News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week of 23 September 2016
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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: EDRi, EFF, La Quadrature du Net, SPARC Europe, .


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

EU: Advocate-General says EU is competent to ratify Marrakesh treaty
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Intellectual Property Watch reports that the standstill over the Marrakesh Treaty, which grants a copyright exception for visually impaired people, could soon be broken. The Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice has found in response to a challenge by EU members including France, Finland, the UK, and Hungary that the EU has exclusive competence to ratify the Treaty.
IP Watch: http://bit.ly/2d2S8wb

Kashmir: India suspends mobile internet access
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At Slate, Hasit Shah reports that for more than two months India has blocked mobile internet access in Kashmir in response to protests in July following the death of a local militant commander. Newspapers in Kashmir, he writes, are calling the situation, which blocks access to organising via social media, an "e-curfew". The New Indian Express reports that postpaid mobile phone services, which along with broadband were suspended on September 12, have been restored. Greater Kashmir reports that journalists have staged a sit-in protest, calling the suspension an "indirect gag" on media.
Slate: http://slate.me/2cEg9rY
New Indian Express: http://bit.ly/2cO132v
Greater Kashmir: http://bit.ly/2cVP6K7

EU: Court of Justice rules that linking can infringe copyright
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La Quadrature du Net reports that the European Court of Jusice has set aside the recommendation the Advocate General issued in April and ruled that posting a link to illegally published content is itself a copyright violeation as long as the site is non-profit and is unaware of the copyright violation. Aside from the obvious implications for search engines, LQDN notes that it is difficult for any individual to be sure if a linked work is an infringement or not. LQDN also notes that this decision aligns with the proposal in the leaked draft copyright Directive to give publishers greater power over links. EFF calls the ruling "madness" and "a gift to copyright holders".
LQDN: http://bit.ly/2cjscrL
Advocate General (PDF): http://bit.ly/2dg5XrJ
Judgment: http://bit.ly/2d1lUmt
EFF: http://bit.ly/2ddiR72

Facebook struggles with automated content editing
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At the Guardian, Sam Thielman reports that a couple of months after the world discovered that Facebook's trending topics were hand-picked by a team of editors, the company has replaced the human editors with an algorithm. The result: mayhem, as the algorithm for example chose to highlight a false story about Fox News host Megyn Kelly as well as a hoax article about 9/11. The Guardian also reports that Facebook deleted the famous "napalm girl" photograph from a posting about historical warfare photography by a Norwegian writer, and followed up by deleting a post by the Norwegian Prime Minister defending the posting and republishing the photograph. The story led journalists and others to suggest that Facebook needs to learn to use more wisely its power over the news people see. This is also the theme of the recent report Tech Giants and Civic Power, written by Martin Moore, director of the Centre for the Study of Media Communication and Power in the Policy Institute at King's College London.
Guardian (algorithm): http://bit.ly/2d4NRWl
Guardian (photograph): http://bit.ly/2ddjIVn
Moore (PDF): http://bit.ly/2dcowtp

EU: Plan for Gigabit Society threatens network neutrality
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Access Now reports that the European Commission's plan for a European Gigabit Society, which aims to promote high-quality networks and 5G, incorporates the first attack on the EU's new network neutrality rules. The plan specifically mentions developing high-speed networks to facilitate gaming and streaming audio and video; Access Now argues that high-quality networks should benefit the internet as a whole without creating "fast lanes". In a July 2016 manifesto that European Digital Rights called "terrible", a collection of telcos argued that the creation of 5G will require substantial state subsidies as well as a rollback on European privacy and network neutrality laws. Access Now was one of 30 NGOs that signed an open letter to policy makers arguing against these demands.
Access Now (plan): http://bit.ly/2d7NUFn
EDRi: http://bit.ly/2cEhv6g
Access Now (letter, PDF): http://bit.ly/2cVPVCS

Open access boosts citation rates
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Times Higher Education Supplement reports on a new study by the University of Michigan's Jim Ottaviani that finds that publishing journal articles under open access boosts citations by more than a fifth. The effect is even greater on better-cited papers, though the reason for this is unclear. SPARC Europe maintains a list of such studies as well.
THES: http://bit.ly/2cMNUrZ
SPARC: http://bit.ly/2ddjtK0

Facebook announces WhatsApp will share personal data
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The Guardian reports that although Facebook promised it would not share personal data between the two services when it purchased WhatsApp, the company will begin doing just that, including personal phone numbers, in order to help advertisers target ads. EPIC has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the UK's Information Commissioner has said the office will keep a close watch, and MEP Jan-Philipp Albrecht is working on developing EU policy to protect users' privacy in such cases. At the Guardian, John Naughton offers instructions on using WhatsApp's privacy settings to block the transfer.
Guardian (WhatsApp): http://bit.ly/2d1o9pB
EPIC: http://bit.ly/2cr4hdh
Guardian (UK ICO): http://bit.ly/2dg7wWw
Guardian (EU): http://bit.ly/2cVODYD
Guardian (Naughton): http://bit.ly/2clQ0An

India: Delhi University wins copyright case
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At SpicyIP, Shamnad Basheer reports that the Delhi high court has dismissed suits by three international publishers - Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Taylor & Francis - who had jointly objected to the sale of photocopied books, chapters, and pages at Delhi University. The ruling is expected to have a far-reaching impact on copyright law in India. Basheer, one of the group of academics who intervened in the case, argued that the photocopying was fair use given its educational purpose. In his 94-page ruling, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw wrote that copyright is not a "divine" right.
SpicyIP: http://bit.ly/2cjuuaf


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

US: Department of Justice seeks mass hacking powers
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In this opinion piece for Wired, professors Matt Blaze (University of Pennsylvania) and Susan Landau (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) warn that under plans published as amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the FBI would be allowed to hack as many as a million computers based on a single warrant. Unless Congress acts to block the proposals, the rules will come into effect on December 1. To counter the plan, Wyden and fellow Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced the Stopping Mass Hacking Act. EFF is collecting signatures on a petition backing the bill.
Wired: http://bit.ly/2dg7wWJ
Wyden: http://bit.ly/2cr5r8B
EFF: http://bit.ly/2cr40XD

Spain: Exercising the right to know
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In this blog posting, mySociety highlights a collaboration among Access Info Europe, Civio Foundation, and the Transparency Council of Spain to celebrate September 28's International Right to Know Day by simplifying the complex process of submitting an FOI request in Spain. The Spanish government requires a difficult-to-obtain electronic certificate or digital identification; the authorities also refuse to accept requests by email. From now until September 28, however, requesters can use a Google form, a Twitter hashtag, or email to file requests, which the three organisations will forward using their certificates.
MySociety: http://bit.ly/2d1pb4V

Pardoning Edward Snowden
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In this editorial, the Washington Post, one of the newspapers that originally published the details of leaked programmes such as PRISM, argues that Edward Snowden should not be pardoned despite a national campaign asking President Barack Obama to do so before leaving office. Meanwhile, the New York Times' A.O. Scott reviews Oliver Stone's new movie, "Snowden", calling it "an honorable and absorbing contribution", but ultimately prefers Laura Poitras's documentary, Citizenfour. At Techdirt, Mike Masnick pores over the recently released House Intelligence Committee's report on Snowden, and highlights myriad misleading or false statements that lead him to call the report a "smear campaign".
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2clR5Ik
Pardon Snowden: http://bit.ly/2cQablM
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2cjuU0r
TechDirt: http://bit.ly/2cMQLBf

The internet infrastructure under attack
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In this essay, Bruce Schneier outlines attacks he's seeing that appear to have the purpose of probing the defences of companies that run critical pieces of the internet infrastructure, he believes with the intent of learning how to take them down. While the data is inconclusive, he says the perpetrator "feels like" a large nation-state.
Schneier: http://bit.ly/2cVQCvL

The war on cash
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In this article at The Long and Short, Brett Scott discusses the human rights issues surrounding the cashless society that's being promoted by countries such as Sweden, vendors such as Visa and Penny for London, and "thought leaders" such as Chyp Hyperion's Dave Birch. Scott goes on to suggest ways for those seeking to protect the rights of already marginalised groups to reframe opposing the "Death of Cash" as a fight for retaining the choice to carry out financial transactions without the need for intermediaries.
Long and Short: http://bit.ly/2d1pa11


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DIARY
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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.

The Open Exchange for Social Change
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October 4, 2016
Madrid, Spain
This pre-IOCD unconference aims to create a space where participants can exchange knowledge and understanding and build solidarity that will lead to better outcomes for IODC and beyond. It is an open space so that attendees can propose the most relevant and urgent topics for their work.
http://bit.ly/2aEpFg1

International Open Data Conference
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October 6-7
Madrid, Spain
At IODC16, governments, civil society, multilateral organisations, and private companies will gather around a roadmap. the International Open Data Charter, in order to keep improving the governability, citizen engagement, innovation, and international development of open data initiatives.
http://bit.ly/1HQuPNW

Transparency Camp 2016
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October 14-15, 2016
Cleveland, OH
The Sunlight Foundation chose Cleveland for this year's unconference in order to tap into the local expertise of an area with strong grassroots organisers and clear problems the community is trying to solve. The event aims to bring together librarians, government officials, technologists, civic leaders, community organisers, and others to figure out strategies and solutions for making local and state governance better, faster, smarter and more transparent.
http://bit.ly/2aP6RaV

Freedom not Fear
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October 14-17, 2016
Brussels, Belgium
At Freedom not Fear, civil society members meet to plan for and engage in action against increasing surveillance and other attacks on civil rights. The meeting, intended for civil rights and freedom activists from across Europe, is organised by volutneers and coordinated by EDRi member Digitalcourage and via the akv-international mailing list.
http://bit.ly/2cmKWrM

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

ODI Summit
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November 1, 2016
London, UK
The annual Open Data Institute Summit will feature inspiring stories from around the world on how people are innovating with the web of data, and presentations from diverse innovators, from current startup founders to experienced, high-profile speakers such as World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, AI expert Nigel Shadbolt and Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox.
http://bit.ly/2ar2aXf

ICANN 57
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November 3-9, 2016
Hyderabad, India
ICANN meetings provide a venue for progressing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, interacting among members of the ICANN Community, including board and staff, and learning about ICANN.
http://bit.ly/29CmNg9

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

OpenCon
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November 12-14, 2016
Washington, DC
At this event, the next generation can learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyse action toward a more open system of research and education. OpenCon will convene students and early career academic professionals, both in person and through satellite events around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation to advance OpenCon's three focus areas.
http://bit.ly/1OocSMD

WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
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November 14-16, 2016
Geneva, Switzerland
Topics at the 33rd meeting of SCCR will include the protection of broadcasting organisations, exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for persons with disabilities, and proposals for analysing copyright with respect to the digital environment and to include the resale right in future work.
http://bit.ly/2bi2lF9

Internet Governance Forum
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December 6-9, 2016 (TBC)
Guadalajara, Mexico
With the UN's renewal in December 2015, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) consolidates itself as a platform to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. At their annual meeting delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.
http://bit.ly/28YwZPX

Open Government Partnership Summit
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December 7-9, 2016
Paris, France
Representatives from governments, academia, civil society and international organizations will gather to share their experiences and best practices and push forward the open government global agenda in light of the great challenges of the modern world. As a forum for sharing best practices, OGP provides a unique platform that brings together, stimulates and expands the community of state reformers worldwide.
http://bit.ly/2b1IY0Q

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
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January 25-27, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
The tenth CPDP's main theme is artificial intelligence. The conference is accepting proposals for panels in April (from academic consortia, research projects, think tanks, and other research organisations) and May (from individuals wishing to present academic research papers).
http://bit.ly/1OrQSv6

Internet Freedom Festival
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March 6-10, 2017
Valencia, Spain
The Internet Freedom Festival gathers the community keeping the Internet open and uncensored for a week of free-form multidisciplinary collaboration intended to help groups achieve their goals. Attendance is free and open to the public.
internetfreedomfestival.org

Rightscon 2017
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March 29-31, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
RightsCon will tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of technology and human rights. Session proposals are being accepted until November 25, 2016.
http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ

Creative Commons Global Summit
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April 28-30, 2017
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This event will gather a global community of technologists, academics, activists, creatives, and legal experts to work together on the expansion and growth of the commons, open knowledge, and free culture for all.
http://bit.ly/2cO3x0P

Open Repositories 2017
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June 26-30, 2017
Brisbane, Australia
The annual Open Repositories Conference brings together users and developers of open digital repository platforms from higher education, government, galleries, libraries, archives and museums. The Conference provides an interactive forum for delegates from around the world to come together and explore the global challenges and opportunities facing libraries and the broader scholarly information landscape.
http://bit.ly/2aOCiGp


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Research Digest • Open Society Information Program • 10 September 2016 

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The Open Society Information Program Research Digest tracks new scholarly articles and books on the social and political aspects of information and technology issues. The Digest is compiled by Evgeny Morozov. A related Twitter feed is also available at https://twitter.com/#!/morozov_links.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the Open Society Foundations or the Information Program.



