BERKMAN BUZZ: A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations. If you'd like to receive this by email, sign up here.
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*Ethan Zuckerman fills us in on the launch of Herdict Web
*The Citizen Media Law Project looks at a federal shield bill that could leave bloggers unprotected
*David Weinberger live blogs Peter Suber's talk on the future of Open Access
*The Internet & Democracy Project discusses how governments are using the Internet
*Diana Kimball thinks about the viability of digital classrooms
*The OpenNet Initiative explores "liberation technologies" and regulation
*Eszter Hargittai makes a Facebook meme CC-friendly
*Weekly Global Voices: "Singapore: Amended law to allow filming of 'factual' political rallies"
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"The folks at the Herdict
project, a new effort being launched at the Berkman Center today, are
interested in a different way of documenting web filtering and
censorship. They’re asking users around the world to use the Herdict
site or toolbar to report when they’re having trouble reaching a site.
Herdict will coordinate reports and attempt to determine whether a site
is being blocked by a government, an ISP or whether there’s a technical
failure that’s preventing people from accessing a site..."
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, "Join the Herd!"
"The question of what makes a journalist is due for yet another round of debate, now that Congress is weighing two competing versions of a federal shield law for reporters. Last Friday, the Senate introduced its own version of the Free Flow of Information Act, a follow-up to the House's action two days before. Both versions would provide new -- if limited -- protection against subpoenas for journalists, and both version contain a range of exceptions. Both bills were introduced in 2007 as well, with the House version passing overwhelmingly despite a veto threat. The Senate bill was passed easily out of committee only to die without a vote of the full chamber as the session ran out of time..."
From Michael Lindenberger's blog post for the Citizen Media Law Project, "Federal Shield Bills Offer Rival Takes On Who's A Journalist; Bloggers Could Be Left Unprotected"
"Peter says he’s going to assume that we know what open access is, etc. But he does want to define Green Open Access (= open access through a repository) and Gold OA (= OA through a journal). There’s also Gratis OA (free of charge but may be licensing restrictions) and Libre OA (free of charge and free of licensing restrictions). Peter says he doesn’t know the future of OA. He likes Alan Kaye’s comment that the future is easier to make than commit. He’s going to talk about 12 cross-over points in OA, in rough order of when they might occur..."
From David Weinberger's blog post, "[berkman] Peter Suber on the future of open access"
"Our friend Evgeny Morozov has a great new piece in Newsweek exploring how democratic governments and dictatorial regimes alike are successfully leveraging the Internet. He cites a number of examples we’ve brought to light on this blog, including Iranian Basiji bloggers and their location on our new Iranian blogosphere map, Israel-directed bloggers during the war in Gaza, and public diplomacy 2.0 in the US. He cites our own John Kelly on Iran’s efforts, writing, 'John Kelly, an expert in the Iranian blogosphere at Harvard’s Berkman Center, has found that in the last year, the proportion of religious sites among the top 5,000 most-linked Iranian blogs has grown from 16 percent to 31 percent...'"
From the Internet & Democracy Project blog post, "Facebook Diplomacy: How Governments are Exploiting the Internet"
"How viable is the digital classroom? I’ve only ever approached this question from the perspective of a student. For me, it’s always been a personal question rather than a policy decision. It’s taken four (four!) years of college to get things straight: will I really be able to devote my full attention to a lecture or discussion with a laptop in front of me? If the lecture is slow, will I be better off staying awake by accessing more information channels, or watching my mind start to wander as I try to focus on just one..."
From the Digital Natives Project blog post, "The Digital Classroom: First Encounters"
"On February 11, Vodafone's global head of content standards, Annie Mullins, revealed that Vodafone handed over communications data to the Egyptian authorities in response to government demands. This data may have been used to help identify rioters who were protesting over bread crisis. Food riots erupted in the Egyptian town Mahalla el-Kubra in April 2008. Some of the protesters tore down a giant poster of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president during the riots and shouted anti-government slogans. During the demonstrations, many protesters carried cell phones, using them to call friends and send text messages. In December, twenty-two people were convicted in connection with the food riots..."
From the OpenNet Initiative blog post, "Can they hear me now? (On ICT regulations, governments, and transparency)"
"If you’re on Facebook then it’s unlikely that you haven’t been sucked into the meme phenomenon. It tends to involve writing something, mainly about yourself, and then tagging other people with a request to do the same. Most recently it got very popular with the “25 random things” meme (yeah, yeah, I don’t think you need to be a certified sociologist to know that those things are never truly random), that first circulated as 7 things then 16 things, but not surprisingly really went viral when it involved tagging 20+ people..."
From Eszter Hargittai's blog post, "Promoting Creative Commons through a tweaked Facebook meme"
"Good news: Singapore to lift ban on party political films. The Films Act will be ‘liberalised’. Bad news: Live film recordings of political events are allowed but the events being filmed must first be held in accordance with the law. Martyn See summarizes the amended provisions of the law: Allowed: 'Wholly accurate' depictions of 'actual' events, persons and situations. Not Allowed: Fictional films about political events, persons or situations. Questionable: Documentaries containing ex-political detainees' accounts of mental and physical torture under ISA detentions. Dramas depicting political events, persons and situations..."
From Mong Palatino's blog post for Global Voices, "Singapore: Amended law to allow filming of 'factual' political rallies"
Last updated February 27, 2009