News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 15 April 2016
====================================================

The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EFF, ProPublica, La Quadrature du Net, Privacy International, Sunlight Foundation.


PROGRAM NEWS
============

Scholarships available: International Copyright, Privacy Law and Policy
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July 4-8, 2016-03-17
Amsterdam, Netherlands
OSF is offering eight scholarships covering fees, travel, and accommodation for civil society participants to attend two summer courses on international copyright law and on privacy law at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. More information on how to apply is available here:
http://bit.ly/1S6ec37


NEWS
=====
For breaking news stories, visit: http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:news/

"Panama papers" expose secret parallel universe of billionaires
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At the Huffington Post, "economic hit man" John Perkins writes about the origins of and his involvement in the system exposed by the leak to Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung of the "Panama Papers", 11 million documents from the files of the law firm Mossack Fonseca. When corporations have more power than sovereign nations, he writes, it's time for change. The Guardian reports on the angry response in Iceland, where the prime minister, two cabinet ministers, a former bank governor, and 600 other citizens appeared in the papers linked to offshore holdings. Should an election be called, the copyright-busting Pirate Party is leading in the polls. AllAfrica calls the revelations "a moral problem, a problem of greed". In a one-hour documentary, "The Panama Papers: Secrets of the Super Rich", Australia's ABC's investigation studies the uncovered "parallel universe" exposed in the papers and links it to the electric bills paid by Australian consumers. In a televised discussion including economists and journalists who have studied the papers for the last year, France24 explains the history and workings of international tax structures, the leveraging against each other of sovereign nations' laws, and the prospects for change.
HuffPo: http://huff.to/1qQxOBS
Guardian: http://bit.ly/1Sz5Eky
AllAfrica: http://bit.ly/1S6exCF
ABC: http://ab.co/1WrmAzk
France24: http://bit.ly/1YthnWa

EU-US Privacy Shield
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The Article 29 Working Party has issued its opinion on the EU-US Privacy Shield, calling it a significant improvement over Safe Harbor but criticising it on the ground that it does not adhere sufficiently to the data protection principles; that the US's new redress mechanism may be unusable; that the agreement does not preclude massive surveillance; and that the proposed ombudsman will be insufficiently independent. In an analysis of winners and losers under the arrangement, World Privacy Forum director Pam Dixon and privacy legal scholar Robert Gellman conclude that the Shield's provisions are mixed for all concerned. Privacy International's analysis is less optimistic, arguing that the Shield does little to limit bulk data collection, US government surveillance, insufficiently implements the standards of necessity and proportionality, and has a weak oversight mechanism as the Ombudsman will be appointed by and report to the US Secretary of State.
WP29 (PDF): http://bit.ly/1qUz7j5
World Privacy Forum: http://bit.ly/1Q6ycQJ
Privacy International: http://bit.ly/1S6hFi6

Liberia: Outsourcing primary education
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AllAfrica reports that UN special rapporteur Kishore Singh has openly attacked Liberia's plan to outsource all its primary and pre-primary education over the next five years to the US-based company Bridge International Academies, calling it a "blatant violation of Liberia's international obligations under the right to education". InDepthNews gives more background on Bridge, which already operates in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, and uses a highly standardised, technology-driven model. Liberia will pay Bridge $65 million under the arrangement, and parents will pay $5 to $7 a month, not including school meals. Vox discusses the trade-offs and offers financial details about Bridge, a San Francisco-based start-up whose investors include Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation, the UK government's Department for International Development, and Bill Gates.
AllAfrica: http://bit.ly/23E51OG
InDepthNews: http://bit.ly/1qosJQ8
Vox: http://bit.ly/1NnZt1q

Colombian hacker admits rigging elections throughout South America
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Bloomberg interviews 31-year-old Andrés Sepúlveda, who is serving prison time for rigging elections throughout South America for more than a decade and says he wants to tell his story because people do not understand the power hackers have over modern elections or the specialised skills needed to stop them. Sepúlveda contends that operations like his are in place on every continent, a claim a security consultant is quoted as calling plausible. Townhall responds with a discussion of how easy it would be to steal the upcoming US election via electronic voting.
Bloomberg: https://bitly.com/a/bitlinks
Townhall: http://bit.ly/23E5hgx

WhatsApp rolls out encryption to 1 billion users
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EFF's Bill Buddington reports that on March 31 Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp enabled end-to-end 256-bit encryption by default for its chat and call functionality, calling the move's importance impossible to overstate: "...in one fell swoop moved the user base of end-to-end encryption from those protecting trade secrets, enthused crypto-hobbyists, and whistleblowers to an actually significant portion of the world population". At the Guardian, John Naughton agrees, but notes that compromising the phone on which WhatsApp runs is still a viable way of accessing message contents, and links that reality to the "equipment interference" provisions in the UK's Investigatory Powers bill. India Today reports that the move has "probably" made WhatsApp illegal in India under a 2007 law that made it illegal to use encryption stronger than 40-bit without explicit government permission.
EFF: http://bit.ly/1VlBWWu
Guardian: http://bit.ly/1VUr3tH
India Today: http://bit.ly/1NnZz92

EU: Radio Directive threatens free software
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Ars Technica UK reports that clauses in the 2015/53/EU Directive on the market for radio equipment, now being transposed into national laws, threaten to eliminate consumers' freedom to choose the software they like for any device that incorporates a radio (that is, mobile, wifi, and other connections), and severely damage initiatives aimed at reducing the digital divide and encouraging citizen ownership of Internet networks and devices. The Free Software Foundation Europe and 22 other organisations including La Quadrature du Net, the Chaos Computer Club, and the OpenNet Initiative, have issued a joint statement expressing their concerns; in addition, La Quadrature du Net has written a letter to the French Ministry of Budget and the French Telecom Regulator asking them to include Recital 19, which ensures that the required compliance should not be abused to prevent the independent use of third-party software, in the legislation.
Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/1T3wYdQ
FSFE: http://bit.ly/1qHEGBc
Quadrature: http://bit.ly/1SMq36a

IP address location error causes havoc for Kansas farm
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A key plank in law enforcement efforts, particularly copyright violations, is often assuming IP addresses can be accurately mapped to specific users. At Fusion, Kashmir Hill reports that over the last 14 years a kludge in Maxmind, software, which maps IP addresses to geographical locations, has assigned more than 600 million IP addresses to the default location of one small family farm in Potwin, Kansas, approximately the geographical centre of the United States. In that time, the farm's residents have been repeatedly harassed and accused of identity fraud, spamming, IP spoofing, and many other types of criminal activities without ever knowing why. Hill unearths many other examples.
Fusion: http://fus.in/1TQTubY

MIT's Data USA
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This Sunlight Foundation article welcomes MIT's new Data USA site, which aims to make government data easier to parse. The New York Times describes the site as effectively designed like a search engine, setting out to "transform data into stories" by making assumptions about what users are most likely to want to know.
Sunlight: http://bit.ly/1VlCyvs
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/1N8b7T9
Data USA: http://bit.ly/1V0Y4pb


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================
For more features and analysis selected by the Program team, visit:
http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:oped/

How a trademark dispute broke the web
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This Quartz article illustrates the fragility of the patchwork of software that runs the web. On March 22, in response to legal threats, open-source developer Azer Koçulu opted to "unpublish" 273 software packages stored with the npm repository. Because so much software ia set to update automatically, the deletion of one of Koçulu's most widely used packages, an 11-line module called "left-pad", almost immediately began halting the many JavaScript programs around the world that used it; one of these, React, helps run many major websites, including Facebook. The software was restored after two hours.
Quartz: http://bit.ly/23E7Cbd

Ownership and the Internet of Things
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In this blog posting, EFF discusses the future of ownership in response to the widely reported news that on May 15 Revolv, bought in 2014 by Google's Nest subsidiary, will shut down the app that runs all connections to the Revolv smart home hub, rendering all Revolv equipment inoperable. Business Insider says the Revolv acquisition was widely viewed as an "acqui-hire" - that is, aimed at acquiring the people rather than the business. In a furious posting on Medium, Revolv owner Arlo Gilbert discusses how he used the technology and takes issue with Nest's decision. Gizmodo reports that since the angry public response Nest has indicated it will help Revolv owners on a "case by case" basis.
EFF: http://bit.ly/1VUsVTo
Business Insider: http://bit.ly/25ZAZac
Medium: http://bit.ly/1YtjmtM
Gizmodo: http://bit.ly/23E7NDr

Knowledge Unbound
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The MIT Press is offering leading open access advocate Peter Suber's new book, Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002-2011, for free download in a variety of formats. The book offers a selection of some of Suber's most significant and influential writings on open access from 2002 to 2010. In it, Suber makes the case for open access to research; answers common questions, objections, and misunderstandings; analyses policy issues; and documents the growth and evolution of open access during its most critical early decade.
MIT Press: http://bit.ly/1SMqJIC

Robots and the law
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This page links to the live video streams from the We Robot conference, held April 1-2 in Miami, as well as slides from the (not-streamed) workshops that preceded it. Speakers examined the free speech rights of AIs (under the First Amendment, the barriers are surprisingly few); whether robot policemen could be racially neutral; and the "moral crumple zones" humans may become in machine-human partnerships. Wendy M. Grossman summarizes the conference's major themes in a net.wars posting. At the Discourse blog, he conference's main organizers, Ryan Calo and Michael Froomkin, launch their new book, Robots and the Law.
We Robot: http://bit.ly/1qouUDp
net.wars: http://bit.ly/1MtP5ud
Discourse: http://bit.ly/1No0Q06

Decrypting encryption
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In this three-animation series, Decrypting Encryption, Tactical Tech explains the workings of the encryption/decryption tool GNU Privacy Guard (GPG), including what "symmetric" and "asymmetric" types of encryption are and how to check the public key and unique fingerprints of the person you're corresponding with to verify their identity.
TacticalTech: http://bit.ly/23tYc5H

New England Journal of Medicine under attack
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In this article, jointly published with the Boston Globe, ProPublica reports that the venerable and venerated New England Journal of Medicine is falling out of step as others such as the British Medical Journal move to adopt requirements to publish experimental data and espouse open access. Earlier this year, NEJM editor-in-chief Jeffrey M. Drazen called researchers who seek to replicate others' work "research parasites"; in 2015 the journal ran a series calling concerns about conflicts of interest in medicine oversimplified and overblown. More recent critics, such as a group led by the British doctor and writer Ben Goldacre, say their complaints have been dismissed.
ProPublica: http://bit.ly/1TQUBZp


***

DIARY
==============
To see more events recommended by the Information Program team, visit:
https://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:events/. If you would like your event listed in this mail, email info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.

