Berkman in the News
“As Google has been developing its awareness and understanding of what people want, it’s been exploring the question of what it is about this group of people…[who] are aware of the world but not actively voicing their opinions or taking action. What can we do, and what can others in the civic ecosystem to do?” says Kate Krontiris, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society who worked on the project.
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Youth and Media released a new ebook “Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media,” a first-of-its kind collection of essays that offers reflections from diverse perspectives on youth experiences with digital media and with focus on the Global South.
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Youth and Media are excited to announce the release of the new ebook “Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media,” a first-of-its kind collection of essays that offers reflections from diverse perspectives on youth experiences with digital media and with focus on the Global South. It creatively combines adult voices with written and visual contributions by young people from around the world.
On March 31st Greatfire.org pinned the blame for the recent attacks on the CAC, saying that the Great Firewall could not have been used without its approval or that of Lu Wei, the minister in charge. But attribution is hard to prove. According to Nathan Freitas of the Berkman Centre for Internet & Society at Harvard University, there is no smoking gun implicating the Chinese government—but the authorities should be asked how they allowed critical internet infrastructure to be “compromised by criminals”.
Mass surveillance by governments and corporations is comparable to child labor or environmental pollution. That is the largely persuasive claim of security expert Bruce Schneier in his new book “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.” Resistance is not futile, Schneier thinks, although it will be tricky to fight overreaching securocrats and snooping online advertisers without giving up at least some of the genuine advantages of Big Data.
Watching such developments from his office in Boston, Harvard University law professor Jonathan Zittrain began thinking about the need for smarter weapons: weapons that could be disabled remotely if and when required. His inspiration was right in front of him.‘I was reflecting on the fact that companies like Apple have implemented kill switches for iPhones,’ says Zittrain, the director of the prestigious Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Most Cubans who access the worldwide web do so only through work or school, and usually then using shared computers. A small number of internet cafes opened by the Cuban government in 2013 ostensibly broaden connectivity, but these charge exorbitant usage rates—$5 USD an hour, and 70 cents per hour for the country’s intranet—according to a 2013 report by Internet Monitor, a project of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Several Harvard faculty members and other affiliates said the ruling largely benefited consumers and their access to the internet.“Over the long term, these actions may help to ensure that there will be choices for connectivity, and that when you’re connected, you don’t see that access being cajoled in one direction or another depending on the ISPs’ business deals,” wrote Jonathan L. Zittrain, faculty director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, in an email.
But gleaning meaningful insights from large data sets is itself a challenge, according to Justin Reich, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society who wrote a paper on how to reboot research on MOOCs.
For data on MOOCs to be useful, there is a need to shift the focus from “studies of engagement to research about learning, from investigations of individual courses to comparisons across contexts, and from a reliance on post-hoc analyses to greater use of multidisciplinary, experimental design,” Reich wrote.
A few of my colleagues offer us their thoughts on the new frontier that YouTube is opening up. Some stem from an old school listserv where such conversations get batted around. Urs Gasser, Executive Director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and co-author of Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives, says, “I’m quite excited about the non-login, mobile-only YouTube Kids app, especially for younger kids–say age 3-6. I do see it as part of a larger, evolving ecosystem of platforms that can be used by parents to let kids watch videos. As such, it makes a contribution by increasing our options.