Harvard Law School Berkman Center for Internet & Society The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School

Berkman@10 Event Lineup

Fresh off the heels of the FCC Hearing and Clay Shirky's special visit to the Berkman Center at the end of February, March is sure to be just as exciting and packed with special events, announcements, and more as part of the Center's year long celebration of its tenth anniversary. Please join us and invite you friends, colleagues, students, and peers to learn about our work and celebrate with us.

March 14: Berkman Book Release: The OpenNet Initiative's Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering [Maxwell Dworkin G115 @ 6:30 PM with reception to follow at the Berkman Center]

March 17: Peter Suber of Public Knowledge and Earlham College on Open Access [Berkman Center @ 12:00 PM]

March 20: Lisa Stone, Founder and CEO of BlogHer

March 27-28: Media Re:public Assessing the State of Participatory Media: Conference at the Annenberg School for Communication, USC

April 4: Lawrence Lessig, Founder of Creative Commons, Professor of Law at Stanford University, Former Berkman Faculty Co-Director

April 11: Berkman Book Release: (in New York, NY) The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It, by Jonathan Zittrain

April 18: Berkman Book Release: (in Cambridge, MA) The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It, by Jonathan Zittrain

May 15-16: The Berkman Center's 10th Anniversary Gala and Conference

Learn more at our events page, and if you have questions, contact Amar Ashar at ashar@cyber.law.harvard.edu.

Berkman Blog

Berkman Buzz: Week of March 3, 2008

3/7/2008 4:26 pm

BERKMAN BUZZ:  A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations.  If you'd like to receive this by email, just sign up here.
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
Week of February 18, 2008

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What's going on...take your pick or browse below.

*Corinna DiGennaro discusses online political participation.
*danah boyd is sick of main stream media's drama.
*The Internet & Democracy Project looks at one website's Hopes.
*In the Middle East and North Africa popular blogs are disappearing. The OpenNet Initiative explains.
*Is the Wikileaks dispute finally over?  Let's ask David Ardia
*Digital Natives would never talk about gossip site JuicyCampus.com behind its back
*Weekly Global Voice: "Iran: Students protest against 'gender apartheid'"

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

The full buzz.

"With the primaries in full swing and the upcoming elections, one cannot but ponder what role new technologies such as the Internet are playing in facilitating citizens’ engagement in the political process. Is the Internet actually making a difference?  The Internet has certainly lowered the barriers of participation – if one wants to get involved, there are numerous arguably low cost ways to do so..."
Corrina DiGennaro, "The Internet: politics as usual?"

"Last night, I turned off NPR in a state of complete disgust. It wasn't just the ongoing hellish pledge drive that drives me away from NPR for months at a time. (I _want_ to give to NPR, but the pledge drives tend to make me turn my back on NPR instead.) No, it was the framing of the election results. It was the way the story has been and continues to be framed. And it wasn't just NPR, but Fox News, CNN, and NYTimes have all made me blazingly angry this week. And it wasn't just about winners or losers, but about how the story is framed dramatically to get people to tune in..."
danah boyd, "enough already!"


"At a Crossroads: Personhood and Digital Identity in the Information Society"

3/7/2008 10:42 am

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) this week released "At a Crossroads: Personhood and Digital Identity in the Information Society", by Berkman Fellow Mary Rundle and co-authors Bob Blakley, Jeff Broberg, Anthony Nadalin, Dale Olds, Mary Ruddy, Marcelo Thompson Mello Guimarães, and Paul Trevithick. The paper argues that law and technology must be crafted to respect certain "Properties of Identity" in identity management in order for the information society to be free and open. Respect for the Properties of Identity is necessary for data protection; data protection is necessary for accountability; and accountability is necessary for trust. User control is a central theme of the paper.

You can find the full paper, and others, 

Authenticity: Is It Real or Is It Marketing?

3/6/2008 12:56 pm

Berkman fellow David Weinberger has penned an interactive case study for the Harvard Business Review.  "Authenticity: Is It Real or Is It Marketing?" takes a look at the value of employee perspective on company issues and goals, teasing out a scenario in which a staffer's interests and 'identity', while not in conflict with her company, don't exclusively align.  

What's your take?  The HBS site lists the ways in which you can interact:

* Watch case author David Weinberger and HBR senior editor Julia Kirby discuss the challenges of living into your brand identity.
* Read the case below.
* Contribute your commentary on the case and/or read others' contributions.
* Compare your perspective with the experts’.

Yes We Can and Hope.Act.Change

3/6/2008 12:36 pm

Jesse Dylan, the director behind will.i.am’s Yes We Can video, and Rob Holzer, CEO of Syrup NYC, came to Berkman this morning to discuss the next stage of their attempt to build a movement geared around the Hope.Act.Change web site. 

