Berkman in the News
Dr. Powers: China’s multifaceted approach of government regulation, censorship, monitoring, self-regulation, encouragement of national industry, and protectionism has been highly effective at keeping Chinese netizens away from foreign applications and content. This effort coincides with a concerted campaign to reframe access to the internet as a privilege rather than a right, for those citizens able to use the Web in ways fit for China’s harmonious society. Despite Western predictions of its inevitable failure, China’s approach has worked. According to Harvard University’s Berkman Center, 96 percent of all page views in China are of Web sites hosted within China.
A few weeks ago, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society released a report that documents the achievements of Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) Telecom, a municipal electric utility that now provides fiber-optic broadband Internet to local businesses in several western Massachusetts towns.
Security experts signing the letter included Ronald Rivest, a computer science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Bruce Schneier, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; and Dan Wallach, a computer science professor at Rice University.
What’s more, cellphone carriers typically keep basic details — or metadata — about text messages their customers send for billing purposes. Such records include the date and time of the message and the phone numbers the messages were sent to and from, but not the messages themselves. “They could get details of whom [Brady] texted and when,” said Nathan Freitas, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. But, “the actual text is what is really hard to get, if not impossible,” to get from a carrier.
New York is one of the states in which an individual can secretly record other people – either on the telephone or in person – as long as the person who makes the recording is aware of it, according to the Digital Media Law Project, which is sponsored by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Federal laws on eavesdropping are essentially the same as New York’s statute, the two attorneys said.
Among the groups signing the letter to Obama were the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. Security experts signing the letter included Ronald Rivest, a computer science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Bruce Schneier, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; and Dan Wallach, a computer science professor at Rice University.
“What’s interesting about Bitcoin isn’t the currency itself, but rather the underlying technology, the blockchain,” explained Primavera De Filippi, research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, speaking at Nesta’s FutureFest. “It’s the decentralised public ledger that relies on cryptography in order to ensure that every transaction is valid.”
The reasonableness of that expectation would depend on the particular factual circumstances, according to the Digital Media Law Project, a project of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. “Therefore, you cannot necessarily assume that you are in the clear simply because you are in a public place,” according to the center.