Laura Poitras at the Whitney Museum
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February 5-May 1, 2016
New York, NY
Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning Laura Poitras, best known for her documentary film about Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, has turned her journal and FBI files into an exhibit at New York's Whitney Museum documenting her life under surveillance. LAURA POITRAS: ASTRO NOISE is an immersive installation of new work building on topics Poitras has investigated in previous film work, including mass surveillance, the war on terror, the U.S. drone program, Guantánamo Bay Prison, occupation, and torture.
http://bit.ly/1QbMuq2

Nervous Systems: Quantified Life and the Social Question
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March 10-May 9, 2016
Berlin, Germany
Artists, media historians, and writers collaborate to produce a range of reflections on the quantified self for this exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The exhibition includes "The White Room", a live installation by Tactical Tech that includes consultations, demos, and discussions.
http://bit.ly/21fsO9Y

OER16: Open Culture
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April 19-20
Edinburgh, Scotland
The vision for the conference is to focus on the value proposition of embedding open culture into institutional strategies for learning, teaching, and research. Conference chairs are Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching, and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, and Lorna Campbell, OER Liaison at the University of Edinburgh and EDINA Digital Education Manager.
http://bit.ly/1PVLBRj

Tomorrow's Transactions Forum
April 20-21
London, UK
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Consult Hyperion's annual conference lets anyone interested in the future of electronic transactions debate and discuss any and all ideas, no matter how apparently wacky (such as those that appear in the art competition). Intervention and interaction are welcome; product presentations are banned.
http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx

The Science of Consciousness
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April 25-30
Tucson, Arizona
A week-long gathering of 800 to 900 scientists, philosophers, artists, meditators, and interested people from 50 countries will consider questions like: Will consciousness be reproduced through brain mapping, transhumanism and/or artificial intelligence? Or, does the brain "tune into" and organize consciousness or its precursors existing naturally in the universe? What are the implications of either view on the nature of existence, and treatment of mental and cognitive disorders?
http://bit.ly/1VozSxI

TICTeC 2016
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April 27-29, 2016
Barcelona, Spain
The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference will focus on the impact of civic technology and digital democracy on citizens, decision makers, and governments around the world and discuss themes of engagement, participation, institution, social behaviour, politics, community, digital capability, communication, and ethics relating to the use and study of civic technology.
http://bit.ly/1Qw5kCe

SCECSAL XXII
April 25-29, 2016
eZulwini, Swaziland
Swaziland Library Association (SWALA) hosts the 22nd Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Libraries Association. This year's theme is Digital Transformation and the changing role of libraries and Information Centres in the sustainable development of Africa.
http://scecsal.eu.pn/

Second African Public Libraries Summit
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April 30-May 1, 2016
eZulwini, Swaziland
The African Library and Information Association and Institutions (AfLIA)'s two-day summit will be held as a post-conference event of the SCECSAL Conference which will also be held in Swaziland. Co-sponsored by the Global Libraries Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the summit's theme will be "21st Century Public Libraries - innovation develops communities".
http://aflia.net/web/pages/news-events/2nd-african-public-lbraries-summit-2

ICOA 2016
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May 16-17
Montreal, Canada
The 18th International Conference on Open Access aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Open Access. It also provides the premier interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns, practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted in the field of Open Access.
http://bit.ly/1XCAD2a

International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government
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May 18-20, 2016
Krems, Austria
The International Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government brings together e-democracy, e-participation and open government specialists working in academia, politics, government and business to critically analyse the innovations, issues, ideas and challenges in the networked societies of the digital age.
http://bit.ly/1MPGnmf

Privacy in the Digital Age of Encryption and Anonymity Online
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May 19-20, 2016
The Hague, Netherlands
This conference on privacy in the digital age of encryption and anonymity online is jointly organised by EIPA and Europol. The main theme of the conference will be the difficulty of balancing privacy and security with a focus on the latest systems of encryption, anonymisation, and pseudonymisation.
http://bit.ly/1p3KDrc

Health Privacy Summit
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June 6-7
Washington, DC
The 2016 Health Privacy Summit brings together top national and international experts for serious discussion about global health privacy issues and realistic solutions and to ask, Is Big Data effectively the beginning of the end for privacy in health care?
http://bit.ly/1Qw5AkN

20th International Conference on Electronic Publishing
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June 7-9, 2016
Göttingen, Germany
ELPUB 2016 will take a fresh look at the current ecosystem of scholarly publishing including the positioning of stakeholders and distribution of economic, technological and discursive power. ELPUB will also open the floor for emerging alternatives in how scholars and citizens interact with scholarly content and what role dissemination and publishing plays in these interactions. Questions to be raised include: What is the core of publishing today? How does agenda setting in emerging frameworks like Open Science function and what is the nature of power of the referring scholarly discourses? How does this relate to the European and world-wide Open Science and Open Innovation agenda of funders and institutions, and how does this look like in publishing practice?

Personal Democracy Forum
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June 9-10
New York, NY
The 2016 Personal Democracy Forum will feature speakers such as Danah Boyd, Kate Crawford, Douglas Rushkoff, and Anil Dash.
http://bit.ly/1ExPHDH

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
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June 13-14, 2016
Berkeley, CA
The Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) is the leading forum for interdisciplinary scholarship on information security and privacy, combining expertise from the fields of economics, social science, business, law, policy, and computer science.
http://bit.ly/1RgmF6w

OR2016 Conference
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June 13-16, 2016
Dublin, NL
The theme of OR2016 is "Illuminating the World." OR2016 will provide an opportunity to explore the impact of repositories and related infrastructure and processes.
http://bit.ly/1pcUNp4

SOUPS
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June 22-24
Denver, Colorado
The 12th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program will feature technical papers, workshops and tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and lightning talks.
http://bit.ly/1Tn7bwy

Wikimania
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June 24-26
Esino Lario, Italy
Wikimania is the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sibling free knowledge projects with conferences, discussions, meetups, training, and a hackathon. Hundreds of volunteer editors come together to learn about and discuss projects, approaches and issues.

21st-Century Literacies for Public Libraries
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August 10-11, 2016
Philadelphia, PA
At this two-day satellite meeting, presented by IFLA's Public Libraries Section, delegates will share and learn from each other's experiences in developing and delivering services that encompass today's expanded concept of literacy, which includes not only the traditional ability to read and write but proficiency in a range of other literacies such as civic, health, financial, digital, and information.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

IFLA World Library and Information Congress
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August 13-19, 2016
Columbus, OH
The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.
http://2016.ifla.org/

Privacy+Security Forum
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October 24-26, 2016
Washington, DC
Monday, October 24, is devoted to pre-conference workshops and "intensive days" - advanced discussion focused narrowly on a particular topic or industry. Proposals are welcome until April 30, 2016 based on the following guiding principles: bridge the silos between privacy and security; cover issues with depth and rigour; employ interaction, scenario-based learning, and extensive engagement; deliver practical takeaways from each session.
http://bit.ly/1RIzYhV

Mozilla Festival
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November 6-8, 2016
London, UK
MozFest is an annual celebration of the open Web. Participants are diverse, including engineers, artists, activists, and educators, but share the common belief that the Web can make lives better, unlocks opportunity, spurs creativity, teaches valuable skills, and connects far-flung people and ideas. The Festival seeks to improve the Web with new ideas and creations.
http://bit.ly/1WmxRQ0

***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | 23 March 2016
====================================================

The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq.


NEWS
=====
For breaking news stories, visit: http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:news/

US: Google role in US foreign policy emerges from Clinton emails
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wikileaks has released a searchable archive of more than 30,000 of Hillary Clinton's emails, which have been released under FOIA by the US State Department. The emails date from the period in which she was serving as Secretary of State; Clinton wrote about 7,500 of them. RT reports that among the trove are messages showing that Google Jigsaw head Jared Cohen, Al-Jazeera, and Clinton's State Department conspired to effect regime change in Syria. Breitbart finds evidence that Clinton worked with Google and YouTube to block access to the independent film she claimed was responsible for the 2012 Benghazi attacks. Wired's Kim Zetter reveals that Clinton's choice to use a private email server was driven by the NSA's refusal to provide a secure Blackberry like the one issued to President Barack Obama.
https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/https://www.rt.com/op-edge/336408-google-this-hillary-clinton-emails/
http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/18/wikileaks-publishes-searchable-hillary-clinton-email-archive/
http://www.wired.com/2016/03/security-news-week-nsa-denied-hillary-secure-blackberry/

US: Department of Justice calls a halt in Apple encryption case
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Times reports that after 12 filings in which the Department of Justice claimed it could not access the contents of the phone belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, the DoJ has now said a third party has shown them a method that may work without Apple's assistance. The case has been postponed, and the DoJ will file a status report on April 5. Fortune has published a full transcript of President Barack Obama's 12-minute sXSW speech, in which he argued for finding a compromise granting law enforcement access to encrypted data. The speech has been widely criticised, for example by Harvard Law professor and former Obama advisor Susan Crawford, as a form of magical thinking, both mathematical and legal; Crawford believes his proposals contravene the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (1994). In a lengthy interview with Time magazine, Apple CEO Tim Cook calls Apple's fight with the FBI a "bad dream". Gizmodo reveals the 18-month background to the present dispute, which began when Apple gave the FBI a pre-release copy of iOS8 for study. Wired's Kim Zetter reports that a government redaction error has confirmed long-held suspicions that the user targeted by the US government demands that led Ladar Levison to shut down the Lavabit private messaging service was indeed Edward Snowden. Those inside the US can enjoy this video clip, in which "Last Week Tonight" show host John Oliver devises an ad for Apple's cryptography.
http://fortune.com/2016/03/12/obama-sxsw-apple-vs-fbi/
https://backchannel.com/the-law-is-clear-the-fbi-cannot-make-apple-rewrite-its-os-9ae60c3bbc7b#.v2liappon
http://time.com/4262480/tim-cook-apple-fbi-2/
http://gizmodo.com/bloomberg-apple-fbi-scrap-started-when-ios-8-was-share-1766107055
http://www.wired.com/2016/03/lavabit-apple-fbi/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsjZ2r9Ygzw

Russia: plans to fine websites that provide circumvention tools
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Global Voices reports that the Russian media regulator, Roscomnadzor, proposes to introduce fines of RUB3,000-5,000 (USD $43-73) for individuals or officials RUB50,000-100,000 (USD $730-1460) for corporate entities whose web pages provide online circumvention tools that allow users to access blocked web pages, dubbing these "propaganda". Under the proposals, mirror versions of blocked websites attract the same fines as their originals. Although the restrictions are being framed as helping copyright owners to protect their interests, Global Voices believes the proposals derive from the February 2016 blocking of the website belonging to the Russian internet freedom and human rights organization RosKomSvoboda, which included a page that educates users on how to access blocked sites.
https://globalvoices.org/2016/03/17/russia-plans-to-fine-websites-for-propaganda-of-circumvention-tools/

EU: Geoblocking may contravene single market rules
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The Register reports that the European Commission has said that the contractual agreements behind geoblocking restrictions on access to content and services may contravene the EU's single market regulations. Each case needs to be assessed individually, depending on the terms of the agreement and whether it's between suppliers and distributors or a unilateral decision by a non-dominant company situated outside the EU.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/21/contractual_barriers_behind_geoblocking_could_breach_eu_competition_rules_says_commission/

UK, Ghana: Surveillance bills speeding through Parliament
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The Register reports that in his first report to the Human Rights Commission, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age Joseph Cannataci asks the British government to "desist from setting a bad example to other states" and "outlaw rather than legitimise" the bill's provisions on bulk surveillance and bulk hacking. As if to underline Cannataci's point, Privacy International has submitted comments to the Ghanaian Parliament's Defence and Interior Committee calling for it to abandon the planned surveillance bill, which would allow the interception of all communications for "protecting national security" and "fighting crime generally." Privacy International executive director Gus Hosein, writing for the Guardian's Comment is Free, compares US and UK attitudes to surveillance and public debate, and warns that if the bill passes companies like Apple could be forced to help the government spy on their customers. EFF argues that the broadest expansion of powers in the bill, the "filter" police profiling engine, is being overlooked.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/09/un_bad_example_uk_should_outlaw_snoopers_charter_bulk_provisions/
https://privacyinternational.org/node/807
https://privacyinternational.org/node/809
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2016/the-investigatory-powers-debate-is-missing-one-huge-power-the-filter-or-police-profiling-engine

Scholarships available: International Copyright, Privacy Law and Policy
----------------------------------------
July 4-8, 2016-03-17
Amsterdam, Netherlands
OSF is offering eight scholarships covering fees, travel, and accommodation for civil society participants to attend two summer courses at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. The courses are in international copyright law and privacy law and policy. Successful applicants from non-OECD countries will receive a per diem of €30 for the duration of the course. Applicants should complete the form at the course website, indicate in the text box that you are applying for the "OSF Civil Society Scholarship", and enter a statement of approximately 500 words explaining your motivation for attending the summer course you are applying for and how the course would benefit the work of your organisation. Successful applicants will be asked to complete a short report about their experience at the end of the course.
http://www.ivir.nl/courses


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================
For more features and analysis selected by the Program team, visit:
http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:oped/