NEW ARTICLES AND PAPERS
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* "UnMarginalizing Workers: How Big Data Drives Lower Wages and How Reframing Labor Law Can Restore Information Equality in the Workplace" by Nathan Newman - working paper

This article details the ways big data is actively being deployed to lower wages through hiring practices, in how raises are now being offered, and in the ways that workplaces are organized (and disorganized) to lower employee bargaining power --- and how new interpretations of labor law are beginning to reshape the workplace to address these economic harms.

source: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2819142 (free)

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* "The Rise of Behavioural Discrimination" by Ariel Ezrachi & Maurice E. Stucke - working paper

The author surveys the political and social effects of the increased personalization of our online environment, as firms track us, collect data about us, and target us with the right ad at the right time -- all to transform our web environment into a personal space. This new personalized environment can pave the way for behavioural discrimination -- the ability of sellers to induce us to buy things we otherwise wouldn't, at the highest price we are willing to pay.

source: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2830206 (free)

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* "Crowdsourced Surveillance And Networked Data" by Nick Lally - Securing Dialogue

Possibilities for crowdsourced surveillance have expanded in recent years as data uploaded to social networks can be mined, distributed, assembled, mapped, and analyzed by anyone with an uncensored internet connection. These data points, argues the author, are necessarily fragmented and partial, open to interpretation, and rely on algorithms for retrieval and sorting. Yet despite these limitations, they have been used to produce complex representations of space, subjects, and power relations as internet users attempt to reconstruct and investigate events while they are developing.

source: http://sdi.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/09/03/0967010616664459 ($)

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* "Algorithms and Their Others: Algorithmic Culture in Context" by Paul Dourish - Big Data & Society

Algorithms, once obscure objects of technical art, have lately been subject to considerable popular and scholarly scrutiny. What does it mean to adopt the algorithm as an object of analytic attention? What is in view, and out of view, when we focus on the algorithm? Using Niklaus Wirth's 1975 formulation that "algorithms + data structures = programs" as a launching-off point, this paper examines how an algorithmic lens shapes the way in which we might inquire into contemporary digital culture.

source: http://bds.sagepub.com/content/3/2/2053951716665128 ($)

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* "The Politics of Cryptocurrencies in Historical Perspective" by Stefan Eich - working paper

While cryptocurrencies are frequently framed as an escape from politics, this paper argues that this is misleading on several counts. Electronic currencies, argues the author, cannot leave the politics of money behind even where they aim to disavow it. Examining the international politics of money that emerged out the 1970s, the author discusses the emergence of a technocratic regime of depoliticized fiat currencies and domestic discipline complemented by cheap global credit money. Today, demands for depoliticization and politicization compete once more with one another.

source: https://www.academia.edu/27672693/The_Politics_of_Cryptocurrencies_in_Historical_Perspective ($)


NEW AND NOTEWORTHY BOOKS
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* "Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy" by Cathy O'Neil (Crown)

This book exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These "weapons of math destruction," as the authors dubs them, score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health. The author calls on modellers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Weapons-Math-Destruction-Increases-Inequality/dp/0553418815/

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* "The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future" by Sheila Jasanoff (Norton)

In her new book, written for the general audience, Sheila Jasanoff argues that technology rules us as much as laws do. It shapes the legal, social, and ethical environments in which we act. The author dissects the ways in which we delegate power to technological systems and asks how we might regain control. Technology, she argues, can warp the meaning of democracy and citizenship unless we carefully consider how to direct its power rather than let ourselves be shaped by it.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Ethics-Invention-Technology-Human-Future/dp/039307899X

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* "Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations" by Nicholas Carr (Norton)

In his latest collection of essays, Nicholas Carr dissects Silicon Valley's unsettlingly cheery vision of the technological future to ask a hard question: Have we been seduced by a lie? The book offers an alternative history of the digital age, chronicling its roller-coaster crazes and crashes, its blind triumphs, and its unintended consequences. Carr offers searching assessments of the future of work, the fate of reading, and the rise of artificial intelligence.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Utopia-Creepy-Provocations-Nicholas-Carr/dp/0393254542/

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* "Licensed Larceny: Infrastructure, Financial Extraction and the Global South" by Nicholas Hildyard (Manchester University Press)

The author contends that the provision of public services is one area which is increasingly being reconfigured to extract wealth upward to the 1%, notably through so-called Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). The push for PPPs, argues the author, is not about building infrastructure for the benefit of society but about constructing new subsidies that benefit the already wealthy. In other words, it is less about financing development than developing finance.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Licensed-larceny-Infrastructure-extraction-Manchester/dp/1784994278

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* "Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions" by Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths (Henry Holt)

This book offers an exploration of how computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind. The authors show how the simple, precise algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Algorithms-Live-Computer-Science-Decisions-ebook/dp/B015CKNWJI/




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY 4.0)

The Guardian ran this a few weeks ago. This is the pre-edited version here, as it includes a few details that were cut, presumably for space (since I have more space, I've also restored a few things). The photo was taken by Boyce Keay.

The Richmond Local History Society has much more to read about David, and also has links to some of his talks and historical writing.

DGB 02.jpeg

The first time I saw David Blomfield, who has died aged 82, he was on a tennis court hitting an almost unreturnable, vicious, sliced, slapped forehand. That was the least of his talents, and the least characteristic of a man widely known for his gentleness and kindness. In the area surrounding Kew Gardens, where he lived for over 50 years, Blomfield was a self-effacing hero: a highly-skilled book editor, local historian, LibDem councillor, church warden, magistrate, school governor, chair of numerous organisations including ten years at the Richmond Local History Society, and occasional assistant at the Kew Bookshop, where, with his inseparable wife, Caroline, he was a partner. If you didn't know David you haven't lived in Kew, only resided here.

"Everyone wanted David on board," the former MP Jenny Tonge observed at his packed memorial service.

An army officer's son, after his schooling (where achieving a cricket century at 12 remained ever after his proudest achievement) he did national service with the Royal Artillery and ten years in Oxfordshire Yeomanry, writing their history in 2015. He read Classics at Oxford and in 1959 joined Reader's Digest's Condensed Books department. There, he viewed condensed books as a way to spread books to many they otherwise would not reach. In the following 28 years, he headed the department, edited, among many other titles, The Reader's Bible, and ran a presciently early investigation of electronic publishing.

Elected a local councillor in 1971, he briefly lost his seat in 1978 because he championed the unpopular creation of a bail hostel in Kew, arguing that the residents of such a privileged area should not exclude others. He won the seat back in a by-election in 1979, eventually standing down in 1986.

After leaving the Digest in 1987, he worked as a freelance book editor, ghost-wrote biographies including that of David Penhaligon, and wrote extensively about local history. His 2007 PhD thesis studied the boatmen along Upper Tidal Thames. His final public talk, in April, told the story of Richmond's Star and Garter home for servicemen disabled in World War I (https://soundcloud.com/richmond-history-society).

A life-long church-goer, David chaired the committee that converted Kew's Barn Chuch into a constantly-used, shared local centre. He was neither exclusive nor evangelical, and his public life was driven by his belief in the importance of community. Kew is the better for it, and in 2000, he was awarded the MBE for his services to the Richmond area.

He is survived by his wife, Caroline, three children, James, Melanie, and Rupert, and six grandchildren.


News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week of 26 August 2016
====================================================

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

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Citizen Lab, EFF, EIFL.


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

US: Equation Group claims NSA hack
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At Wired, Andy Greenberg reports that a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers has claimed to have breached the data systems used by the Equation Group, a highly sophisticated team of "cyberspies" that Edward Snowden's revelations have linked to the NSA. Shadow Brokers posted the stolen data for auction on a since-removed Tumblr page. Citizen Lab''s Claudio Guanieri, assessing the data, says that the posted content is credible enough, but that there's not enough evidence to link the hack to Equation Group or any other NSA-linked organization. The New York Times considers who the hackers might have been. Policy analyst Marcy Wheeler says that the hack bears out the claim that the NSA exploits vulnerabilities in commercial products, and suggests questions the US Congress should be asking in order to fulfil its role of oversight. EFF has published proposals for reforming the way the US government acquires and exploits vulnerabilities.
Wired: http://bit.ly/2bfkDI5
Citizen Lab: http://bit.ly/2bgkhhM
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2bi25Wr
Wheeler: http://bit.ly/2bw0uv8
EFF: http://bit.ly/2bVx6Qd

Pakistan passes Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act
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EFF reports that despite 18 months of opposition from numerous civil society organisations and concerned politicians, Pakistan has passed the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, which EFF's Danny O'Brien calls "a tragedy for free expression and privacy". The crimes the new law creates of "cyber-terrorism" and online "glorification" are broad, as are the government's new powers to threaten and intimidate speech and collect and share data without warrant or oversight, including with foreign intelligence. The bill claims jurisdiction over all Pakistani citizens, whatever their location, plus anyone in the world whose online activity affects any Pakistani national. Ars Technica reports that day after the law's passage the opposition party Pakistan Awami Tehreek filed a constitutional challenge on the basis that multiple sections violate fundamental human rights.
EFF: http://bit.ly/2bi5j7C
Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/2bOZWzG

US Government approves IANA transition
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Intellectual Property Watch reports that the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has confirmed that in October it will hand off technical oversight of the internet's domain name system to the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers "barring any significant impediment". A few points remain to be completed before the current contract expires on October 1: ICANN must approve a new contract with VeriSign, which maintains the root zone, and three intellectual property issues. ICANN has published a call for comments on the latter.
IP Watch: http://bit.ly/2bETY4I
IANA: http://bit.ly/2bNqWxY

Uber, Ford hasten self-driving fleet
----------------------------------------------------------------------
ComputerWorld reports that the Ford Motor Company has announced it will mass-produce fully autonomous vehicles designed for car-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft by 2021. Ford says the cars will have neither steering wheels nor pedals. Bloomberg reports that Uber will begin a test of 100 self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania later this month. These cars will be modified Volvo XC90 SUVs, and humans will be present in the driver's seats at all times; cars will be paired randomly with customers. The test will proceed despite the recent crash of an automated Tesla. In July, Uber bought Otto, a driverless truck start-up. Mina discusses the likely resulting loss of jobs for human drivers and self-destruction of the automotive industry.
Computer World: http://bit.ly/2bw1G1G
Bloomberg: http://bloom.bg/2bNALwy
MINA: http://bit.ly/2bw1LCw

Australia realigns latitude and longitude
----------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC reports that Australia will adjust longitudes and latitudes across the continent. According to Geoscience Australia, due to normal tectonic motion the continent moves northward at a rate of about 7cm per year, but the Geocentric Datum of Australia, which pins coordinates to geography, was last updated in 1994. As a result the coordinates are approximately 1 metre out of alignment with satellite navigation systems, a problem that affects myriad spatial information service and will worsen as GPS resolution continues to improve. Accurate data will be curcial for automated farm vehicles and cars as they come into use. The new Datum will be released on January 1, 2017 and will be based on projections to 2020.
ABC: http://ab.co/2bP0XaK

Thailand to track foreigners via SIM cards
----------------------------------------------------------------------
CNBC reports that beginning in January 2017 foreigners will be required to use special SIM cards in their phones that can be tracked by the authorities. Users will be unable to turn off the tracking function, which will be preset by mobile operators. The Thai telecom regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, has approved the plan in principle as an anti-crime measure. The proposal is seen as an extension to measures intended to curb both crime and overstaying visas, though critics believe it will add little of value.
CNBC: http://cnb.cx/2bguzvj


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

Can this election be hacked?
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The run-up to the November US election, coupled with the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee, has sparked concerns about the possibility that the election could be hacked. In two blog postings at Freedom to Tinker, Andrew Appel outlines what aspects can and cannot be hacked, and discusses the best way to mount defences. The ability to audit the vote, he explains, is crucial. In a new report, EPIC expresses concerns about the risk to voter secrecy (a US requirement) if the push to adopt online voting in some states, primarily to aid overseas and military voters, is successful. EPIC makes recommendations for preserving privacy while adopting new technologies.
Freedom to Tinker (1): http://bit.ly/2bNABVS
Freedom to Tinker (2): http://bit.ly/2bzRdj7
EPIC: http://bit.ly/2bFS5FY

Predictive policing predicts police harassment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Verge, Matt Stroud discusses a new RAND Corporation report, which has found that the algorithm-generated "heat list", the latest of Chicago's many efforts to reduce its homicide rate, has failed to save any lives. The heat list, generated by a $2 million algorithm funded by the National Institute of Justice, is intended to identify the people most likely to be involved in a shooting. RAND's analysis finds instead that at best it is less effective than traditional Most Wanted lists, and at worst the profiles it creates make their subjects targets for police harassment.
Verge: http://bit.ly/2bP0dCD
RAND report (Springer): http://bit.ly/2bBDHzS

How Facebook targets ads
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this analysis, the Washington Post discusses Facebook's latest bit of transparency, which lists 98 data points the site uses to target personalised ads, both on Facebook and around the web.
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2bgulV7

Death and the digital estate
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Engine Room blog posting, Zara Rahman discusses the problem of "digital death" - both what happens to individuals' data and sites after their death and what happens to data and communities gathered by projects that are ending. Several scholarly legal analyses of digital estates have been published by Strathclyde PhD student Edina Harbinja and professor Lilien Edwards. These discuss the different types of digital estates, and ask whether we need legal standing for "post mortem privacy"; they also propose some solutions to the legal issues they raise.
Engine Room: http://bit.ly/2bBCPuW
Harbinja/Edwards (SSRN): http://bit.ly/2bFSA2J

Poland: Libraries and copyright changes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this webinar (video and slides), EIFL copyright coordinator Barbara Szczepańska explains the provisions of Poland's new copyright law that affect libraries, schools, and archives. Changes include a broad new exception for preservation, implementation of the EU's Orphan Works Directive (for which Poland has mandated a long list of sources prospective users must diligently search), and provisions for the use of works that have fallen out of commercial availability.
YouTube: http://bit.ly/2bi6RhO


***

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.

