AP Source: US Probe Links NKorea to Sony Hacking – NYTimes.com, 18 December 2014

Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of law and computer studies at Harvard University, said Sony was unquestionably facing anger over the breach and the resulting disclosure of thousands of sensitive documents. But the movie studio may be able to mitigate that reaction and potential legal exposure if it’s established that North Korea was behind the attack.

“If Sony can characterize this as direct interference by or at the behest of a nation-state, might that somehow earn them the kind of immunity from liability that you might see other companies getting when there’s physical terrorism involved, sponsored by a state?” Zittrain said.

via AP Source: US Probe Links NKorea to Sony Hacking – NYTimes.com.

Spotlight on the Berkman Center for Internet and Society | Harvard Law School, 18 December 2014

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society has a number of new faces on their team and interesting projects scheduled for the fall. Lauren Reed and Paige Pascarelli asked the Center about some of the fall happenings. Enjoy!

Tell us about some of Berkman’s new projects for the fall.  Are there any in particular that you are most excited about?

The Berkman Center has nearly two dozen active research projects, spanning the range from privacy to freedom of expression to digital humanities. One of our most exciting endeavors this fall is the Digital Problem Solving Initiative (DPSI), a University-wide program to match students with mentors from various backgrounds to collaboratively tackle real-life matters of technical policy, practice and design.

via Spotlight on the Berkman Center for Internet and Society | Harvard Law School.

Cuba Inc.? Not quite – Helena Bottemiller Evich and Adam Behsudi – POLITICO, 18 December 2014

However, the communist Cuban government has rebuffed companies seeking to increase connectivity among its citizens, and Cuban President Raúl Castro’s speech Wednesday revealed very little in the way of Havana’s next steps. In it, he broadly called for the United States to remove “restrictions on traveling, direct post services and telecommunications.”

“It’s hard to believe they will suddenly change their behavior. You can’t change the dynamic overnight,” said Ellery Biddle, editor at Global Voices Advocacy and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

via Cuba Inc.? Not quite – Helena Bottemiller Evich and Adam Behsudi – POLITICO.

Reflections on the Digital World: Internet Monitor releases 2014 report | Harvard Law Today, 18 December 2014

Internet Monitor, a research project based at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, recently published the project’s second annual report, “Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World.” The report is a collection of roughly three dozen short contributions that highlight and discuss some of the most compelling events and trends in the digitally networked environment over the past year.

via Reflections on the Digital World: Internet Monitor releases 2014 report | Harvard Law Today.

Big-Data Scientists Face Ethical Challenges After Facebook Study – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 December 2014

It’s also quaint to think that users would click through the multiple dialogue boxes necessary to mimic informed consent, said Jonathan L. Zittrain, director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Would you? Instead, he said, there ought to be independent proxies who represent the users and can perform that checking function.

“I worry about leaning too hard on choice,” he said, “when the real thing is just treat your users with dignity.”

via Big-Data Scientists Face Ethical Challenges After Facebook Study – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Sony’s terrible Tuesday – Coming up today: FedRAMP Future – POLITICO Morning Cybersecurity – POLITICO.com, 17 December 2014

– The growth of Internet monitoring across the globe and rising assertion of extraterritorial sovereignty over Internet data by courts in the U.S. and elsewhere are among the topics covered by the Harvard University’s Berkman Center for internet and Society’s 2014 Internet Monitor annual report out yesterday. The report also covers the ironic rush of both the Chinese diaspora and the Tibetan exile community to Chinese messaging apps despite their content restrictions. http://bit.ly/1wE48Xz

via Sony’s terrible Tuesday – Coming up today: FedRAMP Future – POLITICO Morning Cybersecurity – POLITICO.com.

Net neutrality, free speech, online activism: Debates that mattered in 2014 | BetaBoston, 16 December 2014

Net neutrality, the demise of Aereo, personal privacy, and activism on the Internet emerged as central themes of debate this year, according to the folks who keep watch at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

In a collection of essays released Tuesday, as the second annual Internet Monitor Report, scholars at the Berkman Center weighed in on the issues that captured the attention of citizens and their governments, worker ants and their CEOs.

via Net neutrality, free speech, online activism: Debates that mattered in 2014 | BetaBoston.

Can Sony Get Around the First Amendment to Sue the Media Over the Hack? (Analysis) – The Hollywood Reporter, 16 December 2014

The case concerned union officials whose intercepted cell phone conversations landed in the hands of a radio commentator who broadcast the contents. At the high court, the media defendants were given a pass from violating a federal wiretap law as they “played no part in the illegal interception,” “their access to the information on the tapes was obtained lawfully, even though the information itself was intercepted unlawfully by someone else” and finally, “the subject matter of the conversation was a matter of public concern.”

That decision offers tremendous hope for news organizations that Sony’s threats against the news media are empty. “Unless the media is involved in the hacks themselves, the Bartnicki case puts the law on the side of the media,” says Andy Sellars at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

via Can Sony Get Around the First Amendment to Sue the Media Over the Hack? (Analysis) – The Hollywood Reporter.

Big-Data Scientists Face Ethical Challenges After Facebook Study – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education, 15 December 2014

It’s also quaint to think that users would click through the multiple dialogue boxes necessary to mimic informed consent, said Jonathan L. Zittrain, director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Would you? Instead, he said, there ought to be independent proxies who represent the users and can perform that checking function.

“I worry about leaning too hard on choice,” he said, “when the real thing is just treat your users with dignity.”

via Big-Data Scientists Face Ethical Challenges After Facebook Study – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

How Self-Tracking Apps Exclude Women – The Atlantic, 15 December 2014

Whitney Erin Boesel, a researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, and active QS member, said it took her a few years of being involved in the QS community before she realized that there was little-to-no emphasis on women’s issues. Which is weird, she pointed out, because outside the QS world one might think women would be more likely to track personal data than men are, whether that’s calories or menstruation. “So many regular facets of being a woman in a western culture are highly likely to make one track,” Boesel said, “and yet those were things I wasn’t seeing in the QS context.”

via How Self-Tracking Apps Exclude Women – The Atlantic.