Adtech and the future of journalism
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this BBC radio programme, "Analysis: The End of Free", Guardian journalist Andrew Brown considers whether ad blocking will end the prevailing internet model of journalism, in which content is free to readers and paid for with advertising. The Guardian reports that many leading French news sites have banded together to refuse access to anyone running ad blockers. On March 2, the Guardian reported that UK Culture Secretary John Whittingdale called ad blocking "a modern-day protection racket"; now, Tripwire reports that this is becoming literally true, as ransomware spreads across popular websites via poisoned ads.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b072j3g6
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/mar/22/french-news-sites-block-the-adblockers-telling-readers-to-uninstall-or-lose-access http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/mar/02/adblocking-protection-racket-john-whittingdale
http://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-data-protection/crypto-ransomware-spreads-via-poisoned-ads-on-major-websites

"Racial marketing" and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
----------------------------------------------------------------------
This Business Insider article compares the "white" and "black" versions of the trailer for the movie STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON that were shown to users on Facebook. In the first version, Universal Pictures chose an educational approach, assuming that whites would be less familiar with the musical careers of the film's stars gangsta rap group N.W.A., whose rise the film chronicles; accordingly the "white" version portrayed the movie as the story of the rise of Dr Dre (the face of Beats headphones) and Ice Cube and the "black" version stressed the film's actual story, the rise of N.W.A. The film was one of the top 20 highest-grossing films of 2015. Because Facebook doesn't require users to identify their race, the advertising segments were identified through affinity groups.
http://uk.businessinsider.com/why-straight-outta-compton-had-different-trailers-for-people-of-different-races

Africa's Netflix does not need Hollywood
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Bloomberg Business, Alexis Okeowo profiles the booming Nigerian film industry. The online Iroko service has put together a catalogue of thousands of "Nollywood" movies, most in English, some in Yoruba. In 2013, Iroko began producing its own content. The upshot, Okeowo argues, is that "Africa's Netflix", which is breaking entirely new ground, does not need Hollywood.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-02-22/the-netflix-of-africa-doesn-t-need-hollywood-to-win

Financial inclusion
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Guardian article, Dominic Frisby argues that cashlessness will exacerbate social inequality, give the financial sector far more power by placing it at the centre of all transactions, and make all transactions traceable. With about half the world's population unbanked, he maintains that mobile phones have far surpassed landlines because you can get one without a bank account.
http://www.theguardian.com/money/commentisfree/2016/mar/21/fear-cashless-world-contactless

EU: LIBE Committee hearings on Privacy Shield
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jedidiah Bracy offers a summary of European Parliament committee hearings on the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement last week. Speakers included EPIC's Marc Rotenberg, European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Butarelli, Article 29 Working Party chair Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin and privacy practitioners, advocates, and industry representatives.
https://iapp.org/news/a/privacy-shields-validity-debated-in-european-parliament/
video of the hearings: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20160317-1500-COMMITTEE-LIBE


***

DIARY
==============
To see more events recommended by the Information Program team, visit:
https://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:events/. If you would like your event listed in this mail, email info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.

Laura Poitras at the Whitney Museum
----------------------------------------
February 5-May 1, 2016
New York, NY
Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning Laura Poitras, best known for her documentary film about Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, has turned her journal and FBI files into an exhibit at New York's Whitney Museum documenting her life under surveillance. LAURA POITRAS: ASTRO NOISE is an immersive installation of new work building on topics Poitras has investigated in previous film work, including mass surveillance, the war on terror, the U.S. drone program, Guantánamo Bay Prison, occupation, and torture.
http://bit.ly/1QbMuq2

Nervous Systems: Quantified Life and the Social Question
----------------------------------------
March 10-May 9, 2016
Berlin, Germany
Artists, media historians, and writers collaborate to produce a range of reflections on the quantified self for this exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The exhibition includes "The White Room", a live installation by Tactical Tech that includes consultations, demos, and discussions.
http://bit.ly/21fsO9Y

Ethical Risk Assessment in Biomedical Big Data
----------------------------------------
March 14-15, 2016
Oxford, UK
The two-day symposium, hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute, in association with the Brocher Foundation, will bring together expertise from academia, medicine, industry, and the non-profit sector to assess the ethical risks posed by a number of emerging Big Data applications. Risk assessment is an important step in understanding the potential impact (effects and consequences) of any emerging technology. Applications across a variety of research, clinical and commercial domains will be analysed, including biobanking, public health surveillance, outbreak monitoring, digital epidemiology, behaviour tracking and profiling, and other types of biomedical research.
http://bit.ly/1YCUTmE

Predictive Analytics and Human Rights
----------------------------------------
The 2016 conference, hosted at the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at the NYU Law School, will leverage the interdisciplinary strengths of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute to consider the human rights implications of the varied uses of predictive analytics by state actors. As a core part of this endeavour, the conference will examine - and seek to advance - the capacity of human rights practitioners to access, evaluate, and challenge risk assessments made through predictive analytics by governments worldwide.
http://bit.ly/1owT4uV

Transparency Camp Online
----------------------------------------
March 19, 2016
Online
This live, participant-driven unconference happens by video chat and/or phone. Bring a topic, project or challenge that you would love to discuss. All participants are empowered to add a discussion topic to the agenda.
http://bit.ly/1SFJeTh

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
March 30-April 1, 2016
San Francisco, CA
Convened by Access Now, RightsCon is the world's leading conference on the issues at the intersection of internet and human rights. The event brings together visionaries, technologists, business leaders, activists, and government representatives from around the world to build strategies, highlight emerging voices, and showcase new technologies & initiatives in pursuit of tomorrow's internet. March 30 will feature Crypto Summit 2.0, a discussion of global encryption policy.
http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ

We Robot
----------------------------------------
April 1-2, 2016
Miami, Florida
Founded by law professors Michael Froomkin and Ryan Calo, We Robot is a workshop-style conference at which papers in progress on subjects related to robots, law, and policy are discussed and debated with a goal to improving the quality of scholarship in this developing area.
http://bit.ly/1jtd6TT

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 3-4
Washington, DC
The annual meeting of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Last year's event included keynotes from journalist Glenn Greenwald, author Sarah Lewis, and Google general counsel Kent Walker.
http://bit.ly/1PVL5Ta

25th World Wide Web Conference
----------------------------------------
April 11-15, 2016
Montreal, Canada
The W3C's World Wide Web Conference is an annual international conference on the topics of the future direction of the World Wide Web. The Conference is an outstanding international forum to present and discuss progress in research, development, standards, and applications of the topics related to the Web.
http://bit.ly/1SrCR32

OER16: Open Culture
----------------------------------------
April 19-20
Edinburgh, Scotland
The vision for the conference is to focus on the value proposition of embedding open culture into institutional strategies for learning, teaching, and research. Conference chairs are Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching, and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, and Lorna Campbell, OER Liaison at the University of Edinburgh and EDINA Digital Education Manager.
http://bit.ly/1PVLBRj

Tomorrow's Transactions Forum
April 20-21
London, UK
----------------------------------------
Consult Hyperion's annual conference lets anyone interested in the future of electronic transactions debate and discuss any and all ideas, no matter how apparently wacky (such as those that appear in the art competition). Intervention and interaction are welcome; product presentations are banned.
http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx

TICTeC 2016
----------------------------------------
April 27-29, 2016
Barcelona, Spain
The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference will focus on the impact of civic technology and digital democracy on citizens, decision makers, and governments around the world and discuss themes of engagement, participation, institution, social behaviour, politics, community, digital capability, communication, and ethics relating to the use and study of civic technology.
http://bit.ly/1Qw5kCe

SCECSAL XXII
April 25-29, 2016
eZulwini, Swaziland
Swaziland Library Association (SWALA) hosts the 22nd Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Libraries Association. This year's theme is Digital Transformation and the changing role of libraries and Information Centres in the sustainable development of Africa.
http://scecsal.eu.pn/

Second African Public Libraries Summit
----------------------------------------
April 30-May 1, 2016
eZulwini, Swaziland
The African Library and Information Association and Institutions (AfLIA)'s two-day summit will be held as a post-conference event of the SCECSAL Conference which will also be held in Swaziland. Co-sponsored by the Global Libraries Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the summit's theme will be "21st Century Public Libraries - innovation develops communities".
http://aflia.net/web/pages/news-events/2nd-african-public-lbraries-summit-2

ICOA 2016
----------------------------------------
May 16-17
Montreal, Canada
The 18th International Conference on Open Access aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Open Access. It also provides the premier interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns, practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted in the field of Open Access.
http://bit.ly/1XCAD2a

International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government
----------------------------------------
May 18-20, 2016
Krems, Austria
The International Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government brings together e-democracy, e-participation and open government specialists working in academia, politics, government and business to critically analyse the innovations, issues, ideas and challenges in the networked societies of the digital age.
http://bit.ly/1MPGnmf

Privacy in the Digital Age of Encryption and Anonymity Online
----------------------------------------
May 19-20, 2016
The Hague, Netherlands
This conference on privacy in the digital age of encryption and anonymity online is jointly organised by EIPA and Europol. The main theme of the conference will be the difficulty of balancing privacy and security with a focus on the latest systems of encryption, anonymisation, and pseudonymisation.
http://bit.ly/1p3KDrc

Health Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
June 6-7
Washington, DC
The 2016 Health Privacy Summit brings together top national and international experts for serious discussion about global health privacy issues and realistic solutions and to ask, Is Big Data effectively the beginning of the end for privacy in health care?
http://bit.ly/1Qw5AkN

Personal Democracy Forum
----------------------------------------
June 9-10
New York, NY
The 2016 Personal Democracy Forum will feature speakers such as danah boyd, Kate Crawford, Douglas Rushkoff, and Anil Dash.
http://bit.ly/1ExPHDH

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
June 13-14, 2016
Berkeley, CA
The Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) is the leading forum for interdisciplinary scholarship on information security and privacy, combining expertise from the fields of economics, social science, business, law, policy, and computer science.
http://bit.ly/1RgmF6w

OR2016 Conference
----------------------------------------
June 13-16, 2016
Dublin, NL
The theme of OR2016 is "Illuminating the World." OR2016 will provide an opportunity to explore the impact of repositories and related infrastructure and processes.
http://bit.ly/1pcUNp4

SOUPS
----------------------------------------
June 22-24
Denver, Colorado
The 12th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program will feature technical papers, workshops and tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and lightning talks.
http://bit.ly/1Tn7bwy

Wikimania
----------------------------------------
June 24-26
Esino Lario, Italy
Wikimania is the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sibling free knowledge projects with conferences, discussions, meetups, training, and a hackathon. Hundreds of volunteer editors come together to learn about and discuss projects, approaches and issues.

21st-Century Literacies for Public Libraries
----------------------------------------
August 10-11, 2016
Philadelphia, PA
At this two-day satellite meeting, presented by IFLA's Public Libraries Section, delegates will share and learn from each other's experiences in developing and delivering services that encompass today's expanded concept of literacy, which includes not only the traditional ability to read and write but proficiency in a range of other literacies such as civic, health, financial, digital, and information.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

IFLA World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 13-19, 2016
Columbus, OH
The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.
http://2016.ifla.org/

Privacy+Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 24-26, 2016
Washington, DC
Monday, October 24, is devoted to pre-conference workshops and "intensive days" - advanced discussion focused narrowly on a particular topic or industry. Proposals are welcome until April 30, 2016 based on the following guiding principles: bridge the silos between privacy and security; cover issues with depth and rigour; employ interaction, scenario-based learning, and extensive engagement; deliver practical takeaways from each session.
http://bit.ly/1RIzYhV

Mozilla Festival
----------------------------------------
November 6-8, 2016
London, UK
MozFest is an annual celebration of the open Web. Participants are diverse, including engineers, artists, activists, and educators, but share the common belief that the Web can make lives better, unlocks opportunity, spurs creativity, teaches valuable skills, and connects far-flung people and ideas. The Festival seeks to improve the Web with new ideas and creations.
http://bit.ly/1WmxRQ0

***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 11 March 2016
====================================================

The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EDRi, EFF, ORG, Privacy International.