The Use And Generation Of Scientific Content - Roles For Libraries
---------------------#-------------------
September 12, 2016
Budapest, Hungary
This one-day seminar will focus on how scientific content is used and the advanced role of libraries in making the best of it. The seminar will try to cover aspects of how libraries can improve the use of their content and how libraries can generate content from their side; the role of libraries in producing further content (that is, Open Access University Presses); and libraries' contributions to the development of Open Access.
http://bit.ly/2aVUyvd

Outcomes and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries in a Changing Digital Landscape
---------------------#-------------------
September 15, 2016
Ljubljana, Slovenia
This one-day seminar will approach two critical topics: managing electronic resources during the transition to open access; and economic aspects of using information resources and publishing in new circumstances. This seminar will try to discover return on investment beyond quantifiable value in the form of complex possible outcomes that cannot be directly measured using quantitative indicators, but must be assessed via the long-term quality assessment of their influence on study and research work output.
http://bit.ly/2aP8jtM

IFLA World Library and Information Congress
---------------------#-------------------
August 13-19, 2016
Columbus, OH
The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.
http://bit.ly/2a79a8p

8th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing
----------------------------------------
September 21-22, 2016
Arlington, VA
COASP's eighth edition will feature a diverse range of panels, events, and collaborative opportunities to bring together the open access community. With open access now at the top of the agendas of global governments, universities, libraries, funders, and policy makers, and of critical importance to researchers at all stages of their careers, COASP offers a crucial space for those working in open access around the world to come together and discuss developments, innovations, and best practices, and to make and build upon collaborations old and new.
http://bit.ly/OhXCyu

Chinese Institutional Repository Conference
----------------------------------------
ChongQing City, China
September 21-22, 2016
Hosted by the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Library of ChongQing University, the fourth Chinese IR Conference will feature EIFL open access programme manager Iryna Kuchma, who will speak about global open access repository developments and trends.
http://bit.ly/2afoULf

State of the Map
----------------------------------------
September 23-26, 2016
Brussels, Belgium
Talks, discussions and workshops, code and documentation sprints, all to improve the collaborative OpenStreetMap project.
http://bit.ly/28Z6Hxl

The Open Exchange for Social Change
----------------------------------------
October 4, 2016
Madrid, Spain
This pre-IOCD unconference aims to create a space where participants can exchange knowledge and understanding and build solidarity that will lead to better outcomes for IODC and beyond. It is an open space so that attendees can propose the most relevant and urgent topics for their work.
http://bit.ly/2aEpFg1

International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
October 6-7
Madrid, Spain
At IODC16, governments, civil society, multilateral organisations, and private companies will gather around a roadmap. the International Open Data Charter, in order to keep improving the governability, citizen engagement, innovation, and international development of open data initiatives.
http://bit.ly/1HQuPNW

Transparency Camp 2016

October 14-15, 2016
Cleveland, OH
The Sunlight Foundation chose Cleveland for this year's unconference in order to tap into the local expertise of an area with strong grassroots organisers and clear problems the community is trying to solve. The event aims to bring together librarians, government officials, technologists, civic leaders, community organisers, and others to figure out strategies and solutions for making local and state governance better, faster, smarter and more transparent.
http://bit.ly/2aP6RaV

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

ODI Summit
----------------------------------------
November 1, 2016
London, UK
The annual Open Data Institute Summit will feature inspiring stories from around the world on how people are innovating with the web of data, and presentations from diverse innovators, from current startup founders to experienced, high-profile speakers such as World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, AI expert Nigel Shadbolt and Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox.
http://bit.ly/2ar2aXf

ICANN 57
----------------------------------------
November 3-9, 2016
Hyderabad, India
ICANN meetings provide a venue for progressing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, interacting among members of the ICANN Community, including board and staff, and learning about ICANN.
http://bit.ly/29CmNg9

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

OpenCon
----------------------------------------
November 12-14, 2016
Washington, DC
At this event, the next generation can learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyse action toward a more open system of research and education. OpenCon will convene students and early career academic professionals, both in person and through satellite events around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation to advance OpenCon's three focus areas.
http://bit.ly/1OocSMD

WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
----------------------------------------
November 14-16, 2016
Geneva, Switzerland
Topics at the 33rd meeting of SCCR will include the protection of broadcasting organisations, exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for persons with disabilities, and proposals for analysing copyright with respect to the digital environment and to include the resale right in future work.
http://bit.ly/2bi2lF9

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-9, 2016 (TBC)
Guadalajara, Mexico
With the UN's renewal in December 2015, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) consolidates itself as a platform to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. At their annual meeting delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.
http://bit.ly/28YwZPX

Open Government Partnership Summit
----------------------------------------
December 7-9, 2016
Paris, France
Representatives from governments, academia, civil society and international organizations will gather to share their experiences and best practices and push forward the open government global agenda in light of the great challenges of the modern world. As a forum for sharing best practices, OGP provides a unique platform that brings together, stimulates and expands the community of state reformers worldwide.
http://bit.ly/2b1IY0Q

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 25-27, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
The tenth CPDP's main theme is artificial intelligence. The conference is accepting proposals for panels in April (from academic consortia, research projects, think tanks, and other research organisations) and May (from individuals wishing to present academic research papers).
http://bit.ly/1OrQSv6

Rightscon 2017
----------------------------------------
March 29-31, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
RightsCon will tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of technology and human rights.
http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ

Open Repositories 2017
----------------------------------------
June 26-30, 2017
Brisbane, Australia
The annual Open Repositories Conference brings together users and developers of open digital repository platforms from higher education, government, galleries, libraries, archives and museums. The Conference provides an interactive forum for delegates from around the world to come together and explore the global challenges and opportunities facing libraries and the broader scholarly information landscape.
http://bit.ly/2aOCiGp


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week of 12 August 2016
====================================================

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

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


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

The Wall Street Journal reports that Procter and Gamble is to scale back its targeted Facebook ads, believing that it has taken the narrow marketing approach too far. However, the company will maintain its level of spending on Facebook, cutting back instead on ads on smaller sites that don't have a similar reach. The largest brands benefit more from a broader approach.
WSJ: http://on.wsj.com/2aZGvln

Brazil: Supreme Court refuses algorithmic transparency
----------------------------------------------------------------------
While the Daily Dot warns that visitors to Rio have probably already been hacked via one of myriad spoofed wifi networks and other techniques, Jota reports that the Brazilian Supreme Court has denied a recent citizen's request for access to the source code for the algorithm that allocates cases to rapporteurs, who typically make autonomous decisions. Because randomness is a crucial element in assuring fairness, Jota argues that the Supreme Court should make the algorithm public to provide transparency into how it works so that citizens can be satisfied it's not being manipulated, either as a gesture of goodwill or to comply with the Access to Information Act.
Daily Dot: http://bit.ly/2aZGCxD
Jota (Portuguese): http://bit.ly/2aMJKvP
Google Translate: http://bit.ly/2bk8Jep

Malaysia: New law gives government sweeping powers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Human Rights Watch calls for the immediate repeal of Malaysia's new National Security Council Act, which came into force on August 1 and gives the government the power to declare any or all regions of the country as security areas where police may conduct arrests, searches, and seizures without warrants, limit freedom of movement, ban demonstrations, and impose comprehensive security requirements. Such declarations last six months, but are infinitely renewable.
HRW: http://bit.ly/2aP4k0G

Peru installs off-the-shelf national surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that despite protests last year the Peruvian government went ahead with a $22 million purchase of off-the-shelf surveillance software made by an Israel-based subsidiary of Verint Systems Ltd that allows it to intercept voice calls, text messages and emails. Documents obtained by the AP show how easy it is for countries to use this unregulated market to violate basic rights using the same tools that are sold to Western police and spy agencies for "lawful interception". Privacy International's latest work, a report on the global surveillance industry and the accompanying searchable global surveillance industry index, maps modern surveillance technologies, their trade, the companies that manufacture and export them, and the regulation governing the trade. PI developed its information from investigative reporting, whistleblowers, and government transparency reports.
AP (Washington Post): http://wapo.st/2aZH3YD
PI (report): http://bit.ly/2b8vfDX
PI (index): http://bit.ly/2biKFXs

Open access provides citation advantage
----------------------------------------------------------------------
1Science reports that new research finds that open access papers have a 50% citation advantage over papers published in subscription-based journals. At her website, US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has published a tech and innovation agenda that includes open licensing for publicly-funded research. Meanwhile, Inside Higher Ed reports calls for a boycott of SSRN, which was sold to Elsevier in May. SSRN is under fire because some papers were removed from the database, which Elsevier has explained was a mistake, not a change of policy.
1Science: http://bit.ly/2bkaDf9
Clinton: http://hrc.io/2bkfC0Q
Inside Higher Ed: http://bit.ly/2aJWdR0

American Association of Publishers objects to Sci-Hub research
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside Higher Ed reports that the American Association of Publishers has complained that in a presentation he posted, Gabriel J. Gardner, a librarian at California State University at Long Beach, praised Sci-Hub's ease of use. The presentation outlined his research studying the popularity among academics of sharing papers despite violating copyright. In defending Gardner, Roman Kochan, dean of library services at Cal State in return challenged publishers to do more to make journal subscriptions affordable. At the Chronicle of Higher Education, George Mason University cultural studies professor Hugh Gusterson suggests that academics should recognise that journal publishing has become commodified, changing the traditional ecosystem surrounding academic research, and therefore should cease working for free to enrich large, corporate publishers.
Inside Higher Ed: http://bit.ly/2bkfPBa
Chronicle: http://bit.ly/2b96n1s

How foreign governments spy using Power Point and Twitter
----------------------------------------------------------------
At the Washington Post, Citizen Lab director Ron Deibert reveals a cyberespionage campaign operating out of Iran which uses familiar tools like PowerPoint and Twitter to spy on and hack activists. In a newly published report, the Lab discusses this latest addition to a long history of previous digital attacks against civil society, including monitoring and infiltration of human rights groups and journalists using sophisticated spyware (Ethiopia and Sudan), a malware campaign targeted at journalists, activists, and political opposition groups (Latin America), and numerous others. Activists need to work together to make each other safe, and will need help from stakeholders such as funders.
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2b8x9Ex
Citizen Lab: http://bit.ly/2baVoGl

International Olympic Committee bans all unauthorised moving images
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that the International Olympic Committee has banned news media from publishing any animated images relating to the Rio Games, including animated GIFs and Vines. Under its "Rule 40", the IOC also bans any commercial organisations that are not sponsors from using any of numerous terms on social media during the Games. The Financial Review explains the IOC sees this as "ambush marketing", and notes the list of terms includes: "summer", "gold", "games", "effort", "victory", "Rio" and "2016". The Drum reports that the IOC relaxed Rule 40 this year, eliminating the blackout period before and during the Games during which non-sponsors were not allowed to mention athletes' names. The Drum also notes that Twitter has suspended the fake @Official_Rule40 account, a bot which automatically chided anyone using the barred terms, most notably the Pope and Donald Trump. At New Republic Dev Saif Gangjee discusses in detail the dubious legal basis on which the IOC stakes its claims.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2bke5aR
Financial Review: http://bit.ly/2blC6KK
The Drum: http://bit.ly/2b1HRhE
New Republic: http://bit.ly/2aOAH3s


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

Truth in civic tech
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Civicist, based on a panel at the recent Personal Democracy Forum, digital strategist Jed Miller discusses the unreasonable expectations common to the technology world and the problem they pose for civic tech in particular. Simplistic expectations, he argues, distorts the incentives for both advocates and donors; it is better to be realistic and understand that learning may look like failure and yet be valuable. Among the panelists whose comments he discusses are OSF's Elizabeth Eagen, Nike Foundation's Shaifali Puri, and Product Team's Sam Dorman.
Civicist: http://bit.ly/2bkb1Ky

India, EU consider network neutrality
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting, EDRi discusses the more than 500,000 responses the EU's Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) has received to the network neutrality consultation. Telecom companies are pushing to delete paragraphs regarding free speech. BEREC must publish new rules by August 30. Also, in a blog posting at the Center for Democracy and Technology, CDT Open Internet Fellow Stan Adams discusses the pre-consultation on network neutrality recently launched by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and its background. How India answers the important questions it's asking, Adams writes, matters to all of us because of its size and growing influence: with only 35% of its population connected, India's internet users make up 13.5% of the online population.
EDRi: http://bit.ly/2biMGmy
CDT: http://bit.ly/2b95uWM

