neglected part of musical history. Again and again there have been attempts to police music; to restrict borrowing and cultural cross-fertilization. But music builds on itself. To those who think that mash-ups and sampling started with YouTube or the DJ’s turntables, it might be shocking to find that musicians have been borrowing—extensively borrowing—from each other since music began. Then why try to stop that process? The reasons varied. Philosophy, religion, politics, race—again and again, race—and law. And because music affects us so deeply, those struggles were passionate ones. They still are.

The history in this book runs from Plato to Blurred Lines and beyond. You will read about the Holy Roman Empire’s attempts to standardize religious music with the first great musical technology (notation) and the inevitable backfire of that attempt. You will read about troubadours and church composers, swapping tunes (and remarkably profane lyrics), changing both religion and music in the process. You will see diatribes against jazz for corrupting musical culture, against rock and roll for breaching the color-line. You will learn about the lawsuits that, surprisingly, shaped rap. You will read the story of some of music’s iconoclasts—from Handel and Beethoven to Robert JohnsonChuck BerryLittle RichardRay Charles, the British Invasion and Public Enemy.

To understand this history fully, one has to roam wider still—into musical technologies from notation to the sample deck, aesthetics, the incentive systems that got musicians paid, and law’s 250 year struggle to assimilate music, without destroying it in the process. Would jazz, soul or rock and roll be legal if they were reinvented today? We are not sure and that seems...  worrying.

About James

James Boyle is William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School and the former Chairman of the Board of Creative Commons. He has written for The New York TimesThe Financial TimesNewsweek and many other newspapers and magazines. His other books include The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the MindShamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society, and Bound By Law a comic book about fair use, copyright and creativity (with Jennifer Jenkins).  

About Jennifer

Jennifer Jenkins is a Clinical Professor of Law at Duke Law School and the Director of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Apart from her legal qualifications, she also plays the piano and holds an MA in English from Duke University, where she studied creative writing with the late Reynolds Price and Milton with Stanley Fish. Her most recent book is Intellectual Property: Cases and Materials (3rd ed, 2016) (with James Boyle). Her recent articles include In Ambiguous Battle: The Promise (and Pathos) of Public Domain Day, and Last Sale? Libraries’ Rights in the Digital Age.

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by candersen at April 10, 2018 05:10 PM

April 09, 2018

Center for Research on Computation and Society (Harvard SEAS)
Postdoctoral Fellow Berk Ustun has Paper Accepted at International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT 2018)
April 2, 2018

CRCS Postdoctoral Fellow Berk Ustun has had a paper accepted at the International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT 2018). This is Ustun's first paper published in conjunction with his collaborators at Harvard. Congratulations, Berk!

On the Direction of Discrimination: An Information-Theoretic Analysis of Disparate Impact in Machine Learning. Hao Wang, Berk Ustun, and Flavio P. Calmon. ISIT 2018. ...

Read more about Postdoctoral Fellow Berk Ustun has Paper Accepted at International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT 2018)

by Gabriella Fee at April 09, 2018 07:36 PM

Takis Metaxas Named Faculty Director of the Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College
April 1, 2018

CRCS Affiliate Takis Metaxas has been named the Faculty Director of the Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College.

Metaxas is currently serving as Co-Chair of the Web Conference's alternative track on "Journalism, Misinformation, and Fact Checking," to be held in Lyon, France, on April 23rd...

Read more about Takis Metaxas Named Faculty Director of the Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College

by Gabriella Fee at April 09, 2018 07:29 PM

Berkman Center front page
Remedies for Cyber Defamation: Criminal Libel, Anti-Speech Injunctions, Forgeries, Frauds, and More

Subtitle

Featuring Professor Eugene Volokh, UCLA School of Law

Teaser

“Cheap speech” has massively increased ordinary people’s access to mass communications -- both for good and for ill. How has the system of remedies for defamatory, privacy-invading, and harassing speech reacted? Some ways are predictable; some are surprising; some are shocking. Prof. Eugene Volokh (UCLA) will lay it out at a special Berkman Klein Luncheon on Monday, April 9th. Please join us!

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Apr 9 2018 12:00pm to Apr 9 2018 12:00pm
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Monday, April 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm

This event is sponsored by Lumen, a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

“Cheap speech” has massively increased ordinary people’s access to mass communications -- both for good and for ill.  How has the system of remedies for defamatory, privacy-invading, and harassing speech reacted?  Some ways are predictable; some are surprising; some are shocking. Prof. Eugene Volokh (UCLA) lays it all out. 

