Berkman in the News
On April 2, Harvard Law School Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95 addressed the impact of algorithms on our lives, on and offline. His lecture “Love the Processor, Hate the Process: The Temptations of Clever Algorithms and When to Resist Them” marked his appointment as George Bemis Professor of International Law.
“Long-term, there’s no reason all of these tasks need to be carried out by one company,” says Ben Doernberg, a bitcoin expert and research assistant at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. “A designer in Brazil can build a lovely mobile app that sends your ride request to a matching engine based in San Francisco that pulls trust ratings from a blockchain-based decentralized identity system. When someone in Chicago makes a better matching engine, decentralized Uber switches over and doesn’t miss a beat.”
“More and more communities understand that high-speed wired Internet access represents critical infrastructure right up there with telephone and roads,” said David Talbot, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. “Community networks are often seen as a way to advance economic development, attract high-tech businesses, cut municipal costs, and bring competition to the market.”
For Fisher’s course, groups of 25 students and their TFs logged on to an Adobe conferencing system each week and spent an hour and a half in the same virtual room, debating the cases at hand. Granted, there were a few more technical difficulties to iron out, but “It’s remarkably similar to teaching in person,” says Ana Enriquez ’10, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and CopyrightX’s head TF. In fact, she says, the diverse online student pool created openings for particularly rich discussions, as artists and filmmakers could weigh in with their professional experiences.
To Ryan Budish, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Internet of Things means that “anything that can be connected to the Internet will be.”“The benefits are tremendous,” says Mr. Budish. From immediate convenience and comfort to bridging the information gap, the Internet of Things has applications across many fields. Budish gives two examples to detail the scope of the Internet of Things: mobile payment systems such as Android Pay or Apple Pay and automatic airplane maintenance checks – such as sensors embedded into machinery to report back its health and issue alerts before it fails.
What is the role of the library in the information age — is it a repository for the great art, a building with free web access, or — as was the initial intention — a place for learning and research? Can it adapt to changing times while staying true to its original mission? Jonathan Zittrain is the director of the Harvard Law School Library, and the author of “Why Libraries (Still) Matter.” “Libraries are often the places of last resort to find that thing that nobody bothered to hang onto, but that they later regret losing,” Zittrain said Tuesday on Boston Public Radio. “That’s kind of the Norway seed bank — that after the apocalypse we can reboot everything courtesy of a handful of the libraries of last-resort, of which the Boston Public Library is also thought of [as] one.”
The case attracted the attention of the Digital Media Law Project, part of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, which hired University of California at Los Angeles School of Law professor Eugene Volokh to submit an amicus brief in support of Frey. The group supports the rights of online journalists and others who use digital media.
Blockchain Workshop runs June 15-16 at the Millennium Hotel in London and hosts a series of talks covering emerging blockchain payment networks, regulatory challenges, financial inclusion and more. The event is organized by Constance Choi, founder of blockchain law firm Seven Advisory, as well as two Harvard law professionals: Law Lab Co-director John Clippinger and Berkman Center for Internet & Society Research Fellow Primavera De Filippi.
“There’s a growing sense within China that widely used VPN services that were once considered untouchable are now being touched,” said Nathan Freitas, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard and technical adviser to the Tibet Action Institute.
On Thursday, Susan Crawford, co-director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a member of the de Blasio administration’s Broadband Advisory Task Force, wrote a piece on Medium that took a somewhat skeptical view if Governor Andrew Cuomo’s broadband policy, which involves a $500 million investment to be matched by Internet providers, to realize his goal of providing access to high-speed Internet access to all New Yorkers by 2018. While Crawford writes that the plan has lots of “potential” and highlights its “scale and ambition,” she expresses some worry that the state may not have the “aggressive leadership” necessary to ensure that the Internet markets are affordable and the new service available to consumers is affordable.