INFORMATION PROGRAM NEWS
====================

Poland pioneers world's first national open textbook program

----------------------------------------------------------------------

At Open Society Voices, OSF staff members Melissa Hagemann and Piroska Hugyecz report on OSF's role in advancing the global Open Educational Resources movement as well as the success of this movement in Poland. At the end of last year, the Polish Ministry of Education, working with the 34-organisation Polish Coalition for Open Education (KOED), launched an open textbook program for the first three years of school. The program complements the existing Digital Schools Pilot Program, launched in 2012, which provided schools with computers and other technology resources. The Ministry of Education estimates that OER will save parents €24 million in the first year and €168 million annually by 2020.

OSF: http://osf.to/21mtNjb



NEWS FROM THE FIELD
===============
For breaking news stories, visit: http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:news/

Brazil: Facebook vice-president arrested
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that police in São Paolo have arrested Facebook regional vice-president Diego Dzonadar because Facebook, despite daily fines of first 50,000 rials and then 1 million rials, had failed for more than a month to provide messages sent using its WhatsApp service, requested as part of a criminal investigation. Facebook argues that WhatsApp has no local subsidiary in Brazil and that the court is asking for information the company doesn't have in any case: messages are encypted end-to-end and the service does not store content. Dzodan has since been released. GNI warns that local staff working for services offering encryption may be targeted for arrest or intimidation in many countries. France may soon be among them: at Lawfare, Daniel Severson notes that the French National Assembly has amended the proposed bill on Combating Organized Crime, Terrorism, and Related Financing to impose a fine of up to €350,000 and five years' imprisonment on companies and their executives who refuse to provide authorities in terrorism investigations with data protected by encryption that they created.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/1SFHqKe
GNI: http://bit.ly/1MbJxi1
Lawfare: http://bit.ly/1Rc5HC1

UK: Investigatory powers bill published with little change
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Privacy International reports that the UK government has published the Investigatory Powers bill with the intention of seeing it passed this year. Despite the call by all three Parliamentary reports on the draft bill for greater clarity, consistency, and coherence, the bill has barely changed other than the addition of the word "privacy" to the title of Part 1. In a public letter to the Telegraph signed by more than 100 people and organisations, Open Rights Group called for the bill to be delayed until next year to give sufficient time to think it through. Don't Spy on Us has published a report explaining how to make the bill fit for purpose.
PI: http://bit.ly/1P3S7iH
Telegraph: http://bit.ly/24URwLW
Don't Spy on Us (PDF): http://bit.ly/1MbJUsV

North Korea: Digital isolation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a new report, "Connection Denied", Amnesty International outlines the measures to isolate the population from the outside world taken by the government since Kim Jung-un's government came to power in 2011. International calls are blocked for the three million subscribers using the country's domestic mobile phone service, and access to the web is limited to foreigners and a few select citizens. As a result, people who have fled the country have no ability to contact the family members they have left behind.
Amnesty: http://bit.ly/228JrRr

EU: Privacy Shield details published
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EDRi reports that the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce have published the details of Privacy Shield intended to replace Safe Harbor and allow transfers of data to countries such as the US that do not have comparable data protection standards. EDRi finds, however, that Privacy Shield contains no meaningful reforms; EFF describes it as "riddled with surveillance holes"; and EPIC believes it offers less protection than Safe Harbor did. At Papers, Please, Edward Hasbrouck analyses the Judicial Redress Act, which is supposed to answer some of the European Court of Justice's reasons for overturning Safe Harbor by giving European citizens the right to sue US government agencies when they infringe their rights under the Privacy Act (1974). Hasbrouck's conclusion: the Judicial Redress Act is "worthless".
EDRi: http://bit.ly/1QRvRed
EFF: http://bit.ly/1RDRy0V
EPIC: http://bit.ly/21mqo47
Papers Please: http://bit.ly/1MbK5EM

Bitcoin network hits transaction threshold
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Verge reports that predictions that continued growth in the number of transactions would overwhelm the bitcoin network have proved correct, raising the average time to complete a transaction from 10 minutes to 43 minutes. Shops are beginning to drop the currency. The prospect has been debated by leading bitcoin developers for the past year as they have failed to agree on the right solution to adopt and who are now accusing each other of attacking the network to prove their point.
Verge: http://bit.ly/1TA7Aip

DeepMind's AI defeats Go champion Lee Se-dol
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that AlphaGo, a program developed by UK-based DeepMind, founded to solve AI as a "moon shot" and acquired by Google in 2014, has defeated the legendary human Go player Lee Se-dol in the first of five matches being held in Seoul, South Korea. Business Insider UK profiles DeepMind "intellectual powerhouse" David Silver. The Royal Society has a video of a presentation given at its May 2015 meeting on machine learning by DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis; in it, he explains how the group began solving progressively more difficult human video games by allowing its algorithms to teach themselves to play each game based solely on the game's own feedback.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/1Rbq48P
BusinessInsider: http://bit.ly/1WeyyKp
YouTube: http://bit.ly/1LgERga


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================
For more features and analysis selected by the Program team, visit:
http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:oped/

Net of Rights
----------------------------------------------------------------------
This 17-minute film from Article 19 and Coding Rights, "Net of Rights", using interviews collected at the Internet Engineering Task Force meeting, discusses the importance of protecting human rights by protecting the openness of internet standard protocols. The Human Rights Protocol
Considerations research group in the Internet Research Task Force is currently mapping the relationship between human rights and Internet protocols.
Net of Rights: http://bit.ly/1YG9Eoq

Inheriting virtual property
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Andres Guadamuz summarises and comments on new work by Edina Harbinja on the status of accounts in virtual worlds after the original user has died. Such accounts often have real, as well as virtual, economic value, and Harbinja proposes legal reforms that would make the value heritable by creating a limited right of "virtual usufruct".
Jotwell: http://bit.ly/1LWD1Rw

How to hold governments algorithmically accountable
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Slate article, Nicholas Diakopoulos studies the lack of transparency in algorithms deployed by government to determine everything from qualifying for benefits to the length of prison sentences. To date, even FOIA requests often can't extract information about how they work, often because the code is proprietary. Diakopoulos argues that transparency must be embedded at the beginning.
Slate: http://slate.me/1YG9Kwq

Inside Egypt's Technical Research Department
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report, Privacy International studies the workings of the Technical Research Department (TRD), a little-known element of Egypt's intelligence infrastructure. The report also cites research from Citizen Lab, which first revealed the TRD's use of FinFisher spyware, and Hacking Team technologies.
PI: http://bit.ly/1QJNmiL
CitizenLab: http://bit.ly/1RDSe6I

Eavesdropping on 3D printers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Gizmag, Nick Lavars reports that researchers at the University of California Irvine have discovered that even encrypted source code for 3D printer designs can be compromised while the printer is in action. A smartphone placed next to the printer can capture the sounds of the movements of the print head as it builds the item layer by layer and later use these to reverse-engineer the design.
Gizmag: http://bit.ly/1YGay4x

***

DIARY
==============
To see more events recommended by the Information Program team, visit:
https://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:events/. If you would like your event listed in this mail, email info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.

Laura Poitras at the Whitney Museum
----------------------------------------
February 5-May 1, 2016
New York, NY
Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning Laura Poitras, best known for her documentary film about Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, has turned her journal and FBI files into an exhibit at New York's Whitney Museum documenting her life under surveillance. LAURA POITRAS: ASTRO NOISE is an immersive installation of new work building on topics Poitras has investigated in previous film work, including mass surveillance, the war on terror, the U.S. drone program, Guantánamo Bay Prison, occupation, and torture.
http://bit.ly/1QbMuq2

Nervous Systems: Quantified life and the social question
----------------------------------------
March 10-May 9, 2016
Berlin, Germany
Artists, media historians, and writers collaborate to produce a range of reflections on the quantified self for this exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The exhibition includes "The White Room", a live installation by Tactical Tech that includes consultations, demos, and discussions.
http://bit.ly/21fsO9Y

Ethical Risk Assessment in Biomedical Big Data
----------------------------------------
March 14-15, 2016
Oxford, UK
The two-day symposium, hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute, in association with the Brocher Foundation, will bring together expertise from academia, medicine, industry, and the non-profit sector to assess the ethical risks posed by a number of emerging Big Data applications. Risk assessment is an important step in understanding the potential impact (effects and consequences) of any emerging technology. Applications across a variety of research, clinical and commercial domains will be analysed, including biobanking, public health surveillance, outbreak monitoring, digital epidemiology, behaviour tracking and profiling, and other types of biomedical research.
http://bit.ly/1YCUTmE

Predictive Analytics and Human Rights
----------------------------------------
The 2016 conference, hosted at the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at the NYU Law School, will leverage the interdisciplinary strengths of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute to consider the human rights implications of the varied uses of predictive analytics by state actors. As a core part of this endeavour, the conference will examine - and seek to advance - the capacity of human rights practitioners to access, evaluate, and challenge risk assessments made through predictive analytics by governments worldwide.
http://bit.ly/1owT4uV

Transparency Camp Online
----------------------------------------
March 19, 2016
Online
This live, participant-driven unconference happens by video chat and/or phone. Bring a topic, project or challenge that you would love to discuss. All participants are empowered to add a discussion topic to the agenda.
http://bit.ly/1SFJeTh

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
March 30-April 1, 2016
San Francisco, CA
Convened by Access Now, RightsCon is the world's leading conference on the issues at the intersection of internet and human rights. The event brings together visionaries, technologists, business leaders, activists, and government representatives from around the world to build strategies, highlight emerging voices, and showcase new technologies & initiatives in pursuit of tomorrow's internet. March 30 will feature Crypto Summit 2.0, a discussion of global encryption policy.
http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ

We Robot
----------------------------------------
April 1-2, 2016
Miami, Florida
Founded by law professors Michael Froomkin and Ryan Calo, We Robot is a workshop-style conference at which papers in progress on subjects related to robots, law, and policy are discussed and debated with a goal to improving the quality of scholarship in this developing area.
http://bit.ly/1jtd6TT

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 3-4
Washington, DC
The annual meeting of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Last year's event included keynotes from journalist Glenn Greenwald, author Sarah Lewis, and Google general counsel Kent Walker.
http://bit.ly/1PVL5Ta

25th World Wide Web Conference
----------------------------------------
April 11-15, 2016
Montreal, Canada
The W3C's World Wide Web Conference is an annual international conference on the topics of the future direction of the World Wide Web. The Conference is an outstanding international forum to present and discuss progress in research, development, standards, and applications of the topics related to the Web.
http://bit.ly/1SrCR32

OER16: Open Culture
----------------------------------------
April 19-20
Edinburgh, Scotland
The vision for the conference is to focus on the value proposition of embedding open culture into institutional strategies for learning, teaching, and research. Conference chairs are Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching, and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, and Lorna Campbell, OER Liaison at the University of Edinburgh and EDINA Digital Education Manager.
http://bit.ly/1PVLBRj

Tomorrow's Transactions Forum
April 20-21
London, UK
----------------------------------------
Consult Hyperion's annual conference lets anyone interested in the future of electronic transactions debate and discuss any and all ideas, no matter how apparently wacky (such as those that appear in the art competition). Intervention and interaction are welcome; product presentations are banned.
http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx

TICTeC 2016
----------------------------------------
April 27-29, 2016
Barcelona, Spain
The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference will focus on the impact of civic technology and digital democracy on citizens, decision makers, and governments around the world and discuss themes of engagement, participation, institution, social behaviour, politics, community, digital capability, communication, and ethics relating to the use and study of civic technology.
http://bit.ly/1Qw5kCe

ICOA 2016
----------------------------------------
May 16-17
Montreal, Canada
The 18th International Conference on Open Access aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Open Access. It also provides the premier interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns, practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted in the field of Open Access.
http://bit.ly/1XCAD2a

International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government
----------------------------------------
May 18-20, 2016
Krems, Austria
The International Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government brings together e-democracy, e-participation and open government specialists working in academia, politics, government and business to critically analyse the innovations, issues, ideas and challenges in the networked societies of the digital age.
http://bit.ly/1MPGnmf

Privacy in the Digital Age of Encryption and Anonymity Online
----------------------------------------
May 19-20, 2016
The Hague, Netherlands
This conference on privacy in the digital age of encryption and anonymity online is jointly organised by EIPA and Europol. The main theme of the conference will be the difficulty of balancing privacy and security with a focus on the latest systems of encryption, anonymisation, and pseudonymisation.
http://bit.ly/1p3KDrc

Health Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
June 6-7
Washington, DC
The 2016 Health Privacy Summit brings together top national and international experts for serious discussion about global health privacy issues and realistic solutions and to ask, Is Big Data effectively the beginning of the end for privacy in health care?
http://bit.ly/1Qw5AkN

Personal Democracy Forum
----------------------------------------
June 9-10
New York, NY
The 2016 Personal Democracy Forum will feature speakers such as Danah Boyd, Kate Crawford, Douglas Rushkoff, and Anil Dash.
http://bit.ly/1ExPHDH

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
June 13-14, 2016
Berkeley, CA
The Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) is the leading forum for interdisciplinary scholarship on information security and privacy, combining expertise from the fields of economics, social science, business, law, policy, and computer science.
http://bit.ly/1RgmF6w

OR2016 Conference
----------------------------------------
June 13-16, 2016
Dublin, NL@@
The theme of OR2016 is "Illuminating the World." OR2016 will provide an opportunity to explore the impact of repositories and related infrastructure and processes.
http://bit.ly/1pcUNp4

SOUPS
----------------------------------------
June 22-24
Denver, Colorado
The 12th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program will feature technical papers, workshops and tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and lightning talks.
http://bit.ly/1Tn7bwy

21st-Century Literacies for Public Libraries
----------------------------------------
August 10-11, 2016
Philadelphia, PA
At this two-day satellite meeting, presented by IFLA's Public Libraries Section, delegates will share and learn from each other's experiences in developing and delivering services that encompass today's expanded concept of literacy, which includes not only the traditional ability to read and write but proficiency in a range of other literacies such as civic, health, financial, digital, and information.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

IFLA World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 13-19, 2016
Columbus, OH
The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.
http://2016.ifla.org/

Privacy+Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 24-26, 2016
Washington, DC
Monday, October 24, is devoted to pre-conference workshops and "intensive days" - advanced discussion focused narrowly on a particular topic or industry. Proposals are welcome until April 30, 2016 based on the following guiding principles: bridge the silos between privacy and security; cover issues with depth and rigour; employ interaction, scenario-based learning, and extensive engagement; deliver practical takeaways from each session.
http://bit.ly/1RIzYhV

Mozilla Festival
----------------------------------------
November 6-8, 2016
London, UK
MozFest is an annual celebration of the open Web. Participants are diverse, including engineers, artists, activists, and educators, but share the common belief that the Web can make lives better, unlocks opportunity, spurs creativity, teaches valuable skills, and connects far-flung people and ideas. The Festival seeks to improve the Web with new ideas and creations.
http://bit.ly/1WmxRQ0

***

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================================
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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 26 February 2016

====================================================


The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.


Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EDRi, EFF, IFLA, Privacy International.


NEWS

=====

For breaking news stories, visit: http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:news/


OSF seeks Quantified Society program manager

----------------------------------------------------------------------

OSF is looking for a full-time programme manager, to be based in London, for its new Quantified Society initiative. The initiative will work to address  new forms of discrimination based on data profiling as well as the manipulation of information and discourse on the digital platforms that now underpin our public sphere. Applications are due by March 5, 2016.
http://osf.to/1QgS7ho
US: FBI and Apple face off over decryption assistance

----------------------------------------------------------------------

EFF has joined the ACLU, Mozilla, Facebook, and Google in supporting Apple's decision to fight the FBI's court order intended to force the company to help the bureau unlock the iPhone belonging to Sayed Raheel Farook, who with his wife killed 14 and injured 22 in shootings in San Bernardino, California in December 2015. There is some debate over the scope of the judicial order. As Techdirt notes, the order does not tell Apple to crack the encryption, since Apple does not have the key. Rather, it is asking Apple to turn off a specific feature so that the FBI can try to brute-force the key. Ars Technica analyses the case and explains the All Writs Act, the law upon which the FBI's request is based, and Techcrunch has published an internal memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook explaining his reasoning on the company position to employees. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department is pursuing similar court orders in 12 other cases around the country. At Lawfare, Amy Zegart considers the tradeoffs in the case as "security versus security". Michael Geist notes that under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement any member country could issue a similar court order.

EFF: http://bit.ly/1QxAysk

ACLU: http://bit.ly/21fqNua

Techdirt: http://bit.ly/1oGLf65

Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/1KJHE17

Techcrunch: http://tcrn.ch/1PZeSrW

WSJ: http://on.wsj.com/1LbA0MV

Lawfare: http://bit.ly/1QxAGZ8

Geist: http://bit.ly/1LbA3bo


Russian neuroscientist battles to keep journal cache online

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In this audio clip and transcript, National Public Radio's Linda Wertheimer interviews Heather Joseph, an advocate of legal open access, about Sci-Hub, the site where Russian neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan has made available more than 48 million journal articles. Science Alert reports on Elbakyan's defiance against a lawsuit brought by Elsevier and an injunction issued in late 2015 by a New York district court. The site draws on two sources to provide papers: the "pirate" database LibGen and paywalled sites using donated access keys. Papers downloaded by the second method are automatically added to LibGen to unlock them permanently. Invoking Article 27 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights, Elbakyan told the news website TorrentFreak, "I think Elsevier's business model is itself illegal." Science reports that myriad journal publishers have signed a declaration promising scientists working on the Zika virus that they may publish their data as quickly as possible to aid others without fear of endangering later publication.

NPR: http://n.pr/1VDVQJs

Science Alert: http://bit.ly/1STqWin

TorrentFreak: http://bit.ly/1UlW1dY

Science: http://bit.ly/24oR4p2


Twenty organisations sign demand for fairness in trade treaty negotiations

----------------------------------------------------------------------

IFLA, EFF, EDRi, Creative Commons, and Mozilla are all among the more than 20 co-signers to the Brussels Declaration on Trade and the Internet in order to support sustainable, transparent, accountable and democratic international trading systems. The goal is to reform global trade agreements so that, among other things, negotiations are inclusive, transparent, and accountable, and support the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Declaration (PDF): http://bit.ly/1OunNxA

IFLA: http://bit.ly/1PZg6DH

EFF: http://bit.ly/1LbAL8z

EDRi: http://bit.ly/21fsdF4


US: Flawed NSA data analytics may be killing innocent people

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Ars Technica reports that the NSA's "Skynet" programme, revealed last year by The Intercept from Edward Snowden's cache of documents, may have killed thousands of innocent people in Pakistan. Data scientist Patrick Ball, head of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, which produces scientifically defensible statistics about human rights abuses, calls the NSA's methods scientifically unsound because of a flaw in the NSA's method of training the Skynet machine learning algorithms. At Slate, based on her experience in New York's Health and Human Services, Cathy O'Neil examines the ethics of data science, and the proxy power of hidden biases.

Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/1RmL3lN


UK: Tribunal rules computer network exploitation legal

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Privacy International reports that the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal has ruled against it in its case against GCHQ hacking of computer networks and devices. The Tribunal accepted GCHQ's use of the power to interfere with "property" under section 5 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 ("ISA") to authorise hacking and concluded that adequate safeguards existed to prevent abuses of that power. However, the IPT refused to rule on whether GCHQ's use of the even broader power under ISA section 7 - authorising any unlawful acts committed abroad - complies with the European Convention on Human Rights. PI will challenge the ruling.

PI: http://bit.ly/21fsjfW



FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

====================

For more features and analysis selected by the Program team, visit:

http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:oped/


The homework divide

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In this New York Times article, Cecilia Kang reports on the "homework gap" that has children from the estimated 5 million US families who can't afford broadband internet access crowding into fast-food restaurants, libraries, and wifi-equipped school buses, even standing outside schools to use their free wifi hotspots, in order to do their homework. The Federal Communications Commission is considering repurposing the $2 billion Lifeline telephone subsidy programme to provide broadband. As Steve Song writes in a blog posting about India's recent ruling against Facebook's free basics, "network neutrality" must include equality of access.

NY Times: http://nyti.ms/1T6siqh

Song: http://bit.ly/1R0QTXf


The closing of the net

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In this blog posting, legal scholar Monica Horten outlines her forthcoming book, The Closing of the Net, which discusses the "subtle politics of restriction" taking place in liberal democracies - the Web shrinks to fit on a mobile phone screen, and large companies "personalise" their offerings by determining what their users can see and in what order. Horten's book examines the relationship between government and private actors, and technology companies' influence over public policy.

Horten: http://bit.ly/1UlW4X9


Self-driving cars and reclaiming urban space

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In this Mother Jones article, Clive Thompson considers the potential impact of self-driving cars on the urban landscape: less pollution, less waste, less congestion, cooler summer temperatures, all because of less need for parking. The US's 1 billion parking spaces take up 65 million square miles - an area larger than the state of Connecticut.

Mother Jones: http://bit.ly/1mXa1gA


China: People's Bank plans to issue digital currency

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In this transcript published by Caixin Online, the Governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), Zhou Xiaochuan, discusses exchange rate reform, digital currencies, internet banking, and much else. PBOC has near-term plans to issue its own digital currency, whose design, Zhou says, must balance privacy with the need for security and social order. Zhou does not specify what PBOC's design will be like but says that based on the bank's research it has rejected the blockchain as too resource-intensive.

Caixin: http://bit.ly/21fsDLz


UK: New standard will open banking

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The UK has announced the development of the Open Banking Standard, due to be launched next year. When available, the Guardian explains, the standard will enable consumers to grant any financial services company direct access to their accounts, change banks at will, and pool data from multiple organisations into a single dashboard. Personal finance management services are expected to be among the first beneficiaries.

Guardian: http://bit.ly/1Qc7R56



***


DIARY

==============

To see more events recommended by the Information Program team, visit:

https://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:events/. If you would like your event listed in this mail, email info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


Laura Poitras at the Whitney Museum

----------------------------------------

February 5-May 1, 2016

New York, NY

Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning Laura Poitras, best known for her documentary film about Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, has turned her journal and FBI files into an exhibit at New York's Whitney Museum documenting her life under surveillance. LAURA POITRAS: ASTRO NOISE is an immersive installation of new work building on topics Poitras has investigated in previous film work, including mass surveillance, the war on terror, the U.S. drone program, Guantánamo Bay Prison, occupation, and torture.

http://bit.ly/1QbMuq2


Nervous Systems: Quantified life and the social question

----------------------------------------

March 10-May 9, 2016

Berlin, Germany

Artists, media historians, and writers collaborate to produce a range of reflections on the quantified self for this exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The exhibition includes "The White Room", a live installation by Tactical Tech that includes consultations, demos, and discussions.

http://bit.ly/21fsO9Y


SPARC Meeting on Openness in Research and Education

----------------------------------------

March 7-8, 2016

San Antonio, Texas

The SPARC MORE meeting builds on the "Convergence" theme of its 2014 meeting and will explore the increasingly central role libraries are playing in the growing shift toward Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Join us as leaders from the library community, academia, industry, student community, and other research avenues discuss how open access, open data, and open educational resources are intersecting, and the impact this convergence will have on research and discovery. The meeting is designed to emphasize collaborative actions that stakeholders can take to positively impact publishing, policy, digital repositories, author rights, and licensing.

http://bit.ly/1OW0HVK


Open Education Week

----------------------------------------

March 7-11, 2016

Open Education Week is a celebration of the global Open Education Movement. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide. Participation in all events and use of all resources are free and open to everyone. Anyone can submit videos, resources, and requests for listings to be featured on the Open Education Week Events calendar.