About Professor Volokh

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, tort law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, and a First Amendment amicus brief clinic at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. Before coming to UCLA, he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Volokh is the author of the textbooks The First Amendment and Related Statutes (5th ed. 2013), The Religion Clauses and Related Statutes (2005), and Academic Legal Writing (4th ed. 2010), as well as over 75 law review articles and over 80 op-eds, listed below. He is a member of The American Law Institute, a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel, and the founder and coauthor of The Volokh Conspiracy, a Weblog that gets about 35-40,000 pageviews per weekday. He is among the five most cited then-under-45 faculty members listed in the Top 25 Law Faculties in Scholarly Impact, 2005-2009 study, and among the forty most cited faculty members on that list without regard to age. These citation counts refer to citations in law review articles, but his works have also been cited by courts. Six of his law review articles have been cited by opinions of the Supreme Court Justices; twenty-nine of his works (mostly articles but also a textbook, an op-ed, and a blog post) have been cited by federal circuit courts; and several others have been cited by district courts or state courts.

Volokh is also an Academic Affiliate for the Mayer Brown LLP law firm; he generally consults on other lawyers' cases, but he has argued before the Seventh Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, the Indiana Supreme Court, and the Nebraska Supreme Court, and has also filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits, and state appellate courts in California, Michigan, New Mexico, and Texas.

Volokh worked for 12 years as a computer programmer. He graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in math-computer science at age 15, and has written many articles on computer software. Volokh was born in the USSR; his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was seven years old.

About Lumen

Lumen is an independent 3rd party research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content. We collect and analyze requests to remove material from the web. Our goals are to educate the public, to facilitate research about the different kinds of complaints and requests for removal--both legitimate and questionable--that are being sent to Internet publishers and service providers, and to provide as much transparency as possible about the “ecology” of such notices, in terms of who is sending them and why, and to what effect.

Our database contains millions of notices, some of them with valid legal basis, some of them without, and some on the murky border. Our posting of a notice does not indicate a judgment among these possibilities, nor are we authenticating the provenance of notices or making any judgment on the validity of the claims they raise.

Lumen is a unique collaboration among law school clinics and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Conceived and developed at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (now the Berkman Klein Center) by then-Berkman Fellow Wendy Seltzer, Lumen was nurtured with help from law clinics at Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law.

Lumen is supported by gifts from Google. All individual and corporate donors to the Berkman Klein Center agree to contribute their funds as gifts rather than grants, for which there are no promised products, results, or deliverables.

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by candersen at April 09, 2018 04:00 PM

MediaBerkman
The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World
Who controls how one's identity is used by others? This legal question, centuries old, demands greater scrutiny in the Internet Age. Jennifer Rothman uses the right of publicity — a little-known law, often wielded by celebrities — to answer that question not just for the famous, but for everyone. For more on this event visit: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/luncheon/04/Rothman

by the Berkman Klein Center at April 09, 2018 03:36 PM

April 06, 2018

Justin Reich
From Educational Innovation to Inspired Learning
Whether defined as "innovation" or "inspired learning," the resulting experience encourages students to own their identities as learners.

by Beth Holland at April 06, 2018 04:47 PM

Jonathan Zittrain
A novel way of defending against mass uses of our data
AI is getting better at performing mass categorization of photos and text. A developer can scrape a bunch of photos from, say, Facebook — either directly, likely violating the terms of service, or through offering an app by which people consent to the access — and then use a well-trained categorizer to automatically discern ethnicity, […]

by z at April 06, 2018 03:55 PM

April 04, 2018

Benjamin Mako Hill
UW Stationery in LaTeX

The University of Washington’s brand page recently started publishing letterhead templates that departments and faculty can use for official communication. Unfortunately, they only provide them in Microsoft Word DOCX format.

Because my research group works in TeX for everything, Sayamindu Dasgupta and I worked together to create a LaTeX version of the “Matrix Department Signature Template” (the DOCX file is available here). We figured other folks at UW might be interested in it as well.

The best way to get the template to use it yourself is to clone it from git (git clone git://code.communitydata.cc/uw_tex_letterhead.git). If you notice issues or if you want to create branches with either of the other two types of official UW stationary, patches are always welcome (instructions on how to make and send patches is here)!

