News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 23 March 2018

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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.

 

 

Applications for Civil Society Scholarships are now open for the International Copyright Law Summer Course and the Privacy Law and Policy Summer Course organised by the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The course will take place from 2-6 July 2018 in Amsterdam. The scholarships are supported by the Open Society Foundations.

https://www.ivir.nl/nl/courses/icl/

https://www.ivir.nl/nl/courses/plp/

 

NEWS

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

 

Facebook suspends Cambridge Analytica after hack of 50 million profiles

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At the Guardian Observer, in a joint investigation with the New York Times, Carole Cadwalladr and Emma Graham-Harrison report that 50 million Facebook profiles were harvested for Cambridge Analytica. Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica's account, pending further information about this misuse. Separately, the writers examine, with help from Canadian whistleblower Christopher Wylie, the workings of the algorithm used to trawl intimately through personal data. Cadwalladr also interviews Wylie about how the algorithm was developed and how it works. In a follow-up, Cadwalladr and Graham-Harrison report that the head of the UK parliamentary committee investigating fake news has accused Cambridge Analytica and Facebook of misleading MPs in their testimony and is calling for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify in person. At the Guardian Paul Lewis interviews former Facebook insider Sandy Parakilas and learns that hundreds of millions of Facebook users have probably had their private information harvested by other companies using the same techniques while the company failed to enforce its terms and conditions or audit how the data was used. In an undercover investigation using secret cameras, Channel 4 News caught Cambridge Analytica's suspended CEO, Alexander Nix, claiming to have run "all" of Donald Trump's digital campaign, while other staffers claimed responsibility for untraceably propagating "defeat crooked Hillary" advertising, possibly breaking the law in the process.  Finally, Crowd Justice reports that it has won its UK case in which New School professor David Carroll sought to compel Cambridge Analytica and SCI Elections to provide him with his complete data profile under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Observer: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-analytica-facebook-influence-us-election

New York Times: http://nyti.ms/2IE4RCw

Guardian (Wylie): http://bit.ly/2u3iAzq

Guardian (algorithm): http://bit.ly/2puovYV

Guardian (MPs): http://bit.ly/2pveOcO

Guardian (Parakilas): http://bit.ly/2G6A0QP
Channel 4: http://bit.ly/2FSzYg4
Crowd Justice: http://bit.ly/2IFZv9T
 

Indonesia: Police uncover fake news operation

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At the Guardian, Kate Lamb reports that police in Indonesia have arrested a network of 14 people suspected of spreading fake news and hate speech in order to corrupt the political process and destabilize the government. According to police, the network was coordinated via a WhatsApp group called the Family MCA. Indonesia is among the top five biggest global users of Facebook and Twitter, and its Muslim Cyber Army uses fake accounts, lies, bots, and automated accounts. The group is expected to "weaponize" social media for the 2019 election.

Guardian: http://bit.ly/2ptuZIq

 

China to bar people with bad "social credit" from planes and trains

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Reuters reports that China has said it will begin barring people with bad "social credit" from planes and trains. The people to be placed on the list of restricted travelers will include those found to have spread false information about terrorism, caused trouble on flights, or, on trains, used expired tickets or smoked, as well as those who have committed a variety of financial misdeeds.

Reuters: http://reut.rs/2ucufvQ

 

US: Congress considers bilateral information-sharing with other countries

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At FCW Derek B. Johnson reports that the US Congress has introduced the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, which would allow the government to enter into bilateral information-sharing agreements with other countries. The bill would clarify the jurisdictional issues under consideration by the Supreme Court in Microsoft v. United States, which tests whether geographical and territorial considerations limit the government's ability to compel the production of data under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Johnson reports that the proposed bill draws divided reactions from industry and civil society. At EFF, Camille Fischer argues that it represents a dangerous expansion of US police powers, allowing them to override other countries' privacy laws. The ACLU's Neema Singh Guliani agrees, saying the bill lets the US executive branch bypass Congressional oversight in creating these agreements. At Lawfare, Jennifer Daskal and Peter Swire dissent; they believe the bill would improve privacy and civil liberties protections by updating the slow process of Mutual Legal Assistance and creating a mechanism for the US government to review what other countries do with the data they receive from the US.

EFF: http://bit.ly/2px4b9d

ACLU: http://bit.ly/2FQmpO4

Lawfare: http://bit.ly/2ucaYLo

 

Egyptian minister announces national Facebook-like platform

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Egyptian Streets reports that the Egyptian minister of communications and information technology, Yasser el-Kady, has announced that the country will soon have its own Facebook-like platform, as well as other applications and programs that he claims will protect citizens' data and help protect national security. The country has also drafted a cybercrime bill, now approved by the cabinet and referred to the parliament for discussion; opponents claim it will give the state greater ability to control and monitor social media accounts. Finally, the article cites a study by the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression that finds that Egypt is blocking 429 websites from news and human rights organizations, as well as VPNs.

Egyptian Streets: http://bit.ly/2Gf6RD7

 

Tim Berners-Lee calls for regulation

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At the Guardian, Olivia Solon reports that web inventor Tim Berners-Lee has published an open letter to mark the web's 29th anniversary, in which he calls for the large technology firms to be regulated in order to prevent their concentration of power from weaponizing the web at scale. He adds, "I want the web to reflect our hopes and fulfill our dreams, rather than magnify our fears and deepen our divisions."

Guardian: http://bit.ly/2DJQcSF

 

 

FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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

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

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

 

The intellectual properties of learning

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In this article at Poynder, Richard Poynder reviews John Willinsky's new book on open access and interviews the author. Placing open access within the larger historical context of scholarship, the push-pull between access and intellectual property rights runs all the way back to the earliest days of Western learning. However, Poynder argues, the open access movement has paid insufficient attention to supporting researchers.
Poynder: http://bit.ly/2IDjlma
 

Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning

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In these videos, speakers at the Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*) conference consider gender stereotyping, ethics, and automation, among other topics. Of particular note is Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney's keynote, "Saving Humanity", in which she discusses the "technocracy" we live in and her study of racial bias in contextual advertising, and MIT Media Lab head of social innovation Chelsea Barabas's talk about her work studying how pre-trial risk assessment algorithms work and why they're ill-equipped to help judges decide which measures to choose.

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2DJLdBi
 

The globalization of countering violent extremism policies

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In this report, the Transnational Institute studies Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) policies around the world and concludes that these policies, which were pioneered in a small number of Western countries, have spread widely through the international groupings of the EU, the UN, and the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF). The report applies 12 tests of legitimacy and effectiveness to these policies, and finds that they are being implemented outside of formal democratic scrutiny or the input of public debates. The report warns that the use of "soft law" without definitional clarity means that the tools CVE policies create foster political policing and abuse.

TNI (PDF): http://bit.ly/2GdyDQo

 

What Airbnb did to New York City

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In this article at CityLab, Alastair Boone examines studies of the company's operations in New York City and concludes that Airbnb critics are correct when they claim that the service causes rents to rise and reduces available housing. As the service has become more the purview of commercial operators than of students with a spare air mattress, it has also "supercharged" gentrification. What has happened in New York is likely to be repeated in other cities.
CityLab: http://bit.ly/2FTYqgM
 

Building a record of data harms

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In this document at Data Justice Lab, Joanna Redden and Jessica Brand attempt to compile examples of "data harms", which privacy advocates often struggle to identify. Redden and Brand explore a number of categories of personal, political, government exploitation, and algorithmic bias that are based on the exploitation of data. The authors intend to maintain this as a running record and are actively soliciting further cases to add.
Data Justice Lab: http://bit.ly/2DGSUs9
 
The age of reputation

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In this article at Aeon, Italian philosopher Gloria Origgi argues that reputation is more important in determining the truth of claims than fact-checking. In the paradigm shift from the age of information to the age of reputation, we should foster competence in reconstructing the reputational path of pieces of information by evaluating the intentions of those who circulate it and identifying the agendas of the authorities that it relies on for credibility.

Aeon: http://bit.ly/2FNGHHU

 

India: Deep class divides follow youth online

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In this article at Quartz, Maria Thomas profiles the interactive website Life in a Metro, intended to convey the struggles India's youth face online because of the country's extreme class divide. The top 1% of the country's population controls over 20% of its wealth. The site follows a day in the life of a lower middle-class college student in Pune who struggles to find affordable access. Designed by King's College London PhD student Rahul Advani, the site is based on his research, which includes interviews with 300 college students and several months studying the lives of ten of them more closely. Millions of lower-class Indians have adapted to the limitations of slow speed and intermittent access; the result is that they use the internet very differently from their wealthier counterparts. The internet, he concludes, is highlighting offline inequality.
Quartz: http://bit.ly/2pvCtts
 
 

***

 

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.

 

We Robot 2018

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April 12-14, 2018

Palo Alto, California, USA

This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.

http://stanford.io/2juk94u

 

TRILCON18

April 25, 2018

Winchester, UK

The fifth interdisciplinary Winchester conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law has as its overall theme "Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: A new battleground between the Law and Technology?"

http://bit.ly/2A1DwrU

 

Tomorrow's Transactions Forum

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April 24-25, 2018

London, UK

The 21st edition of Tomorrow's Transactions will provide an opportunity to look back at the lessons that have been learned across the past decades and cast an eye toward the future to ask, where will technology and regulation, take our world of transactions? For 2018, topics will include AI, futures, open banking, and conversational and contextual commerce.

http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx

 

Internet Freedom Forum

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April 24-26, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria

The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.

http://bit.ly/2Aoj0Tr

 

Personal Democracy Forum Central-Eastern Europe

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April 26-17

Gdansk, Poland

The sixth edition of the Personal Democracy Forum Central-Eastern Europe will include two days of keynote speeches, practical workshops, networking sessions, and many satellite events. Personal Democracy Forum CEE is a platform for exchanging ideas and experience for those working for civic participation and transparency in public life with the help of new technologies in Central and Eastern Europe. Launched in Poland in 2013, it is a regional branch of New York City PDF organized by Civic Hall (earlier Personal Democracy Media) since 2004.

http://bit.ly/2Dc0Dhx

 

Open Knowledge Summit 2018

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May 3-6, 2018

Thessaloniki, Greece

For 2018, the Open Knowledge Foundation has replaced the OKFestival with a summit intended to gather the Open Knowledge network to collaboratively build the future of the Open Knowledge Network. The format and programming will be developed as a collaboration between Open Knowledge International, Open Knowledge Greece, and all other groups in the network.

http://bit.ly/2iISyJb

 

RightsCon

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May 16-18, 2018

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3

 

Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

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May 24, 2018

San Francisco, CA, USA

ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.

http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r

 

Privacy Law Scholars

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May 30-31

Washington, DC, USA

PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.

http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ

 

Internet Shutdowns in Africa Workshop

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June 7-8, 2018

Johannesburg, South Africa

Internet shutdowns in Africa doubled between 2015 and 2016, affecting citizens in 11 countries on the continent. While the number declined slightly in 2017, governments that resorted to disrupting the internet did so more frequently and for longer periods. The justifications are diverse, from anti-government protests to Cameroon, to exam cheating in Ethiopia, concerns about election-related violence in Uganda, and quelling social unrest in Zimbabwe. This two-day conference is aimed at sparking in-depth and productive conversations about this issue. It is organized by the ERC-funded ConflictNet programme at the University of Oxford's Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, the CSLS, the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, and the Department of Journalism, Film and Television at the University of Johannesburg's School of Communication.  

http://bit.ly/2HkVpSX

 

Personal Democracy Forum

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June 7-8, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Since 2004, Personal Democracy Forum ("PDF") has been the go-to place to tap into a community that believes in the power of technology to change politics and governance for the better.  This year's PDF, the 15th, will focus on meaningful collaboration, action, and participatory learning. Our number one goal is to plug attendees into the process of change-making. This year's theme, How We Make Good, will focus on how we turn our commitments - to democracy and ensuring that tech works for the public good - into concrete action.

http://bit.ly/2FjLAbD

 

LIBER Annual Conference

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July 4-6, 2018

Lille, France

The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.

http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU

 

The Circle of HOPE

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July 20-22, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Organized by 2600 Magazine, the 12th biennial Hackers on Planet Earth conference celebrates the hacker spirit. Talks typically feature new ways of examining and dissecting technology to reveal inconvenient truths.

http://bit.ly/2BbzJpM

 

Defcon

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August 9-12, 2018

Las Vegas, NV, USA

The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

http://bit.ly/2A2ojUE

 

VOX-Pol Third Biennial Conference

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August 20-21, 2018

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence (NoE) is a European Union Framework Programme 7 (FP7)-funded academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of Violent Online Political Extremism and responses to it.c

http://bit.ly/2Hhzj3Q

 

World Library and Information Congress

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August 24-30, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The 84th edition of the World Library and Information Congress has the theme, "Transform Libraries, Transform Societies" with the additional tagline, "Reaching out to the hard to reach", which was chosen in recognition of the critical role played by libraries in the development of a nation, particularly in their ability to transform societies.

http://bit.ly/2qSXIta

 

SciELO 20 Years Conference

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September 26-28, 2018

São Paulo, Brazil

In 2018, the SciELO Program will celebrate 20 years of operation, in full alignment with the advances of open science. The conference will address and debate the main political, methodological, and technological issues and trends that define today's state of the art in scholarly communication. These issues will also be shaping the future of the universal openness of scholarly publishing and its relationship with today's Open Access journals, in particular those of the SciELO Network.

http://bit.ly/2FlpVzU

 

Amsterdam Privacy Conference

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October 5-9, 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands

APC 2018 brings together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and professionals in the field of privacy to share insights, exchange ideas and formulate, discuss and answer the challenging privacy questions that lie ahead of us. The goal of the conference is to bring together academics, policy makers, journalists, and practitioners to promote active discussion on timely topics, and foster debate on privacy issues between participants from various backgrounds and perspectives.

http://bit.ly/2ucbFEu

 

International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

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October 22-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.

http://bit.ly/2B1bX38

 

 

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 9 March 2018

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

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, SPARC Europe.

NEWS

=====

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


Belgian court orders Facebook to stop collecting user data

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At the Guardian, Samuel Gibbs reports that two weeks after a German court ruled that Facebook's data use contravenes German consumer law a Belgian court has ordered Facebook to stop collecting data on internet users or face daily fines of €250,000 a day. The Belgian case began in 2015, when University of Leuven researchers found that Facebook's tracking of all visitors without explicit consent using cookies was a violation of EU law. The company says it will appeal and that the cookies and invisible pixels it uses to track online behavior across the web is standard industry practice.

Guardian: http://bit.ly/2p4pn6z


Pakistan: Court rules mobile phone service suspension illegal

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The Express Tribune reports that the Islamabad High Court has ruled that the government's suspension of mobile phone services on the grounds of national security is illegal under the Pakistan Telecommunications Act 1996. The ruling is in response to several petitions filed in March 201 that challenged frequent suspensions in the capital. Although sub-section (3) of Section 54 of the Telecom Act does grant the government power to suspend services, the power may only be exercised in extraordinary situations when the president has issued a Proclamation of Emergency.

Tribune: http://bit.ly/2oRApNa


EU threatens internet companies: censor content or face regulation

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At the Guardian, Samuel Gibbs reports that the European Commission has issued non-binding recommendations giving Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter,  and other internet companies three months to show that they are ready to remove "terrorist content" within an hour of being notified of its presence on their sites or face regulation. For other types of undesirable content, the EC will assess their progress within six months. EDRi opposes the plan on the basis that it puts internet giants in charge of regulating free speech in Europe and argues that the "voluntary" approach avoids legislation that would be subject to democratic scrutiny and judicial challenge. EDRi also notes that all EU member states must agree for the recommendations to be adopted and that the Commission is collecting no data to show that content deletion actually helps fight serious crime and terrorism. At JustSecurity, Justin Hendrix believes that regulation is inevitable for these technology companies even though the US is still resisting it. Hendrix goes on to suggest that regulation could be useful in three areas: transparency regarding their operations to governments and researchers; accountability for their practices to citizens; and responsibility for addressing externalities.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2p0KF4J
EDRi (opposition): http://bit.ly/2Dbc74W
EDRi (recommendations: http://bit.ly/2FtaXni
JustSecurity: http://bit.ly/2HiPbDm

Pacific Rim partnership agreements continue to progress

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At EFF, Jyoti Panday reports that trade representatives from 11 Pacific rim countries including Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Australia are due to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Twenty-two items, including most of the intellectual property chapter, have been suspended from the original draft, which Panday relates to the withdrawal of the US, which drove those provisions. However, the previous agreement's electronic commerce (or "digital trade") chapter remains, along with a number of flaws. CPTPP will set new rules for the free flow of electronic data, access to source code, dispute resolution, and domain name privacy. Another such agreement may soon follow: the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) is under negotiation by 16 countries, including China and India. The group is struggling to find agreement on the free movement of professionals and intellectual property.

