Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society: Audio Fishbowl

Talks from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society: Audio Fishbowl


The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society event podcast


Auditing for Bias in Resume Search Engines with Christo Wilson

Jun 3, 2019 01:09:30


There is growing awareness and concern about the role of automation in hiring, and the potential for these tools to reinforce historic inequalities in the labor market. In this work, Wilson performs an algorithm audit of the resume search engines offered by several of the largest online hiring platforms, to understand the relationship between a candidate's gender and their rank in search results. He and his team audit these platform with respect to individual and group fairness, as well as indirect and direct discrimination. For more info about this event, visit

Everyday Chaos - A Book Talk with author David Weinberger and Joi Ito

May 20, 2019 01:23:54


The Internet and AI are not only changing the future, they're changing our ideas about how the future arises from the present. In his new book, Everyday Chaos, David Weinberger points to accepted ways we work on the Internet that in undo our old assumptions about how the future works. For more info about this event visit:

IGNITE talks - Featuring Members of the BKC Community

May 10, 2019 01:12:57


Berkman Klein community members Elettra Bietti, John Collins, Andrew Gruen, Daniel Jones, Mariel Garcia Montes, Jasmine McNealy, Sabelo Mhlambi, Sarah Newman, Kathy Pham, and Salome Viljoen share their research, passions, and musings in five minute Ignite Talks. Topics include the data economy in the European Union, maternal health around the world, youth and privacy online in Latin American, Ubuntu as an ethical framework for AI, collecting secrets, and more. For more info about this event visit:

How to Work with Tech Companies on Human Rights

Apr 25, 2019 00:55:59


How can advocates, activists, and academics work with technology companies to advance human rights? In this talk, David Sullivan, director at the Global Network Initiative, and BKC Fellow Chinmayi Arun draw upon a contentious exchange with Steve Jobs about the Democratic Republic of Congo to offer insights into how companies and civil society can work together on tough issues at the intersection of technology and human rights online. For more info about this event visit:

Dirty Data, Bad Predictions - How Civil Rights Violations Impact Police Data, Systems & Society

Apr 19, 2019 00:58:40


AI Now Director of Policy Research Rashida Richardson discusses recent research on the data provenance of police data commonly used in predictive policing system. The research reviews Department of Justice consent decrees and other federal court monitored settlements related to police practices to examine the link between unlawful and biased police practices and the data used to train and/or implement these systems. For more info about this event visit:

Constitutionalizing Speech Platforms - Featuring Kate Klonick, Thomas Kadri & BKC Community Members

Apr 12, 2019 01:16:14


We're never going to get a global set of norms for online speech, but do the platforms pick our global values and constitutionalize them? Is there something to tie our global values to the mast when hard issues arise? What would those values even be? This event features a presentation and discussion with Kate Klonick and Thomas Kadri along with panelists, Chinmayi Arun, Kendra Albert, and Jonathan Zittrain with moderation by Elettra Bietti. For more info about this event visit:

BKC Meet the Author Series: Urs Gasser in conversation with Jason Farman

Apr 12, 2019 00:57:49


BKC Executive Director Urs Gasser speaks with Jason Farman, author of the book "Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting from the Ancient to the Instant World," about how our communication media shape not only how we understand human intimacy and connection, but also how we learn and build knowledge about our world and the universe. For more info about this event visit:

Machines Learning to Find Injustice -Featuring Ryan Copus, HLS Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law

Apr 4, 2019 00:47:24


Predictive algorithms can often outperform humans in making legal decisions. But when used to automate or guide decisions, predictions can embed biases, conflict with a "right to explanation," and be manipulated by litigants. HLS Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law Ryan Copus suggests we should instead use predictive algorithms to identify unjust decisions and subject them to secondary review. For more info about this event visit:

BKC Meet the Author Series: Urs Gasser in conversation with Farah Pandith

Apr 4, 2019 01:03:39


In her new book, How We Win, Farah Pandith, a world-leading expert and pioneer in countering violent extremism, lays out a comprehensive strategy for how we can defeat the growing extremist threat, once and for all. From technology companies and entrepreneurs to businesses in the private sector, she says, this is an all-encompassing global issue that we must address together. For more info about this event visit:

Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics - How the Internet Era is Transforming Kenya

Mar 20, 2019 00:57:49


Author Nanjala Nyabola speaks with BKC Fellow james Wahutu about Nanjala's book, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Kenya. The book explores of efforts to contain online activism, new methods of feminist mobilization, and how “fake news,” Cambridge Analytica, and allegations of hacking contributed to tensions around the 2017 elections. For more about this event visit:

Waking Up to the Internet Platform Disaster - Featuring Roger Mcnamee and Lawrence Lessig

Mar 12, 2019 00:56:11


Roger McNamee is the author of Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. He is joined by Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Facebook, Google and other internet platforms employ a business model – surveillance capitalism – that is undermining public health, democracy, privacy, and innovation in unprecedented ways. They use persuasive technology to manipulate attention for profit and they use surveillance to build data sets with the goal of influencing user behavior. The negative externalities of internet platforms are analogous to those of medicine in the early 20th century and chemicals in the mid-20th century, situations that required substantial regulatory intervention. For more info about this event visit:

Privacy’s Blueprint - The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies

Mar 12, 2019 01:05:35


In this talk, Professor Woodrow Hartzog argues that the law should require software and hardware makers to respect privacy in the design of their products. Against the often self-serving optimism of Silicon Valley and the inertia of tech evangelism, privacy gains will come from better rules for products, not users. The current model of regulating use fosters exploitation. Hartzog speaks on the need to develop the theoretical underpinnings of a new kind of privacy law that is responsive to the way people actually perceive and use digital technologies. The law can demand encryption. It can prohibit malicious interfaces that deceive users and leave them vulnerable. It can require safeguards against abuses of biometric surveillance. It can, in short, make the technology itself worthy of our trust. For more info about this event visit:

A History of the Internet

Mar 12, 2019 00:58:13


Why has the Internet had such a powerful impact? What are the challenges that may cause the Internet of tomorrow to be significantly less revolutionary than the Internet to date? This talk provides a history of the reasons for and the technology of the Internet. Scott Bradner has worked in the areas of computer programming, system management, networking, IT security, and identity management at Harvard for 50 years. He was involved in the design, operation and use of data networks at Harvard University since the early days of the ARPANET. He was involved in the design of the original Harvard data networks, the Longwood Medical Area network (LMAnet) and New England Academic and Research Network (NEARnet).  He was founding chair of the technical committees of LMAnet, NEARnet and the Corporation for Research and Enterprise Network (CoREN). Mr. Bradner served in a number of roles in the IETF. He was the co-director of the Operational  Requirements Area (1993-1997), IPng Area (1993-1996), Transport Area (1997-2003) and Sub-IP  Area (2001-2003). He was a member of the IESG (1993-2003) and was an elected trustee of the Internet Society (1993-1999), where he was the VP for Standards from 1995 to 2003 and Secretary to the Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2016. Scott was also a member of the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA) as well as a trustee of the IETF Trust from 2012 to 2016. Mr. Bradner retired from Harvard University in 2016 after 50 years working in the areas of in computer programming, system management, networking, IT security and identity management. He continues to do some patent related consulting. More about this event here:

Goodbye California?: The New Tech Worker Movement

Mar 5, 2019 01:04:31


A recent wave of worker actions at major tech firms have challenged company contracts with the Pentagon, ICE, and other government agencies; organized for safe and equitable workplaces, free from sexual harassment and discrimination; and demanded better wages, benefits, and working conditions for both white and blue collar contractors. Scholar and a founding editor of Logic magazine Moira Weigel places these actions in context, drawing on several years of research and writing on the movement. She proposes that these actions point to the need for new frameworks for interpreting the culture or world view of the tech industry—frameworks beyond "The Californian Ideology" that has dominated since the 1990s. She shares several recently proposed alternatives for thinking about "tech work" (e.g. platform capitalism, surveillance capitalism, data colonialism) that members of tech worker organizations themselves have studied and drawn on. This talk is moderated by recent Berkman Klein Fellow, Yarden Katz. More info on this event here:

The State of Online Speech and Governance

Mar 5, 2019 01:04:01


Professor Jonathan Zittrain discusses the social media giant’s ‘long year’ with Facebook's head of global policy management Monika Bickert. Citing his sense of the “pessimism and near-despair that permeate our feelings about social media,” Zittrain opens the conversation by recalling a September 2017 discussion in which he and Bickert looked at the rise of white nationalism and the first indications of how social media manipulation had been at play in the 2016 elections. Since then, of course, more information about fake accounts and online attacks has come to light. Learn more about this event here:

The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology In Its Place To Reclaim Our Urban Future

Feb 26, 2019 01:06:59


Smart cities, where technology is used to solve every problem, are hailed as futuristic urban utopias. We are promised that apps, algorithms, and artificial intelligence will relieve congestion, restore democracy, prevent crime, and improve public services. In "The Smart Enough City," Ben Green warns against seeing the city only through the lens of technology; taking an exclusively technical view of urban life will lead to cities that appear smart but under the surface are rife with injustice and inequality. He proposes instead that cities strive to be “smart enough”: to embrace technology as a powerful tool when used in conjunction with other forms of social change—but not to value technology as an end in itself. More info on this event here:

Cyberlaw and Human Rights: Intersections In The Global South

Feb 26, 2019 01:30:44


After two decades of little direct legislation of the internet, national laws and related court decisions meant to govern cyberspace are rapidly proliferating worldwide. They are becoming building blocks in new legal frameworks that will shape the evolution of Internet governance and policymaking for years to come. In the Global South and particularly under repressive regimes, these frameworks can be imposed with little regard for human rights obligations and without a full understanding of the technologies and processes they regulate or their implications for the preservation of the core values of the internet: interoperability, universality, and free expression and the free flow of information. In this panel, practitioners from five international organizations monitoring the development of legislation and case law related to cyberspace discuss the implications for the future of human rights online. Moderator: Robert Faris Panelists: Dr. Hawley Johnson (Project Manager for Columbia Global Freedom of Expression), Robert Muthuri (Research Fellow – ICT at the Centre for IP and IT at the Strathmore School of Law), Juan Carlos Lara (manager of the Public Policy and Research team at Derechos Digitales), Gayatri Khandhadai (lawyer with a background in international law and human rights, international and regional human rights mechanisms, research, and advocacy), and Jessica Dheere (co-founder of the Beirut–based digital rights research, training, and advocacy organization SMEX ( and a 2018-19 research fellow at the Berkman Klein Center. More about this event here:

“My Constellation is Space”: Towards a Theory of Black Cyberculture

Dec 10, 2018 01:00:01


Technology is the American mythos (Dinerstein 2006); a belief system powering the relations between—and politics of—culture and technology. In the Western context, technoculture incorporates Whiteness, White racial ideology, and modernist technological beliefs. This presentation is a critical intervention for internet research and science and technology studies (STS), reorienting “race-as-technology” (Chun 2009) to incorporate Blackness as technological subjects rather than as “things." Utilizing critical technocultural discourse analysis (Brock 2018), Afro-optimism, and libidinal economic theory, this presentation employs Black Twitter as an exemplar of Black cyberculture: digital practice and artifacts informed by a Black aesthetic. Learn more about this event here:

