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.”
Today, were talking about IP — or internet protocol — addresses. If you have a connection to the internet, you have one. But do you know what IP addresses are, and how they work? Harvard Universitys Jonathan Zittrain answers these questions and more for host Ben Johnson. Click on the audio player above to hear Zittrains techsplanation of IP addresses, and hear why internet providers dont have exclusive content limited to their networks.
Agencies like the NSA use stronger encryption, said Bruce Schneier, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.
With criticism of The Affordable Care Act’s website mounting, some want heads to roll for the “debacle” that is the roll-out, others are calling for the site to shut down, and some claim jokes about healthcare.gov’s failings are amusing. But the focus on the flaws of the system since its October 1 launch ignores an equally crucial fact.
“Instagram has blocked searches for certain terms associated with the suspected illegal sale of drugs via its service. The photo-themed social network took the measure after being asked to respond to an investigation by #BBCtrending – a new social media series.” (Including an interview with Berkman faculty director John Palfrey)
In the past three years, 15, 000 or so takedown notices have been addressed to Twitter and posted to ChillingEffects.org. Among them: several from the Russian government. Moscow has repeatedly asked Twitter to take down content about suicide and drug use, which is illegal to post according to Russian law. In this notice, the ROSKOMNADZOR, a Russian government telecom and communications agency, tells Twitter to remove content about “suicide methods.”
Security experts acknowledge that not paying isn’t feasible for everyone, however. “The exact same argument is made for kidnapping—never give ransom money, it just encourages them,” says Bruce Schneier, a cryptographer and fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. “And that argument makes a whole lot of sense until it is your child. When it is your data, you will pay if it is worth it.”
Attaran has a point, but the campaign to secure .health also has its critics. Wendy Seltzer, a fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, said that imposing quality controls at the level of domain name registries isn’t quite right. “ICANN is not equipped to be a regulator,” she said. Plus, even when there are sanctions on who can have a domain name, they don’t necessarily work in practice. There are all sorts of non-accredited institutions that get .edu addresses, for example, and sifting good health sources from dubious ones could be even more difficult.