Results tagged “OSFISD digest” from The Other Glass

If you used to like reading the OSF Information Program news digests (which ended in September)...starting in <a href="https://cybersalon.org/vort3x-cybersalon-october-15-2021/">October 2021</a>, we (me in conjunction with <a href="https://www.cybersalon.org">Cybersalon</a) are publishing something similar, the monthly newsletter <a href="https://cybersalon.org/category/vort3x-by-wendy/">Vort3x</a>, complete with news, features, events diary, and job listings.

wg
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending Sept. 24, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman. This is the last edition of the digest, which ceases publication at the end of September 2021. Among Open Society Information Program grantees that publish newsletters covering a similar range of topics are: Access Now, EDRi, EFF, Mozilla Foundation, Privacy International.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Citizen Lab, Creative Commons, Mozilla Foundation.

NEWS
=====

Leaked Documents Show Facebook Knows Its Flaws and Doesn't Care
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Internal documents show that Facebook ignores its own research showing that its platform's many flaws cause harm, Jeff Horwitz and other Wall Street Journal reporters find in an ongoing series of articles. In the five articles to date: 1) although Facebook claims its rules apply equally to all users, behind the scenes a long list of exempt celebrities and politicians are free to abuse the platform. 2) Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for many of the teenage girls who use it. 3) CEO Mark Zuckerberg resisted fixes  when staff reported that the 2018 changes to Facebook's algorithm, intended to encourage interaction between users, made the platform angrier. 4) The company ignored warnings about the platform's use by drug cartels and human traffickers in developing countries, as well as organ sales, pornography, and government repression. 5) Although Facebook as a company promotes covid vaccines, activists use Facebook's tools to spread conspiracy theories and doubt about both the vaccines and the pandemic itself. At Facebook's blog, Nick Clegg says the stories contain "deliberate mischaracterizations of what we are trying to do". In a Guardian comment, Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of Anti-Social Media, sees little hope of reform: "The problem with Facebook is Facebook." At Techonomy, David Kirkpatrick highlights that 90% of Facebook users are outside the US, but only 13% of its content moderation is focused there; the company's sole concerns are growing its user base and avoiding bad PR in the US. Facebook's ultimate problem, he argues, is Zuckerberg's total control. Finally, at the New York Times, Ryan Mac and Sheera Frankel write that Zuckerberg has greenlit plans for Project Amplify, which will use the site's newsfeed to promote positive stories about Facebook.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-facebook-files-11631713039
https://about.fb.com/news/2021/09/what-the-wall-street-journal-got-wrong/
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/18/facebook-instagram-zuckerberg-teenagers
https://techonomy.com/2021/09/outlaw-renegade-empire-pariah-digesting-the-wsj-series-about-facebook/
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/21/technology/zuckerberg-facebook-project-amplify.html

Australia Gives Police Power to Take Over and Modify Social Media Accounts
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Australia's Federal Police force may take over the accounts of selected social media users and delete or modify content they've posted, Simon Sharwood reports at The Register. The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2021 is intended to help investigators act against users of encrypted services and creates three new types of warrants: account takeover, data disruption, and network activity. Law enforcement can compel sysadmins to help them via assistance orders. The AFP has said it will be "relentless in using the law and its powers to remove child sex abuse material and unlawful content from the dark web and other forums". At QRCodeExpress, John Montaglio reports that Australian police are also seeking access to the data collected via the QR codes used in compulsory contact tracing to solve unrelated crimes.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/14/identify_and_disrupt_bill_australia/
http://www.qrcodepress.com/qr-code-check-in-australia/8539890/

Google Provides User Data to Hong Kong Authorities
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In 2020 Google provided some user data in response to three of 43 requests from the Hong Kong government despite having previously promised not to do so, Selina Cheng reports at the Hong Kong Free Press. Google said that two of the requests related to human trafficking and were accompanied by search warrants signed by a magistrate, and; the third was an emergency disclosure involving a threat to someone's life. None of Google's responses included users' content data. Google, along with other US technology companies, said soon after the June 2020 passage of the new Hong Kong security law that it would only respond to requests made through the US Department of Justice under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. The Washington Post reports that Google, along with Apple, has deleted an opposition voting app from its online store in response to pressure from Russian president Vladimir Putin's censorship office as the polls opened for the country's parliamentary elections.
https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/11/22668734/google-user-data-hong-kong-authorities-china
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/09/17/navalny-google-apple-app-russia/

Big Brands Advertise on Covid Misinformation Sites
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The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has discovered that dozens of big brands including Nike, Amazon, Ted Baker, and Asos, as well as an NHS service, are advertising on websites that spread covid misinformation and conspiracy theories, Rob Davies and Jasper Jackson report at the Observer. The ads are being placed through a complex network of technology companies, including Google, that match advertising space to data about individuals. Because of the opacity of the system, the organizations may be unaware of where their ads appear.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/18/nike-amazon-among-brands-advertising-on-covid-conspiracy-sites

Brazilian Court Cancels Rules Barring Social Media from Removing Content
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The Brazilian Senate and Supreme Court have struck down rules issued by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro that would have temporarily banned social media companies from removing many types of content, Jack Nicas reports at the New York Times. In an earlier story, Nicas explained that the law would only allow networks to remove nudity, drugs, violence, and incitement to crime, including copyright violation. Companies would have been required to get a court order to remove covid misinformation or Bolsonaro's own claim that the only way he'll lose the upcoming 2022 elections is if the vote is rigged.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/world/americas/brazil-bolsonaro-social-media-ban.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/world/americas/bolsonaro-social-networks.html

Britain Adopts "Influence Government" Based on Sensitive Data
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National and local governments in Britain are placing targeted ads based on sensitive personal data on search engines and social media in order to influence the population's behavior, Alex Hern reports at the Guardian. Researchers at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research have found examples ranging from schemes intended to divert young people away from becoming online fraudsters to fire safety tips explaining how to light candles. Many of the campaigns are outsourced to third-party marketing agencies.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/sep/08/study-finds-growing-government-use-of-sensitive-data-to-nudge-behaviour


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Inside the Gates Foundation
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In this article, The Economist studies the operations of the $50 billion Gates Foundation, which in 2019 paid out $4.1 billion in grants, 11 times the next-largest private American development foundation. The article goes on to consider the co-founders' contrasting strategies. Co-founder Bill Gates tends to prefer data-driven ways of doing good that are quantifiable because they use technological solutions, while co-founder Melinda French Gates argues that quantifiable methods cannot by themselves solve complex problems like poverty.
https://www.economist.com/international/2021/09/18/the-gates-foundations-approach-has-both-advantages-and-limits

Lucrative Disinformation Campaigns Target Kenya
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In this blog posting, the Mozilla Foundation introduces a new report that outlines malicious, coordinated, and inauthentic attacks on Twitter that are undermining Kenyan civil society. Among the report's findings: disinformation campaigns are lucrative for influencers; Twitter's trending algorithm amplifies the campaigns; and the campaigns are increasingly targeting individuals. After the report's release, Twitter responded by deleting over 100 accounts in violation of its policies who were operating in Kenya. At Wired, Noam Cohen profiles Ksenia Coffman, whose inclination to bold editing to remove misinformation, particularly about Nazi history, has led other editors to call her "unencyclopedic". At Slate, Stephen Harrison reviews Wikipedia's twenty-year history of combating misinformation.
https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/blog/fellow-research-inside-the-shadowy-world-of-disinformation-for-hire-in-kenya/
https://www.wired.com/story/one-womans-mission-to-rewrite-nazi-history-wikipedia/
https://slate.com/technology/2021/09/wikipedia-september-11-20th-anniversary.html

Eight Recommendations for Open Research
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In this article at Times Higher Education, Robert Darby argues that open research practices improve the quality and integrity of research, increase protection against fraud, and enhance public trust. He goes on to make eight recommendations for changing universities' culture, including reforming incentives, creating open research award competitions, and joining or establishing a national reproducibility network.
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/eight-ways-your-university-can-make-research-culture-more-open

Theranos Trial Tests the Limits of Silicon Valley
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In this podcast series, John Carreyrou examines the evidence presented at the in-progress trial against Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos. Carreyrou's original reporting for the Wall Street Journal exposed the fraud at the heart of the company, which claimed to be able to conduct myriad tests on tiny samples of blood collected from a finger prick. Carreyrou contends that the case is important in ensuring that future companies do not copy Theranos in applying the "fake it till you make it" ethos of Silicon Valley software developers to medical devices.
https://www.threeuncannyfour.com/show/bad-blood/

NSO Group Uses Zero-Click, Zero Day Vulnerability to Attack Apple Devices
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In this video clip from Democracy Now, director Ron Deibert discusses Citizen Lab's latest discovery, a zero-click, zero-day vulnerability in the image rendering library used in Apple's iMessage that NSO Group has used to take over targets' iOS, WatchOS, and MacOS devices. In response, Apple issued a patch for all 1.65 billion-plus of its products. Citizen Lab believes the abuse, called FORCEDENTRY, has been active at least since February 2021. Deibert warns that what NSO Group is offering is "despotism as a service" that enables "transnational repression".
https://citizenlab.ca/2021/09/democracy-now-nso-group-spies-secretly-seized-control-of-apple-devices-by-exploiting-flaw-in-code/
https://twitter.com/citizenlab/status/1437499624529580034

Privacy Law Reshapes the Web
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In this article at the New York Times, Brian X. Chen outlines the privacy law-driven shift away from personal data-driven advertising that is reshaping the web. In response to moves by Apple, Google, and Facebook to limit their dependence on personal data, media publishers, app developers, and online retailers are considering how to revamp their business models. Many are turning to subscription fees and other charges, or raising prices.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/16/technology/digital-privacy.html

Paywalling Scientific Research Holds Back Progress on Climate Change
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In this article at The Scotsman, Catherine Stihler, CEO of Creative Commons, welcomes the approaching COP26 meeting, which will be held in Glasgow, and argues that locking scientific research behind paywalls is holding back progress on climate change. Open data and open science enabled developing COVID vaccines at speed, and can do the same for the climate crisis - if we let it. Creative Commons intends to launch new ventures to remove unnecessary barriers.
https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/climate-change-glasgow-agreement-can-save-the-planet-but-locking-scientific-research-behind-paywalls-is-holding-us-back-catherine-stihler-3357616

***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead. ***

ONE-OFF EVENTS

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
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October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

Thotcon
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October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

Web Summit
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November 1-4, 2021
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries, Web Summit will gather  founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Privacy Symposium Africa
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November 3-5, 2021
Online from Kampala, Uganda
Privacy Symposium Africa is a unique platform established to attract, present, and discuss original research results, policy, and technology developments related to personal data protection and privacy, aiming at promoting discussions, collaboration, and knowledge exchange on data protection and privacy.
https://privacysymposiumafrica.com

Tech for Democracy
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November 9, 2021
Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish Government will host an international conference, Tech for Democracy, to bring states, tech sector representatives, media, academia, and civil society around the same table to focus on concrete ways to make technology support - and not undermine - democracy and civil society.
https://um.dk/en/foreign-policy/tech-for-democracy-2021/

Policy & AI
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November 9-10, 2021
Palo Alto, California, USA
With artificial intelligence rapidly transforming every aspect of our world, calls for regulation, governance, and oversight are on the rise. HAI's 2021 fall conference will consider four radical proposals for policies that respond to the challenges and opportunities of an AI-powered future. Can basic income address the future of automated work? Should a public agency certify algorithms? How would we regulate AI-based decisions on platforms? Should there be ownership rights in data that fuel algorithms?  Each substantive session will feature the short presentation of one radical proposal with discussion by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines and backgrounds.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/2021-fall-conference-policy-ai-four-radical-proposals-better-society

Internet Governance Forum
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December 6-10, 2021
Katowice, Poland
The Internet Governance Forum is an international meeting, held at the initiative of the United Nations, that enables a global discussion on the development of the Internet. It is a place for exchanging thoughts and experiences in the field of Internet governance.
https://www.gov.pl/web/igf2021-en

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
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January 26-28, 2022
Brussels, Belgium
CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP gathers academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world in Brussels, offering them an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. This unique multidisciplinary formula has served to make CPDP one of the leading data protection and privacy conferences in Europe and around the world. The theme of the 2022 conference is "data protection and privacy in transitional times".
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Enigma 2022
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February 1-3, 2022
Santa Clara, CA, USA
Enigma centers on a single track of engaging talks covering a wide range of topics in security and privacy. Our goal is to clearly explain emerging threats and defenses in the growing intersection of society and technology, and to foster an intelligent and informed conversation within the community and the world.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/enigma2022/call-for-participation

Mozilla Festival
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March, 2022
TBC
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

LIBER 2022
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July 5-8 2022
Odense, Denmark
LIBER's annual conference brings library directors and their staff together for three days of networking and collaboration. Delegates mainly come from Europe but people from around the world are welcome, and we regularly welcome guests from countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. The goal of the conference is to identify the most pressing needs for research libraries, and to share information and ideas for addressing those needs.
https://liberconference.eu/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
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London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
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Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
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The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
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The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
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The Carnegie Council runs frequent events on topics such as illiberal threats to democracy, the societal limits of AI ethics, AI and ethics in Africa, and inclusion. The Council posts audio and a transcript after each event.
https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/calendar/upcoming

Data & Society
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Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
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The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
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EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
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Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
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The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Stanford
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HAI's series of events covers AI-related topics such as upcoming regulation, issues with algorithms, health, and AI and society.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/upcoming-events

In Lieu of Fun
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Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
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The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
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The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
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Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
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London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/events/

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending Sept. 10, 2021
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman. This is the second-to-last edition of the digest, which will cease publication at the end of September 2021.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EFF.