EFF: http://bit.ly/2p0bK8m


EU enables ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty

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Intellectual Property Watch reports that the European Council of Ministers has adopted a decision that enables the EU to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, starting in the summer of 2018. The Treaty grants blind and visually impaired people access to published works. The treaty was negotiated and adopted at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2013 and went into effect in September 2016, but Europe has delayed adoption. In September 2017, the Council adopted implementing legislation to introduce into EU law. WIPO announced in late February that Russia has joined the Marrakesh Treaty.

IP Watch: http://bit.ly/2G6F8BJ


China: Censors block dissent as government removes presidential term limits

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At the New York Times, Javier C. Hernández reports that since China's ruling Communist Party announced plans to remove term limits, allowing President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely, censors are scouring the internet to remove criticism and maintain an appearance of mass support. Among the censored material are phrases and words like "my emperor", "lifelong", and "shameless," as well as images of Winnie the Pooh, which Xi is sometimes said to resemble. For a short time, the English letter "N" was also censored, believed to be an attempt to block social scientists from using the mathematical term "N > 2" as an expression of dissent. 

NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2tsa3ps



FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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

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

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


Europe: Analyzing research-related open data policies

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In this blog posting, SPARC Europe introduces its report analyzing open data policies across Europe. Among the report's findings: 11 of the 28 EU member states have national research data-related policies in place, as do two further non-EU members of the European Research Area, Norway and Switzerland. Most of the policies examined are owned by or heavily involve the national research funders. SPARC Europe hopes to include evidence of update and engagement, as well as codes of research ethics, as the report is refreshed over the next two years.

SPARC Europe: http://bit.ly/2FBytlj


Leaked secret documents from Russia's election trolls

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In this article at The Daily Beast, Ben Collins, Gideon Resnick, and Spencer Ackerman examine a large cache of internal documents, the results of a catastrophic security breach at the Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin-backed troll farm that interfered with the 2016 US presidential election. Among the new information contained in the leaked material: the IRA's US efforts included Reddit and Tumblr; the imposter accounts targeted named American activists for specific causes such as Black Lives Matter; and the troll farm was connected to two more 2016 rallies, one of which turned violent. The documents provide insight into the IRA's tradecraft - both strengths and weaknesses.

Daily Beast: http://thebea.st/2Fv3jZq


US: Supreme Court hears arguments in US v. Microsoft

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In this article at the Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima summarizes the questions and arguments made in the February 27 US Supreme Court hearing in US v. Microsoft. At issue in the case, which dates to 2013, is whether US law enforcement should be able to access data stored abroad via a simple warrant under the Stored Communications Act (1986). Microsoft contends that a US warrant is not applicable to data stored outside the US - in this case, emails stored on its Irish servers - and law enforcement should pursue a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) request. The US government argues that because the emails would be turned over at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington headquarters there is no international transfer. EFF and the ACLU have signed onto a joint amicus brief with a number of other organizations in support of Microsoft. At Lawfare, Nora Ellingsen explains the legal points at issue in the case.

Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2FrZt3A

EFF: http://bit.ly/2FBz1aR

Lawfare: http://bit.ly/2oWsSM6


US: Proposed act would block pornography at consumers' expense

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In this blog posting at EFF, Gennie Gebhart explains the Human Trafficking Protection Act, under consideration in 15 US states. In 2017, EFF opposed versions of the bill in over a dozen states, and it failed in all of them. The model legislation would require device manufacturers to install "obscenity filters" on all internet-connected devices, removable only if the owner pays a $20 fee per device. EFF argues that such a requirement contravenes the First Amendment and allows government intrusion into citizens' private lives.

EFF: http://bit.ly/2DbHDQh


Do neural nets dream of electric sheep?

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In this AI Weirdness blog posting, Janelle Shane tweaks images to investigate the effect on neural networks and finds their interpretations are entertainingly off-base. Microsoft's Azure computer vision API saw sheep where none existed, tagged goats as birds when they were positioned in a tree, and identified orange-painted sheep in a field as flowers. These algorithms, she concludes, rely on probability and luck.

AI Weirdness: http://bit.ly/2toouuE


The economics of YouTube stars

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In this Bloomberg article, Chris Stoke-Walker studies the economics of YouTube success and concludes that 96.5% of all YouTubers won't make enough money from advertising to move above the US poverty line. The top 3% of most-viewed channels could bring in about $16,800 a year while attracting 1.4 million views per month. The top 1%, who got 2.2 million to 42.1 million views per month in 2016, make extra money through sponsorships and other deals. A third of British children aged six to 17 told pollsters in 2017 that they wanted to grow up to be full-time YouTubers. However, the odds of breaking through are significantly less than they are in Hollywood, and the imbalance in YouTube revenues is getting worse.

Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2oZQ8ZK



***


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.


ICANN61

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March 10-15, 2018

San Juan, Puerto Rico

ICANN's Community Forum for 2018 will be focused on outreach, capacity building, and showcasing ICANN's work to a broader global audience.

https://go.icann.org/2zwpDBV


World Social Forum on Science and Democracy

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March 13-17, 2018

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

The World Forum on Science and Democracy (WFSD) is an initiative launched in 2007 to promote political dialogue between scientific institutions and social actors on Science and Society issues at a global level. The forum is intended to to help scientific and social actors to dialogue about shared interests, issues and concerns.

http://bit.ly/2FyRCo5


IFLA President's Meeting 2018

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May 19, 2018

Barcelona, Spain

By bringing together the biggest brains trust in the library field and gathering the best ideas and experience from outside, this event offers a unique chance to hear how leading players are approaching the future, how libraries can break down barriers and form new partnerships, how they can build sustainable foundations for their work, and how they can use digital tools to achieve the goal of access to information for all.

http://bit.ly/2Fn1tef


We Robot 2018

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

April 12-14, 2018

Palo Alto, California, USA

This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.

http://stanford.io/2juk94u


TRILCON18

April 25, 2018

Winchester, UK

The fifth interdisciplinary Winchester conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law has as its overall theme "Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: A new battleground between the Law and Technology?"

http://bit.ly/2A1DwrU


Tomorrow's Transactions Forum

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

April 24-25, 2018

London, UK

The 21st edition of Tomorrow's Transactions will provide an opportunity to look back at the lessons that have been learned across the past decades and cast an eye toward the future to ask, where will technology and regulation, take our world of transactions? For 2018, topics will include AI, futures, open banking, and conversational and contextual commerce.

http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx


Internet Freedom Forum

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

April 24-26, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria

The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.

http://bit.ly/2Aoj0Tr


Personal Democracy Forum Central-Eastern Europe

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

April 26-17

Gdansk, Poland

The sixth edition of the Personal Democracy Forum Central-Eastern Europe will include two days of keynote speeches, practical workshops, networking sessions, and many satellite events. Personal Democracy Forum CEE is a platform for exchanging ideas and experience for those working for civic participation and transparency in public life with the help of new technologies in Central and Eastern Europe. Launched in Poland in 2013, it is a regional branch of New York City PDF organized by Civic Hall (earlier Personal Democracy Media) since 2004.

http://bit.ly/2Dc0Dhx


Open Knowledge Summit 2018

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

May 3-6, 2018

Thessaloniki, Greece

For 2018, the Open Knowledge Foundation has replaced the OKFestival with a summit intended to gather the Open Knowledge network to collaboratively build the future of the Open Knowledge Network. The format and programming will be developed as a collaboration between Open Knowledge International, Open Knowledge Greece, and all other groups in the network.

http://bit.ly/2iISyJb


RightsCon

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

May 16-18, 2018

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3


Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

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

May 24, 2018

San Francisco, CA, USA

ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.

http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r


Privacy Law Scholars

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

May 30-31

Washington, DC, USA

PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.

http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ


Internet Shutdowns in Africa Workshop

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

June 7-8, 2018

Johannesburg, South Africa

Internet shutdowns in Africa doubled between 2015 and 2016, affecting citizens in 11 countries on the continent. While the number declined slightly in 2017, governments that resorted to disrupting the internet did so more frequently and for longer periods. The justifications are diverse, from anti-government protests to Cameroon, to exam cheating in Ethiopia, concerns about election-related violence in Uganda, and quelling social unrest in Zimbabwe. This two-day conference is aimed at sparking in-depth and productive conversations about this issue. It is organized by the ERC-funded ConflictNet programme at the University of Oxford's Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, the CSLS, the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, and the Department of Journalism, Film and Television at the University of Johannesburg's School of Communication.  

http://bit.ly/2HkVpSX


Personal Democracy Forum

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

June 7-8, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Since 2004, Personal Democracy Forum ("PDF") has been the go-to place to tap into a community that believes in the power of technology to change politics and governance for the better.  This year's PDF, the 15th, will focus on meaningful collaboration, action, and participatory learning. Our number one goal is to plug attendees into the process of change-making. This year's theme, How We Make Good, will focus on how we turn our commitments - to democracy and ensuring that tech works for the public good - into concrete action.

http://bit.ly/2FjLAbD


LIBER Annual Conference

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

July 4-6, 2018

Lille, France

The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.

http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU


The Circle of HOPE

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

July 20-22, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Organized by 2600 Magazine, the 12th biennial Hackers on Planet Earth conference celebrates the hacker spirit. Talks typically feature new ways of examining and dissecting technology to reveal inconvenient truths.

http://bit.ly/2BbzJpM


Defcon

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

August 9-12, 2018

Las Vegas, NV, USA

The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

http://bit.ly/2A2ojUE


VOX-Pol Third Biennial Conference

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

August 20-21, 2018

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence (NoE) is a European Union Framework Programme 7 (FP7)-funded academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of Violent Online Political Extremism and responses to it.c

http://bit.ly/2Hhzj3Q


World Library and Information Congress

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

August 24-30, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The 84th edition of the World Library and Information Congress has the theme, "Transform Libraries, Transform Societies" with the additional tagline, "Reaching out to the hard to reach", which was chosen in recognition of the critical role played by libraries in the development of a nation, particularly in their ability to transform societies.

http://bit.ly/2qSXIta


SciELO 20 Years Conference

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

September 26-28, 2018

São Paulo, Brazil

In 2018, the SciELO Program will celebrate 20 years of operation, in full alignment with the advances of open science. The conference will address and debate the main political, methodological, and technological issues and trends that define today's state of the art in scholarly communication. These issues will also be shaping the future of the universal openness of scholarly publishing and its relationship with today's Open Access journals, in particular those of the SciELO Network.

http://bit.ly/2FlpVzU


International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

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

October 22-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.

http://bit.ly/2B1bX38


***


Hear more from the Information Program!

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

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Open Society Foundation, part of the Open Society Foundations, is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 4571628) and a registered charity (charity number 1105069). Its registered office address is 7th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP



News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 9 February 2018

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

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: Bits of Freedom, EDRi, EFF.

NEWS

=====

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


Chinese police spot suspects with surveillance glasses

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

The BBC reports that police in China have begun using connected sunglasses equipped with facial recognition to scan crowds looking for suspected criminals. In a test at a busy train station in the city of Zhengzhou, police were able to identify and apprehend seven suspects accused of crimes ranging from hit-and-run to human trafficking and identify 26 people using fake IDs, according to the Communist Party's People's Daily Newspaper. The glasses allow police officers to take a photograph of a suspicious individual and compare it to pictures held in an internal database. If the system finds a match, it sends identifying details such as name and address to the officer. China is a world leader in facial recognition and frequently reminds its citizens that it will make escape impossible. The country is thought to have 170 million CCTV cameras already in place, with 400 million more due to be installed between 2018 and 2021. The Verge reports that in December 2017 the digital surveillance manufacturer IC Realtime launched a web and app platform named Ella that uses AI to analyse video feeds and make them instantly searchable, like a Google for CCTV.

BBC: http://bbc.in/2GATEkj

Verge: http://bit.ly/2GAxij4


India: Competition Commission fines Google

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

Reuters reports that on February 8, the Competition Commission of India fined Google Rs 136.86 crore ($21.17 million) for "search bias" and abuse of its dominant position; the amount represents nearly 5% of Google's average total revenue in India for the financial years 2013, 2014, and 2015. Google has 60 days to appeal. The case began in 2012, when cases were filed by the consumer organization Consumer Unity and Trust Society and Consim, a matrimonial website and Google AdWords customer.

Reuters: http://reut.rs/2ohNqyX


Russia: Scientists arrested for mining cryptocurrencies at nuclear research facility

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

The BBC reports that Russian security officers have arrested several scientists for attempting to mine cryptocurrencies at the top-secret Federal Nuclear Centre in the restricted and tightly guarded area of Sarov. The scientists were caught when they attempted to connect the warhead facility's supercomputer to the internet. The supercomputer is intentionally kept offline to protect its security.

BBC: http://bbc.in/2ELLipp


US: Federal court rules an embedded tweet a copyright infringement

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

The EFF reports that a New York federal court has ruled in the case Goldman v. Breitbart that embedding a tweet in a web page can be a copyright infringement. The ruling could apply to all inline linking, up-ending years of settled precedent that only the host, not the linker, is liable for infringement. The judge argued that the "server test" created by the Ninth Circuit's opinion in the 2006 case Perfect 10 v. Amazon and the Seventh Circuit's 2012 opinion in Flava Works v. Gunter did not apply because the defendants in Goldman "took active steps" that resulted in public display of the photos in question. At the Technology and Marketing Law Blog, Eric Goldman explains the ruling and its consequences in more detail. The web's best hope is an appeal.

EFF: http://bit.ly/2FlnbiB

Goldman: http://bit.ly/2EH1Jr8


Chinese regulator rebukes Ant Financial for automatic credit scoring enrollment

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

The Wall Street Journal reports that in January the Cyberspace Administration of China rebuked representatives of Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial Services Group for automatically enrolling its 520 million users in its credit-scoring system, Sesame Credit. Regulators said Ant's Alipay service violated China's new national data protection standard by not properly notifying users that enrolling in the credit-scoring system would permit Ant to share their personal financial data with third parties, including information about their income, savings, and shopping habits. The regulator said the policy broke the pledge the company signed in 2017 to protect this type of information and ordered Ant to ensure it doesn't happen again. Sesame Credit is one of the new rating systems emerging in China, where the government intends to spread social scoring throughout society. The case is also an example of Chinese people's increasing concerns about data privacy, although they reserve their concern for companies rather than government.

Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/2HDFWyy


Germany: Court rules Facebook's data practices illegal

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

The Guardian reports that in a suit brought by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV), a Berlin court has ruled that Facebook's privacy settings and personal data use contravene German consumer law. A week later, the company said it would radically overhaul its privacy settings, and that the work would also prepare it for the incoming General Data Protection Regulation. The Guardian also reports that in January Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that social networks should be regulated like cigarette companies. In November 2017, the multi-stakeholder UN IGF Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility (FGV) published a book analyzing the online platforms' responsibility to respect human rights and providing guidance for "responsible" terms of service.
Guardian (suit): http://bit.ly/2BII2fO
Guardian (Benioff): http://bit.ly/2HEhrBi
FGV: http://bit.ly/2FkWP02


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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

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

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


Turkey: How a single line of computer code jailed thousands of innocent Turks

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

At CBC News, Nil Köksal explains how a single line of computer code landed thousands of innocent Turks in jail. The story began with the free Bylock messaging app, which was used between 2014 and 2016 and which the Turkish government associated with treason and followers of Fethullah Gülen, the man the Turkish government believe was behind the attempted 2016 coup. Digital forensics expert Tuncay Beşikçi finds that people who have never downloaded or used the app were arrested because a line of code in other apps opened a single-pixel window onto Bylock.net - which Beşikçi believes may have been an attempt at obfuscation. In the Guardian, Owen Bowcott explains the UK legal opinion arguing that the arrests were illegal.

CBC: http://bit.ly/2Ceo7Xh

Guardian: http://bit.ly/2CDTgz6


Break up the big tech companies

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

In this article at Esquire, Scott Galloway, founder of several early internet firms and author of The Four, argues that it's time to break up Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, given their big profits and small paybacks in the form of taxes, their destruction of jobs, and their weaponization during the 2016 US presidential election. He complains that government is handing off responsibilities such as allocating tax money, managing defense, and protecting teenagers to these companies while markets fail. He cites Microsoft as the original model, but Microsoft's power was checked by regulators, a fate the Big Four have so far avoided. Amazon has 4% of US retail - but 34% of the worldwide cloud business; phones are "delivery vehicles for Facebook"; Google owns 92% of the internet search market; and Apple has "the profit margin of Ferrari with the production volume of Toyota". Galloway concludes, "A key part of a healthy economic cycle is pruning firms when they become invasive, cause premature death, and won't let other firms emerge." In a lengthy piece at Wired, Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein trace Facebook's slow acceptance of responsibility over the news that appears on its platform.

