Berkman in the News
“If the FCC had not taken this step, then the Internet was headed down a path in which it becomes unrecognizable … an Internet in which the people who provide access to the Internet make decisions based on their commercial interest,” said David Weinberger, a senior researcher at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
“The strength of the Internet has always been that it’s not designed for any particular service — users get to decide what matters to them, what they think the Internet is for. The access providers were turning the Internet into a type of cable TV.”
“For the moment, cable has won the high-speed Internet market,” said Susan Crawford, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and a former adviser to the Obama administration.Continue reading the main storyRelated Coverage Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, said that Democrats were lining up with President Obama in favor of the F.C.C. position on net neutrality. F.C.C. Net Neutrality Rules Clear Hurdle as Republicans Concede to ObamaFEB. 24, 2015 Internet Taxes, Another Window Into the Net Neutrality DebateFEB. 20, 2015The new rules will not ensure competition from new entrants, ranging from next-generation wireless technology to ultrahigh-speed networks built by municipalities. Instead, strong regulation is intended to prevent the dominant broadband suppliers from abusing their market power.
Here’s how Rob Faris, research director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, breaks it down.”The basic idea is that all bits are treated equally as they’re passed on to computers,” Faris said.Online, everything’s made of bits — every email, high-resolution photo, or YouTube video. In a world of net neutrality, whether those bits add up to The New York Times home page or your cousin’s cat blog, they are treated equally and delivered at the same speed. Faris says it’s that level playing field that has made the Internet the Internet.”I think most of the innovations we’ve seen on the Internet, people have attributed to the ability for entrepreneurs to get on the Internet and deliver packets and bits unimpeded to consumers on basically equal grounds,” he said.
In response to that proposal, Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of internet law at Harvard University, wrote an open letter to Cameron, explaining why he thinks it’s a “very bad idea.”
It’s one thing to try and regulate WhastApp, says Zittrain, because the government knows where Facebook “lives,” and the Silicon Valley company has assets that could be seized.
But what happens when someone produces the next wildly popular messaging app? What if that someone happens to be, as Zittrain wrote in his letter, “two caffeine-fueled university sophomores?” They would be pretty hard to regulate, or even find, according to him.
“It’s not clear that lighting a match and dropping it in the public sphere is going to be a reliable way to bring closure,” said Jonathan Zittrain, a Harvard professor of Internet law who compared the practice to the old campus tactic of scrawling the names of alleged rapists on women’s bathroom walls.
Consumers “can know that there’s a cop on the beat when it comes to high-speed Internet access, the openness of the networks and the ability of content providers to at least complain if they’re being squeezed,” said Susan Crawford, a co-director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a proponent of tough rules.
“This is a huge deal,” said Bruce Schneier, a cryptographer who is chief technology officer at the security firm Resilient Systems, and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center.
“The things that are the most egregious are when the NSA hacks everybody to get a few people,” Schneier told AFP.
“They’re getting encryption keys of everybody, including you and me. It’s a scorched earth policy.”
Glenn Beck on Thursday interviewed security technologist Bruce Schneier about America’s ever-expanding domestic surveillance programs, and Schneier — who has written 12 books and testified before Congress — said he believes the government’s decision to collect information on every man, woman and child is a type of “insurance policy.”
“A bunch of organizations have looked at these metadata programs. The metadata, again, is data about data. It’s the social networks, the traffic analysis. It’s not the content, but who’s talking to who,” Schneier remarked. “Every time you look at this, it is not valuable. … It doesn’t stop terrorist attacks. So why is it being done? That’s an interesting question. It seems like it’s an insurance policy.”
The U.S. may not be on that list, but the malware is a threat to the entire Internet because “everything depends on everything else” in our interconnected digital world, according to a blog post by Bruce Schneier, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
“We need to figure out how to maintain security in the face of these sorts of attacks, because we’re all going to be subjected to the criminal versions of them in three to five years,” Schneier said.
A report released last week by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society concluded the “networked public space played a central, arguably decisive, role in turning around the Federal Communications Commission policy on net neutrality.”
It cited BattleFor-TheNet.com as one of the most influential forces.