http://bit.ly/AcKcba


Ethical Risk Assessment in Biomedical Big Data

----------------------------------------

March 14-15, 2016

Oxford, UK

The two-day symposium, hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute, in association with the Brocher Foundation, will bring together expertise from academia, medicine, industry, and the non-profit sector to assess the ethical risks posed by a number of emerging Big Data applications. Risk assessment is an important step in understanding the potential impact (effects and consequences) of any emerging technology. Applications across a variety of research, clinical and commercial domains will be analysed, including biobanking, public health surveillance, outbreak monitoring, digital epidemiology, behaviour tracking and profiling, and other types of biomedical research.

http://bit.ly/1YCUTmE


Predictive Analytics and Human Rights

----------------------------------------

The 2016 conference, hosted at the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at the NYU Law School, will leverage the interdisciplinary strengths of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute to consider the human rights implications of the varied uses of predictive analytics by state actors. As a core part of this endeavour, the conference will examine - and seek to advance - the capacity of human rights practitioners to access, evaluate, and challenge risk assessments made through predictive analytics by governments worldwide.

http://bit.ly/1owT4uV


RightsCon

----------------------------------------

March 30-April 1, 2016

San Francisco, CA

Convened by Access Now, RightsCon is the world's leading conference on the issues at the intersection of internet and human rights. The event brings together visionaries, technologists, business leaders, activists, and government representatives from around the world to build strategies, highlight emerging voices, and showcase new technologies & initiatives in pursuit of tomorrow's internet. March 30 will feature Crypto Summit 2.0, a discussion of global encryption policy.

http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ


We Robot

----------------------------------------

April 1-2, 2016

Miami, Florida

Founded by law professors Michael Froomkin and Ryan Calo, We Robot is a workshop-style conference at which papers in progress on subjects related to robots, law, and policy are discussed and debated with a goal to improving the quality of scholarship in this developing area.

http://bit.ly/1jtd6TT


Global Privacy Summit

----------------------------------------

April 3-4

Washington, DC

The annual meeting of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Last year's event included keynotes from journalist Glenn Greenwald, author Sarah Lewis, and Google general counsel Kent Walker.

http://bit.ly/1PVL5Ta


25th World Wide Web Conference

----------------------------------------

April 11-15, 2016

Montreal, Canada

The W3C's World Wide Web Conference is an annual international conference on the topics of the future direction of the World Wide Web. The Conference is an outstanding international forum to present and discuss progress in research, development, standards, and applications of the topics related to the Web.

http://bit.ly/1SrCR32


OER16: Open Culture

----------------------------------------

April 19-20

Edinburgh, Scotland

The vision for the conference is to focus on the value proposition of embedding open culture into institutional strategies for learning, teaching, and research. Conference chairs are Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching, and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, and Lorna Campbell, OER Liaison at the University of Edinburgh and EDINA Digital Education Manager.

http://bit.ly/1PVLBRj


Tomorrow's Transactions Forum

April 20-21

London, UK

----------------------------------------

Consult Hyperion's annual conference lets anyone interested in the future of electronic transactions debate and discuss any and all ideas, no matter how apparently wacky (such as those that appear in the art competition). Intervention and interaction are welcome; product presentations are banned.

http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx


TICTeC 2016

----------------------------------------

April 27-29, 2016

Barcelona, Spain

The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference will focus on the impact of civic technology and digital democracy on citizens, decision makers, and governments around the world and discuss themes of engagement, participation, institution, social behaviour, politics, community, digital capability, communication, and ethics relating to the use and study of civic technology.

http://bit.ly/1Qw5kCe


ICOA 2016

----------------------------------------

May 16-17

Montreal, Canada

The 18th International Conference on Open Access aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Open Access. It also provides the premier interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns, practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted in the field of Open Access.

http://bit.ly/1XCAD2a


International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government

----------------------------------------

May 18-20, 2016

Krems, Austria

The International Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government brings together e-democracy, e-participation and open government specialists working in academia, politics, government and business to critically analyse the innovations, issues, ideas and challenges in the networked societies of the digital age.

http://bit.ly/1MPGnmf


Privacy in the Digital Age of Encryption and Anonymity Online

----------------------------------------

May 19-20, 2016

The Hague, Netherlands

This conference on privacy in the digital age of encryption and anonymity online is jointly organised by EIPA and Europol. The main theme of the conference will be the difficulty of balancing privacy and security with a focus on the latest systems of encryption, anonymisation, and pseudonymisation.

http://bit.ly/1p3KDrc


Health Privacy Summit

----------------------------------------

June 6-7

Washington, DC

The 2016 Health Privacy Summit brings together top national and international experts for serious discussion about global health privacy issues and realistic solutions and to ask, Is Big Data effectively the beginning of the end for privacy in health care?

http://bit.ly/1Qw5AkN


Personal Democracy Forum

----------------------------------------

June 9-10

New York, NY

@@

The conference will feature speakers such as Kate Crawford, Douglas Rushkoff, and Anil Dash.

http://bit.ly/1ExPHDH


Workshop on the Economics of Information Security

----------------------------------------

June 13-14, 2016

Berkeley, CA

The Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) is the leading forum for interdisciplinary scholarship on information security and privacy, combining expertise from the fields of economics, social science, business, law, policy, and computer science.

http://bit.ly/1RgmF6w


SOUPS

----------------------------------------

June 22-24

Denver, Colorado

The 12th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program will feature technical papers, workshops and tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and lightning talks.

http://bit.ly/1Tn7bwy


21st-Century Literacies for Public Libraries

----------------------------------------

August 10-11, 2016

Philadelphia, PA

At this two-day satellite meeting, presented by IFLA's Public Libraries Section, delegates will share and learn from each other's experiences in developing and delivering services that encompass today's expanded concept of literacy, which includes not only the traditional ability to read and write but proficiency in a range of other literacies such as civic, health, financial, digital, and information.

http://bit.ly/1PZhExo


IFLA World Library and Information Congress

----------------------------------------

August 13-19, 2016

Columbus, OH

The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.

http://2016.ifla.org/


Privacy+Security Forum

----------------------------------------

October 24-26, 2016

Washington, DC

Monday, October 24, is devoted to pre-conference workshops and "intensive days" - advanced discussion focused narrowly on a particular topic or industry. Proposals are welcome until April 30, 2016 based on the following guiding principles: bridge the silos between privacy and security; cover issues with depth and rigour; employ interaction, scenario-based learning, and extensive engagement; deliver practical takeaways from each session.

http://bit.ly/1RIzYhV


Mozilla Festival

----------------------------------------

November 6-8, 2016

London, UK

MozFest is an annual celebration of the open Web. Participants are diverse, including engineers, artists, activists, and educators, but share the common belief that the Web can make lives better, unlocks opportunity, spurs creativity, teaches valuable skills, and connects far-flung people and ideas. The Festival seeks to improve the Web with new ideas and creations.

http://bit.ly/1WmxRQ0


***


Hear more from the Information Program!

================================

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 12 February 2016
====================================================

The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Benetech, Digital Rights Ireland, Digitale Gesellschaft, EDRi, EFF, KEI, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, Sunlight Foundation.


NEWS
=====
For breaking news stories, visit: http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:news/

EU: Privacy Shield proposals aim to ease EU-US data transfers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EDRi calls the European Commission's Privacy Shield arrangement, announced at a February 2 press conference, "badly flawed" as a replacement for the Safe Harbor agreement that previously enabled transfers of EU citizens' personal data to the US despite the disparity in data protection laws. In a second posting, EDRi lists the questions still to be addressed and says the premature announcement leaves the EU without leverage in negotiating with the US. Digitale Gesellschaft argues that the new agreement fails to answer the court's objections. At the Panopticon blog, Christopher Knight notes that the lack of detail means the "Privacy Shield" is, effectively, vapourware; he also reports that the Article 29 Working Party intends to review the compatibility of Binding Corporate Rules and Standard Contract Clauses, the only tools under which transfers can currently take place. In response to the emergency Freedom of Information request EPIC filed with the US and EU for release of the agreement text, the US Department of Commerce has said that the agreement does not exist.
Press conference (video): http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/focus/index.cfm?sitelang=en&focusid=1211
https://edri.org/european-commission-defence-of-european-rights-sinks-in-unsafe-harbour/
https://edri.org/privacyshield-unspinning-the-spin/
Digitale Gesellschaft (German): http://bit.ly/1V8rNcF
Google Translation: http://bit.ly/1Qw3pxA
EPIC: http://bit.ly/1mwtBjx

Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement signed - but not ratified
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On February 2 the 12 countries that make up the Trans-Pacific Partnership signed the controversial global treaty. In Canada, in both a blog posting and Bloomberg TV interview Michael Geist reminds that countries must ratify it before it can take effect, which won't happen for at least two years. Opponents therefore still have a real opportunity to oppose the treaty, especially its implications for privacy, copyright, health and education costs, and dispute resolution. EFF makes many of the same points, but with US detail. In Jewish Business News, American Nobel-Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz criticises the treaty's investment clauses as being out of touch with the emerging green economy. A Tufts University report concurs, finding that the agreement would lead to job losses and increased economic inequality.
Geist: http://bit.ly/1SLvkQC
Bloomberg: http://bit.ly/1LkGUKj
EFF: http://bit.ly/20Za6Qm
JBN: http://bit.ly/1Xnvc8X
Tufts: http://bit.ly/1SLvmIa

UK: Official reports on Investigatory Powers Bill demand clarity
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Intelligence and Security Committee and the Joint Committee have both published their reports on the draft Investigatory Powers bill. The ISC report demands greater clarity and also calls for major changes to the provisions on "equipment interference", bulk personal datasets, and communications data retention, complaints welcomed by the Open Rights Group. The Joint Committee calls for greater clarity on, for example, cost models and the definitions of "Internet Connection Records" and "telecommunications service provider", but largely backs the requested government powers including data retention and equipment interference. Cambridge University professor Ross Anderson calls the Joint Committee report "deeply disappointing" and links to the video from the Foundation for Policy Research's recent "Scrambling for Safety" event and a recent Cambridge symposium for more detailed analysis of the bill's proposals. Liberty calls for a full redraft on the basis that "no operational case has been made for the unprecedented powers it proposes" and notes that the bill includes and extends many of the same powers that MPs Tom Watson's and David Davis are challenging in their legal action against the earlier Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act. Privacy International argues for the removal of thematic warrants, which allow the surveillance of a group or category of people without identifying the individuals in the warrant, from the bill.
ISC: http://bit.ly/1TWAatc
ORG: http://bit.ly/1o9JXk3
Joint Committee: http://bit.ly/1Xnvnkq
Anderson (1): http://bit.ly/1XnvoVv
Scrambling for Safety: http://bit.ly/1PR0ALr
Anderson (2): http://keionline.org/node/2417
Liberty: http://bit.ly/20shRfw
PI: http://bit.ly/1o60hlb

UN panel rules Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian, and other sources, attended Julian Assange's press conference, given from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy, on the occasion of the UN panel report that found he is subject to "arbitrary detention" and should be released. Human Rights Watch deplores the response from both Sweden and the UK, who argue that the panel ruling changes nothing. Assange remains exactly where he has been for the last 44 months. His lawyer told the Guardian he might consider applying to the European Court of Human Rights (though the Court ruled a similar application inadmissible in December).
Guardian: http://bit.ly/1LkHhVs
HRW: http://bit.ly/1Slx56z

India: Network neurality ruling makes Facebook's "Free Basics" a paid platform
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Times of India reports that Trai, the telecom regulator in India, which has 138 million Facebook users, has banned differential pricing, the practice of zero-rating specific services and discriminatory pricing on the basis of content. Trai argued that allowing service providers to define the nature of access in a nation where the majority of the population are still unconnected would be the "equivalent of letting TSPs shape the users' internet experience". Almost immediately, Facebook and its India partner, Reliance Communications announced that the Indian "Free Basics" platform, internet.org, would become a paid service.
Times of India (ruling): http://bit.ly/1TcAwvj
Times of India (Facebook move): http://bit.ly/1QbM56O

