Current Berkman People and Projects

Keep track of Berkman-related news and conversations by subscribing to this page using your RSS feed reader. This aggregation of blogs relating to the Berkman Center does not necessarily represent the views of the Berkman Center or Harvard University but is provided as a convenient starting point for those who wish to explore the people and projects in Berkman's orbit. As this is a global exercise, times are in UTC.

The list of blogs being aggregated here can be found at the bottom of this page.

October 25, 2014

Bruce Schneier
Friday Squid Blogging: Humboldt Squids Attack Submarine

A pair of Humboldt squids attacked a Greenpeace submarine. There's video.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.

by Bruce Schneier at October 25, 2014 03:57 PM

More Crypto Wars II

FBI Director James Comey again called for an end to secure encryption by putting in a backdoor. Here's his speech:

There is a misconception that building a lawful intercept solution into a system requires a so-called "back door," one that foreign adversaries and hackers may try to exploit.

But that isn't true. We aren't seeking a back-door approach. We want to use the front door, with clarity and transparency, and with clear guidance provided by law. We are completely comfortable with court orders and legal process -- front doors that provide the evidence and information we need to investigate crime and prevent terrorist attacks.

Cyber adversaries will exploit any vulnerability they find. But it makes more sense to address any security risks by developing intercept solutions during the design phase, rather than resorting to a patchwork solution when law enforcement comes knocking after the fact. And with sophisticated encryption, there might be no solution, leaving the government at a dead end -- all in the name of privacy and network security.

I'm not sure why he believes he can have a technological means of access that somehow only works for people of the correct morality with the proper legal documents, but he seems to believe that's possible. As Jeffrey Vagle and Matt Blaze point out, there's no technical difference between Comey's "front door" and a "back door."

As in all of these sorts of speeches, Comey gave examples of crimes that could have been solved had only the police been able to decrypt the defendant's phone. Unfortunately, none of the three stories is true. The Intercept tracked down each story, and none of them is actually a case where encryption foiled an investigation, arrest, or conviction:

In the most dramatic case that Comey invoked -- the death of a 2-year-old Los Angeles girl -- not only was cellphone data a non-issue, but records show the girl's death could actually have been avoided had government agencies involved in overseeing her and her parents acted on the extensive record they already had before them.

In another case, of a Louisiana sex offender who enticed and then killed a 12-year-old boy, the big break had nothing to do with a phone: The murderer left behind his keys and a trail of muddy footprints, and was stopped nearby after his car ran out of gas.

And in the case of a Sacramento hit-and-run that killed a man and his girlfriend's four dogs, the driver was arrested in a traffic stop because his car was smashed up, and immediately confessed to involvement in the incident.

[...]

His poor examples, however, were reminiscent of one cited by Ronald T. Hosko, a former assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, in a widely cited -- and thoroughly debunked -- Washington Post opinion piece last month.

In that case, the Post was eventually forced to have Hosko rewrite the piece, with the following caveat appended:

Editors note: This story incorrectly stated that Apple and Google's new encryption rules would have hindered law enforcement's ability to rescue the kidnap victim in Wake Forest, N.C. This is not the case. The piece has been corrected.

Hadn't Comey found anything better since then? In a question-and-answer session after his speech, Comey both denied trying to use scare stories to make his point -- and admitted that he had launched a nationwide search for better ones, to no avail.

This is important. All the FBI talk about "going dark" and losing the ability to solve crimes is absolute bullshit. There is absolutely no evidence, either statistically or even anecdotally, that criminals are going free because of encryption.

So why are we even discussing the possibility to forcing companies to provide insecure encryption to their users and customers?

The EFF points out that companies are protected by law from being required to provide insecure security to make the FBI happy.

Sadly, I don't think this is going to go away anytime soon.

My first post on these new Crypto Wars is here.

by Bruce Schneier at October 25, 2014 02:43 PM

The NSA's Role in Commercial Cybersecurity

Susan Landau has a new paper on the NSA's increasing role in commercial cybersecurity. She argues that the NSA is the wrong organization to do this, and we need a more public and open government agency involved in commercial cybersecurity.

by Bruce Schneier at October 25, 2014 02:34 PM

Analysis of Printer Watermarking Techniques

Interesting paper: Maya Embar, Louis M. McHough IV, and William R. Wesselman, "Printer watermark obfuscation," Proceeding
RIIT '14: Proceedings of the 3rd annual conference on Research in information technology
:

Abstract: Most color laser printers manufactured and sold today add "invisible" information to make it easier to determine when a particular document was printed and exactly which printer was used. Some manufacturers have acknowledged the existence of the tracking information in their documentation while others have not. None of them have explained exactly how it works or the scope of the information that is conveyed. There are no laws or regulations that require printer companies to track printer users this way, and none that prevent them from ceasing this practice or providing customers a means to opt out of being tracked. The tracking information is coded by patterns of yellow dots that the printers add to every page they print. The details of the patterns vary by manufacturer and printer model.

by Bruce Schneier at October 25, 2014 01:29 PM

Jumping Air Gaps with All-in-One Printers

Last week, Adi Shamir gave a presentation at Black Hat Europe on using all-in-one printers to control computers on the other side of air gaps. There's no paper yet, but two publications reported on the talk:

Theoretically, if a malicious program is installed on an air-gapped computer by an unsuspecting user via, say, a USB thumb drive, attackers should have a hard time controlling the malicious program or stealing data through it because there is no Internet connection.

But the researchers found that if a multifunction printer is attached to such a computer, attackers could issue commands to a malicious program running on it by flashing visible or infrared light at the scanner lid when open.

[...]

The researchers observed that if a source of light is pointed repeatedly at the white coating on the inside of the scanner's lid during a scanning operation, the resulting image will have a series of white lines on darker background. Those lines correspond to the pulses of light hitting the lid and their thickness depends on the duration of the pulses, Shamir explained.

Using this observation the researchers developed Morse code that can be used to send pulses of light at different intervals and interpret the resulting lines as binary data­1s and 0s. Malware running on an air-gapped system could be programmed to initiate a scanning operation at a certain time -- for example, during the night -- and then interpret the commands sent by attackers using the technique from far away.

Shamir estimated that several hundred bits of data can be sent during a single scan. That's enough to send small commands that can activate various functionality built into the malware.

This technique can be used to send commands into an air-gapped computer network, and to exfiltrate data from that network.

by Bruce Schneier at October 25, 2014 01:34 AM

Justin Reich
Listening to Massive: The Future of Learning at Scale
A podcast from the Harvard Graduate School of Education about Massive: The Future of Learning at Scale.

by Justin Reich at October 25, 2014 12:23 AM

October 24, 2014

Bruce Schneier
Friday Squid Blogging: 1,057 Squid T-Shirts

That's a lot.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.

Commenting has been broken for the past few days. We hope to get it fixed on Monday.

by Bruce Schneier at October 24, 2014 09:10 PM

PRX
Stretch Goal #1 and Hover 20k Backer Challenge
Helen Zaltzman of "Answer Me This" with PRX COO Kerri HoffmanHelen Zaltzman of “Answer Me This” with PRX COO Kerri Hoffman at Radiotopia Live.

Three days ago Radiotopia hit our Kickstarter funding goal. We are thrilled! Thank you for your support and for getting the project to this point.

We are very excited to announce 2 major updates:

1. Our first stretch goal! This is huge and we’re really thrilled to share this.

As of February 2013, only 20% of the top 100 podcasts are hosted by women. We want to change that. If we reach $400,000 we will be able to green-light three new shows, all hosted by women.

The shows:

  • Soon-to-be-titled Helen Zaltzman words and language program(me)– Created by Helen Zaltzman, host of the popular UK show “Answer Me This,” this brand new program peels back the surface of language to find out why we say the things we say.
  • “The Heart” – A show about the triumphs and the terrors of human intimacy, the bliss and banality of being in love and the wild diversity of the human heart. Hosted by Kaitlin Prest.
  • “Criminal” – Riveting true crime stories about being wronged, doing wrong, and being caught in the middle. Hosted by Phoebe Judge and produced by Eric Mennel and Lauren Spohrer.

2. The Hover 20,000 Backer Challenge.

Hover is offering $25,000 if Radiotopia is able to reach 20,000 backers. Every pledge gets us that much closer to $25K and this is going to be a tough one, so please consider backing the project and sharing with your friends.



The post Stretch Goal #1 and Hover 20k Backer Challenge appeared first on PRX.

by Audrey at October 24, 2014 08:25 PM

Justin Reich
The School Leader's 1-to-1 Implementation Checklist
Slides and images from a recent talk about how school leaders can best support meaningful changes in teaching and learning as they roll out 1-to-1 computing initiatives.

by Justin Reich at October 24, 2014 04:59 PM

Cyberlaw Clinic - blog
Deans’ Food System Challenge Kicks Off at Harvard i-Lab

Harvard Innovation LabEach year, the Harvard Innovation Lab administers several Harvard University-wide challenges.  The competitions include the “President’s Challenge” (overseen by Harvard President Drew Faust‘s office) and several “Deans’ Challenges” (each launched by a dean or group of deans at Harvard, aimed at solving specified technical, business, or social problems). 

This year, Harvard Law School and the Harvard T.H. Chan Shool of Public Health are teaming up to launch the Deans’ Food System Challenge.  The Challenge invites students from across Harvard University to develop innovative solutions to make the food system healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable.  The Food System Challenge is based around four discrete topics, all relating to the production, consumption, and distribution of food:

        • Producing Sustainable, Nutritious Food;
        • Innovating in Food Distribution and Markets;
        • Improving our Diet; and
        • Reducing Food Waste

To be eligible, teams entering the challenge must include at least one matriculated and degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate Harvard student or Harvard postdoctoral candidate who serves in a leadership role.  Complete information on Challenge eligibility is available here.

HLS Dean Martha Minow will be joined by keynoe speaker Ayr Muir (Harvard Business School graduate and founder of Clover Food Lab), among many others, at the Food System Challenge kickoff on Monday, October 27 from 6-8pm at the i-Lab.  Students interested in entering the challenge and others with interest or expertise in business and social/cultural entrepreneurship around issues relating to food will have the opportunity to network and begin exploring ideas and investigating potential collaborations.  Please register to attend the kickoff here.

If you are unable to attend the kickoff, you will have many opportunities over the course of the year to engage with issues relating to the food system through the University-wide Food Better campaign, which is helping to host events throughout the yeat about food and our evolving food system.

by Clinic Staff at October 24, 2014 03:39 PM

Bruce Schneier
NSA Classification ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information

ECI is a classification above Top Secret. It's for things that are so sensitive they're basically not written down, like the names of companies whose cryptography has been deliberately weakened by the NSA, or the names of agents who have infiltrated foreign IT companies.

As part of the Intercept story on the NSA's using agents to infiltrate foreign companies and networks, it published a list of ECI compartments. It's just a list of code names and three-letter abbreviations, along with the group inside the NSA that is responsible for them. The descriptions of what they all mean would never be in a computer file, so it's only of value to those of us who like code names.

This designation is why there have been no documents in the Snowden archive listing specific company names. They're all referred to by these ECI code names.

by Bruce Schneier at October 24, 2014 03:08 PM

David Weinberger
[clickbait] Copyright is sodomy

A year ago, Harold Feld posted one of the most powerful ways of framing our excessive zeal for copyright that I have ever read. I was welling up even before he brought Aaron Swartz into the context.

