Archive for the 'video' Category

Primavera Di Filippi on Ethereum: Freenet or Skynet?

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Ethereum is a contract validating and enforcing system based on a distributed public ledger such as the one implemented by the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The system allows for the management of complex distributed autonomous organizations, which raises questions about legality. Could this new platform promote the establishment of an entirely decentralized society, or will its disruptive potential eventually be absorbed by the established system? In this talk Primavera De Filippi — Berkman fellow and postdoctoral researcher at the CERSA/CNRS/Université Paris II — explores the dangers and opportunities of Ethereum.


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Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet

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The long-term viability of an unowned, open Internet remains in question. Any analysis of where the Internet is headed as a protocol and a platform must take into account the activities of both public and private entities that see the Internet as a source of intelligence — and a field of contention.

Yochai Benkler, Bruce Schneier, and Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center are joined by John DeLong and Anne Neuberger of the National Security Agency in a conversation moderated by Berkman Faculty Director Terry Fisher on the future of an open internet in the face of challenges to privacy in an unsecure world.


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This talk was co-sponsored by: the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Harvard Law School American Civil Liberties Union, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, National Security Journal, and National Security and Law Association.

Jeff Young on Pop-Up Learning: The Future of MOOCs and Online Education

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After months of hype and hope about MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, one thing is clear: they aren’t very good at teaching those most in need of education. Instead, they’re serving the education “haves”: About 80 percent of people taking MOOCs already have a college degree. But free online courses may still spark an education revolution, in ways that their biggest proponents hadn’t guessed. In this talk Jeff Young — editor and writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education and Berkman Fellow — takes a closer look at who is taking MOOCs and why, and examines how free courses fit into broader Internet trends.


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Susan Benesch on Troll Wrastling for Beginners: Data-Driven Methods to Decrease Hatred Online

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Hateful and even violent speech is familiar online; what’s unusual are data-driven efforts to diminish them. Experiments so far have produced intriguing results including: some ‘trolls’ recant or apologize in response to counterspeech, and small changes in platform architecture can improve online discourse norms.

In this talk Susan Benesch — founder of the Dangerous Speech Project and professor of American University’s School of International Service — discusses early research and experiments into managing and responding to hateful speech online, especially in climates where online speech may be tied to offline violence.


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Read more here

  • Susan’s Homepage
  • @dangerousspeech
  • A Prelude to Murder: Calling Humans Vermin
  • The Innocence of YouTube
  • Words as Weapons
  • Umati: Kenyan Online Discourse to Catalyze and Counter Violence
  • Elections and Ethnic Violence
  • Umati Final Report
  • Vile Crime or Inalienable Right: Defining Incitement to Genocide
  • Axel Arnbak on When Governments Pwn the Web: A Constitutional Right to IT-Security?

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    Governments around the world are hacking into IT-systems, with deep implications for privacy, IT-security, the legal process and geopolitics. Should governments actually have the ability and the right to hack, and to weaken global communications networks? And do conventional concepts such as privacy and communications secrecy sufficiently capture the status quo, or do we need a new constitutional right for IT-security as proposed by the German court?

    In this talk Axel Arnbak — Berkman fellow and researcher at the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam — explores three real-life cases to unpack the implications of government hacking.


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    9 Problems of Government Hacking: Why IT-Systems Deserve Constitutional Protection

    Ethan Gilsdorf & Jonathan Zittrain on How Dungeons & Dragons and Fantasy Prepare You for Law and Life

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    How is a lawyer like a wizard? How does a courtroom resemble an epic battle? How is a casebook like the Dungeon Master’s Guide? If you played Dungeons & Dragons in another age, or today, then you know this enormously influential role-playing gaming, which shaped the video gaming industry and geek culture, can be perfect training ground for law and life.

    In this informal talk and conversation, Ethan Gilsdorf — journalist, 17th level geek, and author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks — joins the Berkman Center’s Jonathan Zittrain to discuss how D&D’s inherent storytelling skills can champion a role for creative play space in both your work and leisure life.


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    Camille François on A Roadmap to Cyberpeace

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    The notion of ‘cyberpeace’ requires a separation of war-time cyber activities from peace-time cyber activities. This project questions “cyberwar” (the concept, its reality and its legal framework) and examines its relationship to the idea of peace. Doctrinally, the ‘cyber’ realm grew between conceptions of war and peace.

    In this talk Camille François — Berkman and Fulbright Fellow, and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies — explores how these blurry lines are translated in operations (for example, NSA/USCYBERCOM) and legal frameworks, and attempts to address the consequences of the framing.

    Read Camille’s article in Scientific American: What Is War in the Digital Realm? A Reality Check on the Meaning of “Cyberspace”


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    The US Launch of *impossible*

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    Since September, the public has been experimenting with an app that relies on the goodness of humankind. Called *impossible*, it leverages the idea of a gift economy through social media to grant wishes. Users interact by posting wishes—such as a desire to learn Spanish or to find a jogging buddy—and other *impossible* users who can grant those wishes based on skills and proximity connect to grant the wish.

    On March 5, the Berkman Center celebrated the US launch of *impossible*.

    Lily Cole, founder of *impossible* and fashion model, actress, and social entrepreneur, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Founder and CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, Rosemary Leith, Berkman Center Fellow, Judith Donath, Berkman Center Fellow, Jonathan Zittrain, Director at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Professor at Harvard Law School, and moderator Urs Gasser, Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engage in an interactive discussion about the feasibility of a social media platform that relies on themes related to human cooperation, reciprocity, and kindness.


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    Karim R. Lakhani on How Disclosure Policies Impact Search in Open Innovation

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    Most of society’s innovation systems –- academic science, the patent system, open source, etc. -– are “open” in the sense that they are designed to facilitate knowledge disclosures amongst innovators. An essential difference across innovation systems, however, is whether disclosures take place only after final innovations are completed, or whether disclosures relate to intermediate solutions and advances.

    Karim R. Lakhani — Harvard Business School professor and Berkman Faculty Associate — presents experimental evidence showing that implementing intermediate versus final disclosures qualitatively transforms the very nature of the innovation search process, and presents comparative advantages of intermediate disclosure systems.


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    Tricia Wang on Talking to Strangers: Chinese Youth and Social Media

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    When we read about the Chinese internet in the Western press, we usually hear stories about censorship, political repression, and instability. But Chinese youth are actually sharing information and socializing with strangers online much more than those in the West suspect, finding ways to semi-anonymously connect to each other and establish a web of casual trust that extends beyond particularistic guanxi ties and authoritarian institutions.

    In this talk, Tricia Wang — visiting scholar at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunication Program and a Berkman Fellow — argues that the activity of Chinese youth online reflects a new form of sociality: an Elastic Self, a new sociality which is laying the groundwork for a public sphere to emerge from ties primarily based on friendship and interactions founded on a casual web of public trust.

    More links for Tricia:

  • @triciawang
  • Tricia Wang’s website
  • Tricia’s blog: Ethnography Matters
  • Willow Brugh’s VizThink of Tricia’s Presentation


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