EU: Court of Human Rights revisits publisher liability
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Deutsche Welle reports that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a Hungarian news site was not responsible for readers' offensive comments. The case was an appeal after a Hungarian real estate company sued the site Index.hu. At TechnoLlama, Andrés Guadamuz, a lecturer in intellectual property law at the University of Sussex, argues that the case rewrites the 2015 Delfi decision but expects further legal debate.
http://www.dw.com/en/news-sites-not-responsible-for-insulting-reader-comments-echr/a-19020733
http://www.technollama.co.uk/european-court-of-human-rights-revisits-intermediary-liability

Ireland: Challenging the data protection commissioner
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Digital Rights Ireland has instructed its lawyers to serve legal papers on the Irish government, challenging whether the office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner is truly independent, as required by EU law. DRI argues that the Irish DPC is of critical importance in the EU because so many technology companies are located there, but that it has failed to properly implement the EU's data protection law - the Schrems case, which began in Ireland, being an obvious example.
DRI: http://bit.ly/1Qw4ntG

FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

====================
For more features and analysis selected by the Program team, visit:
http://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:oped/

US: Criminal justice databases raise privacy questions
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Sunlight Foundation's newly launched Hall of Justice is a searchable repository of publicly available criminal justice datasets and research. The 18-month project required manual entry of data sourced from over 9,000 publicly available databases at many locations across the US. While the Supreme Court has ruled that inmates forfeit their privacy while in prison, Sunlight asks whether that situation should be permanent. Sunlight goes on to consider specific cases, such as mugshots, and asks why these should be part of the public domain.
Sunlight (launch): http://bit.ly/1V8t57p
Sunlight (inmates): http://bit.ly/1owShdu
Sunlight (pre-conviction data): http://bit.ly/1Qw4DZH

The changing nature of surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report, "Don't Panic: Making Progress on the 'Going Dark' Debate", published by the Berkman Center's Berklett Cybersecurity project, a group of security and policy experts from academia, civil society, and the intelligence community including Bruce Schneier, Susan Landau, and Jonathan Zittrain, examine the claims that intelligence services are "going dark" and losing access to the data they need to conduct investigations. Among their findings: ubiquitous encryption is unlikely both for business reasons and because software ecosystems are so fragmented, and networked sensors and the Internet of Things are likely to grant government far greater remote monitoring availability than has ever been available before. New technology, therefore, will provide complementary channels that will drastically change surveillance.
Berkman: http://bit.ly/1KKd0UO

Algorithmic living and editing reality
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Twitter's widely reported rumours - since denied by the company - that Twitter was considering implementing an algorithm to determine the contents of users' timelines led to several interesting commentaries on the social consequences of such a decision. In this blog posting that cites not only the Twitter rumours but Google's announced plan to show "positive messages" to those seeking out hate speech, policy analyst Marcy Wheeler says such imposed selection turns reality into "an algorithm of the popular" that replaces today's serendipity with a living dream world. In a blog posting, podcast, and video lecture for the LSE Data and Society project, University of Maryland professor and Black Box Society author Frank Pasquale discusses how algorithm-driven, data-based decisions might be regulated in the interests of social justice.
Wheeler: http://bit.ly/1Pr45Xf
LSE: http://bit.ly/1mwuxV7
LSE (video): http://bit.ly/1Pr4bhQ

Amazon's book monopoly
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this series of videos from the Open Markets Program, speakers at the Amazon's Book Monopoly event on January 27 discuss what Amazon's stranglehold on the market means for American readers as individuals and for democracy in general. Authors such as Scott Turow and Susan Cheever join publishers, agents, and academics in considering whether, as has been suggested by a group of authors, anti-trust authorities should be taking action to curb Amazon's power.
Open Markets: http://bit.ly/1LkHJCW

Blocking access to culture for the visually impaired
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda writes about the European Parliamentary vote intended to put pressure on certain governments - notably the UK and Germany - that are blocking ratification of the Marrakesh treaty, which would grant a copyright exception for the visually impaired. So far, only 20 of the 79 signatories have ratified the treaty, which was finalised in 2013. At the Benetech blog, CEO Jim Fruchterman characterises the situation as "If you can buy a book you can't borrow it" and sets out the case for passage as well as similar issues for deaf people. Knowledge Ecology International reports that this week President Obama sent a memo urging the US Senate to ratify the treaty.
Reda: http://bit.ly/20ZaTAx
Benetech: http://bit.ly/1TWBlZV
KEI: http://bit.ly/240NIIx

Flight of the eagles
----------------------------------------------------------------------
This page at IEEE Spectrum, which includes a video clip, discusses successful Dutch police efforts to train eagles to capture and take down wayward drones.
IEEE Spectrum: http://bit.ly/1TcBhEr

***

DIARY
==============
To see more events recommended by the Information Program team, visit:
https://pinboard.in/u:osi_info_program/t:events/. If you would like your event listed in this mail, email info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.

Laura Poitras at the Whitney Museum
----------------------------------------
February 5-May 1, 2016
New York, NY
Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning Laura Poitras, best known for her documentary film about Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, has turned her journal and FBI files into an exhibit at New York's Whitney Museum documenting her life under surveillance. LAURA POITRAS: ASTRO NOISE is an immersive installation of new work building on topics Poitras has investigated in previous film work, including mass surveillance, the war on terror, the U.S. drone program, Guantánamo Bay Prison, occupation, and torture.
http://bit.ly/1QbMuq2

Meeting on Dutch hacking proposal
----------------------------------------
February 16, 2016
Amsterdam, Netherlands
This meeting, convened by Bits of Freedom, will discuss the Dutch government's legislative proposals to allow police to hack computers of all types, from smartphones to cars.
BoF (Dutch): bit.ly/1PCMHMj
Google Translated: bit.ly/1PkQ1Qj

SPARC Meeting on Openness in Research and Education
----------------------------------------
March 7-8, 2016
San Antonio, Texas
The SPARC MORE meeting builds on the "Convergence" theme of its 2014 meeting and will explore the increasingly central role libraries are playing in the growing shift toward Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Join us as leaders from the library community, academia, industry, student community, and other research avenues discuss how open access, open data, and open educational resources are intersecting, and the impact this convergence will have on research and discovery. The meeting is designed to emphasize collaborative actions that stakeholders can take to positively impact publishing, policy, digital repositories, author rights, and licensing.
http://bit.ly/1OW0HVK

Open Education Week
----------------------------------------
March 7-11, 2016
Open Education Week is a celebration of the global Open Education Movement. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide. Participation in all events and use of all resources are free and open to everyone. Anyone can submit videos, resources, and requests for listings to be featured on the Open Education Week Events calendar.
http://bit.ly/AcKcba

Ethical Risk Assessment in Biomedical Big Data
----------------------------------------
March 14-15, 2016
Oxford, UK
The two-day symposium, hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute, in association with the Brocher Foundation, will bring together expertise from academia, medicine, industry, and the non-profit sector to assess the ethical risks posed by a number of emerging Big Data applications. Risk assessment is an important step in understanding the potential impact (effects and consequences) of any emerging technology. Applications across a variety of research, clinical and commercial domains will be analysed, including biobanking, public health surveillance, outbreak monitoring, digital epidemiology, behaviour tracking and profiling, and other types of biomedical research.
http://bit.ly/1YCUTmE

Predictive Analytics and Human Rights
----------------------------------------
The 2016 conference, hosted at the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at the NYU Law School, will leverage the interdisciplinary strengths of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute to consider the human rights implications of the varied uses of predictive analytics by state actors. As a core part of this endeavour, the conference will examine - and seek to advance - the capacity of human rights practitioners to access, evaluate, and challenge risk assessments made through predictive analytics by governments worldwide.
http://bit.ly/1owT4uV

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
March 30-April 1, 2016
San Francisco, CA
Convened by Access Now, RightsCon is the world's leading conference on the issues at the intersection of internet and human rights. The event brings together visionaries, technologists, business leaders, activists, and government representatives from around the world to build strategies, highlight emerging voices, and showcase new technologies & initiatives in pursuit of tomorrow's internet. March 30 will feature Crypto Summit 2.0, a discussion of global encryption policy.
http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ

We Robot
----------------------------------------
April 1-2, 2016
Miami, Florida
Founded by law professors Michael Froomkin and Ryan Calo, We Robot is a workshop-style conference at which papers in progress on subjects related to robots, law, and policy are discussed and debated with a goal to improving the quality of scholarship in this developing area.
http://bit.ly/1jtd6TT

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 3-4
Washington, DC
The annual meeting of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Last year's event included keynotes from journalist Glenn Greenwald, author Sarah Lewis, and Google general counsel Kent Walker.
http://bit.ly/1PVL5Ta

25th World Wide Web Conference
----------------------------------------
April 11-15, 2016
Montreal, Canada
The W3C's World Wide Web Conference is an annual international conference on the topics of the future direction of the World Wide Web. The Conference is an outstanding international forum to present and discuss progress in research, development, standards, and applications of the topics related to the Web.
http://bit.ly/1SrCR32

OER16: Open Culture
----------------------------------------
April 19-20
Edinburgh, Scotland
The vision for the conference is to focus on the value proposition of embedding open culture into institutional strategies for learning, teaching, and research. Conference chairs are Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching, and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, and Lorna Campbell, OER Liaison at the University of Edinburgh and EDINA Digital Education Manager.
http://bit.ly/1PVLBRj

TICTeC 2016
----------------------------------------
April 27-29, 2016
Barcelona, Spain
The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference will focus on the impact of civic technology and digital democracy on citizens, decision makers, and governments around the world and discuss themes of engagement, participation, institution, social behaviour, politics, community, digital capability, communication, and ethics relating to the use and study of civic technology.
http://bit.ly/1Qw5kCe

ICOA 2016
----------------------------------------
May 16-17
Montreal, Canada
The 18th International Conference on Open Access aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Open Access. It also provides the premier interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns, practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted in the field of Open Access.
http://bit.ly/1XCAD2a

International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government
----------------------------------------
May 18-20, 2016
Krems, Austria
The International Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government brings together e-democracy, e-participation and open government specialists working in academia, politics, government and business to critically analyse the innovations, issues, ideas and challenges in the networked societies of the digital age.
http://bit.ly/1MPGnmf

Privacy in the Digital Age of Encryption and Anonymity Online
----------------------------------------
May 19-20, 2016
The Hague, Netherlands
This conference on privacy in the digital age of encryption and anonymity online is jointly organised by EIPA and Europol. The main theme of the conference will be the difficulty of balancing privacy and security with a focus on the latest systems of encryption, anonymisation, and pseudonymisation.
http://bit.ly/1O6wu0N

Health Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
June 6-7
Washington, DC
The 2016 Health Privacy Summit brings together top national and international experts for serious discussion about global health privacy issues and realistic solutions and to ask, Is Big Data effectively the beginning of the end for privacy in health care?
http://bit.ly/1Qw5AkN

Personal Democracy Forum
----------------------------------------
June 9-10
New York, NY
@@
The conference will feature speakers such as Kate Crawford, Douglas Rushkoff, and Anil Dash.
http://bit.ly/1ExPHDH

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
June 13-14, 2016
Berkeley, CA
The Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) is the leading forum for interdisciplinary scholarship on information security and privacy, combining expertise from the fields of economics, social science, business, law, policy, and computer science.
http://bit.ly/1RgmF6w

SOUPS
----------------------------------------
June 22-24
Denver, Colorado
The 12th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program will feature technical papers, workshops and tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and lightning talks.
http://bit.ly/1Tn7bwy

21st-Century Literacies for Public Libraries
----------------------------------------
August 10-11, 2016
Philadelphia, PA
At this two-day satellite meeting, presented by IFLA's Public Libraries Section, delegates will share and learn from each other's experiences in developing and delivering services that encompass today's expanded concept of literacy, which includes not only the traditional ability to read and write but proficiency in a range of other literacies such as civic, health, financial, digital, and information.
http://bit.ly/1WhAXnq

IFLA World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 13-19, 2016
Columbus, OH
The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.
http://2016.ifla.org/

Privacy+Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 24-26, 2016
Washington, DC
Monday, October 24, is devoted to pre-conference workshops and "intensive days" - advanced discussion focused narrowly on a particular topic or industry. Proposals are welcome until April 30, 2016 based on the following guiding principles: bridge the silos between privacy and security; cover issues with depth and rigour; employ interaction, scenario-based learning, and extensive engagement; deliver practical takeaways from each session.
http://bit.ly/1RIzYhV

Mozilla Festival
----------------------------------------
November 6-8, 2016
London, UK
MozFest is an annual celebration of the open Web. Participants are diverse, including engineers, artists, activists, and educators, but share the common belief that the Web can make lives better, unlocks opportunity, spurs creativity, teaches valuable skills, and connects far-flung people and ideas. The Festival seeks to improve the Web with new ideas and creations.
http://bit.ly/1WmxRQ0

***

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I discovered last week when I wanted to make this while traveling that the original recipe for Grand Marnier souffle, the one that came in the little leaflet attached to the bottle in the 1970s/1980s, is practically impossible to find online, and the leaflets no longer come attached to the bottle. The recipe on Grand Marnier's own site is completely different. Accordingly, here it is, as I've made it many times over the last 35 years.