Harold’s post is within a standard Jewish genre: the d’var Torah, an explanation of a point in the portion of the Torah being read that week. As is expected of the genre, he draws upon a long, self-reflective history of interpretation. I urge you to read it because of the light it sheds on our culture of copyright, but it’s also worth noticing the form of the discussion.

The content: In the Jewish tradition, Sodom’s sin wasn’t sexual but rather an excessive possessiveness leading to a fanatical unwillingness to share. Harold cites from a collection of traditional commentary, The Ethics of Our Fathers:

“There are four types of moral character. One who says: ‘what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours.’ This is an average person. Some say it is the Way of Sodom. The one who says: ‘what is mine is yours and what is yours is mine,’ is ignorant of the world. ‘What is mine is yours and what is yours is yours’ is the righteous. ‘What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine’ is the wicked.”

In a PowerPoint, it’d be a 2×2 chart. Harold’s point will be that the ‘what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours.’ of the average person becomes wicked when enforced without compassion or flexibility. Harold evokes the traditional Jewish examples of Sodom’s wickedness and compares them to what’s become our dominant “average” assumptions about how copyright ought to work.

I am purposefully not explaining any further. Read Harold’s piece.

The form: I find the space of explanation within which this d’var Torah — and most others that I’ve heard — operates to be fascinating. At the heart of Harold’s essay is a text accepted by believers as having been given by God, yet the explanation is accomplished by reference to a history of human interpretations that disagree with one another, with guidance by a set of values (e.g., sharing is good) that persevere in a community thanks to that community’s insistent adherence to its tradition. The result is that an agnostic atheist like me (I’m only pretty sure there is no God) can find truth and wisdom in the interpretation of a text I take as being ungrounded in a divine act.

But forget all that. Read Harold’s post, bubbelah.

by davidw at October 24, 2014 01:03 PM

Pieceful Collaboration

I gave a talk last night at the BookBuilders of Boston collaboration awards. It’s a non-profit that since 1937 has networked publishers, book manufacturers, and other book folk…although I don’t think people would have described it as “networking” back then. The nominees each gave a 2.5 minute presentation on their collaborative publishing project, many of which were very cool. Plus it was in the Brattle Theater.

I was the filler as the judges went into a sealed room to decide on the winners. So I gave a 30 talk pitched around a pun that I sort of like: a pieceful difference.

The idea was that lots of collaborative efforts bring together multiple people to build a single object — a barn raising or a Wikipedia page. But other collaborations break something apart and allow different people to build different things.

The ability to bring strangers together around a project is a gift of the Net. But so is its making available lots of little pieces that can be made into mosaics by a mosaic of people. The Johnny Cash Project is one sort of example. But so is any set of things created from stuff retrieved through an API or mashed-up APIs.

I’m not sure why I am drawn to pieceful collaboration, other than because of the cheap pun. I guess I like the way individuality is maintained around a shared but differentiated set of materials. I’m a little surprised. I thought I was less of an individualist than that.

by davidw at October 24, 2014 02:41 AM

October 23, 2014

Bruce Schneier
Whisper Tracks Users

The Guardian has reported that the app Whisper tracks users, and then published a second article explaining what it knows after Whisper denied the story. Here's Whisper's denial; be sure to also read the first comment from Moxie Marlinspike.

Slashdot thread. Hacker News thread.

EDITED TO ADD (10/22): Another Whisper explanation, and another Guardian article. An analysis.

by Bruce Schneier at October 23, 2014 09:33 PM

Deanonymizing Taxi Passenger and Fare Data

Interesting essay on the sorts of things you can learn from anonymized taxi passenger and fare data.

by Bruce Schneier at October 23, 2014 08:44 PM

Nick Grossman
This is what an Internet Candidate looks like
10655153_692976717462491_348675915_n

I just donated to Christina Gagnier‘s campaign for congress.

I’ve gotten to know Christina recently, and I really hope she’s able to pull through this race and make it.  We need smart people in DC who understand technology, tech issues, and tech policy. She is without a doubt one of those people.  She’s an entrepreneur and tech lawyer who knows these issues cold and has lived with them for a long time.

Smart DC consultants have told me that Christina is too far behind to win.  I’m not sure if that’s true or not.  But what I know is that she “gets” technology and tech policy.  And she’s not coming at it from a Silicon Valley perspective — she’s representing California’s 35th District, in the eastern part of LA county, where big technology companies are not the center of the economy, but technology is what is going to connect and power the local economy. Further, Christina has been out in the community nonstop for the last few months, including her Bold Ideas RV Tour over the last month, and I suspect the race will be closer than people think.

Christina gets that privacy and trust are central issues, that we need open networks and broadband infrastructure, and that issues like patent trolls (and software patents more generally) are hurting the tech-driven economy.

So, for those of you looking to make some last minute noise / contributions, I think Christina’s campaign is a great place to do it.

 

 

 

by Nick Grossman at October 23, 2014 07:15 PM

ProjectVRM
@Capgemini on #VRM: well done!

Just learned about these two new videos by @Capgemini:

The introductory copy says,

Both Customer Relationship Management and Vendor Relationship Management want to improve customer relationships but they approach this differently. Find out what are the three main factors that separate them.

Both videos not only explain VRM nicely, but illustrate it on a whiteboard:

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.03.24 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.04.48 PM

Big thanks to @LarrySCohen, @NielsvdLinden, @rickmans, Nick Gill and all the other @Capgemini people behind this. (Though not mentioned in the above links, I also want to throw thanks to @VINTLabs and @Sogeti, both also of Capgemini, and who I suspect are involved too.)

And it would be great if some could come to VRM Day and IIW next week. We’ll set the stage with these videos.

by Doc Searls at October 23, 2014 06:22 PM

Amanda Palmer
BACK TO OZ! neil and I are coming back to Tasmania for MONA FOMA 2015

MOST EXCITING NEWS EVER ABOUT NEXT YEAR:
i am going to be appearing at the MONA FOMA 2015 festival (my third time!) fronting the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra!!!!!! with brand new arrangements for the symphony from Jherek Bischoff.

also appearing at this epic and always unforgettable festival held on a small island off the south coast of australia, which as you all know is shaped like…well, a map of tasmania:
Neil Gaiman!!!
Swans!!! (and that means Thor Harris!!!! and FUNPLAYTIME!!!)
Shonen Knife!!
Paul Kelly!!!

and many many more.

january 15-18th!

if you live anywhere near australia – or don’t – it’s always amazing.
come.

here’s their official site: mofo.net.au

xx
a

ps. i don’t know at this moment whether there will be any more Australian Or New Zealand dates. it’s going to depend on Anthony’s health. his bone marrow transplant was just delayed due to complications. stay tuned.

(good news about mofo via http://themusic.com.au/)

by admin at October 23, 2014 02:04 PM

Berkman Center front page
Upcoming Events: The Responsive City (10/28); The Coming Swarm (10/29); Authorship in the Digital World (10/30)
Berkman Events Newsletter Template
Open Call for Fellowship Applications, Academic Year 2015-2016
Interested in joining the Berkman community? Find out more about our fellowship program and the application process on our website.
book launch

The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data Smart Governance

Tuesday, October 28, 12:00pm ET, Harvard Law School Library. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

berkman

Harvard Law School Visiting Professor and co-director of the Berkman Center Susan Crawford joins Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, MA, Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston and Harvard Business School Professor and Chief of Staff to Mayor Menino, Mitchell Weiss, for a lively discussion around her new book, The Responsive City. The talk will be moderated by Harvard Law School Professor and co-founder and Director of the Berkman Center Jonathan Zittrain.

The Responsive City is a compelling guide to civic engagement and governance in the digital age that will help municipal leaders link important breakthroughs in technology and data analytics with age-old lessons of small-group community input to create more agile, competitive and economically resilient cities. The book is co-authored by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, director of Data-Smart City Solutions at Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor Susan Crawford, co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. more information on our website>

book launch

The Coming Swarm

Wednesday, October 29, 6:00pm ET, Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Room 2012. Free and Open to the Public.

berkman

In her new book, The Coming Swarm: DDoS, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet, Molly Sauter examines the history, development, theory, and practice of distributed denial of service actions as a tactic of political activism. Together in conversation with journalist and activist Laurie Penny, Molly will discuss the use of disruptive tactics like DDoS, online civil disobedience, and the role of the internet as a zone of political activism and speech. There will be a book signing following the discussion.

Molly Sauter is a research affiliate at the Berkman Center, and a doctoral student at McGill University in Montreal. She holds a masters degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, where she is an affiliate researcher at the Center for Civic Media at the Media Lab. Laurie Penny was born in London in 1986 and is not dead yet. She is, in no particular order, a writer, a journalist, a public speaker, an activist, a feminist, a reprobate and a geek. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

co-sponsored event

Authorship in the Digital World: How to Make It Thrive

Thursday, October 30, 3:30pm ET, Harvard University, Lamont Library, Forum Room. Co-sponsored by The Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and the Authors Alliance

berkman

The internet has had disruptive effects on many aspects of the ecosystem in which authors reach readers. The roles of publishers, retailers, libraries, and universities, and other participants in this ecosystem are evolving rapidly. Amazon.com, in particular, has been the source of considerable controversy in its dealings with authors and publishers.

In order for authors to navigate these turbulent waters, they need to be strategic in their partnerships and careful in contracting. Copyright is supposed to help even authors with no legal expertise, but how good a job does it do? Could some changes in that law help authors reach readers more effectively? Looking beyond the law, what steps can authors take now to realize the full impact of their writings?

With these questions in mind, the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society are co-sponsoring the Authors Alliance in bringing a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing authors in the digital age to the Harvard campus.

The discussion will be preceded by remarks from Katie Hafner, a journalist, the author of six books, and a member of the Authors Alliance and advisory board.

Jonathan Zittrain will moderate a panel that will include: Rachel Cohen, a Cambridge-based author and creative writing professor at Sarah Lawrence College; Robert Darnton, university librarian at Harvard and member of the Authors Alliance advisory board; Ellen Faran, director of MIT Press; Mark Fischer, a copyright lawyer at Duane Morris LLP; Katie Hafner, a journalist, memoirist, and nonfiction writer; Alison Mudditt, director of UC Press; Sophia Roosth, a Harvard historian of science; and Pamela Samuelson, Authors Alliance co-founder and law professor at U.C. Berkeley. Registration Required. more information on our website>

luncheon series

General Counsel of Microsoft, Brad Smith, in conversation with Professor Jonathan Zittrain

Tuesday, November 4, 12:00pm ET, Harvard Law School. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. This event will be webcast live.

berkman

Brad Smith, General Counsel of Microsoft, will participation in an interview conversation with HLS Professor and Berkman Faculty Director Jonathan Zittrain. Topic TBA.

Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel and senior vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs. He leads the company's Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA), which has just over 1,000 employees and is responsible for the company's legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, and its government affairs and philanthropic work. He also serves as Microsoft's corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer.

Jonathan Zittrain is the George Bemis 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, Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at the Harvard Law School Library, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

video/audio

Emily Horne & Tim Maly on The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance

berkman

In 1787, British philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham conceived of the panopticon, a ring of cells observed by a central watchtower, as a labor-saving device for those in authority. In French philosopher Michel Foucault's groundbreaking 1975 study, Discipline and Punish, the panopticon became a metaphor to describe the creeping effects of personalized surveillance as a means for ever-finer mechanisms of control. Years later, the available tools of scrutiny, supervision, and discipline are far more capable and insidious than Foucault dreamed, and yet less effective than Bentham hoped. Shopping malls, container ports, terrorist holding cells, and social networks all bristle with cameras, sensors, and trackers. But, crucially, they are also rife with resistance and prime opportunities for revolution. In this talk authors Emily Horne -- a creator of the webcomic A Softer World -- and Tim Maly -- writer and Fellow at Harvard’s metaLAB -- discuss their new book The Inspect ion House, and paint a stark, vivid portrait of our contemporary surveillance state and its opponents. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

Local, national, international, and online events that may be of interest to the Berkman community:

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to the Berkman Center's Weekly Events Newsletter. Sign up to receive this newsletter if this email was forwarded to you. To manage your subscription preferences, please click here.