Because the template relies on two OpenType fonts, it requires XeTeX. A detailed list of the dependencies is provided in the README file. We’ve only run it on GNU/Linux (Debian and Arch) but it should work well on any operating system that can run XeTeX as well as web-based TeX systems like ShareLaTeX.

And although we created the template, keep in mind that we don’t manage UW’s brand identity in anyway. If you have any questions or concerns about if and when you should use the letterhead, you should contact brand and creative services with the contact information on the stationery page.

by Benjamin Mako Hill at April 04, 2018 06:53 PM

Berkman Center front page
Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics

Teaser

This timely, groundbreaking volume explores key questions from a variety of perspectives, examining how law promotes or discourages the use of big data in the health care sphere, and also what we can learn from other sectors.

Publication Date

1 Apr 2018

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Edited by I. Glenn Cohen, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Effy Vayena, and Urs Gasser
Cambridge University Press,  March 2018

About the Book:

When data from all aspects of our lives can be relevant to our health - from our habits at the grocery store and our Google searches to our FitBit data and our medical records - can we really differentiate between big data and health big data? Will health big data be used for good, such as to improve drug safety, or ill, as in insurance discrimination? Will it disrupt health care (and the health care system) as we know it? Will it be possible to protect our health privacy? What barriers will there be to collecting and utilizing health big data? What role should law play, and what ethical concerns may arise? This timely, groundbreaking volume explores these questions and more from a variety of perspectives, examining how law promotes or discourages the use of big data in the health care sphere, and also what we can learn from other sectors.

This edited volume stems from the Petrie-Flom Center’s 2016 annual conference, organized in collaboration with the Berkman Klein Center and the Health Ethics and Policy Lab, University of Zurich which brought together leading experts to identify the various ways in which law and ethics intersect with the use of big data in health care and health research, particularly in the United States; understand the way U.S. law (and potentially other legal systems) currently promotes or stands as an obstacle to these potential uses; determine what might be learned from the legal and ethical treatment of uses of big data in other sectors and countries; and examine potential solutions (industry best practices, common law, legislative, executive, domestic and international) for better use of big data in health care and health research in the U.S.

 

Producer Intro

Authored by

by gweber at April 04, 2018 02:03 AM

April 03, 2018

Berkman Center front page
Practical Approaches to Big Data Privacy Over Time

Teaser

This article analyzes how privacy risks multiply as large quantities of personal data are collected over longer periods of time, draws attention to the relative weakness of data protections in the corporate and public sectors, and provides practical recommendations for protecting privacy when collecting and managing commercial and government data over extended periods of time.

Publication Date

12 Mar 2018

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Authored by Micah Altman, Alexandra Wood, David O’Brien, and Urs Gasser

The Berkman Klein Center is pleased to announce a new publication from the Privacy Tools project, authored by a multidisciplinary group of project collaborators from the Berkman Klein Center and the Program on Information Science at MIT Libraries. This article, titled "Practical approaches to big data privacy over time," analyzes how privacy risks multiply as large quantities of personal data are collected over longer periods of time, draws attention to the relative weakness of data protections in the corporate and public sectors, and provides practical recommendations for protecting privacy when collecting and managing commercial and government data over extended periods of time.

Increasingly, corporations and governments are collecting, analyzing, and sharing detailed information about individuals over long periods of time. Vast quantities of data from new sources and novel methods for large-scale data analysis are yielding deeper understandings of individuals’ characteristics, behavior, and relationships. It is now possible to measure human activity at more frequent intervals, collect and store data relating to longer periods of activity, and analyze data long after they were collected. These developments promise to advance the state of science, public policy, and innovation. At the same time, they are creating heightened privacy risks, by increasing the potential to link data to individuals and apply data to new uses that were unanticipated at the time of collection. Moreover, these risks multiply rapidly, through the combination of long-term data collection and accumulations of increasingly “broad” data measuring dozens or even thousands of attributes relating to an individual.

Existing regulatory requirements and privacy practices in common use are not sufficient to address the risks associated with long-term, large-scale data activities. In practice, organizations often rely on a limited subset of controls, such as notice and consent or de-identification, rather than drawing from the wide range of privacy interventions available. There is a growing recognition that privacy policies often do not adequately inform individuals about how their data will be used, especially over the long term. The expanding scale of personal data collection and storage is eroding the feasibility and effectiveness of techniques that aim to protect privacy simply by removing identifiable information.