UK and EU: Heading for data divorce?
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Freedom to Tinker, Axel Arnbak, author of the recent book Securing Private Communications, discusses the widening gap between the UK and the rest of Europe around data privacy. Since 1990, he writes, the UK has repeatedly obstructed policies desired by the EU, such as requiring telecommunications providers to implement end-to-end encryption, and the General Data Protection Regulation and Directive, and the e-Privacy directive. Arnbak believes, therefore, that Britain's exit from the EU may smooth future efforts to legislate for privacy and freedom. An open question, however, is how and whether data transfers between the departed UK and the EU can be made legal. At the Amberhawk blog, Chris Pounder analyses the future of data protection law in a UK outside the EU with no obligation to implement GDPR and concludes that as long as the UK remains a member of the Council of Europe it will be forced to implement the GDPR and UK-based data controllers will have no choice but to comply.
Freedom to Tinker: http://bit.ly/2aZJ9rx
Amberhawk: http://bit.ly/2b8xEhK

Drones and the future of aviation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video of the one-day workshop Drones and the Future of Aviation, held at the White House, a group of industry, government, and research experts on aviation assembled to discuss the near future of unmanned aircraft systems. The Federal Aviation Administration has announced it will approve the operation of drones over people before the end of the year. The workshop included keynotes by US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, and Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich, as well as panels discussing issues such as safety, data collection, and privacy. In Hungary, Atlatszo.hu has been able to use drone footage to improve government transparency by uncovering politicians' hidden assets, capturing aerial footage of protests against the government's internet tax, and showing the true plight of refugees in transit, whom the government sought to characterise as dangerous enemies.
White House: http://bit.ly/2bkfFcI
OSF: https://osf.to/2aOAOMx

EFF at the eleventh HOPE
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page, EFF publishes links to video and slides from the talks EFFers gave at the 11th Hackers on the Planet Earth conference (HOPE), held in New York in July. Included are Cory Doctorow's keynote, in which he discusses "Turing-completeness denial", a refusal to understand that computers have limits that underlies many problems in digital rights, including digital rights management, the loss of data privacy, and restrictions on encryption. Like other forms of denial, this one inflicts consequential damages on millions of people who act in good faith. Also linked are a summary of the year in digital liberties, progress on the Let's Encrypt initiative and an outline of Privacy Badger and Panopticlick, tools EFF provides to help web browsers defeat trackers.
EFF: http://bit.ly/2blBKDV


***

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.

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

The Use And Generation Of Scientific Content - Roles For Libraries
---------------------#-------------------
September 12, 2016
Budapest, Hungary
This one-day seminar will focus on how scientific content is used and the advanced role of libraries in making the best of it. The seminar will try to cover aspects of how libraries can improve the use of their content and how libraries can generate content from their side; the role of libraries in producing further content (that is, Open Access University Presses); and libraries' contributions to the development of Open Access.
http://bit.ly/2aVUyvd

Outcomes and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries in a Changing Digital Landscape
---------------------#-------------------
September 15, 2016
Ljubljana, Slovenia
This one-day seminar will approach two critical topics: managing electronic resources during the transition to open access; and economic aspects of using information resources and publishing in new circumstances. This seminar will try to discover return on investment beyond quantifiable value in the form of complex possible outcomes that cannot be directly measured using quantitative indicators, but must be assessed via the long-term quality assessment of their influence on study and research work output.
http://bit.ly/2aP8jtM

IFLA World Library and Information Congress
---------------------#-------------------
August 13-19, 2016
Columbus, OH
The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.
http://bit.ly/2a79a8p

Chinese Institutional Repository Conference
----------------------------------------
ChongQing City, China
September 21-22, 2016
Hosted by the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Library of ChongQing University, the fourth Chinese IR Conference will feature EIFL open access programme manager Iryna Kuchma, who will speak about global open access repository developments and trends.
http://bit.ly/2afoULf

State of the Map
----------------------------------------
September 23-26, 2016
Brussels, Belgium
Talks, discussions and workshops, code and documentation sprints, all to improve the collaborative OpenStreetMap project.
http://bit.ly/28Z6Hxl

The Open Exchange for Social Change
----------------------------------------
October 4, 2016
Madrid, Spain
This pre-IOCD unconference aims to create a space where participants can exchange knowledge and understanding and build solidarity that will lead to better outcomes for IODC and beyond. It is an open space so that attendees can propose the most relevant and urgent topics for their work.
http://bit.ly/2aEpFg1

International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
October 6-7
Madrid, Spain
At IODC16, governments, civil society, multilateral organisations, and private companies will gather around a roadmap. the International Open Data Charter, in order to keep improving the governability, citizen engagement, innovation, and international development of open data initiatives.
http://bit.ly/1HQuPNW

Transparency Camp 2016

October 14-15, 2016
Cleveland, OH
The Sunlight Foundation chose Cleveland for this year's unconference in order to tap into the local expertise of an area with strong grassroots organisers and clear problems the community is trying to solve. The event aims to bring together librarians, government officials, technologists, civic leaders, community organisers, and others to figure out strategies and solutions for making local and state governance better, faster, smarter and more transparent.
http://bit.ly/2aP6RaV

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

ODI Summit
----------------------------------------
November 1, 2016
London, UK
The annual Open Data Institute Summit will feature inspiring stories from around the world on how people are innovating with the web of data, and presentations from diverse innovators, from current startup founders to experienced, high-profile speakers such as World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, AI expert Nigel Shadbolt and Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox.
http://bit.ly/2ar2aXf

ICANN 57
----------------------------------------
November 3-9, 2016
Hyderabad, India
ICANN meetings provide a venue for progressing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, interacting among members of the ICANN Community, including board and staff, and learning about ICANN.
http://bit.ly/29CmNg9

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

OpenCon
----------------------------------------
November 12-14, 2016
Washington, DC
At this event, the next generation can learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyse action toward a more open system of research and education. OpenCon will convene students and early career academic professionals, both in person and through satellite events around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation to advance OpenCon's three focus areas.
http://bit.ly/1OocSMD

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-9, 2016 (TBC)
Guadalajara, Mexico
With the UN's renewal in December 2015, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) consolidates itself as a platform to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. At their annual meeting delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.
http://bit.ly/28YwZPX

Open Government Partnership Summit
----------------------------------------
December 7-9, 2016
Paris, France
Representatives from governments, academia, civil society and international organizations will gather to share their experiences and best practices and push forward the open government global agenda in light of the great challenges of the modern world. As a forum for sharing best practices, OGP provides a unique platform that brings together, stimulates and expands the community of state reformers worldwide.
http://bit.ly/2b1IY0Q

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 25-27, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
The tenth CPDP's main theme is artificial intelligence. The conference is accepting proposals for panels in April (from academic consortia, research projects, think tanks, and other research organisations) and May (from individuals wishing to present academic research papers).
http://bit.ly/1OrQSv6

Rightscon 2017
----------------------------------------
March 29-31, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
RightsCon will tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of technology and human rights.
http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ

Open Repositories 2017
----------------------------------------
June 26-30, 2017
Brisbane, Australia
The annual Open Repositories Conference brings together users and developers of open digital repository platforms from higher education, government, galleries, libraries, archives and museums. The Conference provides an interactive forum for delegates from around the world to come together and explore the global challenges and opportunities facing libraries and the broader scholarly information landscape.
http://bit.ly/2aOCiGp

8th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing
----------------------------------------
September 21-22, 2017
Arlington, VA
COASP's eighth edition will feature a diverse range of panels, events, and collaborative opportunities to bring together the open access community. With open access now at the top of the agendas of global governments, universities, libraries, funders, and policy makers, and of critical importance to researchers at all stages of their careers, COASP offers a crucial space for those working in open access around the world to come together and discuss developments, innovations, and best practices, and to make and build upon collaborations old and new.
http://bit.ly/OhXCyu

***

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/

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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
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week of 29 July 2016
====================================================

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

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


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

US: Microsoft wins jurisdictional dispute
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Center for Democracy and Technology reports that the US Second Circuit Court has ruled that Microsoft does not have to turn over emails stored on its Irish servers to US law enforcement seeking to compel disclosure. The ruling, which the Department of Justice may appeal to the Supreme Court, is widely seen as setting an important jurisdictional precedent. It is also an important victory for Microsoft, which argues that the US government should use the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to obtain the data and promotes the idea that storing data locally will ensure that data of Europeans are subject to Europe's more stringent privacy laws. However, UCL security researcher Steven Murdoch argues that the ruling will give false assurance to customers of US companies, because other circumstances might produce a different decision by US courts. Within days of the ruling, Gizmodo reported that President Barack Obama has proposed a plan to allow the US and UK to access data stored on servers in each other's countries as long as the searches were only for data relating to citizens of the country doing the searching. Both countries would need legislative approval.
CDT: http://bit.ly/2azvJXY
Murdoch: http://bit.ly/2axUD8C
ACLU: http://bit.ly/2axUEcN
Gizmodo: http://bit.ly/2akUEcH

France extends State of Emergency until January 2017
----------------------------------------------------------------------
La Quadrature du Net reports that in response to the Nice attacks the French government has extended the State of Emergency until January 2017 and amended the 2015 Intelligence Act to legalise domestic mass surveillance. The new provision extends real-time monitoring of communications data from individuals who had been "identified as a [terrorist] threat" - such as the 11,700 people with an "S-File" linked with radical Islamism - to anyone "likely related to a threat" or belonging to the entourage of someone so identified.
LQDN: http://bit.ly/2a2NWfq

Russia accused of interfering in US presidential elections
----------------------------------------------------------------------
As the Democratic national convention begins in Philadelphia, at Motherboard Thomas Rid, a Kings College London professor and author of Cyberwar Will Not Take Place, studies the evidence for attributing to state-sponsored Russian hackers the breach of the Democratic National Committee's server, which also exposed the organisation's opposition research on the Trump campaign. Rid sees the attack as setting a dangerous precedent for electronic interference by one country in the elections of another. Engadget confirms that the FBI is investigating the DNC email hack and is auditing the DNC's Republican counterpart, where no such hack has yet been reported. CNN reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed the claim, and reviews the history of the breach. The Guardian outlines Russian support for Donald Trump. On July 22, Wikileaks published the collection of 19,234 emails taken from DNC servers as the second in its "Hillary Leaks" series (the first was a collection of emails from Hillary Clinton's home server). On July 25, the Guardian reported that the emails' exposure of DNC leaders' active favouritism for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders has forced the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Motherboard: http://bit.ly/2a2OMbR
Engadget: http://engt.co/2au3Sp8
CNN: http://cnn.it/2aBpE9U
Guardian (Trump): http://bit.ly/2aAqk29
Guardian (Schultz): http://bit.ly/2agJll0

Turkey, US: Critics accuse Wikileaks of publishing confidential personal information
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Gizmodo reports that the 19,234 emails from Democratic National Committee members posted online by Wikileaks include the credit card, Social Security, and passport numbers of many small individual donors - a treasure trove for identity fraudsters, a fact easily checked via Gizmodo's published search method. Meanwhile, at the Huffington Post, Zeynep Tufecki examines Wikileaks' previously published "AKP Email Archive", obtained a week before the attempted coup, published shortly afterwards, and almost immediately blocked by the Turkish internet authority, and finds nothing that serves the public interest. However, she reports that among related files to which Wikileaks linked are massive databases of highly sensitive personal information about millions of Turkish individuals. One such includes almost every adult woman in Turkey, giving real - and correct as far as Tufecki could check- home addresses, mobile phone numbers, and affiliation with AKP, the group that attempted to overthrow the government. "There is not a single good reason to put so many men and women in such danger of identity theft, harassment and worse," she concludes. On Twitter, Wikileaks responded: "The story is fabricated by an Erdogan apologist in Turkey. We have already lodged a complaint with Arianna Huffington." Soon afterwards, national security blogger Michael Best came forward to explain how the files were obtained and take responsibility for their release (he has deleted the bittorrent instance he created on the Internet Archive server to distribute them, the link Wikileaks promoted). "What happened was a perfect storm of events that I could have prevented, and wish I had," he writes.
Gizmodo: http://bit.ly/2ar17Xf
Huffington Post: http://huff.to/2akVpCw
Best: http://bit.ly/2agYWHl

US: EFF challenges Digital Millennium Copyright Act
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Based on 20 years of collected evidence, EFF has announced that it is mounting a new legal challenge to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which the EFF has opposed ever since its passage in 1998. The law, EFF argues, is unconstitutional because it impedes security research, blocks remixes, and inhibits the use of fair use rights. "Copyright law," EFF adds in a second posting, "shouldn't be casting a legal shadow over activities as basic as popping the hood of your own car, offering commentary on a shared piece of culture (and helping others do so), and testing security infrastructure."
EFF: http://bit.ly/2afobd1

Historical data leads to Kickass Torrents owner's arrest
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Torrentfreak reports that the alleged owner of Kickass Torrents (KAT), the world's largest torrent site, has been arrested in Poland on a request from US authorities, and is waiting to learn if he will be extradited. Several types of data led investigators to Artem Vaulin: historical Whois records for early KAT domains showing his name, and cross-referencing that showed the same IP address was used to log into KAT's Facebook account and to conduct transactions on iTunes. In the criminal complaint, Business Insider finds the reason behind KAT's near-immediate access to copies of movies, often within days of their original release: conversion using a telecine machine, which directly converts cinema reels to digital file - a method that implies insider access. Torrentfreak also reports that Gary Fung, the Canadian founder of the now-defunct torrent site Isohunt, has settled with the music industry for $66 million.
TorrentFreak (KAT): http://bit.ly/2agISz4
Business Insider: http://read.bi/2aNr9Bk
TorrentFreak (Fung): http://bit.ly/2ar1kcY