Connect & get involved: Jobs, internships, and more iTunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube RSS

See our events calendar if you're curious about future luncheons, discussions, lectures, and conferences not listed in this email. Our events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

by ashar at October 23, 2014 01:44 PM

Bruce Schneier
How Did the Feds Identity Dread Pirate Roberts?

Last month, I wrote that the FBI identified Ross W. Ulbricht as the Silk Road's Dread Pirate Roberts through a leaky CAPTCHA. Seems that story doesn't hold water:

The FBI claims that it found the Silk Road server by examining plain text Internet traffic to and from the Silk Road CAPTCHA, and that it visited the address using a regular browser and received the CAPTCHA page. But [Nicholas] Weaver says the traffic logs from the Silk Road server (PDF) that also were released by the government this week tell a different story.

"The server logs which the FBI provides as evidence show that, no, what happened is the FBI didn't see a leakage coming from that IP," he said. "What happened is they contacted that IP directly and got a PHPMyAdmin configuration page." See this PDF file for a look at that PHPMyAdmin page. Here is the PHPMyAdmin server configuration.

But this is hardly a satisfying answer to how the FBI investigators located the Silk Road servers. After all, if the FBI investigators contacted the PHPMyAdmin page directly, how did they know to do that in the first place?

"That's still the $64,000 question," Weaver said. "So both the CAPTCHA couldn't leak in that configuration, and the IP the government visited wasn't providing the CAPTCHA, but instead a PHPMyAdmin interface. Thus, the leaky CAPTCHA story is full of holes."

My guess is that the NSA provided the FBI with this information. We know that the NSA provides surveillance data to the FBI and the DEA, under the condition that they lie about where it came from in court.

NSA whistleblower William Binney explained how it's done:

...when you can't use the data, you have to go out and do a parallel construction, [which] means you use what you would normally consider to be investigative techniques, [and] go find the data. You have a little hint, though. NSA is telling you where the data is...

by Bruce Schneier at October 23, 2014 01:37 AM

October 22, 2014

ProjectVRM
VRM News & Views

First, some VRooMy startups and projects:

Next, I’ve got this idea that whawhat we need for full personal agency is an operating system of our own. Something that’s as personal as our own clothes, and just as wearable and privacy-affording. Also something we wield, like a tool. Or a set of them, which might include, if need be, weapons. So here are some links that point in that direction:

Now for some government stuff:

A collection of VRooMy posts by Don Marti, and links from some of those posts:

Data stuff:

Etc.

by Doc Searls at October 22, 2014 10:40 PM

MediaBerkman
Emily Horne & Tim Maly on The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance [AUDIO]
In 1787, British philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham conceived of the panopticon, a ring of cells observed by a central watchtower, as a labor-saving device for those in authority. In French philosopher Michel Foucault’s groundbreaking 1975 study, Discipline and Punish, the panopticon became a metaphor to describe the creeping effects of personalized surveillance as […]

by Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School (djones@cyber.law.harvard.edu) at October 22, 2014 07:49 PM

Berkman Center front page
Berkman Community Newcomers: Erhardt Graeff

This post marks the second in a series featuring interviews with some of the fascinating individuals who joined our community for the 2014-2015 year. Conducted by our 2014 summer interns (affectionately known as "Berkterns"), these snapshots aim to showcase the diverse backgrounds, interests, and accomplishments of our dynamic 2014-2015 community.

Interested in joining the Berkman Center community? We're currently accepting fellowship applications for the 2015-2016 academic year. Read more on our fellowships page.

Q&A with Erhardt Graeff

Berkman Fellow and member of MIT Center for Civic Media and MIT Media Lab
@erhardt
interviewed in summer 2014 by Berktern Ebru Boyaci

Before this fellowship, how had you been involved with the Berkman Center?

EG: One of my first jobs in the Boston area after moving here five years ago was at the Berkman Center. I was a research assistant on the Industrial Cooperation Project managed by Carolina Rossini during her fellowship. I focused on mapping the landscape of open educational resources. Later, I moved on to a research position at the Harvard Project Zero studying youth and digital technology use, which coincided with the start of Berkman's Youth and Media project. Sandra Cortesi asked me to serve on the mentorship team during the inaugural year. More recently as part of my graduate studies at the MIT Media Lab and Center for Civic Media, I've been working with the Media Cloud team on Controversy Mapper.

What drew you to work on civic media and technologies? What was the landscape of civic technology when you first became interested in the field?

EG: I came to what is now called civic media / civic technology when I was in college at RIT. I had several great mentors and transformative experiences there. Professor Liz Lawley introduced me to the burgeoning field of social computing, where I started to see the intersection and interplay between social systems and technological systems. Professor Amit Ray asked me to help him study the role of authorship on Wikipedia, which gave me my first taste of critical academic research connecting social theory to an online community and essentially civic enterprise. At the same time, I rose to editor in chief of the student newsmagazine, Reporter, which gave me a taste of the practical side of media and politics.

The landscape of civic technology back in the early to mid-2000s was dominated by the promise of e-government. I studied the successes of Estonia in that space. But it didn't fully bridge back to my interest in social computing and what was happening during the "Web 2.0" moment. I did an MPhil in Sociology at the University of Cambridge in 2007–08, investigating how to connect these questions to social capital and online/offline community building. I was inspired by Yochai Benkler's The Wealth of Networks and the just published paper by Henry Jenkins' research team outlining what he called "the participation gap." I've been doing research in this area ever since.

Your most recent project, Action Path, is a mobile app enabling civic engagement and reflection for its users. What’s happening with the project currently, and what are your expectations for it?

EG: I am writing up the early phase of the Action Path project right now, which focuses on the design of the tool and feedback from potential partners and alpha users. This fall I'm planning to conduct a couple of test deployments in Boston Area communities to see whether my theory holds up in practice with the real goals for citizen feedback on contemporary issues.

It's important to me that the location-based mobile survey tool I'm building reflects a realistic view of both municipal planning processes and everyday user behaviors. This is important for my larger goal of investigating design principles for civic technologies in order to foster civic learning. You could think of this in terms of a ladder of engagement common to community and political organizing. How do we design technologies that scaffold civic engagement for both youth and adults in ways that are appropriate and efficacious? That's the big question.

With Action Path, you are aiming to get citizen feedback on contemporary issues. Does being a good citizen necessarily require taking action? What would your description of "the good citizen" be? Does he/she have particular duties?

EG: I'm open to a pretty broad and multi-faceted definition of what makes a good citizen. The debate my advisor and long-time Berkmanite Ethan Zuckerman and I have been engaging in, however, is less about what is a good citizen and more about what makes for an effective citizen. If there is a duty we keep coming back to, it's monitoring.

In Michael Schudson's book The Good Citizen, he introduces the monitorial citizen as one type of citizen demanded by the practice of contemporary democracy. There are different ways to look at monitoring, which Ethan and I are exploring. Without getting into the weeds too much, experiments like Action Path are about trying to see what types of activities citizens can engage in to produce substantial change and how technology can support those efforts. Just like there is no single category of a good citizen, there isn't a single category of an effective citizen.

That said, we should be able to evaluate the efficacy of a citizen's efforts against what they had hoped to change. This is part of my larger research goal in developing design principles connected to civic learning because ultimately it's not about prescribing duties for good citizens, but identifying a range of tools and approaches that have proven effective for others. Voting and volunteerism have their place here, as do much maligned e-petitions, but social movements and now civic technologists are constantly innovating in this space. The question is: How do we make all of these options accessible to citizens?

What are the main tools and platforms that are being used by you and others for civic technology?

EG: I believe just about everything within the broad category of information and communication technologies has civic technology potential. If it connects you to others or to information, then it can serve a civic role. Mobile technology is fast becoming a key civic technology because of its increasingly widespread distribution and its growing position as a primary computing platform for many users. There is a huge spike right now in the development of original civic technology platforms and apps like Action Path. But I believe the most important civic technologies are the ones used by the most people.

Facebook is a key civic technology. It's being used in explicitly political ways by activists around the world, such as those in Myanmar campaigning for lower SIM card prices. I'm really interested in how we transfer explicit civic technology design into broad consumer technology design; I've started arguing (like Nick Grossman does) that we don't really need more civic apps.  Rather, we need to be making all apps more civic.

by ctian at October 22, 2014 07:43 PM

Amanda Palmer
a video by neil, music by me. content…maybe not what you expected.

on a serious note, your attention please.
warning: contains neil, new music, some disturbing footage, and a lot of sadness. but also hope.

i am asking you watch this video, and help if you can. neil made it a few months ago when he was in jordan, visiting refugee camps run by the UNHCR – the United Nations High Council on Refugees. the situation over there is nuts and getting worse by the second.
there are currently over THREE MILLION syrian refugees in jordan.
the population of jordan is about six million. think about this.

……

i was supposed to join neil for this trip, and the book being in final editing drafts meant that – after a lot of agonizing – i stayed behind.

it was a hard decision to make. i felt like i was supposed to be there soaking in these horrors and helping spread the message. in the end, i feel like this was what i could do, to do my part: i wrote a piece of lyric-less piano music for this video and recorded it last month.

you can watch here, or embedded below…

i still find it hard to watch without crying.

and if you can, please: donate.
and even better yet, share this video.
just get the message out.
things are bad.
since neil was there, the situation has only worsened.

here’s the action link: bit.ly/1rh1G3o
please give generously.

love.
AFP

p.s. and since i know you guys are going to ask: i am working on making the piano track available for download, with the profits going straight to the UNHCR. hold the phone and it’ll hopefully be up in a day or two (or less).

by admin at October 22, 2014 07:04 PM

Berkman Center front page
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society Adopts Open Access Policy

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is pleased to announce that the Center’s faculty directors and staff have adopted an open-access policy. With this policy, approved on October 9, 2014, the Berkman Center’s faculty directors and staff join the nine School faculties in granting Harvard nonexclusive rights to their future scholarly articles. The policy ensures that the “fruits of [Berkman’s] research and scholarship” will be distributed as widely as possible.

Through this landmark unanimous vote, the Berkman Center has become the first research center at Harvard to adopt an open-access policy, and the first to extend the scope of Harvard’s open-access policies beyond the faculty.

“Since its inception, the Berkman Center has promoted and supported open access to scholarly works and educational materials, and this unanimous vote continues that tradition” said Urs Gasser Executive Director of the Berkman Center and Professor of the Practice at Harvard Law School. “It furthers our commitment to sharing and disseminating our scholarship as widely as possible. Through the Harvard Open Access Project and our collaboration with the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, we are excited to be the first research center at Harvard University to adopt an OA policy.”

Peter Suber, a Berkman fellow as well as the Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication and Director of the Harvard Open Access Project remarked, “Harvard already has open-access policies for faculty at all its schools. Now for the first time it has an open-access policy at one of its research centers. Now that the Berkman Center has broken the ice, I expect to see many more Harvard research centers follow its lead.”