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 oz (1/4 cup or 4T) butter
1/3 cup flour
2 oz (1/4 cup) Grand Marnier
5 egg yolks
7 egg whites

Preheat oven to 400F.
Prepare a souffle dish by buttering (or oiling) the inside and dusting it lightly with powdered sugar. The recipe, IIRC, wanted you to tie a wax paper or foil collar around the outside so the souffle could rise higher; in practice I don't bother.

 The recipe says to heat the milk and sugar together and bring just to boil. I generally do this in the microwave. Make a roux of 2oz butter and 1/3 cup flour (ie, melt together and stir until smooth). Add the milk mixture (heated or not), slowly, stirring it in until it's smooth and thick. Remove from heat and add 2 oz Grand Marnier (1/4 cup). Let it cool a bit. Beat the egg yolks until lemon-colored (I use the mixer for this) and stir them into the cooled milk mixture. I will note here that because it annoys me to have two egg yolks left over, I compromise on the amounts and use 6 yolks and 6 whites. The difference seems to me undetectable. Beat the egg whites until stiff (I use the mixer for this also). Fold a small amount of the egg whites into the souffle base to lighten it, then fold the souffle base into the egg whites. (You want to mix fairly thoroughly, but gently so you you don't knock the air out of the egg whites. This stage you MUST do by HAND; the usual implement is a rubber spatula. A mixer of any kind will be too rough.) Pour into prepared souffle dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes - it should get golden brown and look done (best I can explain it). Whipped cream is nice with it. Some people like vanilla ice cream. Serves 3-4.

wg

By the second day of Ebertfest a theme is usually beginning to emerge. Two years ago, there were a lot of movies about death (I wasn't at the 2010 festival, but in the course of last year watched the full program at home). Last year, there was something about the triumph of the human spirit. This year, it seems to be the way people with very tightly constrained lives still may manage to carve out happiness and follow their passions. This year's schedule.

Even before Joe (Tom Hanks) in JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO gets his death-sentence wake-up call and embarks on the wild ride that is the rest of the movie, he has his lamp. Working in the grimmest, most dismal office imaginable, every day he bangs off the fluorescent light and plugs in a lamp with a South Sea island shade and a touch of music.

In the documentary PHUNNY BUSINESS, Ray Lambert creates a space for black comedians, then relegated to a half-life in designated off-nights at Chicago's main comedy clubs, to develop audiences and professional lives that soon led them to national stages. (Asked at this morning's panel, for the curious, he says he and his father are solvent again; he went back into corporate work for a while before doing the documentary and now wants to more documentaries. He'd like to start a cable channel - and then found out how much that costs and how hard it really is.)

In BIG FAN, Paul (Patton Oswald) is the schlubby guy who lives with his mother, works in a box (literally: he's the guy in the parking lot who takes your money as you leave), and dates only his right hand. And yet: he loves his life because includes the Giants. He watches the games on a TV in the stadium parking lot, and expresses his love through painstakingly scripted phone calls to a local sports radio show. That's the life - or it is until the disaster of actually meeting his hero.

Even the Rwandans whose many stories make up the mosaic of KINYARWANDA carve out small slices of happiness despite the horror of their surroundings.

Finally, in TERRI a misfit seems more at ease with himself than anyone around him - he seems to have crafted mental space for himself despite his surroundings.

Today may prove me entirely wrong. To be continued.

wg

This year's Young Rewired State was enormous fun. I have a diary-style write-up of my week following seven teens at Osmosoft over at The H. Some post-event thoughts that there wasn't room for in the piece: - I'm a little uncomfortable with the focus in judging the projects being as commercial as it is. "Most likely to be bought" is a good category, and so is "Most likely to annoy a government official", but I would really like also to see one judge be an academic computer scientist and a category for "Most likely to advance computer science" or something like that. Surely we want at least a few of the nation's talented young coders to put their undoubted intelligence and energy behind rigorously inventing the technical basis of the future and not just encourage quick-and-dirty hacks (as fun and useful as those are). - The low number of girls is depressing. Out of dozens of kids, I counted only four at the presentations. I'm told that they sign up but then drop out. I have a couple of suggestions for this. One is to let kids - all kids - sign up in pairs as well as singly. My theory is that girls (and their parents) will be more comfortable if they have a friend with them, and also that they're less likely to drop out if it means letting someone else down. I will note that all of the four were on teams that won prizes and one was a repeat winner, - Along those lines, someone suggested to me that parents might be uncomfortable sending their 15yo daughter off to spend a week in an office with five or six teenaged boys and a bunch of 19+yo male mentors. That's probably less of a worry to parents who've spent a lot of time around geeky kids, but I think a drive to recruit female mentors and ensure that these are widely distributed throughout the centers might help. - The wonderful teacher (who didn't make it into the H piece) who Tweets as @pixelh8 and got a bunch of 10yos to learn programming by using lots of simple metaphors, moving the group outside, and alternating bursts of coding with play breaks, says, "[We need to] tell them they *can*." This blog still - because I can't figure out why it's doing it - eats all non-spam comments. But if you have thoughts on this topic, let me know (blog with a trackback, flag me as @wendyg on Twitter, or email that ID at skeptic.demon.co.uk. I can't believe that in 2011 it isn't possible to do better. wg

Roger Ebert has often written negatively about 3D - he believes it's basically a mistake and audiences don't care about it.

But this is interesting: apparently the advent of 3D projectors is severely cutting the amount of light that reaches the screen because projectionists are not changing out the 3D lenses for 2D screenings as they should. (There are also, as Ebert writes in his blog entry on the subject other reasons: theaters deliberately reduce the wattage to projectors thinking the bulbs will last longer). The result is dim, murky images, reducing still further the reasons to choose to go to theaters to see movies rather than stay home and wait to see them on DVD in a setting you can control. Either that, or you go to Roger Ebert's Film Festival because the screenings there are the best in the world.

But this bit from that entry, quoted from Ty Burr in the Boston Globe struck me as a great example of the issues we frequently talk about in security and usability.

Ty Burr writes: "So why aren't theater personnel simply removing the 3-D lenses? The answer is that it takes time, it costs money, and it requires technical know-how above the level of the average multiplex employee. James Bond, a Chicago-based projection guru who serves as technical expert for Roger Ebert's Ebertfest, said issues with the Sonys are more than mechanical. Opening the projector alone involves security clearances and Internet passwords, 'and if you don't do it right, the machine will shut down on you.' The result, in his view, is that 'often the lens change isn't made and audiences are getting shortchanged'."

Hollywood is making a trade-off here: believing that 3D and digital are the new technologies that will get people back into theaters BUT believing that anything not locked down will be copied and redistributed without payment, the studios et al have opted to secure the projectors. Understandable. But in doing so, they've made it difficult for the people running the projectors to do their jobs properly. So they don't, and the long-term consequence will be the alienation of customers and loss of revenues. I'm sure there were better solutions to how to design projectors securely, but, as so often, when the designers developed the projector's security, they failed to consider who would be using it, their level of technical capabilities, and their own internal risk model ("If I do this complicated and difficult thing and make a mistake the projector will lock up and the screening will have to be canceled and I'll probably get fired.") The upshot is poor design that defeats the purpose. We see this all the time in security systems, where by imposing security requirements that make it harder for people to do their jobs they come up with workarounds. Normally the consequence is poorer security - the guy who props the access-coded door open because otherwise he has to keep getting up to open it, or the post-it notes with passwords written on them pasted to doors and computer screens. In this case, the consequence is unhappy customers and, likely, eventually, loss of business. (For which they will blame file-sharing.)

So in this case, Hollywood's threat model of losing revenues through unauthorized copying and redistribution overpowered its *other* threat model of losing business to home entertainment systems and Blu-Ray. At the projector level, I'd have thought the latter was the worse threat.

I had never heard of a poetry slam: it's performing self-penned poetry as a competitive sport. Louder Than a Bomb is a city-wide Chicago poetry slam for high school students that was created after and partly in response to 9/11. The movie Louder Than a Bomb follows the fortunes of four teams the filmmakers, Jon Siskel (Gene Siskel's nephew) and Greg Jacobs picked out of dozens they encountered in doing their research. The kids work incredibly hard at the language and performing style they use to tell their stories, and unlike many competitions even the losers attend all the bouts to be around the people and experience what they do. I am notoriously tone-deaf to poetry but the language and performing passion on display here are breathtaking.

***

Some random thoughts about this year's festival:

- In about 1995 I went to an open day at the MIT Media Lab, at which people talked enthusiastically about the ability new technology was granting them to pull together a crew in the morning and just roll. A little later, a Hollywood producer challenged the audience to toss out some good ideas, No one spoke, and I think the producer went away satisfied that his industry was safe from the wave of amateurs. No more: easily half the movies at this festival were produced on very small budgets; at least two were the work of only two people working at home; at least two were first features. Granted that Ebert is well-known for championing films that might otherwise die of obscurity (the number of filmmakers who come to his festival and thank him for early support that made their careers), I sense that the promise of 15 years ago is bearing fruit.

- Copyright is still hampering these efforts. The biggest expense facing the couple who made My Dog Tulip was the $100,000 the estate of JR Acklerley demanded for the rights to the book. The filmmaker was astonished: the book was hardly known any more, and who else was interested in it? The makers of 45365 can't afford to release their movie commercially because they can't afford to clear the estimated $30,000 to clear the music. This situation benefits no one. In a reasonable world, the filmmakers could perhaps work a deal where they paid over time as they sold DVD copies or the film made money. But in this world, Hollywood has engaged in "creative accounting" for so long that no one trusts anyone who makes a movie not to make a fortune and never pay up. A system of mechanicals for music use in movies similar to that which applies to recordings would help 45365, It's hard to know what could help the makers of film based on old, obscure books since from the rights holder's point of view there's the opportunity cost of tying the book to one team. Granting non-exclusive options might be an interesting approach but the big-budget guys will demand exclusivity.

- Ebert is building a very interesting future for what was once just a career for himself. The festival, the roster of young filmmakers he showcased this week and the young critics he's recruited for the new TV Show, Roger Ebert Presents, will, I think, build a community that will outlive him. It's a fine effort and a fine way of using his considerable influence.

- The Virginia Theater is the finest place to view a movie and spoils you for almost all other theaters. The huge screen, the perfect focus, sound, and projection, and, during the festival, the best-behaved full house all make the experience extra-special. Movie theaters have self-destructed in the last couple of decades by slicing themselves up, putting the screen at the wrong angle, and setting the projectors to auto. They need to come to Champaign-Urbana to see how it's done.

wg