NEWS
=====

Apple Pauses CSAM Scanning
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After considerable backlash, Apple has paused the introduction of its planned system to scan customers' devices and photographs uploaded to iCloud for child sexual abuse material (CSAM), Thomas Claburn reports at The Register. In a blog posting, EFF deputy executive director Kurt Opsahl argues that such a system is dangerous because, "If you build it, they will come". At the New York Times, cybersecurity expert Matthew D. Green and former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos explain the novel privacy risks such a system would bring.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/03/apple_scanning_pause/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/08/if-you-build-it-they-will-come-apple-has-opened-backdoor-increased-surveillance
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/11/opinion/apple-iphones-privacy.html

China Issues Draft Regulations for Recommendation Algorithms
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Cyberspace Administration of China has published draft regulations for recommendation algorithms that are intended both to ensure platforms "spread positive energy" and to stop users from being manipulated, Kendra Schaefer reports in a Twitter thread. Stanford's DigiChina policy center has published a translation of the draft. At Reuters, Brenda Goh reports that China's National Press and Publication Administration will ban gaming companies from providing services to under-18s outside of one hour a day on weekends and public holidays. At the Guardian, Alex Hern says that while the West is unlikely to follow suit, gaming companies should think seriously about their business models and revenue sources.
https://twitter.com/kendraschaefer/status/1431134515242496002
https://digichina.stanford.edu/news/translation-internet-information-service-algorithmic-recommendation-management-provisions
https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-rolls-out-new-rules-minors-online-gaming-xinhua-2021-08-30/
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/04/why-the-industry-should-heed-chinas-crackdown-on-video-game-players

Google Locks Accounts Belonging to Former Afghan Government
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Google has locked accounts belonging to the recently-fallen Afghan government as reports indicate that the Taliban are seeking to examine emails sent and received by the two dozen government bodies that used Google's servers. The emails and related databases could provide information to put at risk former administrators, ministers, government contractors, tribal allies, and former partners.
https://www.rappler.com/technology/google-locks-afghan-government-accounts-taliban-seek-emails

Google Decommissions Clinical Support App Streams
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Google is decommissioning its UK clinician support app Streams, Natasha Lomas reports at TechCrunch. The Streams "mobile medical device" was developed in 2015 by DeepMind in collaboration with the Royal Free NHS Trust soon after Google acquired it in 2014. The app, intended to be part of a five-year plan to bring AI into health care, apparently never incorporated AI and was the subject of a 2017 scandal over sharing patient data without consent. In a second disturbing development, 2018 DeepMind handed off the app to Google Health, raising privacy concerns. The company says it is changing focus to Care Studio, which it is testing with two US health systems.
https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/26/google-confirms-its-pulling-the-plug-on-streams-its-uk-clinician-support-app/
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/technology/what-happened-ibm-watson.html

US Court Rules AI Systems Cannot Be Awarded Patents
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge has upheld a decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office that only natural persons can be awarded patents and recognized as inventors, ruling out awarding patents to AI systems, Katyanna Quach reports at The Register. Judge Leonie Brinema argued the requirement for applicants to take an oath swearing that they are the inventor on patent applications can only be met by natural persons.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/04/ai_patent_ruling/?td=keepreading-top

UK Plans Overhaul of Data Protection Laws
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK will overhaul its privacy rules looking to move away from the EU's General Data Protection Regulation while retaining the UK's data protection laws' adequacy status, Alex Hern reports at the Guardian. The government has published more details about its plans on its own website. At Ian Brown's blog, he and Douwe Korff discuss the areas where UK law is also at odds with GDPR. At Campaign, marketers express concern about the risk to consumer trust and the EU's adequacy decision if the UK strays too far.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/aug/26/uk-to-overhaul-privacy-rules-in-post-brexit-departure-from-gdpr
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-unveils-post-brexit-global-data-plans-to-boost-growth-increase-trade-and-improve-healthcare
https://www.ianbrown.tech/2021/06/17/initial-comments-on-the-eu-commissions-final-gdpr-adequacy-decision-on-the-uk/
https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/uk-government-plans-roll-back-gdpr-good-news-adland/1726187


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Australian Research Council Bans Preprint Citations
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Research Council has banned applicants for its fellowships from citing preprint material in funding applications, a particular problem for early-career researchers, Donna Lu reports at the Guardian. An application tracker has found that at least 23 people have so far been excluded because of this rule. Lu also reports that more than 600 members of the Australian research community have called on ARC to reconsider the rule, warning that excluding preprint citations means applicants will not be using the full range of contemporary knowledge in a given discipline. At Nature, Clare Watson reports that scientists are calling the rule "plain ludicrous".
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/aug/20/devastating-career-event-scientists-caught-out-by-change-to-australian-research-council-fine-print
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/aug/24/australian-research-council-under-pressure-after-funding-rule-angers-academic-community
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02318-8

Counting the Costs of the Post-9/11 Security State
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Guardian, Ed Pilkington reviews the rise of the US's surveillance state as the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches. Within days, the FBI and NSA began implementing the warrantless surveillance to keep tabs on digital communications they had long wanted. Despite the efforts of Congressional oversight committees and AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein, the true extent did not become clear until Edward Snowden's 2013 revelations. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies estimates that the militarized post-9/11 security state has cost $21 trillion.
20th anniversary 9/11 - cost of War on Terror, constant surveillance
https://ips-dc.org/report-state-of-insecurity-cost-militarization-since-9-11/

Eight US States Agree to Store Driver's Licenses in Apple's Wallet App
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple will begin storing in its Wallet app driver's licenses from eight US states later this year, Samuel Axon reports at Ars Technica. The system's first use will be identification checks at airports. The company says users will not have to hand over their phones or show screens; the information will be delivered by tapping the phone or an Apple watch on a reader. At Muckrock, BJ Mahal studies Freedom of Information Act responses from 24 states to understand whether the system will be fair and what its impact on privacy will be.
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/09/in-eight-us-states-apple-will-begin-storing-drivers-licenses-on-the-iphone/
https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2021/aug/25/apple-wants-your-new-drivers-license-to-be-an-ipho/

Accenture's Secret Role in Facebook Content Moderation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Adam Satariano and Mike Isaac reveal Accenture's crucial yet secretive $500 million-a-year role in moderating content on Facebook. Accenture employs more than a third of the 15,000 people Facebook says it pays to examine users' posts, and deals with the impact on workers of reviewing posts. The deal provides Accenture a presence in Silicon Valley. Also at the New York Times, Ryan Mac, Mike Isaac, and Sheera Frenkel report that Facebook is considering forming a commission to advise it on global election-related matters such as the viability of political ads and how to handle election-related misinformation.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/31/technology/facebook-accenture-content-moderation.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/25/technology/facebook-election-commission.html

Digital Media Is Broken
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Medium, Ryan Broderick argues that digital media is broken as a business. YouTuber Logan Paul's 31 million subscribers across four channels represent a vastly more efficient operation than the 25 million subscribers across ten channels counted by Vice, which recently announced layoffs to pivot to video via TikTok and YouTube. The last ten years have seen formerly distinctive sites like Vice become indistinguishable from one another as they become part of content farms.
https://www.garbageday.email/p/making-algorithmic-dog-food-for-the

US: Public Can Reclaim Ownership of Publicly-Funded Science
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Intercept, Alexander Zaitchik outlines US president Joe Biden's opportunity to roll back some of the effects of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which allowed private companies to patent government-funded research. Even at the time, the bill's opponents warned that it would promote greater concentration of economic power and slow technological innovation.
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/29/bayh-dole-act-public-science-patents/


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

We Robot
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
Online from Miami, Florida
We Robot's tenth annual conference will bring together the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate.
http://robots.law.miami.edu/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
Miami, Florida, USA
We Robot is the leading North American conference on robotics law and policy.  It is designed to foster conversation between the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate. Papers and presentations are often interdisciplinary collaborations relating to how citizens and officials are or will be using robots, AI, and related technologies, and the implications of those technologies for policy and law.
http://werobot2021.com/

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
November 1-4, 2021
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries, Web Summit will gather  founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Tech for Democracy
----------------------------------------
November 9, 2021
Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish Government will host an international conference, Tech for Democracy, to bring states, tech sector representatives, media, academia, and civil society around the same table to focus on concrete ways to make technology support - and not undermine - democracy and civil society.
https://um.dk/en/foreign-policy/tech-for-democracy-2021/

Policy & AI
----------------------------------------
November 9-10, 2021
Palo Alto, California, USA
With artificial intelligence rapidly transforming every aspect of our world, calls for regulation, governance, and oversight are on the rise. HAI's 2021 fall conference will consider four radical proposals for policies that respond to the challenges and opportunities of an AI-powered future. Can basic income address the future of automated work? Should a public agency certify algorithms? How would we regulate AI-based decisions on platforms? Should there be ownership rights in data that fuel algorithms?  Each substantive session will feature the short presentation of one radical proposal with discussion by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines and backgrounds.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/2021-fall-conference-policy-ai-four-radical-proposals-better-society

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-10, 2021
Katowice, Poland
The Internet Governance Forum is an international meeting, held at the initiative of the United Nations, that enables a global discussion on the development of the Internet. It is a place for exchanging thoughts and experiences in the field of Internet governance.
https://www.gov.pl/web/igf2021-en

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 26-28, 2022
Brussels, Belgium
CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP gathers academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world in Brussels, offering them an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. This unique multidisciplinary formula has served to make CPDP one of the leading data protection and privacy conferences in Europe and around the world. The theme of the 2022 conference is "data protection and privacy in transitional times".
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Enigma 2022
----------------------------------------
February 1-3, 2022
Santa Clara, CA, USA
Enigma centers on a single track of engaging talks covering a wide range of topics in security and privacy. Our goal is to clearly explain emerging threats and defenses in the growing intersection of society and technology, and to foster an intelligent and informed conversation within the community and the world.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/enigma2022/call-for-participation

Mozilla Festival
----------------------------------------
March, 2022
TBC
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

LIBER 2022
----------------------------------------
July 5-8 2022
Odense, Denmark
LIBER's annual conference brings library directors and their staff together for three days of networking and collaboration. Delegates mainly come from Europe but people from around the world are welcome, and we regularly welcome guests from countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. The goal of the conference is to identify the most pressing needs for research libraries, and to share information and ideas for addressing those needs.
https://liberconference.eu/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
----------------------------------------
The Carnegie Council runs frequent events on topics such as illiberal threats to democracy, the societal limits of AI ethics, AI and ethics in Africa, and inclusion. The Council posts audio and a transcript after each event.
https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/calendar/upcoming

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Stanford
----------------------------------------
HAI's series of events covers AI-related topics such as upcoming regulation, issues with algorithms, health, and AI and society.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/upcoming-events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/events/

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending August 13, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EFF, La Quadrature du Net, SPARC.

NEWS
=====

Apple Embraces Backdoored Encryption to Report Child Abuse Images
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple has abruptly and unexpectedly announced that it will add technology to its phones and cloud services that will detect, decrypt, and report known child sexual abuse material (CSAM) to law enforcement and notify parents if children's iMessage accounts send or receive sexually explicit material, Zack Whittaker reports at TechCrunch. The technology will roll out in the US first; Apple has not announced a timetable for international use. At EFF, India McKinney and Erica Portnoy outline the high price of these moves for user privacy. EFF is concerned about the lack of transparency and oversight, and also that the system, once built, will expand to suit the whims of authoritarian governments. At Lawfare, Nicholas Weaver defends the decision, calling it "privacy-preserving mass surveillance". At The Verge, Mitchell Clarke reports that WhatsApp will not adopt similar measures and calls Apple's announcement "very concerning". At Daring Fireball, John Gruber presents a detailed analysis of what Apple is - and is not - doing. In an open letter to Apple, organizations including the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the New York Public Library, and ThinkPrivacy call on Apple to halt the plan and commit to end-to-end encryption; within a day it had been signed by more than 4,000 individuals, including Edward Snowden and cryptographer Matthew Green.
https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/05/apple-icloud-photos-scanning/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/08/apples-plan-think-different-about-encryption-opens-backdoor-your-private-life
https://www.lawfareblog.com/encryption-and-combating-child-exploitation-imagery
https://daringfireball.net/2021/08/apple_child_safety_initiatives_slippery_slope
https://appleprivacyletter.com/


Facebook Shuts Down Transparency Research
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook has shut down the tools and personal accounts belonging to the Ad Observatory, a research project at New York University that studies the site's ad targeting, Matthew Ingram reports at the Columbia Journalism Review. The company blamed the decision on the need to protect user privacy and rules enshrined in its 2019 $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission. At Protocol, Issie Lapowsky points out that the data being shared with the NYU researchers pertained to advertisers, not individual users. In an episode of In Lieu of Fun, Kate Klonick and Stanford law professor Nate Persily discuss the case and mull how to enable legitimate research studying Facebook's advertising practices without compromising privacy. At the FTC, acting director Samuel Levine publishes an objecting letter to Facebook that concludes: "Had you honored your commitment to contact us in advance, we would have pointed out that the consent decree does not bar Facebook from creating exceptions for good-faith research in the public interest."
https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/facebook-shuts-down-research-blames-user-privacy-rules.php
https://www.protocol.com/nyu-researchers-facebook-disables-accounts
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/in-lieu-of-fun-episode-110
https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/blog_posts/Letter%20from%20Acting%20Director%20of%20the%20Bureau%20of%20Consumer%20Protection%20Samuel%20Levine%20to%20Facebook/letter_to_mark_zuckerberg_from_samuel_levine.pdf
https://www.theverge.com/2021/8/6/22613365/apple-icloud-csam-scanning-whatsapp-surveillance-reactions


Luxembourg Data Protection Regulator Fines Amazon €746 Million Under GDPR
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Amazon's latest quarterly report, released at the end of July, reveals that the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection fined the company a record €746 million ($887 million) under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, Richard Lawler reports at The Verge. CNPD's decision is not publicly available. Amazon intends to appeal. At its website, La Quadrature du Net, which brought the action on behalf of 10,000 people, promises to keep fighting the domination of the big technology companies. At Wired, Matt Burgess discusses the many problems that have hampered the enforcement of GDPR; this case took three years to conclude.
https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/30/22601661/amazon-gdpr-fine-cnpd-marketplace-antitrust-data
https://www.laquadrature.net/en/2021/07/30/amazon-fined-746-million-euros-following-our-collective-legal-action/
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/amazon-gdpr-fine

AI Tools Fail in Controlling Pandemic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
None of the hundreds of AI tools developed to help control the coronavirus pandemic were of any use and some were actively harmful, Will Douglas Heaven reports at MIT Technology Review. Key problems, found by studies from the Turing Institute, Nature, and the British Medical Journal, is the poor quality of the data used to build these algorithms and the unrealistic expectations that lead people to use the tools regardless. AI developers need to collaborate more with clinicians and share a few successful models rather than constantly building their own poorly tested versions.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/07/30/1030329/machine-learning-ai-failed-covid-hospital-diagnosis-pandemic/
https://www.turing.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2021-06/data-science-and-ai-in-the-age-of-covid_full-report_2.pdf
https://www.nature.com/articles/s42256-021-00307-0
https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1328

Colombian Call Center Workers Push Back Against In-Home Surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Call center workers who provide outsourced customer service in Colombia are being pressured to sign a contract allowing their employer, Teleperformance, to install AI-powered surveillance cameras in their homes, and are beginning to unionize as a result, Olivia Solon reports at NBC News. Teleperformance is one of the world's largest call center companies, employing 39,000 workers in Colombia and 380,000 worldwide; its clients include Apple, Amazon, and Uber. An earlier attempt in Albania was struck down by the Information and Data Protection Commissioner. The contract requires workers to agree to sharing images, video analysis or objects around their workspaces, biometric data, and data and images relating to their children under 18 if they are picked up by the video and audio monitoring tools. Workers may also be required to take polygraph tests. In the US, home care workers report that in the name of combating fraud electronic visit verification systems are subjecting both themselves and their clients to rigid controls that amount to house arrest.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/big-tech-call-center-workers-face-pressure-accept-home-surveillance-n1276227
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/28/digital-surveillance-caregivers-artificial-intelligence


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Misinformation as a Service
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Max Fisher explores the emerging misinformation industry, in which private companies sell services once largely confined to the world's intelligence agencies while offering clients deniability. The resulting campaigns attack covid vaccines, fake anti-government sentiment, spread polarizing conspiracies, and disrupt elections in every part of the world and are growing more sophisticated. They are also comparatively cheap and embraced by populist leaders. At the Guardian, Chris McGreal reports that the thinktank InfluenceMap finds that Facebook failed to enforce its own rules during the 2020 US presidential election and allowed fossil fuel companies to promote the claim that oil and gas can be part of climate change remediation.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/world/europe/disinformation-social-media.html
https://www.salon.com/2021/08/08/a-terrifying-new-theory-fake-news-and-conspiracy-theories-as-an-evolutionary-strategy/
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/facebook-fossil-fuel-industry-environment-climate-change

The Pandemic Legacy of Pervasive QR Codes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Erin Woo discusses the rise of QR codes in restaurants and retailers and the enhanced tracking they bring. QR codes are being widely adopted to minimize contact during transactions as part of covid security. Because of the opportunities for upselling and data analysis, businesses will be reluctant to give them up even after the pandemic ends.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/26/technology/qr-codes-tracking.html

Vaccination Passports Pose Ethical and Infrastructure Issues
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, hosts a discussions of vaccination passports, which are being widely proposed for international travel and less widely for domestic purposes. Linnet Taylor discusses the impact on already-disenfranchised communities, Seda F. Gurses and Michael Veale highlight the problem of increased dependence on computational infrastructures owned and operated by just a handful of private companies, and Effy Vayena looks at the ethical limits to public health interventions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG3QG7Yza00

Pandemic Provides Lessons for Open Science
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of the Impacts of COVID-19 podcast, Jean Claude Burgelman, professor of open science policy at the Free University of Brussels, interviews SPARC executive director Heather Joseph about the role open science has played in countering the pandemic. Openness has worked, but better physical and human infrastructure are needed, as are better tools for dealing with sudden floods of preprints and ways to speed up peer review.
https://policylabs.frontiersin.org/content/impacts-of-covid-19-open-science-heather-joseph

Privacy Standards Create Tensions Within W3C
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Protocol, Issie Lapowsky describes the strains within the W3C, which has become a battleground between the engineers who build web browsers and representatives of adtech companies who use the language of "the open web" and "user choice" but underneath fear for their survival. The dispute risks recapitulating the story of Do Not Track, which died when the working group assigned to develop it as a standard failed to reach a consensus on how it should work. This round began when Google proposed to reengineer Chrome to block third-party cookies and web tracking and develop Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as a new standard.
https://www.protocol.com/policy/w3c-privacy-war

The Promise and Threat of Open Source Intelligence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article, The Economist suggests that "open source intelligence" (OSINT) - satellite images, for example - coupled with modern collaborative tools such as Slack are enabling everyone from hobbyists to experts to expose misdeeds in an unprecedented way. OSINT, the article argues, is strengthening civil society and law enforcement alike, and making markets more efficient, although it also poses a threat to individual privacy.
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/08/07/the-promise-of-open-source-intelligence

***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

We Robot
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
We Robot's tenth annual conference will bring together the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate.
http://robots.law.miami.edu/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
Miami, Florida, USA
We Robot is the leading North American conference on robotics law and policy.  It is designed to foster conversation between the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate. Papers and presentations are often interdisciplinary collaborations relating to how citizens and officials are or will be using robots, AI, and related technologies, and the implications of those technologies for policy and law.
http://werobot2021.com/

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
November 1-4, 2021
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries, Web Summit will gather  founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Tech for Democracy
----------------------------------------
November 9, 2021
Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish Government will host an international conference, Tech for Democracy, to bring states, tech sector representatives, media, academia, and civil society around the same table to focus on concrete ways to make technology support - and not undermine - democracy and civil society.
https://um.dk/en/foreign-policy/tech-for-democracy-2021/

Policy & AI
----------------------------------------
November 9-10, 2021
Palo Alto, California, USA
With artificial intelligence rapidly transforming every aspect of our world, calls for regulation, governance, and oversight are on the rise. HAI's 2021 fall conference will consider four radical proposals for policies that respond to the challenges and opportunities of an AI-powered future. Can basic income address the future of automated work? Should a public agency certify algorithms? How would we regulate AI-based decisions on platforms? Should there be ownership rights in data that fuel algorithms?  Each substantive session will feature the short presentation of one radical proposal with discussion by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines and backgrounds.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/2021-fall-conference-policy-ai-four-radical-proposals-better-society

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-10, 2021
Katowice, Poland
The Internet Governance Forum is an international meeting, held at the initiative of the United Nations, that enables a global discussion on the development of the Internet. It is a place for exchanging thoughts and experiences in the field of Internet governance.
https://www.gov.pl/web/igf2021-en

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 26-28, 2022
Brussels, Belgium
CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP gathers academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world in Brussels, offering them an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. This unique multidisciplinary formula has served to make CPDP one of the leading data protection and privacy conferences in Europe and around the world. The theme of the 2022 conference is "data protection and privacy in transitional times".
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Mozilla Festival
----------------------------------------
March, 2022
TBC
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

LIBER 2022
----------------------------------------
July 5-8 2022
Odense, Denmark
LIBER's annual conference brings library directors and their staff together for three days of networking and collaboration. Delegates mainly come from Europe but people from around the world are welcome, and we regularly welcome guests from countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. The goal of the conference is to identify the most pressing needs for research libraries, and to share information and ideas for addressing those needs.
https://liberconference.eu/

ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
----------------------------------------
The Carnegie Council runs frequent events on topics such as illiberal threats to democracy, the societal limits of AI ethics, AI and ethics in Africa, and inclusion. The Council posts audio and a transcript after each event.
https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/calendar/upcoming

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Stanford
----------------------------------------
HAI's series of events covers AI-related topics such as upcoming regulation, issues with algorithms, health, and AI and society.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/upcoming-events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending July 23, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Access Now, Amnesty International, Citizen Lab, Communia, EFF, R3D.

NEWS
=====

Leaked Database Shows Global Targets of Cybersurveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The "Pegasus" phone hacking software developed by Israel-based NSO Group is is being used by authoritarian governments to target human rights activists, business executives, religious figures, academics, journalists, lawyers, and union and government officials around the world, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Paul Lewis, David Pegg, and Sam Cutler report at the Guardian. The report is based on an investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media outlets into a database of 50,000 phone numbers that was first seen by Amnesty International and the Paris-based non-profit Forbidden Stories. The numbers are believed to belong to people of interest to NSO clients since 2016, but it is not clear if the devices were the objects of successful or attempted hacks. Media outlets are slowly releasing the names. At Rappler, Gelo Gonzales reports that NSO spyware can successfully infect even the latest, most secure iPhones. At Citizen Lab, Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton, Siena Anstis, and Ron Deibert publish the results of the independent review Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories requested, which validates the organizations' forensic methodology, and notes that Citizen Lab's own research has independently reached similar conclusions. In a second new report, Citizen Lab reveals details of the secretive Israel-based company Candiru, whose software, which sells spyware exclusively to governments, can infect and monitor iPhones, Androids, Macs, PCs, and cloud accounts. After recovering a copy of Candiru's Windows spyware from a victim, Citizen Lab, working with Microsoft, found more than 100 victims including human rights defenders, dissidents, journalists, activists, and politicians in a host of countries in the Middle East and Western Europe.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/18/revealed-leak-uncovers-global-abuse-of-cyber-surveillance-weapon-nso-group-pegasus
https://www.rappler.com/technology/nso-spyware-step-ahead-secure-iphone-project-pegasus
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/the-sims-serial-killers

Austrian Supreme Court Refers Schrems' Facebook Complaint to CJEU
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Austria's Supreme Court has referred key issues in Max Schrems' complaint questioning the legal basis on which Facebook collects user data to the Court of Justice of the European Union and awarded Schrems €500 in symbolic damages, Douglas Busvine reports at Reuters. Schrems' complaint argues that by treating consent as a contract instead of a fundamental right, Facebook deprives users of the rights and protections afforded by the General Data Protection Regulation. At noyb.eu, Schrems gives details of the referred questions.
https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N2OW0HH
https://noyb.eu/en/breaking-austrian-ogh-asks-cjeu-if-facebook-undermines-gdpr-2018

Mexico Internet Guidelines Threaten Network Neutrality
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Seven years after being issued a mandate, the Mexican Federal Institute of Communications has approved guidelines for internet traffic management that jeopardize network neutrality, Access Now reports at its blog. The guidelines provide some minor improvements to privacy safeguards and bars the government from mandating internet shutdowns or requesting disruptions to the internet or mobile apps. R3D had to take the government to court to force it to publish the guidelines and says it will continue fighting for network neutrality in Mexico.
https://www.accessnow.org/mexico-guidelines-jeopardize-net-neutrality/

CJEU Advocate General Partially Upholds Platform Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a non-binding recommendation in a case brought by the Polish government, the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has declined to strike down Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive, which holds platforms liable for infringing content users post (the "upload filter"), Christoph Schmon reports at the EFF Deeplinks blog. However, Communia explains in a Twitter thread, the AG also recommends ensuring that implementations include safeguards to protect legal uploads from automated filters. If the CJEU follows the AG's recommendation, EU member states will have to amend their national implementations.
https://copyright4creativity.eu/2021/07/15/cjeu-advocate-general-oe-the-risks-at-eu-level-of-a-this-can-only-mean-approach-or-the-disconnect-between-the-law-and-national-reality/
https://www.eff.org/about/staff/christoph-schmon

Canadian Border Agency Tested Facial Recognition to Find Previous Deportees
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Over a period of six months in 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency quietly tested automated facial recognition on millions of travelers through Toronto's Pearson Airport to try to match them to a list of 5,000 people who had previously been deported, Tom Cardoso and Colin Freeze report at The Global and Mail. When the system returned a match from one of the 31 cameras pointed at international arrivals in Terminal 3, a border official would review the data and dispatch a floor officer to pull the traveler in for secondary inspection. Presentation slides from the system's supplier, Face4Systems, say that the pilot led to 47 hits; it is not clear whether any were deported.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ottawa-tested-facial-recognition-on-millions-of-travellers-at-torontos/


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Hong Kong and Chinese Wikipedians Battle over Protest Articles
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Hong Kong Free Press, Selina Cheng reports that dissenting editors are competing to control the content of the Wikipedia pages relating to Hong Kong political events. Mainland Chinese counterparts have threatened to report them, and Hong Kong-based editors are struggling to find reliable news sources to cite since the closure of Apple Daily and the disappearance of its news archive, and can't agree on the reliability of Chinese media.
https://hongkongfp.com/2021/07/11/wikipedia-wars-how-hongkongers-and-mainland-chinese-are-battling-to-set-the-narrative/

The Dangers of Evidentiary Software
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Lawfare, Susan Landau discusses the dangers posed by software used to produce evidence, based on work with Matt Blaze, Steve Bellovin, and Brian Owsley. Evidentiary software frequently fails due to bugs and other technical issues in operating systems, software, or hardware, or may introduce uncertainty when it hasn't been sufficiently tested. As an example, Landau cites the probabilistic DNA analysis software TrueAllele. Landau recommends that defendants should have the right to adversarial audits; software, she argues, should be subject to cross-examination just like human witnesses.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/dangers-posed-evidentiary-softwareand-what-do-about-it

European Data Protection Authorities Call for Ban on AI Biometric Recognition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a joint statement, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Data Protection Board have called for a ban on using AI to automatically recognize people via biometrics such as scans of face, gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, keystrokes, ethnicity, and emotion, Matt Burgess reports at Wired. In April, the EU announced rules that permitted remote biometric identification but, calling it "high-risk", proposed stricter controls than some other types of AI. While facial recognition has had the most attention, the market for other biometrics is booming, partly due to EU research funding.
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/europe-ai-biometrics

Facebook Withdraws Access to Data Analysis Tool CrowdTangle
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Kevin Roose tells the story of Facebook's data analytics tool, CrowdTangle, which was withdrawn from access for journalists and researchers in favor of selective disclosure of in-house results using the tool. Facebook says it is still committed to increasing transparency. CrowdTangle was the tool journalists and researchers used to show that pro-Trump commentators were spreading misinformation and hyperpartisan commentary during the 2020 US presidential election.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/technology/facebook-data.html

An Unseen Industry Links Unique Phone IDs to Real Identities
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Vice, Joseph Cox explores the behind-the-scenes industry that links phones' unique IDs ("MAIDs") to the real name, physical address, and other personal information of their owners. Advertisers say the IDs are anonymous - or at least pseudonymous - but the reality is that apps collect MAIDs and provide them to third parties that offer identity resolution and identity graphs.
https://www.vice.com/en/article/epnmvz/industry-unmasks-at-scale-maid-to-pii

Tool Finds Geographical Differences in Google Search Results
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Wired, Tom Simonite tries the new tool SearchAtlas, created by PhD students Rodrigo Ochigame (MIT) and Katherine Ye (Carnegie-Mellon), which exposes the geographical differences in Google's search results. While SearchAtlas can't reveal how the company's search engine algorithms work, it does show expose the varying cultural prejudices and government preferences that may be embedded in them. The work was partly inspired by Safia Noble's 2018 book, Algorithms of Oppression.
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/europe-ai-biometrics

Covid-Related Government Data Collection Lacks Transparency
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Slate, Ben Ballard finds that public health officials' sources of data and the methods they and their commercial partners use to analyze it during the pandemic have been kept secret at the expense of public trust. Although numerous initiatives have tried to catalogue these efforts, public health officials have not adopted post-Snowden norms such as transparency reports.
https://slate.com/technology/2021/07/government-data-collection-covid-transparency.html


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
Miami, Florida, USA
We Robot is the leading North American conference on robotics law and policy.  It is designed to foster conversation between the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate. Papers and presentations are often interdisciplinary collaborations relating to how citizens and officials are or will be using robots, AI, and related technologies, and the implications of those technologies for policy and law.
http://werobot2021.com/

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
November 1-4, 2021
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries, Web Summit will gather  founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Tech for Democracy
----------------------------------------
November 9, 2021
Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish Government will host an international conference, Tech for Democracy, to bring states, tech sector representatives, media, academia, and civil society around the same table to focus on concrete ways to make technology support - and not undermine - democracy and civil society.
https://um.dk/en/foreign-policy/tech-for-democracy-2021/

Policy & AI
----------------------------------------
November 9-10, 2021
Palo Alto, California, USA
With artificial intelligence rapidly transforming every aspect of our world, calls for regulation, governance, and oversight are on the rise. HAI's 2021 fall conference will consider four radical proposals for policies that respond to the challenges and opportunities of an AI-powered future. Can basic income address the future of automated work? Should a public agency certify algorithms? How would we regulate AI-based decisions on platforms? Should there be ownership rights in data that fuel algorithms?  Each substantive session will feature the short presentation of one radical proposal with discussion by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines and backgrounds.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/2021-fall-conference-policy-ai-four-radical-proposals-better-society

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-10, 2021
Katowice, Poland
The Internet Governance Forum is an international meeting, held at the initiative of the United Nations, that enables a global discussion on the development of the Internet. It is a place for exchanging thoughts and experiences in the field of Internet governance.
https://www.gov.pl/web/igf2021-en

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 26-28, 2022
Brussels, Belgium
CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP gathers academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world in Brussels, offering them an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. This unique multidisciplinary formula has served to make CPDP one of the leading data protection and privacy conferences in Europe and around the world.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Mozilla Festival
----------------------------------------
March, 2022
TBC
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
----------------------------------------
The Carnegie Council runs frequent events on topics such as illiberal threats to democracy, the societal limits of AI ethics, AI and ethics in Africa, and inclusion. The Council posts audio and a transcript after each event.
https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/calendar/upcoming

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Stanford
----------------------------------------
HAI's series of events covers AI-related topics such as upcoming regulation, issues with algorithms, health, and AI and society.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/upcoming-events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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Our mailing address is:
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© 2021 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending July 9, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: AccessNow, Data & Society, Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz, EDri, EFF, The Engine Room, Homo Digitalis, Panoptykon Foundation, Open Rights Group, Privacy International.