The new policy is consistent with previous practices at Berkman, where directors and staff typically made their scholarly articles, and sometimes books, open access. But now this community will also have a dedicated collection in DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), including persistent URLs, preservation in the Harvard Library, and individualized traffic stats delivered every month. Berkman faculty directors and staff  have the benefit of the licensing provision of the policy, which allows them to retain rights to their own works that they might not otherwise have retained. They also have the nonexclusive rights to make all their future scholarly articles open, without the need to negotiate individually with publishers. The Berkman policy follows the model of Harvard’s school-level policies including a waiver option to ensure academic freedom.

The Harvard Open Access Project, based at Berkman, has collected Harvard’s experience under these policies, and the experience of a growing number of partner institutions, in a guide to good practices for university open-access policies.

by gweber at October 22, 2014 01:53 PM

Amanda Palmer
it rained today.

it rained today.
i took a drive.
people get born.
people get high.
people get mail.
people get cancer.
people get lucky.
people get tests.
people get flowers.
people get jailed.
people get surprised.
people get shot.
people get trapped.
people get honored.
people get lost.
people get busy.
people get sainted.
people get abortions.
people get frustrated.
people get on with it.

it rained today.
i took a drive.
i took this shot.
i didn’t die.

by admin at October 22, 2014 01:27 PM

Bruce Schneier
Surveillance in Schools

This essay, "Grooming students for a lifetime of surveillance," talks about the general trends in student surveillance.

Related: essay on the need for student privacy in online learning.

by Bruce Schneier at October 22, 2014 09:48 AM

How James Bamford Came to Write The Puzzle Palace

Interesting essay about James Bamford and his efforts to publish The Puzzle Palace over the NSA's objections. Required reading for those who think the NSA's excesses are somehow new.

by Bruce Schneier at October 22, 2014 07:14 AM

October 21, 2014

Bruce Schneier
FOXACID Operations Manual

A few days ago, I saw this tweet: "Just a reminder that it is now *a full year* since Schneier cited it, and the FOXACID ops manual remains unpublished." It's true.

The citation is this:

According to a top-secret operational procedures manual provided by Edward Snowden, an exploit named Validator might be the default, but the NSA has a variety of options. The documentation mentions United Rake, Peddle Cheap, Packet Wrench, and Beach Head-­all delivered from a FOXACID subsystem called Ferret Cannon.

Back when I broke the QUANTUM and FOXACID programs, I talked with the Guardian editors about publishing the manual. In the end, we decided not to, because the information in it wasn't useful to understanding the story. It's been a year since I've seen it, but I remember it being just what I called it: an operation procedures manual. It talked about what to type into which screens, and how to deal with error conditions. It didn't talk about capabilities, either technical or operational. I found it interesting, but it was hard to argue that it was necessary in order to understand the story.

It will probably never be published. I lost access to the Snowden documents soon after writing that essay -- Greenwald broke with the Guardian, and I have never been invited back by the Intercept -- and there's no one looking at the documents with an eye to writing about the NSA's technical capabilities and how to securely design systems to protect against government surveillance. Even though we now know that the same capabilities are being used by other governments and cyber criminals, there's much more interest in stories with political ramifications.

by Bruce Schneier at October 21, 2014 09:32 PM

DEA Sets Up Fake Facebook Page in Woman's Name

This is a creepy story. A woman has her phone seized by the Drug Enforcement Agency and gives them permission to look at her phone. Without her knowledge or consent, they steal photos off of the phone (the article says they were "racy") and use it to set up a fake Facebook page in her name.

The woman sued the government over this. Extra creepy was the government's defense in court: "Defendants admit that Plaintiff did not give express permission for the use of photographs contained on her phone on an undercover Facebook page, but state the Plaintiff implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cell phone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in an ongoing criminal investigations [sic]."

The article was edited to say: "Update: Facebook has removed the page and the Justice Department said it is reviewing the incident." So maybe this is just an overzealous agent and not official DEA policy.

But as Marcy Wheeler said, this is a good reason to encrypt your cell phone.

by Bruce Schneier at October 21, 2014 08:53 PM

PRX
Radiotopia Goal Reached! Thank You!

We did it! YOU did it!

A huge group hug for the more than 6000 of you who got Radiotopia to our Kickstarter goal in just six days! Amazing, just amazing. We are feeling the love and the very real financial support, and we are energized by it. Thank you for helping us take storytelling and podcasting to new levels of craft and audience. PRX is so proud to be charting the future of radio with these talented producers and you.

We’re not stopping there. Keep an eye on this space for some exciting stretch goals. But first, we have a (completely full) Radiotopia Live! party to throw in NYC tonight…

The post Radiotopia Goal Reached! Thank You! appeared first on PRX.

by Rekha at October 21, 2014 06:27 PM

Second Ear Producer Wins Third Coast Award

The annual Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Competition Awards were announced recently, and we were excited to see that one of the winners is Annie McEwen, for her beautiful piece Here I Am and Here Be Danger.

We had the pleasure of workshopping Here Be Danger with Annie for our Second Ear program, which is a chance for producers to meet with PRX staff to edit stories, brainstorm promotion, and get ideas. Annie sent us her perspective on the process. Here’s how to submit your own radio story to Second Ear.

Congrats to Annie and to all of the winners, whose specific awards will be announced on Nov. 9 in Chicago at the Third Coast Conference. And hey, stations: many of the winners are available now to license on PRX — and you can look forward to the annual Best of the Best broadcast coming in November.

The post Second Ear Producer Wins Third Coast Award appeared first on PRX.

by Genevieve at October 21, 2014 03:24 PM

Bruce Schneier
Friday Squid Blogging: Flash-Fried Squid Recipe

Recipe from Tom Douglas.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.

by Bruce Schneier at October 21, 2014 01:02 PM

Berkman Center front page
The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm

In 1787, British philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham conceived of the panopticon, a ring of cells observed by a central watchtower, as a labor-saving device for those in authority. While Bentham's design was ostensibly for a prison, he believed that any number of places that require supervision—factories, poorhouses, hospitals, and schools—would benefit from such a design. The French philosopher Michel Foucault took Bentham at his word. In his groundbreaking 1975 study, Discipline and Punish, the panopticon became a metaphor to describe the creeping effects of personalized surveillance as a means for ever-finer mechanisms of control.

Forty years later, the available tools of scrutiny, supervision, and discipline are far more capable and insidious than Foucault dreamed, and yet less effective than Bentham hoped. Shopping malls, container ports, terrorist holding cells, and social networks all bristle with cameras, sensors, and trackers. But, crucially, they are also rife with resistance and prime opportunities for revolution. The Inspection House is a tour through several of these sites—from Guantánamo Bay to the Occupy Oakland camp and the authors' own mobile devices—providing a stark, vivid portrait of our contemporary surveillance state and its opponents.

'Someone you can't see is watching you. That idea, long the stuff of feverish dystopian fantasy, is now an unremarkable statement of fact, true in most public places, and true in many that used to be private. Yet most of us being watched have no idea how this vast, casual surveillance came to be, or how it works. The Inspection House is a remedy for our collective incomprehension of the panopticon, built in our name, that we all now inhabit.
— Clay Shirky



About Emily Horne

Emily Horne lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She is the photographer and designer for the webcomic A Softer World, and freelance edits books for kicks. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Coast and Tor.com. She is @birdlord on Twitter.

About Tim Maly

Tim Maly  writes about design, architecture, networks and infrastructure. He is a Fellow at Harvard’s metaLAB and is big into cyborgs. His work has appeared in Wired, Medium, The Atlantic and Urban Omnibus. He is @doingitwrong on Twitter.


Links

by candersen at October 21, 2014 12:57 PM

October 20, 2014

Bruce Schneier
Hacking a Video Poker Machine

Kevin Poulsen has written an interesting story about two people who successfully exploited a bug in a popular video poker machine.

by Bruce Schneier at October 20, 2014 10:30 PM

PRX
Art, Math, Mystery: Stylometry
Image credit: Jenny ChenImage credit: Jenny Chen

Can style be measured? Is it possible to express with numbers?

Visual stylometry is a new branch of mathematics that uses math to determine the style of a particular artist’s body of work. In this #PRXSTEM piece, co-producers Jenny Chen and Molly Jean Bennett take a look at how this works, how well it works, and what the implications are.

You can think of visual stylometry as the measurement of style with higher math. The method has been used to determine the authenticity of art by identifying, analyzing, and mapping unique stylistic elements.

Chen and Bennett talked to several mathematician friends about different types of stories before landing on this one. After meeting Dr. Yang, who previously used literary stylometry to authenticate an ancient Chinese work called Dreams From the Red Chamber, the co-producers discovered that there was a visual branch of stylometry too.

“We all have this stereotype that mathematicians do work that isn’t relevant to the humanities,” says Chen. “It was delightful to discover how wrong that stereotype is – and to find a branch of math that depends on the collaboration between art connoisseurs and mathematicians.”

The co-producers hope that this piece shows listeners that neither the hard sciences nor humanities have full answers to life’s questions: “Only by embracing as many different disciplines as possible can we get more complete answers.”

“Art and mathematics are so far apart that they actually become neighbors again…both are interested in patterns and life.”

The post Art, Math, Mystery: Stylometry appeared first on PRX.

by Lily Bui at October 20, 2014 09:50 PM

Cyberlaw Clinic - blog
Apply to Enroll in CopyrightX 2015

Applications are open through December 15, 2014 for the innovative CopyrightX networked online course, which explores the current law of copyright; the impact of that law on art, entertainment, and industry; and the ongoing debates concerning how the law should be reformed.  Through a combination of recorded lectures,assigned readings, weekly seminars, live interactive webcasts, and online discussions, participants in the course examine and assess the ways in which the copyright system seeks to stimulate and regulate creative expression.

Participation in the online sections is free and is open to anyone at least 13 years of age, but enrollment is limited.  For more information, visit the Berkman Center or CopyrightX websites.

by Clinic Staff at October 20, 2014 03:10 PM

Work with the Cyberlaw Clinic During HLS Winter Term, 2015!

6853The Cyberlaw Clinic will offer a a small number of HLS 2Ls and 3Ls who previously enrolled in the Clinic the opportunity work with us during the three weeks of winter term, 2015.  Winter term students will help the Clinic with discrete projects that will benefit from full-time (if short-term) student involvement.  Winter term in the Cyberlaw Clinic essentially functions as a full-time job, with students working 40-hours-a-week for three weeks.  

Past winter terms have been incredibly fruitful (and fun) in the Clinic, as students’ full-time involvement has allowed us to do some deep-dives into larger-scale policy initiatives and the like.  We expect to have a handful of projects in the Clinic’s usual practice areas.

Applications are open until October 31, 2014.  Students may apply by sending a resume and a brief personal statement to the Cyberlaw Clinic’s Project Coordinator, Kira Hessekiel, at khessekiel [at] cyber.law.harvard.edu.

If you have any questions or are interested in discussing the winter term, please contact Dalia Topelson or Christopher Bavitz.

by Clinic Staff at October 20, 2014 02:52 PM

Harry Lewis
Meanwhile, from another decade and in another country, …
Brooks Newmark, AB'80, Conservative Member of Parliament for Braintree in the UK, has resigned his position as Minister for Civil Society, after sexting allegations emerged. Newmark was slated to be the president of the Harvard Alumni Association next year, but has resigned from the board. He has announced that he will not seek re-election as MP.

The journalism itself has complications in the UK, which has weaker protections for the press than the US does, because the journalist seems to have deceived Newmark into sexting after picking up a rumor; only later did a woman report that he had sexted her. So the journalist is under investigation by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

Ugh.