This discussing centered around how they can further develop their website and engage Americans in the process of political change.  Berkman staffer Erica George twittered the discussion, and video from it will soon be available at MediaBerkman

If you'd like to get more involved with Hope.Act.Change, you can upload media and join its growing community now.  If you have ideas of what you'd like to take away from the site, they actively welcome suggestions and feedback.

Ethan Zuckerman's Cute Cat Theory at ETech

3/6/2008 9:49 am

Speaking at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference this past week, Berkman Fellow Ethan Zuckerman shared his "Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism" on how repressive governments are increasingly targeting activists using Web 2.0 tools for information dissemination and organizing. Wired has the story:

"What happens when the governments wake up?" Zuckerman asks.

He sees a future online world that will increasingly look like the world the press currently works in -- free in the United States and other Western democracies, but heavily censored around the world.

Most worrisome is China, according to Zuckerman, and not simply because it blocks more communication tools wholesale than any other country.

They also have more Web 2.0 startups than almost any other place in the world, including Silicon Valley.

Read more about Ethan's presentation at Wired's Epicenter blog, and don't forget to join us on March 14 for the release of the OpenNet Initiative's Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering, which addresses a number of the issues Ethan touched upon in his talk.

Choices for Turkey in a Digital Age

3/5/2008 10:23 am

In today's Turkish Daily News, Berkman Faculty Co-Founder Jonathan Zittrain and Executive Director John Palfrey have an op-ed on choices for internet filtering and free expression that Turkey may face in the digital age.

We admit to a clear commitment: We think that a free and open Internet is, on balance, a very good thing for democratic societies.  We work closely in partnership with technology companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Lenovo, and others that are leading the digital revolution.  It's our view that these companies, and citizens around the world, have benefited from the lightly-regulated environment in which they have operated, for the betterment of global society.

In Turkey, the Internet has been largely free from government controls.  Free expression and innovation have found homes online, in ways that benefit culture and the economy.

But there are signs that this freedom may be nearing its end, just as the benefits to be reaped are growing.

John Palfrey recently took an in-depth look at Turkey's positioning in the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East and the potential implications that internet filtering may have in the country, and asks "The people of Turkey are facing a stark choice: will they continue to have a mostly free and open Internet, or will they join the two dozen states around the world that filter the content that their citizens see?"

Both Zittrain and Palfrey are primary investigators of the OpenNet Initiative and co-editors of Access Denied, a new book that documents internet filtering around the world and offers analysis of the political, legal, social, and cultural contexts of Internet filtering in these states. Join us for the release party of Access Denied March 14, and pick up your copy of the book which is currently available online and at your local bookstore.

Citizen Media Law Project Publishes Newsgathering Section of Legal Guide

3/5/2008 10:07 am

From the Citizen Media Law Project...

Back in January, we announced the launch of the first two major sections of the Citizen Media Law Project's Legal Guide covering Forming a Business and Getting Online and Dealing with Online Legal Risks. This past month we began rolling out the section on Newsgathering and Privacy, which addresses the legal and practical issues you may encounter as you gather documents, take photographs or video, and collect other information. Here is a quick rundown of the sections we've just published:

* Entering the Property of Others discusses your rights to access public and private property and provides some guidance on how to avoid legal liability for trespass.

* Gathering Private Information outlines the various privacy laws that may limit your ability to gather private information or otherwise intrude into another person's private space.

* Recording Phone Calls, Conversations, Meetings and Hearings discusses federal and state laws relating to the use of recording devices in specific private and quasi-public settings.

* Acquiring Documents and Other Property addresses the laws affecting your ability to gather documents and other tangible property that belongs to others, including the government.

* Protecting Sources and Source Material examines the legal challenges you may face in maintaining the confidentiality of your sources and source material and discusses the federal and state laws that may protect you from forced disclosure of your newsgathering materials...

- continued -  

Luncheon Series: “Patent Failure” with Jim Bessen of BU Law School

3/4/2008 2:48 pm

Today's luncheon series guest was Jim Bessen, a Lecturer in Law at Boston University School of Law, discussing patent failure.  He asked:

Is the U.S. patent system broken? Recently, business leaders, policymakers, and inventors have complained to the media and to Congress that today’s patent system stifles innovation instead of fostering it. James Bessen will discuss a broad range of evidence on the economic performance of the patent system. He finds that patents provide strong incentives for firms in a few industries, but for most firms today, patents actually discourage innovation because they fail to perform as well-defined property rights. This analysis provides a guide to policy reform.

If you missed today's talk, keep an eye out on MediaBerkman for the archived audio and video. Victoria Stodden of the Internet & Democracy Project also liveblogged the session.


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