Recent concerns about commercial and government big data programs parallel earlier conversations regarding the risks associated with long-term human subjects research studies. For decades, researchers and institutional review boards have intensively studied long-term data privacy risks and developed practices that address many of the challenges associated with assessing risk, obtaining informed consent, and handling data responsibly. Longitudinal research data carry risks similar to those associated with personal data held by corporations and governments. However, in general, personal information is protected more strongly when used in research than when it is used in commercial and public sectors—even in cases where the risks and uses are nearly identical.

Combining traditional privacy approaches with additional safeguards identified from exemplar practices in long-term longitudinal research and new methods emerging from the privacy literature can offer more robust privacy protection. Corporations and governments may consider adopting review processes like those implemented by research ethics boards to systematically analyze the risks and benefits associated with data collection, retention, use, and disclosure over time. Rather than relying on a single intervention such as de-identification or consent, corporate and government actors may explore new procedural, legal, and technical tools for evaluating and mitigating risk, balancing privacy and utility, and providing enhanced transparency, review, accountability, as potential components of data management programs. Adopting new technological solutions to privacy can help ensure stronger privacy protection for individuals and adaptability to respond to emerging sophisticated attacks on data privacy. Risks associated with long-term big data management can be mitigated by combining sets of privacy and security controls, such as notice and consent, de-identification, ethical review processes, differential privacy, and secure data enclaves, when tailored to risk the factors present in a specific case and informed by the state of the art and practice.

This article was published by Oxford University Press in International Data Privacy Law, available at https://doi.org/10.1093/idpl/ipx027. The research underlying this article was presented at the 2016 Brussels Privacy Symposium on Identifiability: Policy and Practical Solutions for Anonymization and Pseudonymization, hosted by the Brussels Privacy Hub of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Future of Privacy Forum, on November 8, 2016. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CNS-1237235, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, or the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

About the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data Project
Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project is a collaboration between the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS), the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and the Data Privacy Lab at Harvard University, as well as the Program on Information Science at MIT Libraries, that seeks to develop methods, tools, and policies to facilitate the sharing of data while preserving individual privacy and data utility.

Executive Director and Harvard Law School Professor of Practice Urs Gasser leads the Berkman Klein Center's role in this exciting initiative, which brings the Center's institutional knowledge and practical experience to help tackle the legal and policy-based issues in the larger project.

More information about the project is available on the official project website.

 

Producer Intro

Authored by

by gweber at April 03, 2018 07:15 PM

Justin Reich
How to Assess What We Value
The way we assess our students signals to them what we value. If we say that we value risk-taking and innovation, but exclusively use traditional forms of grading that deduct points for less than perfect work, then our grading belies our words.

by Douglas Kiang at April 03, 2018 06:10 PM

Berkman Center front page
The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World

Subtitle

featuring author, Jennifer E. Rothman, Professor of Law and Joseph Scott Fellow, Loyola Law School

Teaser

Jennifer E. Rothman will be talking about her book, The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World (Harvard University Press 2018). She challenges the conventional story of the right of publicity's development, and questions the transformation of people into intellectual property.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Apr 3 2018 12:00pm to Apr 3 2018 12:00pm
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Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

In today’s world where little remains private, Jennifer E. Rothman, Professor of Law and Joseph Scott Fellow at Loyola Law School, sees the right of publicity as something that could provide relief where today’s version of the right of privacy has failed to do so. The right of publicity, which typically protects the defendant, stops others from using a person’s name, likeness, or certain additional aspects of their identity.

A myth exists that the right of publicity began in “opposition” to the right of privacy. Based on archival research, Rothman has found that this is not true. Rather, Rothman claims, publicity has done privacy’s work right from the very beginning. The central difference between the two was the fact that the right of privacy was transferable, which benefits corporations and third parties, whereas the right of publicity originally was not.

However, as the right of publicity “lost its way” it shifted its focus from the individual and towards an intellectual property frame. Thus, Rothman recognizes three dangers to the right of publicity, describing it in its current state as a “bloated monster.”

The first danger to the right of publicity is that it has become transferable. As Rothman explains, “we’ve created a bizarre world in which our names and likenesses can be owned by someone other than ourselves.” The second danger is that it may shut down free speech; Rothman observes an increasing conflict between the first amendment and right of publicity. The third danger is that the right of publicity represents a collision with federal copyright law. The latter two dangers have concerning implications when thinking about creative artistic expression and news reporting.