Updated 9:15pm October 20 to reflect new information that Newmark has resigned his position on the HAA board.

by Harry Lewis (noreply@blogger.com) at October 20, 2014 11:26 AM

ProjectVRM
#VRM Tweetings

Here’s a pile of #VRM tweets. One of these days I’ll find the least crufty way to copy and paste them (or whatever works best). Recommendations welcome.

    1. Here’s Why Public Wifi is a Public Health Hazard

  1. Some more Morgo coverage RT : “The rate of company failures is increasing…”

  2. @seanbohan  Oct 17

    MT Take a look @ list of developers: Not a complete list, but not bad

  3. @AdrienBlind  Oct 17

    “What’s bugging people is that companies know stuff about them that they don’t know”

    1. @AdrienBlind  Oct 17

      today at to speak about (vendor relationship mgmt). Interesting presentation!

      Embedded image permalink
    1. @RealEstateCafe  Oct 16

      . Compare Few 3rd parties developing commercial solutions vs residential

      Embedded image permalink
    1. @RuudKnorr  Oct 16

      Visit Kenya and Ethiopia Veiling Rhein-Maas suppliers Start-up Season

      Embedded image permalink
  4. Been a couple years since I read The Intention Economy by . Wanted to see what was going on with

  5. Looking forward to connecting with other ‘ers at VRM Speed Networking event tomorrow at 9am PST.

  6. @gaguilardelgado  Oct 15

    What’s this? We are building an app that will surely explain it. And maybe will help users to take advantadge of their .

  7. The “I don’t care who you are, terrorist, Fed or , get out of my data” sentiment HAS to favor PDSs, no?

  8. VRM+CRM at IIW “come for the , stay for the

    1. @nitinbadjatia  Oct 8

      Is Fitbit selling data? – Fitbit doesn’t plan to share stats with Apple’s new Health app, for now via engadget

  9. @seanbohan  Oct 8

    want to learn more about Intention and ? Check out what’s happening at Oct 27-30

  10. needs a hand to shake on the customer side that’s not a captive one’ –

by Doc Searls at October 20, 2014 10:19 AM

Willow Brugh
Weaponized Social

I want to give special thanks to Meredith (@maradydd), Sam (@metasj), and the Berkman crew (@berkmancenter) for help in parsing all these complicated ideas. I’m forever grateful for our conversations.

The existing harms of social scripts we ran while in smaller, geographically-constrained groups are being amplified due to network effect. Tiny unchecked errors, scaled, become large harms as people find ways to exploit them, in life just as in software.

I propose we hold a 2-day event to understand “weaponized social” historically, tangentially, neurochemically, and technically — and to arrive at ongoing ways of addressing them. These challenges are not new, they are simply arising in space we consider new. Given the erosion of trust online, I see meeting in person as vital to rebuilding trust. You can suggest when and where the event takes place via http://goo.gl/forms/2iBJbHXD5E

Context

There was a time when the hacker and academic circles I run in had the default assumption of “it’s better to have your idea broken by your friends than by someone else.” The implicit assumption being that we’d build even better ideas, together. I *hate* that loving dissent is disappearing from my corners of the internet, when I used to dream it would spread. I hate that there’s a vanishing chance I can reasonably assume a trolling comment online is social commentary from an yet-to-be-known compatriot dealing with the same bizarre issues of a system that I am; but rather must now deal with such as a potential precursor to having to leave my home based on legitimate death and rape threats. I hate that some of my intelligent male-shaped or nuero-atypical friends are scared to join conversations online for fear of being severely and permanently ostracized for slight missteps. I hate that some of my intelligent female-shaped friends feel unwelcome online – yes, because of “trolls” who often happen to be self-male-identified, but ALSO  because of an incredibly strange practice of women belittling each other. I hate that I only know how to speak to these issues in a gender-focused way, despite knowing damn well race and class come strongly into play, and having the sinking suspicion that cohorts don’t feel safe calling me out. I hate that nearly all my lovely friends of all genders feel unwanted and unsafe because they and others happen to be organisms interested in sex, and respond to culturally indoctrinated shame (in response as well as in self-assessment) by pinning problems on the tangible other, building self-fulfilling prophesies of distrust and violence. And I hate that we’re driving each other off pro-social paths, making taking an anti-social one more likely. I’m sick of these social scripts we’re auto-running, and I’m set on returning to lovingly breaking my friends’ ideas, and us examining and strengthening those ideas together. Please join me in this act for this event, the surrounding ideas, and the rest of life.

Since online conversation is currently so focused on gender divides, let’s look at that for a moment. This proposed re-scripting is complicated by women being socialized to understand men, to reach out to them, to be accommodating. In a desire to NOT run dis-equalizing social scripts, we as female-types are instead falling into scripts of victimization and back stabbing/”you’re doing feminism wrong.” I’d consider the former set worth embracing as human, the latter to be consciously left to the wayside. Those socialized to be masculine have social scripts they’re bucking and/or selecting, too. Scripts about being protective, and reliable, and strong. Scripts about being stoic, and angry, and omnipotent. But such re-scripting is entirely doable, and we should hear from people about why these cycles happen, and how other disciplines have escaped cycles and built new scripts. Attendees will be trusting me that other attendees are here in good faith, a meatspace web of trust, and that means attendees will be vetted. We will talk about difficult things, and we will set an example of doing so with an interest in begin tough on ideas but kind to people. There will come a time that we can expect every human to stand open but unwavering; but personal, cutural, and institutional histories matter. Violence across these has left a wake of torn-down individuals, and in this space everyone will be expected to be kind.

The re-writing of scripts has proven powerful and useful in other spaces. There are communities in conflict zones which refuse to adopt the identities of victim nor aggressor, instead providing pockets of increased stablity in tumultuous geographies. They do this not out of pacifism, but because that particular conflict doesn’t work for them. We see things like Popehat emerge to offer a way out of victimhood and isolation in being targeted by unparsable legal threats. We see groups like Strike Debt question entire financial structures, providing paths to visible solidarity in otherwise isolating systems. Others have shown it is possible to forge new paths, many in more dangerous and complex situations than what we face. Let’s learn from them.

If you’d like to contribute suggestions to who should be invited to speak, examples to look at, or even helping with the event itself, please be in touch!

Framing

  • I am a big believer in the gathering of amazing folk (ohai) to explore possibilities, discuss, frame plans, and commit to action in group response. Location and date selection currently occuring at http://goo.gl/forms/2iBJbHXD5E
  • This event will be focused primarily on action. While every story is important context (a society is made up of the individuals within it), and every person’s experience is legitimate, the event will not hold time for commiseration. We’ll maintain the right to refocus discussion on actionability if story-holes are fallen into. A nearby, quiet pub will be booked each evening to provide space for those stories. We hope you’ll tell and examine them in the same good faith as the event.
  • Just as self-defense classes for women do not address the issue of rape (these are a stop gap at the individual level to a systemic problem), creating online toolkits to respond to trolling attacks are a way to help people feel safer and empowered. This is great for the individual stop gap, and this event will include understanding these tools, but the main purpose is to re-script ourselves and the people we interact with such that these stop gaps might not be necessary at some point.
  • Nuanced conversation is falling to the wayside in the current mess. At this event, and in the surrounding context, dissent and disagreement are encouraged. Debate which derails the conversation is not. Critique is a vital part of solidarity in a growing movement, to prevent  stagnation and laws of oligarchy, and we’ll practice questioning in good faith at the event.
  • I will be wrong about things. I will misstep. So will you. I will trust you to lovingly call me out, in a way that I learn not just the specific but the context. I will trust that you want me to to do the same.
  • We’ll operate on “rules work down, rights work up.” – we each have a right to dignity. Forming rules around how to make that work lead to a paper-mache monster of unknowable core values.
  • We will also want to know what initiatives work towards achieving equal representation, and in what contexts. Using tools like Gender Tracker (quantitative) and ongoing conversational space (qualitative), we’ll take baseline and ongoing data in areas directly adjacent to the initiatives schemed up at the event, as well as some control groups.

About Such an Event / Schedule Components

  • Talks from people who have successes in other fields. Popehat, Opting Out of War, neuroscience about the brain in stress
  • Workshops around reframing tactics – what works, what doesn’t, how to improve.
  • Working groups around different topics and aspects, as listed below in “possible projects.”

Outputs

  • Overview packets, including ways to find and ask if people want to join
  • Plans for dissemination and examination of techniques for loop-back
  • Informed and empowered attendees altering their social groups and interactions

Farmer’s Market

A “farmer’s market” in this context is a quick building of resources around each of these ideas. Usually a big piece of paper laid out into topical grid, with attendees putting up post-it notes with details.

  • Community policies that handle responses to abuse well, while encouraging dissent (rules work down, rights work up)
  • List of forums and platforms that need to adopt policies/platforms
  • What groups are possible to alter? What should we abandon? Create?
  • What is success? More vulnerable people feel safer, the tone of discourse changes, better response when trouble comes?

Breakout Groups

breakout topics would be curated, including prepared facilitators, with gaps for emerging topics.

  • Dangers of doing this wrong – resulting or deserving of surveillance state
  • Censorship and penalizing people for what they say
  • How do we have “hey I don’t agree with you” in a civil/civic way?
  • Difference between “I’ll shoot up your school” and “I’ll kill you” and  what is joking, what isn’t, etc.
  • Understanding technical structures – bot nets and sock puppets. Use the tool to identify the class of IPs being used in an attack
  • Men who are wary of feminism, and what that means
  • Women who are wary of feminism, and what that means

 Possible Projects

Framed around how to implement robust but nimble processes that we can turn to address manifestations of power inequities

  • How-to on responding differently when people are scripting
  • Implement better conflict resolution (while safe for dissent) tools online – generate negative press stories about the platform as well as the people
  • Defining nuance / danger status / how to respond to each in a more granular way
  • How to put pressure on the surrounding social groups of people who are being dangerous?
  • How to embrace play/fun trolling
  • Policies at different levels – gov regulation, platform regulation,  community self-regulation. If you want to support a healthy community,  commit to this.
  • Scripts to help people self-regulate their communities – track for people they should reach out to.
  • Wikipedia pages / Wikimedia pattern repository
  • Create language to communicate social justice ideas to people who have never heard of them

End with Speed Geek Around the Project Outputs

by bl00 at October 20, 2014 07:16 AM

Harry Lewis
Young Harvard Goes to Washington?
At least three young alums are running for Congress, and one for Senate:

Ruben Gallego, AB'04, is running for a Congressional seat in Arizona as a Democrat.

Elise Stefanik, AB'06, is running for a Congressional seat in New York as a Republican.

Seth Moulton, AB'01, is running for a Congressional seat in Massachusetts as a Democrat.

Tom Cotton, AB'99, already a Congressman from Arkansas, is running for Senate as a Republican.

Pretty unusual group. Gallego and Moulton both served in the Marines, Cotton in the Army. Moulton was decorated for bravery, something he never mentioned and the Globe, apparently, turned up only while routinely checking his military records.

Are there others?

"Public service" is a term that tends to be used at Harvard to mean community service, Teach for America, and so on. With all the "Excellent Sheep" blather about the myopia and narcissism of Ivy League graduates, it's nice to see alums in their 20s and 30s serving in the armed forces and running for public office.