Promoting Fairness, Equity, and Human Rights in Tech

Dec 4, 2018 00:54:47


Perspectives from Europe and the US on a Law and Policy Agenda Digital technologies affect the lives of billions of people around the world daily. The decisions of private platforms and tech developers — and the public institutions that regulate their conduct — can shape public discourse, with profound impacts on democracy, liberty, autonomy, and governance. This panel provides a broad overview of the landscape for regulating cutting-edge digital technologies in Europe and the US. The discussion focuses on mechanisms for ensuring tech developers and platforms build and deploy their products and services in a manner that is consistent with fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression and privacy. Panelists bring a wealth of experience to the table and will address considerations with respect to the role that strategic litigation, legislation and regulation, and multi-stakeholder initiatives that operate outside of government can play in setting a human rights tech agenda. Topics of discussion will include the advent of a new privacy regime in Europe in the form of the General Data Protection Regulation; challenging surveillance in the age of mass data collection; the complex landscape for platforms making content moderation decisions; and the long-range impact of technologies that incorporate algorithms, AI, and, machine learning. Participants include Nani Jansen Reventlow, Can Yeginsu, Vivek Krishnamurthy, and Jessica Fjeld (Panel Moderator). For more info on this event visit:

Computer Simulations to Enhance Vaccine Trials

Nov 30, 2018 01:01:38


Infectious disease emergencies are opportunities to test the efficacy of newly developed interventions — for example, drugs, vaccines, and treatment regimens. Yet they raise many intertwined challenges around politics, logistics, ethics, and study design. In this talk — part of our Digital Health @ Harvard series — Professor Marc Lipsitch describes his work on computer simulation of vaccine trials during epidemics to assess options for trial design, as well as some of his recent work on the ethics of trials in emergencies, and stimulates discussion on the intersection of these two topics to help disentangle ethical from political and logistical concerns, as well as to reduce the time pressure to make a decision and encourage rational deliberation by future stakeholders. Find out more info on this event here:

Re-Engineering Humanity

Nov 20, 2018 01:07:14


Have forces been unleashed that are thrusting humanity down an ill-advised path, one that’s increasingly making us behave like simple machines? Brett Frischmann discusses what’s happening to our lives as society embraces big data, predictive analytics, and supposedly smart environments. He explains how the goal of designing programmable worlds goes hand in hand with engineering predictable and programmable people. For more information, visit

The State of Government Technology

Nov 12, 2018 01:08:05


Assessing Government Development, Deployment, & Use of Tech Tools A close look at the inner workings of government, with a particular focus on the ways in which federal, state, and local government institutions leverage technology and technical resources to best serve citizens. Alvand Salehi and Kathy Pham bring deep expertise in federal and state government deployment of technology and in establishing policies within government to foster and promote responsible tech development initiatives. They share stories from their time in government and offer thoughts on best practices for government institutions developing approaches to technology development and procurement that enhance the provision of government services.  The event is moderated by Berkman Klein Center co-director, Chris Bavitz. For more info on this event, visit:

Custodians of the Internet

Nov 6, 2018 01:11:25


Platforms, Content Moderation, & the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media In this talk, author Tarleton Gillespie discusses how social media platforms police what we post online – and the societal impact of these decisions. He flips the story to argue that content moderation is not ancillary to what platforms do; it is essential, definitional, and constitutional. Given that, the very fact of moderation should change how we understand what platforms are. For more information, visit:

Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

Oct 25, 2018 01:18:28


Victoria Eubanks joins us for a rousing conversation about her timely and provocative book, Automating Inequality. In Automating Inequality, Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The book is full of heart-wrenching and eye-opening stories, from a woman in Indiana whose benefits are literally cut off as she lays dying to a family in Pennsylvania in daily fear of losing their daughter because they fit a certain statistical profile. "This book is downright scary,” says Naomi Klein, “but with its striking research and moving, indelible portraits of life in the ‘digital poorhouse,’ you will emerge smarter and more empowered to demand justice.” More info on this event here:

Determining Disability: the limits of digital health for recipients, providers, & states

Oct 23, 2018 00:00:00


Rachel Gershon — Senior Associate at the Center for Health Law and Economics at UMass Medical School — discusses the nature of disability and disability determination; the resulting limitations in data availability; and implications for public policy. This year, several states applied for and received permission from the federal government to implement work requirements in their Medicaid programs. Policy designs vary by state, but all states build in considerations for people with disabilities. These considerations include exemptions and exceptions from work requirements for individuals unable to work due to a disability. Due to the nature of disability and the nature of disability determination processes, states will face limitations in identifying all individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. Medical claims do not necessarily provide enough information to determine a person’s ability to work. Medical diagnoses and disability determinations both can lag symptoms by months or years. As a result, relying on claims or disability determination data could leave out individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. At the same time, waiting for a diagnosis or a disability determination is a critical time period for individuals with disabilities to be able to access health care. For more information visit:

Open Data, Grey Data, and Stewardship: Universities at the Privacy Frontier

Oct 15, 2018 01:09:12


Universities have automated many aspects of teaching, instruction, student services, libraries, personnel management, building management, and finance, leading to a profusion of discrete data about the activities of individuals. Universities see great value of these data for learning analytics, faculty evaluation, strategic decisions, and other sensitive matters. Commercial entities, governments, and private individuals also see value in these data and are besieging universities with requests for access. In this talk, Christine L. Borgman discusses the conflicts & challenges of balancing obligations for stewardship, trust, privacy, confidentiality – and often academic freedom – with the value of exploiting data for analytical and commercial purposes. For more information about this event visit: Photo by @AlyssaAGoodman

Software for Social Good

Oct 9, 2018 00:59:51


The Berkman Klein Center's geek team helps build amazing tools that help us study the Internet and advance the public interest. In this talk they discuss and demo some of the tools we produce, including TagTeam and Media Cloud. Learn more about this event:

Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics

Oct 9, 2018 00:59:48


Is social media destroying democracy? Are Russian propaganda or "Fake news" entrepreneurs on Facebook undermining our sense of a shared reality? A conventional wisdom has emerged since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 that new technologies and their manipulation by foreign actors played a decisive role in his victory and are responsible for the sense of a "post-truth" moment in which disinformation and propaganda thrives. Network Propaganda challenges that received wisdom through the most comprehensive study yet published on media coverage of American presidential politics from the start of the election cycle in April 2015 to the one year anniversary of the Trump presidency. Analyzing millions of news stories together with Twitter and Facebook shares, broadcast television and YouTube, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the architecture of contemporary American political communications. Through data analysis and detailed qualitative case studies of coverage of immigration, Clinton scandals, and the Trump Russia investigation, the book finds that the right-wing media ecosystem operates fundamentally differently than the rest of the media environment. Authors Yochai Benkler, Rob Faris, and Hal Roberts present their years-in-the-making research on the media ecosystem, and discuss their findings with Martha Minow and Claire Wardle. More info on this event here:

"Click Here to Kill Everybody": A Book Talk with Bruce Schneier

Sep 27, 2018 01:10:46


Bruce Schneier, the author of Click Here to Kill Everybody in conversation with Abby Everett Jaques, MIT. From the description of "Click Here to Kill Everybody": Computer security is no longer about data; it's about life and property. This change makes an enormous difference, and will shake up our industry in many ways. First, data authentication and integrity will become more important than confidentiality. And second, our largely regulation-free Internet will become a thing of the past. Soon we will no longer have a choice between government regulation and no government regulation. Our choice is between smart government regulation and stupid government regulation. Given this future, it's vital that we look back at what we've learned from past attempts to secure these systems, and forward at what technologies, laws, regulations, economic incentives, and social norms we need to secure them in the future. More info on this event here:

Platforms, Politics, and Power: Understanding and Shaping the Internet in 2018

Sep 27, 2018 01:13:43


Drawing from memes, magazine covers and legal documents from the past 60 years, Jonathan Zittrain gives a lively overview of the Internet since its inception, spanning the debates, concerns, and hopes in the years since, and how the Berkman Klein Center fits into—and contributes to—these conversations. More info on this event here:

How Social Network Manipulation Tactics Are Impacting Amazon & Influencing Consumers

May 29, 2018 01:08:01


Narrative manipulation issues - such as manufactured consensus, brigading, harassment, information laundering, fake accounts, news voids, and more - are increasingly well-documented problems affecting the entire social ecosystem.This has had negative consequences for information integrity, and for trust. In this talk Renee DiResta (Director of Research at New Knowledge, and Head of Policy at nonprofit Data for Democracy) examines the ways that these same manipulative tactics are being deployed on Amazon, which is now the dominant product search engine and a battlefield for economically and ideologically motivated actors. For more info on this event visit:

Art that Imitates Art: Computational Creativity and Creative Contracting

May 22, 2018 01:03:14


Computational creativity—a subdomain of artificial intelligence concerned with systems that replicate or assist human creative endeavors—has been the  subject of academic inquiry for decades. Now, with recent improvements in machine learning techniques and the rising popularity of all things AI, computational creativity is a medium for critically and commercially successful works of art. From a 2016 Rembrandt to Jukedeck’s instant music (or muzak?), AI-assisted and AI-driven works are a reality. This raises mind-bending questions about the nature of creativity, the relationship between the artist and the viewer, even the existence of free will. For many lawyers, it also raises a more immediate question: who owns all of this art? Cyberlaw Clinicians Jess Fjeld and Mason Kortz discuss copyright in AI-generated works, the need for a shared understanding of what is and isn’t up for grabs in a license, and how forward-thinking contracts can prevent AI developers and artists from having their rights decided by our (often notoriously backwards-looking) legal system. Learn more about this event here:

The Law and Ethics of Digital Piracy: Evidence from Harvard Law School Graduates

May 10, 2018 00:55:43


Harvard Law School is one of the top law schools in the world and educates the intellectual and financial elites. Lawyers are held to the highest professional and ethical standards. And yet, when it comes to digital piracy, they overwhelmingly perceive file sharing as an acceptable social practice – as long as individuals do not derive monetary benefits from it. So should digital files be considered a commons? In this talk, Dariusz and Jerome identify and discuss the social and economic contexts in which file sharing is considered more or less acceptable by law practitioners. In the process, they foster a conversation on the possible changes in regulation that would allow us to catch up with the established social norm. Learn more about this event here:

Governance and Regulation in the land of Crypto-Securities (as told by CryptoKitties)

May 10, 2018 01:09:18


Founding members of the CryptoKitties team, Dieter Shirley and Alex Shih, discuss the unique governance, legal, and regulatory challenges of putting cats on the Ethereum blockchain. CryptoKitties is an early pioneer in the space, and, having navigated securities law early on in its release, will share unique insights on classifications. They also discuss some of the more ethical challenges they've been facing, and best practices for approach. Learn more about this event here:

Force of Nature: Celebrating 20 Years of the Laws of Cyberspace

Apr 28, 2018 01:02:09


Professor Lawrence Lessig is joined by Professors Ruth L. Okediji, Laura DeNardis, and Jonathan Zittrain to reflect on the 20th anniversary of Professor Lessig's foundational paper "The Laws of Cyberspace," and how the landscape of Internet law has changed in the two decades since. Learn more about this event:

Honoring All Expertise: Social Responsibility and Ethics in Tech

Apr 28, 2018 01:13:14


Social scientists, computer scientists, historians, lawyers, political scientists, architects, and philosophers share some short glimpses into how we can better incorporate social responsibility and ethics into the development of new technology. More info about this event here:

Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code

Apr 28, 2018 01:14:43


Blockchain technology is ultimately a dual-edge technology that can be used to either support or supplant the law. This talk looks at the impact of blockchain technology of a variety of fields (finance, contracts, organizations, etc.), and the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain-based systems. Learn more about this event here:

THEFT! A History of Music

Apr 16, 2018 01:04:09


Again and again there have been attempts to police music; to restrict borrowing and cultural cross-fertilization. But music builds on itself. To those who think that mash-ups and sampling started with YouTube or the DJ’s turntables, it might be shocking to find that musicians have been borrowing — extensively borrowing — from each other since music began. Then why try to stop that process? The reasons varied. Philosophy, religion, politics, race — again and again, race — and law. And because music affects us so deeply, those struggles were passionate ones. They still are. Professors James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins (Duke Law School) discuss Theft! A History of Music, their graphic novel about musical borrowing. Learn more about this event here:

Remedies for Cyber Defamation: Criminal Libel, Anti-Speech Injunctions, Forgeries, Frauds, and More

Apr 12, 2018 01:03:02


“Cheap speech” has massively increased ordinary people’s access to mass communications — both for good and for ill. How has the system of remedies for defamatory, privacy-invading, and harassing speech reacted? Some ways are predictable; some are surprising; some are shocking. Prof. Eugene Volokh (UCLA) lays it all out. Learn more about this event here:

The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World

Apr 9, 2018 00:53:32


Who controls how one's identity is used by others? This legal question, centuries old, demands greater scrutiny in the Internet Age. Jennifer Rothman uses the right of publicity — a little-known law, often wielded by celebrities — to answer that question not just for the famous, but for everyone. For more on this event visit:

Dividing Lines: Why Is Internet Access Still Considered a Luxury in America?

Mar 30, 2018 01:03:49


The online world is no longer a distinct world. It is an extension of our social, economic, and political lives. Internet access, however, is still often considered a luxury good in the United States. Millions of Americans have been priced out of, or entirely excluded from, the reach of modern internet networks. Maria Smith, an affiliate of Berkman Klein and the Cyberlaw Clinic, created a four-part documentary series to highlight these stark divides in connectivity, from Appalachia to San Francisco, and to uncover the complex web of political and economic forces behind them. Learn more about this event here:

The Accuracy, Fairness, and Limits of Predicting Recidivism

Mar 15, 2018 00:56:49


Algorithms for predicting recidivism are commonly used to assess a criminal defendant’s likelihood of committing a crime. Proponents of these systems argue that big data and advanced machine learning make these analyses more accurate and less biased than humans. In this talk researcher Julia Dressel discusses a recent study demonstrating that the widely used commercial risk assessment software COMPAS is no more accurate or fair than predictions made by people with little or no criminal justice expertise. Learn more about this event here:

The Global Lives Project and Platforms for Building Empathy & Connection

Mar 1, 2018 01:01:04


The Global Lives Project presents 24-hour-long videos of daily lives of individuals from around the world both online and through in-person exhibits. This 15-year project is an online and real-world collaboration between thousands of filmmakers, photographers, translators and everyday people from around the world. The project's latest exhibit, Lives in Transit, showcases unedited footage of the daily lives of transportation workers from around the world, including Vietnam, Nepal, Turkey, China, India, South Korea, Colombia, Spain and Canada Global Lives Project Founder David Evan Harris speaks about the evolution of the project, and its ambitious goal of connecting the diverse experiences of humanity around the globe, and building empathy. For more information on this event visit:

Nate Hill on the Library Consortium as Studio, Platform, and Metacommunity

Feb 16, 2018 00:54:39


METRO/599 is a studio in Hell’s Kitchen that connects more than 250 of New York’s libraries, archives, and knowledge organizations. With 6,000 square feet of event and studio space, supporting projects in digital privacy, multimedia media archiving, metadata aggregation, and podcasting, and offering tools for everything from software preservation to signage prototyping to spaghetti and meatball crafting, METRO/599 is reinventing the multi-type library consortium as a metacommunity center. In this talk, Nate Hill, Executive Director of the Metropolitan New York Library Council, gives an overview of the programs at METRO/599, talks about the challenges associated with this organizational recalibration, seeks input and ideas from the group, and extends an invitation to attendees to come take part in the fun. For more information visit:

John Freedman on Health Care Costs and Transparency

Feb 13, 2018 00:59:41


Health spending continues to outpace wages and GDP, while some new insurance designs transfer greater shares of that to patients’ own out of pocket costs. In this talk co-hosted with the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, Dr. John Freedman, President & CEO of Freedman HealthCare discusses what is driving health care costs up, who is benefiting, and how data is harnessed to study problems and remedy them. More info on this event here:

The Past, Present, and Future of the Digital Public Library of America

Feb 7, 2018 01:28:29


What is the role of libraries in a technological society? A group of librarians, technologists, journalists, and researchers, including new DPLA executive director John Bracken, come together to reflect on the Digital Public Library of America’s past, present and future, and explore the way in which libraries can contribute to a stronger civic life in the midst of disruptive times. Read more here: Learn more about the Digital Public Library of America:

Jonas Kaiser on The Dark Side of the Networked Public Sphere

Feb 6, 2018 00:59:42


In this talk, Berkman Klein affiliate Jonas Kaiser shares some of his research on the networked public sphere. "The right-wing is rising. Not only in the United States but also in Germany and other European countries. And the internet helped," he writes. "Right-wing actors are active all over the internet, adapt to platforms, game the system, blur the lines between off- and online, and create their own virtual spaces. In addition, social media platforms like YouTube contribute involuntarily to the right-wing's reach and, perhaps, influence with their algorithms." In this talk Kaiser will explore these issues and potential ways forward. More info on this event here:

The State of Net Neutrality in 2018

Feb 6, 2018 00:54:51


The January 4, 2018 release of the Federal Communications Commission’s "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" marked the most recent turn of events in the longstanding and ever-changing debate over net neutrality. In this lively debate, Christopher S. Yoo (Founding Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania) and Matt Wood (Policy Director of Free Press) explore the consequences of this action, including the implications of the Order, the outcome of the judicial challenge, and the possibility of legislative reform. More info on this event here:

The “Monkey Selfie” Case: Can Non-Humans Hold Copyrights?

Feb 6, 2018 00:56:59


After a photographer left his camera equipment out for a group of wild macaques to explore, the monkeys took a series of photos, including selfies. Once the photos were posted publicly, legal disputes arose around who should own the copyrights — the human photographer who engineered the situation, or the macaques who snapped the photos. This unique case raises the increasingly pertinent question as to whether non-humans — whether they be monkeys or artificial intelligence machines — can claim copyrights to their creations. Jon Lovvorn, Lecturer on Law and the Policy Director of Harvard Law School's Animal Law & Policy Program, hosts a discussion panel featuring Jeff Kerr, the General Counsel of PETA, which sued on behalf of the monkey, and experts on copyright, cyber law, and intermediary liability issues, as well as Tiffany C. Li of Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, and Christopher T. Bavitz and Kendra Albert of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic. More info on this event here:

Professor Orly Lobel: Who Owns Your Ideas and How Does Creativity Happen?

Jan 26, 2018 01:00:13


In this talk, Orly Lobel—award-winning author of Talent Wants to be Free and the Don Weckstein Professor of Law at the University of San Diego—delves into the legal disputes between toy powerhouses to expose the ways IP is used as a sledgehammer in today’s innovation battles. More info on this event here:

Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces

Dec 21, 2017 01:17:22


Can diversity and free expression co-exist on our campuses? How about in our town squares, our cities, and our world? In this talk, John Palfrey — Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover, and author of the new book "Safe Spaces, Braves Spaces" — leads a discussion of two of the foundational values of our democracy in the digital age. Learn more about this event, and watch the video here:

A Pessimist’s Guide to the Future of Technology

Dec 15, 2017 01:05:31


Since the rise of the web in the 1990s, technological skeptics have always faced resistance. To question the virtue and righteousness of tech, and especially computing, was seen as truculence, ignorance, or luddism. But today, the real downsides of tech, from fake news to data breaches to AI-operated courtrooms to energy-sucking bitcoin mines, have become both undeniable and somewhat obvious in retrospect. In light of this new technological realism, perhaps there is appetite for new ways to think about and plan for the future of technology, which anticipates what might go right and wrong once unproven tech mainstreams quickly. In this conversation, author and an award-winning game designer Dr. Ian Bogost considers a technology that has not yet mainstreamed—autonomous vehicles—as a test case on how we should think about the future of tech. More info on this event here:

Black Users, Enclaving, and Methodological Challenges in a Shifting Digital Landscape

Dec 8, 2017 00:56:47


Black users have consistently been at the vanguard of digital and social media use, pioneering and anticipating digital trends including live tweeting and the podcast boom. As harassment on social media platforms becomes increasingly aggressive, and increasingly automated, users must develop strategies for navigating this hostility. Having long endured coordinated campaigns of harassment, Black users are again at the forefront of a shift in digital practices – the creation of digital enclaves. With new patterns of use, Sarah Florini — Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies, Department of English Arizona State University — explores emerging methodological and ethical questions regarding research in this space. For more info on this event visit:

Digital Black Feminist Discourse and the Legacy of Black Women’s Technology Use

Nov 30, 2017 00:56:28


Black women have historically occupied a unique position, existing in multiple worlds, manipulating multiple technologies, and maximizing their resources for survival in a system created to keep them from thriving. In this talk, University of Maryland Professor Catherine Knight Steele presents a case for the unique development of black women’s relationship with technology by analyzing historical texts that explore the creation of black womanhood in contrast to white womanhood and black manhood in early colonial and antebellum periods in the U.S. This study of Black feminist discourse online situates current practices in the context of historical use and mastery of communicative technology by the black community broadly and black women more specifically. By tracing the history of black feminist thinkers in relationship to technology we move from a deficiency model of black women’s use of technology to recognizing their digital skills and internet use as part of a long developed expertise. Find out more about this event here:

Digital Justice: Technology and the Internet of Disputes

Nov 17, 2017 00:56:22


eBay resolves 60 million disputes a year and Alibaba 100 million. How do they do that? At the other less impressive extreme, in 2015 the IRS hung up on telephone callers 8.8 million times without making contact. Are there online solutions for that? Disputes are a “growth industry” on the internet, an inevitable by-product of innovation but often harmful to individuals. Drawing on his recent book, Digital Justice: Technology and the Internet of Disputes, (co-authored with Orna Rabinovich), Professor Katsh considers opportunities for online dispute resolution and prevention in ecommerce, health care, social media, employment, and the courts. Find out more about this event here:

The March for Science: How a viral moment starts a movement

Nov 7, 2017 00:52:00


Caroline Weinberg — one of the co-chairs and organizers of the March for Science — discusses two broad questions: How is the Internet involved in the planning of large scale, high visibility political demonstrations? And, how can we harness the potential of demonstrations to build into movements? For more information on this event visit:

How the Networked Age is Changing Humanitarian Disasters

Nov 2, 2017 00:48:53


Information communication technologies and the data they produce are transforming how natural and manmade disasters alike unfold. These technologies are also affecting how populations behave and organizations respond when these events occur. In this talk, Nathaniel Raymond — founding Director of the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health — addresses the ethical, legal and technical implications of this pivotal moment in the history of humanitarianism. For more information on this event visit:

Deep Mediatization: Social Order in the Age of Datafication

Oct 24, 2017 00:51:59


Social and communication theorists Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp draw on their recent book "The Mediated Construction of Reality" (Polity 2016) to explore what happens to the concept and practice of 'social order' in the era of datafication. Today we are living in an era not just of mediatization, but deep mediatization where every element of social process and social life is composed of elements that have already been mediated. This shifts the question of media's 'influence' on the social into a higher-dimensional problem. Datafication is a good example of this, and its tension with classical forms of social phenomenology will be discussed in detail in the talk. Developing particularly the social theory of Norbert Elias (and his concept of 'figuration'), Couldry and Hepp explore how social theory can help us grasp the deep conflicts that exist today between our material systems of interdependence (particularly those focussed on information technology and data processing systems) and the normative principles such as freedom and autonomy. Such conflicts as legal theorists such as Julie Cohen note are crucial to the life of democratic subjects and the orders (democratic or not) that they inhabit. For more info on this event visit:

Will Wikipedia exist in 20 years?

Oct 20, 2017 01:07:22


Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, joins Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler for a conversation about the future of Wikipedia and global crowdsourced knowledge. Find out more about this event here:

Programming the Future of AI: Ethics, Governance, and Justice

Oct 12, 2017 01:03:17


How do we prepare court systems, judges, lawyers, and defendants to interact with autonomous systems? What are the potential societal costs to human autonomy, dignity, and due process from the use of these systems in our judicial systems? Harvard Law School Clinical Professor and Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic Chris Bavitz, along with Harvard's Cynthia Dwork, Christopher L. Griffin, Margo I. Seltzer, and Jonathan L. Zittrain, discuss the evolution of artificial intelligence, with an emphasis on ethics, governance, and criminal and social justice. Drawing from the research, community building, and educational efforts undertaken as part of our Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence initiative, leading experts in the field share and reflect on insights from ongoing activities related to the judiciary and fairness. Find out more about this event here:

Did fake news save Kenya from an Internet shutdown? Emerging Trends in Tech and Elections in Africa

Oct 5, 2017 01:04:22


Did fake news save Kenya from an Internet shutdown? Kenya held general elections on August 8, 2017. The presidential election was nullified due to irregularities and is set for a repeat on October 26, 2017. Technology played a key role in the polls at two levels - there was use of tech in aspects such as results transmission and social media was employed massively in political campaigns with propaganda and fake news flowing freely. The talk explores emerging trends in use of technology in elections and their effect on Internet freedom and what to expect as Kenya gears up for repeat elections. About Grace Grace was a 2016/17 OTF Information Controls Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center studying freedom online during election periods in East Africa. She analysed freedom online in the Uganda elections of 2016 and is part of an election observer mission in Kenya's 2017 elections. Grace is also an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and an associate at the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) where she carries out ICT policy and legal analysis. Find out more about this event here:

The Line Between Hate and Debate on Facebook

Sep 23, 2017 00:54:49


The Internet has been billed as the great equalizer, breaking down barriers and increasing access to information and ideas. At the same time, it has allowed for the proliferation of abuse online – whether in the form of hate, harassment or offensive content. The freedom to express oneself is an important principle, but should it persist unfettered? How and where should we draw the line, and who – or what – should play a role in moderating online debate? Monika Bickert, Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management, and Jonathan Zittrain, Faculty Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and Harvard professor, discuss online abuse and the role that technology can play in addressing it. For more on this event, including video, visit:

Jonathan Zittrain on Technology for the Social Good

Sep 19, 2017 01:00:54


Berkman Klein Center Faculty Chair Jonathan Zittrain discusses the development of the Internet — from its earliest stages to its present manifestations — as a technology for good or harm, depending on the human forces that wield it. Find out more about this event, and the Berkman Klein Center, here:

Jonny Sun and Jonathan Zittrain on Joke Tweets, Memes, and Being an Alien Online

Jul 1, 2017 00:51:32


Join Jonny Sun, the author of the popular Twitter account @jonnysun, for a conversation in celebration of his new book “everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too” by jomny sun (the aliebn). This debut illustrated book is the unforgettable story of a lost, lonely, and confused alien finding friendship, acceptance, and love among the creatures of Earth. Constructed from many of Jonny’s re-contextualized tweets, the book is also a creative thesis on the narrative formats of social media, and a defense of the humanity-fulfilling aspects of social media born out of his experiences on Twitter. About Jonny Jonathan Sun is the author behind @jonnysun. When he isn’t tweeting, he is an architect, designer, engineer, artist, playwright and comedy writer. His work across multiple disciplines broadly addresses narratives of human experience. As a playwright, Jonathan’s work has been performed at the Yale School of Drama, and in Toronto at Hart House Theater and Factory Theater. As an artist and illustrator, his work has been exhibited at MIT, Yale, New Haven ArtSpace, and the University of Toronto. His work has been appeared on NPR, Buzzfeed, Playboy, GQ, and McSweeney’s. In his other life, he is a doctoral student at MIT and Berkman Klein fellow at Harvard. About Jonathan Jonathan Zittrain is the George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at the Harvard Law School Library, and co-founder of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education. For more on this discussion visit:

Tressie McMillan Cottom on the Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy

Jun 28, 2017 01:14:00


More than two million students are enrolled in for-profit colleges, from the small family-run operations to the behemoths brandished on billboards, subway ads, and late-night commercials. These schools have been around just as long as their bucolic not-for-profit counterparts, yet shockingly little is known about why they have expanded so rapidly in recent years—during the so-called Wall Street era of for-profit colleges. In Lower Ed Tressie McMillan Cottom—a bold and rising public scholar, herself once a recruiter at two for-profit colleges—expertly parses the fraught dynamics of this big-money industry to show precisely how it is part and parcel of the growing inequality plaguing the country today. McMillan Cottom discloses the shrewd recruitment and marketing strategies that these schools deploy and explains how, despite the well-documented predatory practices of some and the campus closings of others, ending for-profit colleges won’t end the vulnerabilities that made them the fastest growing sector of higher education at the turn of the twenty-first century. And she doesn’t stop there. With sharp insight and deliberate acumen, McMillan Cottom delivers a comprehensive view of postsecondary for-profit education by illuminating the experiences of the everyday people behind the shareholder earnings, congressional battles, and student debt disasters. The relatable human stories in Lower Ed—from mothers struggling to pay for beauty school to working class guys seeking “good jobs” to accomplished professionals pursuing doctoral degrees—illustrate that the growth of for-profit colleges is inextricably linked to larger questions of race, gender, work, and the promise of opportunity in America. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews with students, employees, executives, and activists, Lower Ed tells the story of the benefits, pitfalls, and real costs of a for-profit education. It is a story about broken social contracts; about education transforming from a public interest to a private gain; and about all Americans and the challenges we face in our divided, unequal society. About Tressie Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD, is an assistant professor of sociology and a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center. She is co-editor of two volumes on technological change, inequality and institutions: "Digital Sociologies" (2016, UK Bristol Policy Press) and "For-Profit Universities: The Shifting Landscape of Marketized Higher Education" (2017, Palgrave MacMillan). Her book "Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy" (2017, The New Press) has received national and international acclaim. Professor Cottom serves on dozens of academic and philanthropic boards and publishes widely on issues of inequality, work, higher education and technology. You can read more at Find out more about this event here:

Can We Talk?: An Open Forum on Disability, Technology, and Inclusion

Jun 7, 2017 01:08:56


Can we talk? The question (a favorite prompt of the late comedian Joan Rivers) evokes a feeling of being intimately and sometimes uncomfortably open, frank, and honest, both with others and ourselves. This event, a conversation between Prof. Elizabeth Ellcessor (Indiana University) and Prof. Meryl Alper (Northeastern University, Berkman Klein Center​), points the question at the topic of disability, technology, and inclusion in public and private, and in digital and digitally-mediated spaces. Ryan Budish (Berkman Klein Center) and Dylan Mulvin (Microsoft Research) will serve as discussants. Can we talk?, with respect to different degrees of potential access (in its social, cultural, and political forms) that new media constrains and affords for individuals with disabilities. Can we talk?, with respect to who does and does not take part in the ongoing research, development, and critique of accessible communication technologies. Can we talk?, with respect to whether or not talking, or its corollary "voice," is an adequate metaphor for conversation, participation, and agency? Alper and ​Ellcessor and draw upon their recent respective books, ​Giving Voice: Mobile Communication, Disability, and Inequality (MIT Press, 2017) and ​Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation (NYU Press, 2016). For more info on this event visit:

How to regulate the future of finance

May 23, 2017 01:20:29


US market regulators offer perspectives on the benefits and risks of the financial technology revolution from distributed ledgers, p2p marketplaces and the use of AI in the financial system. Moderated by Patrick Murck -- Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society -- the panel discusses the challenge of regulating through disruption and how federal agencies can modernize their approach to keep up with innovation. John Schindler is an Economist for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Jeffrey Bandman is the FinTech Advisor at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Valerie A. Szczepanik is an Assistant Director in the Asset Management Unit of the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). More info on this event here:

Zeynep Tufekci on Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest

May 13, 2017 01:07:24


Berkman Klein Faculty Associate, Zeynep Tufekci joins us to talk about her new book, Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest. To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti–Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today’s social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change. Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. She describes how the internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture—and offer essential insights into the future of governance. About Zeynep Zeynep Tufekci is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill at the School of Information and Library Science with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Sociology. She is also currently also a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She was previously an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research revolves around the interaction between technology and social, cultural and political dynamics. She is particularly interested in collective action and social movements, complex systems, surveillance, privacy, and sociality. For more info on this event visit:

Ifeoma Ajunwa on The Quantified Worker

May 12, 2017 00:53:05


What are the rights of the worker in a society that seems to privilege technological innovation over equality and privacy? How does the law protect worker privacy and dignity given technological advancements that allow for greater surveillance of workers? What can we expect for the future of work; should privacy be treated as merely an economic good that could be exchanged for the benefit of employment? In this talk Berkman Klein fellow Ifeoma Ajunwa looks at how the law and private firms respond to job applicants or employees perceived as “risky,” and the organizational behavior in pursuit of risk reduction by private firms, as well as ethical issues arising from how firms off-set risk to employees. For more info on this event, visit:

Digital Rights and Online Harassment in the Global South

May 4, 2017 00:56:37


Nighat Dad discusses the state of freedom of expression, privacy, and online harassment in the global south, with a particular focus on Pakistan, where she is based. Dad is the Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), a nonprofit that seeks to protect the freedom and security of all people online, with a particular focus on women and human rights defenders. In late 2016, DRF launched a cyber harassment hotline, and Dad will present key findings from a recently released report [LINK:] on the first four months of its operation. The report affords up-to-the-moment insights on significant challenges facing internet users in Pakistan and throughout the region. About Nighat Nighat Dad is the Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan. She is an accomplished lawyer and a human rights activist. Nighat is one of the pioneers who have been campaigning around access to open internet in Pakistan and globally. She has been actively campaigning and engaging at a policy level on issues focusing on Internet Freedom, Women and Technology, Digital Security, and Women’s empowerment. Nighat has been named in TIME's Next Generation Leaders List, and has won Atlantic Council Freedom of Expression Award, and also Human Rights Tulip Award for her work in digital rights and freedom. She is also an Affiliate at Berkman Klien Centre for the year 2016-2017 For more info on this event visit:

Internet Access as a Basic Service: Inspiration from our Canadian Neighbors

May 3, 2017 01:03:03


Deemed the modern equivalent of building roads or railways, connecting every person and business to high-speed internet is on the minds of policymakers, advocates, and industry players. Under the leadership of Mr. Jean-Pierre Blais, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) ruled in December 2016 that broadband internet access is a basic and vital service, thus ensuring that broadband internet joins the ranks of local phone service. The CRTC’s announced reforms will impact over 2 million Canadian households, especially those in remote and isolated areas. The policy aims to ensure that internet download speeds of 50mbps and upload speeds of 10mbps are available to 90% of Canadian homes and business by 2021. Join the Berkman Klein Center and the HLS Canadian Law Student Association as Mr. Blais speaks about broadband, internet, and the future of connectivity in Canada and around the world. About Jean-Pierre Blais Before joining the CRTC, Mr. Blais was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Government Operations Sector. In this capacity, he provided advice on the management oversight and corporate governance of various federal departments, agencies and crown corporations. From 2004 to 2011, he was Assistant Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs at the Department of Canadian Heritage. While there, he created the Task Force on New Technologies to study the impact of the Internet and digital technologies on Canada’s cultural policies. In addition, he served as Director of the Canadian Television Fund. His responsibilities also included cultural trade policy and international policies and treaties, such as the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression. As the Director of Investment from 2004 to 2011, he reviewed transactions in the cultural sector under the Investment Canada Act and provided advice to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Mr. Blais also served as Assistant Deputy Minister of International and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Canadian Heritage. He played a pivotal role in the rapid adoption of the UNESCO Anti-Doping Convention and in garnering international support for the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Anti-Doping Code. Moreover, he represented the Government of Canada on the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Bid Corporation. As the CRTC’s Executive Director of Broadcasting from 1999 to 2002, he notably oversaw the development of a licensing framework for new digital pay and specialty services and led reviews of major ownership transactions. He previously was a member of the Legal Directorate, serving as General Counsel, Broadcasting and Senior Counsel. From 1985 to 1991, Mr. Blais was an attorney with the Montreal-based firm Martineau Walker. Mr. Blais holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne in Australia, as well as a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Common Law from McGill University. He is a member of the Barreau du Québec and the Law Society of Upper Canada. His term ends on June 17, 2017. For more info on this event visit:

Digital Expungement: Rehabilitation in the Digital Age

May 3, 2017 00:51:53


The concept of criminal rehabilitation in the digital age is intriguing. How can we ensure proper reintegration into society of individuals with a criminal history that was expunged by the state when their wrongdoings remain widely available through commercial vendors (data brokers) and online sources like mugshot websites, legal research websites, social media platforms, and media archives? What are constitutional and pragmatic challenges to ensure digital rehabilitation? Is there a viable solution to solve this conundrum? About Eldar Eldar Haber is an Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) at the Faculty of Law, Haifa University and a Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. from Tel-Aviv University and completed his postdoctoral studies as a fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center. His main research interests consist of various facets of law and technology including cyber law, intellectual property law (focusing mainly on copyright), privacy, civil rights and liberties, and criminal law. His works were published in various flagship law reviews worldwide, including top-specialized law and technology journals of U.S. universities such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford. His works were presented in various workshops and conferences around the globe, and were cited in academic papers, governmental reports, the media, and U.S. Federal courts. For more info on this event visit:

The International State of Digital Rights, a Conversation with the UN Special Rapporteur

Apr 29, 2017 01:07:36


UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, is joined in conversation by Nani Jansen Reventlow, a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center and Adviser to the Cyberlaw Clinic, about his upcoming thematic report on digital access and human rights, as well as the most burning issues regarding free speech online and digital rights including encryption, fake news, online gender-based abuse and the global epidemic of internet censorship. More on this event here:

Technology, Disruption, and the Practice of Law: Will the Profession Survive?

Apr 28, 2017 01:13:05


The law is arguably the least innovative profession in the country. Huge sectors of the economy -- health care, banking, the arts -- face constant churn and upheaval. Law schools steadily march along with a 150-year old approach to legal education, a 50-year old approach to law firm structure, and a stubborn fealty to the billable hour. Huge portions of American society are served badly by the legal profession while the legal establishment does precious little to address the problem. Technology has systematically brought great change to almost every profession - even taxi driving - so the question is when, not if, the law will be roiled by true disruption. Join two HLS graduates who are on the forefront of answering these questions for a provocative and challenging discussion. For more about this event, visit:

Examining Black Feminism in the Digital Era

Apr 28, 2017 01:05:22


It is important to examine the digital manifestations of misogynoir – or what it means to be a Woman of Color existing in the hegemonic spaces of digital technology. But our conceptual frameworks fail to capture the everyday practices that Women of Color exhibit online. In this talk Kishonna L. Gray discusses the frameworks of Black Digital Feminism, useful to not only examine how structures influence practices, but also tools that have been implemented to resist such hegemony. For more about this event, visit:

Public Interest Data Science: The Data for Justice Project

Apr 28, 2017 01:01:18


The Data for Justice project is an initiative that aims to make (open) data actionable empowering lawyers, advocates, community organizers, journalists, activists and the general public by developing the tools and frameworks that digest complex databases without losing sight of the ultimate goal: to tell a story that can effect social change and justice. This project is the product of the work of Paola Villarreal, a Berkman Klein Center Fellow as a Data Scientist at the ACLU of Massachusetts and as a 2015 Ford and Mozilla Foundations Open Web Fellow. For more about this event, visit:

The Digital Trade Imbalance: Digital Trade, Digital Protectionism, and Digital Rights

Apr 28, 2017 01:08:54


In this talk Aaronson discusses how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) governs information flows, how its rules could affect internet governance, digital rights, and the open internet, and how to better link policies to promote digital trade with policies to advance digital rights. Aaronson also discusses the rise in digital protectionism and its troubling potential costs to innovation, human rights, and governance. For more about this event, visit:

Holding Hospitals Hostage: From HIPAA to Ransomware

Apr 28, 2017 01:00:26


In 2016, more than a dozen hospitals and healthcare organizations were targeted by ransomware attacks that temporarily blocked crucial access to patient records and hospital systems until administrators agreed to make ransom payments to the perpetrators. Emerging online threats such as ransomware are forcing hospitals and healthcare providers to revisit and re-evaluate the existing patient data protection standards, codified in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that have dictated most healthcare security measures for more than two decades. This talk looks at how hospitals are grappling with these new security threats, as well as the ways that the focus on HIPAA compliance has, at times, made it challenging for these institutions to adapt to an emerging threat landscape. About Dr. Wolff Josephine Wolff is an assistant professor in the Public Policy department at RIT and a member of the extended faculty of the Computing Security department. She is a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society and a fellow at the New America Cybersecurity Initiative. Wolff recieved her PhD. in Engineering Systems Division and M.S. in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as her A.B. in Mathematics from Princeton University. Her research interests include cybersecurity law and policy, defense-in-depth, security incident reporting models, economics of information security, and insurance and liability protection for computer security incidents. She researches cybersecurity policy with an emphasis on the social and political dimensions of defending against security incidents, looking at the intersection of technology, policy, and law for defending computer systems and the ways that technical and non-technical computer security mechanisms can be effectively combined, as well as the ways in which they may backfire. Currently, she is working on a project about a series of cybersecurity incidents over the course of the past decade, tracing their economic and legal aftermath and their impact on the current state of technical, social, and political lines of defense. She writes regularly about cybersecurity for Slate, and her writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, Scientific American, The New Republic, Newsweek, and The New York Times Opinionator blog. For more information on this event visit:

Litigating Free Speech Cases in the African Regional Courts

Apr 28, 2017 00:58:05


Please join us for a discussion with Nani Jansen Reventlow, Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and Associate Tenant at Doughty Street Chambers, on the topic of regional courts in Africa and freedom of expression cases in particular. As the head of the Media Legal Defence Initiative’s global litigation practice, Reventlow led litigation that resulted in the first freedom of expression judgments at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the East African Court of Justice. She has also led cases before the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and several African regional courts. For more about this event, visit:

The End of Ownership

Apr 28, 2017 01:06:00


Recent shifts in technology, intellectual property and contract law, and marketplace behavior threaten to undermine the system of personal property that has structured our relationships with the objects we own for centuries. Ownership entails the rights to use, modify, lend, resell, and repair. But across a range of industries and products, manufacturers and retailers have deployed strategies that erode these basic expectations of ownership. Understanding these various tactics, how they depart from the traditional property paradigm, and why some have been embraced by consumers are all crucial in developing strategies to restore ownership in the digital economy. For more about this event, visit:

A More Perfect Internet: Promoting Digital Civility and Combating Cyber-Violence

Apr 27, 2017 00:57:17


This event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. This talk addresses a range of issues relating to digital incivility with en emphasis on cyber-violence. What are the most common negative behaviors online? How are these perceived and experienced by users? What is cyber-violence? Who does it target? What steps can be taken to prevent such behaviors? How should they be addressed once they've occurred? What challenges does the legal system face when dealing with cyber-violence related offenses? Professor Carrillo draws from the Cyber-Violence Project he co-directs at GW Law School to offer responses to these and related questions. About Arturo Arturo J. Carrillo is Professor of Law, Director of the International Human Rights Clinic, and Co-Director of the Global Internet Freedom & Human Rights Project at The George Washington University Law School. Before joining the faculty, Professor Carrillo served as the acting director of the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, where he was also Lecturer in Law and the Henkin Senior Fellow with Columbia’s Human Rights Institute. Prior to entering the academy in 2000, he worked as a legal advisor in the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Observer Mission to El Salvador (ONUSAL), as well as for non-governmental organizations in his native Colombia, where he also taught international law and human rights. From 2005 to 2010, Professor Carrillo was a senior advisor on human rights to the U.S. Agency on International Development (USAID) in Colombia. Professor Carrillo’s expertise is in public international law; Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and human rights, especially Internet freedom; transitional justice; human rights and humanitarian law; and comparative clinical legal education. He is the author of a number of publications in English and Spanish on these topics. His recent article, "Having Your Cake and Eating It Too? Zero-rating, Net Neutrality and International Law," was published by the Stanford Technology Law Review (Fall 2016). As part of his clinical practice, Professor Carrillo has litigated extensively in U.S. courts and before regional human rights tribunals. Professor Carrillo received a BA from Princeton University, a JD from The George Washington University, and an LLM from Columbia University. For more info on this event visit:

US Communications at a Crossroads

Apr 25, 2017 01:09:27


Outgoing Chair of the Federal Communications Commission Tom Wheeler speaks with Harvard Law School Professor Susan Crawford about his work at the FCC, and where telecommunications might go under the next administration. For more about this event, visit:

Hyperloop Law: Autonomy, Infrastructure, and Transportation Startups

Apr 25, 2017 00:55:39


In 2013, Elon Musk proposed an "open source transportation concept" of levitating vehicles zooming passengers through vacuum tubes at 760 miles an hour. It would be weatherproof, energy-efficient, relatively inexpensive, have autonomous controls.Its impact on urban and inter-city transport could reshape economies and families. Since Musk's proposal, a company in Los Angeles, Hyperloop One, has secured 160 million in financing, hired 220 employees, and began engineering and testing to make the hyperloop concept a reality. But engineers aren't the company's only inventors. A hyperloop transport system is so different from an airplane, train, or bus that a new legal regime is necessary. Lawyers and government officials in the US, Dubai, and elsewhere have been working on creating a new framework that could govern the deployment of hyperloop systems. Hyperloop One General Counsel Marvin Ammori will discuss the challenges and opportunities for crafting this new legal framework. For more about this event, visit:

Bottom-up Constitutionalism: The Case of Net Neutrality

Apr 25, 2017 00:59:43


The question is whether we can observe the emergence of a new constitutional right of the Internet, a right that does not only protect individuals in their communication online but a right protecting also the Internet as an institution. What would be the forum where such a process of constitutionalization is taking place? Can fundamental rights also emerge bottom-up, from civil society rather than from a formally legitimized constitution maker? For more about this event, visit:

The KINGS of Africa’s Digital Economy

Apr 25, 2017 00:55:20


Eric Osiakwan is an Entrepreneur and Investor with 15 years of ICT industry leadership across Africa and the world. He has worked in 32 African countries setting up ISPs, ISPAs, IXPs and high-tech startups. Some of these companies and organizations are Angel Africa, Angel Fair Africa , Ghana Cyber City, PenPlusBytes, African Elections Portal, FOSSFA, WABco, GISPA, AfrISPA, GNVC, Internet Research, InHand, Ghana Connect. He serves on the board of Farmerline, Forhey, Teranga Solutions, Siqueries,, SameLogic, eCampus, Bisa App and Wanjo Foods, - some of which are his investments. He was part of the team that built the TEAMS submarine cable in East Africa and an ICT Consultant for the WorldBank, Soros Foundations, UNDP, USAID, USDoJ, USDoS as well as African governments and private firms. He authored "The KINGS of Africa Digital Economy", co-authored the “Open Access Model”, “Negotiating the Net” – the politics of Internet Diffusion in Africa and “The Internet in Ghana” with the Mosaic Group. He was invited to contribute ideas to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa. Eric is a Poptech, TED, Stanford, and MIT Fellow. He was previously a Berkman Klein Fellow at Harvard University. For more about this event, visit:

Public Health Echo Chambers in a Time of Mistrust & Misinformation

Apr 25, 2017 01:02:07


With digitization and simultaneous democratization of the global information landscape, plus declining trust in media and health institutions, misinformation is pervasive. Audiences are forming homophilic social networks, reinforcing opportunities for selecting information that conforms to pre-existing beliefs, a phenomenon known as the creation of echo chambers. Echo chambers are not only problematic when misinformation reinforces certain beliefs, but they also make it difficult to disseminate evidence-based information broadly. In order to understand how public health echo chambers manifest themselves online, we used the Media Cloud suite of tools, an open access global archive of 5+ billion sentences from a set of 25,000 online information sources to conduct three mass media case studies on Ebola, Zika, and Vaccination. Our findings show that public health information networks are largely unsuccessful in driving an evidence-based information network narrative around any of our case study topics. Based on these results, we invite participants to take part in a round table discussion, assessing the role that the online media ecosystem plays in creating, spreading, and reinforcing health information and misinformation. We hope to analyze together how communication theory and network science can support innovation and new online communication strategies for public health. For more about this event, visit:

Internet Designers as Policy-Makers

Apr 25, 2017 01:04:33


Those responsible for technical design of the Internet are essential among the policy-makers for this large-scale sociotechnical infrastructure. Based on analysis of the RFCs (1969-1999), this talk looks at how these policy-makers thought and think about policy issues while addressing technical problems. Findings include basic design criteria that serve as constitutional principles; interactions between human and non-human users; tensions between geo- and network-political citizenship; early internationalization; and what Internet designers can teach us about decision-making under conditions of instability in everything from the design subject on. For more about this event, visit:

Embedded Dangers: Revisiting the Year 2000 Problem and the Politics of Technological Repair

Apr 25, 2017 00:56:11


More than any other recent event, the Year 2000 problem (better known as the Y2K bug) established the public awareness of the temporal and calendrical contingencies of computer systems. This talk revisits the Y2K bug to see what lessons can be drawn from this (non) event. Using archival research conducted at the Charles Babbage Institute, this talk undertakes an analysis of the Year 2000 Problem and the large-scale practices of technological repair and management that addressed it. By recovering the organized response to the perceived threat of the Y2K bug, this project treats the crisis as one of the greatest, public-facing attempts to educate and train individuals and organizations to manage the unforeseen and potentially devastating effects old code can have on contemporary computerized infrastructures. For more about this event, visit:

Five Global Challenges and the Role of University

Apr 25, 2017 01:14:31


The world is facing five global challenges: democratic, environmental, technological, economical, and geopolitical. Challenges that will require both enormous amount of knowledge and citizens capable of using such knowledge in scenarios that today are hard to predict. The University is clearly the main institution that could help society on both counts. However, if University truly wants to maximize its social utility, it needs--as argued by De Martin in his book 'Università Futura' (Codice Edizioni, Italy, 2017)--to critically question the last 30 years of its development and re-discover its roots, updating them for the 21st century. For more about this event, visit:

#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media

Apr 23, 2017 01:11:19


As the Internet grows more sophisticated, it is creating new threats to democracy. Social media companies such as Facebook can sort us ever more efficiently into groups of the like-minded, creating echo chambers that amplify our views. It's no accident that on some occasions, people of different political views cannot even understand each other. It's also no surprise that terrorist groups have been able to exploit social media to deadly effect. Welcome to the age of #Republic. In this revealing book, Cass Sunstein, the New York Times bestselling author of Nudge and The World According to Star Wars, shows how today's Internet is driving political fragmentation, polarization, and even extremism—and what can be done about it. Thoroughly rethinking the critical relationship between democracy and the Internet, Sunstein describes how the online world creates "cybercascades," exploits "confirmation bias," and assists "polarization entrepreneurs." And he explains why online fragmentation endangers the shared conversations, experiences, and understandings that are the lifeblood of democracy. In response, Sunstein proposes practical and legal changes to make the Internet friendlier to democratic deliberation. These changes would get us out of our information cocoons by increasing the frequency of unchosen, unplanned encounters and exposing us to people, places, things, and ideas that we would never have picked for our Twitter feed. #Republic need not be an ironic term. As Sunstein shows, it can be a rallying cry for the kind of democracy that citizens of diverse societies most need. For more about this event, visit:

The Things of the Internet

Apr 23, 2017 00:55:45


As the internet connects makers, manufacturers and shippers across supply chains, a new form of producing and distributing global objects is arising, one that relies more on bottom up networks than top down oversight. When you look carefully, you see the signs of them: in the US, they might be t-shirts with hashtags on them, pussyhats at marches, and creative protest signs, and in Shenzhen, China, we see a plethora of hardware objects, such as selfie sticks, hoverboards and e-cigarettes, that rapidly reach global markets. What sorts of objects do new forms of hardware culture enable, and what role does the internet now play in all steps along the way, from ideation to sales to manufacturing to shipping? How might we now incorporate physical objects into our notions of internet memes? And what does this suggest about the future of object culture more generally? For more about this event, visit:

Virtual Competition: The Promise and Perils of the Algorithm-Driven Economy

Apr 23, 2017 00:55:54


Shoppers with Internet access and a bargain-hunting impulse can find a universe of products at their fingertips. In this thought-provoking exposé, Maurice Stucke and Ariel Ezrachi invite us to take a harder look at today’s app-assisted paradise of digital shopping. While consumers reap many benefits from online purchasing, the sophisticated algorithms and data-crunching that make browsing so convenient are also changing the nature of market competition, and not always for the better. Computers colluding is one danger. Although long-standing laws prevent companies from fixing prices, data-driven algorithms can now quickly monitor competitors’ prices and adjust their own prices accordingly. So what is seemingly beneficial—increased price transparency—ironically can end up harming consumers. A second danger is behavioral discrimination. Here, companies track and profile consumers to get them to buy goods at the highest price they are willing to pay. The rise of super-platforms and their “frenemy” relationship with independent app developers raises a third danger. By controlling key platforms (such as the operating system of smartphones), data-driven monopolies dictate the flow of personal data and determine who gets to exploit potential buyers. Virtual Competition raises timely questions. To what extent does the “invisible hand” still hold sway? In markets continually manipulated by bots and algorithms, is competitive pricing an illusion? Can our current laws protect consumers? The changing market reality is already shifting power into the hands of the few. Ezrachi and Stucke explore the resulting risks to competition, our democratic ideals, and our economic and overall well-being. For more about this event, visit:

Beyond Legal Talismans

Apr 23, 2017 00:55:47


Speech on the Internet is often viewed as unregulated, yet platforms still have Terms of Service that prohibit defamation and community guidelines that prohibit incitement. How do we reconcile the reality of online life with the legal meaning of those terms? What do we lose when we try to adapt words torn from centuries-old American jurisprudence to online spaces? In this talk, Kendra Albert explores how introducing legal terms of art invoked for their weight but often divorced from law, known as “legal talismans”, impacts online platforms and how we can move beyond legalities to systems that are more considerate of all users. For more about this event, visit:

Translating Research into Online Tools to Increase Participation in Collaborative Communities

Apr 23, 2017 01:06:21


There is abundant research on commons-based Peer Production communities, from free/open source software and wikis to fablabs and even community gardens. Research shows how these communities, regardless of their type, follow a deeply unequal distribution of effort (the 1-9-90 rule). This fact frequently generates feelings of frustration and guilt among contributors and users. How can we translate social research into evidence-based interventions to aid these communities? Which online tools would help reduce the invisible wall between contributors and users to facilitate participation? How can we ensure the tools we build respond to the communities' needs? Associate Professor Samer Hassan shares three years of research within the EU-funded project, aimed at translating social research into the building of online tools to increase the participation and sustainability of commons-based peer production communities. For more about this event, visit:

The Responsive Communities Initiative - Boston HUBweek

Apr 23, 2017 01:00:35


The Responsive Communities Initiative led by Susan Crawford at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University addresses some of the most important issues of economic development, social justice, and civil liberties of our time – those prompted by Internet access. The program has three areas of research involving the Internet, data, and government: Internet Access Infrastructure, Data Governance, and Responsive Communities Leaders. Come learn about the current state of the program's research, what they hope to achieve, and how Internet access could be regulated as a utility and open government data can improve our communities. For more about this event, visit:

Exploring Corporate Structures and Governance Models for the Open-Source Community

Apr 23, 2017 01:03:56


Organizations that develop open source software are often inherently fragmented and loosely-networked, which can make governance and decision-making a challenge. In addition, as the open source community grows and becomes more global, so too has the need to establish strong governance models and corporate structures that allow an organization to achieve its mission, and foster a sustainable community both creatively and financially. In order to do this, it is helpful for open source organizations to understand the corporate structures and governance models available to them so they may evaluate the pros and cons of different approaches to institutional management and financial structure. In this session, we plan to discuss the various corporate structures and governance models available to open source organizations, including a discussion on when it is appropriate for an open source organization to seek tax exempt status. For more about this event, visit:

Digital Health @ Harvard, January 2017 – Free Independent Health Records

Apr 23, 2017 01:07:55


Dr. Adrian Gropper is working to put patients in charge of their health records, arguably the most valuable and most personal kinds of connected information about a person. They encompass elements of anonymous, pseudonymous, and verified identity and they interact with both regulated institutions and licensed professionals. Gropper’s research centers on self-sovereign technology for management of personal information both in control of the individual and as hosted or curated by others. The HIE of One project is a free software reference implementation and currently the only standards-based patient-centered record. The work implements a self-sovereign UMA Authorization Server and is adding blockchain identity as self-sovereign technology to enable licensed practitioners to authenticate and, for example, write a compliant prescription directly into the patient’s self-sovereign health record. The public interest threads through many aspects of this work. Detailed health records are valuable sources for medical research, social justice, machine learning, big data, as well as directly related to 5-20% of the activity in terms of GDP. Identity and related aspects of this work, including security, are of global importance including refugees and societies with weak government and private institutions. For more about this event, visit:

Are We Shifting to a New Post-Capitalist Value Regime?

Apr 23, 2017 01:12:34


Every 500 years or so, European civilization and now world civilization, has been rocked by fundamental shifts in its value regime, in which the rules of the game for acquiring wealth and livelihoods have dramatically changed. Following Benkler's seminal Wealth of Networks, which first identifies peer production, the P2P Foundation has collated a vast amount of empirical evidence of newly emerging value practices, which exist in a uneasy relationship with the dominant political economy, and of which some authors claim, like Jeremy Rifkin and Paul Mason, that it augurs a fundamental shift. What would be the conditions for this new regime to become autonomous and even dominant, and what are the signs of it happening? As context, we will be using the Tribes, Institutions, Markets, Networks framework of David Ronfeldt, the Relational Grammar of Alan Page Fiske, and the evolution of modes of exchange as described by Kojin Karatini in The Structure of World History. We will argue that there is consistent evidence that the structural crises of the dominant political economy is leading to responses that are prefigurative of a new value regime, of which the seed forms can be clearly discerned. For more about this event, visit:

Under-connected in America: How Lower-Income Families Respond to Digital Equity Challenges

Apr 23, 2017 01:08:20


While 94% of parents raising school-age children below the U.S. median household income have an Internet connection, more than half are “under-connected,” in that their Internet connection is too slow, has been interrupted in the past year due to non-payment, and/or they share their Internet-connected devices with too many people. Katz will discuss how being under-connected impacts the everyday lives of lower-income parents and children, how parents assess the risks and rewards that connectivity can offer their children, and the implications of under-connectedness for policy development and program reform. She draws from two linked datasets of lower-income parents with school-age (grades K-8) children that she has collected since 2013: in-depth interviews with 336 parents and children in three states, and a telephone survey of 1,191 parents—the first nationally representative survey of this U.S. demographic. For more about this event, visit:

Applying network science for public health: Toward 'social' communication strategies

Apr 23, 2017 00:57:03


The social nature of today’s Internet is creating new public health and policy challenges. For example, the US in 2014 experienced the largest measles outbreak in nearly a generation, which led to the passing of the nation's most conservative vaccine legislation, eliminating the personal belief exemption in California. Research has identified online misinformation about vaccines as one of the risk factors for this outbreak. Through three big data case analyses on water fluoridation, the Ebola epidemic, and childhood vaccinations, we analyze the influence of scientific evidence and the influence of “social proof,” a form of imitation where individuals ascribe to the behavior of others in order to resolve uncertainty. Our work aims to answer the question, how can we employ network science to develop social communication strategies for public health that build on the strengths and opportunities provided by today's Internet? In other words, instead of asking "How can we share our message with our target audience?" should we be asking "How can our target audience share our message?" For more about this event, visit:

Finding common standards for the Right to be Forgotten: Challenges and Perspective

Apr 20, 2017 00:50:31


Following the 2014 Google Spain decision rendered by the European Court of Justice of the European Union, search engines – and, first among them, Google – are tasked with the delisting of search results leading to outdated or inaccurate information about European citizens. This ‘right to be delisted’ has since then revealed itself as a highly controversial concept, raising issues such as the desired degree of protection of personal data over the Internet and the role of the act of forgetting in the digital age; it also highlighted the lack of an existing consensus over these questions between individual jurisdictions – and namely between the European Union and the United States. On 14 April 2016, the European Parliament has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation, which will, in two years from now, update and harmonize data protection law all across the Member States of the European Union. Its article 17 contains a ‘right to erasure’ or a ‘right to be forgotten’ which is set to formalize, unify and extend the existing Google Spain ruling. But how to make that happen in practice? How can legal fragmentation be prevented? Relying on his background in conflict of laws, Dr. Michel Reymond shows that finding common standards for the Right to be Forgotten will prove extremely difficult – not only regarding its procedural elements, but also when addressing its substance. He also argues that, before even starting a conversation between the U.S. and the E.U., some soul-searching about the nature of the right may need to be performed inside the E.U. itself first. For more about this event, visit:

The Internetish Things of Cuba: Open Source and ‘in the Clear’

Apr 20, 2017 01:04:24


What is it like to use the Internet in fits and starts? How do communities with limited access to the global Internet use digital tools? Beyond sensational media narratives about Havana’s WiFi hotspots and the paquete semanal, there is a complex landscape of Internet access, digital media use and open source software development in Cuba. This talk offers a primer on Cuba’s digital culture and critique of Western political narratives surrounding technology, freedom and empowerment as they apply in the Cuban context. For more about this event, visit:

"Chilling Effects": Insights on how laws and surveillance impact people online

Apr 20, 2017 01:05:30


With Internet censorship and mass surveillance on the rise globally, understanding regulatory "chilling effects"— the idea that laws, regulations, or state surveillance can deter people from exercising their freedoms or engaging in entirely legal activities— has thus today, in our Post-Snowden world, taken on greater urgency and public importance. Yet, the notion is not uncontroversial; commentators, scholars, and researchers, from a variety of fields, have long questioned such chilling effects claims, including their existence or extent of any "chill" and related harms, particularly so in online contexts, leading to recent calls for more systematic and interdisciplinary research on point. In this talk, Jon draws on his doctoral research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, to help fill in some of the gaps in our understanding of chilling effects online. Through discussion of three empirical legal case studies— one on surveillance-related chilling effects and Wikipedia, a second on the impact of the DMCA's copyright enforcement scheme, and a third survey-based study on "chilling effect scenarios"— Jon offers insights on these and other questions: What is the nature and scale of regulatory chilling effects online? Do they persist or are they merely temporary? What factors may influence their impact? Jon also reflects on the importance of open data platforms like the Lumen Database and Wikimedia Foundation's data portals to future research in this, and related, areas. For more about this event, visit:

Black 2.0: the New Liberation Movement

Apr 20, 2017 01:10:40


Carl Williams joins us to speak about the current Black Liberation movement. What and who it is, how it started, and how Twitter, Facebook (yes, Facebook) and other social media played a part. For more about this event, visit:

Why the Right Digital Decisions Will Make America Strong

Apr 20, 2017 00:59:43


The U.S. still lags behind much of the developed world in terms of the speed and density of its internet infrastructure. In the 21st Century this disparity in access to high speed internet could stand as a critical challenge to competitiveness in many areas, from industry and commerce, to healthcare and education, to civic life and culture. In this conversation, Susan Crawford discusses the potential futures we face as we consider how to invest in the wires that bring us our internet. For more information about this event, visit:

Joi Ito and Iyad Rahwan on AI & Society

Apr 14, 2017 01:09:06


AI technologies have the potential to vastly enhance the performance of many systems and institutions, from making transportation safer, to enhancing the accuracy of medical diagnosis, to improving the efficiency of food safety inspections. However, AI systems can also create moral hazards, by potentially diminishing human accountability, perpetuating biases that are inherent to the AI's training data, or optimizing for one performance measure at the expense of others. These challenges require new kinds of "user interfaces" between machines and society. We will explore these issues, and how they would interface with existing institutions. About Joi Ito Joi Ito is the director of the MIT Media Lab, Professor of the Practice at MIT and the author, with Jeff Howe, of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future (Grand Central Publishing, 2016). Ito is chairman of the board of PureTech Health and serves on several other boards, including The New York Times Company, Sony Corporation, the MacArthur Foundation and the Knight Foundation. He is also the former chairman and CEO of Creative Commons, and a former board member of ICANN, The Open Source Initiative, and The Mozilla Foundation. Ito is a serial entrepreneur who helped start and run numerous companies including one of the first web companies in Japan, Digital Garage, and the first commercial Internet service provider in Japan, PSINet Japan/IIKK. He has been an early-stage investor in many companies, including Formlabs, Flickr, Kickstarter, littleBits, and Twitter. Ito has received numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute and the Golden Plate Award from the Academy of Achievement, and he was inducted into the SXSW Interactive Festival Hall of Fame in 2014. Ito has been awarded honorary doctorates from The New School and Tufts University. About Iyad Rahwan Iyad Rahwan is the AT&T Career Development Professor and an Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where he leads the Scalable Cooperation group. A native of Aleppo, Syria, Rahwan holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and is an affiliate faculty at the MIT Institute of Data, Systems and Society (IDSS). Rahwan's work lies at the intersection of the computer and social sciences, with a focus on collective intelligence, large-scale cooperation, and the social aspects of Artificial Intelligence. His team built the Moral Machine, which has collected 28 million decisions to-date about how autonomous cars should prioritize risk. Rahwan's work appeared in major academic journals, including Science and PNAS, and was featured in major media outlets, including the New York Times, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. More info on this event here:

The North American Information Technology Marketplace: Three Decades of IT Channel Evolution