Overall, Rothman is optimistic about the right of publicity, explaining that “in the years ahead, if we can solve these three major problems, the right of publicity should be a tool to protect both public and private figures.”

notes by Donica O'Malley

Event Description

Who controls how one's identity is used by others? This legal question, centuries old, demands greater scrutiny in the Internet Age. Jennifer Rothman uses the right of publicity - a little-known law, often wielded by celebrities - to answer that question not just for the famous, but for everyone. Rothman challenges the conventional story of the right of publicity's development, and questions its transformation of people into intellectual property. This shift and the right's subsequent expansion undermine individual liberty, restrict free speech, and suppress artistic works.

About Jennifer

Jennifer E. Rothman is Professor of Law and the Joseph Scott Fellow at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.  She joined the Loyola faculty from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was an Associate Professor of Law.  Professor Rothman currently teaches Trademarks and Unfair Competition, Torts, Intellectual Property Theory and the Right of Publicity. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an affiliated fellow at the Yale Information Society Project at Yale Law School. 

Professor Rothman is nationally recognized for her scholarship in the intellectual property field, and has become the leading expert on the right of publicity. She researches and writes primarily in the areas of intellectual property and constitutional law. In addition to focusing on conflicts between IP rights and other constitutionally protected rights, such as the freedom of speech, her work also explores the intersections of tort and property law, particularly in the context of the right of publicity and trademark and unfair competition law. Her forthcoming book, The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World, will be published by Harvard University Press. Professor Rothman created Rothman’s Roadmap to the Right of Publicitywww.rightofpublicityroadmap.com, the go-to-website for right-of-publicity questions and news.

Rothman’s essays and articles regularly appear in top law reviews and journals, including Cornell Law Review, Georgetown Law JournalVirginia Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy and the Stanford Law & Policy Review. She is regularly invited to speak at a variety of esteemed institutions, including Columbia, Michigan, Stanford, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, U.C. Berkeley, UCLA and Yale.

Rothman received her A.B. from Princeton University where she received the Asher Hinds Book Prize and the Grace May Tilton Prize.  Rothman received an M.F.A. in film production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she directed an award-winning documentary.  Rothman then worked in the film industry for a number of years, including positions at Paramount Pictures and Castle Rock Entertainment.

Rothman received her J.D. from UCLA, where she graduated first in her class and won the Jerry Pacht Memorial Constitutional Law Award for her scholarship in that field.  Rothman served as law clerk to the Honorable Marsha S. Berzon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco and then practiced as an entertainment and intellectual property litigator in Los Angeles at Irell & Manella.

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by candersen at April 03, 2018 05:19 PM

April 01, 2018

Benjamin Mako Hill
Workshop on Casual Inference

My research collective, the Community Data Science Collective,  just announced that we’ll be hosting a event on casual inference in online community research!

We believe this will be the first event on casual inference in any field. We look forward to relaxing our assumptions, and so much more!

by Benjamin Mako Hill at April 01, 2018 09:58 PM

March 30, 2018

MediaBerkman
Dividing Lines: Why Is Internet Access Still Considered a Luxury in America?
The online world is no longer a distinct world. It is an extension of our social, economic, and political lives. Internet access, however, is still often considered a luxury good in the United States. Millions of Americans have been priced out of, or entirely excluded from, the reach of modern internet networks. Maria Smith, an affiliate of Berkman Klein and the Cyberlaw Clinic, created a four-part documentary series to highlight these stark divides in connectivity, from Appalachia to San Francisco, and to uncover the complex web of political and economic forces behind them. Learn more about this event here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/luncheon/03/Smith

by the Berkman Klein Center at March 30, 2018 03:43 PM

March 29, 2018

Berkman Center front page
A Conversation on Data and Privacy with former Facebook GC Chris Kelly

Teaser

Chris Kelly worked extensively in developing Facebook’s early approaches to public policy challenges including privacy. This event will provide a free form discussion about Kelly’s career path, the goals of Facebook’s privacy policies, their interplay with Facebook’s business model, and strategies for implementation.

Event Date

Apr 4 2018 12:00pm to Apr 4 2018 12:00pm
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Harvard Law School campus
Pound Hall, Rm 201

This event is co-sponsored by Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession.

