To top it all off, Harvard University law professor Jonathan Zittrain will emcee the event. Zittrain is an expert in all things Internet and the faculty director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. But don’t expect him to talk about the legalities of sharing cat videos — his mind will be focused on entertainment.
Berkman in the News
The event, now in its fourth year, will be hosted by Harvard Internet Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, who will provide insight on the importance of Internet cat videos. The festival will also feature representatives from the Gifford Cat Shelter and Boston’s Forgotten Felines.
“‘Tinker’ is a tricky word — automobiles are kinetic creatures, and no one wants to have even well-intentioned hackers applying patches that would lead to safety issues. But there’s not much security through obscurity, and it’s important and helpful for technically-inclined people to be able to review and understand the code on which their cars run, just as they’re entitled to try to take apart the physical pieces. In the longer term, we can devise ways to allow tinkerers to modify the code on their automobiles while being accountable should something go terribly awry.” – Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School
“The calculation that Verizon has made is they can focus on their wireless business and on monetizing their existing FiOS buildout and be more profitable than expanding their FiOS footprint, which leaves cities like Boston in a lurch,” said David Talbot, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “There’s a lot of evidence that when you have competition, you end up with better prices and having faster services. It benefits everybody.”
While New York City has relatively good broadband competition, many other major U.S. metro areas are in Boston’s situation — including Minneapolis–St. Paul and Los Angeles. That lack of competition has made the Internet less resistant, according to Willow Brugh, a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society who works on mobilizing technology to respond to disasters.
Regarding overall security, if the TPP is ratified then insecurity wins. If ratified, then the TPP could leave IoT “in a state of chronic device ecosystem insecurity.” Vivek Krishnamurthy, a cyberlaw instructor at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, told Motherboard, “The TPP is going to prohibit people from checking these devices to see if they work as advertised.” Before checking if a device works, hackers, tinkers, makers and anyone else will “have to get permission from someone to do that research.”
“They aren’t supposed to be operating in a way that would effectively be competitive with other commercial models,” said Jeffrey Hermes, deputy director of the Media Law Resource Center and former director of the now-defunct Digital Media Law Project at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. “So the bottom line is you probably need to shift the economic base of your organization if you’re trying to get it ready for 501(c)(3) status.”
The intersection of big data, artificial intelligence, and our always-on world has created interesting moral, ethical, and potentially legal issues, said Jonathan Zittrain, who believes that the relatively neutral ground of universities is a good place to sort that out. Zittrain is director and faculty chair of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
This means that if you use your laptop to rip a DVD movie, your computer could be seized or even destroyed by authorities, Vivek Krishnamurthy, a cyberlaw instructor at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, told me over the phone. Even more importantly, he said, security researchers—experts who hack cars and other consumer goods to make sure hardware and software is secure—could be prevented from doing their jobs.
Dubbing 2015 the “Year of the Podcast,” panelists at a Berkman Center for Internet and Society lunch discussion pulled back the curtain on the history of the digital media form and discussed its future. Titled “State of the Podcast,” the panel is one of many events under the umbrella of HUBweek, a weeklong series sponsored by Harvard, MIT, The Boston Globe, and Massachusetts General Hospital.