Apr 13, 2017 00:44:41


Alan Weinberger started out as a traditional law student. Soon after, he found himself on Wall Street with a major Wall Street law firm. He then took an academic route as the founding Professor at Vermont Law School (at the same time Bernie was just a carpenter). And, in the early 1980s, he saw that the revolution for the next hundred years was taking place right before our eyes. Mr. Weinberger had the simple idea to create a community (a digital nation) of like-minded professionals for mutual gain, marketplace leverage, and collaborative group learning. He also saw that the lynchpin, the smartest and most valuable element in this revolution, was local information technology (or "IT") experts. This talk will address the development of the information technology marketplace over the past three decades and the continued importance of small IT companies. For more information, visit:

A Burglar’s Guide to the City: On Architecture and Crime

Apr 13, 2017 00:59:47


The relationship between burglary and architecture is far from abstract. While it is easy to focus merely on questions of how burglars use or abuse the built environment — looking for opportunities of illicit entrance — burglary, in fact, requires architecture. It is an explicitly spatial crime, one that cannot exist without a threshold to cross, without “the magic of four walls,” as at least one legal theorist has written. Join Geoff Manaugh, author of the new book A Burglar’s Guide to the City, to discuss more than two thousand years’ worth of heists and break-ins, with a discussion ranging from the surprisingly — one might say uselessly — complicated legal definition of an interior space to the everyday tools burglars use to gain entry. Written over the course of three years of research, Manaugh’s Burglar’s Guide includes flights with the LAPD Air Support Division, a visit with a panic room designer and retired state cop in his New Jersey warehouse, an introduction to the subculture of recreational lock-picking, a still-unsolved bank tunnel heist in 1980s Los Angeles, and much more. For more about this event, visit:

Reconceptualizing the Right to Be Forgotten to Enable Transatlantic Data Flow

Apr 13, 2017 01:11:05


Based on the authors’ recent Harvard Journal of Law and Technology article, Reconceptualizing the Right to be Forgotten to Enable Transatlantic Data Flow, Sanna Kulevska and Michael Rustad will lay out the legal dilemmas that flow from the European Union’s far-reaching right to be forgotten (RTBF). Google Spain v. AEPD (May 2014) and Article 17 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will go into effect in 2018, are already driving a significant legal, economic and cultural wedge between the U.S. and its EU trading partners. In October 2015, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) struck down the U.S./EU Safe Harbor agreement that enabled data to be freely transferred from Europe to the United States and in February 2016, the EU/U.S. Privacy Shield was proposed as a replacement. Sanna and Michael will lead the discussion of the legal dilemmas that policymakers face in walking the tight rope between the Scylla of constraining the right of expression and the Charybdis of diminishing an individual’s right to control their personal data. The authors will use current case studies of takedown requests from Google to provide context for their discussion of how a Safe Harbor 2.0 might achieve the proper balance between expression and privacy. For more about this event, visit:

Copyright Law Year in Review

Apr 13, 2017 01:11:42


What ties together cheerleader outfits, monkey selfies, the Batmobile, a chicken sandwich, Yoga, and Yoda? Professor Peter Menell will provide an exhilarating copyright year in review. For more about this event, visit:

Back to the Drawing Board: Student Privacy in Massachusetts K-12 Schools

Apr 13, 2017 00:59:29


In 2013, the ACLU of Massachusetts set out to get a snapshot of student privacy policies in diverse communities statewide. We filed public records requests with dozens of school districts, asking for information about how they manage student information and handle digital student privacy issues. The responses were stunning: almost across the board, schools told students they had “no expectation of privacy” on school networks, using school email, or on school devices. The Supreme Court has said students don’t shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gates. How can we apply this maxim in the digital age? For more about this event, visit:

Developing Effective Citizen Responses to Discrimination and Harassment Online

Apr 13, 2017 01:04:43


Discrimination and harassment have been persistent problems since the earliest days of the social web. As platforms and legislators continue to debate and engineer responses, most of the burden of dealing with online discrimination and harassment has been borne by the online citizens who experience and respond to these problems. How can everyday Internet citizens make sense of social problems online, including our own racist and sexist behavior? How can we support each other and cooperate towards change in meaningful, effective ways? And how can we know that our interventions are making a difference? Nathan Matias shares four years of research and design interventions aimed at expanding the power of citizens to understand and develop effective responses to discrimination and harassment online. For more about this event, visit:

The Big Reverse of the Web: Are Our Policies and Standards Ready?

Apr 11, 2017 01:10:53


We're on the cusp of the next wave of the web, where information will come to people, versus people seeking it out. This "big reverse" of the web poses all sorts of issues: ranging from policy, to personal privacy, to standardization across devices. The creator of Drupal and co-founder and CTO of Acquia Dries Buytaert discusses what it will take to navigate a web that doesn't look or feel anything like what we know today. For more about this event, visit:

Deterrence and Arms Control in Cyberspace

Apr 11, 2017 01:47:19


For four years running, the Director of National Intelligence’s Worldwide Threat Assessment to Congress has led with cyber threats to national and international security. Under statute, the several National Intelligence Officers constitute the most senior advisors of the US Intelligence Community in their areas of expertise. In this discussion National Intelligence Officer for Cyber Issues, Sean Kanuck, highlights the technology trends that are transforming cybersecurity and the future of intelligence. Assessing strategic developments in international relations and its implications for deterring malicious activity in cyberspace, his analysis focuses on the(in)applicability of existing arms control mechanisms and deterrence principles to modern information and communication technologies. For more about this event, visit:

Engineering Open Production Efficiency at Scale

Apr 11, 2017 01:08:34


Wikipedia, largely used as a synecdoche for open production generally, is a large, complex, distributed system that needs to solve a set of "open problems" efficiently in order to thrive. In this talk, Aaron Halfaker uses the metaphor of biology as a "living system" to discuss the relationship between subsystem efficiency and the overall health of Wikipedia. Specifically, Halfaker describes Wikipedia's quality control subsystem and some trade-offs that were made in order to make this system efficient through the introduction of subjective algorithms and human computation. Finally, he uses critiques waged by feminist HCI to argue for a new strategy for increasing the adaptive capacity of this subsystem and speaks generally about improving the practice of applying subjective algorithms in social spaces. For more about this event, visit:

Not Bugs, But Features: Hopeful Institutions and Technologies of Inequality

Apr 11, 2017 01:10:11


How did we learn that we need to learn to code—or else? This talk draws on three years of fieldwork among Washington, D.C.’s public libraries, and interviews with librarians and homeless patrons, to explore how poverty comes to be understood as a ‘digital divide’ and how that framework changes the nature and purpose of public institutions in an era of skyrocketing inequality. For more about this event, visit:

Civic Technology and Community Science: Building a Model for Public Participation

Apr 11, 2017 01:10:47


Public Lab is an open community developing and using civic technologies to support the pursuance of community-defined questions and concerns. Public Lab introduces a model that incorporates open source R&D practices including transparent collaboration and iterative design, along with deliberative democratic governance, and practitioner empowerment through critical making. Community science can enable people to collect, interpret, and apply their own data to effect local change or participate in broader environmental research and decision-making. We’ve conceptualized a tiered approach to project development, delineated by the scope of community objectives and the role of science in achieving those objectives. Examples of Public Lab projects from each tier demonstrate the versatility of community science, and the potential opportunity for it to facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making on multiple levels. In this session, Shannon Dosemagen discusses how participatory online communities can strategically support hyper-local goals and help to scale the ability for replicable change in how the public engages with decision-making processes. For more about this event, visit:

Security and Privacy in the World-Sized Web

Apr 11, 2017 01:06:36


We've created a world where information technology permeates our economies, social interactions, and intimate selves. The combination of mobile, cloud computing, the Internet Things, persistent computing, and autonomy are resulting in something different. This World-Sized Web promises great benefits, but is also vulnerable to a host of new threats. Threats from users, criminals, corporations, and governments. Threats that can now result in physical damage and even death. This talk looks back at what we've learned from past attempts to secure these systems, and forward at what technologies, laws, regulations, economic incentives, and social norms we need to secure them in the future. For more about this event, visit:

Haiti, Machine Learning, and Ankle Holsters: Reflections on the U.S. Treasury Department

Apr 11, 2017 01:04:13


In 1997, as a freshly-minted lawyer, Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar joined the staff of the Treasury Department’s Office of Enforcement. Almost immediately, he was drawn into some of the fascinating issues that Treasury confronted at the time, from the regulation of electronic money to international policing and anti-corruption initiatives. In this talk, he reflected on his years at Treasury and discussed some of the connections between the challenges he encountered at Treasury then and some of the dilemmas facing the world today. For more about this event, visit:

Algorithmic Consumers

Apr 8, 2017 01:06:36


Hate shopping? The next generation of e-commerce will be conducted by digital agents, based on algorithms that will not only make purchase recommendations, but will also predict what we want, make purchase decisions, negotiate and execute the transaction for the consumers, and even automatically form coalitions of buyers to enjoy better terms, thereby replacing human decision-making. Algorithmic consumers have the potential to change dramatically the way we conduct business, raising new conceptual and regulatory challenges. This game-changing technological development has significant implications for regulation, which should be adjusted to a reality of consumers making their purchase decisions via algorithms. Despite this challenge, scholarship addressing commercial algorithms focused primarily on the use of algorithms by suppliers. In this presentation Michal Gal and Niva Elkin-Koren explore the technological advances which are shaping algorithmic consumers, and analyze how these advances affect the competitive dynamic in the market. They analyze the implications of such technological advances on regulation, identifying three main challenges. They further discuss some of the challenges to human autonomous choice that arise from these developments, and examine whether the existing legal framework is adequate to address them. For more on this event visit:

Using Mobile Phone Data to Map Migration and Disease: Politics, Privacy, and Public Health

Apr 7, 2017 00:51:43


Mobile phone data is passively collected in real-time by operators, producing enormous data sets that can be used to map human populations and migration accurately. These data hold enormous promise for infectious disease control and other public health interventions, as well as for response to emergencies. However, the privacy implications and complex political and regulatory environment surrounding their use have yet to be addressed systematically. In this talk Dr. Caroline Buckee discusses her work to use these records to model and forecast disease outbreaks, as well as the potential pitfalls and ethical issues associated with the increasingly routine use of these data in the public realm. About Dr. Buckee Dr. Caroline Buckee joined Harvard School of Public Health in the summer of 2010 as an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology. In 2013, Dr. Buckee was named the Associate Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics. Her focus is on elucidating the mechanisms driving the dynamics and evolution of the malaria parasite and other genetically diverse pathogens. After receiving a D.Phil from the University of Oxford, Caroline worked at the Kenya Medical Research Institute to analyze clinical and epidemiological aspects of malaria as a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow. Her work led to an Omidyar Fellowship at the Santa Fe Institute, where she developed theoretical approaches to understanding malaria parasite evolution and ecology. Dr. Buckee’s work at Harvard extends these approaches using mathematical models to bridge the biological scales underlying malaria epidemiology; she works with experimental researchers to understand the molecular mechanisms within the host that underlie disease and infection, and uses genomic and mobile phone data to link these individual-level processes to understand population level patterns of transmission. Her work has appeared in high profile scientific journals such as Science and PNAS, as well as being featured in the popular press, including CNN, The New Scientist, Voice of America, NPR, and ABC. For more about this event visit: