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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 27 October 2017
 ====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 29 September 2017
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman. 

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


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

UK: Transport for London bars Uber
----------------------------------------------------------------------
London Reconnections reports that Transport for London (TfL) has decided not to renew Uber's license to operate, saying the company is not "fit and proper". The company says it will appeal; over 825,000 customers have answered its call to sign a Change.org petition in support. TfL's announcement lists four areas in which it feels Uber has failed to take sufficient responsibility: reporting serious criminal offenses; obtaining medical certificates; Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks; and explaining the use of the company's regulator-blocking software Greyball. London Reconnections explains Uber's corporate structure and the reasons why in TfL Uber has met a genuinely powerful regulator that will not be easily pacified. SumOfUs argues that TfL should not restore Uber's license until and unless the company agrees to fair working terms, including granting drivers basic employment rights and safe working practices; it has delivered a petition with 106,000 signatures to London Assembly member Unmesh Desai.
London Reconnections: http://bit.ly/2wnpxbm
TfL: http://bit.ly/2yLG5LF
SumOfUs: http://bit.ly/2woknfk

Apple adds tracking prevention to Safari browser
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that the latest version of Apple's Safari browser implements "intelligent tracking prevention", which prevents some websites from tracking users around the net. The move has proved controversial, and six advertising consortia have written an open letter to Apple, published in AdWeek, saying the new rules will "hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the internet". Google is also developing a feature for its Chrome browser that will block "intrusive ads". EFF expresses the hope that Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google will follow the lead of Apple and minority browsers Brave and Opera.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2wnRnEF
AdWeek: http://bit.ly/2wnoXu8
EFF: http://bit.ly/2xQb2jR

Chile: Draft decree requires data retention
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Human Rights Watch reports that the text of a draft decree signed by Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, which has been released by the rights group Derechos Digitales, would require telecommunications companies to retain data on the electronic and mobile communications of everyone in the country for at least two years. While the decree would require a court order to intercept communications, the same would not be true for accessing data already held. The draft also forbids companies from incorporating technology to hinder interception or recording, which if interpreted broadly could mean banning encryption. To come into force, the decree needs to be approved by the Comptroller Generalk's Office, which is reviewing the draft.
Human Rights Watch: http://bit.ly/2fxF4ie

EU: Buried study shows unauthorized downloads have little effect on sales
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EDRi reports that in response to a freedom of information request from Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda the European Commission has finally published a study on the impact of unauthorized downloads on the copyright industry that it commissioned in 2014. Awarded to the Dutch research and consultancy company Ecorys at a cost of €369,871, the study, now published at Netzpolitik, found that statistical analysis did not support the claim that downloading displaced sales with one exception: recent top movies. In that case, the researchers found that the legal consumption of top films decreased by four for every ten recent top films watched illegally. Music and books were unaffected; downloading games may even boost sales. The researchers suggest that downloading films and TV series decreases with lower prices. At TechDirt, Glyn Moody has more details and background.
EDRi: http://bit.ly/2x1H60b
Netzpolitik (PDF): http://bit.ly/2xQNbkl
TechDirt: http://bit.ly/2x1xl2h

Spain: Government raids .cat registry owner Fundació PuntCAT
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Times reports that the Spanish authorities, in the news for raiding the offices of the Catalan regional government and detaining at least 14 people, simultaneously raided the offices of Fundació PuntCAT, which has overseen the .cat domain name registry since its creation in 2005. PuntCAT's head of IT, Pep Masoliver, was arrested and charged with sedition. Almost all of the 113,000 websites registered under .cat belong to the Catalan-speaking community, and the foundation monitors such sites to ensure that they use the Catalan language. Catalonia's regional government has long pushed for secession from Spain and intends to hold a referendum on secession on October 1, efforts the Madrid government claims violates the country's 1978 constitution. The foundation has written to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to say that the Spanish authorities have asked it to block all .cat domain names that may contain any information about the referendum, and posted it on Twitter. The Guardian has more detail on the broader situation. 
New York Times: http://nyti.ms/2yMbVbx
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2x1hb91
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2yx9PLD


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

EFF's open letter to W3C
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this open letter, EFF's Cory Doctorow explains why EFF has resigned from W3C, the organization founded by Tim Berners-Lee that guides the development of the web. EFF's resignation is related to W3C's adoption of the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) standard, which enables companies like Netflix and others to deliver video protected via digital rights management (DRM) to web browsers. EFF had agreed to drop its opposition to EME provided that the W3C extend its existing intellectual property rights policies to ensure that companies could not use provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright to attack legitimate activities such as research and modifications that require the circumvention of DRM. Despite support by W3C members from many sectors, W3C's leaders rejected this compromise. At The Outline, Adrianne Jeffries discusses the controversy and the perception that the W3C, "vendor-neutral" since its founding in 1994, has become a captive of large corporate interests. 
EFF: http://bit.ly/2xOrtgx
The Outline: http://bit.ly/2hAeR6R

Fixing Facebook
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Wired, Antonio Garcia Martinez explains the inner workings of Facebook's advertising machine, which he helped create, and suggests how to fix them in the light of two recent stories: the sale of $100,000 in political ads to Russian operators before the 2016 election, and the ease with which bigoted users can be targeted via keywords. Garcia Martinez rapidly dismisses the second story because advertisers have largely abandoned keywords in favor of more personalized targeting. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's embrace of transparency, he writes, will require the company to solve the problem of how to display all the many variants of ads without disrupting advertisers' desire to have clean product pages. ProPublica has the detail of what is known about Facebook's transparency initiative.
Wired: http://bit.ly/2hAwXpd
ProPublica: http://bit.ly/2fDoCQS

African start-ups
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Quartz Africa based on the recent Accelerating Africa 2,0 event, Yinka Adegoke argues that Africa's community of start-ups and venture capitalists should be focusing on innovation and problem-solving rather than chasing huge valuations. The latter approach may have worked in Silicon Valley, but will be damaging in an African context.
Quartz: http://bit.ly/2fD5DWZ

Disrupting Daesh on Twitter
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at VOX-Pol, Maura Conway and Suraj Lakhani summarize findings in the project's August report, Disrupting Daesh: Measuring Takedown of Online Terrorist Material and Its Impacts. While Twitter was quickly suspending accounts linked to Islamic State (IS), the same was not true of accounts linked to other extremist groups. VOX-Pol estimates that 90% of accounts supportive of IS were taken down over the three months of their study. The researchers conclude by warning that IS activity is migrating to other platforms, particularly Telegram, where there may be less overall activity but participants may be more committed to their cause and therefore pose a greater security risk.
VOX-Pol: http://bit.ly/2yLcvGa

Information bottleneck and deep machine learning
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Quanta Magazine, Natalie Wolchover explains a Berlin conference talk posted to YouTube by Naftali Tishby, a computer scientist and neuroscientist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the talk, Tishby proposed an answer to the question of how deep neural networks learn: an information bottleneck that rids the information passing through the network of noise and retains only the most relevant features. Tishby has identified two phases of this process: "fitting" and "compression". It's widely agreed that he may have solved the important problem of how neural networks generalize principles from the stream of specific examples they're fed; it's unlikely that this is how human brains do it.
Quanta: http://bit.ly/2fBHtvO
YouTube: http://bit.ly/2ywnhiI

***

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.

Privacy + Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 4-6, 2017
Washington, DC, USA
The conference breaks down the silos of security and privacy by bringing together leaders from both fields. 
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

Freedom not Fear
----------------------------------------
October 6-9, 2017
Brussels, Belgium
Annual barcamp for European digital rights activists organized by Digitalcourage. Open to all. The barcamp highly depends on the participants and their contribution - those wanting to organise a workshop or a talk can create an account at the FnF wiki and enter their session.
EDRi: http://bit.ly/2hAJzN0

Countering Violent Extremism Online and the Impact on Civil Liberties
----------------------------------------
October 23-04, 2017
Boston, MA, USA
The theme of this workshop is to explore the challenges and opportunities facing actors engaged in countering violent extremism online, and the impact on content regulation and civil liberties. This workshop is connected with a VOX-Pol study being conducted by Central European University's Center for Media, Data and Society.
http://bit.ly/2x0PrWQ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners 2018
----------------------------------------
October 22026, 2018
Brussels, Belgium
The 40th version of this event will be hosted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli and the chair of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ventsislav Karadjov. The conference is expected to focus on the recently launched international debate on the ethical dimension of data protection in the digital era. Accompanying conference events will also take place in Bulgaria.
https://icdppc.org/

***

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Research Digest • Open Society Information Program • 13 October 2017

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

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

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

* "Big Data Surveillance: The Case of Policing" by Sarah Brayne - American Sociological Review

This article examines the intersection of two structural developments: the growth of surveillance and the rise of "big data." Drawing on observations and interviews conducted within the Los Angeles Police Department, the author offers an empirical account of how the adoption of big data analytics does--and does not--transform police surveillance practices. The author argues that the adoption of big data analytics facilitates amplifications of prior surveillance practices and fundamental transformations in surveillance activities.

source: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0003122417725865 ($)

-------

* "Algo-Rhythms and the Beat of the Legal Drum" by Ugo Pagallo - Philosophy & Technology

The paper focuses on concerns and legal challenges brought on by the use of algorithms. A particular class of algorithms that augment or replace analysis and decision-making by humans, i.e. data analytics and machine learning, is under scrutiny. The author argues that by entrusting many legal hard cases to algorithms, humans still bear full responsibility for the judgment of what is socially, ethically, and legally "plain" and "hard" in social affairs. The balance between delegation of decisions to algorithms and non-delegation will be the leitmotiv of the algorithmic society, argues the author.

source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13347-017-0277-z ($)

-------

* "A Posthuman Data Subject? The Right to Be Forgotten and Beyond" by Jannice Käll - German Law Journal

Arguing that digital technologies greatly obfuscate the boundaries between persons and things, this article draws a parallel to how the continuous expansion of digital technologies also affects critical understandings of how "data" and human personhood are produced in legal theory. Reviewing the new data protection legislation, and especially the Right to Be Forgotten rule with its attempt to strike the balance between the privacy interests of humans and the business needs of the infosphere, the author argues that the construction of new human rights around data protection would benefit from understanding how the theoretical separation between "humans" and "data" is in itself an effect of advanced capitalism.

source: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56330ad3e4b0733dcc0c8495/t/59a9a6f559cc685ded692259/1504290550021/05+Vol_18_No_05_Kall.pdf (free)

-------

* "Cyber Insurance" by Pythagoras Petratos et al. - book chapter

This article offers an accessible introduction to the topic of cyber insurance. The authors describe the different types or risks as well as uncertainty and ignorance related to cyber security. A framework for catastrophes linked to cyber-events is presented. It is assessed which risks might be insurable or uninsurable. Authors also discuss the evolution and challenges of cyber insurance and propose some thoughts for the further development of cyber insurance markets.

source: https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-319-06091-0_25-1 ($)

-------

* "Online Network Organization of Barcelona en Comú, an Emergent Movement-Party" by Pablo Aragón et al. - Computational Social Networks

The article explores the novelty of the emerging grassroots party Barcelona en Comú that won the 2015 Barcelona City Council election. On the one hand, it came out of a social movement that was based on a decentralized structure. On the other hand, political science literature postulates that parties develop oligarchical leadership structures. Exploring this tension through the lens of the party's Twitter activity, this article finds that while traditional parties are organized in a single cluster, for Barcelona en Comú two well-defined groups co-exist: a centralized cluster led by the candidate and party accounts, and a decentralized cluster with the movement activists.

source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40649-017-0044-4 ($)


NEW AND NOTEWORTHY BOOKS
=============================

* "Google and Democracy: Politics and the Power of the Internet" by Sean Richey & J. Benjamin Taylor (Routledge)

This book explores the influence of Google on American politics, specifically on direct democracy. Using original experiments and nationally representative cross-sectional data, the authors show how Google Search returns quality information, that users click on quality information, and gain political knowledge and other contingent benefits. Additionally, they correlate Google usage with real-world voting behavior on direct democracy. The authors conclude that Google Search is a powerful and important component to American political life in the twenty-first century, yet its influence is poorly researched or understood.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Google-Democracy-Politics-Power-Internet/dp/1138066451/

-------

* "The Political Economy of Robots: Prospects for Prosperity and Peace in the Automated 21st Century" edited by Ryan Kiggins (Palgrave Macmillan)

This collection examines the implications of technological automation for global prosperity and peace. Focusing on robots, information communication technologies, and other automation technologies, contributors to this book offer brief interventions that assess how automation may alter extant political, social, and economic institutions, norms, and practices that comprise the global political economy. The collection deals directly with such issues as automated production, trade, war, state sanctioned robot violence, financial speculation, transnational crime, and policy decision making.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Political-Economy-Robots-Prosperity-International/dp/3319514652/

-------

* "Bulk Collection: Systematic Government Access to Private-Sector Data" edited by Fred H. Cate & James X. Dempsey (Oxford University Press)

This book draws on comparative methods to examine national practices and laws regarding systematic government access to personal information held by private-sector companies. These data collection programs, often undertaken in the name of national security, were cloaked in secrecy and largely immune from oversight, posing serious threats to personal privacy. This book contains twelve updated country reports plus eleven analytic chapters that present descriptive and normative frameworks for assessing national surveillance laws, survey evolving international law and human rights principles applicable to government surveillance, and describe oversight mechanisms.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Bulk-Collection-Systematic-Government-Private-Sector/dp/0190685514

-------

* "Documenting Americans: A Political History of National ID Card Proposals in the United States" by Magdalena Krajewsk (Cambridge University Press)

This book offers the first political history of national ID card proposals and developments in identity policing in the United States. The book focuses on the period from 1915 to 2016, including the post-9/11 debates and policy decisions regarding the introduction of technologically-advanced identification documents. The author debunks two common myths: that Americans are opposed to national ID cards and that American policymakers never propose national ID cards.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Documenting-Americans-Political-National-Proposals-ebook/dp/B074XF8N5K

-------

* "Robot Ethics 2.0: From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence" edited by Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, Ryan Jenkins (Oxford University Press)

Contributors to this book argue that, as robots slip into more domains of human life -- from the operating room to the bedroom -- they take on our morally important tasks and decisions, as well as create new risks from psychological to physical. This, according to the book, makes it all the more urgent to study their ethical, legal, and policy impacts. In particular, this volume looks toward autonomous cars here as an important case study that cuts across diverse issues, from liability to psychology to trust and more.

source: https://www.amazon.com/Robot-Ethics-2-0-Autonomous-Intelligence/dp/0190652950/



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Hear less from the Information Program!

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News Digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 2 September 2017
====================================================
The Information Program News Digest, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EFF, Privacy International, Pro Publica, Open Markets Initiative.


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

India: Supreme Court rules that privacy is a fundamental right
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Privacy International reports that the Indian Supreme Court has ruled that privacy is a fundamental right "intrinsic to the right to life", overruling two previous decisions. The Times of India reports that, in response, the government has welcomed the unanimous decision but said it should be "subject to reasonable restrictions". In the Hindustan Times, Sunil Abraham, executive director of the Centre for Internet and Society, argues that Parliament needs to underpin the essential right to privacy with an omnibus privacy law that addresses the tension between privacy and other fundamental rights like the right to free speech and derivative rights like the right to information.
PI: http://bit.ly/2wT9C8P
Times of India: http://bit.ly/2vFiQku
Hindustan Times: http://bit.ly/2wSWGzC

Rwanda: Commercial drone services begin delivering blood
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Quartz Africa, Lily Kuo reports that the world's first commercial drone delivery service from the San Francisco-based robotics company Zipline has opened up in Rwanda to deliver blood products to hospitals, vastly reducing delivery times. The company is talking to other African and Latin American governments, including Tanzania, about launching similar services in their countries. The lack of Western-style regulations and legacy systems is enabling African countries like Rwanda, Cameroon, Malawi, South Africa, and Kenya to become testbeds for the use of drones in tourism, health services, ecommerce, and anti-poaching efforts.
Quartz: http://bit.ly/2wiqCU8

Internet intermediaries purge hate speech
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the New York Times, John Herrman reports that internet companies are purging neo-Nazi and "hard-right" content in the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia supremacist rally, at which a participant drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19 others. Facebook, Twitter, and Airbnb have deleted pages and accounts, Spotify has pulled "white supremacist music", and service providers - GoDaddy, Google, PayPal, and Cloudflare - have cut off leading neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer, which has moved to Tor Hidden Services. Herrman says these actions should remind us that, despite their democratic rhetoric, these companies' version of freedom is a "commercial simulation". On the banned hard-right communities' own social media, they portray themselves as victimized refugees from platform censorship. In a blog posting, Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, which protects websites from attacks, warns that no intermediary should have the power to arbitrarily remove a site from the internet. EFF concurs, and discusses example historical cases. Pro Publica explores the role of leading technology companies such as PayPal, Stripe, Taboola, and Newsmax in helping extremist sites monetize hate, even though most of those same companies have policies that bar doing business with hate groups. On WNYC radio, Data & Society's Alice Marwick discusses the methods hate groups use to recruit supporters. As a remedy, she suggests connecting with disaffected former members and engaging with the concerns of the angry, alienated young men these movements target. At the Guardian, Alex Hern discusses the problem for Tor Hidden Services, which can't turn off the technology that protects journalists and human rights activists in order to ban groups that are less acceptable. In partnership with Google News Lab, Pro Publica has begun indexing news of hate incidents.
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2iJc2jT
Cloudflare: http://bit.ly/2iIjZGg
EFF: http://bit.ly/2woabo4
Pro Publica (monetize): http://bit.ly/2woa4c8
WNYC: http://bit.ly/2gpL14d
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2wSMgQo
Pro Publica (Hate News Index): http://bit.ly/2vFjv5K

Open access nears 50% of new papers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Times Higher Education reports that nearly half of recent research papers, and at least 28% of scholarly literature overall, are open access, based on a research study for PeerJ Preprints. Researcher Heather Piwowar believes that the growth in open access publication may tip the scales toward subscription cancellations for some universities. Science reports that in Germany change is already on the table: 150 libraries, universities, and research institutes have joined together to try to force academic publishers to adopt a new business model. They propose to pay a lump sum to cover publication costs of all papers whose first authors are at a German institution in return for access to all the publishers' online content. Similar efforts in the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, and the UK have had partial success.
THES: http://bit.ly/2wJhrNC
Science: http://bit.ly/2wTaoCL

Data analysis exposes the hidden architecture of tax havens
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Quartz, Tim Fernholz reports on a paper published in Nature by a group of European computer scientists who have used a global dataset that tracks the relationships among more than 98 million companies to trace the flow of tax-free money through corporate chains. While the OECD claims that the only tax jurisdiction that does not abide by its rules is Trinidad and Tobago, this research has turned up many more, some expected, such as the British Virgin Islands, Jersey, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands, and some not, such as Taiwan. Five countries emerge as primary conduits for funds: the Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland, Singapore, and Ireland.
Quartz: http://bit.ly/2vJBbMP
Nature: http://go.nature.com/2xNiAAV

Google-funded think tank ousts Google critic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the New York Times, Kenneth P. Vogel reports that the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank that has received more than $21 million in funding from Google, has terminated its relationship with the Open Markets project, which comprised about ten full-time employees and unpaid fellows. The trigger appears to have been an article published on the think tank's website by Open Markets leader Barry Lynn that praised the $2.7 billion fine the EU levied against Google in late June. Google denies exerting any pressure and the New American Foundation denies any link. However, Google funds myriad think tanks and advocacy groups (the list is published on its website), and critics express concern that the result is to limit criticism from the sector. Open Markets is now starting up as a stand-alone non-profit and has launched a website called Citizens Against Monopoly. At the Washington Post Zephyr Teachout argues that recent years have seen Google become "greedy" about owning the shape of public discourse and become America's biggest spender on corporate lobbying and a significant presence in the nation's schoolrooms. At Vox, Matthew Yglesias recounts the history of New America's ideological positioning and its relationship with Google and also notes the company's alignment with the Democratic Party. At The Register, Kieren McCarthy notes the reactions of technology policy activists and discusses Google's increasing influence on all aspects of policy making.
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2vF1N2k
Citizens Against Monopoly: http://bit.ly/2iINdVr
Google: http://bit.ly/2x5b9I8
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2vIQ0zJ
Vox: http://bit.ly/2elWhup
Register: http://bit.ly/2x9bUQj


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

US: Understanding civic mistrust
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Medium, Ethan Zuckerman summarizes and makes available for download an essay on civic mistrust that he wrote for the Knight Foundation's recent workshop on trust, media, and democracy in America. Zuckerman argues that mistrust is a broad civic problem affecting many institutions, but that new ways of participating are also forming. He suggests that the traditional right/left axis is being replaced with a newer structure of institutionalists and insurrectionists.
Medium: http://bit.ly/2vJRqcs

North Korea: Phones and censorship
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article, The Economist surveys the use of smartphones in North Korea, where sanctioned mobile phones have spread widely since 2008, when the government invited the Egyptian company Orascom to join the state in building a 3G network. Enforced by the state's operating system Red Star and by signal jammers set up along the border with China, and users are restricted from making foreign phone calls; built-in Red Star functions take random screenshots of users' devices and search files for suspicious phrases and delete them. Red Star also allows authorities to trace forbidden content smuggled in from the South as it moves from device to device. Only a few are allowed internet access, and that is limited to 28 websites on the state-run intranet. Nonetheless, The Economist sees the country's growing networking as a small but hopeful sign of defiance.
Economist: http://econ.st/2vFydcS

Fixing misleading charts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Quartz article, Nikhail Sonnad provides a helpful warning about interpreting data and charts by deconstructing a chart created by a Reddit user that did the rounds after the total solar eclipse carved a path across the US on August 21. The chart appeared to show, using Google Trends, that searches for "solar eclipse" peaked shortly before a similar-sized peak in searches for "my eyes hurt". Yet the reality is that although searches for "solar eclipse" did peak around the time of the eclipse, searches for "my eyes hurt" remained relatively flat. Sonnad explains why: the chart used relative indexing that showed nothing about the number of searches.
Quartz: http://bit.ly/2xxH3uu

Amazon and antitrust
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow discusses a lengthy Yale Law Journal article written by third year law student Lina Khan (who also works with the Open Markets Initiative at the mentioned in the story on Google and New America, above), who examines the last 50 years of American antitrust law using Amazon as a case study. Khan, whose article has sparked a heated debate among lawyers and economists, argues that the Chicago School's emphasis on profits and consumer prices is inadequate to assess the anti-competitiveness of today's market structure, in which networks, digital goods, data-oriented retail, and giant pools of investment funds combine to create giant players at the expense of workers, creators, and competition. Khan concludes by suggesting limiting platform dominance by restoring traditional antitrust and competition principles and applying common carrier obligations.
BoingBoing: http://bit.ly/2xy59VZ
Yale Law Journal: http://bit.ly/2wTaQAX

How Palantir pushed into policing
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Wired article, Mark Harris investigates the data analysis company Palantir's push into policing. Via freedom of information requests, Harris finds many police forces have complained about escalating prices, hard-to-use software, and confidentiality violations. The retrieved documents offer an unprecedented view of the data the secretive company collects, the services it offers, and its pricing structure. The company, whose board is chaired by PayPal founder Peter Thiel, has extracted $50 million from the state of California alone since 2009. Harris warns that Palantir aims to penetrate police forces across the US and the rest of the world.
Wired: http://bit.ly/2x5iabT

A roadmap for artificial intelligence policy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this essay, University of Washington law professor and We Robot co-founder Ryan Calo proposes a roadmap for artificial intelligence policy. Noting that modern fears about AI are decades old, he goes on to consider the policy challenges posed by recent breakthroughs in areas such as justice and equity, the use of force, safety, privacy, and taxation and displacement of labor. That AI has captured the interest and imaginations of policy makers around the world this early in its life-cycle offers hope, Calo writes, that it can be channeled toward the public interest. At Co.Design, Caroline Singers writes an open letter to Elon Musk arguing that we should be worrying about neither killer robots nor the Singularity, but should instead focus on emerging issues such as machine learning bias, the effect on jobs of automation, designing for a wider audience than just Silicon Valley, and security flaws, particularly in self-driving cars.
SSRN (essay): http://bit.ly/2xyhh9u
Co.Design: http://bit.ly/2wSO8sr

Ukraine: Fighting fake news
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this podcast from National Public Radio's Planet Money, reporter Gregory Warner investigates fake news in Ukraine, where Russian TV stations routinely spread hoaxes that deepen divisions. Volunteers began by fact-checking Russian news and making counter-programming, but over time censorship looks more attractive than continuing to pour resources into such never-ending efforts.
NPR: http://n.pr/2vrUHlI


***

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.

WikiCon 2017
----------------------------------------
September 8-10, 2017
Leipzig, Germany
The meeting of German-language Wikipedia, its sibling projects, and anyone who is interested in free knowledge. WikiCon will provide space for workshops, lectures, and panel discussions to be designed in collaboration with its participants.
http://bit.ly/2spC6Dp

#CivicTechFest 2017
----------------------------------------
September 10-16. 2017
Taipei, China
Asia's first-ever civic technology festival and conference, #CivicTechFest" will feature a series of forums, workshops, roundtables, conferences, and hackathons related to open data and open government.
http://bit.ly/2q9xali

TICTeC@Taipei
----------------------------------------
Expanding from its annual conference in Florence in April, mySociety's annual conference, TICTeC, which focuses on the impacts of civic technology, will provide two days of sessions as part of #CivicTechFest.
http://bit.ly/2qbx3Uq

Summit on Internet Freedom in Africa
----------------------------------------
September 27-29, 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa
This event convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing the right to privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination, and the free flow of information online.
http://bit.ly/2rVMH6c

Privacy + Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 4-6, 2017
Washington, DC
The conference breaks down the silos of security and privacy by bringing together leaders from both fields.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 11 August 2017
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

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


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

China: Apple removes VPNs from the app store
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reports that Apple is removing some VPN services from its Chinese app store. While the company has been criticized for giving in to pressure from the Chinese government, the company says it is complying with the law, which requires all VPN services operating in China to use the country's infrastructure. Phys.org reports on broader moves to limit Chinese internet users' ability to bypass the country's censorship controls. At EFF, Amul Kalia and Eva Galperin discuss the history and escalation of Chinese internet censorship.
Reuters: http://reut.rs/2vOTow5
Phys: http://bit.ly/2vmX2uD
EFF: http://bit.ly/2ftzf8D

Elsevier acquires Bepress and Digital Commons
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Scholarly Kitchen reports that Elsevier is acquiring Bepress, the academic software firm that developed the cloud-based institutional repository system Digital Commons. The article goes on to discuss Elsevier's strategy in broadening its business to include tools that serve researchers and universities at all stages of research and expresses concern that Elsevier may now be in a position to "tame" open access. At Science, Lindsay McKenzie reports that a study by biodata scientist Daniel Himmelstein finds that Elsevier lawsuit target Sci-Hub, the website that bypasses journal paywalls, can provide instant access to more than two-thirds of all scholarly articles, and more than 85% of all papers published in subscription journals. For some publishers, notably Elsevier, more than 97% of their catalog is available, leading Himmelstein to ask whether subscription journals can survive. The article concludes with a short interview with Himmelstein to discuss his research methods.
Scholarly Kitchen: http://bit.ly/2uH5nr4
Science: http://bit.ly/2hKa6ay

Ireland: Government plan creates "compulsory" ID card
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Digital Rights Ireland reports that the Irish government has adopted, without public consultation, a new "e-government" strategy that DRI calls "a compulsory ID card by the back door". Although the government denies the card is compulsory, it is required in order to apply for a driving license, passport, free senior travel card, or other government services. DRI says the underlying database will link the details of Irish lives across all sections of government, including education, police, and health services. No legal framework to safeguard this data from abuse has been proposed.
DRI: http://bit.ly/2uH5UJK

Machine learning powers customized malware
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At BetaNews, Anthony Spadafora reports from the hacker convention Defcon that researchers at the security company Endgame have adapted Elon Musk's OpenAI framework to customize malware so that it fools anti-virus engines, even those that are themselves powered by AI. According to Hyrum Anderson, who presented the research, the attacking code was able to get 16% of its customized samples past the security system's defenses. The key, according to Anderson, is exploiting the blind spots all machine learning models have. In a video clip from Defcon, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov discusses what it was like playing - and losing to - IBM's Deep Blue chess-playing machine, which he describes as "as intelligent as an alarm clock" and argues that the rise of AI is not a threat to humanity.
Betanews: http://bit.ly/2vnba7m
YouTube: http://bit.ly/2vmLfg5

Google employee publishes anti-diversity "manifesto"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Gizmodo, Kate Conger reveals a ten-page anti-diversity memo circulating internally at Google, in which the unnamed author complains that the company's left-wind bias prevents it from accepting that men and women have differing biological capabilities and that these explain why women occupy only a small percentage of the company's engineering and leadership roles. The Guardian reports that in response the author has been identified and fired. At Medium, recently-departed Googler Yonatan Zunger deconstructs the memo, saying that the writer does not understand gender, engineering, or the destructive consequences of his writing. All the qualities the memo describes as "feminine", says Zunger, are the core traits that make someone successful at engineering. At The Atlantic, Ian Bogost argues that more women and minorities are needed in computing because the world being built may be much worse without them. At the Guardian, Angela Saini, author of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong - and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, picks apart the scientific errors in the manifesto, but notes the support the author has received on social media.
Gizmodo: http://bit.ly/2upHzZA
Guardian (lawsuit): http://bit.ly/2fuivhl
Medium (Zunger): http://bit.ly/2upYI5j
Atlantic: http://theatln.tc/2vjTL0Y

Syria: Bassel Khartabil executed in 2015
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Global Voices reports that Noura Ghazi, the wife of open web advocate Bassel Khartabil, has been informed that Khartabil was executed in Syria in 2015. A leader of the open source technology movement in Syria, Khartabil was a prolific contributor to Creative Commons, Mozilla's Firefox browser, and Wikipedia, and founded Syria's first open technology lab, in Damascus. In an obit at the EFF Deeplinks blog, Danny O'Brien gives further background, stressing the breadth and depth of Khartabil's influence on topics like fair use and copyright across the Arab-speaking world. At Amnesty International, Anna Neistat calls Khartabil "a symbol of courage". Jimmy Wales and his foundation have condemned the execution.
Global Voices: http://bit.ly/2wv0jrZ
EFF: http://bit.ly/2vn8C99
Amnesty: http://bit.ly/2wubGAJ
Wales: http://bit.ly/2vQ7WfN

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

You are the product
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the London Review of Books, John Lanchester reviews three books: Tim Wu's latest, The Attention Merchants; Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley Money Machine, by Antonio García Martínez; and Jonathan Taplin's Move Fast and Break Things. In the process, Lanchester discusses the founding and inner workings of Facebook, the existential threats it may face, and the consequences to us if it continues to survive and grow. What, Lanchester asks, will these companies do when they run out of new humans to recruit as users? At Medium, Economist reporter Nicholas Barrett also reviews The Attention Merchants, focusing on its account of the last 180 years of the relationship between the media and the advertising industry. Companies like Google and Facebook try to colonize our attention; enduring quality requires the creator to seek appreciation rather than merely attention. Also at Medium, Tobias Rose-Stockwell discusses how this colonization works and the enormous changes it's bringing to our news, our politics, our global outlook, and our personal relationships. At ZDNet, Wendy M. Grossman reviews Taplin's book and finds it a one-sided account of a complex problem.
LRB: http://bit.ly/2vjOeHN
Medium (Barrett): http://bit.ly/2uGYKoT
Medium (Rose-Stockwell): http://bit.ly/2vnoUiw
ZDNet: http://zd.net/2wuzgNA

Africa: Ad-supported internet unsustainable
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Quartz Africa, Bryan Pon (Caribou Digital) and Mark Surman (Mozilla) argue that the ad-supported business model will not work in newly-connected emerging economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Facebook, for example, earns an average quarterly revenue per user of $19.81 in the US and Canada versus $1.41 in Africa and Latin America. Those new billions of internet users' lower incomes and small data footprints make them less desirable to advertisers, and high data rates make ad-blocking near-essential. An alternative may be offering free access in return for watching video ads. At The Atlantic, Ethan Zuckerman apologizes for inventing the pop-up ad, and discusses a talk by Maciej Ceglowski while considering how we might remake the web without the endemic surveillance. In a case study from Ghana at Global Voices, Kofi Yeboah argues that holding onto the open internet and network neutrality, rather than accepting the limitations of Facebook's "Free Basics", is in Africa's best interests.
Quartz: http://bit.ly/2vk0VlX
Atlantic: http://theatln.tc/2hL1gcn
Global Voices: http://bit.ly/2uGXuSN

Regulating the leading technology companies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Lawfare blog posting, Peter Swire reviews the arguments for and against regulating the leading online technology companies as public utilities and suggests the closest model may be the Federal Communications Commission's rules regarding television. Given the many calls around the world for regulating hate speech and other terrorist communications, opponents will need to make considered and persuasive explanations of the flaws in these proposals. At The Conversation, Ramsi Woodcock suggests that the EU's antitrust actions against Google and Facebook are not based simply on anti-American nationalism but draw on antitrust theories that the EU has retained but the US has abandoned.
Lawfare: http://bit.ly/2vPF2wd
Conversation: http://bit.ly/2upJcGF

The domain name system and owner protection
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, EFF and Public Knowledge introduce a collaborative white paper that studies which internet registries offer the best protection for domain owners. Among the pitfalls they highlight: the newer global top-level domains give brand owners veto powers via the Trademark Clearinghouse; certain registries have private deals under which they will take down websites the Motion Picture Association of America accuses of copyright infringement; some registries suspend websites selling particular kinds of products or hosting certain kinds of content; and some fail at protecting registrant privacy. These are risks that concerned ICANN Watchers Michael Froomkin, Dave Farber, and David Post during the first decade of ICANN's existence.
EFF: http://bit.ly/2upVbYO
ICANN Watch: http://bit.ly/2vjUlM1

Net Positive
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page of Mozilla's "Net Positive" collection of video clips, a group of filmmakers examine the health of the internet. In HITRECORD x Firefox: Too Much Information, Joseph Gordon Levitt explores privacy and the collection of personal data, a topic he discovered when he played Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone's 2016 film. In the animated film It Should Be Easy, Ben Meinhardt shows a young man taking a technical support call from his mother ("Do computers ever hurt people?"). In Pizza Surveillance, honored by the ACLU, Micah Laaker shows the consequences of linking together myriad information sources.
Mozilla: https://mzl.la/2vQb37f

Taiwan: Scaling up civic tech
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip from the Personal Democracy Forum, Taiwanese digital minister and prolific open source coder Audrey Tang discusses the Taiwanese government's use of machine intelligence to spur large-scale participation in policy formation. At Civic Hall, Aaron Wytze Wilson discusses the talk with particular focus on vTaiwan, a site that gets myriad stakeholders to collaborate on formulating policy. The site, Wilson says, is a rare example of a civic technology project that has scaled to a national level. However, Taiwan's openness and participation is waning; use of vTaiwan is limited to digital economy-related issues.
YouTube: http://bit.ly/2vPxA49
Civic Hall: http://bit.ly/2wurSla


***

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.

Robots Exhibition
----------------------------------------
February 8 - September 13
London, UK
The Science Museum's 2017 robots exhibition includes robotic artifacts over five centuries, from a 16th century mechanized monk to the latest research developments. Focusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, the exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.
http://bit.ly/2kpgPn2

IFLA World Libraries and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 19-25, 2017
Wroclaw, Poland
The theme of the 83rd annual IFLA congress will be "Achieving a healthy future together: diverse and emerging roles for health information professionals".
http://bit.ly/2gErkVa

WikiCon 2017
----------------------------------------
September 8-10, 2017
Leipzig, Germany
The meeting of German-language Wikipedia, its sibling projects, and anyone who is interested in free knowledge. WikiCon will provide space for workshops, lectures, and panel discussions to be designed in collaboration with its participants.
http://bit.ly/2spC6Dp

#CivicTechFest 2017
----------------------------------------
September 10-16. 2017
Taipei, China
Asia's first-ever civic technology festival and conference, #CivicTechFest" will feature a series of forums, workshops, roundtables, conferences, and hackathons related to open data and open government.
http://bit.ly/2q9xali

TICTeC@Taipei
----------------------------------------
Expanding from its annual conference in Florence in April, mySociety's annual conference, TICTeC, which focuses on the impacts of civic technology, will provide two days of sessions as part of #CivicTechFest.
http://bit.ly/2qbx3Uq

Summit on Internet Freedom in Africa
----------------------------------------
September 27-29, 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa
This event convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing the right to privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination, and the free flow of information online.
http://bit.ly/2rVMH6c

Privacy + Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 4-6, 2017
Washington, DC
The conference breaks down the silos of security and privacy by bringing together leaders from both fields.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

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

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

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

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

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


***

Hear more 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 ending 28 July 2017
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

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


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

India: Supreme Court rules course packs are legal
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EIFL reports that the Supreme Court of India has dismissed an appeal by the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO) challenging an earlier judgment of Delhi High Court that ruled course packs in India are legal for educational purposes. The decision ends a five-year court battle that began when three publishers, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis, filed suit against the University of Delhi and Rameshwari Photocopy Service for copyright infringement. In two judgments, in September and December 2016, the court ruled that the course packs fell under section 52(1)(i) of Indian copyright law, which provides an education exemption.
EIFL: http://bit.ly/2v6zlbV

Russia cracks down on online anonymity
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Global Voices reports that just prior to beginning its summer recess Russia's Duma passed 69 bills that include numerous censorship measures that will prohibit anonymous messaging; outlaw VPNs, proxies, and other anonymizers; and require search engines to hide links to blocked sites. In addition, services must verify user identities by requiring a phone number and prevent illegal content from being distributed on their platforms. Many of these measures correspond to President Vladimir Putin's Strategy for the Development of an Information Society, and Global Voices speculates that they may presage further restrictions. The Guardian reports that hackers are subverting Russia's attempt to control the internet by buying banned sites and inserting the details of legitimate sites into their pages, with the net result that those sites also became blocked. The result was to block the Russian search engine Yandex, banks, NTV, and LifeNews. Sarkis Darbinyan, a lawyer for the free internet-promoting RosKomSvoboda project, predicts that Russia is moving towards the presumption that everything is forbidden unless it is explicitly permitted.
Global Voices: http://bit.ly/2vQkj8m
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2vQe83R

US: White House asks states to transfer voter rolls
----------------------------------------------------------------------
National Public Radio's Pam Fessler reports that the White House commission studying voter fraud and other election irregularities has written to all 50 states to ask for all publicly available voter roll data to be sent to the White House by July 14. The goal is thought to be to compare the data to other government databases in order to identify non-citizens or other illegitimate registrants. The Verified Voting Foundation reports that more than ten states, including California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia, have refused to comply with the request. Others, including Connecticut, Minnesota, and Oklahoma, have said they will turn over public, but not private, information. EPIC reports that lawsuits have been filed to block the data transfer in Florida, New Hampshire, and Texas and that a group of more than 70 US Congress members have written to the Presidential Election Commission to ask it to withdraw the request immediately.
NPR: http://n.pr/2w6xgKx
Voting News: http://bit.ly/2u5csS3
EPIC (states): http://bit.ly/2vezTO3
EPIC (letter): http://bit.ly/2u4GrK3

Colombia: Court demands journalist's Facebook password
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Global Voices reports that the judge overseeing the prosecution of Colombian investigative journalist William Solano authorized the district attorney to search Solano's Facebook account in order to identify his anonymous sources. Solano is being prosecuted for slander after writing multiple articles on administrative corruption in the district of Buga. The Colombian Foundation for Press Freedom and the Fundación Karisma have both protested the order.
Global Voices: http://bit.ly/2uEWul5

China: Authorities make new censorship and surveillance moves
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Radio Free Asia reports that the Xi'an municipal branch of the Cyberspace Agency has ordered ISPs to submit files to police on anyone with more than 30,000 social media followers as part of an ongoing crackdown on foreign content. Service providers have until August 15 to comply with the new rules or face the possibility of being shut down. The directive also applies to individuals residing temporarily within the city limits. The authorities have also removed a large array of overseas TV shows and video content, and issued takedown notices to two popular multimedia websites targeting young people. Global Voices reports that on July 10 residents of the Western Chinese ethnic minority region Xinjiang received a mobile phone notification from the district government instructing them to install a surveillance app called Jingwang. While the message said the app was intended to prevent them from accessing terrorist information, Global Voices cites a Radio Free Asia report that soon after installing the app ten Kazakh women were arrested for messages sent to a private WeChat group.
RFA: http://bit.ly/2v6IC3E
Global Voices: http://bit.ly/2eTF3YE


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

Black Code
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, Citizen Lab founder and director Ron Deibert trails the documentary Black Code, based on his book by the same name. The film is available for streaming from numerous sites and covers digital privacy and online security issues by weaving together interconnected tales from Tibet, China, Syria, Brazil, and Pakistan. A posting announcing the film's screening at the Toronto International Film Festival includes excerpts from the book. Also at Citizen Lab, research fellow Jon Penney reveals the results of an investigation into who is most likely to self-censor in response to surveillance: women and younger people.
Citizen Lab (Black Code): http://bit.ly/2tKbfQS
Citizen Lab (excerpt): http://bit.ly/2tPSOOU
Citizen Lab (Penney): http://bit.ly/2u4UK10

Governance and the export of surveillance equipment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this letter, numerous NGOs including Access Now, Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, Privacy International, and Statewatch ask EU member states and institutions to respect their human rights obligations and modernize the rules governing the export of surveillance equipment to authoritarian countries around the world. Such proposals were first recommended in 2011 and are currently up for discussion within the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament.
PI: http://bit.ly/2vQ8leY

Stopping algorithms from telling lies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Observer article, Cathy O'Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction, describes four types of bad algorithms: unintentional cultural biases; neglect; nasty but legal practices; intentional design. O'Neil goes on to consider the obstacles to oversight. Now, it's a political fight; tomorrow it will be an arms race.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2h9hV99

Emotion capture technology
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at the LSE Media Policy Project, Bangor University professor Andrew McStay discusses emotion capture technology, the subject of several recent patents filed by Facebook. The company wants to use webcams and smartphone cameras to read and track our emotions and expressions. However, McStay writes, in research he conducted for a report on the rise of "emotion AI" and "empathic media" he finds that outside of games most people do not like the idea. Younger people are twice as likely to accept the idea - but even so, only 13.8% of 18-to-24-year-olds accept it and they still want meaningful control. He goes on to consider how data protection law should treat these technologies.
LSE: http://bit.ly/2vQ8vD6

Taking down dark markets
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this pair of blog postings, investigative security reporter Brian Krebs details the takedown of the dark market site Alphabay and its follow-up, in which Dutch police spent a month operating the competing Lithuania-based Hansa Market in order to both disrupt it and sweep up criminals migrating their operations. Although it's generally expected that new dark markets will arise to fill the gap, police hope that additional damage to customer trust will be done by making it too risky for criminals to reuse their previously known user IDs. The second posting is an exclusive interview discussing the operation with Dutch police team leader Petra Haandrikman. In another bit of clever digital investigation, Ars Technica reports that the key document in a corruption inquiry in Pakistan has been identified as a probable forgery because Calibri, the font used in the document, dated 2006, did not ship in a stable version of Windows until 2007.
Krebs (takedown): http://bit.ly/2uFyw9G
Krebs (interview): http://bit.ly/2v4bVEq
Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/2v6xrrL

Inclusive technology design
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Freedom to Tinker, Kate Sim and Bendert Zevenbergen discuss the interaction of technology design and the problems and threats faced by vulnerable groups such as children, women, and LGBTQ people. Despite good intentions, designers often fail to consider different contexts; technology that is harmless or beneficial to most users may be actively dangerous for others. At the New York Times, women entrepreneurs have come forward to talk to Katie Benner about the discrimination and sexual harassment they face when seeking venture capital in Silicon Valley. Zebras Unite calls for a more ethical and inclusive alternative to current start-up culture.
Freedom to Tinker: http://bit.ly/2vQz8Yj
New York Times: http://nyti.ms/2v4vD38
Zebras Unite: http://bit.ly/2tJBrv1


***

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.

Robots Exhibition
----------------------------------------
February 8 - September 13
London, UK
The Science Museum's 2017 robots exhibition includes robotic artifacts over five centuries, from a 16th century mechanized monk to the latest research developments. Focusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, the exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.
http://bit.ly/2kpgPn2

Wikimania
----------------------------------------
August 9-13, 2017
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Wikimania's keynotes, hackathons, preconferences, workshops, and community-submitted talks will include sessions on the future of editing Wikipedia; outreach in Africa; library partnerships - Wikidata tools - what readers visit - communicating your work - Wikimedia's strategy - legal threats to free knowledge - Wikipedia in minority and endangered languages; Wikipedia in Iraq; medicine and emergency response; the gender gap; preventing online harassment; sounds and video; implicit bias; citations and references; the future of Wikisource and Wikiversity; real-time collaboration; global trends; leading teams; Wikidata and museums; making access affordable; the future of news; collaboration under censorship; and education.
http://bit.ly/2ujwnBA

IFLA World Libraries and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 19-25, 2017
Wroclaw, Poland
The theme of the 83rd annual IFLA congress will be "Achieving a healthy future together: diverse and emerging roles for health information professionals".
http://bit.ly/2gErkVa

WikiCon 2017
----------------------------------------
September 8-10, 2017
Leipzig, Germany
The meeting of German-language Wikipedia, its sibling projects, and anyone who is interested in free knowledge. WikiCon will provide space for workshops, lectures, and panel discussions to be designed in collaboration with its participants.
http://bit.ly/2spC6Dp

#CivicTechFest 2017
----------------------------------------
September 10-16. 2017
Taipei, China
Asia's first-ever civic technology festival and conference, #CivicTechFest" will feature a series of forums, workshops, roundtables, conferences, and hackathons related to open data and open government.
http://bit.ly/2q9xali

TICTeC@Taipei
----------------------------------------
Expanding from its annual conference in Florence in April, mySociety's annual conference, TICTeC, which focuses on the impacts of civic technology, will provide two days of sessions as part of #CivicTechFest.
http://bit.ly/2qbx3Uq

Summit on Internet Freedom in Africa
----------------------------------------
September 27-29, 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa
This event convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing the right to privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination, and the free flow of information online.
http://bit.ly/2rVMH6c

Privacy + Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 4-6, 2017
Washington, DC
The conference breaks down the silos of security and privacy by bringing together leaders from both fields.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

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

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

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

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

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


***

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 14 July 2017
====================================================

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

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


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

EU fines Google €2.42 billion for breaching antitrust rules
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The EU has announced that it is fining Google a record-breaking €2.42 billion for violating competition law by biasing its search results in favor of its own services. At Politico, Nicholas Hirst recounts competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager's work deciding the case and garnering support for her decision. Google is expect to appeal to the EU General Court in Luxembourg. At Freedom to Tinker, Princeton University professor Ed Felten, who was at the FTC when it decided not to prosecute a similar case in 2011-2012, compares the EU and FTC decisions. In the UK, the Guardian's John Naughton reports that the Information Commissioner's Office has issued a finding that the Royal Free Hospital Hospital violated the law in sharing 1.6 million patient records with Google's DeepMind subsidiary.
EU: http://bit.ly/2sQT23J
Politico: http://politi.co/2tJtUyu
Freedom to Tinker: http://bit.ly/2vdKPqO
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2ua1wGX

US: Airport authorities roll out facial recognition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mashable reports that Customs and Border Patrol has begun scanning passengers' faces on specific flights at airports in Boston and Houston, a move that has never been authorized by the US Congress for US citizens. American Security Today reports that similar systems are being tested at Dulles (Washington, DC). KOB.com reports that JetBlue already uses facial recognition systems to identify boarding travelers, a move Delta Airlines expects to follow, beginning in Minneapolis.
Mashable: http://on.mash.to/2vdfeph
KOB: http://bit.ly/2tIWyQm

W3C adopts copyright protection standard for the open web
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At EFF, Cory Doctorow reports that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) as a new standard for handling copy-protected video but rejected safeguards proposed by EFF and myriad other organizations and activists. The safeguards would have protected from prosecution users bypassing digital rights management (DRM) for legal purposes such as making EME files accessible to those with disabilities. Doctorow lists the many ways he believes the decision is damaging and suggests next steps, which include continuing to try to change the relevant law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and appealing the W3C decision. In postings, W3C and Ars Technica defend the W3C's reasoning. At The Verge, Jacob Kastrenakes surveys the adverse consequences for security researchers. At EFF, Kris Erickson, Jesus Rodriguez Perez, and Swagatam Sinha, from the University of Glasgow, note that their ongoing research on the economics of DRM indicates that the market values interoperability, which DRM impedes.
EFF (decision): http://bit.ly/2ujIxua
W3C: http://bit.ly/2tJeL0c
Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/2ufeR0g
Verge: http://bit.ly/2ujH86Q
EFF (interoperability): http://bit.ly/2tNx8iW

New York court awards Elsevier $15 million in damages against Sci-Hub
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the Private Internet Access blog, Glyn Moody reports that Elsevier has won a $15 million judgment against Alexandra Elbakyan, the Kazakh neuroscience researcher who set up Sci-Hub, which now claims to offer free access to more than 62 million science journal articles. Even though Elsevier is unlikely to be able to collect its court-awarded damages and Russia refuses to enforce US courts' rulings, the American Chemical Society has followed with its own lawsuit. Moody calls the case an indication of how broken copyright is. At her blog, Elbakyan corrects errors in Wikipedia's Sci-Hub article. At his blog, Richard Poynder summarises his paper arguing that copyright has proven an immovable barrier to the open access movement and that the movement is failing as a result. At the Guardian, Stephen Buranyi charts the profitable history of scientific publishing and asks if scientists' opposition to the status quo will bring about change.
PrivateInternetAccess: http://bit.ly/2t4gqPg
Elbakyan: http://bit.ly/2ujJQZQ
Poynder: http://bit.ly/2t4HJsS
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2tJneAy

SE Asia: Financial technology start-ups adopt alternative scoring methods
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Fintechnews Singapore reports on a list of financial technology startups in Southeast Asia, where only 27% of the region's 600 million people have a bank account. The startups depend on alternative methods of credit scoring that depend on analysing the data on the user's mobile phone, their social media profiles, or other financial relationships.
Fintechnews: http://bit.ly/2tJocwV

Facebook: Censorship rules favor white men
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a study of Facebook's censorship rules and training documents, ProPublica's Julia Angwin finds that the social media site protects white men from hate speech but not black children. The company's hundreds of rules guide decisions aboutwhat should and should not be allowed. ProPublica concludes that at least in some cases the company's rules favor elites and governments over grassroots activists and racial minorities, serving the global company's business interests. An additional complication is how the rules are applied: content reviewers typically have only a few seconds to decide on each post.
ProPublica: http://bit.ly/2uabQP5

US: Blocked Twitter users sue US President Donald Trump
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Ars Technica, David Kravetz reports that a handful of Twitter users, backed by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, are suing US President Donald Trump on the basis that he has violated their constitutional rights by blocking them from his @realDonaldTrump Twitter feed. The suit claims that Trump's Twitter feed is an official channel for the president and that blocking people for reading it and posting critical responses is a breach of the First Amendment. The suit seeks a ruling barring Trump from blocking followers as an unconstitutional restriction on their participation in a designated public forum.
Ars Technica: http://bit.ly/2tJtF6K

China: ISPs told to block personal VPNs by February 2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg reports that the Chinese government has told the country's three state-run telecommunications carriers - China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom - to block individuals' access to virtual private networks by February 1, 2018. VPNs are widely used by both individuals and companies wanting to bypass the Chinese firewall to access blocked information sources.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2uSlDXM

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

Educating journalists how to spot forged document traps
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, host Rachel Maddow details her staff's investigation of a purportedly highly classified document received via the show's secure drop at senditotrachel.com that claimed to be a smoking-and-still-firing gun proving that Russian interference in the US election was coordinated with a named Trump campaign insider. Authenticating such a document is difficult because experts won't jeopardize their security clearance by looking at it. Maddow's team examined tell-tale details such as the document's metadata, the yellow dots printers add, subtle elements such as typos and odd spacing, and, most significantly, the mention by name of a US citizen, and concluded the document was a cut-and-paste forgery derived from the NSA classified report published by The Intercept a month ago. The real story, Maddow concludes, is that someone is shopping forged documents to lay traps for journalists seeking to report on the Russian hacking story and plant permanent doubts about all reporting on the subject. The Intercept is less impressed.
Maddow (YouTube): http://bit.ly/2tfy2D6
Intercept: http://bit.ly/2tNXIsu

Decoding the Antikythera Mechanism
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this feature at the Washington Post, Sarah Kaplan discusses efforts to understand the Antikythera Mechanism, retrieved in 1901 from a shipwreck and considered to be the world's oldest computer. For the last ten years, a group of scientists have worked with X-ray scanning and imaging to understand the machine's inner workings. The machine, which was designed to predict eclipses to the day, along with the color of the moon and the weather on that day, reflects the values of the society around it.
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2uSaDJO

Financial sector's "weblining" war on the sex industry
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Engadget, Violet Blue examines "weblining", discriminatory practices in the financial industry that blocks access to services, including payments, to individuals and businesses in legal areas of the sex industry. Blue's list of targets includes porn performers, sex workers, independent retailers, erotic writers, and the internet's new generation of online pornographers, who are, she writes, disproportionately women and LGBT people. Companies like Paypal, Square, and WePay blame the banks and credit card companies, who call the sector "high risk" and cite vaguely-worded policies in pressuring third-party sites like Patreon to jettison these businesses. The credit card companies deny that they're involved. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's new guidelines clarifying "high risk" for banks do not include sex.
Engadget: http://engt.co/2t4zGfF

AI's trouble with kangaroos
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the Guardian, Naaman Zhou reports that Volvo's self-driving cars have trouble recognizing kangaroos because hopping confounds the way the cars' intelligence systems estimate distance. The Register reports on a Facebook research project in which two bots, set to negotiate with each other, taught themselves how to lie as a negotiating tactic. In a series of blog postings, analyst and writer Thomas Euler examines the state of AI in the field of computational creativity for the benefit of practitioners and executives in the creative industries, covering music, writing, fine arts, advertising, video and movies, and games. At Gizmodo, George Dvorsky dissects testimony IBM recently presented to Congress saying Americans have nothing to fear from AI. Dvorsky cites many experts who say there are good reasons to be alarmed.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2ujKxCq
Register: http://bit.ly/2uf4bPg
Euler (1): http://bit.ly/2sQCgBD
Euler (2): http://bit.ly/2ujRaoz
Gizmodo: http://bit.ly/2tJi0op

Regulating the internet
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Guardian article, Charles Arthur examines the prospects for regulating the technology giants. Like climate change, the problems posed by hate speech, extremist content, online abuse, and uncrackable encryption have grown slowly over time to become global issues that can't easily be solved by any one government. Arthur concludes that as a "free zone" the internet be celebrated as well as policed, but that what needs regulation is the surveillance state. Also at the Guardian, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz summarizes the racism, gender bias, and sexual practices that surface in his studies of Google searches
Guardian (Arthur): http://bit.ly/2uS4X2u
Guardian (Stephens-Davidowitz): http://bit.ly/2ujIqPe

Smart cities and surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, EFF discusses a proposal under consideration by the San Jose City Council to install over 39,000 "smart" streetlights, already being piloted. EFF has written to the council asking them to ensure that decisions regarding how to use the streetlights' ports for microphones and video cameras will be subject to democratic control. EFF is supporting similar efforts in Santa Clara, Oakland, Palo Alto, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit System. In 2015, CommonSpace noted similar problems with streetlamps in Glasgow, where the city council has partnered with the Israeli surveillance company NICE Systems to use the system to detect "unusual behavior".
EFF: http://bit.ly/2uRQaFd
CommonSpace: http://bit.ly/2u9WGJE


***

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.

Robots Exhibition
----------------------------------------
February 8 - September 13
London, UK
The Science Museum's 2017 robots exhibition includes robotic artifacts over five centuries, from a 16th century mechanized monk to the latest research developments. Focusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, the exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.
http://bit.ly/2kpgPn2

Wikimania
----------------------------------------
August 9-13, 2017
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Wikimania's keynotes, hackathons, preconferences, workshops, and community-submitted talks will include sessions on the future of editing Wikipedia; outreach in Africa; library partnerships - Wikidata tools - what readers visit - communicating your work - Wikimedia's strategy - legal threats to free knowledge - Wikipedia in minority and endangered languages; Wikipedia in Iraq; medicine and emergency response; the gender gap; preventing online harassment; sounds and video; implicit bias; citations and references; the future of Wikisource and Wikiversity; real-time collaboration; global trends; leading teams; Wikidata and museums; making access affordable; the future of news; collaboration under censorship; and education.
http://bit.ly/2ujwnBA

IFLA World Libraries and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 19-25, 2017
Wroclaw, Poland
The theme of the 83rd annual IFLA congress will be "Achieving a healthy future together: diverse and emerging roles for health information professionals".
http://bit.ly/2gErkVa

WikiCon 2017
----------------------------------------
September 8-10, 2017
Leipzig, Germany
The meeting of German-language Wikipedia, its sibling projects, and anyone who is interested in free knowledge. WikiCon will provide space for workshops, lectures, and panel discussions to be designed in collaboration with its participants.
http://bit.ly/2spC6Dp

#CivicTechFest 2017
----------------------------------------
September 10-16. 2017
Taipei, China
Asia's first-ever civic technology festival and conference, #CivicTechFest" will feature a series of forums, workshops, roundtables, conferences, and hackathons related to open data and open government.
http://bit.ly/2q9xali

TICTeC@Taipei
----------------------------------------
Expanding from its annual conference in Florence in April, mySociety's annual conference, TICTeC, which focuses on the impacts of civic technology, will provide two days of sessions as part of #CivicTechFest.
http://bit.ly/2qbx3Uq

Summit on Internet Freedom in Africa
----------------------------------------
September 27-29, 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa
This event convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing the right to privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination, and the free flow of information online.
http://bit.ly/2rVMH6c

Privacy + Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 4-6, 2017
Washington, DC
The conference breaks down the silos of security and privacy by bringing together leaders from both fields.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

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

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

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

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

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


***

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 23 June 2017
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Citizen Lab, Cracked Labs, EFF, Human Rights Data Analysis Group, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung


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

Ethiopia restores internet access
----------------------------------------------------------------------
AfricaNews reports that the Ethiopian government claims to have restored internet access after shutting it off between May 31 and June 8 to prevent cheating on university entrance exams. At Ezega, Seble Teweldebirhan discusses the politics of Ethiopian shutdowns: they impose considerable collateral damage in the form of financial losses, inconvenience, and delay upon many national and international organizations. Yet their use is increasing. Teweldebirhan finds that the problems with social media are exacerbated in countries that, like Ethiopia, lack strong and credible traditional media.
Africa News: http://bit.ly/2tN84r3
Ezega: http://bit.ly/2tsOmBG

EU: Court rules that internet intermediaries may be liable for user content
----------------------------------------------------------------------
TorrentFreak reports that the European Court of Justice has ruled in the case between Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN and Dutch ISPs Ziggo and XS4ALL that the operators of platforms play an "essential role" in making copyrighted works available and that this activity constitutes "communication to the public". By exposing them to more direct liability, the ruling is likely to force Google and YouTube to change the way they operate. In a blog posting, Andres Guadamuz, a senior lecturer in intellectual property law at the University of Sussex, worries that the court is adding potential liability for intermediaries that, if upheld by the national court, may lead to internet intermediaries being ordered to block indexing sites. Guadamuz notes that The Pirate Bay is unlikely to be affected, as the only thing reducing piracy is the consumer shift to streaming. TorrentFreak agrees, and reviews the remarkable durability of The Pirate Bay.
TorrentFreak (ruling): http://bit.ly/2rCbX1E
Guadamuz: http://bit.ly/2spK0Nf
TorrentFreak (Pirate Bay): http://bit.ly/2tN3uJx

Mexico: government spyware targets journalists, activists, and lawyers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Times reports that Mexican human rights lawyers, journalists, and anti-corruption activists have been targeted by advanced spyware that was sold to the Mexcian government on condition that it be used only to investigate criminals and terrorists. The Pegasus spyware, created by Israel's NSO Group, infiltrates mobile phones when subjects click on links in highly personalized phishing emails, monitors all aspects of their use, and turns the microphone and cameras for surveillance. The government denies it would take such actions without prior judicial authorization; however, researchers at Citizen Lab view finding NSO code on several phones belonging to Mexican journalists and activists as a clear indicator.
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2sVgyjk

EU: Unified Patent Court opening slips
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Intellectual Property Watch reports that the prospective Unified Patent Court, due to open in December 2017, will be delayed due to a court action in Germany and uncertainty due to the results of the June 8 UK election. Both countries have consented to be bound by the UPC protocol but have yet to ratify the pact, which must be ratified by 13 countries including these two.
IP Watch: http://bit.ly/2tNvuwK

EFF seeks aid from machine learning researchers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EFF is calling on machine learning researchers to help it build a good single place to find the state of the art on well-specified machine learning metrics and the many problems in AI that are so hard that there are no good datasets and benchmarks to tackle them.
EFF: http://bit.ly/2sThxRu

China: Criminal gang arrested for selling Apple users' private data
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that the Chinese authorities have arrested 22 people under suspicion of running an underground criminal operation to steal and sell Apple users' private data. Twenty of the suspects were employees of companies that worked with Apple who allegedly used internal systems to gather the data. SupChina translates and summarizes a report from December 2016 in Gangzhou's Southern Metropolis Daily studying the illegal trade in personal information in China. Through simple mobile transactions you, too, the report says, can be Big Brother.
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2rUrzNb
SupChina: http://bit.ly/2rUSg4h

German chancellor Angela Merkel calls for global internet regulations
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reports that German chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the digital world needs regulations like those that govern trade under the WTO and financial markets in the G20. Merkel hopes to raise the issue at the G20 meeting during Germany's presidency. Buzzfeed notes that the UK's Conservative election manifesto expressed the intention to significantly extend internet regulation. Varied proposals include making it harder for people to access pornography and violent images, requiring internet companies to promote counter-extremism narratives, and force social media companies to accept a regulator's rulings or face sanctions. By contrast, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye has released a report proposing a set of principles to guide the private sector to respect human rights.
Reuters: http://reut.rs/2rQkjH2
Buzzfeed: http://bzfd.it/2sq495R
UN (PDF): http://bit.ly/2rUYAsC


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

Mapping corporate surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Cracked Labs' Wolfie Christl summarizes its report on corporate surveillance: who the main players are, what they can infer from the data they collect on all of us, and how they use and trade it. Besides well-known companies such as Facebook and Google, more obscure data brokers like Acxiom are stockpiling billions of consumer profiles that it combines across hundreds of data and advertising companies. New developments include Oracle's entry into the consumer data market, alongside players in many other industries, and the beginnings of real-time monitoring via data gathered by physical-world sensors.
http://crackedlabs.org/en/corporate-surveillance

Germany's intelligence reform
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this paper, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung discusses the December 2016 legal reform of German intelligence, which sets new international standards for authorization procedures now required for the surveillance of non-national data and the legal requirements for Germany's participation in international intelligence cooperation. By contrast, recent reforms in the United Kingdom or the U.S. offer no such standard for non-national data. Despite this, the reform still marks a clear victory for the Chancellery and the German security and intelligence establishment. The reform for example placed much of the BND's foreign communications data surveillance on a legal footing but did not fix the country's woefully inadequate judicial oversight system.
SNV (PDF): http://bit.ly/2rCjKwh

Gaming Google's news algorithm
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, senior Citizen Lab researcher John Scott-Railton examines sites that are gaming the health section of Google News to redirect to spam sites after discovering that approximately 50% of the news he was seeing was "odd". At The Register, Jude Karabus lays out the detail of how the system works. Given how many people rely on Google News, Karabus finds the hours-long persistence of these attacks disturbing.
Scott-Railton: http://bit.ly/2sTbHzA
Register: http://bit.ly/2sA6YQo

Personal Democracy Forum
----------------------------------------------------------------------
This page of YouTube video clips from the 2017 Personal Democracy Forum includes Kate Crawford discussing the inequality built into our machine learning and AI systems; Safiya Noble outlining her research into the oppression built into search algorithms, which began with her discovery in 2011 that the top results of online searches for "black girls" were pornographic sites; and Julie Menter's keynote arguing that in the changing landscape for funders as technologists and political activists begin to cross into each other's spheres, funders need to look for emerging grassroots leaders with direct activist experience, become less risk-averse (like venture capitalists), and letting go of funding silos and top-down control.
YouTube: http://bit.ly/2tN5T79

Predicting gun violence in Chicago
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this New York Times article, Jeff Asher and Rob Arthur reverse-engineer public data released by the Chicago Police Department to understand the proprietary (and therefore undisclosed) algorithm being used to predict who will be involved in gun violence. The writers find disparities between the data and the CPD's comments, and note that even if these risk scores are useful in predicting violence, which is not clear, their effectiveness in fighting crime is questionable. In a blog posting at ConceptNet, Rob Speer discusses the problem of bias in word vectors, numerical representations computers use to "understand" human language. ConceptNet has been attempting to "de-bias" its Numberbatch set of word vectors: computers learn to be racist and sexist from what we say - including on the porn pages that make up a substantial portion of the web. The work was partly inspired by Speer's experience with building an algorithm for sentiment analysis and discovering that when he applied it to restaurant reviews Mexican restaurants scored poorly even though people do like Mexican food. At net.wars, Wendy M. Grossman interviews Patrick Ball, technical director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, about why and how profoundly these systems fail at fairness.
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2spSLqy
ConceptNet: http://bit.ly/2sV16DI
net.wars: http://bit.ly/2rBT9PT

The Facebook of the elite
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article, Share Lab maps the interconnections of Facebook's top executives and board members to political parties, competitor organizations where they previously worked, and the US universities where they obtained their degrees. The study finds that Facebook's leadership is drawn from the small minority of existing US political, social, and economic elites rather than expanding its diversity to reflect the gender, culture, and race of its global, or even its American, market.
Share Labs: http://bit.ly/2tsUw51


***

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.

Robots Exhibition
----------------------------------------
February 8 - September 13
London, UK
The Science Museum's 2017 robots exhibition includes robotic artifacts over five centuries, from a 16th century mechanized monk to the latest research developments. Focusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, the exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.
http://bit.ly/2kpgPn2

Workshop on the Economics of Security
----------------------------------------
June 26-28
San Diego, California, US
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/2rgk8Ej

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

Summer courses on privacy and international copyright laws
----------------------------------------
July 3-7, 2017
Amsterdam, Netherlands
These courses, run by the Institute for Information Law, are intensive post-graduate courses aimed to help professionals stay abreast of changing rules. The first, on privacy law and policy, focuses on recent developments in EU and US privacy law relating to the internet and online media. The second, on international copyright law, comprises nine seminars, each focused on one specific copyright issue.
http://bit.ly/2lmPgim

AI Now Symposium
----------------------------------------
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
July 10, 2017
The second annual symposium of the AI Now Initiative, led by Kate Crawford and Meredith Whittaker, will be held at the MIT Media Lab. AI Now works across disciplines to understand the social impact of AI.
http://bit.ly/2psXm70

Citizen Lab Summer Institute
----------------------------------------
July 12-14
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This year's conference is organized around five research streams: Network Interference and Freedom of Expression Online, Surveillance and Counter Surveillance, Security and Privacy of Apps, Corporate Transparency and Public Accountability, and a special session on Information Controls and Armed Conflict.
http://bit.ly/2oaGQrQ

IFLA World Libraries and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 19-25, 2017
Wroclaw, Poland
The theme of the 83rd annual IFLA congress will be "Achieving a healthy future together: diverse and emerging roles for health information professionals".
http://bit.ly/2gErkVa

WikiCon 2017
----------------------------------------
September 8-10, 2017
Leipzig, Germany
The meeting of German-language Wikipedia, its sibling projects, and anyone who is interested in free knowledge. WikiCon will provide space for workshops, lectures, and panel discussions to be designed in collaboration with its participants.
http://bit.ly/2spC6Dp

#CivicTechFest 2017
----------------------------------------
September 10-16. 2017
Taipei, China
Asia's first-ever civic technology festival and conference, #CivicTechFest" will feature a series of forums, workshops, roundtables, conferences, and hackathons related to open data and open government.
http://bit.ly/2q9xali

TICTeC@Taipei
----------------------------------------
Expanding from its annual conference in Florence in April, mySociety's annual conference, TICTeC, which focuses on the impacts of civic technology, will provide two days of sessions as part of #CivicTechFest.
http://bit.ly/2qbx3Uq

Summit on Internet Freedom in Africa
----------------------------------------
September 27-29, 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa
This event convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing the right to privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination, and the free flow of information online.
http://bit.ly/2rVMH6c

Privacy + Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 4-6, 2017
Washington, DC
The conference breaks down the silos of security and privacy by bringing together leaders from both fields.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

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

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

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

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


***

Hear more from the Information Program!
================================
If you want to hear more from the Information Program team each week, consider subscribing to our shared bookmarks on delicious using this RSS feed:
http://feeds.pinboard.in/rss/secret:95194ab804ccccac713b/u:osi_info_program/

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

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

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

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

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/

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


News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 9 June 2017
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman. 

Our staff, advisers and major grantees tweet at http://bit.ly/13j5fjq. Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Citizen Lab, Data & Society, Karisma Foundation.

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

Colombia: Biologist cleared of criminal copyright charges 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Right to Research Coalition reports that a Colombian court has cleared biologist Diego Gómez Hoyos of criminal charges of violating copyright by posting a scientist's 2006 thesis on amphibian taxonomy to the online platform Scribd to aid other students. The author sued in 2014, while Gómez was still a master's degree student. Nature reports that the prosecutor has appealed the decision to the Tribunal de Bogota. If found guilty, under Colombian copyright law Gómez could face up to eight years in prison and significant fines. Colombian copyright law was reformed in 2006 to meet the requirements of a free-trade deal with the United States. The Columbia human rights group Karisma Foundation had launched the Sharing Is Not a Crime campaign in support of Gomez when he was first charged.
Right to Research: http://bit.ly/2rVRQye
Nature: http://go.nature.com/2sEafxs
Karisma: http://bit.ly/2qXm2FX

Russian hackers use "tainted leaks" to spread disinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Wired, Andy Greenberg reports that a Citizen Lab study of leaked documents finds that Russian hackers altered documents within releases of hacked material in order to plant disinformation - "falsehoods in a forest of facts" - a technique Citizen Lab has dubbed "tainted leaks". Citizen Lab studied an extensive Russia-linked phishing and disinformation campaign with hundreds of targets in government, industry, military and civil society. Those targets include a large list of high profile individuals from at least 39 countries (including members of 28 governments), as well as the United Nations and NATO. Although there are many government, military, and industry targets, the Citizen Lab report provides further evidence of the often-overlooked targeting of civil society in cyber espionage campaigns.  Civil society -- including journalists, academics, opposition figures, and activists -- comprise the second largest group (21%) of targets, after government.
Wired: http://bit.ly/2qX3fL0
Citizen Lab: http://bit.ly/2sE1CD7

IBM's Watson largely matches doctors' diagnoses
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pharmaphorum reports that IBM data shows that the company's Watson AI matches doctors' recommendations from 43% to 96% of the time. Studies in Bangkok, Bangalore, and Incheon, South Korea find varying rates of concordance for different types of cancer and treatment guidelines. The studies suggest that while Watson may be useful to speed up diagnosis it cannot yet improve upon doctors' decisions. The Bangkok Post reports on the state of efforts to deploy Watson and other AI systems in Thailand. The New York Times asks if China is outsmarting the US in AI.
Pharmaphorum: http://bit.ly/2sU1df4
Bangkok Post: http://bit.ly/2rMv8GL
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2r6htZk

Peru: Ministry of the Interior's "Watchitaxi" app 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Access Now reports on the problems with Watchitaxi, an app released and promoted by the Peruvian Ministry of the Interior with the stated intention of improving security for people using taxis. Access Now praises the Ministry's good intentions, but finds numerous problems with the app: it is insufficiently transparent about how the Ministry will use and store the data it collects and it protects physical, but not cyber security. Access Now suggests that all government-endorsed apps should be open source and should be forced to respect fundamental human rights.
Access Now (Spanish): http://bit.ly/2r2SZos
English (Googls): http://bit.ly/2s4HSeM

Uber adopts "route-based pricing"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg reports that Uber has adopted a new pricing system that uses machine learning and its customer data to charge what it believes customers will pay. Called "route-based pricing", the system, in part intended to allay investors' fears that the company will never become profitable, has also increased the gap between what customers pay and what drivers earn. In 2012, Edward Hasbrouck discussed the issue of personalized pricing with respect to airlines: it is, he argues, opaque and filled with the potential for discriminatory practices. 
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2sEAxja
Hasbrouck: http://bit.ly/2sgufZA

Africa: Summit calls for end to internet shutdowns
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The fifth Africa Internet Summit in Nairobi, Kenya reports that six pan-African internet organizations - AFRINIC, AFTLD, AFNOG, AFREN, Africa CERT, and ISOC Africa - are calling on African governments to renounce the use of internet shutdowns as policy tool. This includes shutdowns of specific social media sites and apps. The organizations offer to work with governments to find better solutions that do not hurt citizens' fundamental rights while protecting the internet's stability, resilience, and openness. 
Africa Summit: http://bit.ly/2qWY1Pv

Norwegian Consumer Council requests project suggestions
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Norwegian Consumer Council asks visitors to suggest and/or vote for the product or service it should study next. In the past, it has found security vulnerabilities in the My Friend Cayla doll and conducted a staged reading of all the terms and conditions that apply to an iPhone and an average collection of apps. Suggestions to date include Google for Education, the Runkeeper app, and smart TVs.
NCC: http://bit.ly/2r2t9AZ


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

How Twitter is being gamed to provide misinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article for the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo examines Twitter's role in turning raw political messaging and disinformation into cable-ready news. More people use Facebook and Google, but Twitter is where journalists meet and pick up stories. Twitter's armies of bots catalyze this process, and undermine confidence in everything we see online. The article cites Alice Marwick, author of Data & Society's recent report on online media manipulation. At TechCrunch, Jon Evans writes that "Facebook is broken", and says that when "engagement" is the metric content will inevitably be selected for the shocking and outrageous. 
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2rBPAf8
Data & Society (PDF): http://bit.ly/2sgwkoD
TechCrunch: http://tcrn.ch/2rM7omk

The internet's role in recruiting women and children to terrorism
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at the VOX-Pol project, Carola García-Calvo discusses the role of the internet in radicalizing Spanish women. In García-Calvo's study of people arrested in Spain for activities related to terrorism, more than half of the women (55.6%) were radicalized purely online as opposed to only 30.8% of men; among men, mixed offline and online recruitment predominates (46.2%) versus 27.8% of women, with pure face-to-face recruitment accounting for 23.1% of men and 16.7% of women. Among online media, social media was used for 93.3%, followed by messenger applications (80%) and, finally, forums and blogs (20%). García-Calvo notes that a striking part of online recruitment is the influence exerted by people perceived to be women's peers. In a report, the Carter Center studies the recruitment methods used by Daesh to attract marginalized youth. A key aspect is including children in recruitment videos, showing them providing support as spies, members of sleeper cells, and even suicide bombers. The National Academy of Sciences has published a report summarizing a September 2016 workshop exploring countering extremism through public health practice.
VOX-Pol: http://bit.ly/2qXql49
Carter Center: http://bit.ly/2sEG6hM
NAS: http://bit.ly/2sEokeg

UK: Inside the Tories' social media campaign blitz
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Buzzfeed article, Jim Waterson studies data obtained from the Who Tracks Me service and estimates that millions of people have seen narrowly targeted Facebook ads paid for by the UK's Conservative Party in a strategy similar to that used by the Trump campaign. Some are purely negative messages about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn; others promote Conservative leader Theresa May. Because paid online advertising is hard to track, Buzzfeed argues that the strategy bypasses the UK's laws about campaign spending. The Intercept reports that it has independently authenticated a top-secret NSA report detailing a Russian cyber-attack on at least one US voting software supplier days before the 2016 election. In a video clip and live blog summary at ReCode, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg conduct a lengthy interview with Hillary Clinton. She discusses the election, the Republicans' $100 million data platform, the use of bots and narrowly targeted false messaging, ongoing Russian interference in US politics, fake news, and the role of misogyny in politics. Clinton warns that false messaging and propaganda are ongoing threats to democracy.
Buzzfeed: http://bzfd.it/2sE1yTL
Recode: http://bit.ly/2rVTxvt
Intercept: http://bit.ly/2sgw9cM

Using machine learning to sort two metric tons of Lego
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, technical consultant Jacques Mattheij discusses a recent project, in which he bought two metric tons of Legos and used machine learning to build an automated system to sort them into more than 50 bins. Mattheij recounts the difficulties he encountered, explains the details of the neural network he created in Python, and provides video clips of the working system.
Mattheij: http://bit.ly/2sU1Fu1

Seeking democratic online engagement
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at MIT Technology Review, Tom Simonite discusses Pol.is, a company seeking to turn online interactions into a positive force for democracy via data visualizations and crowdsourcing. In Taiwan, the company's open source survey tool helped break a six-year stalemate over how to regulate online alcohol sales. In Denmark, the progressive political party Alternativet is piloting Pol.is to give its members a more direct influence over party policy. Graham Smith, director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster, praises the results so far, but says many more tests are needed, particularly to see how Pol.is stands up to efforts to subvert it.
Technology Review: http://bit.ly/2rMrr3P


***

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.

Robots Exhibition
----------------------------------------
February 8 - September 13
London, UK
The Science Museum's 2017 robots exhibition includes robotic artifacts over five centuries, from a 16th century mechanized monk to the latest research developments. Focusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, the exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.
http://bit.ly/2kpgPn2

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
----------------------------------------
March 6-June 18
London, UK; Chicago Illinois; Toronto, Canada; New York, NY
The 16 human rights documentaries included in this peripatetic festival highlight individuals and groups exhibiting courageous resilience in challenging times. Among the human rights topics represented are the integrity of the press; the experience of refugees seeking safety; and factory workers protesting chemical harms from their work in the Chinese electronics industry. Nicholas de Pencier's BLACK CODE, based on Ronald Deibert's book of the same name, follows members of Toronto-based Citizen Lab as they document civil society activism in Tibet, Syria, Brazil, and Pakistan.
http://bit.ly/2mbHEiW

Next Library Festival 2017
----------------------------------------
June 11-14, 2017
Aarhus, Denmark
Next Library 2017 will offer a "patchwork" of co-learning, co-creative, participatory, engaging, pluralistic and interactive meetings, and lots of parallel sessions, keynote speakers, wildcard sessions, demos/exhibitions, gaming, Networking Dinner Party, Get2Gether, Social un-conferences, alternative events and surprises.
http://bit.ly/2hHNt4W

Future Perfect
----------------------------------------
Jun 16, 2017
New York, NY
Data & Society Research Institute's Speculative Fiction Reading Group will host Future Perfect, a conference exploring the use, significance, and discontents of speculative design, narrative, and world-building in technology, policy, and culture. Participation is limited. Those interested in attending this Conference should apply by May 12, and may either 1) propose work to be exhibited and/or presented, or 2) describe how their work makes them a relevant discussant/participant.
http://bit.ly/2qcFAcj

CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication
----------------------------------------
June 21-23, 2017
Geneva, Switzerland
The organizers of the biennial CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication - OAI10 - include representatives from the Open Society Foundations, SPARC, PloS, CERN, UCL, and other academic institutions..
http://bit.ly/2jzXj6X

Data Power 2017
----------------------------------------
June 22-23, 2017
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The Data Power 2017 conference asks: how can we reclaim some form of data-based power and autonomy, and advance data-based technological citizenship, while living in regimes of data power? Confirmed speakers include Helen Nissenbaum, Frank Pasquale, Stefania Milan, and Paul N. Edwards.
http://bit.ly/2p7GymW

Workshop on the Economics of  Security
----------------------------------------
June 26-28
San Diego, California, US
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/2rgk8Ej

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

Summer courses on privacy and international copyright laws
----------------------------------------
July 3-7, 2017
Amsterdam, Netherlands
These courses, run by the Institute for Information Law, are intensive post-graduate courses aimed to help professionals stay abreast of changing rules. The first, on privacy law and policy, focuses on recent developments in EU and US privacy law relating to the internet and online media. The second, on international copyright law, comprises nine seminars, each focused on one specific copyright issue.
http://bit.ly/2lmPgim

AI Now Symposium
----------------------------------------
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
July 10, 2017
The second annual symposium of the AI Now Initiative, led by Kate Crawford and Meredith Whittaker, will be held at the MIT Media Lab. AI Now works across disciplines to understand the social impact of AI.
http://bit.ly/2psXm70

Citizen Lab Summer Institute
----------------------------------------
July 12-14
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This year's conference is organized around five research streams: Network Interference and Freedom of Expression Online, Surveillance and Counter Surveillance, Security and Privacy of Apps, Corporate Transparency and Public Accountability, and a special session on Information Controls and Armed Conflict. 
http://bit.ly/2oaGQrQ

IFLA World Libraries and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 19-25, 2017
Wroclaw, Poland
The theme of the 83rd annual IFLA congress will be "Achieving a healthy future together: diverse and emerging roles for health information professionals". 
http://bit.ly/2gErkVa

#CivicTechFest 2017
----------------------------------------
September 10-16. 2017
Taipei, China
Asia's first-ever civic technology festival and conference, #CivicTechFest" will feature a series of forums, workshops, roundtables, conferences, and hackathons related to open data and open government. 
http://bit.ly/2q9xali

TICTeC@Taipei
----------------------------------------
Expanding from its annual conference in Florence in April, mySociety's annual conference, TICTeC, which focuses on the impacts of civic technology, will provide two days of sessions as part of  #CivicTechFest.
http://bit.ly/2qbx3Uq

Summit on Internet Freedom in Africa
----------------------------------------
September 27-29, 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa
This event convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing the right to privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination, and the free flow of information online. 
http://bit.ly/2rVMH6c

Privacy + Security Forum
----------------------------------------
October 4-6, 2017
Washington, DC
The conference breaks down the silos of security and privacy by bringing together leaders from both fields. 
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

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

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


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending 26 May 2017
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the OSF. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

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

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

India compels biometrics for 1.3 billion residents
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The LA Times reports that as part of its program to issue identity numbers (Aadhaar) to its 1.3 billion residents, India is making biometrics mandatory for all e-government projects. The Aadhaar has become increasingly essential, even for children seeking schooling, despite a 2015 Supreme Court ruling that the government could not require it for any benefit to which a person was entitled providing their could prove their identity by some other means. The Supreme Court is now hearing a case disputing the government's right to compel the production of biometric data. The Centre for Internet and Society, cited in the story, has found that 135 million Aadhaar numbers have been published insecurely on the web by federal and state agencies.
http://lat.ms/2qQEked

US: Trump administration removes data from public view
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin reports that the Trump administration is hiding away or limiting access to a wide variety of information that until recently has been provided to the public, including information about workplace violations, energy efficiency, and animal welfare abuses. Among other changes: the White House has ceased publishing visitor logs and removed websites and other material supporting Obama policies that the present administration has dropped such as websites providing scientific information about climate change. In protest against the disappearance of this material from the Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago officials have reposted the site as it appeared. The number of data sets available to the public has dropped from 195,245 to just under 156,000.
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2ryZdfo

Germany passes Network Enforcement Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Foreign Affairs, Heidi Tworek reports that the German Bundestag has passed the Network Enforcement - Law ("Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz"), which allows the government to fine social media companies up to €50 million if they do not remove illegal content or hate speech within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. Digitale Gesellschaft, Wikimedia Deutschland, the Internet Society, and the Federal Association of German Startups have opposed the law's privatization of law enforcement. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas hopes to expand this approach to all of Europe. Digitale Gesellschaft reports that it has initiated a broad alliance of economic associations, civil society organizations, network policy associations and legal experts, who are jointly calling for a declaration of freedom of expression to stop the project. EDRi reports that proposals from the European Commission require internet companies to proactively search for illegal content without specifying who should assess whether the content is illegal. The Guardian reports the contents of leaked files showing Facebook's guidelines for assessing posted content for sex, terrorism, and violence.
Foreign Affairs: http://fam.ag/2ryZUW2
Digitale Gesellschaft: http://bit.ly/2ryEtEE
Google Translate: http://bit.ly/2rPkvCK
EDRi: http://bit.ly/2qOu3zx
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2qUQaoq

UK: Police charge activist under terrorism law for refusing to disclose passwords
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Motherboard reports that the UK's Metropolitan Police have formally charged Muhammad Rabbani, director of the human rights group Cage, for refusing to give up his phone and computer passwords when crossing the UK border in 2016. According to the Guardian, Cage is building a legal case around alleged torture involving the US intelligence agencies, and the material on Rabbani's laptop was privileged. Cage estimates that about 30,000 British nationals were detained last year under Section 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, with only five eventually arrested.
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/uk-police-charge-activist-under-terrorism-law-for-refusing-to-hand-over-passwords
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2qfa5Lu

Sweden drops investigation of Julian Assange
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that while Sweden has dropped its investigation of allegations of rape against him, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said that "the proper war is just commencing". Prosecutor Marianne Ny said prosecutors had concluded that all possibilities of pursuing the investigation under the present conditions had been exhausted, though she added that if Assange were to "make himself available" in future the investigation could be resumed. At The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald argues that statements made by the Trump administration show that Assange is still in "serious legal jeopardy".
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2rgtBLN
Intercept: http://bit.ly/2qV5qzB

MP3 freed from patent protection
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At The Hindu, Meenakshi R. reports that the Fraunhofer Institute, which originally developed the MP3 format, has ended the licensing program for "certain MP3-related patents and software" as of April 23, 2017 as some patents have expired. While many headlines have described the decision as the "death of MP3", the format remains very popular, though state-of-the-art services use more recent codecs such as AAC. Gizmodo reports that Swedish historian and researcher Rasmus Fleischer is writing a book that will allege that early versions of the streaming service Spotify depended on "pirate" MP3s found on the internet.
Hindu: http://bit.ly/2rSGTtW
Gizmodo: http://bit.ly/2qj5cAp

Google Play Store allows developers to bar user-modified devices
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Android Police reports that the latest version of Google's Play Store enables developers to selectively block their apps from appearing in search results from three categories of devices based on whether they are certified by Google or pass integrity checks. Android Police also reports that the first app known to have taken advantage is Netflix, although the app works if it's been installed. In a press release the company explained that because its latest release relies on Google's WideVine digital rights management (DRM) it is blocking altered or not-certified devices - which means devices whose owners have modified the operating system or are using emulators. At BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow connects this development to Netflix's efforts to drive the W3C's adoption of web-scale DRM, and notes the inherent contradiction of calling a device "rooted" (that is, under the user's complete control) when users can't instruct it to pretend it passes the integrity check.
Android Police (blocking): http://bit.ly/2qj5HdD
Android Police (Netflix): http://bit.ly/2rPkejc
BoingBoing: http://bit.ly/2qUrZ9p


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

How Google takes over the classroom
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Natasha Singer asks whether the low-cost laptops and free software Google is supplying to public schools will provide the company with data that supports future profiling when these children become adults. EFF, which has been campaigning on this subject for some time, estimates that approximately one-third of American students use school-issued digital devices, and supplies case studies illustrating the privacy issues they raise. Africa News reports that under a deal with Microsoft, Rwandan students will begin using "smart classrooms" by the end of 2017.
NY Times: http://nyti.ms/2rgn2IS
EFF: http://bit.ly/2rz0jaJ
Africa News: http://bit.ly/2qUTOhI

The cost of software security
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, written after the worldwide WannaCry ransomware attack that exploited millions of computers across the world running unpatched Windows XP, Columbia University security professor Steven M. Bellovin considers the problem of who should pay for security patches to legacy software. Failing the adoption of alternatives, we all pay as a society for security failures. In a separate posting, he discusses why patching is hard. The Financial Times reports that Microsoft has begun a system of charging more for extra security support for its top-of-the-line version of Windows 10. The Hill discusses the NSA's role in stockpiling exploits for its own use rather than disclosing them to protect the public.
Bellovin (who pays): http://bit.ly/2rSVHZL
Bellovin (patching): http://bit.ly/2rPaup3
FT: http://on.ft.com/2qVbiZo
Hill: http://bit.ly/2qasoFz

Proposing public service social media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Atlantic, Ethan Zuckerman suggests that a solution to today's polarized media landscape and the right's "hermetically sealed" echo chamber might be public social media along the lines of public service broadcasters like those in the UK, Canada, and Germany. In a blog posting cross-posted to InfoWars, Ethan Ralph calls Zuckerman "one of Soros's top thugs" and describes the proposal as "wanting Big Brother".
Atlantic: http://theatln.tc/2qayF46
Infowars: http://bit.ly/2qVevIy

AI and the future
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this podcast at Data & Society, Eric Horvitz, a technical fellow and director at Microsoft Research, discusses the societal and technological complications of using AI, covering such issues as biased data, transparency, attacks on AI systems, and employment. He discusses current research and compares today's predictions about AI to predictions made in 1899 about the future of electricity and life in 2000.
Data & Society: http://bit.ly/2qfgsyt

Challenges and opportunities for smart cities
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting from the LSE Media Policy Project, Visiting Fellows Jonny Shipp and Dr Ionanna Nicola discuss the challenges and opportunities for smart cities. Digitization is making municipal processes less transparent, while the budget cuts imposed on many city councils make it hard to respond thoughtfully. The rapid pace of development of private services means that the public interest is often not fully considered or represented, and the companies involved claim ownership of the data, which they then analyze and try to sell back to the cities. For city administrations, the focus should be citizens, not just users. The South China Morning Post describes life in ZTE's flagship smart city, Yinchuan, a community of 2 million people situated on the edge of the Gobi Desert. IT News Africa reports that Rwanda
LSE: http://bit.ly/2rAQdXe
SCMP: http://bit.ly/2rPmuad

Uber versus Waymo
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at BusinessInsider, Biz Caron explains Google spin-out Waymo's ongoing lawsuit for patent infringement and intellectual property theft against Uber. Both companies hope to dominate the huge upcoming market for autonomous vehicles. Waymo claims that Uber has benefited from information about Waymo's Lidar vision system that was contained in more than 14,000 documents copied by its former engineer, Anthony Levandowski before he left to found Otto, a startup focused on self-driving trucks. Uber acquired Otto in mid-2016, but claims never to have seen the information in the files. A win for Waymo could derail Uber's automation plans. At CNet, Dara Kerr reports on the hearings: while it appears clear that Levandowski downloaded the files, there seems to be little evidence that Uber used any of the information. The Guardian reports that the judge is allowing Uber to continue with its project but that the company must keep Levandowski away from work involving Lidar; Uber has threatened to fire the engineer if he does not return the documents, as required by the court order.
BI: http://read.bi/2qj1MO2
CNet: http://cnet.co/2qfmmj5
Guardian: http://bit.ly/2qUN8Aw


***

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.

Robots Exhibition
----------------------------------------
February 8 - September 13
London, UK
The Science Museum's 2017 robots exhibition includes robotic artifacts over five centuries, from a 16th century mechanized monk to the latest research developments. Focusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, the exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.
http://bit.ly/2kpgPn2

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
----------------------------------------
March 6-June 18
London, UK; Chicago Illinois; Toronto, Canada; New York, NY
The 16 human rights documentaries included in this peripatetic festival highlight individuals and groups exhibiting courageous resilience in challenging times. Among the human rights topics represented are the integrity of the press; the experience of refugees seeking safety; and factory workers protesting chemical harms from their work in the Chinese electronics industry. Nicholas de Pencier's BLACK CODE, based on Ronald Deibert's book of the same name, follows members of Toronto-based Citizen Lab as they document civil society activism in Tibet, Syria, Brazil, and Pakistan.
http://bit.ly/2mbHEiW

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 1-2
Berkeley, California
The tenth annual Privacy Law Scholars workshop will assemble a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss papers in progress. Scholars from many disciplines, including psychology, economics, sociology, philosophy, political science, computer science, and mathematics also participate.
http://bit.ly/2ln2Rq3

Personal Democracy Forum CEE 2017
----------------------------------------
June 8-9, 2017
New York, NY
The theme is PDF17 is "What We Do Now". Attendees will get connected, get inspired, learn with today's new and veteran organizers alike, and discover how what we do now can make all the difference.
http://bit.ly/2oaSCT5

Next Library Festival 2017
----------------------------------------
June 11-14, 2017
Aarhus, Denmark
Next Library 2017 will offer a "patchwork" of co-learning, co-creative, participatory, engaging, pluralistic and interactive meetings, and lots of parallel sessions, keynote speakers, wildcard sessions, demos/exhibitions, gaming, Networking Dinner Party, Get2Gether, Social un-conferences, alternative events and surprises.
http://bit.ly/2hHNt4W

Future Perfect
----------------------------------------
Jun 16, 2017
New York, NY
Data & Society Research Institute's Speculative Fiction Reading Group will host Future Perfect, a conference exploring the use, significance, and discontents of speculative design, narrative, and world-building in technology, policy, and culture. Participation is limited. Those interested in attending this Conference should apply by May 12, and may either 1) propose work to be exhibited and/or presented, or 2) describe how their work makes them a relevant discussant/participant.
http://bit.ly/2qcFAcj

CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication
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June 21-23, 2017
Geneva, Switzerland
The organizers of the biennial CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication - OAI10 - include representatives from the Open Society Foundations, SPARC, PloS, CERN, UCL, and other academic institutions..
http://bit.ly/2jzXj6X

Data Power 2017
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June 22-23, 2017
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The Data Power 2017 conference asks: how can we reclaim some form of data-based power and autonomy, and advance data-based technological citizenship, while living in regimes of data power? Confirmed speakers include Helen Nissenbaum, Frank Pasquale, Stefania Milan, and Paul N. Edwards.
http://bit.ly/2p7GymW

Workshop on the Economics of Security
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June 26-28
San Diego, California, US
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/2rgk8Ej

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

Summer courses on privacy and international copyright laws
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July 3-7, 2017
Amsterdam, Netherlands
These courses, run by the Institute for Information Law, are intensive post-graduate courses aimed to help professionals stay abreast of changing rules. The first, on privacy law and policy, focuses on recent developments in EU and US privacy law relating to the internet and online media. The second, on international copyright law, comprises nine seminars, each focused on one specific copyright issue.
http://bit.ly/2lmPgim

AI Now Symposium
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Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
July 10, 2017
The second annual symposium of the AI Now Initiative, led by Kate Crawford and Meredith Whittaker, will be held at the MIT Media Lab. AI Now works across disciplines to understand the social impact of AI.
http://bit.ly/2psXm70

Citizen Lab Summer Institute
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July 12-14
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This year's conference is organized around five research streams: Network Interference and Freedom of Expression Online, Surveillance and Counter Surveillance, Security and Privacy of Apps, Corporate Transparency and Public Accountability, and a special session on Information Controls and Armed Conflict.
http://bit.ly/2oaGQrQ

IFLA World Libraries and Information Congress
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August 19-25, 2017
Wroclaw, Poland
The theme of the 83rd annual IFLA congress will be "Achieving a healthy future together: diverse and emerging roles for health information professionals".
http://bit.ly/2gErkVa

#CivicTechFest 2017
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September 10-16. 2017
Taipei, China
Asia's first-ever civic technology festival and conference, #CivicTechFest" will feature a series of forums, workshops, roundtables, conferences, and hackathons related to open data and open government.
http://bit.ly/2q9xali

TICTeC@Taipei
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Expanding from its annual conference in Florence in April, mySociety's annual conference, TICTeC, which focuses on the impacts of civic technology, will provide two days of sessions as part of #CivicTechFest.
http://bit.ly/2qbx3Uq

Summit on Internet Freedom in Africa
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September 27-29, 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa
This event convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing the right to privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination, and the free flow of information online.
http://bit.ly/2rVMH6c

Privacy + Security Forum
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October 4-6, 2017
Washington, DC
The conference breaks down the silos of security and privacy by bringing together leaders from both fields.
http://bit.ly/1PZhExo

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

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


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