It's one of the stated purposes of our General Education program to "prepare students for civic engagement." It would be nice to the university signal to its students that it takes that seriously. How about an "I voted!" sticker on the lapel in some November 5 Gazette photo of Faust, Smith, or Khurana?

by Harry Lewis (noreply@blogger.com) at October 20, 2014 01:56 AM

October 19, 2014

Bruce Schneier
NSA Has Undercover Operatives in Foreign Companies

The latest Intercept article on the Snowden documents talks about the NSA's undercover operatives working in foreign companies. There are no specifics, although the countries China, Germany, and South Korea are mentioned. It's also hard to tell if the NSA has undercover operatives working in companies in those countries, or has undercover contractors visiting those companies. The document is dated 2004, although there's no reason to believe that the NSA has changed its behavior since then.

The most controversial revelation in Sentry Eagle might be a fleeting reference to the NSA infiltrating clandestine agents into "commercial entities." The briefing document states that among Sentry Eagle's most closely guarded components are "facts related to NSA personnel (under cover), operational meetings, specific operations, specific technology, specific locations and covert communications related to SIGINT enabling with specific commercial entities (A/B/C)""

It is not clear whether these "commercial entities" are American or foreign or both. Generally the placeholder "(A/B/C)" is used in the briefing document to refer to American companies, though on one occasion it refers to both American and foreign companies. Foreign companies are referred to with the placeholder "(M/N/O)." The NSA refused to provide any clarification to The Intercept.

That program is SENTRY OSPREY, which is a program under SENTRY EAGLE.

The document makes no other reference to NSA agents working under cover. It is not clear whether they might be working as full-time employees at the "commercial entities," or whether they are visiting commercial facilities under false pretenses.

Least fun job right now: being the NSA person who fielded the telephone call from the Intercept to clarify that (A/B/C)/(M/N/O) thing. "Hi. We're going public with SENTRY EAGLE next week. There's one thing in the document we don't understand, and we wonder if you could help us...." Actually, that's wrong. The person who fielded the phone call had no idea what SENTRY EAGLE was. The least fun job belongs to the person up the command chain who did.

Wired article. Slashdot and Hacker News threads.

by Bruce Schneier at October 19, 2014 01:55 AM

Benjamin Mako Hill
Another Round of Community Data Science Workshops in Seattle
Pictures from the CDSW sessions in Spring 2014Pictures from the CDSW sessions in Spring 2014

I am helping coordinate three and a half day-long workshops in November for anyone interested in learning how to use programming and data science tools to ask and answer questions about online communities like Wikipedia, free and open source software, Twitter, civic media, etc. This will be a new and improved version of the workshops run successfully earlier this year.

The workshops are for people with no previous programming experience and will be free of charge and open to anyone.

Our goal is that, after the three workshops, participants will be able to use data to produce numbers, hypothesis tests, tables, and graphical visualizations to answer questions like:

  • Are new contributors to an article in Wikipedia sticking around longer or contributing more than people who joined last year?
  • Who are the most active or influential users of a particular Twitter hashtag?
  • Are people who participated in a Wikipedia outreach event staying involved? How do they compare to people that joined the project outside of the event?

If you are interested in participating, fill out our registration form here before October 30th. We were heavily oversubscribed last time so registering may help.

If you already know how to program in Python, it would be really awesome if you would volunteer as a mentor! Being a mentor will involve working with participants and talking them through the challenges they encounter in programming. No special preparation is required. If you’re interested, send me an email.

by Benjamin Mako Hill at October 19, 2014 01:19 AM

October 18, 2014

Willow Brugh
To Carry Our Stories With Us

Intense dreams last night in Nairobi.

Dreams of safe havens with story-checks before you could enter, only the most widely acknowledged versions of stories and their tellers allowed in. We began inscribing the truths we had lived in our skin, to meet in dark back rooms to reconstruct our history in these new places.

by bl00 at October 18, 2014 07:14 PM

October 17, 2014

Nathaniel Freitas
A minifesto that is NOT about mesh

I’ve posted a small manifesto on the (not) mesh experiments I have been posting here. I now call the concept Statuscasting, though I feel that this is a term with a short self life. My goal is to move away from the baggage of mesh, and be as open minded as possible on how mobile devices can communicate without internet or telecommunications infrastructure.

by nathan at October 17, 2014 09:17 PM

Berkman Center front page
Berkman Buzz: October 17, 2014

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the publications and posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
To subscribe, click here.

Apply for a spot in CopyrightX 2015
CopyrightX is a free, networked course that explores the current law of copyright; the impact of that law on art, entertainment, and industry; and the ongoing debates concerning how the law should be reformed. Through a combination of recorded lectures, assigned readings, weekly seminars, live interactive webcasts, and online discussions, participants in the course examine and assess the ways in which the copyright system seeks to stimulate and regulate creative expression. Anyone over the age of 13 is encouraged to apply.
Find out more at CopyrightX:Sections.

Urs Gasser reflects on the 25th anniversary of the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child and calls for a larger role for children in the digital rights discourse

Quotation mark

This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversaries of two very different, but equally significant, events: the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly and the invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The Convention made an extraordinary promise to children by setting out their civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights, and millions of children around the world have since benefited. The release of the code for the Web to the public marked the inception of the Web as we know it, and today there are close to 3 billion users worldwide. While largely unrelated back in 1989, the Convention and the Web share important challenges and opportunities in 2014.

From his essay for UNICEF's CRC@25, "Taking children seriously: A call for the enhanced engagement of children in the digital rights discourse"
About Urs | @ugasser

Alison Head's newest video asks, so what is lifelong learning?

Quotation mark

Everyone believes in lifelong learning, but what does it mean? Tune in to Project Information Literacy's latest video (2:39 mins.) to find out what a sample of recent college graduates said about their own continued learning needs and practices. The narrative is excerpted from 63 interviews conducted last spring with recent graduates from 10 U.S. colleges and universities. All of PIL's research materials are open-access and their re-use and sharing is encouraged.

Watch Alison Head's latest video for Project Information Literacy (PIL), "What does Lifelong Learning mean to Recent Graduates?"
About Alison | About Project Information Literacy

Quotation mark

Help us make the public media that you deserve. Back Radiotopia on Kickstarter: http://buff.ly/1nlThzd @radiotopiafm #pubmedia
>—PRX (@prx)

Justin Reich considers the value of reading ebooks with your children

Quote

The key line from today's New York Times article on children, technology and language acquisition, "Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time", is this:

In other words, "it's being talked with, not being talked at," that teaches children language, Dr. Hirsh-Pasek said.

As a parent of two girls, four and one, I think about these issues of screens, books, and language every day.

The NYT article does a nice job of capturing what we currently know about language acquisition in very young children: interaction with adults is critical. Part of the value of reading is in the conversations that emerge naturally questions about words, pictures, and the connections to a child's every day life.

From his EdTech Researcher column on Education Week, "Books or Screens: Talk to Your Kids"
About Justin | @bjfr

Joseph Reagle explores the connection between social media and FOMO

Quote

In June of 2013, a Wikipedian created a two paragraph article for FOMO, the "Fear of Missing Out" (Fear of missing out, 2013). The first, short, paragraph described it as a form of social anxiety ("a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity") and linked it to social media. The second, similarly short, paragraph described a recently published research article by social psychologist Andrew Przybylski (2013) and his colleagues that hypothesized that some people may gravitate toward social media because of unfulfilled psychological needs. The researchers created a ten-item questionnaire that asked about comparisons with friends, being left out, missed experiences, and compulsion. They found that those who scored high on these items were typically young, male, and with higher levels of social media usage and lower levels of general mood and life satisfaction.

From his draft paper, "Following the Joneses: FOMO and Conspicuous Sociality (DRAFT)"
About Joseph | @jmreagle

Leora Kornfeld chronicles the evolution of the Pebble watch

Quote

In the early 2000s Eric Migicovsky was a kid with a vision. Not to change the world with wearable technologies -- that would come a few years later – but, instead, to unseat the monopoly of his high school cafeteria. Why should they be the only ones able to sell food to a thousand plus hungry teenagers, he thought? So he did what any young entrepreneurial spirit would do: he set up an unofficial cafeteria in his locker. There, between classes, he hawked items he’d bought at Costco. Better selection, more convenient location, and the kids got to deal with one of their friends as opposed to the hairnetted people in the caf. “And it was a cash only business”, remembers Migicovsky. Things were going so well that another student cottoned on to the scheme and started up a rival cafeteria in his locker. The unusual congregating around the two lockers in between classes eventually caught the attention of school administration and the market solution to limited food choices in the high school hallways was over.

From her blog post, "The evolution of the Pebble watch: From student project in Canada to beating Apple to market"
About Leora | @LK617

Building an Internet Fast Lane in Russia Could Be a Great Way to Stifle Independent Media

Quotation mark

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) may soon allow Internet Service Providers to collect fees from websites willing to pay a premium for prioritized content delivery.

The popularity of websites and services content requiring high bandwidth, like YouTube and Skype, has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of data traveling through the Internet, FAS says. The increased load on Russia's telecommunication network necessitates new investment in the national infrastructure, but ISPs complain that they're short on funds.

From Sergey Kozlovsky's post on Global Voices, "Building an Internet Fast Lane in Russia Could Be a Great Way to Stifle Independent Media"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Gretchen Weber.

To manage your subscription preferences, please click here.

by gweber at October 17, 2014 06:06 PM

David Weinberger
What we could do with a gigabit

Here’s the start of a piece I posted at Medium about one thing we might do with a gigabit connection.

It’s 2017 and this year’s riot is in San Diego. It involves pandas, profit-driven zoo executives, and a Weight Watchers sponsorship. Doesn’t matter. People are massing in the streets and it’s heading toward a confrontation.

You first hear about this on Twitter. The embedded link takes you to FlyEye, a site that is unrelated to whatever sites and companies own trademarks like it in 2014. (Stand down, lawyers! This is all made up!)

Thankfully, San Diego in 2017 provides gigabit connectivity. In fact, the entire nation has gigabit, thanks to a personal appearance by Jesus H. Christ in the Comcast headquarters in late 2015.

At the FlyEye site you scan a huge video wall that shows you a feed from every person out in the streets who is sporting a meshed GoPro or Google Glass wearable video camera. Thousands of them. All 4K, of course.

Read the rest here.

by davidw at October 17, 2014 03:08 AM

October 16, 2014

Amanda Palmer
the first review.

deep breath.
okay. remember how i promised that i wasn’t going to read ANY REVIEWS of “the art of asking”? i meant it. and i’ve held to it so far. and when i say no reviews, i mean none. no newspapers, no google alert, no music blogs, no amazon reviews, no nothing. nada. not unless it has been screened and approved by my book doula, Jamy Ian Swiss, who is standing at the door of my iron lung like a vicious nurse, allowing only safe particles to enter.

however, i can’t ignore my twitter feed. i refuse.

i sent the writer ksenia anske my book in advance because she’s going to be my special chat-n-cry-guest at the seattle show of the concert-book-tour. (ticket info HERE, btw, there are still a few left.)

i’ve never met ksenia. i know her through twitter, because one day she made a joke to me about borscht, and it never ended. we now joke about borscht once a day. i could tell just from her twitter that we were kindred souls. she got her copy of “the art of asking” in the mail and started live-tweeting her experience of reading the book. i couldn’t ignore it. especially the parts where she cried and peed and pumped her twitter-fist in solidarity. she emailed me her review. i read it. the world didn’t end. but i am not actually going to follow this link and read what anyone else on Goodreads has to say about my book.

and please don’t tell me.

and when you get the book itself, feel free to tell me what you love about it. what you didn’t love about it. i can handle talking directly to people. but i can’t spend another year of my life getting caught in the yo-yo strings of critics making attacks on my character and basically using this book as a reason to tear me to pieces. that was 2012. and i had to write a whole book about it as therapy to get the fuck over it, and it just barely worked.

if i read my reviews, i’d have to write a whole nother book to recover. and then i’d be stuck on a book-therapy treadmill.

so let it go, amanda.