Esquire: http://bit.ly/2BL0QeI

Wired: http://bit.ly/2FlqcQ3


US, UK: Surveilling immigrants

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

In the Guardian, Atlanta-based Azadeh Shahshahani, a human rights attorney with Project South, discusses US government spying on immigrants, including naturalized US citizens. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security already track the internet activity of all visa applicants, visa holders, and legal permanent residents, including social media account information, aliases, and search results from both public search engines and commercial databases. Shahshahani believes these measures, which violate the First Amendment, are intended to fracture and control dissent and keep immigrants marginalized. For many, it is reminiscent of the repression they left their former countries to escape. At the Guardian, MEP Claude Moraes complains that the UK government's proposed data protection rules implementing the incoming General Data Protection Regulation will remove subject access rights relating to immigration procedures from all non-UK nationals, including EU citizens resident in the UK. In a blog posting, Liberty opposes the West Yorkshire Police's roll-out of a system under which they stop people in the street and use a portable scanner to run their fingerprints against both criminal and immigration databases.

Guardian (Shahshahani): http://bit.ly/2EKQcmP
Guardian (Moraes): http://bit.ly/2oooZiB

Liberty: http://bit.ly/2EL8hoC


Stop saying smart cities

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

In this article at The Atlantic, science fiction writer Bruce Sterling argues that cities need to be "rich, powerful, and culturally persuasive, with the means, motive, and opportunity to manage their own affairs" - but not necessarily smart. "Smartness," he says, "is just today's means to this well-established end." Sterling goes on to discuss surveillance, the influence of incoming Chinese technology such as AI facial recognition, and a future of "localized, haphazard mash-ups of digital tips, tricks, and hacks. Follow the money, he says, and this isn't about smart cities but about GAFAM (Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon-Microsoft) disrupting the older technology companies that have been building cities' command and control systems until now.

Atlantic: http://theatln.tc/2EL3r6U


The house that spied on me

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

In this article at Gizmodo, Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu discover that the only thing worse than getting a bad night's sleep...is getting a report from the bed afterwards advising that you "missed your sleep goal". Still: the newly "smart" apartment had its conveniences: it gave Hill voice-activated lights, coffee maker, and music, the ability to convey a message to a toddler through a toy, a self-heating bed, and a robot vacuum cleaner. Meanwhile, Mattu built a Raspberry Pi router to monitor what data all these devices collected and where they wanted to send it. They found a steady stream of outward bound data even when the house was empty - and massive annoyances because of the friction involved in getting all the devices to work together and satisfying their demands. Free advice: when you install connected CCTV cameras inside your home, think before you walk around nude. Hill's conclusion: "Smart homes are dumb." Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury foresaw this in his short story "There Will Come Soft Rains", published in 1950.

Gizmodo: http://bit.ly/2CBNrSL

Bradbury: http://bit.ly/2BLp8Fs


Is your software racist?

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

At Politico, Raymond Biesinger considers how to solve the problem of bias in software, citing numerous examples from Google Translate and voice-based assistants to recidivism-predicting algorithms. Prospective solutions are less clear than the problem. As one option, New York is appointing a task force to review and test the city's algorithms. Other options include requiring algorithms and data to be open source, industry-wide standards or benchmarks that algorithms need to meet, and a new federal agency to oversee the development of AI.

Politico: http://politi.co/2GxD84H



***


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.


Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency

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

February 23-24, 2018

New York, NY, USA

FAT* is an international and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed conference that seeks to publish and present work examining the fairness, accountability, and transparency of algorithmic systems. The FAT* conference solicits work from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, the humanities, and law. It intends to bring together the community that has grown through a number of workshops at other conferences.

http://bit.ly/2iHQTUX


PrivacyCon

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

February 28, 2018

Washington, DC, USA

Organized by the Federal Trade Commission, the 2018 PrivacyCon will expand collaboration among leading privacy and security researchers, academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates, and the government. As part of this initiative, the FTC sought general research that explores the privacy and security implications of emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The 2018 event will focus on the economics of privacy including how to quantify the harms that result from companies' failure to secure consumer information, and how to balance the costs and benefits of privacy-protective technologies and practices.

http://bit.ly/2sL3C0F


Internet Freedom Festival

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

March 5-9, 2018

Valencia, Spain

The global unconference of the Internet freedom communities brings together those who defend digital rights around the world - journalists, activists, technologists, policy advocates, digital safety trainers, and designers - with the goals of creating an inclusive space, increasing diversity, and improving the services, strategies, and tools offered to the most vulnerable individuals on the frontlines.

http://bit.ly/2Ds1wn1


ICANN61

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

March 10-15, 2018

San Juan, Puerto Rico

ICANN's Community Forum for 2018 will be focused on outreach, capacity building, and showcasing ICANN's work to a broader global audience.

https://go.icann.org/2zwpDBV


IFLA President's Meeting 2018

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

May 19, 2018

Barcelona, Spain

By bringing together the biggest brains trust in the library field and gathering the best ideas and experience from outside, this event offers a unique chance to hear how leading players are approaching the future, how libraries can break down barriers and form new partnerships, how they can build sustainable foundations for their work, and how they can use digital tools to achieve the goal of access to information for all.

http://bit.ly/2Fn1tef


We Robot 2018

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

April 12-14, 2018

Palo Alto, California, USA

This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.

http://stanford.io/2juk94u


TRILCON18

April 25, 2018

Winchester, UK

The fifth interdisciplinary Winchester conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law has as its overall theme "Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: A new battleground between the Law and Technology?"

http://bit.ly/2A1DwrU


Tomorrow's Transactions Forum

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

April 24-25, 2018

London, UK

The 21st edition of Tomorrow's Transactions will provide an opportunity to look back at the lessons that have been learned across the past decades and cast an eye toward the future to ask, where will technology and regulation, take our world of transactions? For 2018, topics will include AI, futures, open banking, and conversational and contextual commerce.

http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx


Internet Freedom Forum

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

April 24-26, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria

The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.

http://bit.ly/2Aoj0Tr


Open Knowledge Summit 2018

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

May 3-6, 2018

Thessaloniki, Greece

For 2018, the Open Knowledge Foundation has replaced the OKFestival with a summit intended to gather the Open Knowledge network to collaboratively build the future of the Open Knowledge Network. The format and programming will be developed as a collaboration between Open Knowledge International, Open Knowledge Greece, and all other groups in the network.

http://bit.ly/2iISyJb


RightsCon

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

May 16-18, 2018

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3


Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

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

May 24, 2018

San Francisco, CA, USA

ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.

http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r


Privacy Law Scholars

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

May 30-31

Washington, DC, USA

PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.

http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ


LIBER Annual Conference

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

July 4-6, 2018

Lille, France

The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.

http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU


The Circle of HOPE

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

July 20-22, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Organized by 2600 Magazine, the 12th biennial Hackers on Planet Earth conference celebrates the hacker spirit. Talks typically feature new ways of examining and dissecting technology to reveal inconvenient truths.

http://bit.ly/2BbzJpM


Defcon

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

August 9-12, 2018

Las Vegas, NV, USA

The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

http://bit.ly/2A2ojUE


World Library and Information Congress

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

August 24-30, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The 84th edition of the World Library and Information Congress has the theme, "Transform Libraries, Transform Societies" with the additional tagline, "Reaching out to the hard to reach", which was chosen in recognition of the critical role played by libraries in the development of a nation, particularly in their ability to transform societies.

http://bit.ly/2qSXIta


SciELO 20 Years Conference

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

September 26-28, 2018

São Paulo, Brazil

In 2018, the SciELO Program will celebrate 20 years of operation, in full alignment with the advances of open science. The conference will address and debate the main political, methodological, and technological issues and trends that define today's state of the art in scholarly communication. These issues will also be shaping the future of the universal openness of scholarly publishing and its relationship with today's Open Access journals, in particular those of the SciELO Network.

https://www.scielo20.org/en/


International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

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

October 22-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.

http://bit.ly/2B1bX38


***


Hear more from the Information Program!

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

If you want to hear more from the Information Program team each week, consider subscribing to our shared bookmarks on delicious using this RSS feed:

http://feeds.pinboard.in/rss/secret:95194ab804ccccac713b/u:osi_info_program/


You can also read more about our work on the Open Society Foundations website: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/information-program


Hear less from the Information Program!

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

If you wish to unsubscribe from this weekly digest, please send an email with the subject line "Unsubscribe" to info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


This digest operates under the OSF privacy policy: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/policies/privacy


Additionally, it uses the bit.ly URL shortening service, which operates under the following privacy policy: http://bit.ly/pages/privacy/


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/


Open Society Foundation, part of the Open Society Foundations, is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 4571628) and a registered charity (charity number 1105069). Its registered office address is 7th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP



News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 9 February 2018

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

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: Bits of Freedom, EDRi.

Digital Freedom Fund

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

The recently established Digital Freedom Fund, which supports strategic litigation to advance digital rights in Europe, is looking to recruit a part-time, Berlin-based legal officer and a a project-based remote consultant. Deadline for applications is 14 February.
https://digitalfreedomfund.org/vacancies

NEWS

=====

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


Strava fitness app exposes jogging routes around military bases

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

The BBC reports that a heat map published by San Francisco-based Strava, maker of a GPS-enabled fitness app, exposes individual jogging routes, including those used by soldiers around military basis. The problem appears to be that although an opt-out mechanism is provided users do not always know to activate it or how to use the app's privacy settings. At Foreign Policy, Jenna McLaughlin gives background to the debate over the use of fitness apps in sensitive areas. The US National Security Agency allows wearable fitness monitors in some localities, but in general such decisions are left up to the special security officer in charge and therefore they are banned in some places.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42853072

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/02/01/how-the-spies-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-fitbit/


App enables video face-swapping

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

At Motherboard, Samantha Cole reports that a user-friendly app is fueling an explosion of convincing face-swap pornography. The app, which began in late 2017 with manual efforts by a Reddit user, makes it easy to use machine learning to create convincing fake videos, with the result that people are using the app to create fake porn of their friends and classmates, as well as celebrities. Users only need one or two high-quality videos of the faces they want to fake. In a leader article, the Guardian argues that the technology, which is already expanding to other types of video simulations, will destroy trust within and between communities.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bjye8a/reddit-fake-porn-app-daisy-ridley

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/28/the-guardian-view-on-fake-video-a-trick-too-far


UK: Court of Appeal rules data retention illegal

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

At ZDNet, Steve Ranger reports that London's Court of Appeal has ruled that parts of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (2014) are unlawful; the result will be to require changes to the the Investigatory Powers Act, which replaced it in 2016 and includes many of the same powers. The three judges ruled that the Act was inconsistent with EU law because it granted the government access to retained data without prior independent review and allowed its use in cases that were not limited to fighting serious crime. Engadget reviews the background of the case, and notes that the European Court of Justice has already ruled that new legislation must follow in the spirit of its 2014 ruling that blanket data retention is illegal.

http://www.zdnet.com/google-amp/article/government-mass-surveillance-powers-ruled-unlawful/

https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/30/uk-surveillance-powers-unlawful/


Russia: Kremlin plans to build an independent internet

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

At IEEE Spectrum, Tracy Staedter reports that Russia is building its own independent internet. The plan is perfectly possible, in that the internet's protocols and design are open and can be easily copied to create a separate network of interconnected networks if Russia is willing to duplicate the hardware and software currently managing internet traffic. It would need its own domain name system and numbering scheme; the hard part would be getting users to use them. In the meantime, Russia is forcing US companies to store data about its citizens on local servers.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/telecom/internet/could-russia-really-build-its-own-alternate-internet


Canada: Facebook rolls out advertising transparency plan

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

At ProPublica, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries reports that Facebook is responding to complaints about the lack of transparency in its political advertising by enabling users outside the advertiser's specified audience to see the ads. The approach is being rolled out now in Canada and will expand to other countries this summer.  Critics complain that the system is still too difficult for users to benefit from, and propose more effective ways of policing ads, such as making information more readily available about who is placing the ads and how they're targeted. Pro Publica believes its own tool, Political Ad Collector, launched in September 2017,  does the same job more accessibly. The Reuters Institute provides a factsheet that measures the reach of fake news and online disinformation in Europe. It finds that although most fake news websites attract smaller and less engaged audiences, on Facebook a few popular fake news sites generate greater interaction than more established news brands. At The Atlantic, Ethan Zuckerman argues that Facebook will only improve if others begin building better alternatives and introduces the gobo.social project, which he describes as a "provocation, not a product".
https://www.propublica.org/article/facebook-experiment-ad-transparency-toronto-canada
https://www.propublica.org/article/help-us-monitor-political-ads-online
https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/our-research/measuring-reach-fake-news-and-online-disinformation-europe
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/01/facebook-doesnt-care/551684/

Commercial industry of fraudulent accounts plagues social media

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

At the New York Times, Nicholas Confessore, Gabriel J.X. Dance, Richard Harris, and Mark Hansen uncover a multi-layer black market of fake Twitter followers. Celebrities, entertainers, businesses, and social media "experts", under pressure to deliver follower numbers, buy followers by the hundred thousand at relatively modest prices. Many of these are supplied by the Florida-based company Devumi, which itself buys bots for resale, but many are also counterfeit copies of disused accounts that use the real names, profile pictures, and hometown details of real Twitter users, some of them minors.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/social-media-bots.html



FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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

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

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


George Soros: Open societies are in crisis

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

In this article in the Financial Times, Peter Wells and Katie Martin summarize the talk given at Davos by Open Society Foundation founder George Soros, who said open societies are in crisis due to the rise of "dictatorships and mafia states" and the obstacles to innovation posed by Facebook and Google, which are causing people to give up their autonomy. At the rate at which Facebook has been adding its billions of users, Soros believes it will run out of newcomers to sign up within three years. An alliance between these data-rich IT monopolies and their corporate surveillance systems with already-developed systems of state-sponsored surveillance could pose an alarming prospect. Soros believes that the platform giants will be broken soon by regulation, taxation, and the activities of EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. At the Wall Street Journal, Natalia Drozdiak discusses Vestager's increasing concerns about the use of big data to lock competitors out of markets.

https://www.ft.com/content/584c66cc-020f-11e8-9650-9c0ad2d7c5b5
https://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-competition-chief-tracks-how-companies-use-big-data-1514889000

New York: Algorithmic accountability

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

In this letter to the mayor of New York City, NYU's AI Now Institute offers recommendations for subject matter expertise, staff, and organizations that should be included in the city's planned Automated Decision System Task Force. Among the less obvious areas of expertise they suggest are ethics, social work, peer review, and operations. They also recommend requiring appointees to publicly disclose any potential conflicts of interest with vendors of automated decision systems used in New York City government. Also at the Times, Dan Hurley inspects a predictive-analytics system in use in Pittsburgh to predict which of the children who come to the attention of social services should be further investigated. After careful study, this system appears to be making better screening decisions than humans can. Hurley gives three reasons: the companies developing the system are transparent about their methods; the criteria used in this case really do appear to be countering some of the historical bias; and the tool is used only for screening. Humans do follow-up investigations and make the final decisions about protecting the children.

https://ainowinstitute.org/announcements/nyc-algorithmic-accountability.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/magazine/can-an-algorithm-tell-when-kids-are-in-danger.html


Australia: Austerity is an algorithm

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

In this article at Logic, Gillian Terzis recounts the results of Australia's "robo-debt" scandal. In the interests of austerity, Australia turned its largely means-driven welfare system over to an error-prone scoring algorithm that can issue 20,000 debt notices a week. Terzis argues that these commercially-designed systems - a similar one in the US state of Michigan is showing similar results - are deliberately designed to discourage formal complaints, raise money, and make the system as punitive as possible. Using technology to impose "personal responsibility" on citizens is shredding the Australian social contract; means testing proved to be a lucrative opportunity for private firms to capitalize on a new market. A tool, she writes, is only as good as the politics that underpin it.

https://logicmag.io/03-austerity-is-an-algorithm/


Africa: The Silicon Valley-funded quest to educate the world's poorest kids

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

In this feature at Quartz Africa, Jenny Anderson compares Silicon Valley-funded private education initiatives in Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and India to each other and to government-provided public education. In developing countries, nearly 600 million children are either not in school or not learning; in some African countries as much as 40% of teachers were not in the classroom or not in school at all. Quartz visited schools in Kenya, Nigeria, and Liberia, and spoke to more than 40 people about Bridge, a highly scripted technology-based system that is currently educating about 100,000 students and losing $12 million a year. It hopes to educate 10 million children by 2025. Bridge and its methods are opposed by a number of civil society organizations and teachers on grounds of efficacy, transparency, and sustainability, but, says Anderson, shows that innovative models can improve education.

https://qz.com/1179738/bridge-school/


Is the target's citizenship a justified basis for different surveillance rules?

