Thoughts On The Fallout from Kony 2012; Internet Censorship and the Remembrance of Infowars Past; Big Data - and its Dark Side

February 12, 2013

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Remember to load images if you have trouble seeing parts of this email. Or click here to view the web version of this newsletter. Below you will find upcoming Berkman Center events, interesting digital media we have produced, and other events of note.

berkman luncheon series

The Next 27 Minutes Are An Experiment: Thoughts On The Fallout from Kony 2012

Tuesday, February 19, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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On March 5th, 2012, the American nonprofit, Invisible Children, published a video called "Kony 2012" on the social video-sharing network, Youtube. Within six days, the video was dubbed the “most viral video in history,” beating out pop artists Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Beyonce’s music videos in how quickly it hit 100 million views. Much has been written on the Kony 2012 phenomenon by journalists, bloggers and academics. My aim in this talk is to only briefly summarize their thoughts and my own on the successes and failures of the initial Kony 2012 campaign, but then, more importantly, to explore the way in which Invisible Children has responded to criticism and adapted its messaging, and to ask what lessons can be learned by the human rights advocacy community from Kony 2012 and Invisible Children's subsequent actions. Ruha Devanesan is the Executive Director of the Internet Bar Organization, a nonprofit organization working to improve access to justice through technology through applied research in the fields of Online Dispute Resolution, mobile technology for dispute resolution, ICT4D, ICT4Peace and digital-economic inclusion for individuals in emerging economies. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

Internet Censorship and the Remembrance of Infowars Past

Tuesday, February 26, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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With Internet censorship on the rise around the world, organizations and researchers have developed and distributed a variety of tools to assist Internet users to both monitor and circumvent such censorship. This talk will examine more closely some of the international law and politics of such censorship resistance activities through three case studies involving past global communications censorship and information conflicts— telegraph cable cutting and suppression, high frequency radio jamming, and direct broadcast satellite blocking— and the world community’s response to these conflicts. In addition to illustrating some of the legal, political, and security concerns that have animated historical instances of global communications censorship, the talk will aim to extrapolate lessons and insights for Internet censorship (and its resistance) today, such as the legality of censorship and its circumvention, the effectiveness of monitoring efforts, and the role of int ernational institutions in disrupting (or facilitating) communications. Jon Penney is a lawyer, Research Fellow at the Citizen Lab / Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, and a doctoral student in information communication sciences at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, where his interdisciplinary research explores regulatory chilling effects online. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

special event

Big Data - and its Dark Side

Wednesday, March 6, 5:30pm ET, Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall Room 1015.

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The power of big data -- analyzing huge swaths of information to uncover insights and make predictions that were largely impossible in the past -- is poised to transform business and society. Fueling it is the realization that data has a value beyond the primary purpose for which it was collected. Yet there is a dark side. Privacy is eroded like never before. And a new harm emerges: predictions about human behavior that may result in penalties prior to actual the infraction being committed. In this talk Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier take a look at big data's power, the dangers it poses and how to address them. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is the Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford. His research focuses on the role of information in a networked economy. Earlier he spent ten years on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Kenneth Neil Cukier is the Data Editor of The Economist. From 2007 to 2012 he was the Japan business and finance correspondent, and before that, the paper's global technology correspondent based in London, where his work focused on innovation, intellectual property and Internet governance. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

special event

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to launch at Boston Public Library

April 18-19, 2013, Boston, MA. This event will be webcast live.

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On April 18-19, 2013, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) will celebrate the groundbreaking work of hundreds of librarians, innovators, and other dedicated volunteers in our collective effort to build the first national digital library. The DPLA invites you to join them at the Boston Public Library for this historic event.

Convened by the DPLA Secretariat at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and co-hosted by the Boston Public Library, the two-day DPLA Launch will include a brief working day on Thursday, April 18th, followed by a formal reception featuring presentations and a series of interactive exhibits showcasing content from our many partners, including the Digital Hubs and Europeana. On Friday, April 19th, the DPLA will convene a focused half-day plenary meeting highlighting the DPLA’s progress and potential.

Registration for the DPLA Launch is required and is free and open to all. The DPLA invites all those interested from the general public, the educational community, public and research libraries, cultural organizations, state and local government, the creative community, publishers, and private industry to attend the launch.

For those unable to attend in-person, please note that the working meetings, public plenary, and portions of the reception will be livestreamed and/or recorded. The DPLA encourages participation via Twitter, Facebook, and other social tools (hashtag: #dpla).

Limited scholarships to support participation in the DPLA Launch are available for those who are traveling from rural and distant areas. Scholarship amounts will vary, but are intended to apply to travel and accommodation costs for out-of-town participants. Preference will be given to applicants who have not yet attended a DPLA event.

You are encouraged to share this announcement widely with your networks. Please don't hesitate to be in touch with the DPLA Secretariat (dpla@cyber.law.harvard.edu) if you have any questions.

About the Digital Public Library of America

The DPLA is taking the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all. This impact-oriented research effort unites leaders from all types of libraries, museums, and archives with educators, industry, and government to define the vision for a digital library in service of the American public. Registration Required. Register now or find more information on the DPLA website>

video/audio

Molly Sauter: “LOIC Will Tear Us Apart”—The Impact of Tool Design and Media Portrayals in the Success of Activist DDOS Actions

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Activist Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) actions such as Anonymous' "Operation Payback" owe their success to the role of tool design and media coverage. Through a close reading of changes in tool interface and functionality over several iterations, Molly Sauter—Berkman Center fellow and graduate student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT—considers the evolution of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) DDoS tool from an inwardly-focused community tool to one which engaged with a larger population. She also demonstrates how Anonymous helped reframe DDoS actions from a tool of direct action to a tool of media manipulation and identity construction. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

Events that may be of interest to the Berkman community:

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Last updated February 13, 2013

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