Archive for the 'video' Category

Willow Brugh on Distributed and Digital Disaster Response

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The citizen response to 2012’s Hurricane Sandy was in many important ways more effective than the response from established disaster response institutions like FEMA. New York-based response efforts like Occupy Sandy leveraged existing community networks and digital tools to find missing people; provide food, shelter, and medical assistance; and offer a hub for volunteers and donors.

In this talk Willow Brugh — Berkman fellow and Professor of Practice at Brown University — demonstrates examples ranging from Oklahoma to Tanzania where such distributed and digital disaster response have proved successful, and empowered citizens to respond in ways traditional institutions cannot.


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Development in the Digital Age: The Role of Online Platforms & Payments in Enabling Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets

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The Internet is democratizing access to the global marketplace for millions of people around the world. Thanks to online platforms, payment systems and logistics services, companies, nonprofits and individuals can embark on global journeys like never before.

In this conversation, Usman Ahmed — Policy Counsel for eBay Inc — and Jake Colvin — Executive Director of the Global Innovation Forum at the National Foreign Trade Council — explore the opportunities for economic development that the Internet unlocks, and the specific challenges that global entrepreneurs and micromultinationals in developing countries face.


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The Digital Problem-Solving Initiative (DPSI) at Harvard

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The Digital Problem-Solving Initiative (DPSI, or “dip-see”) at Harvard University, is an innovative and collaborative project, hosted through the Berkman Center. DPSI brings together a diverse group of learners (students, faculty, fellows, and staff) to work on projects to address challenges and opportunities across the university.

In this talk DPSI participants showcase: a smartphone app to reduce campus assault; a method statisticians can use to protect the anonymity of their subjects; and an innovative, immersive documentary project.


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Aimee Corrigan on #StopEbola: What Nigeria Did Right

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On July 20, 2014 the Ebola outbreak landed in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. Public health officials warned that an outbreak could be catastrophic in Lagos, a densely populated city of 21 million. 19 confirmed cases left 11 dead from the disease, but Nigeria’s nightmare scenario never occurred. Within three months, the World Health Organization declared Nigeria Ebola-free, deeming the nation’s efforts to contain the disease a “spectacular success story”.

In a country with 130 million mobile-phone users and active social networks, social media and mobile technology played a central role in Nigeria’s Ebola containment.

In this talk Aimee Corrigan — Co-Director of Nollywood Workshops, a hub for filmmakers in Lagos, Nigeria — discusses how viral video, SMS, and social media were used to sensitize audiences, manage fear and myths, and reduce stigma around Ebola. And how these strategies might be utilized in public health challenges in Africa and beyond.


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Carrie James on Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap

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Fresh from a party, a teen posts a photo on Facebook of a friend drinking a beer. A college student repurposes an article from Wikipedia for a paper. A group of players in a multiplayer online game routinely cheat new players by selling them worthless virtual accessories for high prices. How do youth, and the adults in their lives, think about the moral and ethical dimensions of their participation in online communities?

In this talk Carrie James — Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of “Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap” — explores how young people approach questionable situations online as well as more dramatic ethical dilemmas that arise in digital contexts.


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Nathan Freitas: The Great Firewall Inverts

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The world is witnessing a massive expansion of Chinese telecommunications reach and influence, powered entirely by users choosing to participate in it. In Usage of the mobile messaging app WeChat (微信 Weixin), for example, has skyrocketed not only inside China, but outside, as well. Due to these systems being built upon proprietary protocols and software, their inner workings are largely opaque and mostly insecure. (WeChat has full permission to activate microphones and cameras, track GPS, access user contacts and photos, and copy all of this data at any time to their servers.)

In this talk, Nathan Freitas — Berkman Fellow, director of technology strategy and training at the Tibet Action Institute. and leader of the Guardian Project — questions the risks to privacy and security foreign users engage in when adopting apps from Chinese companies. Do the Chinese companies behind these services have any market incentive or legal obligation to protect the privacy of their non-Chinese global userbase? Do they willingly or automatically turn over all data to the Ministry of Public Security or State Internet Information Office? Will we soon see foreign users targeted or prosecuted due to “private” data shared on WeChat? And is there any fundamental difference in the impact on privacy freedom for an American citizen using WeChat versus a Chinese citizen using WhatsApp or Google?


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Jessica Silbey on The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators and Everyday Intellectual Property

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Why do people create and innovate? And how does intellectual property law encourage, or discourage, the process?

In this talk Jessica Silbey — Professor at Suffolk University Law School — discusses her recent book The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators, and Everyday Intellectual Property, which investigates the motivations and mechanisms of creative and innovative activity in everyday professional life.

Based on over fifty face-to-face interviews, the book centers on the stories told by interviewees describing how and why they create and innovate and whether or how IP law plays a role in their activities. The goal of the empirical project was to figure out how IP actually works in creative and innovative fields, as opposed to how we think or say it works (through formal law or legislative debate). Breaking new ground in its qualitative method examining the economic and cultural system of creative and innovative production, The Eureka Myth draws out new and surprising conclusions about the sometimes misinterpreted relationships between creativity, invention and intellectual property protections.


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Tim Davies on Unpacking Open Data: Power, Politics and the Influence of Infrastructures

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Countries, states & cities across the globe are embracing the idea of ‘open data': establishing platforms, portals and projects to share government managed data online for re-use. Yet, right now, the anticipated civic impacts of open data rarely materialize, and the gap between the promise and the reality of open data remains wide.

In this talk, Tim Davies — Berkman affiliate and a social researcher focussing on the development of the open government data landscape around the world — questions the ways in which changing regimes around data can reconfigure power and politics, and considers opportunities to re-imagine the open data project, not merely as one of placing datasets online, but as one that can positively reshape the knowledge infrastructures of civic life.


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BONUS: watch Willow Brugh’s live animation of this discussion.

Molly Sauter on “The Coming Swarm”

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What is the role of the internet in political activism and speech? Is there any room for nuance between hacking and “cyber-terrorism?”

Molly Sauter — research affiliate at the Berkman Center and author of “The Coming Swarm: DDoS, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet” — discusses the history, development, theory, and practice of distributed denial of service actions as a tactic of political activism.


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*Correction from Molly Sauter: “The plea deal of the PayPal14 stipulates that each defendant owes $5,600 in restitution payments to the PayPal corporation, not $1,600 as I state in the video.”

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

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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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