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

Best case scenarios for copyright: education
----------------------------------------------------------------------
As part of Communia's effort to document best case scenarios for copyright, in this article Teresa Nobre and Alari Rammo discuss the educational exceptions in the Estonian Copyright Act, which were adopted in 1992. These include the free use of copyrighted works for scientific, educational, informational, and judicial purposes and allow public performances of protected works in front of limited school-related audiences. Estonia's approach, they write, has led to "a relatively abstract norm that allows for a broad spectrum of unauthorised uses" that is similar to open-ended defences like the US Fair Use doctrine. The authors suggest, however, that Estonia's law could be improved as two exceptions overlap, causing issues of interpretation.
Communia (PDF): http://bit.ly/2aj5kLa

Refugees and communication
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this three-minute video clip, best watched on a mobile phone, the BBC shows the importance of mobile phones to refugees, who struggle to identify their location, reunite with dispersed family and friends, and find safety. The idea was inspired by the stories the BBC collected in researching the communications needs of those fleeing their countries. Alongside the clip is a research report written from in-depth interviews with 79 refugees and 45 humanitarian actors studying refugees' communication behaviours and information needs during their journey, in Greek transit camps, and in Germany.
BBC: http://bbc.in/2aeuQ28

Legal analysis of Pokémon Go
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Freedom to Tinker, Tiffany Li offers a legal analysis of the issues surrounding the sudden popularity of Pokémon Go, which has spawned stories of absorbed users falling off cliffs and hitting a police car and privacy violations when private locations are misidentified on the map as gyms. Li examines Pokémon owner Niantic's liability for injuries, the privacy implications of the amount of information the Pokémon app requires, and intellectual property and trespass concerns. These issues, Li concludes are not specific to Pokémon Go; they will apply to any augmented reality game. Bitchmedia reports on a novel use of the game by the Clinton campaign: to lure unregistered voters to volunteers who help them register.
Freedom to Tinker: http://bit.ly/2adaozE
Bitchmedia: http://bit.ly/2ahI3t5

UK: The referendum and the future
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting for the Open Government Partnership, Birkbeck College lecturer in politics Ben Worthy discusses the likely future of open government for the post-EU UK. Brexit itself, he writes, will soon become a transparency issue as negotiators seek to balance the advantages of keeping their goals confidential with the need to reassure Leave voters that their goals have not been sold out. At the London Review of Books, John Lanchester mulls how an idea that was considered lunatic fringe in 1997 became a mainstream reality in 2016: today, he writes, geography matters more than class, the white working class has been abandoned, and the divisions between the two main parties do not reflect at all the economic divisions that dominate many people's thinking.
Open Government Partnership: http://bit.ly/2a7GwDc
London Review of Books: http://bit.ly/2a2PplJ

Burkina Faso: Reconstructing history
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at mySociety, Dave Whiteland writes about EveryPolitician's ambition to provide data about every politician in the world and Teg-Wende Idriss Tinto's efforts to reconstruct the history of Burkina Faso's Parliament, which was lost when insurgents set a fire in the National Assembly building in 2014, destroying 90% of the country's records. Tinto is appealing for assistance from anyone with information on the members of Burkina Faso's parliament from independence in 1960 until 1992.
https://www.mysociety.org/2016/07/15/everypolitician-and-historic-data/
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/pmo-network/NhNUqkl8UoY/MS754DJvAQAJ

If financial systems were hacked
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article, part of its "The World If" series, The Economist imagines what would happen if the global financial infrastructure were attacked, for example, via clearing houses or payments systems. To date, cyberattacks have focused on single banks. In this scenario, however, the attack might begin by tweaking numbers so that the clearing houses can't settle up at the end of each day. Ultimately, the system needs to plan for response-and-recovery instead of assuming that their security is sufficient to ensure that such attacks cannot happen. Other scenarios in the series include terrorist access to nuclear weapons, states trading territories, and universal drone ownership.
Economist (finance): http://bit.ly/2agJPaC
Economist (WorldIf): http://bit.ly/2azxaWi


***

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.

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

IFLA World Library and Information Congress
---------------------#-------------------
August 13-19, 2016
Columbus, OH
The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.
http://bit.ly/2a79a8p

Chinese Institutional Repository Conference
----------------------------------------
ChongQing City, China
September 21-22, 2016
Hosted by the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Library of ChongQing University, the fourth Chinese IR Conference will feature EIFL open access programme manager Iryna Kuchma, who will speak about global open access repository developments and trends.
http://bit.ly/2afoULf

State of the Map
----------------------------------------
September 23-26, 2016
Brussels, Belgium
Talks, discussions and workshops, code and documentation sprints, all to improve the collaborative OpenStreetMap project.
http://bit.ly/28Z6Hxl

International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
October 6-7
Madrid, Spain
At IODC16, governments, civil society, multilateral organisations, and private companies will gather around a roadmap. the International Open Data Charter, in order to keep improving the governability, citizen engagement, innovation, and international development of open data initiatives.
http://bit.ly/1HQuPNW

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

ODI Summit
----------------------------------------
November 1, 2016
London, UK
The annual Open Data Institute Summit will feature inspiring stories from around the world on how people are innovating with the web of data, and presentations from diverse innovators, from current startup founders to experienced, high-profile speakers such as World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, AI expert Nigel Shadbolt and Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox.
http://bit.ly/2ar2aXf

ICANN 57
----------------------------------------
November 3-9, 2016
Hyderabad, India
ICANN meetings provide a venue for progressing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, interacting among members of the ICANN Community, including board and staff, and learning about ICANN.
http://bit.ly/29CmNg9

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

OpenCon
----------------------------------------
November 12-14, 2016
Washington, DC
At this event, the next generation can learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyse action toward a more open system of research and education. OpenCon will convene students and early career academic professionals, both in person and through satellite events around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation to advance OpenCon's three focus areas.
http://bit.ly/1OocSMD

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-9, 2016 (TBC)
Guadalajara, Mexico
With the UN's renewal in December 2015, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) consolidates itself as a platform to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. At their annual meeting delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.
http://bit.ly/28YwZPX

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 25-27, 2017
Brussels
The tenth CPDP's main theme is artificial intelligence. The conference is accepting proposals for panels in April (from academic consortia, research projects, think tanks, and other research organisations) and May (from individuals wishing to present academic research papers).
http://bit.ly/1OrQSv6

Rightscon 2017
----------------------------------------
March 29-31, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
RightsCon will tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of technology and human rights.
http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ


***

Hear more from the Information Program!
================================
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Hear less from the Information Program!
================================
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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 of 15 July 2016
====================================================

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

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EIFL, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, La Quadrature du Net.


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

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

UK: Amid referendum fallout, surveillance and copyright bills proceed
----------------------------------------------------------------------
As Theresa May assumes the premiership after two weeks of political uncertainty, the Open Rights Group reports that the government has introduced the Digital Economy bill as planned. Among its provisions are an increase in maximum prison terms for online copyright infringement from two years to ten; age verification for all commercial pornography websites; and increased data sharing across government. Separately, ORG analyses the impact of Britain's withdrawal from the EU on digital rights generally and the progress of the Investigatory Powers bill, which was debated in the House of Lords on July 11. Intellectual Property Watch reports that legal experts expect withdrawal to delay the introduction of the EU unitary patent and unified patent court and create uncertainty and added costs for trademark owners. Kenedict Innovation Analytics provides a network analysis and visualisation showing the likely impact on the UK's scientific research ecosystem.
ORG (DEB): http://bit.ly/29vQbmH
ORG (Brexit): http://bit.ly/29KWV3E
ORG (IP bill): http://bit.ly/29KWtCw
Parliament TV: http://bit.ly/29F2FfU
IP Watch: http://bit.ly/29CE4qW
Kenedict: http://bit.ly/29LDvvI

UN passes resolution condemning internet shutdowns
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Access Now reports that the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution condemning internet shutdowns and renewing its commitment to the principle that human rights apply online as much as they do offline. The resolution follows recent shutdowns in Turkey, Bahrain, and Algeria; the first half of 2016 has seen 20 such incidents, up from 15 for the year 2015. Ghana police have pulled back from a suggested social media shutdown for the November 2016 elections. IFEX reports that during recent protests in Zimbabwe, the country's main communications tool, WhatsApp, was disabled.
The #KeepItOn campaign includes civil society and human rights groups from around the world among its members.
Access Now: http://bit.ly/29LDvMk
IFEX: http://bit.ly/29zQ60R
#KeepItOn: http://bit.ly/29BXRUZ

Dallas police deploy 'killer robot'
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Intercept reports that a standoff between police and a suspect in the Dallas shooting spree ended when law enforcement used a bomb disposal robot to deliver and detonate explosives to the suspect's hideout. The incident is believed to be the first-ever case of its kind outside a war zone. The Dallas Police Department has declined to provide details about the robot that was used. At Wired, Kim Zetter concludes that the robot was the only option for Dallas police and that the circumstances were unusual enough that weaponised robots are not likely to become the norm, though the New York Times argues that instead we should be concerned the incident will inspire other police forces to adopt this type of technology. At Fusion, Elmo Keep has identified the manufacturer of the robot in question as Northrop Grumman. In an interview at the Verge, We Robot co-founder Ryan Calo explores the ethics of autonomous weapons and why the Dallas case doesn't require new legal thinking.
Intercept: http://bit.ly/29vyIeW
Wired: http://bit.ly/29VgWpK
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/29wsiex
Fusion: http://fus.in/29FFvGf
The Verge: http://bit.ly/29VhLi2

Copyright licensing ends British Library's international non-commercial document service
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EIFL reports that as of July 1 the British Library has discontinued its international non-commercial document service, four and a half years after the service became licence-based instead of supported by a copyright exception. Data obtained by EIFL via a FOI request shows that the switch resulted in an immediate 93% drop in the number of available journal titles. A small percentage remained available at vastly more expensive commercial rates. The result was a precipitous 98% drop in the number of satisfied requests as well as the number of countries served. EIFL finds that the healthcare sector was particularly affected. EIFL concludes that a copyright exception for international inter-library document delivery is essential.
EIFL: http://bit.ly/29zSbcY

EU: European Commission adopts Privacy Shield
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ars Technica reports that the the European Commission has adopted Privacy Shield to replace Safe Harbor as a framework under which personal data may be transferred from the EU to the US. It comes into force immediately. In an analysis of a leaked version shortly before the vote, Privacy International finds four major problems: 1) the agreement is opaque; 2) although the principles the Shield enshrines are improvements since Safe Harbor, they still fall short; 3) the safeguards are not sufficient legal protection; 4) the Ombudsperson created by the agreement is not fully independent and has very limited ability to provide redress.
Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/29zQxIz
PI: http://bit.ly/29H921e

EU: Web content blocking incorporated into draft anti-terrorism law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
La Quadrature du Net reports that on July 5 the LIBE Committee adopted the draft Directive on Combating Terrorism, which it says incorporates the "worst anti-terrorism and surveillance laws from across the European Union" into a single directive. LQDN is particularly concerned about the "blank check" approach to extending web blocking measures across the EU, and believes that the directive profoundly undermines fundamental rights.
LQDN: http://bit.ly/29H91uf


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

Belarus: The police officer in your pocket
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report based on interviews with more than 50 human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, technology experts, and others, Amnesty International finds that Belarusian telecom companies, despite their foreign ownership, grant the government nearly unlimited access to their customers' communications and data and that activists say the result is a culture of fear in which it's safest to assume that everything they say will reach the KGB. "People's mobile phones are now like police officers in their pockets," Joshua Franco tells AI.
Amnesty: http://bit.ly/29Bzdce

The blockchain patent gold rush
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Fusion, Elmo Keep finds that patents are being filed on blockchain applications by dozens of claimants including some major corporations such as Bank of America. As Keep notes, the patents, if granted, could translate into very substantial profits, none of which will accrue to the original inventor, who released bitcoin without such protection.
Fusion: http://fus.in/29BzXxX

Internet governance in transition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, cyber rights lawyer Mike Godwin hosts a panel to debate US plans to let go its control of internet governance functions and the legislation introduced by US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) to delay transition. The panellists include experts from the R Street Institute, Mercatus Center, NTIA, TechFreedom, the Heritage Foundation, and the Internet Infrastructure Coalition. Delay might provide the time to answer some stubborn and unsolved questions such as jurisdiction but create increased international distrust in the process.
https://youtu.be/aD4ttZCQpEE

The future of copyright according to Julia Reda
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this speech (video and transcript) given at the CREATe Festival, MEP Julia Reda discusses the proposed copyright exception for text and data mining and argues that the evidence base CREATe has been developing suggests what's needed is a paradigm shift rather than continued patching of existing law. Change will require much international collaboration: "National sovereignty in a globalized world is an illusion." Other videos from the Festival include discussions of business models and the role of online intermediaries.
Reda: http://bit.ly/29Vi6RX
CREATe: http://bit.ly/29BzN9S

The proposed Code of Ethics for Human Augmentation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at KurzweilAI.net, University of Toronto professor Steve Mann and a host of others propose a Code of Ethics for Human Augmentation. Presented at the VRTO Virtual and Augmented Reality World Conference 2016, the Code includes three "laws": humans have the right to know when and how they're being surveilled; humans should not be discouraged from monitoring the entities monitoring them; and humans have an affirmative right to audit information recorded about them - and "must not design machines of malice". Mann, the earliest pioneer in wearable computing, is asking for contributions to improve the next version of the code, which he intends to submit to IEEE on July 22, 2016. In a special report, The Economist considers the state of artificial intelligence with pieces on "automation anxiety" and progress in neural networking,
KurzweilAI: http://bit.ly/29H8SqZ
Economist: http://econ.st/29PdeLo

Can we design sociotechnical systems that don't suck?
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Ethan Zuckerman discusses the common tendency to attempt to solve social problems by smothering them with technology. His specific target is an essay that argued that the problem of prison violence could be solved by isolating each prisoner in an individual cell and providing social interaction through Oculus Rift VR headsets. Zuckerman uses the essay - and the widespread "hate-linking" it's encountered - to ask: "how do we help smart, well-meaning people address social problems in ways that make the world better, not worse?"
Zuckerman: http://bit.ly/2a74oIp


***

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.

