US Launch of *impossible*; A Roadmap to Cyberpeace; How Dungeons & Dragons and Fantasy Prepare You for Law and Life

March 05, 2014

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special event

US Launch of *impossible*

Today! Wednesday, March 5, 6:30pm ET, Milstein East B, Wasserstein Hall, Harvard Law School. Free and Open to the Public.

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Since September, the public has been experimenting with an app that relies on the goodness of humankind. Called *impossible*, it leverages the idea of a gift economy through social media to grant wishes. Users interact by posting wishes—such as a desire to learn Spanish or to find a jogging buddy—and other *impossible* users who can grant those wishes based on skills and proximity connect to grant the wish.

On March 5, the Berkman Center will celebrate the US launch of *impossible*. Joining us will be Lily Cole, founder of *impossible* and fashion model, actress, and social entrepreneur, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Founder and CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, Rosemary Leith, Berkman Center Fellow, Judith Donath, Berkman Center Fellow, Jonathan Zittrain, Director at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Professor at Harvard Law School, and moderator Urs Gasser, Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

In an interactive discussion, the group will discuss the feasibility of a social media platform that relies on themes related to human cooperation, reciprocity, and kindness. Read more about *impossible* and its origins in The Telegraph and Wired UK and of course, download it in the iTunes app store.

Lily Cole is a fashion model, actress and social entrepreneur; Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing; Rosemary Leith is a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, where she works with Berkman’s Internet Robustness team, and acts as a Director of Herdict; Judith Donath synthesizes knowledge from fields such as urban design, evolutionary biology and cognitive science to build innovative interfaces for on-line communities and virtual identities; and Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

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A Roadmap to Cyberpeace

Tuesday, March 11, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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Camille François argues that we should reflect upon the notion of ‘cyberpeace’, giving guidelines to separate war-time cyber activities from peace-time cyber activities, clarifying the operations and legal framework. This project questions "cyberwar" (the concept, its reality and its legal framework) and examines its relationship to the idea of peace. What is cyberwar, and where does this notion comes from? Doctrinally, the ‘cyber’ realm grew between conceptions of war and peace. We will explore how these blurry lines translated in operations (ex. NSA/USCYBERCOM) and legal frameworks. We will attempt to address the consequences of the framing, and think about why this matters.

Camille François joined the Berkman Center as a fellow to work on surveillance and cybersecurity issues, cyberwar and cyberpeace, and public policy issue in robotics (especially drones & self-driving cars). RSVP Required. more information on our website>

special event

How Dungeons & Dragons and Fantasy Prepare You for Law and Life

Tuesday, March 11, 6:00pm ET, Harvard Law School. This event will be webcast live.

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How is a lawyer like a wizard? How does a courtroom resemble an epic battle? How is a casebook like the Dungeon Master's Guide? If you played Dungeons & Dragons in another age, or today, then you know this enormously influential role-playing gaming, which shaped the video gaming industry and geek culture, can be perfect training ground for law and life. This low-tech, pencil-and-paper-and-dice game teaches us how to solve problems, be a heroic leader, and achieve a common goal in a collaborative group environment. But the skills, rulebooks and "laws" required to play D&D --- whether understanding complex "to hit" charts or inventing the backstory of an evil Witch King -- can especially apply to law students. What Dungeon Master or lawyer doesn't need to parley with a foe? In this informal talk and conversation, critic and journalist Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, discusses how D&D's inherent storytelling skills can champion a role for creativ e play space in both your work and leisure life. We'll also discuss the push and pull of laws and rules vs. imagination in a game like D&D, a book series like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, or any fantasy world, and the role of the dungeon master/author/world-builder in the consistent (or inconsistent) application of these rules and standards, and how this all might apply to the imaginary world of law, too.

Jonathan Zittrain will join Ethan Gilsdorf for a conversation about how D&D can be a perfect training ground for law and life.

Ethan Gilsdorf is a journalist, memoirist, critic, poet, teacher and 17th level geek. He wrote the award-winning travel memoir investigation Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

Governments Pwn the Web: A Constitutional Right to IT-Security?

Tuesday, March 18, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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Governments around the world are hacking into IT-systems, with deep implications for privacy, IT-security, the legal process and geopolitics. The talk will explore three real-life cases to unpack those implications: the German Constitutional Court ruling on the 'Bundestrojaner' malware, the Dutch 'Bredolab' botnet mitigation and the hacking law proposed in its aftermath, and recent Snowden revelations on making 100.000 routers around the world 'wiretap ready' for ubiquitous surveillance by intelligence agencies. Should governments actually have the ability and the right to hack, and to weaken global communications networks? And do conventional concepts such as privacy and communications secrecy sufficiently capture the status quo, or do we need a new constitutional right for IT-security as proposed by the German court? Addressing these questions sets the stage for an interactive discussion with the audience to formulate an agenda for technical, legal and ethical research, policy and activism.

Axel Arnbak is a cybersecurity and information law researcher at the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam. At Berkman, Axel will analyze U.S. and E.U. cybersecurity governance models and their interplay with communications freedoms. In particular, Axel seeks to develop new approaches to communications security governance that apprises constitutional values. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

video/audio

Tricia Wang on Talking to Strangers: Chinese Youth and Social Media

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When we read about the Chinese internet in the Western press, we usually hear stories about censorship, political repression, and instability. But Chinese youth are actually sharing information and socializing with strangers online much more than those in the West suspect, finding ways to semi-anonymously connect to each other and establish a web of casual trust that extends beyond particularistic guanxi ties and authoritarian institutions. In this talk, Tricia Wang -- visiting scholar at New York University's Interactive Telecommunication Program and a Berkman Fellow -- argues that the activity of Chinese youth online reflects a new form of sociality: an Elastic Self, a new sociality which is laying the groundwork for a public sphere to emerge from ties primarily based on friendship and interactions founded on a casual web of public trust. video/audio on our website>

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Last updated March 05, 2014

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