Yochai Benkler, Berkman professor for entrepreneurial legal studies at Harvard Law School, spoke on December 4 about the President’s Surveillance Program (PSP, a collection of U.S. secret intelligence activities) and Edward Snowden in a talk entitled “System and Conscience: NSA Bulk Surveillance and the Problem of Freedom.” The venue was the weekly seminar sponsored by Harvard’s Center for Research in Computation and Society (CRCS), which brings computer scientists together with economists, psychologists, legal scholars, ethicists, neuroscientists, and other academic colleagues to address fundamental cross-disciplinary computational problems that face society.
Over the last few years teachers at all levels of education across the U.S. have begun experimenting with the approach. Justin Reich, a fellow at HarvardX, the university’s digital teaching and learning initiative, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, has been studying the flipped classroom. He is optimistic that the model could force schools to rethink how the precious time between teachers and students is being spent on a daily basis.
Still, Schneier manages to avoid paranoia. When we met at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School, where he’s now a research fellow, scribbling away on security, the Internet, and power, Schneier wore a Hawaiian shirt and a ponytail; he had the cool demeanor of a rebellious tenured professor. He insisted that the Snowden bombshells only confirmed things he’d and many others had known for years. “Nothing in the documents is really a surprise,” he said.
An unpublished study conducted by Berkman Center fellow Jerome Hergueux suggests that reciprocity and social image are the most significant social motivations for new volunteers who contribute to public goods, such as Wikipedia.
Though the average Facebook user may not view her profile as art, Harvard Berkman Center fellow Judith Donath places the “data portrait” in an art-historical context in her forthcoming book, The Social Machine.
When we met at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School, where he’s now a research fellow, scribbling away on security, the Internet, and power, Schneier wore a Hawaiian shirt and a ponytail; he had the cool demeanor of a rebellious tenured professor. He insisted that the Snowden bombshells only confirmed things he’d and many others had known for years. “Nothing in the documents is really a surprise,” he said.
“There’s a lot of conflicting opinions about what it means to have things that react too closely to human life. I’m looking at robots that simulate life-like qualities that we recognize,” said Darling. Currently, Darling, who is also a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, is plotting her next experiment to advance her theory on the connection between humans and robots and scouting out where she can secure funding.
Charles Nesson, Harvard Law School HLS professor and founder and director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, brought Reyes and Goldstein to the Harvard Allston Education Portal to facilitate a discussion on the themes of whistleblowing, secrecy, and justice. Unlike other juries, however, Nesson instructed these jurors to focus on whether Snowden’s actions were immoral, rather than illegal.
“We do not have appropriate mechanisms to hold abuse accountable,” MacKinnon said, and to more or lesser degrees, the panelists agreed that oversight is at least too weak. Said Benkler: “The existing systems of oversight and accountability failed repeatedly and predictably in ways that were comprehensible to people inside the system but against which they found themselves unable to resist because of the concerns about terrorism and national security.” Kerrey: “I don’t think we’re even close to having unaccountable surveillance [but] I don’t think it’s good oversight.” I’ll count that as consensus. We then checked off the means of oversight.
The fair use doctrine has long been wielded to protect musical expression, perhaps most famously in the 1994 Supreme Court decision ruling that 2 Live Crew’s bawdy take on “Pretty Woman” was a legal parody of Roy Orbison’s original. But using a song in an explicitly commercial context, like the GoldieBlox ad, limits its protection from copyright infringement lawsuits. “Whether or not a work is used for a commercial purpose has been part of the fair use analysis for a very long time,” says Andy Sellars, a staff attorney for the Digital Media Law Project housed at Harvard University. “The use of media in advertising has often been a tough place for people to make fair use claims.”