ALSO, BREAKING: CHICAGO and MINNEAPOLIS stops of the book tour are completely SOLD OUT. you can still get tickets for DC, PHILLY, NYC, AUSTIN, DENVER, SF, LA, SEATTLE, PORTLAND and last but not least, BOSTON, book-drop night. where the night is gearing up to be historically epic with guests laurie penny, neil gaiman, and amy cuddy, and hopefully, CAKE. all tickets: http://amandapalmer.net/shows/

there are still a HANDFUL of signed copies…pre-order those from various indie bookstores in the US by following this link: bit.ly/blog100914

goodreads.com/review/show/1077265629

by admin at October 16, 2014 10:59 PM

PRX
#PRXSTEM on HowSound

Can you imagine composing your own music when you can’t find the right tunes? This week on the podcast HowSound, meet two producers who did, Peter Frick-Wright and Robbie Carver of 30 Minutes West.

They composed music for their third story ever — Early Bloom, which is part of our STEM Story Project. Take a listen here, and share your piece-creation experiences on HowSound’s blog.


The post #PRXSTEM on HowSound appeared first on PRX.

by Genevieve at October 16, 2014 05:59 PM

Joseph Reagle
Following the Joneses: FOMO and Conspicuous Sociality

A draft of Following the Joneses: FOMO and Conspicuous Sociality (DRAFT) is now available.

ABSTRACT: I argue that the emergence and proliferation of the term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and its siblings (FOBO, FODA, MOMO, FODO) reveals a difficulty with the management of envy and compulsion arising from social media usage. The feelings of FOMO can be understood as envy-related anxiety about missed experiences (fear of missing out) and belonging (fear of being left out). Beyond feelings, people who speak of FOMO also speak of it as an external manifestation, most often as a compulsivity (related to what I characterize as "conspicuous sociality") and as an illness to be remedied. And although FOMO is often seen as a recent phenomenon, I argue it is a continuation of a concern and discourse about envy and anxiety (e.g., "keeping up with the Joneses" and neurasthenia) prompted by changes in communication media that began over a century ago.

by Joseph Reagle at October 16, 2014 04:00 AM

October 15, 2014

Bruce Schneier
Online Activism and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Good essay by Molly Sauter: basically, there is no legal avenue for activism and protest on the Internet.

Also note Sauter's new book, The Coming Swarm.

by Bruce Schneier at October 15, 2014 11:10 PM

Berkman Center front page
Berkman Community Newcomers: Josephine Wolff

This post marks the first in a series featuring interviews with some of the fascinating individuals who joined our community for the 2014-2015 year. Conducted by our 2014 summer interns (affectionately known as "Berkterns"), these snapshots aim to showcase the diverse backgrounds, interests, and accomplishments of our dynamic 2014-2015 community.

Interested in joining the Berkman Center community? We're currently accepting fellowship applications for the 2015-2016 academic year. Read more on our fellowships page.


Q+A with Josephine Wolff

Berkman fellow and PhD candidate in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT studying cybersecurity and Internet policy
@josephinecwolff

interviewed in summer 2014 by Berktern Erin Maher

Tell us about the work you've been doing at MIT and what your plans are for your research moving forward.

JW: The research I'm doing at MIT is focused on understanding how the different components of computer security fit together and interact. There are lots of tools and techniques we use to defend computer systems - everything from encryption software and antivirus programs to firewalls and passwords—but it can be difficult to look across all the layers and functions of a system to say what they all add up to, what they collectively do (and don't) defend against. I'm interested in how we characterize these different classes of defense and say something about the ways they relate to each other, the ways they can be most (and least) effectively combined. People in computer security sometimes talk about "defense-in-depth" or the idea that you want to construct multiple layers of defense so that an attacker has to breach all of them and each individual defense is reinforced by the others. It's an idea that's often invoked with an analogy to the defenses used to protect medieval castles—the moat, the stone walls, the archers poised on the towers - but it can be difficult to translate the relationships between those physical protections to the virtual world where it can be harder both to dictate the order in which an attacker will encounter the defenses you set up and to ensure that the weaknesses of one defense are reinforced by the strengths of others. My research is on how different forms of defense for computer systems can be combined to achieve both of those aims.

It sounds like you are not only interested in studying how cybersecurity works (or fails to work), you are also working on defensive designs yourself. Is it ever difficult to balance the more theoretical aspects of your work with the practical side of it?

JW: It can definitely be challenging to mesh theoretical frameworks for computer defense with more practical examples. For instance, one of the things I've looked at recently is how MIT has been changing the security of its network: what motivated those changes, how they designed the new set of security measures, and the impact those changes had. That has been great in terms of giving me a chance to think really concretely about how different types of defenses are combined in practice, but I'm still working out the different possible ways to tie it in with the more theoretical work I've done on what defense-in-depth means in the context of computer systems. One thing that practical examples often reinforce is that people tend to purchase or implement individual security measures without regard for how those measures fit into a larger strategy and relate to the other defenses already in place. So in some sense, they help motivate my more theoretical research questions by illustrating the gaps in existing frameworks for computer defense.

Having worked in policy, industry, and academic environments in the past, how do the workplaces compare when it comes to thinking about, talking about, and interacting with your research/areas of interest and with the technology itself?

JW: There are elements I really like about all three perspectives on and approaches to computer security. Policy-makers and private companies tend to be more focused on what's happening right now and how to address it, which means you may get to work on ten different things at once, or over a relatively short period, while academic research often has a longer timeline and allows for a slower, deeper dive into a particular topic. Tech companies also tend to be more action-oriented than academics when it comes to computer security. They're interested in what they themselves can directly do to improve security, and that sense of agency can be tremendously motivating and exciting. But it can also be interesting to take a broader view of all the different players involved in and their respective roles as an academic researcher or policy-maker. I think what really stands out for me about the policy environment is the emphasis on mitigating harm, something which of course underlies a lot of industry and academic computer security work as well but is really front and center in the policy community. So there are aspects of all of them that I enjoy, and I've been extremely lucky in getting to work with academic and industry groups who are interested in policy, and vice-versa.

What projects or people at the Berkman Center are you especially excited about? Whose work (in or out of Berkman) do you find particularly provocative or interesting? 

JW: Because I've been thinking a lot about computer security at MIT recently, I've been particularly interested to follow Berkman's Student Privacy Initiative and the work they've been doing around the use of technology in educational environments and how to make different trade-offs in that context. I'm also very excited about the Internet robustness project at Berkman and its potential to serve as a model for a new kind of Internet defense.

You've been writing about a variety of issues relating to technology, policy, and society for Slate's Future Tense, a collaboration with the New America Foundation and Arizona State University. What motivates you to publish articles in the popular press as well as more scholarly journals?

JW: I've always enjoyed both reading and writing journalism. I like the relevance - reporting on things that are happening right now and talking to people who are directly involved - as well as the writing style, with its emphasis on clarity and engaging the reader. Initially, in both high school and college, I worked for my school newspapers just writing news stories, and then my junior year of college a very indulgent editor let me write a tech column and that turned out to be a really fun way to blend my academic interests with my journalism hobby. It's also a nice contrast to more scholarly styles of writing and, especially given the extent to which cybersecurity stories have been all over the news lately, writing for Slate has been a great way to force myself to think about how the ideas I think about in an academic context play out in the real world and to try to articulate some of those ideas in an accessible and engaging way.

If you could demonstrate one piece of modern technology for one historical figure, who and what would you pick?

JW: GPS for Christopher Columbus since I'm an adventurous person without a great innate sense of direction.

by gweber at October 15, 2014 06:02 PM

Amanda Palmer
GETTING BACK TO MAKING ALL THE THINGS, your input required

I WANT TO GET BACK TO MAKING ALL THE THINGS AND I NEED YOU TO TELL ME HOW WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS. this is really important, so please leave comments. i will be reading everything.

just got off the phone with eric (@southships) and the team. things are afoot. we make a Thing.

i’ve been recording new music, slowly but surely, in the cracks of my schedule. i’ve also been working on ideas for new videos, and thinking about what to write next, post-book, and how to make a living, money-wise, post-kickstarter.

i’ve also been going back and forth with a few big newspapers about doing an “ask amanda” column, which is actually quite a bit of work to actually put together (fielding the questions – holy fuck there are a lot – and actually sitting down and writing.) the newspapers are slow to work with. i think i’m just going to do it myself. i’d need help and time.

this brings me to Patreon, which is a platform you’ve probably seen me talking about in the past few months. it’s basically like kickstarter, but ongoing. as a backer/patron, you pledge to be charged by your artist: either per month or per piece of content.

go look at, for instance, the founder Jack Conte’s patreon page.
he’s making VIDEOS, has 1377 patrons who back him at various levels and makes about $5,300 every time he puts out a video.

patreon.com/jackconte

mind you: the videos he puts out are free to the people of youtube. he backers back him because they…want to support him and give him a budget, which is how it works over there.
see also: comic artist Jeph Jacques…he’s charging his patrons Per Month instead of Per Comic (you can do it any way you wanna).

patreon.com/jephjacques

he has 3,214 patrons and is paid $9,700 per month to make his comics. no middleman. it’s pretty wonderful. also, you can CAP your monthly backing so you don’t go over budget. which is to say: if you decide to back be at $5 per song and i go HOG WILD and release 10 songs that much, your credit card would be charged $50 at the end of the month. IF, however, you limit your budget to $15, you’ll just be charged your maximum. i think that’s important – it prevents anxiety. also, if you don’t like the way things are going (“why is amanda charging us for these awful recordings of herself and her friends farting into a microphone? why is she posting essays of one sentence pasted to a single document 6,779 times? she thinks this is ART? fuck this”) – you can simply cancel your backing before the end of the month hits and your card is charged.

i’ve been supporting about 5-6 artists on patreon for just about a year, and it’s pretty awesome. they send me emails with their new videos and recordings. i likeee.

ok, now breathe.

the thing about kickstarter is that it is amazing for huge projects but for artists who just want to get regularly paid and crank out content again and again (and again and again and again), coming up with a kickstarter, running it, doing rewards, and then starting from the beginning and doing it again isn’t the best solution for REGULAR work. it’s great if, say, i want to try to fund an art book of dresden dolls photos, or make a one-time film, or even try to record and release a physical vinyl album. kickstarter is PERFECT for that because it gives me an idea of how many people want The Thing Itself. 5,600 people want this book? great. i’ll print 10,000. 4,500 want this vinyl record? great, i’ll manufacture 5,000. everybody happy.

but if i want to stay OFF a label and just hop into the recording studio when i feel like it and record songs, or write a column, and NOT put them out through the system but instead, give them straight to the world and the fanbase, kickstarter isn’t the tool.

I WANT TO RELEASE THINGS FOR FREE. but as i’ve learned, offering 100% of everything for free on my site hasn’t yielded very much business. people will help me when i ask (see: kickstarter) but they won’t just wander to my music tip jar and throw in money. we have watched and learned.

so i think i’m going to try patreon. i’d use it to release All The Things: song recordings, interview recordings/podcasts, essays, videos, weird artwork, basically anything That You Will Enjoy i feel i’ve put enough Time and Energy into to get paid for. it’s a huge trust fall, in both directions. you need to trust me to charge you for art. i need to trust you to pay for it.

BUT FIRST, before i do this, i want to know what you guys think about the details…

the whole thing is going to be a massive experiment and i’m sure i’m going to tweak and fiddle with the levels and rewards a bit as we roll along.

