iLaw: Internet Technology, Law, and Policy, an intensive, four-day, presemester course run in September by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, drew an unusual mix of students and professionals. About three-quarters of the students were from HLS, but there were also engineering students, policy students from the Kennedy School, and a few from Stanford and MIT. The professionals included academics, lawyers, company and foundation representatives, technologists, activists and policymakers. Participants hailed from Kenya, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Brazil. All told, there were about 200 attendees.
Urs Gasser, executive director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said that the most recent scrutiny of Google’s privacy policies will serve as a precedent for handling internet tracking concerns.
On its own terms, how worried should we be about civilian use of drones? Moderately. It’s too easy to imagine the use as simply sporadic and harmless, such as hobbyists flying drones around the way that they might tinker with model rockets or balcony telescopes. But for better or worse, it’s a space for disruptive innovation: prices to fly and record will be trivial, and what might be done with the results will expand with imagination and additional leaps in technology. People can become recognizable by their unique gaits; anyone walking could be located at a particular place and time. Car license plates can be read, as perhaps could cracked toll booth fast pass IDs.
Now that the Internet has pulled fame inside out, you don’t need to be blessed by the mass media to become famous. To paraphrase Andy Warhol, on the Internet, everyone will be famous to 15 people. In fact, everything important about fame has changed.
We benefited from forward-thinking communications approaches from leadership like Christine Heenan that supported experimentation, and research from leaders at places like the Berkman Center.
“Last fall Google switched to encrypted search by default, and the situation in Iran might represent a focus on restricting encrypted traffic — information that’s more difficult for the government to eavesdrop upon,” said Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School and co-founder of the Berkman Center.
Lady Gaga is taking the next step in her ongoing efforts to put an end to youth bullying: On Feb. 29, the chart-topping singer, alongside her mother Cynthia Germanotta, is launching the Born This Way Foundation at The Berkman Center at Harvard.
In Too Big To Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room, the simultaneously fascinating and frustrating book by Berkman Center senior researcher David Weinberger, there is a wonderful moment where the mechanisms of “fact-building” are laid bare.
Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain votes for Instapaper, which lets you save copies of Web pages.