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

IFLA World Library and Information Congress
---------------------#-------------------
August 13-19, 2016
Columbus, OH
The theme of the 82nd IFLA Congress is "Connections. Collaboration. Community." The Congress will feature programmes from myriad library sectors.
http://bit.ly/2a79a8p

State of the Map
----------------------------------------
September 23-26, 2016
Brussels, Belgium
Talks, discussions and workshops, code and documentation sprints, all to improve the collaborative OpenStreetMap project.
http://bit.ly/28Z6Hxl

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

ICANN 57
----------------------------------------
November 3-9, 2016
Hyderabad, India
ICANN meetings provide a venue for progressing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, interacting among members of the ICANN Community, including board and staff, and learning about ICANN.
http://bit.ly/29CmNg9

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

OpenCon
----------------------------------------
November 12-14, 2016
Washington, DC
At this event, the next generation can learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyse action toward a more open system of research and education. OpenCon will convene students and early career academic professionals, both in person and through satellite events around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation to advance OpenCon's three focus areas.
http://bit.ly/1OocSMD

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-9, 2016 (TBC)
Guadalajara, Mexico
With the UN's renewal in December 2015, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) consolidates itself as a platform to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. At their annual meeting delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.
http://bit.ly/28YwZPX

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 25-27, 2017
Brussels
The tenth CPDP's main theme is artificial intelligence. The conference is accepting proposals for panels in April (from academic consortia, research projects, think tanks, and other research organisations) and May (from individuals wishing to present academic research papers).
http://bit.ly/1OrQSv6

Rightscon 2017
----------------------------------------
March 29-31, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
RightsCon will tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of technology and human rights.
http://bit.ly/I2ZAUZ


***

Hear more from the Information Program!
================================
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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.

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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 10 June 2016
====================================================

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

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


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

UK: Investigatory Powers bill passes House of Commons
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg reports that on June 8 the UK's House of Commons voted 444 to 69 to adopt the Investigatory Powers bill. The version that passed will require companies to remove encryption only if they themselves have installed it and if doing so is technically feasible and not unduly expensive. Liberty's former Executive Director Shami Chakrabarti called the changes since the draft bill was first published "minor botox". In a press statement, Privacy International expressed disappointment that the only concession won by the opposition Labour party was an independent review of the operational case for the bulk powers the bill provides. The bill now passes to the House of Lords for consideration and be submitted for review by a panel of legal experts chaired by David Anderson, QC, the UK's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.
Bloomberg: http://bloom.bg/218z7Ym
PI: http://bit.ly/1PhVvIG

EU: In the run-up to copyright reform, visually impaired still left out
----------------------------------------------------------------------
European Digital Rights' "copyfail" series highlights nine copyright injustices as the EU prepares to review its copyright legislation. Number two on the list, EDRi particularly calls out the EU for failing to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, intended to facilitate access for the visually impaired. The rest of the list includes a chaotic reuse regime, private enforcement, inadequate remuneration for authors, geoblocking, and restrictions on lending and borrowing. At Open Media, Ruth Coustick-Deal reports that laws under consideration could open the way to a "link tax".
EDRi (Treaty): http://bit.ly/1UBlbRH
EDRi (copyfails): http://bit.ly/22QRClH
Open Media: http://bit.ly/1Yf7TAv

Facial recognition will soon end anonymity in public
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the Singularity Hub, Tarun Wadhwa reports on a Russian app called FindFace that demonstrates the reality we will all soon face: that advances in facial recognition will soon mean that anonymity in public places has become obsolete. More accurate recognition algorithms, social media's massive databases of identified faces, and the processing capabilities of the devices everyone carries will mean that the images captured by the world's 250 million video surveillance cameras will be easily identifiable. FedBizOps notes that on July 12 the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host a one-day conference on deep intermodal video analysis to scope out research questions and address questions from potential proposers.
Singularity Hub: http://bit.ly/1OdMmpx
FBO: http://1.usa.gov/1Ya7EWY

UK: Security agencies bend rules despite oversight
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ian Thompson reports at The Register that letters exchanged between GCHQ and its official overseer in 2004, obtained by Privacy International, show that the agency was willing to bend the rules. Oversight, assigned to Sir Swinton Thomas, then the Interception Commissioner, failed because Thomas neither knew nor followed the rules he was charged with enforcing. Years after the passage of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000), the services went on using the 1984 Telecommunications Act to command access to citizens' private data.
Register: http://bit.ly/1PhVSTp

EU: LIBE committee to vote on draft terrorism directive on June 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------
La Quadrature du Net reports that the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) will vote on June 15 on the draft directive on terrorism, which contains many policies that Quadrature has been fighting against in France for the last two years: censorship of the web, attacks on encryption and the right to privacy, mass electronic surveillance, and lack of safeguards for civil liberties. Quadrature goes on to analyse the likely stance of LIBE committee members.
Quadrature: http://bit.ly/1TZWWCT

EU: Leaders call for open access to all scientific papers by 2020
----------------------------------------------------------------------
SPARC Europe reports that European ministers have united on making immediate access to scientific publications the default by 2020. Among the EU's goals: remove unnecessary legal, organisational, and financial barriers that prevent access to publicly funded results; cooperate with non-EU countries; and ensure that researchers and their employers retain copyright to their work.
SPARC Europe (PDF): http://bit.ly/25MH9wB


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

Tech Giants and Civic Power
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at the LSE Media Project, Kings College London senior researcher Martin Moore announces his new study "Tech Giants and Civic Power", suggesting that today's technology giants are increasingly taking on civic roles, raising questions about their societal responsibilities - responsibilities beyond those to their customers or shareholders. At the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo discusses the rise of the "Frightful Five", i.e. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google's parent, which have created a set of inescapable tech platforms that govern much of the business world. The coming years will see many more countries joining "the coming global freak-out", which, Manjoo argues, will lead to fragmentation as nation-states fight back to preserve their hegemony.
LSE: http://bit.ly/1sws2Wu
New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1Zz3J4L

Helping funders find trustworthy technical advice
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Inside Philanthropy article, mySociety founder Tom Steinberg discusses how funders can identify trustworthy technical advice. Well-meaning incompetence is a bigger problem than fraud, a problem he illustrates with Hillary Clinton's email server. To solve this problem, he recommends seeking advice from NGOs that are widely known to be tech-savvy as well as staff at high-tech funders, and asking potential recipients about their experience creating technology products. Also, ask via social media who to trust, and pay experts to help write job ads and conduct interviews.
http://bit.ly/1WFsMVH

Reinventing the web
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the New York Times, Quentin Hardy reports on the Decentralized Web Summit, where internet pioneers such as Tim Berners-Lee, Brewster Kahle, and Vint Cerf gathered to brainstorm reinventing the web to resist censorship, surveillance, and control through payment chokepoints. The project is in the early stages.
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/1UggfpL

China: Internet censorship works
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Washington Post, Simon Denyer highlights the scariest part of China's efforts to censor the internet: they work. Even though technical experts and others argued the internet's design ensures that information will inevitably reach those who want it, in January China's internet czar, Lu Wei, said of censorship, "This path is the choice of history." Also contrary to technical predictions, China's e-commerce market does not seem to have suffered; Global Voices highlights public-private censorship partnerships. Denyer cites research from Freedom House showing that one-third of the world's population face heavy internet censorship. The Economist finds that curbs on free speech are growing worldwide via three primary methods: government repression; assassination; and the spreading idea that people have the right not to be offended.
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/1UEYkru
Global Voices: http://bit.ly/1Yf9Nkk
Economist: http://econ.st/24AK8lY

Google's science fiction misfires
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At STAT, Charles Piller discusses Google's most far-out projects and its many misses. The Tricorder project and the glucose-sensing contact lens are just two examples of projects that have so far failed to deliver on the hype surrounding them. Meanwhile, employees have been leaving Verily, the Google arm where these projects have been incubated. Piller asks, does Silicon Valley arrogance inevitably create "vapourware culture"?
STAT: http://bit.ly/1Ya8Iu2

The secret symbol neo-Nazis are using to target Jews online: parentheses
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Tech.Mic, Cooper Fleishman and Anthony Smith report that various anti-Semitic groups have begun enclosing Jewish names in (((triple parentheses))) to highlight them as trollbait. Because search engines typically disregard punctuation, the resulting harassment is difficult to track to its source. Engadget reports that Google has pulled from its store the Coincidence Detector browser extension, intended to automatically apply such highlights to pages displayed in Chrome. In the Sunday Review, New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman recounts his personal experience as a target.
Mic: http://bit.ly/22QUJKk

Historical computing
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At this YouTube channel, the Computer History Archives Project posts promotional and educational videos from decades past. IBM is heavily represented, but also available are videos covering the early PLATO computer-based education systems, UNIVAC, ENIAC, and Remington Rand. The videos suggest that computers have changed far less than the society around them.
YouTube: http://bit.ly/1Xb0TVC


***

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.

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

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

Privatising the rule of law
----------------------------------------
June 16, 2016
Brussels, Belgium
This afternoon event, organised by MEP Marietje Schaake in conjunction with EDRi, will discuss private online law enforcement and liability in the areas of hate speech and copyright. Speakers are drawn from academic, government, civil society, and industry. Space is limited.
http://bit.ly/24AJQLV

BEUC Digiforum
----------------------------------------
June 20, 2016
Brussels, Belgium
"Consumers shaping the digital economy" is the topic of this Digiforum, which aims to identify what is needed for consumers to drive the digital market place.
http://bit.ly/1U7XSSw

SOUPS
----------------------------------------
June 22-24, 2016
Denver, Colorado
The 12th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program will feature technical papers, workshops and tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and lightning talks.
http://bit.ly/1Tn7bwy

VOX-Pol Mid-Project conference
----------------------------------------
June 22-24, 2016
Dublin, Ireland
The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence is an EU-funded academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of violent online political extremism and responses to it. The conference will feature sessions describing and discussing in-depth and cutting-edge research on violent political extremism and terrorism and the Internet.
http://bit.ly/1U9kfnn

Wikimania
----------------------------------------
June 24-26
Esino Lario, Italy
Wikimania is the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sibling free knowledge projects with conferences, discussions, meetups, training, and a hackathon. Hundreds of volunteer editors come together to learn about and discuss projects, approaches and issues.
http://bit.ly/24m1rci

Jisc and CNI Conference 2016
----------------------------------------
July 6, 2016
Oxford, UK
This year's Joint Information Systems Committee and Coalition for Networked Information conference will bring together leading experts from the US, UK, and Europe to explore the current issues and innovations in digital scholarship and facilitate a rich international exchange on leading practice and policy.
http://bit.ly/238UBnS

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

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

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

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

OpenCon
----------------------------------------
November 12-14, 2016
Washington, DC
At this event, the next generation can learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyse action toward a more open system of research and education. OpenCon will convene students and early career academic professionals, both in person and through satellite events around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation to advance OpenCon's three focus areas.
http://bit.ly/1OocSMD

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 25-27, 2017
Brussels
The tenth CPDP's main theme is artificial intelligence. The conference is accepting proposals for panels in April (from academic consortia, research projects, think tanks, and other research organisations) and May (from individuals wishing to present academic research papers).
http://bit.ly/1OrQSv6

***

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 27 May 2016
====================================================

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

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


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

Google appeals French "right to be forgotten" ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that Google has appealed to the Conseil d'Etat against a French court ruling requiring the company to remove results requested for delisting under the right to be forgotten from all its sites worldwide and for all users, not just from searches conducted from the EU. In an op-ed for France's Le Monde newspaper, Google global general counsel Kent Walker announced the company will appeal the ruling. Walker argues that French jurisdiction should not extend to requiring the removal of content from other national sites that is legal in those other countries. To do so, he says, would create the conditions for a "global race to the bottom, harming access to information that is perfectly lawful to view in one's own country."
Guardian: http://bit.ly/1WWPOIk
Google: http://bit.ly/1RtLA26

