Berkman in the News
A 2015 study, “Score Another One for the Internet? The Role of the Networked Public Sphere in the U.S. Net Neutrality Policy Debate,” looks at the public debate on net neutrality in the United States as the FCC was rewriting its regulations from January to November 2014, when President Obama made his announcement. The authors utilized the pioneering analysis tool Media Cloud, a joint project between the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and the Center for Civic Media at MIT, to examine more than 16,000 stories published on the subject during that period. The researchers — Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, Bruce Etling, Dalia Othman and Yochai Benkler — also analyzed the connections between media sources formed by more than 10,000 links among the stories.
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Youth and Media released a new ebook “Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media,” a first-of-its kind collection of essays that offers reflections from diverse perspectives on youth experiences with digital media and with focus on the Global South.
“As Google has been developing its awareness and understanding of what people want, it’s been exploring the question of what it is about this group of people…[who] are aware of the world but not actively voicing their opinions or taking action. What can we do, and what can others in the civic ecosystem to do?” says Kate Krontiris, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society who worked on the project.
“The feeling was, ‘Oh, the Obama Administration is opening Cuba, and so now all Cubans will have access to Internet, they’ll have all these freedoms they didn’t have before,”’ says Ellery Roberts Biddle, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “That’s really not what’s happening.”
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Youth and Media are excited to announce the release of the new ebook “Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media,” a first-of-its kind collection of essays that offers reflections from diverse perspectives on youth experiences with digital media and with focus on the Global South. It creatively combines adult voices with written and visual contributions by young people from around the world.
On March 31st Greatfire.org pinned the blame for the recent attacks on the CAC, saying that the Great Firewall could not have been used without its approval or that of Lu Wei, the minister in charge. But attribution is hard to prove. According to Nathan Freitas of the Berkman Centre for Internet & Society at Harvard University, there is no smoking gun implicating the Chinese government—but the authorities should be asked how they allowed critical internet infrastructure to be “compromised by criminals”.
Mass surveillance by governments and corporations is comparable to child labor or environmental pollution. That is the largely persuasive claim of security expert Bruce Schneier in his new book “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.” Resistance is not futile, Schneier thinks, although it will be tricky to fight overreaching securocrats and snooping online advertisers without giving up at least some of the genuine advantages of Big Data.
Watching such developments from his office in Boston, Harvard University law professor Jonathan Zittrain began thinking about the need for smarter weapons: weapons that could be disabled remotely if and when required. His inspiration was right in front of him.‘I was reflecting on the fact that companies like Apple have implemented kill switches for iPhones,’ says Zittrain, the director of the prestigious Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Most Cubans who access the worldwide web do so only through work or school, and usually then using shared computers. A small number of internet cafes opened by the Cuban government in 2013 ostensibly broaden connectivity, but these charge exorbitant usage rates—$5 USD an hour, and 70 cents per hour for the country’s intranet—according to a 2013 report by Internet Monitor, a project of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Several Harvard faculty members and other affiliates said the ruling largely benefited consumers and their access to the internet.“Over the long term, these actions may help to ensure that there will be choices for connectivity, and that when you’re connected, you don’t see that access being cajoled in one direction or another depending on the ISPs’ business deals,” wrote Jonathan L. Zittrain, faculty director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, in an email.