“This is a huge deal,” said Bruce Schneier, a security technologist and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Security. “You are dealing with this immense power. When someone searches for you, it shows up. How do we deal with that?”He added, “The issue isn’t whether people are deadbeats and should pay. The issue is whether the punishment fits the crime.” For instance, a potential employer could search for one of those cable customers singled out by the cable company, and decide not to hire the candidate because of the posting. “Now you’ll lose your career and your life because you didn’t pay your cable bill,” Schneier said.
In the News
A diverse, international group of academic, civil society, and private sector partners, including the Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC), is excited to announce the formation of the Digital Asia Hub, an independent nonprofit Internet and society research think tank based in Hong Kong. Incubated by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and this broader collective, the Digital Asia Hub will provide a nonpartisan, open, and collaborative platform for research, knowledge sharing, and capacity building related to Internet and society issues with a focus on digital Asia. The hub also aims to strengthen effective multistakeholder discourse, with both local and regional activities, and will contribute to — and itself serve as a node of — a larger network of academic organizations: the NoC.
In a candid conversation with Zittrain, Lessig spoke about his reasons for pushing the election finance issue in the campaign. Zittrain is George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School, faculty director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, professor of computer science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Before coming to Charlemont, Bernard was a research assistant with the Harvard Open Access Project and Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She also worked for at least 25 years as a child development specialist, working with young children and their families, teaching at colleges, and writing and presenting talks at conferences and workshops. Bernard said that the United Nations, through its UNESCO program, has a goal to focus on open-education resources that can be made available to everybody. Also, the U.S. Department of Education has started a “Go Open” campaign, urging states and school districts to save money by using openly licensed educational materials.
Nathan Freitas leads the Guardian Project, an open-source mobile security software project, and directs technology strategy and training at the Tibet Action Institute. His work at the Berkman Center focuses on tracking the legality and prosecution risks for mobile security app users and developers worldwide.
A 2012 paper on youth and social movements, a collaboration between Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation and Harvard University’s Berkman Center, found young people to be powerful agents for social change, crediting undocumented-youth sit-ins for convincing President Obama to grant DREAMers a reprieve from deportation in 2012. The paper’s author writes of youth activists primed to “call out or identify systems of oppression, speak up, and mobilize their peers.”
But back doors aren’t the answer, others say. Weakening security for everybody doesn’t automatically mean you can catch the bad guys, says Bruce Schneier, a cryptography and security expert who has authored 13 books. “This notion that encryption suddenly makes this impossible to uncover makes no sense. Encryption isn’t magic,” says Schneier, who is also chief technology officer at Resilient Systems, a cybersecurity company, and a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. “If the FBI, or the Chinese government, or the [National Security Agency] wanted to get into your computer, they’d be in your computer” via advanced hacking.
A recent study by Professor Urs Gasser and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society examines the diverse efforts to develop an Internet Bill of Rights. In “Towards Digital Constitutionalism? Mapping Attempts to Craft an Internet Bill of Rights,” Professor Gasser and his co-authors conduct an analysis of 30 initiatives that have sought to articulate a Bill of Rights for the Internet. The authors find that each of the distinct initiatives are “engaged in the same conversation, seeking to advance a relatively comprehensive set of rights, principles, and governance norms for the Internet, and are usefully understood as part of a broader proto-constitutional discourse.” “Towards Digital Constitutionalism?” provides a comparative examination of these diverse efforts toward digital constitutionalism, and provokes new questions for further research and study.