Chris Kelly worked extensively in developing Facebook’s early approaches to public policy challenges including privacy.  This event will provide a free form discussion about Kelly’s career path, the goals of Facebook’s privacy policies, their interplay with Facebook’s business model, and strategies for implementation. We will also discuss more generally the current political environment in which user-data-driven technology companies find themselves, potential re-implementation, and the possible role of domestic and international privacy regulation. Finally, we’ll find out what Kelly has been involved with since leaving Facebook professionally, politically, and personally.  Kelly will be in discussion with Prof. Ron Dolin, who is currently teaching “Law 2.0: Technology’s Impact on the Practice of Law” at HLS.

About Chris Kelly:
Chris Kelly, HLS ’97, is an entrepreneur, attorney, and activist. From September 2005 to August 2009, he served as the first General Counsel, Chief Privacy Officer and Head of Global Public Policy at Facebook. As an early leader at Facebook, he helped it grow from its college roots to the ubiquitous communications medium it is today. In 2010, Kelly was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for California Attorney General. Since his departure from Facebook and campaign for Attorney General, he has become a prominent investor in award-winning independent films, restaurants, and technology start-ups including MoviePass, Fandor, Organizer, and rentLEVER. Kelly became a co-owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings in May 2013.

by gweber at March 29, 2018 03:20 PM

March 27, 2018

Berkman Center front page
Dividing Lines: Why Is Internet Access Still Considered a Luxury in America?

Subtitle

featuring Maria Smith of the Berkman Klein Center

Teaser

Internet access is a major social and economic justice issue of our time. Dividing Lines, a four-part documentary video series, sheds a light on who is being left behind as big telecom flourishes.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Mar 27 2018 12:00pm to Mar 27 2018 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Harvard Law School campus

“Access to the internet is essential to modern American life,” Maria Smith explained in her recent talk. Job applications, school enrollments, efficient communication with doctors—all of these tasks now require reliable internet access. However, one in four Americans lives without a broadband connection in their home. People of color and people of low socioeconomic status are disproportionately affected by this lack of access. Furthermore, the criteria for acceptable levels of internet speed are changing, as the internet continues to be a means of political participation. Upload speeds are often too slow for meaningful engagement. Those without adequate Internet access are excluded from work, educational opportunities, and civic life, meaning that they are being left behind.

Smith asks three simple questions about the persistent digital divide in the United States: who is disconnected? Where? And why? Her research has resulted in the forthcoming four-part documentary series, Dividing Lines. In her talk, Smith shared the stories of several people she has met through creating this project. For example, Anita, a farm owner in rural Tennessee, lives just outside of the bounds of Chattanooga’s publically-owned Internet service area. Legislation
that benefits telecom giants prevents the service area from expanding. So Anita spends $99 per month for satellite Internet access that barely works. In Cleveland, Ohio, Joanne worked for AT&T for 32 years. However, she lives in a redlined area that AT&T does not serve because the people in that area are considered “unprofitable.” Her remaining options for service are either too slow or too expensive.

The current state of digital inequality in the US can largely be attributed to the power of telecom corporations and their influence on both federal and local governments. In an interview from Smith’s film, Tennessee state senator Janice Bowling described the current system as a form of “crony capitalism.” Laws have been created to protect private interests, rather than for the good of the public. Moving forward, Smith argues, that the public needs to hold the FCC accountable. To become involved in digital equality activism and to find out more about the docu-series, visit Smith’s website: www.dividinglines.org.

notes by Donica O'Malley

Event Description

The online world is no longer a distinct world. It is an extension of our social, economic, and political lives. Internet access, however, is still often considered a luxury good in the United States. Millions of Americans have been priced out of, or entirely excluded from, the reach of modern internet networks. Maria Smith, an affiliate of Berkman Klein and the Cyberlaw Clinic, created a four-part documentary series to highlight these stark divides in connectivity, from Appalachia to San Francisco, and to uncover the complex web of political and economic forces behind them.   

About Maria

Maria Smith is a Project Coordinator working with Professor Susan Crawford in Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic and leading the efforts of the Responsive Communities project within Berkman Klein. She is focused on the intersection of technology deployment and social and economic justice. Maria is also a documentary filmmaker whose productions expose the impacts of and forces behind America's stark digital divides. She made her directorial debut in college with the film One Nation, Disconnected, in cooperation with the Harvard Law Documentary Studio, that details the hardship of a teenager growing up in New York City without internet access at home. Dividing Lines, a four-part series, is in production this year.   
 