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

In this video clip from January's Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection conference in Brussels, privacy scholar Peter Swire, Stiftung Neue Verantwortgun's Thorsten Wetzling, Mario Oetheimer, Joseph Cannataci, and Access Now's Amie Stepanovich discuss whether nationality should be used as a criterion for surveillance. Swire believes it's justified to place foreigners under greater surveillance than domestic citizens; Wetzling believes that foreigners should have greater protection against surveillance; and Stepanovich argues that greater privacy rights for any group is a public good. In a net.wars posting, Wendy M. Grossman summarizes the discussion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RvjD0x5eUs

http://www.pelicancrossing.net/netwars/2018/02/schrodingers_citizen.html

https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/every-user-neo


Could price manipulation be killing Bitcoin?

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

In this blog posting, the fourth in a series on Bitcoin, Tony Arcieri examines Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for signs of price manipulation. Bitcoin's price peaked at $17,000 in November 2017, and slid as low as $7,178.65 in early February 2018, taking other virtual currencies along with it. Like other early Bitcoin investors, Arcieri desires a cryptocurrency system that delivers real value, but fears that instead some cryptocurrencies are Ponzi schemes. Arcieri begs regulators and journalists to look into Tether, which is pegged to the US dollar and makes specific claims about the reserves it holds and the auditing these undergo. CNBC expresses concerns that Tether may be propping up the rest of the cryptocurrency market. The Washington Post reports that in Kentucky poor, umemployed, and retired people are speculating in cryptocurrencies in the hope of finding better prospects. The South China Morning Post reports that China has announced it will block all websites related to cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings, and CNBC reports that the Indian finance minister wants to eliminate the use of digital currencies in criminal activity, suggesting tighter regulation in that country.
https://tonyarcieri.com/the-tether-conundrum

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/02/tether-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-cryptocurrency-worrying-markets.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/bitcoin-is-my-potential-pension-what-is-driving-people-in-kentucky-to-join-the-craze/2018/02/03/aaaea3be-05dc-11e8-b48c-b07fea957bd5_story.html

http://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/2132009/china-stamp-out-cryptocurrency-trading-completely-ban

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/01/india-wants-to-eliminate-criminal-use-of-cryptocurrencies.html


The right to not be addressed

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

In this blog posting at EDRi, Bits of Freedom summarizes a speech given by director Hans de Zwart as part of the Big Brother Awards 2017. Zwart proposes a "right to not be addressed" - that is, a right to advertising-free (and surveillance-free) public spaces. Airports  - "a high-dwell environment, delivering a captive audience" - exploit every available opportunity for both. Advertisers and companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon steal our attention to their benefit rather than our own. The Dutch version includes images and links.

https://edri.org/enditorial-living-as-if-being-at-an-airport/

https://www.bof.nl/2018/01/17/living-as-if-being-at-an-airport/



***


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.


Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency

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

February 23-24, 2018

New York, NY, USA

FAT* is an international and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed conference that seeks to publish and present work examining the fairness, accountability, and transparency of algorithmic systems. The FAT* conference solicits work from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, the humanities, and law. It intends to bring together the community that has grown through a number of workshops at other conferences.

http://bit.ly/2iHQTUX


Internet Freedom Festival

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

March 5-9, 2018

Valencia, Spain

The global unconference of the Internet freedom communities brings together those who defend digital rights around the world - journalists, activists, technologists, policy advocates, digital safety trainers, and designers - with the goals of creating an inclusive space, increasing diversity, and improving the services, strategies, and tools offered to the most vulnerable individuals on the frontlines.

http://bit.ly/2Ds1wn1


ICANN61

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

March 10-15, 2018

San Juan, Puerto Rico

ICANN's Community Forum for 2018 will be focused on outreach, capacity building, and showcasing ICANN's work to a broader global audience.

https://go.icann.org/2zwpDBV


We Robot 2018

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

April 12-14, 2018

Palo Alto, California, USA

This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.

http://stanford.io/2juk94u


TRILCON18

April 25, 2018

Winchester, UK

The fifth interdisciplinary Winchester conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law has as its overall theme "Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: A new battleground between the Law and Technology?"

http://bit.ly/2A1DwrU


Tomorrow's Transactions Forum

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

April 24-25, 2018

London, UK

The 21st edition of Tomorrow's Transactions will provide an opportunity to look back at the lessons that have been learned across the past decades and cast an eye toward the future to ask, where will technology and regulation, take our world of transactions? For 2018, topics will include AI, futures, open banking, and conversational and contextual commerce.

http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx


Internet Freedom Forum

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

April 24-26, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria

The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.

http://bit.ly/2Aoj0Tr


Open Knowledge Summit 2018

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

May 3-6, 2018

Thessaloniki, Greece

For 2018, the Open Knowledge Foundation has replaced the OKFestival with a summit intended to gather the Open Knowledge network to collaboratively build the future of the Open Knowledge Network. The format and programming will be developed as a collaboration between Open Knowledge International, Open Knowledge Greece, and all other groups in the network.

http://bit.ly/2iISyJb


RightsCon

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

May 16-18, 2018

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3


Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

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

May 24, 2018

San Francisco, CA, USA

ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.

http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r


Privacy Law Scholars

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

May 30-31

Washington, DC, USA

PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.

http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ


LIBER Annual Conference

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

July 4-6, 2018

Lille, France

The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.

http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU


The Circle of HOPE

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

July 20-22, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Organized by 2600 Magazine, the 12th biennial Hackers on Planet Earth conference celebrates the hacker spirit. Talks typically feature new ways of examining and dissecting technology to reveal inconvenient truths.

http://bit.ly/2BbzJpM


Defcon

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

August 9-12, 2018

Las Vegas, NV, USA

The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

http://bit.ly/2A2ojUE


World Library and Information Congress

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

August 24-30, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The 84th edition of the World Library and Information Congress has the theme, "Transform Libraries, Transform Societies" with the additional tagline, "Reaching out to the hard to reach", which was chosen in recognition of the critical role played by libraries in the development of a nation, particularly in their ability to transform societies.

http://bit.ly/2qSXIta


International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

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

October 22-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.

http://bit.ly/2B1bX38


***


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 26 January 2018

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

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: Bits of Freedom, Derechos Digitales América Latina, EDRi, EFF, Fundación Karisma, La Quadrature du Net, Panoptykon Foundation.

NEWS

=====

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


Apple health app data provides crucial evidence at murder trial

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

At Gizmodo, Kristen V. Brown reports that Apple's Health App, which is pre-installed on the iPhone 6S and later models and records steps taken, nutrition and sleep patterns, and other body measurements, has provided crucial evidence at a German trial in which a refugee, known as "Hussein K", has pleaded guilty torape and murder. Police showed that app data suggesting the suspect was climbing stairs could correlate to his dragging his victim down a riverbank and back up by reenacting the movements to produce similar results. Chief of police Peter Egetemaier told the court it was the first time they have been able to correlate health and geodata.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42663297


India: Authority addresses privacy concerns with Virtual ID

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

Rediff Business reports that the Unified Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the ministry responsible for India's Aadhaar identification system, has introduced Virtual IDs to attempt to counter privacy concerns after a widely reported hack of the numbering system resulted in inexpensive online access to user details. Users can generate these Virtual IDs on its website to use instead of their official 12-digit number for purposes of authentication when opening a new bank or telephone account. Users may generate as many Virtual IDs as they like; old ones get canceled automatically when a new one is created. At the New York Times, Reetika Khera calls the Aadhaar system "a big flub" that has created new problems while failing to solve the ones it was created to fix. In September, an 11-year-old girl died in the poverty-stricken eastern state of Jharkhand when her family was denied benefits after failing to link an Aadhaar number to their ration card. Khera concludes that the system should be returned to voluntary status.

https://m.rediff.com/business/report/uidai-introduces-virtual-id-to-address-privacy-concerns/20180110.htm

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/21/opinion/india-aadhaar-biometric-id.html


Apple's Safari tracking blocker costs publishers millions

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

At the Guardian, Alex Hern reports that Apple's September 2017 block on pervasive tracking in its Safari web browser, which has 15% of market share, is costing advertising companies millions; Criteo alone is likely to cut its 2018 revenues by more than a fifth. Things are likely to get worse for these companies: in February 2018 Google will roll out a built-in blocker of "intrusive ads" for Chrome, which has 55% of the global browser market.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/09/apple-tracking-block-costs-advertising-companies-millions-dollars-criteo-web-browser-safari


China: Google cross-licenses patents with Tencent

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

The South China Morning Post reports that Google and Tencent have agreed to share patents covering a range of products and technologies, including artificial intelligence software, and collaborate on future development. SCMP suggests that the collaboration is Google's way of continuing to expand its presence in the Chinese market even though it withdrew its search engine from the country in 2010. At the Guardian, Mark Sweney profilesTencent, which remains largely unknown in the West despite being a $500 billion company and, with Ali Baba, one of China's two biggest internet companies. Tencent's success rests on three prongs: the messaging app WeChat; its gaming franchies, which are the largest in the world; and its ecosystem, which offers its 1 billion users the services Silicon Valley companies do not operate in China, including Tencent Video (like Netflix), Tencent Music (Apple's iTunes and Spotify). About 40% of the company's revenues come from gaming: it owns Clash of Clans, League of Legends, and Honour of Kings, and has stakes in Epic and Activision Blizzard.

http://www.scmp.com/tech/innovation/article/2129650/google-tencent-agree-share-patents-global-tech-alliance

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/13/tencent-the-500bn-chinese-tech-firm-you-may-never-have-heard-of


Tunisia: Government withdraws biometric ID after protest

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

Access Now reports that the country's biometric ID card proposal has officially been withdrawn by the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP). Access Now and local Tunisian NGO AlBawsala proposed amendments to protect citizens' data and their right to consult and correct their information. After nearly all these amendments were adopted by the Consensus Commission, the Ministry of the Interior dropped the proposal.

Indonesia: Central bank bans cryptocurrencies

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

The Jakarta Post reports that in mid-January Bank Indonesia (BI), the country's national bank, and the National Police are collaborating to prevent bitcoin transactions in Bali after BI issued regulations declaring that rupieh is the only valid currency in Indonesia. A few days later, the Post also reported that Bank Indonesia is investigating two bitcoin transactions alleged to have been made in Bali, in which two cafes accepted bitcoin invoice payments of more than IDR243,000 ($18.25, or BTC0.001). Each transaction took and hour and a half to process and cost IDR123,000. Earlier, BI banned financial technology companies using cryptocurrencies without prohibiting trading of the currencies themselves.
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/01/21/bi-investigates-use-of-bitcoin-in-bali.html

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/01/15/bank-indonesia-police-prevent-bitcoin-transactions-in-bali.html

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/01/14/indonesia-warns-against-owning-selling-trading-cryptocurrency.html



FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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

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

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


Privacy International's amicus brief in support of Microsoft

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

In this amicus brief, Privacy International, joined by EDRi, Bits of Freedom, Derechos Digitales América Latina, Fundación Karisma, La Quadrature du Net, Panoptykon Foundation, and numerous other human rights and digital rights organizations, submits arguments to the Supreme Court. PI argues that construing the Stored Communications Act to require Microsoft to turn over email data stored on its Irish servers in contravention of Irish and EU data protection law would create international conflicts that should be avoided. PI believes that instead US law enforcement should use established channels, such as "mutual legal assistance treaties" (MLATs), to accomplish such data transfers.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/17/17-2/28354/20180118170547648_17-2%20USA%20v%20Microsoft%20Brief%20of%20Privacy%20International%20Human%20and%20Digital%20Rights%20Organizations%20and%20International%20Legal%20Scholars%20as%20Amici%20Curiae%20in%20Support%20of%20Respondent.pdf


How to fix Facebook before it fixes us

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

At Washington Monthly, technology investor Roger McNamee recounts his efforts to get Facebook, Google, and the public to take seriously the threat of bad actors exploiting social media's attention-maximizing business model and his alliance with the Open Markets group, and publishes recommendations for tackling the problem. Among his suggestions: ban bots that pretend to be human; block all new mergers and acquisitions until the platforms have addressed the present damage; force platforms to be more transparent about the sources of their ads and their algorithms; make the contract with users more equitable; require platforms to allow users to opt back to the EULA they accepted when they joined; limit their ability to exploit the data they collect; reopen discussions about market power and antitrust. In the Guardian, John Naughton considers Facebook's recent announcement that the site will change its algorithms to focus on social interactions rather than finding relevant content. Naughton argues that Facebook is acting strategically to avoid further political action against it over fake news. Also at the Guardian, Emily Bell argues that the changes are bad for democracy. At the Economist, Eve Smith drafts an email to the CEOs of Apple, Google, and Amazon warning of the regulatory backlash and antitrust litigation that are likely to hit them in the US in the next few years.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january-february-march-2018/how-to-fix-facebook-before-it-fixes-us/
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/21/facebook-abandons-news-important-business-of-trivia
https://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2018/jan/21/why-facebook-news-feed-changes-bad-news-democracy
https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21735026-which-antitrust-remedies-welcome-which-fight-techlash-against-amazon-facebook-and


The Golden Age of (democracy-poisoning) free speech

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

In this article for Wired and video-recorded TED talk, Zeynep Tufekci discusses the modern version of censorship: optimization for engagement by a few global-scale advertising companies. Traditionally, censors found the right choke point and then squeezed it; today's version is to meddle with trust and attention. We think of Twitter and Facebook as public spaces, but in fact all posts are targeted and delivered privately, fragmenting the public sphere and creating new forms of censorship that do not obviously breach the US First Amendment or the European Charter of Human Rights. At the Los Angeles Review of Books, John Bell and John Zada review Tim Wu's latest book, The Attention Merchants, and study the way our attention has been turned into a profitable commodity.

https://www.wired.com/story/free-speech-issue-tech-turmoil-new-censorship/

https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dystopia_just_to_make_people_click_on_ads

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-great-attention-heist/#!


Canada: Privacy protests and Google's Sidwalk Labs

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

In this article at Civicist, John Loring discusses the doubts being expressed by public agencies and participants in Toronto about the privacy implications of Google's Sidewalk Labs' (SWL) pitch to redevelop the city's waterfront. SWL's plan is to leverage data gathered in the public realm to meet public-service goals such as improving traffic flow, reducing emissions, and enabling autonous vehicles on a brownfield site known as Quayside while turning the 12-acre area into a technology hub. SWL has made much of its planned privacy pledge, led by Canadian privacy advocate Ann Cavoukian. Even so, specifics about how the project will use data are scarce.

https://civichall.org/civicist/sidewalk-labs-toronto-project-stirs-privacy-debate/


Global threat actor Dark Caracal's infrastructure of malicious apps

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

In this blog posting and report, EFF unveils the results of a collaboration with the cybersecurity company Lookout uncovering Dark Caracal, a global threat actor that spreads malicious fakes to impersonate the Android versions of popular privacy-preserving apps like Signal and WhatsApp. Those who have downloaded their apps from Google's Play Store should be unaffected, but the new infrastructure makes it harder to attribute attacks and malware campaigns to a particular nation or state and exposes the increased danger to the targets of such attacks, typically individuals and entities that a nation-state might target, as well as malware researchers. The researchers are aware of hundreds of gigabytes of exfiltrated data in more than 21 countries across thousands of victims, and believe the infrastructure is being used simultaneously by many groups. 
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/01/dark-caracal-good-news-and-bad-news


Brazil's WhatsApp fake news problem

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

In this article in Vice, Noah Kulwin reports on WhatsApp's fake news problem in Brazil, where the service is the dominant messaging platform. Because WhatsApp is closed and private, researchers have little insight into how fake news spreads over it; their primary information comes from lurking in large WhatsApp political groups and studying tiny contextual clues. The secrecy-protecting design also amplifies the toxic aspects of fake news, since nothing is visible enough to be challenged. As a result, Glenn Greenwald reports at The Intercept, a top Brazilian police official has threatened to identify and punish the authors of fake news in the run-up to the 2018 presidential election, similar to a law La Quadrature du Net reports that French president Emmanual Macron proposes to introduce. At the BBC, Kenyan journalist Joseph Warungu identifies six approaches WhatsApp administrators use to run the groups they manage, which may represent local communities, professions, or topics of common interests. Wurungu, who was recently promoted to become the administrator of such a group mobilizing support for development projects in his home village, is disturbed by the power of such administrators to silence others.

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/mbpkyv/whatsapp-is-causing-a-serious-fake-news-problem-in-brazil

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/10/first-france-now-brazil-unveils-plans-to-empower-the-government-to-censure-the-internet-in-the-name-of-stopping-fake-news/

https://www.laquadrature.net/en/macron_fake_news

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-42653088



***


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.


Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency

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

February 23-24, 2018

New York, NY, USA

FAT* is an international and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed conference that seeks to publish and present work examining the fairness, accountability, and transparency of algorithmic systems. The FAT* conference solicits work from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, the humanities, and law. It intends to bring together the community that has grown through a number of workshops at other conferences.

http://bit.ly/2iHQTUX


Internet Freedom Festival

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

March 5-9, 2018

Valencia, Spain

The global unconference of the Internet freedom communities brings together those who defend digital rights around the world - journalists, activists, technologists, policy advocates, digital safety trainers, and designers - with the goals of creating an inclusive space, increasing diversity, and improving the services, strategies, and tools offered to the most vulnerable individuals on the frontlines.

https://internetfreedomfestival.org/


ICANN61

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

March 10-15, 2018

San Juan, Puerto Rico

ICANN's Community Forum for 2018 will be focused on outreach, capacity building, and showcasing ICANN's work to a broader global audience.

https://go.icann.org/2zwpDBV


We Robot 2018

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

April 12-14, 2018

Palo Alto, California, USA

This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.

http://stanford.io/2juk94u


TRILCON18

April 25, 2018

Winchester, UK

The fifth interdisciplinary Winchester conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law has as its overall theme "Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: A new battleground between the Law and Technology?"

http://bit.ly/2A1DwrU


Tomorrow's Transactions Forum

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

April 24-25, 2018

London, UK

The 21st edition of Tomorrow's Transactions will provide an opportunity to look back at the lessons that have been learned across the past decades and cast an eye toward the future to ask, where will technology and regulation, take our world of transactions? For 2018, topics will include AI, futures, open banking, and conversational and contextual commerce.

http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx


Internet Freedom Forum

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

April 24-26, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria

The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.

http://bit.ly/2Aoj0Tr


Open Knowledge Summit 2018

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

May 3-6, 2018

Thessaloniki, Greece

For 2018, the Open Knowledge Foundation has replaced the OKFestival with a summit intended to gather the Open Knowledge network to collaboratively build the future of the Open Knowledge Network. The format and programming will be developed as a collaboration between Open Knowledge International, Open Knowledge Greece, and all other groups in the network.

http://bit.ly/2iISyJb


RightsCon

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

May 16-18, 2018

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3


Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

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

May 24, 2018

San Francisco, CA, USA

ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.

http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r


Privacy Law Scholars

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

May 30-31

Washington, DC, USA

PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.

http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ


LIBER Annual Conference

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

July 4-6, 2018

Lille, France

The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.

http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU


The Circle of HOPE

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

July 20-22, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Organized by 2600 Magazine, the 12th biennial Hackers on Planet Earth conference celebrates the hacker spirit. Talks typically feature new ways of examining and dissecting technology to reveal inconvenient truths.

http://bit.ly/2BbzJpM


Defcon

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

August 9-12, 2018

Las Vegas, NV, USA

The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

http://bit.ly/2A2ojUE


World Library and Information Congress

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

August 24-30, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The 84th edition of the World Library and Information Congress has the theme, "Transform Libraries, Transform Societies" with the additional tagline, "Reaching out to the hard to reach", which was chosen in recognition of the critical role played by libraries in the development of a nation, particularly in their ability to transform societies.

http://bit.ly/2qSXIta


International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

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

October 22-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.

http://bit.ly/2B1bX38


***


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

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Open Society Foundation, part of the Open Society Foundations, is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 4571628) and a registered charity (charity number 1105069). Its registered office address is 7th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP



News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 12 January 2018

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

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.

NEWS

=====

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


India: Newspaper finds Aadhaar number system access on sale for under $8

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

The India-based Tribune reports that shortly after the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) claimed that the Aadhaar number system is safe and secure, the newspaper paid anonymous sellers on WhatsApp Rs500 ($7.90) for a service granting access to the details associated with any of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar numbers so far created. For another Rs300 ($4.75), the agent provided software to facilitate printing Aadhaar cards based on any individual's information. Based on its investigation, the newspaper believes the operation began about six months ago. The newspaper also reports that Jalandhar village-level entrepreneur Bgharat Bhushan Gupta tried to report the problem to the UIDAI at the end of December. When that attempt failed he turned to the newspaper, sparking their investigation. He is now being questioned by police.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/rs-500-10-minutes-and-you-have-access-to-billion-aadhaar-details/523361.html

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/aadhaar-whistleblower-who-first-called-uidai/524050.html


EU: Court of Justice decides Uber is a taxi service

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

Bloomberg reports that at the end of December the European Court of Justice ruled that Uber is not a technology platform or information service, as it claims, but a taxi service subject to transportation law. The case began in 2014, when the Barcelona-based Associación Profesional Elite Taxi accused Uber of unfair competition. The case creates a precedent that could place technology companies under regulation in many other sectors such as media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and hotels (Airbnb).

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-12-20/european-ruling-buries-uber-s-platform-myth


Researchers find fundamental flaws in 20 years of processor designs

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

At Lawfare, Nicholas Weaver reports that Google researchers have found flaws in the basic design of modern processors that open the way for two new attacks, which they've dubbed Meltdown and Spectre. Meltdown applies to all Intel processors made since 1995; Spectre requires a greater degree of technical sophistication but applies to processors from all vendors. Weaver's best immediate suggestion is to run an ad blocker to protect against these exploits. In an essay, Bruce Schneier argues that the best advice - to replace your hardware - wouldn't be viable for the billions of processors in use, even if there were unaffected replacements available. Schneier believes that further study will reveal worse vulnerabilities that haven't been discovered yet, and that these problems are trivial compared to the already-known risks of the growing Internet of Things. The Register reports that the Meltdown patch will slow Amazon cloud servers (among others).

https://www.lawfareblog.com/spectre-advertising-meltdown-what-you-need-know

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/01/spectre_and_mel_1.html

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/04/amazon_ec2_intel_meltdown_performance_hit/


US: California introduces network neutrality legislation

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

The EFF reports that, only weeks after the Federal Communications Commission voted to terminate network neutrality rules, Democrats in California have introduced legislation to protect the free and open internet. Introduced by state Senator Scott Wiener, the bill, which is co-authored by ten state assembly and Senate Democrats, will require businesses operating within the state of California that rely on state infrastructure or funding in order to provide their service, to adhere to the network neutrality principles. Similar bills are in progress in the states of Washington and New York, and there is a competing California effort, introduced by state Senator Kevin de León.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/01/california-introduces-its-own-bill-protect-net-neutrality


Facebook deletes accounts to orders from the Israeli and US governments

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

At The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald reports that Facebook is deleting accounts at the direction of the US and Israeli governments. Following a meeting of Facebook and Israeli government representatives last September, Facebook began "a censorship rampage" against Palestinian protesters. It's an especial problem because 96% of Palestinians say their primary use of Facebook is to follow news. Now, Greenwald wrote on December 30, the company appears to be admitting it will follow censorship orders from the US government, beginning with the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who had 4 million followers across the two accounts. Facebook's stated reason for deleting the account was not that Kadyrov is a mass murderer but that he had been added to a US sanctions list that the company was legally obliged to follow.

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/30/facebook-says-it-is-deleting-accounts-at-the-direction-of-the-u-s-and-israeli-governments/

US: Kansas man killed in hoax "SWATting" attack

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

Security journalist Brian Krebs reports that a 28-year-old man in Kansas was shot and killed by police officers after someone fraudulently reported to police that there was an ongoing hostage situation at his home. The false report is an example of "SWATting", the practice of making such reports with the goal of getting the authorities to respond with deadly force. In this case, the hoax was prompted by a dispute over a $1.50 wager in the online game Call of Duty, though the man who was killed was not party to the dispute. Krebs studies the progress of the dispute, which began and was continuously reported on Twitter. Krebs, himself the victim of such an attack in 2013, believes that as this increasingly common practice needs to be made a felony in all 50 US states, and that police need to become more accountable as well. Often the perpetrators are minors, and even when they are caught the consequences are few.
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/12/kansas-man-killed-in-swatting-attack/



FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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

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

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


Tech's terrible 2017

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

In this article at the Guardian, Olivia Solon reviews Silicon Valley's 2017 and the many scandals she says have led the world to turn against it and demand greater social responsibility. Russian fake news operations, Uber, YouTube's profiting from ads running inside extremist videos, and the increased consolidation of power into the hands of a few companies have all led to public distaste. Venture capitalist Om Malik believes regulation is inevitable; the five largest tech companies are now trying to avoid such a future by deploying twice as many lobbyists to Washington as Wall Street.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/22/tech-year-in-review-2017


US: The rising numbers of Customs searches of electronic devices

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

In this article at the Washington Post, Nick Miroff discusses statistics newly released by the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) showing that border searches of phones and laptops rose by 60% during the US government's fiscal 2017, which ended September 30. The agency says in that time it searched 30,200 devices - or 0.007% of travelers arriving from abroad, including US citizens and claims such searches are essential and justified. At Papers Please, travel privacy specialist Edward Hasbrouck discusses CBP's new policy, which claims the agency has the right to demand passwords and conduct warrantless and suspicionless searches at the border, effectively claiming an exemption to the Fourth Amendment. Hasbrouck argues that existing laws and court precedents prohibit such a policy, and offers practical advice for travelers facing such demands.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-customs-agents-are-searching-more-cellphones--including-those-belonging-to-americans/2018/01/05/0a236202-f247-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html
https://papersplease.org/wp/2018/01/05/new-dhs-policy-on-demands-for-passwords-to-travelers-electronic-devices/#more-12071


US courts tackle 3D-printed guns

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

In a pair of postings at Lawfare, David Kimball-Stanley describes and discusses Defense Distributed v. State Department, a case involving the practice of 3D printing firearms. The Supreme Court is considering whether to hear the case, which began when the US State Department invoked the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and instructed Defense Distributed to remove files from its website that allowed users to print parts for guns such as an AR-15 rifle. Defense Distributed claims the order violated the First, Second, and Fifth Amendments. Kimball-Stanley argues that if the Supreme Court opts to hear the case it will have to confront ground-breaking issues surrounding the kind of protection granted to computer files that create tangible objects. If it declines, the case may continue in the Texas district court, which will likely have to consider the constitutional issues.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/3d-printed-guns-hit-courts

https://www.lawfareblog.com/3-d-printed-guns-may-be-headed-supreme-court-update


Inside the world of Brazil's social media cyborgs

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

In this article at the BBC, Juliana Gragnani interviews a young man who worked during the 2014 general election as a "cyborg" - that is, someone paid to run fake social media accounts in order to influence public opinion. "Pedro" told Gragnani that he was paid $360 a month by a PR company to run 20 fake accounts on Facebook and Twitter to promote its clients, which include a number of leading politicians. These workers call themselves "cyborgs" because they build personal posting histories and interactions that make the accounts harder to detect as fake.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-42322064?intlink_from_url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cmj34zmw77wt/brazil&link_location=live-reporting-story


The smart home battle front

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

In this article at Forbes, Kalev Leetaru discusses the fragility of smart home designs in the light of a letter, first reported at TorrentFreak, that a relatively small US ISP sent one of its customers warning them that further complaints about copyright infringement would result in their bandwidth being throttled and that reducing the service level might cost the subscriber "the ability to control your thermostat remotely" and monitor security cameras. Leetaru is seeing "local-only" control die off as people get used to operating smart devices over the internet. The risks with such a large attack surface are considerable - a hacker could hold a smart house hostage via ransomware, law enforcement could demand access, or a hostile terrorist or criminal organization could turn it into a weapon. Designers, Leetaru concludes, need to think ahead. TorrentFreak's original report focuses more on the prospective disproportionate consequences of copyright infringement-related disconnection.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2017/12/29/the-smart-home-battle-front-and-can-our-isp-interfere-with-our-heat/

https://torrentfreak.com/piracy-notices-can-mess-with-your-thermostat-isp-warns-171224/


Dude, you broke the future

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

In this video and written text, taken from his keynote speech at the 34th Chaos Computer Congress, science fiction writer Charlie Stross discusses the looming consequences of today's advances in artificial intelligence and the hidden agendas of their corporate owners. Imagine, he suggests, "a geolocation-aware, social media-scraping, deep learning application that uses a gamified, competitive interface to reward players for joining in acts of mob violence against whomever the app developer hates" - women seeking abortions, for example, or gay men seeking partners or political activists. In Stross's not-unlikely-enough future, that app developer won't be a nation-state or a group of extremists but just a machine operating as it's been optimized to do.

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2018/01/dude-you-broke-the-future.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmIgJ64z6Y4



***


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.


ShmooCon

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

January 19-21, 2018

Washington, DC

ShmooCon is an annual east coast hacker convention offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical infosec issues. The first day is a single track of speed talks called One Track Mind. The next two days bring three tracks: Build It, Belay It, and Bring It On.

http://bit.ly/2j4hXAX


Privacy Camp

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

January 23, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

Privacy Camp brings together civil society, policy-makers and academia to discuss existing and looming problems for human rights in the digital environment. In the face of a "shrinking civic space" for collective action, the event aims to provide a platform for actors from across these domains to discuss and develop shared principles to address key challenges for digital rights and freedoms of individuals. The theme for 2018 is "speech, settings and [in]security by design".

http://bit.ly/2lho8Cb


Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection

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

January 24-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The theme of the 11th edition of CPDP is the "Internet of Bodies". Data collection increasingly focuses on the physical body. Bodies are increasingly connected, digitized, and informatized. In turn, the data extracted is reassembled in ways that give rise to significant questions - challenging fundamental assumptions about where the corporeal ends and the informational begins. Biometrics, genetic data processing and the quantified self are only some of the trends and technologies reaching into the depths of our bodies. Emerging technologies such as human enhancement, neural implants, and brain wave technology look likely to soon become a daily reality.

http://bit.ly/2sSQ02x


Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency

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

February 23-24, 2018

New York, NY, USA

FAT* is an international and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed conference that seeks to publish and present work examining the fairness, accountability, and transparency of algorithmic systems. The FAT* conference solicits work from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, the humanities, and law. It intends to bring together the community that has grown through a number of workshops at other conferences.

http://bit.ly/2iHQTUX


ICANN61

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

March 10-15, 2018

San Juan, Puerto Rico

ICANN's Community Forum for 2018 will be focused on outreach, capacity building, and showcasing ICANN's work to a broader global audience.

https://go.icann.org/2zwpDBV


We Robot 2018

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

April 12-14, 2018

Palo Alto, California, USA

This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.

http://stanford.io/2juk94u


TRILCON18

April 25, 2018

Winchester, UK

The fifth interdisciplinary Winchester conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law has as its overall theme "Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: A new battleground between the Law and Technology?"

http://bit.ly/2A1DwrU


Tomorrow's Transactions Forum

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

April 24-25, 2018

London, UK

The 21st edition of Tomorrow's Transactions will provide an opportunity to look back at the lessons that have been learned across the past decades and cast an eye toward the future to ask, where will technology and regulation, take our world of transactions? For 2018, topics will include AI, futures, open banking, and conversational and contextual commerce.

http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx


Internet Freedom Forum

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

April 24-26, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria

The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.

http://bit.ly/2Aoj0Tr


Open Knowledge Summit 2018

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

May 3-6, 2018

Thessaloniki, Greece

For 2018, the Open Knowledge Foundation has replaced the OKFestival with a summit intended to gather the Open Knowledge network to collaboratively build the future of the Open Knowledge Network. The format and programming will be developed as a collaboration between Open Knowledge International, Open Knowledge Greece, and all other groups in the network.

http://bit.ly/2iISyJb


RightsCon

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

May 16-18, 2018

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3


Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

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

May 24, 2018

San Francisco, CA, USA

ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.

http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r


Privacy Law Scholars

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

May 30-31

Washington, DC, USA

PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.

http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ


LIBER Annual Conference

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

July 4-6, 2018

Lille, France

The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.

http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU


The Circle of HOPE

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

July 20-22, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Organized by 2600 Magazine, the 12th biennial Hackers on Planet Earth conference celebrates the hacker spirit. Talks typically feature new ways of examining and dissecting technology to reveal inconvenient truths.

http://bit.ly/2BbzJpM


Defcon

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

August 9-12, 2018

Las Vegas, NV, USA

The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

http://bit.ly/2A2ojUE


World Library and Information Congress

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

August 24-30, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The 84th edition of the World Library and Information Congress has the theme, "Transform Libraries, Transform Societies" with the additional tagline, "Reaching out to the hard to reach", which was chosen in recognition of the critical role played by libraries in the development of a nation, particularly in their ability to transform societies.

https://2018.ifla.org/greetings-from-nc-malaysia


International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

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

October 22-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.

http://bit.ly/2B1bX38


***


Hear more from the Information Program!

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

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You can also read more about our work on the Open Society Foundations website: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/information-program


Hear less from the Information Program!

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If you wish to unsubscribe from this weekly digest, please send an email with the subject line "Unsubscribe" to info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/


Open Society Foundation, part of the Open Society Foundations, is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 4571628) and a registered charity (charity number 1105069). Its registered office address is 7th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP



News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 22 December 2017

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

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: Citizen Lab.

