Berkman in the News
The courts can settle this matter, but only if they are allowed to consider the legality of the secrets Snowden disclosed. USC-Berkeley Journalism Dean Edward Wasserman and Harvard Law School Professor Yochai Benkler believe there should be a public interest defense to protect whistleblowers in cases like Snowden’s. It is hypocritical that sources are punished while their press contacts win prizes for using their information. And it should not be a crime to expose a crime.
For anyone angered by the secret recordings, their website points to an ACLU website that enables people to contact their representatives in Congress. There’s also the question of legality. “New York makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on an in-person or telephone conversation unless one party to the conversation consents,” the Digital Media Law Project at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society explains on its website. “Thus, if you operate in New York, you may record a conversation or phone call if you are a party to the conversation or you get permission from one party to the conversation in advance.”
But when it comes to putting all this into practice, one Harvard internet law professor thinks he has spotted a flaw. “Why would we assume that now and forever no one entity could command more than half of the computing power of the people mining a Blockchain?” asks Prof Jonathan Zittrain. “I haven’t really heard a satisfying answer to that.”
Airing on Monday, May 18, 2015: First up on today’s show, Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, joins to to talk about giving people the choice to opt out of being recorded in public on livestreaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope.
Therefore, cell phones will not be completely out of classrooms anytime soon. Cell phone ownership among young people and children has skyrocketed in the past few years. A Pew Research collaboration with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University reported that as of 2013, 78 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 owned a cell phone, 47 percent of which were smartphones.
We contacted cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier, who is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and one of the signatories on today’s letter, to learn more about what prompted the message to the president. Schneier said that repeated anti-encryption comments from top officials such as Comey in the U.S. and Prime Minister David Cameron in the U.K. indicated that “the cryptowars are back. This is Cryptowar 2.”
Therefore, cell phones will not be completely out of classrooms anytime soon. Cell phone ownership among young people and children has skyrocketed in the past few years. A Pew Research collaboration with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University reported that as of 2013, 78 per cent of teens ages 12 to 17 owned a cell phone, 47 per cent of which were smartphones.
Even simple features can have far-reaching effects, like improving voter turnout. As Harvard Law School professor Jonathan Zittrain wrote last year, Facebook could decide an election without anyone knowing it by notifying some users that their friends had voted but not others. While no evidence of “digital gerrymandering” has ever come to light, there’s enough risk to make people keep a close eye on the implementation of Facebook’s efforts to register people to vote and encourage them to participate in the democratic process.
Of all the winners of the 2015 Webby Awards, the winner of the law category might have the most lasting effect. And not just because it’s a groundbreaking project. Rather, perma.cc got the nod for an effort that could help solve a major problem for legal analysts and academics: the tendency, over time, of a hyperlink to “rot,” or lose its original URL.
Not surprisingly, some find fault with that assertion.“There is no scenario in which ‘user choices’ vs. ‘the algorithm’ can be traded off, because they happen together,” writes Christian Sandvig, an associate professor of Communication Studies and Information at the University of Michigan and associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, on the blog of the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England.