Maria first joined the Berkman Klein and Harvard Law communities as an undergraduate conducting teaching, research, and project support for Professor Susan Crawford. Maria graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Economics. In college she was invested in work with the Global Health and AIDS Coalition and co-chaired the annual Women’s Leadership Conference. She worked as an intern for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Connecting for Good, and Morgan Stanley.
 
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by candersen at March 27, 2018 06:06 PM

March 26, 2018

Center for Research on Computation and Society (Harvard SEAS)
Maia Jacobs: Personalized Mobile Tools To Support Illness Trajectories

Location: 

Maxwell Dworkin 119
Abstract: Approximately half of the adult population in the United States has been diagnosed with a chronic disease, requiring healthcare to extend its reach from medical centers and into the home and everyday settings. This shift has quickly made personal health informatics, a class of tools that support individuals’ personal health management, a critical component of care. Personal health informatics is widely considered to...
Read more about Maia Jacobs: Personalized Mobile Tools To Support Illness Trajectories

by Gabriella Fee at March 26, 2018 07:52 PM

March 25, 2018

Miriam Meckel
Geheimnis Gehirn: wie werden wir in Zukunft denken?

Was wäre, wenn unser Gehirn ans Internet angeschlossen wäre? Wenn wir unsere Gedanken miteinander vernetzen und einfach teilen könnten? Wer denkt dann, und woher sollen wir das wissen? Die Antworten auf diese Fragen an eine Zukunft der superintelligenten Hirnnetzwerke und Brainchats gebe ich in meinem neuen Buch. „Mein Kopf gehört mir“ – eine Anregung zum Nachdenken über das Denken.

by Miriam Meckel at March 25, 2018 05:55 PM

March 24, 2018

Harry Lewis
A Unique Family Photo
This photo includes (I think!) all current members of the Harvard faculty whom I have taught. Thanks to everyone for making the effort to show up, and thanks to Eliza Grinnell for her typically masterful staging and camerawork!
Two questions. Am I missing anyone? And can anyone think of another Harvard professor who has had eleven of his or her students on the faculty simultaneously?


Left to right:
Peter Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology
Michael Mitzenmacher, Thomas J. Watson, Sr., Professor of Computer Science
Scott Kominers, Associate Professor of Business Administration
Salil Vadhan, Vicky Joseph Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics
Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science
Stuart Shieber, James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science
Margo Seltzer, Herschel Smith Professor of Computer Science
David Malan, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science
Rebecca Nesson, Lecturer on Computer Science
Jenny Hoffman, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics
Alexander Sasha Rush, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Henry Leitner, Senior Lecturer on Computer Science

Everyone in the photo has a faculty appointment and took a course from me. Mitzenmacher, Vadhan, Malan, Seltzer, Nesson, Rush, and Leitner were also my TFs.


by Harry Lewis (noreply@blogger.com) at March 24, 2018 08:40 PM

March 22, 2018

Berkman Center front page
A talk with Marilù Capparelli, PhD

Subtitle

Legal Director at Google

Teaser

Please join the Harvard Italian Law Association and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society for a discussion on several legal and regulatory issues concerning digital platforms: controversial content, brand safety, privacy and GDPR compliance, scope of removal and CJEU pending cases, tax, copyright, and antitrust enforcement.

Event Date

Apr 5 2018 12:00pm to Apr 5 2018 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Thursday, April  5, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Harvard Law School campus
[NEW LOCATION] Hauser Hall 104
Complimentary lunch provided

Please join the Harvard Italian Law Association and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society for a discussion on several legal and regulatory issues concerning digital platforms: controversial content, brand safety, privacy and GDPR compliance, scope of removal and CJEU pending cases, tax, copyright, and antitrust enforcement.

Ms. Marilù Capparelli is managing director of Google Legal Department in the EMEA area. Before joining Google, she was Head of Legal and Government Affairs at eBay Inc. She is the author of several legal articles and regularly lectures in master degrees on law and technology.  She has been recently listed amongst the most influential Italian women lawyers. 

