Archive for the 'audio' Category

Brad Smith and Jonathan Zittrain on Privacy, Surveillance, and Rebuilding Trust in Tech [AUDIO]

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One of the enduring issues in cyberspace is which laws apply to online activities. We see this most clearly today in the reaction to revelations about government surveillance: on one hand, individuals are increasingly seeking assurances that their content is protected from government overreach, while governments want to ensure they have access to information to enforce their laws, even if that content is stored outside their borders. We see this same tension in debates over privacy protection for data placed on line by consumers.

Brad Smith — Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president of Legal and Corporate Affairs — and Jonathan Zittrain — Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society — explore the role of law in protecting our rights in the physical world online, the complementary roles of law and technology in achieving this protection, and the need for governments to come together so that companies (and customers) don’t face conflicting legal obligations.

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Emily Horne & Tim Maly on The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance [AUDIO]

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In 1787, British philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham conceived of the panopticon, a ring of cells observed by a central watchtower, as a labor-saving device for those in authority. In French philosopher Michel Foucault’s groundbreaking 1975 study, Discipline and Punish, the panopticon became a metaphor to describe the creeping effects of personalized surveillance as a means for ever-finer mechanisms of control.

Years later, the available tools of scrutiny, supervision, and discipline are far more capable and insidious than Foucault dreamed, and yet less effective than Bentham hoped. Shopping malls, container ports, terrorist holding cells, and social networks all bristle with cameras, sensors, and trackers. But, crucially, they are also rife with resistance and prime opportunities for revolution.

In this talk authors Emily Horne — a creator of the webcomic A Softer World — and Tim Maly — writer and Fellow at Harvard’s metaLAB — discuss their new book The Inspection House, and paint a stark, vivid portrait of our contemporary surveillance state and its opponents.

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aestetix on NymRights: Protecting Identity in the Digital Age [AUDIO]

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Do you have a name? More than one? Does it matter to you who knows it? As digital systems become more integrated into our lives, these questions are becoming very important. We’re in the midst of a literal identity crisis where your identity is quickly becoming, rather than something you define, a social construct that is granted to you.

aestetix, after being suspended twice by Google Plus for violating their “Real Names” policy, helped found NymRights, which has consulted on President Obama’s National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). In this talk he guides an exploration of the philosophy of names and identity, the digital systems we’ve created over the past decades, and the challenges that arise when the systems come into conflict with individual safety and freedom.

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Rebecca Weintraub on Digital Badges for Global Health Delivery Skills [AUDIO]

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Healthcare professionals worldwide often have extensive non-clinical skills in management, public health, policy, or other fields which are not officially recognized through a degree. In this talk, Rebecca Weintraub, MD — Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Faculty Director of the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University — introduces the concept of digital badges for healthcare professionals, a means for demonstrating skills and experience to potential new employers, grant-giving organizations, and others. Like other well-known badge and certification systems — such as Fair Trade and organic standards for food, or LEED certification for buildings — digital badges can improve the quality of health services, and help others to recognize the skills of healthcare professionals. But how should such a system be implemented?

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John Kaag on Drone Warfare and the Public Imagination [AUDIO]

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In 2012, U.S. drone strikes occurred most often in which nation?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone. 27 percent of Americans reported they had no a clue and another 60 percent got it wrong.

What should the media cover when it comes to drones and military robotics? And what responsibility do journalists have to focus in on the most pressing moral and legal questions when it comes to drone technologies?

John Kaag — Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and co-author of the recent “Drone Warfare” — discusses how the American and international public think about drone warfare, and poses pressing ethical questions about drones in military and civilian use.

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Getting to Know the Berkman Center with Jonathan Zittrain [AUDIO]

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Learn more about the Berkman Center for Internet & Society — and its incredible network of researchers, activists, faculty, students, technologists, entrepreneurs, artists, policy makers, lawyers, and more — in an interactive conversation led by Faculty Chair Jonathan Zittrain.

If you’re curious about connecting with our research, our community, or our events, or are just generally interested in digital technologies and their impact on society, find out more here!

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Tressie (McMillan) Cottom on Democratizing Ideologies and Inequality Regimes in Digital Domains [AUDIO]

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How are inequality regimes challenged, or sometimes perpetuated, in online environments? In this talk Tressie McMillan Cottom — blogger, PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at Emory University, and PhD Intern at the Microsoft Research Network’s Social Media Collective — discusses inequality in online learning, based on qualitative research with students taking courses online at for-profit institutions.

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Christian Sandvig, Karrie G. Karahalios, and Cedric Langbort Look Inside the Facebook News Feed [AUDIO]

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Our online lives are organized by computer algorithms that select and recommend advertisements, search results, news, and online social interactions. These algorithms are often closely-guarded secrets kept by Internet companies. But researchers, users, and the public might legitimately need to know how these algorithms operate.

In this talk, Christian Sandvig (University of Michigan), Karrie Karahalios (University of Illinois), and Cedric Langbort (University of Illinois) use the Facebook newsfeed as an example to ask how users can investigate how these algorithms work from the outside.

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Melissa Gira Grant: w4m – The End of the American Red Light District [AUDIO]

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The history of the American red light district is quite brief –- from railroad signal lights to hotel bathroom selfies -– and clouded in myth. Soon it may be lost. In this talk, Melissa Gira Grant — freelance journalist and author of “Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work” (Verso, 2014) — reconsiders how communication technologies shape sex-for-sale, proposes that sex work has merged with the network, and discusses what we can learn from how sex workers have remained a step ahead.

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Justin Reich on MOOCs and the Science of Learning [AUDIO]

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Millions of learners on platforms like edX and Coursera are generating terabytes of data tracking their activity in real time. Online learning platforms capture extraordinarily detailed records of student behavior, and now the challenge for researchers is to explore how these new datasets can be used to advance the science of learning.

In this edX co-sponsored talk Justin Reich — educational researcher, co-founder of EdTechTeacher, and Berkman Fellow — examines current trends and future directions in research into online learning in large-scale settings.

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