US: John Crane exposes the lives of Whistleblowers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Guardian excerpt from Mark Hertsgaard's new book Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden, reports the story of John Crane, a former senior official in the US Department of Defense. For years, Crane fought his superiors to provide fair treatment for pre-Snowden whistleblowers such as Thomas Drake and William Binney. Despite the provisions of the Whistleblower Act, Crane was stopped from providing necessary documents in time for Drake's trial; instead, he now recounts, his superiors lied to the judge that the documents had been destroyed prior to the indictment. Forced out in 2013, Crane filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Project over the above and many other misdeeds; the Justice Department is investigating.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/1U9kqPL

Twitter blocks law enforcement access to data mining service
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The ACLU reports, based on a (paywalled) Wall Street Journal article, that Twitter is to stop allowing US federal intelligence to access its affiliated Dataminr service, which compiles and analyses the hundreds of millions of tweets users post daily. ACLU argues that Twitter should extend the ban to local law enforcement, which similarly is buying surveillance tools that exploit Twitter user data, and goes on to advocate greater transparency about the many other such services on the market, such as Media Sonar and Geofeedia.
ACLU: http://bit.ly/1TCtSvM

Mozambique: $140 million Chinese system enables government surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Global Voices reports on the independent media outlet @Verdade's investigation of surveillance in Mozambique, where the government has been secretly listening to phone calls, reading emails and other text messages, and monitoring social media and web activity using a system reportedly built by the Chinese company ZTE Corporation. Built during the latter years of Armando Guebuza's 2005-2015 presidency, the scheme costs the Mozambique government US$140 million in a deal mediated by Guebuza's son's company, Msumbiji Investment Limited. Interceptions are managed by the military command, and neither judicial authorisation nor telecommunications company cooperation is needed.
Global Voices: http://bit.ly/1WPHDNb

US: Oracle v. Google to determine the future of software
----------------------------------------------------------------------
As the six-year-old copyright dispute between Google and Oracle over 37 Java APIs (application programming interfaces; that is, technical specifications that allow third parties to write programs using others' services or software) winds to a close, Wired explains why the case is crucially important for the future of software and what Google's loss could mean to start-ups and established developers alike. In prior hearings, Google won a ruling that APIs were not subject to copyright, but it was overturned on appeal and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The District Court will now decide whether Google's usage constitutes "fair use". As Sarah Jeong recounts at Motherboard, one of the most difficult aspects of the case has been explaining what APIs are to the non-expert judge and jury. Oracle is asking for $9.3 billion in damages.
Wired: http://bit.ly/1Vk6xU7
Motherboard: http://bit.ly/1qLOIRd

Elsevier acquires SSRN
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Nature reports that Elsevier has acquired the highly popular Social Science Research Network, an open-access research preprint repository, for an undisclosed sum. Elsevier says it intends to keep SSRN's leadership and user policies unchanged. The oldest and largest preprint server, arXiv, is funded by a host of institutions and operated by Cornell University; co-founder Paul Ginsparg told Nature there are no plans for it to change ownership.
Nature: http://bit.ly/1Z38gfF

Norway: Consumer council exposes app terms and conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In February, the Norwegian Consumer Council published the results of a survey of mobile apps, which detailed the ways that their terms and conditions are opaque and privacy-invasive. The NCC went on to file a complaint against FitnessKeeper after finding that its Runkeeper app was leaking location information to an unknown third-party advertising company. Ars Technica reports that in response Runkeeper has fixed the bug that caused this issue. On May 24, the NCC staged a live-streamed full reading of all the T&Cs that apply to an average smartphone to demonstrate the burden on consumers. Deutsche Welle reports that reading the full text, longer than Moby Dick, took nearly 32 hours.
NCC (study): http://bit.ly/25o2oVq
Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/1qLP8H3
NCC (reading): http://www.forbrukerradet.no/terms-and-conditions-word-by-word
Deutsche Welle: http://bit.ly/1WWRj9l

UK: Pressure mounts for a "digital bill of rights"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
CDT reports that the UK think tank Cybersalon has launched a cross-party campaign, backed by a range of civil liberties groups, for a "digital bill of rights". The launch follows a series of efforts by Cybersalon to raise issues of technology and policy via live events. Further events and a process of collecting public opinions are planned before the bill is drafted. In response to Prime Minister David Cameron's call to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, the Guardian published a spoof video in which Patrick Stewart asks what the ECHR has ever done for the UK.
CDT: http://bit.ly/1Z38Jyc
Digital Liberties: http://bit.ly/1XzMGjY
Guardian: http://bit.ly/249ucHf


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

The magic of technology
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Medium article former magician and Google design ethicist Tristan Harris discusses the psychological and design tricks technology companies use to manipulate customers and keep them hooked on their apps and services.
Medium: http://bit.ly/20GPhrL

Sessions from RightsCon
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Among this selection of recorded videos from April's RightsCon are discussions of surveillance in Brazil, and the chilling effect of government programmes, largely targeting Muslims, aiming to counter extremism, particularly in schools (in one case, a child's comment on a school document led to her previously blameless physician father's investigation and arrest for insurance fraud). Particularly interesting is the discussion of surveillance, race, and movement building, which features an intelligent dissection of race, class, and power by Malkia Cyril, who notes that communities of colour have long been watched in everything they do for purposes of control (starting at about 4:00).
RightsCon: http://bit.ly/1TLGaFs

The rise of the mitigators
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Civicist, mySociety founder Tom Steinberg divides internet-related organisations into two camps, "promoters" (technology companies, including non-profits such as Wikipedia and Mozilla) and "mitigators" (primarily non-profits such as EFF, Data & Society, the Chaos Computer Club, and Open Rights Group). While both groups have bloomed over the last two decades, Steinberg believes we are entering a period where mitigators will grow substantially and promoters will stall. While Steinberg is unsure what to think - in part, his posting is a request for thoughts - he is sad about the fading of the excitement over "public-interest technologies of real scale".
Civicist: http://bit.ly/1sAPJNa

The false promise of DNA testing
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Atlantic article, Matthew Shaer explores the flaws in DNA evidence created by changes in how forensic science is used, particularly focusing on the Houston forenscis lab, which was implicated in a number of false convictions. The increasing sensitivity of DNA testing has raised the probability of contamination through traces that formerly were too small for testing. Some US states have created conflicts of interest by paying forensic labs for successful convictions. Probabilistic genetic typing software may help solve the first problem; changing incentives and firewalling forensic labs from state prosecutors may help the second.
Atlantic: http://theatln.tc/1TYOVYI

The social licence of publishing
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this year's Charles Clark Memorial Lecture (transcribed), University of Sydney professor Michael Fraser warns publishers that they are losing their social licence with the public. Publishers, he says, should re-engineer their business models both to provide better access to their works and better protect authors and should embrace their role as "defenders of freedom".
PLS: http://bit.ly/1Vk6PKA

The benefits of VR
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, the science fiction writer Charles Stross discusses his recent experiments with the HTC Vive virtual reality headset, which he finds to be shockingly good. Given the many scare stories about VR that lurk just around the corner (Stross links to some samples), Stross decided to highlight three unexpected benefits he thinks high-quality VR will bring: improved physical fitness, improved eyesight, and better treatments for mental illness.
Stross: http://bit.ly/1TDArDm

***

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.

Transparency Camp Europe
----------------------------------------
June 1, 2016
Amsterdam, Netherlands
This unconference will focus on open data, new technologies, and policies that make the EU work for people, stimulate open government, and help grasp the workings of the various EU institutions. The event will include an online app competition.
http://bit.ly/1WuJ445

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

20th International Conference on Electronic Publishing
----------------------------------------
June 7-9, 2016
Göttingen, Germany
ELPUB 2016 will take a fresh look at the current ecosystem of scholarly publishing including the positioning of stakeholders and distribution of economic, technological and discursive power. ELPUB will also open the floor for emerging alternatives in how scholars and citizens interact with scholarly content and what role dissemination and publishing plays in these interactions. Questions to be raised include: What is the core of publishing today? How does agenda setting in emerging frameworks like Open Science function and what is the nature of power of the referring scholarly discourses? How does this relate to the European and world-wide Open Science and Open Innovation agenda of funders and institutions, and how does this look like in publishing practice?
http://bit.ly/1qXdIFo

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

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

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

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

VOX-Pol Mid-Project conference
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June 22-24, 2016
Dublin, Ireland
The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence is an EU-funded academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of violent online political extremism and responses to it. The conference will feature sessions describing and discussing in-depth and cutting-edge research on violent political extremism and terrorism and the Internet.
http://bit.ly/1U9kfnn

Wikimania
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June 24-26
Esino Lario, Italy
Wikimania is the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sibling free knowledge projects with conferences, discussions, meetups, training, and a hackathon. Hundreds of volunteer editors come together to learn about and discuss projects, approaches and issues.
http://bit.ly/24m1rci

Jisc and CNI Conference 2016
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July 6, 2016
Oxford, UK
This year's Joint Information Systems Committee and Coalition for Networked Information conference will bring together leading experts from the US, UK, and Europe to explore the current issues and innovations in digital scholarship and facilitate a rich international exchange on leading practice and policy.
http://bit.ly/238UBnS

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

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

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

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

OpenCon
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November 12-14, 2016
Washington, DC
At this event, the next generation can learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyse action toward a more open system of research and education. OpenCon will convene students and early career academic professionals, both in person and through satellite events around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation to advance OpenCon's three focus areas.
http://bit.ly/1OocSMD

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
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January 25-27, 2017
Brussels
The tenth CPDP's main theme is artificial intelligence. The conference is accepting proposals for panels in April (from academic consortia, research projects, think tanks, and other research organisations) and May (from individuals wishing to present academic research papers).
http://bit.ly/1OrQSv6

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Previously in wg's TV adventures...Marc Wootton, presenting himself as "Shirley Ghostman".


A guy named Jonathan Levene (@jjlevene on Twitter) called me and asked if I'd do an interview with some guy for a pilot for a TV series getting people to talk about religious beliefs and science. I said sure. They didn't really tell me much - said it would be an interview/discussion and that it was as much a screen test for the interviewer as...I don't know what.


He said they're hoping to sell the show to HBO, but the company's website says it's developing a show for PBS. Since the website consists of a single page, I presume it's only there to show prospective participants *something*. The show as described to me *might* sell to PBS - I can see it running a religious/science discussion show; it didn't and doesn't seem like HBO's kind of thing - though an "edgy" British comedy show might be.


On arrival at Grange Park (we were filming at Denmark Studios in Enfield), Jonathan met me and asked me to wait with a cup of tea in the local cafe while he went to make sure they were ready. The studio was very small and cramped, he said. On arrival there, though, I noticed a large, empty couch...


In the cafe, Jonathan explained I would be discussing science and religion with someone he called (I think) "Dr Dave". He had me sign a one-page contract/release, which I read. I remember the jurisdiction was New York (which is the address All of the Above Media gives on its one-page website), but Jonathan didn't offer, and I didn't think to ask for, a copy. In future, my rule will be never to sign releases until recording has completed.


The studio itself was (weirdly?) empty of people except for Jonathan, who brought me in, someone who asked if I'd turned off my mobile phone, a tech who clipped on a radio mic, checked levels, adjusted the mic, and then vanished, the three cameramen, and then the guy himself, who said barely anything when he arrived bearing a clipboard with what appeared to be two pages filled with lines of small type, which he kept in his lap behind the desk and frequently consulted. The fact that there was a monitor behind us with "YOU DECIDE" displayed on it, gold on royal blue, with a Christian cross between the two words hinted that either HBO was going into religious broadcasting (*so* unlikely), the producers were delusional (a possibility I seriously considered), or I'd been set up in some unknown way for some kind of comedy skit....because you really could imagine that backdrop for an SNL segment or something. I had been told we'd be filming in front of a green screen, and indeed the backdrop and side drops were all featureless bright green - which means, of course, that there will be some kind of projected background. That could be *anything*.


"Dr Dave" (assuming I've remembered the name I was given correctly) was *very* far removed from not only my sense of reality but anyone else's, which meant he was either in need of medical treatment or attempting a send-up, like Shirley.


All the above little points which I didn't fully note consciously at the time, are my best attempt at explaining why the possibility of a set-up never left my mind all day. Even in the cafe I found myself telling Jonathan the Shirley Ghostman story, and that makes me think I already sensed something off, but I don't know what.


The following is what I remember of the ensuing conversation, though they may not be in the order in which they occurred and are not a complete account (we talked for nearly two very long hours...); they're what I can remember. I'm posting this as a contemporaneous record just in case of...I'm not sure what.


The director (I guess) said we were recording as live, counted down from five, and we were off. He immediately vanished, leaving the set with Dave, me, and the three mute cameraman.


- His mostly bald head kind of bulged toward the back, which made me wonder if it was makeup/prosthetic/a bald cap. He had been thoroughly powdered to avoid shine, and I thought it was interesting no one had suggested doing the same to me, since they often do. I was wearing no makeup at all (since I never do).


- He began by introducing the segment so diffidently and hesitantly that I thought they'd ask him to stop and restart, and when they didn't, I thought OK, they said it was a screen test for him, but if that's true this guy is already obviously too incompetent to use, so why are they continuing?


- I was unsure about his accent; it seemed to me American but I thought I heard some non-native fuzziness around the edges, which could be the result of living in England for a long time or a British person putting on an American accent. Or...not.