NEWS

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


US: FCC votes to repeal network neutrality

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The Guardian reports that on December 15 the US Federal Communications Commission voted three to two along party lines to overturn the network neutrality rules that have prevented internet service providers from using discriminatory pricing and traffic management practices to control user access to sites and services. Opponents argue that network neutrality is essential to protect the openness and innovation that have characterized the internet to date. The New York Times notes that although many smaller technology companies such as Reddit, Etsy, and Kickstarter have opposed the FCC's decision, the largest ones - notably Facebook and Google, which lobbied intensively for network neutrality in 2006 - have remained silent. Separately, the New York Times uses examples from Europe - such as an offer from Telia to grant Swedish subscribers unlimited access on their mobile phones to Facebook, Spotify, Instagram, and other selected apps - to show what life without network neutrality may look like in the US. Swedish regulators are pursuing Telia through the courts.

Guardian: http://bit.ly/2BokWwb

New York Times (tech companies): http://nyti.ms/2BP8cOJ

New York Times (Europe): http://nyti.ms/2Bo3Z58


Ethiopia and the multibillion-dollar commercial spyware industry

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In the fifth report of a series that began in 2013, Citizen Lab finds that the Ethiopian government is using commercial spyware to target civil society actors in Canada, the US, Europe, and elsewhere, in an example of the extent to which this software can enable extraterritorial surveillance. The list of software in use includes Hacking Team's RCS, Gamma Group's FinSpy, and Israel-based Cyberbit's PC Surveillance System. Among the targets is US-based Citizen Lab research fellow Bill Marczak. Citizen Lab argues that its findings show the need for clear legal pathways for the individuals targeted by foreign governments to seek redress.

Citizen Lab: http://bit.ly/2BcE6Be


San Francisco cracks down on robot traffic

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In the Guardian, Julia Carrie Wong reports that San Francisco has issued new rules capping the number of permits for delivery robots to three per company. Delivery robots will also be restricted to specific industrial neighourhoods, allowed only on sidewalks that are at least six feet wide, and required to be accompanied by a human chaperone at all times. In the last year, the rise in numbers of such robots deployed by "robots as a service" companies and others has provoked complaints from residents, who sent photographs showing increasing congestion. Also at the Guardian, Erin McCormick reports that a 400-pound security robot that patrolled the non-profit San Francisco SPCA animal shelter has been decommissioned after the city issued an order requiring it to stay off the sidewalks or face a penalty of up to $1,000 a day for operating in the public right of way without a permit.

Guardian (permits): http://bit.ly/2kuk8vc

Guardian (security robot): http://bit.ly/2BP95Xz


Governments file amicus briefs in Microsoft v. US Department of Justice

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At The Register, Rebecca Hill reports that the US, UK, and Irish governments have submitted amicus briefs to the US Supreme Court in the case pitting Microsoft against the US Department of Justice (DoJ) regarding whether the company is required to turn over data stored on its Irish servers to US law enforcement. In July 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in Microsoft's favor. The US government and the DoJ argue that storing data - in this case, emails - on a server in a foreign country does not exempt them from law enforcement requests; the UK similarly argues that the geographic storage location should not be the determining factor for deciding whether a nation may gain access and that the Second Circuit's decision disrupts international cooperation; and the Irish government argues that the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty provides the most appropriate procedures. In an earlier piece, Hill reports that the European Commission has also submitted an amicus brief to "make sure that EU data protection rules on international transfers are correctly understood and taken into account".

The Register (governments): http://bit.ly/2krVawI

The Register (European Commission): http://bit.ly/2B9eipA


The UK's next census will be its last

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Apolitical reports that the UK's next census, due in 2020, will be its last as the country will join the Scandinavian countries in shifting to harvesting the data traces people leave behind in everyday transactions with government. The benefits are expected to be lower costs, more frequently updated information, and the ability to cover a wider range of topics. The Office of National Statistics has been preparing since 2011; it expects to use data from multiple government departments as well as sources such as mobile phone location data. The ONS says it is interested in patterns, not people, and will use only anonymized data.

Apolitical:http://bit.ly/2z5l0uD

Airbnb's "university" teaches employees data skills

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In this Wired article, Bonnie Christian discovers Airbnb's Data University, a company program to increase the number of employees who have data skills. The company says that since launching three-level course it sees greater usage of its data tools. Other companies have begun inquiring how to implement a similar plan.
Wired: http://bit.ly/2CNa1Iy



FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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

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

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


South Africa: How a remote rural community built its own ISP

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In this article at Quartz Africa, Bill Tucker explains how Mankosi, a remote rural community of about 6,000 people in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, joined with a research team at the University of the Western Cape to develop the "Zenzeleni" solar-powered wireless community network. Both electricity and telecommunications are expensive; a survey found that people spend up to 22% of their income on telecommunications. Any wifi-enabled device can access the network, which charges much less for voice calls and data than the mobile operators.

Quartz: http://bit.ly/2CN9syL


India: Should Aadhaar be mandatory?

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In this article at the Deccan Herald, Centre for Internet and Society lawyer Amber Sinha discusses the significant privacy case in front of India's Supreme Court regarding the government's requirement that up to 140 services and benefits are only available to those who can present an Aadhaar identification number. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that no one should suffer because they do not have an Aadhaar number. Since the passage of the Aadhaar Act (2016), the number of government services for which Aadhaar is mandatory has been increasing steadily. Sinha believes that the text of the legislation and the Supreme Court's previous orders mean the requirement is void.

Deccan Herald: http://bit.ly/2BEQjPP


Data, money, and power: Can Google and Facebook be disrupted?

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In this posting at Select All, Ethan Chiel discusses the possibility for disrupting Facebook and Google. University of Maryland law professor Frank Pasquale began critiquing the two companies ten years ago, but economists and antitrust experts expected them to be disrupted by newer, more nimble approaches like other giant technology companies before them. Chiel argues that the self-reinforcing accumulation of data, money, and power means that switching costs are too high for individuals and even countries to change platforms unless required to do so. Disrupting these companies, Chiel believes, is no longer possible.

Select All: http://slct.al/2kRSebR


How email tracking took over the web

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In this Wired article, Brian Merchant examines the practice of email tracking, which is far more widespread than most people realize. Over 40% of the world's daily 269 billion emails are tracked via tiny pixel images, hyperlinks, custom fonts, and specialized services. Especially on the rise is tracking of individuals by their friends and families using services like Streak. Anti-tracking services have sprung up to block the trackers, but ultimately government intervention may be necessary.
Wired: http://bit.ly/2BT8EeC


Philippines: When a government uses Facebook as a weapon

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In this article at Bloomberg, Lauren Etter examines "patriotic trolling" in the Philippines, where the government is using Facebook in a campaign to destroy critic Maria Ressa, co-founder of the country's largest online news site, Rappler. President Rodrigo Duterte was introduced to social media in 2016, when Facebook trained election candidates to use social media and Rappler hosted a pre-election question-and-answer session for candidates. Since his election in May 2016, however, Duterte has taken advantage of the fact that 97% of Filipinos have Facebook accounts to use targeted harassment and viral propaganda to take down opponents, including a senator and human rights activist. Ressa became a target when she posted "Propaganda War: Weaponizing the Internet" to expose these practices. Facebook claims the country's residents need to learn digital skills, and continues to partner with the government on laying undersea cables and providing bandwidth.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2B7Q8eT


Inside China's Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking

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In this Wired article, Mara Hvistendahl recounts personal experiences with China's new Sesame (Zhima) Credit scoring system. She learns how to boost your score, how people select friends to enhance their scores, and the reasons why social scoring appeals to the Chinese. There is little oversight of the court executors who maintain the scoring system's blacklist, and those who are blacklisted enter into a rapid downward spiral as friends drop them and the algorithm continues to update to lower their score. These systems may spread: in 2012, Facebook patented a scoring system that could incorporate the credit scores of the people in an individual's network.

Wired: http://bit.ly/2z5lt0a



***


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.


34C3

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December 27-30, 2017

Leipzig, Germany

The Chaos Communication Congress is the Chaos Computer Club's (CCC) annual symposium and hacker party. During four days between Christmas and New Year's Eve, thousands of hackers, technology freaks, artists, and utopians get together in Leipzig to communicate, learn from each other, and party together. We focus on topics such as information technology, networks, digital security, making, and breaking. We engage in creative, skeptical discourse on the interaction between technology and society.

http://bit.ly/2ky0rFz


ShmooCon

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January 19-21, 2018

Washington, DC

ShmooCon is an annual east coast hacker convention offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical infosec issues. The first day is a single track of speed talks called One Track Mind. The next two days bring three tracks: Build It, Belay It, and Bring It On.

http://bit.ly/2j4hXAX


Privacy Camp

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January 23, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

Privacy Camp brings together civil society, policy-makers and academia to discuss existing and looming problems for human rights in the digital environment. In the face of a "shrinking civic space" for collective action, the event aims to provide a platform for actors from across these domains to discuss and develop shared principles to address key challenges for digital rights and freedoms of individuals. The theme for 2018 is "speech, settings and [in]security by design".

http://bit.ly/2lho8Cb


Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection

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January 24-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The theme of the 11th edition of CPDP is the "Internet of Bodies". Data collection increasingly focuses on the physical body. Bodies are increasingly connected, digitized, and informatized. In turn, the data extracted is reassembled in ways that give rise to significant questions - challenging fundamental assumptions about where the corporeal ends and the informational begins. Biometrics, genetic data processing and the quantified self are only some of the trends and technologies reaching into the depths of our bodies. Emerging technologies such as human enhancement, neural implants, and brain wave technology look likely to soon become a daily reality.

http://bit.ly/2sSQ02x


Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency

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February 23-24, 2018

New York, NY, USA

FAT* is an international and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed conference that seeks to publish and present work examining the fairness, accountability, and transparency of algorithmic systems. The FAT* conference solicits work from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, the humanities, and law. It intends to bring together the community that has grown through a number of workshops at other conferences.

http://bit.ly/2iHQTUX


ICANN61

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March 10-15, 2018

San Juan, Puerto Rico

ICANN's Community Forum for 2018 will be focused on outreach, capacity building, and showcasing ICANN's work to a broader global audience.

https://go.icann.org/2zwpDBV


We Robot 2018

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April 12-14, 2018

Palo Alto, California, USA

This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.

http://stanford.io/2juk94u


TRILCON18

April 25, 2018

Winchester, UK

The fifth interdisciplinary Winchester conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law has as its overall theme "Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: A new battleground between the Law and Technology?"

http://bit.ly/2A1DwrU


Tomorrow's Transactions Forum

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April 24-25, 2018

London, UK

The 21st edition of Tomorrow's Transactions will provide an opportunity to look back at the lessons that have been learned across the past decades and cast an eye toward the future to ask, where will technology and regulation, take our world of transactions? For 2018, topics will include AI, futures, open banking, and conversational and contextual commerce.

http://bit.ly/1Qc84Fx


Internet Freedom Forum

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April 24-26, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria

The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.

http://bit.ly/2Aoj0Tr


Open Knowledge Summit 2018

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May 3-6, 2018

Thessaloniki, Greece

For 2018, the Open Knowledge Foundation has replaced the OKFestival with a summit intended to gather the Open Knowledge network to collaboratively build the future of the Open Knowledge Network. The format and programming will be developed as a collaboration between Open Knowledge International, Open Knowledge Greece, and all other groups in the network.

http://bit.ly/2iISyJb


RightsCon

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May 16-18, 2018

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3


Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

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May 24, 2018

San Francisco, CA, USA

ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.

http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r


Privacy Law Scholars

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May 30-31

Washington, DC, USA

PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.

http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ


LIBER Annual Conference

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July 4-6, 2018

Lille, France

The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.

http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU


The Circle of HOPE

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July 20-22, 2018

New York, NY, USA

Organized by 2600 Magazine, the 12th biennial Hackers on Planet Earth conference celebrates the hacker spirit. Talks typically feature new ways of examining and dissecting technology to reveal inconvenient truths.

http://bit.ly/2BbzJpM


Defcon

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August 9-12, 2018

Las Vegas, NV, USA

The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.

http://bit.ly/2A2ojUE


International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

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October 22-26, 2018

Brussels, Belgium

The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.

http://bit.ly/2B1bX38


***


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 08 December 2017
====================================================
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, Open Rights Group.


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

Indian telecommunications regulator seeks to protect network neutrality
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At Access Now, policy director Raman Jit Singh Chima reports that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended adding strong regulatory clauses to the licenses of all providers authorized by the government of India to offer internet access that enshrine the principle of "non-discriminatory treatment of content". TRAI has also proposed the clarification in future regulatory action of implementation issues such as defining traffic management practices. It is now up to the Ministry of Communications to carry out the proposed licensing changes. Chima views the move as globally significant, since India is the world's largest democracy and the second-largest internet market. The Economic Times has a timeline of the network neutrality debate in India.
Access Now: http://bit.ly/2j48nxZ
Economic Times: http://bit.ly/2iC3p7N

Why the courts will have to save net neutrality
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In the Guardian, Dominic Rushe reports that US Federal Communications chair Ajit Pai plans to dismantle network neutrality rules, originally created in 2005 and last updated in 2015 during the Obama administration. The FCC will vote on the proposals, which have sparked anger and protests among politicians, the public, and the tech community, on December 15. Also in the Guardian, Olivia Solon analyzes the controversy and profiles Pai. In a New York Times op-ed, Tim Wu argues that it is up to the courts to save the rules. The fact that these rules have not stopped the telecommunications companies they affect from making healthy profits for the last 12 years means, Wu says, that the FCC may have overplayed its hand. Pai will have to explain to a court why he wants to terminate policies that have been in place for so long and upon which the internet ecosystem relies extensively. In the past, the Supreme Court has ruled against such abrupt reversals based on ideology rather than a change in factual circumstances. Canadian law scholar Michael Geist has posted a (video) CBC interview in which he explains the impact on Canada of the FCC's proposed changes. Ensuring effective safeguards is, he says, if anything more important in Canada, and Canadian businesses may struggle to do business in the US if a two-tier internet becomes reality.
Guardian (Rushe): http://bit.ly/2AYbzCq
Guardian (Solon): http://bit.ly/2BVo0wD
New York Times: http://nyti.ms/2k9MBpo
Geist: http://bit.ly/2iAk6R7

UK and EU member states ignore Court of Justice data retention ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EDRi reports that despite the European Court of Justice judgment in December 2016 that voided EU member states' data retention rules and the 2014 Data Retention Directive on which they are based, documents made publicly available via Statewatch reveal that EU countries are exploring all possible options to keep and expand their current data retention regimes. They are basing this on the new concept of "restricted data retention", which EDRi argues is merely a new name for the same old blanket data retention. In the UK, the Open Rights Group reports that the British Home Office has conceded that independent authorization is needed for law enforcement communications data requests, although it has refused to alter its position on many other aspects of the Investigatory Powers Act, including data retention.
EDRi: http://bit.ly/2AWyJZX
ORG: http://bit.ly/2ABqIZI

China: Report finds serious shortage of artificial intelligence leaders
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At the South China Morning Post, Celia Chen writes that a report released Friday by Tencent Research Institute and recruitment portal Zhipin.com shows that China has a serious shortage of the qualified people it needs to achieve its ambitions to lead the world in artificial intelligence. Overall, the report finds that the global AI talent pool comprises about 300,000 people while the numbers needed are in the millions. Fewer than 1,000 people are considered capable of leading AI research and development, and the US leads the world in the quantity and the quality of AI personnel and the number of AI start-ups. At MIT Technology Review, Will Knight discusses a study that finds that despite public bedazzlement with media hype, AI has not progressed as far as we think. We are still a long way from artificial general intelligence; instead, we are in an "AI bubble".
http://www.scmp.com/tech/innovation/article/2122488/chinas-ai-dreams-stymied-shortage-talent-us-home-lions-share-experts
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609611/progress-in-ai-isnt-as-impressive-as-you-might-think/

Sri Lanka: Police blame social media for escalating Buddhist-Muslim violence
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Global Voices reports that police are blaming, at least in part, the spread of false information on social media for escalating tensions between Sinhalese Buddhists and members of the minority Muslim community in southern Sri Lanka. More than 20 attacks on Muslims and Muslim-owned businesses have been recorded since April 2017, and although social media posters argue that the mainstream media is ignoring a very real conflict, misinformation remains a persistent problem.
Global Voices: http://bit.ly/2zYUBQC

Europe's privacy regulators gang up on Uber
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At Fortune, David Meyer reports that Europe's privacy regulators have formed a task force to deal with the Uber data breach that affected 57 million people worldwide. Because Uber's international headquarters are in Amsterdam, the Dutch data protection authority will take the lead, assisted by regulators from Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. Under the present EU Data Protection Directive, each country can apply its own maximum fine: £500,000 in the UK, €820,000 in the Netherlands, and potentially more than that in Italy, depending on how many Italians were affected.
Fortune: http://for.tn/2iAlenR

Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity per year than Ireland
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At the Guardian, Alex Hern reports that according to statistics from Digitconomist the bitcoin network, which verifies transactions made with the cryptocurrency, uses more electricity annually than the entire country of Ireland. Hern calculates that this means each bitcoin transaction uses almost enough electricity - 300KWh - to boil around 36,000 kettles full of water. By contrast, the data centers belonging to credit card giants such as Visa use 2% of the power for more than 500 times as many transactions. At Grist, Eric Hoithaus discusses the real-world costs of digital currencies in more detail. In a blog posting, Marc Bevand disputes the figures the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index is using to make these energy calculations.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2jrnu1B
Grist: http://bit.ly/2iEb2L8
Bevand: http://bit.ly/2ABuimI

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

BOAI: Leading the charge on open access publishing
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Research Features interview, OSF senior program officer Melissa Hagemann talks about fiffteen years of the Budapest Open Access Initiative. The idea of "open access" began in 2000, when OSF founder George Soros challenged OSF's Science Journals Donation Program to find ways to get the content of scientific journals into the hands of academics in central and eastern Europe without having to pay the heavy shipping costs. She goes on to discuss open access models, the impact of open access on research, and the problem of research assessment for early career academics.
Research Features: http://bit.ly/2Am2BiU

Study finds tagging fake news on Facebook doesn't work
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Politico, Jason Schwartz discusses a Yale University study that finds that fact-checking and tagging fake news on social media doesn't stop viewers from believing the stories. "Disputed" tags made participants a relatively insignificant 3.7 percentage points more likely to correctly judge a story as false, but the presence of flags on some stories meant that Trump supporters and young people were more likely to believe any story that wasn't flagged. Researchers David Rand and Gordon Pennycook say the results make it unclear whether there's any positive effect. Facebook questioned the study's methodology, since it was conducted via internet survey rather than on Facebook, and noted that fact-checking is only one part of the company's efforts to combat fake news, which include disrupting financial incentives for its producers. The company claims the amount of fake news appearing on its platform is shrinking.
Politico: http://politi.co/2jrklPl

US: Supreme Court to decide location data privacy case
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In this blog posting for the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Mana Azarmi analyzes the Carpenter v. United States case, which focuses on law enforcement access to location data and was heard by the US Supreme Court on November 29. The case revolves around whether law enforcement needs a warrant to access historical cell-site location information under the Fourth Amendment. Relatively few US jurisdictions require one, instead granting access based on the lower standard of a court order. As telecommunications companies highlight in their transparency reports, these requests are growing in number and scale. CDT argues that a warrant should be required. At The Verge, Shannon Liao gives the background of the Carpenter case and provides selected quotes from the hearing, in which the judges seemed sympathetic to requiring a warrant. In a podcast at Lawfare, Orin Kerr predicts that if the Supreme Court rules that a warrant is required, thousands of challenges to previously decided cases are likely to be brought, and the third-party doctrine that applies different privacy rules to metadata and content may have to change. At the Washington Post, Bruce Schneier discusses the practical implications of location tracking and how to protect yourself.
CDT: http://bit.ly/2AD6VqL
The Verge: http://bit.ly/2jqvuQp
Lawfare: http://bit.ly/2ACo4mw
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2nDLQKd

Understanding differential privacy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In three blog postings, Access Now explains differential privacy, a relatively new technique on the verge of widespread adoption. Differential privacy preserves the privacy of people whose information is stored in a database while allowing the database to be queried and searched. The first posting explains the technique, which does not involve encryption but is a method for asking questions that adds some randomness so that individuals, particularly outliers, can't be identified. The second answers misconceptions about how this works. The third considers specific cases, such as Google's and Apple's use of the technique, and how to examine companies' practices to ensure they are not claiming more than they're delivering.
Access Now (1): http://bit.ly/2j5nur4
Access Now (2): http://bit.ly/2j3ezX0
Access Now (3): http://bit.ly/2j3Hevp

Libraries at WIPO: progress on action plan
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at EIFL, EIFL copyright and libraries program manager Teresa Hackett reports on advocating for libraries at the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR/35), which met in mid-November. The meeting featured six professors, who jointly covered copyright issues such as limitations and exceptions, the digital environment, and artists' resale rights. Among other points, the professors noted that relatively few countries are taking on new areas of concern rather than addressing the same subject areas of the old legislation; discussed how WIPO might help in resolving some of the issues in education and copyright; and called for social legitimacy and common-sense copyright laws.
EIFL: http://bit.ly/2BctcPk


***

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.

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 18-21, 2017
Geneva, Switzerland
The IGF facilitates a common understanding as to how internet opportunities can be maximized and addresses arising risks and challenges. The forum gives developing countries an equal opportunity with wealthier nations to engage in the debate on internet governance and facilitates their participation. Ultimately, the involvement of all stakeholders, from both developed and developing countries, is necessary for the future development of the internet. The IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group decided to retain the title "Shape your digital future!" for the 2017 meeting.
http://bit.ly/2BbXwK9

ShmooCon
----------------------------------------
January 19-21, 2018
Washington, DC
ShmooCon is an annual east coast hacker convention offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical infosec issues. The first day is a single track of speed talks called One Track Mind. The next two days bring three tracks: Build It, Belay It, and Bring It On.
http://bit.ly/2j4hXAX

34C3
----------------------------------------
December 27-30, 2017
Leipzig, Germany
The Chaos Communication Congress is the Chaos Computer Club's (CCC) annual symposium and hacker party. During four days between Christmas and New Year's Eve, thousands of hackers, technology freaks, artists, and utopians get together in Leipzig to communicate, learn from each other, and party together. We focus on topics such as information technology, networks, digital security, making, and breaking. We engage in creative, skeptical discourse on the interaction between technology and society.
http://bit.ly/2ky0rFz

Privacy Camp
----------------------------------------
January 23, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
Privacy Camp brings together civil society, policy-makers and academia to discuss existing and looming problems for human rights in the digital environment. In the face of a "shrinking civic space" for collective action, the event aims to provide a platform for actors from across these domains to discuss and develop shared principles to address key challenges for digital rights and freedoms of individuals. The theme for 2018 is "speech, settings and [in]security by design".
http://bit.ly/2lho8Cb

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 24-26, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
The theme of the 11th edition of CPDP is the "Internet of Bodies". Data collection increasingly focuses on the physical body. Bodies are increasingly connected, digitized, and informatized. In turn, the data extracted is reassembled in ways that give rise to significant questions - challenging fundamental assumptions about where the corporeal ends and the informational begins. Biometrics, genetic data processing and the quantified self are only some of the trends and technologies reaching into the depths of our bodies. Emerging technologies such as human enhancement, neural implants, and brain wave technology look likely to soon become a daily reality.
http://bit.ly/2sSQ02x

Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency
----------------------------------------
February 23-24, 2018
New York, NY, USA
FAT* is an international and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed conference that seeks to publish and present work examining the fairness, accountability, and transparency of algorithmic systems. The FAT* conference solicits work from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, statistics, the humanities, and law. It intends to bring together the community that has grown through a number of workshops at other conferences.
http://bit.ly/2iHQTUX

ICANN61
----------------------------------------
March 10-15, 2018
San Juan, Puerto Rico
ICANN's Community Forum for 2018 will be focused on outreach, capacity building, and showcasing ICANN's work to a broader global audience.
https://go.icann.org/2zwpDBV

We Robot 2018
----------------------------------------
April 12-14, 2018
Palo Alto, California, USA
This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.
http://stanford.io/2juk94u

TRILCON18
April 25, 2018
Winchester, UK
The fifth interdisciplinary Winchester conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law has as its overall theme "Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: A new battleground between the Law and Technology?"
http://bit.ly/2A1DwrU

Internet Freedom Forum
----------------------------------------
April 24-26, 2018
Abuja, Nigeria
The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.
http://bit.ly/2Aoj0Tr

Open Knowledge Summit 2018
----------------------------------------
May 3-6, 2018
Thessaloniki, Greece
For 2018, the Open Knowledge Foundation has replaced the OKFestival with a summit intended to gather the Open Knowledge network to collaboratively build the future of the Open Knowledge Network. The format and programming will be developed as a collaboration between Open Knowledge International, Open Knowledge Greece, and all other groups in the network.
http://bit.ly/2iISyJb

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
May 16-18, 2018
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.
http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3

Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection
----------------------------------------
May 24, 2018
San Francisco, CA, USA
ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.
http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
May 30-31
Washington, DC, USA
PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.
http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ

LIBER Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
July 4-6, 2018
Lille, France
The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.
http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU

Defcon
----------------------------------------
August 9-12, 2018
Las Vegas, NV, USA
The heart of the DEF CON 26 theme is the concept of the counterfuture. The counterfuture is the open-source alternative to totalitarian dystopia; a world where we use tech and ingenuity for empowerment and connection rather than isolation and control.
http://bit.ly/2A2ojUE

International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners
----------------------------------------
October 22-26, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.
http://bit.ly/2B1bX38

***

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================================
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Open Society Foundation, part of the Open Society Foundations, is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 4571628) and a registered charity (charity number 1105069). Its registered office address is 7th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP


News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 10 November 2017
====================================================
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.

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

China: Springer Nature bows to government censorship pressure
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the New York Times, Javier C. Hernández reports that Springer Nature, whose publications include Nature, International Politics, the Journal of Chinese Political Science, and Scientific American, has removed articles from its Chinese mainland site in response to government pressure. The articles touch on topics such as Tibet, Taiwan, human rights, and elite politics. The publishers says that the blocked material is only 1 percent of its content.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/world/asia/china-springer-nature-censorship.html

Russia: government backed investments in Twitter and Facebook
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In syndication from the New York Times, CNBC reports that according to the Paradise Papers the hundreds of millions of dollars Russian billionaire Yuri Milner invested in Facebook and Twitter came from the state-controlled Russian bank VTB via a maze of offshore shell companies. Another investor involved in Milner's Facebook arrangement received financing from the government-controlled Gazprom Investholding. At their height these holdings, which Milner sold several years ago, amounted to more than 8% of Facebook and 5% of Twitter. VTB and Gazprom have said the investments were motivated by sound financial considerations, not politics. Since then, Milner has invested $7 billion in more than 30 companies, including Spotify, Airbnb, and Groupon; his current investments include a real estate venture founded and partly owned by US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/05/new-york-times-digital-the-paradise-papers-kremlin-cash-behind-billionaireas-twitter-and-facebook-investments.html

Stephen Hawking's thesis crashes Cambridge University server
----------------------------------------------------------------------
CNN, The Guardian, and the Washington Post report that the Cambridge University server melted down following the release of Stephen Hawking's 1966 doctoral thesis as part of this year's Open Access Week. Now, every Cambridge graduate student is required to submit both hard and digital copies of their thesis and encouraged to make the digital version publicly available. In a statement, Hawking said, "By making my PhD thesis Open Access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos."
https://www.popsci.com/stephen-hawking-releases-graduate-thesis-breaks-internet

Zimbabwe: American woman charged over tweet
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the Guardian, Jason Burke reports that Zimbabwean police have charged US citizen Martha O'Donovan with sending two tweets police said emanated from her "IT" address: first, insulting president Robert Mugabe, and second plotting to overthrow a constitutionally elected government. O'Donovan had been working with Magamba TV, a social media outlet popular among educated urban Zimbabwean youth. Reuters reports that O'Donovan will be held in a Harare jail until her next court hearing, on November 15. If found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to 20 years in jail.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/03/martha-odonovan-arrested-zimbabwe-alleged-mugabe-goblin-tweet-harare
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-usa-court/zimbabwe-court-upholds-charge-against-u-s-citizen-accused-of-subversion-idUSKBN1D40K5

US: Internet Association backs censorship bill
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At EFF, Elliott Harmon reports that the Internet Association, a trade group whose membership spans the industry, including Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Coinbase, Netflix, and Uber, has endorsed a "compromise" version of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). SESTA would hold every individual or organisation liable for any third-party content they host, gutting the third-party provisions of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (1996). The compromise, Harmon says, retains all the flaws of the original bill. In a second posting, Harmon argues that although the mainstream media are portraying the issue as a battle between Google and Congress, the real impact of this bill will be to reinforce the dominant position of today's large incumbent companies. The Freedom Network USA, the largest network of anti-trafficking organizations, says the bill will not solve sex trafficking because the victims will be the first to be silenced as companies over-filter to avoid liability.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/11/internet-association-endorses-internet-censorship-bill
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/09/google-will-survive-sesta-your-startup-might-not

Israel: Palestinian man questioned after Facebook mistranslation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Gizmodo, Sidney Fussell reports that a mistake in Facebook's machine translation service has led to the arrest and questioning of a Palestinian man by Israeli police. The man, a construction worker on the West Bank, posted a picture of himself leaning against a bulldozer like those that have been used in hit-and-run terrorist attacks, with a caption that correctly translates to "good morning"; Facebook's AI translated it into "hurt them" in English or "attack them" in Hebrew.
https://gizmodo.com/palestinian-man-arrested-after-facebook-auto-translates-1819782902

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

Trump's 11 minutes of Twitter silence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this audio clip from National Public Radio's "All Things Considered", Mary Louise Kelly and Laura Sydell discuss the security issues raised by the 11-minute disappearance of US President Donald Trump's Twitter account on November 2, which Twitter said was deactivated by a departing contract employee. Sydell's sources tell her that contract employees based in Asia and the Philippines have the ability to take down accounts that post offensive content. Of greater concern is the vulnerability of Twitter accounts; someone breaking into the president's account could start a war or move markets. Recode has a round-up of other Twitter users' reactions to Trump's absence.
http://www.npr.org/2017/11/03/561952364/trumps-twitter-deleted
https://www.recode.net/2017/11/3/16601846/employee-donald-trump-tweet-twitter

The economics of fake news
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Mic, an anonymous source explains in detail the tactics he uses to profit from spreading fake news. One Facebook story, which was taken down after being flagged by the third-party fact-checking site Snopes, netted the source $20,000 during the time it was up. It typically takes Facebook three days to remove a story, and most of the impressions happen on the first day. Boosting posts to reach a wider audience requires only $100 to $200. The New York Times asked nine experts, including Tim Wu, Alice Marwick, and Eli Pariser, to suggest ways to fix Facebook's news feed.
https://mic.com/articles/185805/a-fake-news-writer-reveals-how-hes-making-money-on-facebook#.q40HUO7n0
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/technology/how-to-fix-facebook-we-asked-9-experts.html

EU: The industry lobby battle against ePrivacy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting. the Corporate Europe Observatory details the lobbying efforts aiming to influence the ePrivacy deliberations in the European Commission and the European Parliament. Every major IT, telecoms, media, and internet company is represented by at least one, sometimes more, of the lobbying organisations. Many have joined together to demand the law's repeal, saying that the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force in March 2018, is sufficient. Despite these intensive activities, new privacy rules have made it through the LIBE committee to the European Parliament plenary to the trilogue stage.
https://corporateeurope.org/power-lobbies/2017/10/big-data-watching-you

Fooling neural networks in the physical world
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article, MIT's LabSix discusses its new approach to generating 3D "adversarial objects" that can reliably fool neural networks in the real world from any angle. In one example, altering just a few pixels ensures that a 3D-printed turtle is classified by Google's Inception V3 image classifier as a rifle at every viewpoint even though the unperturbed turtle reads to the classifier as "turtle". At the Guardian, Alex Hern explains how LabSix's technique works in more detail.
http://www.labsix.org/physical-objects-that-fool-neural-nets/
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/03/googles-ai-turtle-rifle-mit-research-artificial-intelligence

Cases against war criminals jeopardized by disappearing online evidence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Intercept, Avi Asher-Schapiro discusses the problem of assembling evidence of war crimes in the face of deletions of photographs and video clips conducted by YouTube and Facebook as part of their stepped-up efforts to identify and remove violent content that may be extremist propaganda or disturbing to users. Human rights considerations are not among those implemented in the AI systems the companies use, even though the same companies originally encouraged campaigners to use their systems to document abuses and improve accountability. Asher-Schapiro goes on to discuss how social media evidence has been used and highlights efforts to standardize how it's collected and archived.
https://theintercept.com/2017/11/02/war-crimes-youtube-facebook-syria-rohingya/

Facebook's newsfeed changes penalize independent news sites
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Guardian article, Alex Hern discusses the impact of Facebook's experiment, which began on October 19, with removing professional media from the main news feed in six smaller, less-developed countries - Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cambodia, Serbia and Slovakia. Facebook often tests substantial changes on the user base in smaller countries that matter less to the company's revenues; in this case, the results have been unusually damaging. A broad selection of Slovakia's media saw a 60% overnight drop in engagement; the Guatemalan site Soy502 reported a 66% drop and saw the move as an existential threat for a site struggling to function in an unstable democracy. At Techcrunch, Anthony Ha reports on Facebook's October 24 presentation of its new guidelines to help publishers understand its strategy for combating fake news, which included a question-and-answer session led by City University of New York professor Jeff Jarvis.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/25/facebook-orwellian-journalists-democracy-guatemala-slovakia
https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/24/facebook-publisher-guidelines/


***

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.