TELL ME HOW THIS LOOKS. too much/too little/fair/not fair…
AND do you have any other ideas for reward levels?

important: THIS IS NOT A MERCH WAREHOUSE – part of what we want to AVOID is sending people shit in the mail every month. hardcore fans, i love you, but i don’t think even YOU want be to have to slave away at sending you Shit/Posters/Shirts In The Mail every month. it’s a waste. and it’s not music. it’s Stuff.

$1 (per month? or piece of content?) – “backer” – would give you access to my patreon stream/page where we discuss shit. it’s a little social network and it’s nice. i will hang out there, especially to get ideas and feedback.

EITHER $3 or $5 (per month? or piece of content? talk to me) – “downloader” – we’ll send you actual files when i release songs/videos/podcast interviews/blatherings/artwork/essasy/material that comes in emailable-format.

$10 or $25 (?) (per month? or piece of content?) – “living room” –
-access to a google hangout/check-in/webcast-y kind of thing we’ll do about once a month from wherever i have good lighting and wireless. i’ll take questions, check in about the state o things, talk about life, do my AFP webcast thing-thang.

$10 or $25 (per month? or piece of content?)- another thing? what

$100 – “The Medici” – (per month? or piece of content? that’s a damn lotta dough. then ago, there are some really nice rich weirdos out there, hi guys!)(important: limited to 15 people only) – i will draw/send you a postcard and write you the inside-of-head message about a month, from wherever i am. consider it a postal tweet. i’ll either design the card myself, or have a friend do it, or buy it at an antique shop, or a gas station, or…y’know. also, i’ll keep your phone numbers on me and if i’m too burned to post or lonely, i’ll call you instead. we’ll also guest list you at any shows, and list your name on any content we put out.

SO

how do these look?

is there anything you’d be PISSED about paying for, content-wise. do you think charging for the “ask amanda” content to be posted is lame – seeing as it’s going to be posted to the world for free (as pretty much EVERYTHING is, unless i have a really really rough demo that i just want to share with the fanbase)? would you feel that way if it was just bundled into “all the shit i’m putting out this month”?

and yes HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION: should we charge per piece of content, or per month?

furthermore, pros? cons?

I LOVE THE IDEA of per content because i am an instant gratification freak and i love the idea of getting Paid to Make a Thing – it’s sort of motivating. i can totally see myself in my underwear at 5 am going “ABBA COVER? why NOT?” and staying up till 9 am making it just because i can hit SEND at 9:01 and fall down in a pile of my own vomit feeling like i Put A Thing Into The World. i can also understand how it would feel anxiety-producing for the backers. there limit is built in there, but it does complicate things a little. i dunno. on the fence.

talk to meeeeeee.

also: if you have any other IDEAS of non-physical shit we can add to these tiers, TELL ME. it can’t be something that takes so much time and energy that i spend 5 days a month delivering it. i cannot make phone calls to 899 people. i cannot sing birthday songs to 247 people. i’ve done that. it is awesome but it takes forever. the idea here is that i want to spend my time MAKING ART, WRITING, RECORDING, PUTTING THE CONTENT FREE OUT INTO THE WORLD and getting PAID FOR IT because some of you out there think it’s worth it.

i’m wide open. i’d love to launch this within the next few weeks. i have (amazing) new recordings burning a hole in my pocket and i’d love to get this launched before book drop and tour on nov 11th (dates HERE) so i can talk about it to the community while i’m on the road.

sorry so long. this is huge for us and i want to get it right. talka to me.
the whole team is going to be reading these comments to get a feel for how to do this.

also….go poke around patreon and see what other people are doing. it may inspire.

x
a

by admin at October 15, 2014 05:46 PM

Berkman Center front page
Upcoming Events: The Inspection House (10/21); The Responsive City (10/28); The Coming Swarm (10/29)
Berkman Events Newsletter Template
Open Call for Fellowship Applications, Academic Year 2015-2016
Interested in joining the Berkman community? Find out more about our fellowship program and the application process on our website.
book launch

The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance

Tuesday, October 21, 12:30pm ET, Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Room 3018. This event will be webcast live.

berkman

In 1787, British philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham conceived of the panopticon, a ring of cells observed by a central watchtower, as a labor-saving device for those in authority. While Bentham's design was ostensibly for a prison, he believed that any number of places that require supervision—factories, poorhouses, hospitals, and schools—would benefit from such a design. The French philosopher Michel Foucault took Bentham at his word. In his groundbreaking 1975 study, Discipline and Punish, the panopticon became a metaphor to describe the creeping effects of personalized surveillance as a means for ever-finer mechanisms of control. Forty years later, the available tools of scrutiny, supervision, and discipline are far more capable and insidious than Foucault dreamed, and yet less effective than Bentham hoped. Shopping malls, container ports, terrorist holding cells, and social networks all bristle with cameras, sensors, and trackers. But, crucially, they are also rife with resistance and prime opportunities for revolution. The Inspection House is a tour through several of these sites—from Guantánamo Bay to the Occupy Oakland camp and the authors' own mobile devices—providing a stark, vivid portrait of our contemporary surveillance state and its opponents.

Emily Horne lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She is the photographer and designer for the webcomic A Softer World, and freelance edits books for kicks. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Coast and Tor.com. She is @birdlord on Twitter.

Tim Maly writes about design, architecture, networks and infrastructure. He is a Fellow at Harvard’s metaLAB and is big into cyborgs. His work has appeared in Wired, Medium, The Atlantic and Urban Omnibus. He is @doingitwrong on Twitter. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

book launch

The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data Smart Governance

Tuesday, October 28, 12:00pm ET, Harvard Law School Library. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

berkman

Harvard Law School Visiting Professor and co-director of the Berkman Center Susan Crawford joins Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, MA, Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston and Harvard Business School Professor and Chief of Staff to Mayor Menino, Mitchell Weiss, for a lively discussion around her new book, The Responsive City. The talk will be moderated by Harvard Law School Professor and co-founder and Director of the Berkman Center Jonathan Zittrain.

The Responsive City is a compelling guide to civic engagement and governance in the digital age that will help municipal leaders link important breakthroughs in technology and data analytics with age-old lessons of small-group community input to create more agile, competitive and economically resilient cities. The book is co-authored by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, director of Data-Smart City Solutions at Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor Susan Crawford, co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. more information on our website>

book launch

The Coming Swarm

Wednesday, October 29, 6:00pm ET, Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Room 2012.

berkman

In her new book, The Coming Swarm: DDoS, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet, Molly Sauter examines the history, development, theory, and practice of distributed denial of service actions as a tactic of political activism. Together in conversation with journalist and activist Laurie Penny, Molly will discuss the use of disruptive tactics like DDoS, online civil disobedience, and the role of the internet as a zone of political activism and speech. There will be a book signing following the discussion.

Molly Sauter is a research affiliate at the Berkman Center, and a doctoral student at McGill University in Montreal. She holds a masters degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, where she is an affiliate researcher at the Center for Civic Media at the Media Lab. Laurie Penny was born in London in 1986 and is not dead yet. She is, in no particular order, a writer, a journalist, a public speaker, an activist, a feminist, a reprobate and a geek. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

co-sponsored event

Authorship in the Digital World: How to Make It Thrive

Thursday, October 30, 3:30pm ET, Harvard University, Lamont Library, Forum Room. Co-sponsored by The Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and the Authors Alliance

berkman

The internet has had disruptive effects on many aspects of the ecosystem in which authors reach readers. The roles of publishers, retailers, libraries, and universities, and other participants in this ecosystem are evolving rapidly. Amazon.com, in particular, has been the source of considerable controversy in its dealings with authors and publishers.

In order for authors to navigate these turbulent waters, they need to be strategic in their partnerships and careful in contracting. Copyright is supposed to help even authors with no legal expertise, but how good a job does it do? Could some changes in that law help authors reach readers more effectively? Looking beyond the law, what steps can authors take now to realize the full impact of their writings?

With these questions in mind, the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society are co-sponsoring the Authors Alliance in bringing a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing authors in the digital age to the Harvard campus.

The discussion will be preceded by remarks from Katie Hafner, a journalist, the author of six books, and a member of the Authors Alliance and advisory board.

Jonathan Zittrain will moderate a panel that will include: Rachel Cohen, a Cambridge-based author and creative writing professor at Sarah Lawrence College; Robert Darnton, university librarian at Harvard and member of the Authors Alliance advisory board; Ellen Faran, director of MIT Press; Mark Fischer, a copyright lawyer at Duane Morris LLP; Katie Hafner, a journalist, memoirist, and nonfiction writer; Alison Mudditt, director of UC Press; Sophia Roosth, a Harvard historian of science; and Pamela Samuelson, Authors Alliance co-founder and law professor at U.C. Berkeley. Registration Required. more information on our website>

video/audio

Rebecca Weintraub on Digital Badges for Global Health Delivery Skills

berkman

Healthcare professionals worldwide often have extensive non-clinical skills in management, public health, policy, or other fields which are not officially recognized through a degree. In this talk, Rebecca Weintraub, MD -- Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Faculty Director of the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University -- introduces the concept of digital badges for healthcare professionals, a means for demonstrating skills and experience to potential new employers, grant-giving organizations, and others. Like other well-known badge and certification systems -- such as Fair Trade and organic standards for food, or LEED certification for buildings -- digital badges can improve the quality of health services, and help others to recognize the skills of healthcare professionals. But how should such a system be implemented? video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

Local, national, international, and online events that may be of interest to the Berkman community:

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to the Berkman Center's Weekly Events Newsletter. Sign up to receive this newsletter if this email was forwarded to you. To manage your subscription preferences, please click here.

Connect & get involved: Jobs, internships, and more iTunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube RSS

See our events calendar if you're curious about future luncheons, discussions, lectures, and conferences not listed in this email. Our events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

by ashar at October 15, 2014 04:07 PM

Apply for a spot in CopyrightX 2015

The application for the CopyrightX online sections will run from Oct. 15 - Dec. 15. See CopyrightX:Sections for details.

CopyrightX is a networked course that explores the current law of copyright; the impact of that law on art, entertainment, and industry; and the ongoing debates concerning how the law should be reformed. Through a combination of recorded lectures, assigned readings, weekly seminars, live interactive webcasts, and online discussions, participants in the course examine and assess the ways in which the copyright system seeks to stimulate and regulate creative expression.

In 2013, HarvardX, Harvard Law School, and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society launched an experiment in distance education- CopyrightX, the first free and open distance learning course on law. After two successful offerings, CopyrightX is an experiment no longer. Under the leadership of Professor William Fisher, who created and directs the course, CopyrightX will be offered for a third time from January to May 2015.

Three types of courses make up the CopyrightX Community:

  • a residential course on Copyright Law, taught by Prof. Fisher to approximately 100 Harvard Law School students;
  • an online course divided into sections of 25 students, each section taught by a Harvard Teaching Fellow;
  • a set of affiliated courses based in countries other than the United States, each taught by an expert in copyright law.

Participation in the online sections is free and is open to anyone at least 13 years of age, but enrollment is limited. Admission to the online sections will be administered through an open application process that opens on October 15 and closes on December 15. We welcome applicants from all countries, lawyers and non-lawyers alike. For details, see CopyrightX:Sections. (The criteria for admission to each of the affiliated courses are set by the course’s instructor. Students who will enroll in the affiliated courses may not apply to the online sections.)

We encourage widespread promotion of the application through personal and professional networks and social media. Feel free to circulate:

by nlevy at October 15, 2014 03:04 PM

Feeds In This Planet