Berkman in the News
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.
as data breach fatigue inured you to headlines about high-profile cyberattacks? It’s time to wake up. This week, we’ve learned about a new string of high-profile cyberattacks, this time aimed at accessing the personnel records of U.S. government employees. The breach of the Office of Personnel Management, which allegedly originated in China, was apparently uncovered during attempts to step up cybersecurity.
“In the context of laws that are very broad, the power to selectively prosecute those that expose things that are critical of the administration’s behavior, while not prosecuting — or prosecuting for a very limited offense — those who leak in a way that supports the administration … is an abuse of power itself,” said Yochai Benkler, a professor at Harvard Law School and co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The fact that Snowden remains a fugitive after spurring changes in the law “says more about us and our system than about him,” Benkler added. It’s “a profoundly distorted view of American democracy,” he said.
Condemnation of Broad Surveillance ‘Growing’Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, told us that he agreed with Snowden that public opinion has shifted regarding surveillance and privacy.”There is widespread condemnation of broad government surveillance of populations,” Schneier said. “It’s tempered by fear, of course, but it’s there. And it’s growing.”
Meanwhile, Jonathan Zittrain — a law professor at Harvard — has called for Facebook to declare itself an “information fiduciary,” much like lawyers and doctors do already. In exchange for, say, a tax break, the site would promise to offer a depersonalized, unfiltered News Feed experience, among other things.
It’s unlikely that Facebook or Google will give users the chance to encrypt chat that take place on their own servers to protect it from access by the company or by a court order, says cryptologist Bruce Schneier, a fellow at Harvard Univerity’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “It’s a good thing, but it’s privacy around the edges,” Schneier says of Facebook’s encryption option. “Facebook doesn’t want you to do encrypted chat on its site that they can’t read.”
Schneier says we’re living in a “golden age of surveillance” and it happened because of computers, smart phones, security cameras and cash registers. He warns that we exude data that paints an intimate picture of who we are. Author of “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.”Bruce Schneier spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California. He’s the CTO of Resilient Systems and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center.
CopyrightX is offered to different student populations in different ways. For instance, the in-person version of the course is offered in a traditional classroom to HLS students. The online version, which is taught in parallel with the campus course, has been offered since edX began in 2012. The third, hybrid version of the course began almost by accident, according to William Fisher, the WilmerHale Professor of Intellectual Property Law, the course’s main instructor.
European regulators want Google to take down search results on all versions of Google, not just the European ones. Google has balked at this for now, but it isn’t inconceivable that Europe’s views could reach beyond its borders. “It surely could,” says Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “Right now, when something is taken down because its alleged to be copyright infringing, Google doesn’t take it down when an American complains under American law from Google.com it takes it down from all Google portals.”
Student intellectual property rights. As I said at a recent White House meeting with staff from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and at a recent Berkman Center student privacy event, we need to craft legislation that also protects students’ rights to their own data. That not only means that students should have the right to protect their privacy but also the right to retain their data and intellectual property to use as they wish at any time in their lives.