- He said he was a cardiologist and also had a PhD in history, so the "Dr" was earned (twice). What were my qualifications? "I'm a dilettante," I said cheerfully. He demanded that I explain this word. (A guy with two degrees, including one in history, who doesn't know "dilettante"? Sure...or maybe he thinks the audience won't understand it). I said, "It means I'm an amateur."


- We briefly discussed my founding of The Skeptic and why I did it, and explained that "skepticism is inquiry" and that skeptics ask for evidence and that we don't tackle matters of faith.


- He asked about my religious beliefs, and I said I had grown up without any. Well, what did I call myself? I said I usually said I was an "agnostic". He asked what that meant and how it was different from other terms. I said, Well, to me an atheist is someone who denies the existence of God and an agnostic is someone to whom it's not important.


- He started talking about God, "He", "His"... For some reason I tried a joke: "Surely, She's black". Huh? What was that about? I explained the old 1970s joke where someone says he's been to Heaven and the person he's talking to says, "Did you meet God? What's He like?" "Well, first of all, She's black..." He seemed confused by this explanation.


- At some point, maybe 20-30 minutes in (I think; I'd forgotten my watch, which was a pity), it was bizarre enough and had gone on long enough that I turned to the room at large and said, "What are we really doing here?" The cameramen remained silent, like one of those scenes in a Gothic novel where the heroine, discovering that her host is a monster, finds herself alone except for servants whose mouths, eyes, and ears have been sewn shut.


- He began talking about creation "science". Did I believe in it. I said the scientific evidence provided pretty strong support for evolution. He seemed to feel it was just obvious that everything must have been designed. "Who designed the designer?" I asked. Apparently the designer just *was*. "Oh,", I said, "So it's turtles all the way down?" I had to explain this joke to him. He then said that the big bang theory didn't really explain where the universe came from, either - what was before the explosion? Well, he had me there.


- At some point I explained that as a skeptic I'm prepared to simply say that I don't know the explanation for things rather than pick on something easy just to have an explanation. Later, he used this to characterize me/skeptics as ignorant and offer viewers the choice promised on the monitor (You Decide) - presumably between our ignorance and his knowledge.


- He kept citing some science institute in Kansas whose name I don't fully remember and can't look up because it was utterly bland as the source of various "scientific" claims. In fact, all the names connected with this operation are too non-distinctive for successful online searches, which seems like a useful design if you're trying to play people. I did note that he stressed the Kansas the three or four times he mentioned it, which made me wonder if he was trying to get me to comment on that (I didn't), but he didn't generally leave space if I'd wanted to. I feel bad for Kansans; most of them don't deserve to be the butt of random people's potshots.


- A couple of times at the beginning I giggled. Why was I laughing, he asked. Since I can't now remember what I found funny, I can't explain it now either. Most of the experience was pretty tedious.


- He repeatedly accused me of flirting with and/or being attracted to him (as IF).


- At some point - I can't remember why now - I mentioned being 10 in 1964. "I'd have thought it was earlier," he said. I went on with whatever I was saying and thought it was lucky I don't have that particular insecurity. (It was, too, because see below. Before you ask, my Twitter picture is from 2008. I need a new one)


- Several times he made comments indicating I look older than my actual age (62); he asked me to guess his (because he lives on this super-healthy Adam and Eve diet, see, about which he said he wrote a book (which - there is such a book, but he's not the author) ) and after trying to get out of it because I'm crap at guessing ages I decided to make sure I'd hit an age high enough to fend off any claim he might make of unexpected youthfulness and said, "72". He said he was indeed 72 and then kept saying how much younger he looked (not if I guessed right, surely?) than not only *his* age, but *me* and that he wouldn't have believed I was ten years younger. I told him I wasn't lying, and that my age is correctly displayed on my Wikipedia page, which he replied (granted, correctly) that I could have edited (but I didn't!). He embedded several comments about my looking older in other statements - not leaving space for me to argue. If it was meant to make me mad...meh. I have a little too much ego for that. If he intentionally wanted to look like a jackass, well, I guess he succeeded, if you think saying someone looks older is insulting. Is breaking that taboo funny? It was stupid of me to bother arguing with him about this at all.


- He apologized to his wife, "Jean", on camera several times for my "inappropriate flirting" with him. Almost at the end, after the last such apology, I turned to the camera, and said, "Yes. Jean, I also apologize." He sharply objected: "Don't talk to my wife" and then quickly muttered, "She's been through enough." No, I did not say, "Well, married to you, I'm not surprised."


- He used first his hand ("Guess how many hand surgeons there are at the Mayo Clinic." "I don't know." "Seven." Because the hand is the most complicated part of the human body...) and then a banana he had ready to explain why there had to be a divine designer. The banana, he said, is perfect ("it's non-slip..."; it's color-coded to show when it's unripe (green), ready to eat (yellow), and dangerous (black - although actually black doesn't mean they're dangerous, just that they're overripe, and ick), and challenged me to explain how evolution could possibly have produced it. He partially peeled it ("the top snaps like a Coke can", another part of its perfect packaging) and suggestively slid the unsheathed portion into his mouth several times to show how perfectly it "fits into a MAN's mouth". I longed to joke about this, but said nothing. The banana led to his saying that this is what Adam and Eve ate - fruit, and he mentioned some fruits and the bit about having written the book, and I asked about apples. Well, no, they're not on the list. They only ate *one* apple, and that caused the Fall. This led directly to...


- ...He "cried" about his past as a "chronic masturbator", which he was able to end by stopping eating apples, which are, of course, the fruit of sin. I noticed no moisture around the eyes or nose. This led to...


- The society-wide level of masturbation before the flood hit 99% and the *next day* God issued his instructions to Noah. He's basing this on, apparently, semen found in clay pots in Jerusalem. I said, "Well, they probably didn't have socks," a joke that he asked me to *explain*. I sort of tried; I wasn't embarrassed, if that's what he hoped. (Come on, I wanted to say, We've all seen Friends. Chandler's sock was a whole plot.) And...


- Masturbation level is now nearly 8% (which I queried on the basis that it was insanely low). For men, since there are no statistics for women (I guess we don't spill seed), and that if everyone stopped climate change would reverse. He had a colored world map for each set of statistics ready and cued-up (another indicator of a set-up, I think - what genuine program would have put this guy on once they'd seen them?). "Have you ever met a masturbator?" he asked. "I've met you," I said reasonably...which led to more of the weeping-in-shame routine.


- He claimed that "Onanism" caused billions of lost souls; I stupidly argued this, pointing out that even in a pregnancy-causing ejaculation millions of sperm were still wasted. "Ah," he said, "but those are not viable. They're retarded, or..." I forget what, but I went on to make the point that therefore he could only reasonably argue that 1 to 10 of the spilled seed were lost souls. I "won" that one.


- He said he had seven kids. I remember feeling sorry for them (if they actually exist).


- At some point, he began passing off the jokes I did make with a line like "I suppose that's humor". I guess he got tired of claiming he didn't understand them and asking me to explain.


- How, he wanted to know, did I explain the picture he'd found online of a duck with tiny human feet? "Was it Photoshopped?" I asked. No, it was verified by that same institute in KANSAS. What did I intuitively think? "I don't know - I haven't seen it or the evidence." Women are supposed to be intuitive: what's your intuition. Ignoring the women are intuitive stupidity: "Probably what I asked first: is it a hoax?" I did look for such a picture when I got home and found one in a joke thread in a Christian forum alongside some other wacky pictures of ducks. It is *obviously* composited; that may be where they got the idea. (It's here: http://www.worthychristianforums.com/topic/189353-derailing-thread/?page=23)


- This led to my using an analogy of Randi's to try to get across "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". If you claim you have a horse in your backyard, I might believe you and not bother to check. "Unless I live in New York City." Yes. I had been about to say "Unless your backyard is in Brooklyn." (There is actually a current TV series in which the TWO BROKE GIRLS were supposedly keeping a horse in their Brooklyn backyard at the beginning of season 1; one of the many reasons I watched only one episode - they have no space, and they're *broke*. How are they feeding it and where do they put the droppings?) But, I went on to say, if you tell me you have a unicorn in your backyard - at which point Randi usually talks about getting samples of the horn and checking for glue. He interrupted and said, "That's impossible. Unicorns don't exist." I wish I'd had the wit to suggest they may be living in those unexplored parts of China, but I didn't think of it.


- At some point he talked about how he saw the Lord in everything and asked if I didn't, too. "No." I tried another analogy (yes, I know I should have learned by then), and asked if when he went outdoors on a beautiful day and saw the blue sky and green in the landscape he saw purple. "Yes." "In everything?" "Yes." So much for that idea.


- He talked about how the Lord gives meaning to everything in his life, and that's impossible without God and His guidance/moral code. I said that many of the things I do - and I named as an example serving on the advisory council of the Open Rights Group to help promote civil liberties on the internet - are meaningful to me without worrying about a God. (Now, unlike most of the rest of this discussion, *this* part of the conversation I have had before, with a very conservative Christian I knew when I lived in Ireland; I think every agnostic or atheist has had it at least once. It never leads anywhere because it's extremely hard to convey *why* something gives meaning to your life. But at least it was a short break from the surrealism.)


- It was pretty infuriating that he kept taking things I'd said and misconstruing them and then repeating them. eg, he said something about longevity, and I commented that although the *average* lifespan has been increasing for some decades the *maximum* known lifespan hasn't really budged. Ah, he said but there are some people living in "unexplored parts of China" (where are those? where on this planet is unexplored?) who are 150 years old, and I said, well, the birth records aren't always accurate from that long ago - so he accused me of racism and said his business manager is Chinese and they can keep records perfectly well. (Saying I'd had a Chinese accountant didn't seem to help this.)


- At the end, he asked me to pray with him. I refused, and simply watched him while he said some things, ending with a prayer for the "Reverend Trump". "Reverend?" I asked. "As in revered," he said. I indicated that I thought he'd been implying that Trump was some sort of minister. Apparently not. He also told me he loved everything and everyone, including me - but not in a sexual way because that would be inappropriate because he's married. "No, you don't," I said. "You really don't." (And I believe that's true not only of his "Christian" persona but whatever his real one is.)


Afterwards, Jonathan seemed shocked and asked why I didn't slap him (I don't slap people of any age - I took it as an expression of sympathy, but perhaps he was disappointed), and promised me that either it's not a setup or they set *him* up too. I have since learned that he asked another skeptic he approached to appear on the show what kind of comedy he liked. Ah: he and I also talked about comedy, which at the time I put down to my rambling conversational style. Learning that it was on the list of topics for discussion (whether Jonathan made the list or the producers did), as far as I was concerned, clinched the set-up theory. I also noticed that a) the guy disappeared the instant the cameras went off and they got me out of there and into a waiting car PDQ so I didn't talk to anyone afterwards except Jonathan. I also note that Jonathan told me he'd gotten me a car because it had gone on so long - but the cab driver told me he'd been waiting for two hours, and the time he said they called him was right about when recording started. So in fact, the car was probably to avoid risking having to wait with - and therefore talk to - me for any length of time while we walked to the station and waited for a train. (It was annoying: the car took twice as long as the train would have.)


The thing was that through the whole thing I kept thinking about the Shirley Ghostman experience, and this felt very much like that - bizarre, surreal, inconsistent with my prior experience (in Shirley's case, of psychics; in this case, of Christian fundamentalists), and that actually tempered my reactions. If it was a set-up, I thought anything dramatic would be yay! for them. Also, because it went on so long eventually it was obvious that at most they'd only ever use two chopped-up minutes of it. At the time, I wasn't as sure as I later became that it was a set-up, so my reasoning was: if the guy is meant to be real he's too lunatic and too incompetent to use, so none of this will ever appear, and if it's a set-up I'm not sure what kind, but they've lied to me and I don't need to help them. At some point it went on so long (they'd said recording would take an hour and it went on for two), I just let myself get bored and skipped responding to anything I didn't feel like bothering with.


Of course, I *also* never asked him point-blank if he was a fake, and although I think that's what this type of set-up relies on (that you, the butt of the joke, will try to work with the other person rather than shoot to kill), I also don't think I would have gotten anywhere doing that. One reason I think skeptics are vulnerable to becoming the butts of other people's jokes - aside from the "oh, look at the pointy-eared people with glasses" thing - is that skeptics who do much TV tend tread gently with other people's beliefs. Many are genuinely deeply held; many of the people who hold them have had terrible things happen in their lives. Even the people who are selling something - their capabilities as a medium, for example - require polite treatment because if you aren't what the viewing public will see is a nice, kindly person who just wants to help people, and an elitist smart-ass telling them off. So I will ask what the evidence is or talk generally about cases where the evidence is known and shows an alternative explanation, and Chris French will talk about the psychology of belief, and generally none of us will break on-screen and call people idiots, delusional, or whatever no matter how apparently absurd their statements are because it makes both us personally and skepticism in general look bad. I guess that's what happens when you have meaning in your life.


On the way to the car, when I marveled at the guy's obvious impossibility Jonathan said, "that's why we do these screen tests."


Whatever.


Whois says the alltheabovemedia.com domain is registered via GoDaddy, so I can't get any more information that way. I suppose all will be revealed someday (or not). Anyway, I'm posting this account to have a contemporaneous record. And yes, I don't like being someone else's plaything, and I *really* don't like having the skeptics made to look stupid. If that's their game. Forty-eight hours later, no one has bothered to tell me.


wg