This event is being co-sponsored by the Harvard Italian Law Association at Harvard Law School and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

by candersen at March 22, 2018 01:39 PM

March 15, 2018

MediaBerkman
The Accuracy, Fairness, and Limits of Predicting Recidivism
Algorithms for predicting recidivism are commonly used to assess a criminal defendant’s likelihood of committing a crime. Proponents of these systems argue that big data and advanced machine learning make these analyses more accurate and less biased than humans. In this talk researcher Julia Dressel discusses a recent study demonstrating that the widely used commercial risk assessment software COMPAS is no more accurate or fair than predictions made by people with little or no criminal justice expertise. Learn more about this event here: http://cyber.harvard.edu/events/2018/luncheon/03/Dressel

by the Berkman Klein Center at March 15, 2018 05:03 PM

Miriam Meckel
Geheimnis Gehirn

„Immer schon war ich anfällig dafür, Dinge auszuprobieren, die mir nicht gut tun. Auch gehe ich gerne mal volles Risiko, ohne darüber nachzudenken, was das mit mir machen könnte. Und so ist die Entscheidung für dieses Buch an einem Tag im April 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts, gefallen.

Nach 36 Stunden ohne Schlaf und Essen setzte eine prägende Erkenntnis ein: Das Gehirn ist ein sehr feines System, absolut faszinierend, gleichzeitig aber auch noch weitgehend unverstanden, unberechenbar. Wir sollten vorsichtig mit ihm umgehen, respektvoll, bevor es zu spät ist.

Ich hatte in Boston gerade meine erste Erfahrung im Brainhacking gemacht, hatte ein Gerät ausprobiert, mit dem man sein Gehirn ankurbeln kann, um aktiver oder entspannter zu werden. Mit einer App steuert man niedrigschwelligen Strom über zwei Elektroden am Kopf ins Gehirn. Der Strom soll das vegetative Nervensystem beeinflussen, um für mehr Energie oder Entspannung zu sorgen. Eine interessante Erfahrung. Der Test hat bei mir gewirkt. Ich war sehr energetisch. So energetisch, dass ich mich mehrmals übergeben musste, an Essen oder Schlafen die nächsten 36 Stunden nicht zu denken war. Diese Optimierung des Gehirns hat sich alles andere als optimal angefühlt.

Hinter dieser misslungenen Erkundungsübung steckt die Vorstellung, es könne gelingen, sich über die Ankurbelung der geistigen Kräfte noch mehr Schwung zu verleihen, erfolgreicher, begehrter und vielleicht auch glücklicher zu werden. Sie passt perfekt in unsere Zeit. Denn dies ist die Zeit der Selbstverbesserungswilligen.“

Wird das Gehirn die nächste Eroberungszone der vernetzten Zukunft? Und was bedeutet das für den Menschen? Antworten darauf gebe ich in meinem neuen Buch, jetzt im Handel oder hier.

by Miriam Meckel at March 15, 2018 05:56 AM

March 14, 2018

Justin Reich
To Change the Narrative Around Education, We Need More Voices
To shift the narrative about the state of education, we need to bring more voices into the conversation.

by Beth Holland at March 14, 2018 12:05 AM

March 08, 2018

ProjectVRM
The most leveraged VRM Day yet

VRM Day is coming up soon: Monday, 2 April.

Register at that link. Or, if it fails, this one. (Not sure why, but we get reports of fails with the first link on Chrome, but not other browsers. Go refigure.)

Why this one is more leveraged than any other, so far:::

Thanks to the GDPR, there is more need than ever for VRM, and more interest than ever in solutions to compliance problems that can only come from the personal side.

For example, the GDPR invites this question: What can we do as individuals that can put all the companies we deal with in compliance with the GDPR because they’re in compliance withour terms and our privacy policies? We have some answers, and we’ll talk about those.

We also have two topics we need to dive deeply into, starting at VRM Day and continuing over the following three days at IIW, also at the Computer History Museum. These too are impelled by the GDPR.

First is lexicon, or what the techies call ontology: “a formal naming and definition of the types, properties, and interrelationships of the entities that really exist in a particular domain of discourse.” In other words, What are we saying in VRM that CRM can understand—and vice versa? We’re at that point now—where VRM meets CRM. On the table will be not just be the tools and services customers will use to make themselves understood by the corporate systems of the world, but the protocols, standard code bases, ontologies and other necessities that will intermediate between the two.

Second is cooperation. The ProjectVRM wiki now has a page called Cooperative Work that needs to be substantiated by actual cooperation, now that the GDPR is approaching. How can we support each other?

Bring your answers.

See you there.

by Doc Searls at March 08, 2018 01:15 AM

March 07, 2018

Justin Reich
Youth in Front: Urgent Advice about Youth Activism for Students and Teachers
An online resource collecting questions from students and educators, and providing answers from experienced youth allies and activists.

by Justin Reich at March 07, 2018 08:56 PM

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