Berkman in the News
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.
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.
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.”
Dear Prime Minister Cameron,
You recently proposed that all internet apps – and their users’ communications – be compelled to make themselves accessible to state authorities. I want to explain why this is a very bad idea even though it might seem like a no-brainer.
A recent report published by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Internet Monitor project examines the emergence of religious skeptics in Arab cyberspace.
The report, “Arab Religious Skeptics Online: Anonymity, Autonomy, and Discourse in a Hostile Environment,” authored by Helmi Noman, a research affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, analyzes the content, discourse, and structure of three prominent Arab atheist web forums and examines the relationship between the networked information economy and religious skeptics.
On Monday, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society announced that it was taking part in a collaborative effort to gather information about secret federal legal notices that demand corporate and user data from web service providers.
The Berkman Center worked alongside two digital rights groups, the Calyx Institute and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as New York University’s Technology Law and Policy Clinic, to create CanaryWatch.org, a site designed to collect and monitor all of the Internet’s warrant canaries.
Justin Reich, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the author of the EdTech Researcher blog on edweek.org, said he’s glad to see “pockets of people experimenting with these ideas.”
There’s little evidence that either strategy is effective, Mr. Reich said, though there appears to be more indication that extended learning time may hold promise. Often, blended learning and extended learning time are implemented along with other measures, and it’s difficult to tease out what may have had the most impact, he said.
Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of law and computer science at Harvard University, says: “Everybody can keep powder dry. I don’t think there are any immediate changes.”
FCC officials seem to be just focusing on net neutrality, Zittrain says. “These are not wild-eyed radicals somehow wanting to blow up the system,” he says.
Zittrain says these are all things the FCC could do, if it wanted to – and that’s a big if.
The differing messages don’t necessarily result from a difference of opinion, but from a difference of audience, says Susan Crawford, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.”When they’re talking to Wall Street, they say different things than when they’re talking to the press about what the FCC might like to do,” she says. “They trot out these really simple and nonsensical platitudes, like ‘regulation inevitably leads to lower investment.’ That’s just not true.”
“When people don’t have to disclose their personal information on the Web, the risk of identity theft is dramatically reduced,” John Clippinger, senior fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School said. “The ability to anonymize transactions using Identity Mixer has the potential to bolster consumer confidence, opening digital floodgates to new forms of Internet commerce.”