This all points to a new normal for the way global Internet companies operate in Europe. Indeed, says Adam Holland, project coordinator at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, the right to be forgotten reflects starkly different notions of privacy in Europe and the US.
“In the US, we value freedom of speech and freedom of info more highly than necessarily moral rights to that information,” says Mr. Holland. “It is a moral issue, not necessarily a legislative issue. The EU places a higher precedent on the rights of the person.”
via Google loses ground in fight against Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’ – CSMonitor.com.
However, the ultimate irony is that in policing morality on the web, Chinese censors would be pushing citizens toward opportunities to communicate outside government controls. According to Rob Faris of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, unmonitored social networks are Beijing’s greatest fear. Beijing thus might not want to fully implement the censors’ guidelines. But that would force the government to backpedal and confront whatever clique has been pushing to curb titillation. As Mr. Faris notes, “Once you’ve put in the structures and systems for censoring the Internet, it’s vulnerable to the whims of people in power.”
via Love and Aliens in the Time of Censorship – WSJ.
Such transgressions have got Jonathan Zittrain, director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, thinking about how to ensure that data are protected for the promised time period. Among other concerns, he worries for philanthropic donations of papers or personal effects to libraries and the like. Often, such donations are made with a proviso that they not be revealed for a fixed period of time. “That type of donation will not happen if their stuff is only one subpoena away from disclosure,” he says.
via Cryptography: Note to future self | The Economist.
An exhaustive 2009 roundup by researchers at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society found the 38 multi-country economic studies of broadband regulation and investment they looked at to be hopelessly split between positive, negative, and inconclusive results. The Berkman researchers also argued that we shouldn’t pay too much heed to the economists because (1) a lot of the studies were sponsored by broadband incumbents, (2) there simply isn’t enough data yet for the empirical surveys to be trusted, and (3) different theoretical models of broadband investment deliver dramatically different results.
via No One Actually Knows How to Regulate the Internet.
Twitter publicly discloses all removal and information requests from government agencies, at home and abroad, and posts them on the website Chilling Effects, a research and transparency database project of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
via Twitter Is Not at War With ISIS. Here’s Why. | Mother Jones.
Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law and computer science at Harvard, on free speech, privacy, and the long reach of the technology behemoths
Jonathan Zittrain is a professor of law and computer science at Harvard who examines issues of privacy and fairness in the digital world. He is co-founder of Harvard’s Berkman Center for the Internet & Society and of Chilling Effects, a clearinghouse for cease-and-desist letters ordering the takedown of certain information on the Web. Author of “The Future of the Internet—and How to Stop It,” published in 2008, Zittrain recently addressed the current class of Nieman Fellows. Excerpts from the talk and the question-and-answer session that followed:
via 5 Questions for Jonathan Zittrain – Nieman Reports.
Joking aside what exactly is net neutrality?
To understand the concept of net neutrality you first have to understand the backdrop of the Internet itself, says Jonathan Zittrain who heads the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.
“The Internet is kind of a collective hallucination. It is only a set of protocols that say if somebody joining this network, connecting however it can, speaks those protocols, it’s a full-fledged member of the network. That’s one reason why the Internet has no main menu, it has no CEO, it has no business plan,” says Zittrain.
via Is the Internet equal around the world? | Public Radio International.
But if Obamacare for the internet isn’t a particularly meaningful concept, a public option for the internet is. Susan Crawford, the John A. Reilly Visiting Professor in Intellectual Property at the Harvard Law School, explained the idea to me in an interview:
via There’s no Obamacare for the internet. But there could be a public option. – Vox.
Harvard Law School visiting Professor Susan Crawford spoke with Morning Edition host Bob Seay about Net Neutrality saying the momentum behind the issue and President Obama’s recent support demonstrates the need to give oversight to the Internet. Crawford says, “Net Neutrality isn’t about the cars on the Super information Highway or the Internet, it’s about the roads.”
via Harvard Prof Says Net Neutrality Gives Internet Oversight | WGBH News.
“A lawsuit is an awful way to sort out a situation like this one,” Computer Science and Law Professor Jonathan L. Zittrain wrote in an email Monday to The Crimson, adding that “there may be reasons to rethink how studies of this sort are done—who approves them, and who’s informed about it before, during, and after —but I don’t see any useful role for a lawsuit here, and I suspect the plaintiff’s firm is rather hoping to simply settle, banking on the University not wishing ongoing bad publicity.”
via Bol Notifies Students Affected by Controversial Attendance Study | News | The Harvard Crimson.