OpenCon 2017
----------------------------------------
November 11-13, 2017
Berlin, Germany
OpenCon is the conference and community for students and early career academic professionals interested in advancing Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Applications to attend are due by August 1.
http://bit.ly/2tNZdqg

After the Digital Tornado
----------------------------------------
November 17-18
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Twenty years since the policy-makers and academics began wrestling with the implications of the internet, fundamental questions remain unresolved, and even more serious new questions have emerged. Today, networks powered by algorithms are eating everything. At this major academic conference hosted by the Wharton School, an interdisciplinary group of leading scholars will consider the deep questions posed for business and society. Registration is free, but space is limited.
http://bit.ly/2y1rif1

Parliament & Internet
----------------------------------------
November 21, 2017
London, UK
The Conference will cover a range of policy matters, including the reliance of critical national infrastructure from cyber threats, the connectivity challenges ahead (including fibre rollout and future 5G deployment), the proposed the Digital Charter, as well as Brexit and the current priorities from for the communications sector perspective.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/parliament-internet-conference-2017-tickets-36268762846?aff=affiliate1

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 18-21, 2017
Geneva, Switzerland
The IGF facilitates a common understanding as to how internet opportunities can be maximized and addresses arising risks and challenges. The forum gives developing countries an equal opportunity with wealthier nations to engage in the debate on internet governance and facilitates their participation. Ultimately, the involvement of all stakeholders, from both developed and developing countries, is necessary for the future development of the internet. The IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group decided to retain the title "Shape your digital future!" for the 2017 meeting.
https://igf2017.swiss/

Privacy Camp
----------------------------------------
January 23, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
Privacy Camp brings together civil society, policy-makers and academia to discuss existing and looming problems for human rights in the digital environment. In the face of a "shrinking civic space" for collective action, the event aims to provide a platform for actors from across these domains to discuss and develop shared principles to address key challenges for digital rights and freedoms of individuals. The theme for 2018 is "speech, settings and [in]security by design".
http://bit.ly/2lho8Cb

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 24-26, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
The theme of the 11th edition of CPDP is the "Internet of Bodies". Data collection increasingly focuses on the physical body. Bodies are increasingly connected, digitized, and informatized. In turn, the data extracted is reassembled in ways that give rise to significant questions - challenging fundamental assumptions about where the corporeal ends and the informational begins. Biometrics, genetic data processing and the quantified self are only some of the trends and technologies reaching into the depths of our bodies. Emerging technologies such as human enhancement, neural implants, and brain wave technology look likely to soon become a daily reality.
http://bit.ly/2sSQ02x

ICANN61
----------------------------------------
March 10-15, 2018
San Juan, Puerto Rico
ICANN's Community Forum for 2018 will be focused on outreach, capacity building, and showcasing ICANN's work to a broader global audience.
https://meetings.icann.org/en/sanjuan61

We Robot 2018
----------------------------------------
April 12-14, 2018
Palo Alto, California, USA
This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.
http://stanford.io/2juk94u

Internet Freedom Forum
----------------------------------------
April 24-26, 2018
Abuja, Nigeria
The sixth edition of the Internet Freedom Forum will present a unique platform for discussions and engagement around current trends and emerging issues affecting internet freedom in Africa. Participants at IFF include civil society organizations, policy actors/makers, legal/policy experts, academics, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens among others.
https://pinigeria.org/iff/

OKFestival 2018
----------------------------------------
May 3-6, 2018
Thessaloniki, Greece
The Open Knowledge Festival (OKFestival) is the biggest gathering of the open knowledge community and will bring together over 1,000 people from around the world to share their skills and experiences; encouraging them to work together to build the very tools and partnerships that will further the power of openness as a positive force for change.
http://2018.okfestival.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
May 16-18, 2018
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.
http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3

Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection
----------------------------------------
May 24, 2018
San Francisco, CA, USA
ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.
http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
May 30-31
Washington, DC, USA
PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.
http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ

LIBER Annual Conference 2018
----------------------------------------
July 4-6, 2018
Lille, France
The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.
http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU

International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners 2018
----------------------------------------
October 22-26, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.
https://icdppc.org/

***

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
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Open Society Foundation, part of the Open Society Foundations, is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 4571628) and a registered charity (charity number 1105069). Its registered office address is 7th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 27 October 2017
 ====================================================
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, La Quadrature du Net.

Job postings
----------------------
The Digital Freedom Fund is looking for a Program Officer to help support its partners in bringing about change through strategic litigation.
http://bit.ly/2g1gC97


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

US: Test of police body cameras finds little impact
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the New York Times, Amanda Ripley reports that the largest, most rigorous study of police body cameras has found that the cameras have no effect on the rate of civilian complaints, use of force, or charging decisions. The seven-month study, led by David Yokum at the Lab @ DC, and Anita Ravishankar at the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department, found the effects were too small to be statistically significant; why is not clear. The high financial and privacy costs of police body cameras mean the study may inspire a rethink. The most commonly-cited previous study, in 2012 in Rialto, California, found that shifts with body-worn cameras had half the use-of-force incidents. It led to widespread adoption even though it was a short-term study including only 54 officers. At the ACLU, Jay Stanley discusses the likely limitations of a new trend: gun-mounted cameras that are activated when a gun is drawn from its holster.
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2gIKZVE
ACLU: http://bit.ly/2haJ4X8

EU: European Parliament endorses privacy rights
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EDRi reports that the European Parliament has supported the mandate for trilogues on the ePrivacy Regulation and endorsed privacy rights 318 to 280, with 18 abstentions. The vote followed the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE)'s vote for "clear, privacy-friendly rules" after considering the proposed e-Privacy Regulation. The legislation, which follows the 2016 adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation, is intended to protect internet and mobile phone users from tracking, monitoring, and profiling. The next stage will be negotiations with the EU member states in the Council. La Quadrature du Net highlights two weaknesses of the draft Regulation: allowing websites to track users without their consent for audience measuring purposes; and allowing companies to track devices in public spaces without our consent.
EDRi on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2gISaNG
EDRi (LIBE): http://bit.ly/2gMno6L
Quadrature: http://bit.ly/2zRePvM

US: California creates firewall limiting federal access to state data
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The EFF reports that California governor Jerry Brown has signed into law S.B. 31, a bill creating a firewall between the state's data and any attempt by the US federal government to create lists, registries, or databases based on a person's religion, nationality, or ethnicity. Police authorities are also prohibited from investigating or enforcing a requirement to register with such a registry.
EFF: http://bit.ly/2xo2YE3

Italy: School program teaches how to recognize fake news
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the New York Times, Jason Horowitz reports on a project led by Laura Boldrini, the president of Italy's Chamber of Deputies, to educate secondary school students on how to recognize fake news and conspiracy theories online. In an experiment using work sheets prepared by the national broadcaster, RAL, students are being taught to verify stories. As the early 2018 Italian election approaches, conspiracy theories are spreading through the country against a background of spreading economic problems, partisan media, a migrant crisis, and an increasing distrust of traditional authorities.
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2i6so2B

Norwegian Consumer Council finds security issues in children's smartwatches
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue website, Finn Myrstad, director of digital policy at the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), reports that the NCC has found critical security flaws in smartwatches for children. The technical tests found security flaws in three of the four watches/apps; several transmit data to servers in the US and East Asia, often in plain text. The tests also found that some of the advertised safety features, such as a panic button, were unreliable and that the user terms are inadequate and unclear.
TACD: http://bit.ly/2lhNIqL

US: Congress investigates Russian election interference
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that the US Senate and House intelligence committees have summoned representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google to appear on November 1 as part of their investigation into the extent to which these companies were used in a Russian effort to sway the 2016 presidential election. Meduza summarizes (in English) a detailed Russian report on the Russian troll farm the Internet Research Agency, which spent nearly $80,000 over two years to hire American activists to stage 40 rallies in different American cities in order to incite animosity over hot-button issues. The Guardian publishes the stories of some of the tricked demonstrators, who say their activism is real, though they display varying reactions to learning the source of their funding. CNN reports that among the many platforms used to spread the IRA's "Don't Shoot Us" campaign, which purported to support Black Lives Matter, were Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pokémon Go.
Guardian (committees): http://bit.ly/2z9w2nd
Meduza: http://bit.ly/2yT9zdp
Guardian (activists): http://bit.ly/2haXhTZ
CNN: http://cnnmon.ie/2yLaXil


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

China: Big data meets Big Brother in new citizen rating system
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In this Wired article, Rachel Bostman studies China's plans to issue each of the country's citizens with a "social credit score"; the system is currently voluntary but will become mandatory in 2020. The government has licensed eight companies to devise systems and algorithms. The two best-known projects, China Rapid Finance and Sesame Credit, include among their partners data giants such as WeChat owner Tencent and the Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, which owns AliPay. The article goes on to discuss how individuals are scored and why they sign up for such a privacy-invasive system. The government, Bostman writes, is attempting to make obedience feel like gaming.
Wired: http://bit.ly/2iB2FmI

Regulating artificial intelligence
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In this report from AI Now, authors Alex Campolo, Madelyn Sanfilippo, Meredith Whittaker, and Kate Crawford explain the state of the art of artificial intelligence, discuss the controversies it raises, and make ten recommendations for its deployment. Among them: high-stakes public agencies should drop "black box" AI and algorithmic systems; companies should rigorously pre-test such systems for biases and errors; standards should be developed for tracking datasets throughout their life cycle; the AI industry should recruit experts from a wide array of disciplines outside computer science and engineering. By contrast, Wired UK reports that a report commissioned by the UK government has recommended the creation of an AI council to oversee the industry but that there should be no direct regulation.
AI Now (PDF): http://bit.ly/2iy2DvP
Wired: http://bit.ly/2y617Iv

Google Urbanism: a takeover in all but name
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In this Guardian article, Evgeny Morozov fears the Google Urbanism project will turn cities into privately-run digital platform and buying their way in with promises of "cool" services and efficiency but profiting by extracting the resulting data. Google Urbanism, he writes, means the end of politics: "Alphabet's democratization of function will not be matched by the democratization of control and ownership of urban resources". In this dystopian future, market demand will replace communal decision-making. Also at the Guardian, Jathan Sadowski argues that the waterfront redevelopment partnership between the city of Toronto and Google's Sidewalk Labs, like other such initiatives, risks creating a template for bypassing democratic leadership.
Guardian (Morozov): http://bit.ly/2xoDZQN
Guardian (Sadowski): http://bit.ly/2zEUTf2

Can you make a living as an Uber driver?
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this web-based game at the Financial Times based on the newspaper's reporting and interviews with dozens of drivers, players attempt to earn enough to make a $1,000 mortgage payment while working as a full-time Uber driver with two kids to support. As you go, the game asks you to make strategy decisions that expose the perverse incentives on issues such as whether to get a business license and how you want to handle passengers, mishaps, and illegal requests. Even at the easiest setting, it seems impossible to win. Hint: when your windscreen gets chipped, fix it promptly.
FT: http://bit.ly/2gFIdgx

Intellectual property for the 21st-century economy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Project Syndicate, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Dean Baker, and Arjun Jayadev discuss efforts by developing countries such as South Africa, India, and Brazil to push back against the intellectual property regime that has been forced upon them over the last 30 years. South Africa is finalizing an IP policy that should widen access to medicines; a 2005 law in India created a mechanism to add balance and fairness to patenting standards; and Brazil negotiated lower drug prices to enable early treatment of HIV/AIDS. The authors go on to discuss their new paper arguing that the economic institutions and laws protecting knowledge in advanced economies are poorly suited for governing global economic activity or meeting the needs of developing countries and emerging markets. Knowledge, they write, is a global public good; the current IP regime is not sustainable.
Project Syndicate: http://bit.ly/2gKZhoL

The rise of authoritarian cryptocurrencies
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In this article at Bloomberg, Leonid Bershidsky discusses the prospects of authoritarian cryptocurrencies, a new way for Russia and China to control their financial systems. In Russia, the pro-government newspaper Argumenti I Fakti reported that President Vladimir Putin is proposing a near-term launch of a closed crypto-ruble, and Yao Qian, deputy director of the People's Bank of China's technology division, has suggested a central bank-issued electronic currency for which commercial banks would administer wallets. The idea is directly opposed to the original libertarian idea behind bitcoin of a decentralized currency that could not be controlled by any government; China's and Russia's goals are likely to be improving the cost and speed of financial transactions.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2yTaydB

The war to sell mattresses over the internet
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In this lengthy article at Fast Company, David Zax investigates the background of a 2016 lawsuit brought by the mattress manufacturer Casper against Sleepopolis, the largest of an ecosystem of mattress review sites, which makes millions of dollars through affiliate marketing. Casper alleged false advertising and deceptive practices. The case ended with a settlement and a sale in which Casper provided financing for a takeover of Sleepopolis. The story illustrates the many hidden ways of gaming apparently independent reviews and coupon deals in niches where no one would imagine that millions of dollars were at stake and where consumers unwisely trust what they see.
Fast Company: http://bit.ly/2y6DrUs


***

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.

Mozfest 2017
----------------------------------------
October 27-29, 2017
London, UK
The world's leading festival for the open internet movement will feature influential thinkers from around the world to build, debate, and explore the future of a healthy internet.
http://bit.ly/2oaIXvK

ORGcon 2017
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November 4-5, 2017
London, UK
ORGCon is the UK's biggest digital rights conference. This year's theme is: The Digital Fightback.
http://bit.ly/2prFqye

OpenCon 2017
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November 11-13, 2017
Berlin, Germany
OpenCon is the conference and community for students and early career academic professionals interested in advancing Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Applications to attend are due by August 1.
http://bit.ly/2tNZdqg

After the Digital Tornado
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November 17-18
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Twenty years since the policy-makers and academics began wrestling with the implications of the internet, fundamental questions remain unresolved, and even more serious new questions have emerged. Today, networks powered by algorithms are eating everything. At this major academic conference hosted by the Wharton School, an interdisciplinary group of leading scholars will consider the deep questions posed for business and society. Registration is free, but space is limited.
http://bit.ly/2y1rif1

Privacy Camp
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January 23, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
Privacy Camp brings together civil society, policy-makers and academia to discuss existing and looming problems for human rights in the digital environment. In the face of a "shrinking civic space" for collective action, the event aims to provide a platform for actors from across these domains to discuss and develop shared principles to address key challenges for digital rights and freedoms of individuals. The theme for 2018 is "speech, settings and [in]security by design".
http://bit.ly/2lho8Cb

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
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January 24-26, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
The theme of the 11th edition of CPDP is the "Internet of Bodies". Data collection increasingly focuses on the physical body. Bodies are increasingly connected, digitized, and informatized. In turn, the data extracted is reassembled in ways that give rise to significant questions - challenging fundamental assumptions about where the corporeal ends and the informational begins. Biometrics, genetic data processing and the quantified self are only some of the trends and technologies reaching into the depths of our bodies. Emerging technologies such as human enhancement, neural implants, and brain wave technology look likely to soon become a daily reality.
http://bit.ly/2sSQ02x

We Robot 2018
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April 12-14, 2018
Palo Alto, California, USA
This conference is the annual gathering of academics, policy makers, roboticists, economists, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers who care about robots and the future of robot law and policy. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots operate.
http://stanford.io/2juk94u

OKFestival 2018
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May 3-6, 2018
Thessaloniki, Greece
The Open Knowledge Festival (OKFestival) is the biggest gathering of the open knowledge community and will bring together over 1,000 people from around the world to share their skills and experiences; encouraging them to work together to build the very tools and partnerships that will further the power of openness as a positive force for change.
http://2018.okfestival.org/

RightsCon
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May 16-18, 2018
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
RightsCon has become one of the world's largest gatherings on human rights and technology, and it's people like you that make it an engine for change. The 2018 event is staged in Canada for a conversation built on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and respect.
http://bit.ly/2rR0IX3

Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection
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May 24, 2018
San Francisco, CA, USA
ConPro #18 will explore computer science topics with an impact on consumers. This workshop has a strong security and privacy emphasis, with an overall focus on ways in which computer science can prevent, detect, or address the potential for technology to deceive or unfairly harm consumers. Participants will consist heavily of academic and industry researchers but are also expected to include researchers from the Federal Trade Commission - the U.S. government's primary consumer protection body - and other government agencies with a consumer protection mission.
http://bit.ly/2iCUt5r

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
May 30-31
Washington, DC, USA
PLSC is a paper workshop with the goal of improving and providing support for in-progress scholarship. To achieve this, PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the papers. Scholars from many disciplines (psychology/economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and even math) also participate.
http://bit.ly/2zgypRQ

LIBER Annual Conference 2018
----------------------------------------
July 4-6, 2018
Lille, France
The 47th annual conference of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) will include plenary sessions with top international speakers, presentations on current research, posters, and an exhibition of products and services for the library sector, as well as a comprehensive social programme.
http://bit.ly/2zFcbbU

International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners 2018
----------------------------------------
October 22-26, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.
https://icdppc.org/

***

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