NEWS
=====

Digital and Civil Rights Organizations Call for Ban on Surveillance-Based Advertising
----------------------------------------------------------------------
An international coalition of 55 digital, civil rights, and consumer protection groups, along with more than 20 data protection experts, has called for the EU to incorporate a ban on surveillance-based advertising in the upcoming Digital Services Act, Natasha Lomas reports at TechCrunch. Signatories include BEUC, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the New Economics Foundation. The call cites a new report from the Norwegian Consumer Council that finds that 90% of people oppose the collection of information about them online by commercial actors, 80% oppose ads based on personal information, and 60% feel powerless to do anything about it. Ongoing failure to enforce the General Data Protection Regulation, which took effect in May 2018, means that despite many complaints, rule-breakers still have not been punished. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is suing IAB Technology, a non-profit consortium representing dozens of ad brokers, media organizations, and technology companies that sets technical standards. The case, which is being brought in Hamburg District Court, covers real-time bidding advertising auctions.
https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/23/international-coalition-joins-the-call-to-ban-surveillance-advertising/
https://www.forbrukerradet.no/side/new-report-details-threats-to-consumers-from-surveillance-based-advertising/
https://fil.forbrukerradet.no/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/consumer-attitudes-to-surveillance-based-advertising.pdf
https://www.iccl.ie/rtb-june-2021/

Technology Companies Seek Changes to Hong Kong Security Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Singapore-based Asia Internet Coalition, which represents the major technology companies, has sent an open letter to the Hong Kong authorities responding to provisions in the city's 2020 Security Law that allow police to fine the companies and arrest local employees for non-compliance, Paul Mozur reports at the New York Times. The coalition warns that the only way companies could avoid these sanctions it to cease investing or offering services in Hong Kong. The coalition is seeking changes that limit intermediary liability and improve support for freedom of expression; at issue are "anti-doxxing" rules implemented after protesters began identifying police online.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/05/technology/hong-kong-doxxing-national-security-law.html

Russia Requires Local Presence for Internet Companies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a law that requires foreign entities on the internet in Russia with audiences of 500,000 or more people to open local offices, Reuters reports. The Russian government has also opened a new case accusing Google of breaching the country's data protection legislation. The new law potentially applies to 20 companies.
https://www.reuters.com/technology/putin-signs-law-forcing-foreign-it-firms-open-offices-russia-2021-07-01/

EU Grants UK Data Protection Adequacy Status
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The EU has granted adequacy status to the UK's data protection regime, Jennifer Rankin reports at the Guardian. However, the EU limited the status to four years, and warned that it could be revoked at any time if British law changes and no longer offers EU citizens sufficient protection over their data. In a blog posting, the Open Rights Group argues that the decision should raise alarms in both the UK and the EU because UK law has a number of areas where protection is not equivalent, and the country's plans for future changes will take it even further away. At its blog, Privacy International discusses the UK's Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill, which PI argues contains insufficient protection for mobile phone extraction. PI has also signed a civil society letter to the European Parliament asking for revisions to the proposed Digital Markets Act to provide stronger consumer protection; the other signatories are EDri, EFF, Homo Digitalis, Panoptykon Foundation, Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz, LobbyControl, and Open Society European Policy Institute.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jun/28/eu-rules-uk-data-protection-is-adequate-in-boost-for-business
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/fear-and-loathing-in-the-uk-adequacy-decision/
https://privacyinternational.org/news-analysis/4586/policing-bill-unsatisfactory-debut-statute-books-mobile-phone-extraction

Facial Recognition Blocks Millions of Americans from Receiving Unemployment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Flawed facial recognition used by the identity-checking company ID.me in at least 21 US states, is locking unemployment recipients all over the US out of benefits, Todd Feathers reports at Vice. Many have gone months without support while struggling to establish their identities.
https://www.vice.com/en/article/5dbywn/facial-recognition-failures-are-locking-people-out-of-unemployment-systems

Discrimination Against Women Persists on Wikipedia
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Biographies of notable women are disproportionately nominated for deletion on Wikipedia on the grounds that they are not notable enough, Francesca Tripodi finds in a journal article for New Media and Society. Less than 19% of Wikipedia's 1.5 million biographies of writers, inventors, and academics are about women; more than 70% of Wikipedia editors are male. While edit-a-thons have increased the numbers of biographies of women, the process is slow and countering the almost immediate nominations for deletion requires laborious follow-up. In a Twitter thread, Amelia McNamara summarizes the paper.
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14614448211023772
https://twitter.com/AmeliaMN/status/1409978235870404611


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Pandemic Widens Digital Divide
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article from the Journal of Information Policy, a group of Carnegie Mellon researchers examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the internet. Of particular importance has been the increase in uploads, as individual households began transmitting video as well as receiving it. The luckiest people were able to rely on high-speed broadband at home. The unluckiest struggled to find wifi hotspots at a time when libraries were closed; those without home broadband often could not attend school or work. The article concludes by suggesting appropriate government policies to encourage ISPs to adopt designs that will better meet subscriber needs.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/jinfopoli.11.2021.0202#metadata_info_tab_contents

Assembling Accountability
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Medium, Emmanuel Moss, a researcher at Data & Society, summarizes a new report on making AI more accountable by building in algorithmic impact assessment practices from the beginning. Achieving this will require a broad consensus among many stakeholders; Moss draws parallels to environmental impact assessments and considers the role of current efforts such as auditing.
https://points.datasociety.net/assembling-accountability-from-the-ground-up-4655c492d0d0
https://datasociety.net/library/assembling-accountability-algorithmic-impact-assessment-for-the-public-interest/

Digital Rights Groups and Social Justice Organizations Struggle to Collaborate
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Barbara Paes discusses the barriers to collaboration between social justice organizations and data and digital rights groups that The Engine Room has found in discussions for its new report on intersectional partnerships. The pandemic has brought these difficulties to the fore, as unequal access to digital technologies has led to unequal access to health care.
https://www.theengineroom.org/social-justice-digital-rights-during-covid-19-barriers-to-collaboration/

The Internet is Rotting
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Atlantic, Jonathan Zittrain writes that the internet is "rotting" - that is, links that break as web pages are moved or removed, or whose meaning is altered when the content on the linked page changes. Zittrain is particularly concerned about legal judgments, which may include web pages and even TikTok videos in their reasoning, and discusses the potential for save-everything systems such as Amberlink and the services Perma and Robustify, which create permanent snapshots of cited material.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/06/the-internet-is-a-collective-hallucination/619320/

Voice Recognition Poses New Questions for Regulators
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at AccessNow, Daniel Leufer discusses the kind of regulation that's needed for voice recognition, which he warns is becoming widespread beyond the voice assistants we're already used to. Among the issues Leufer highlights are reinforcement of gender stereotypes, the risks of voice recognition when deployed to protect bank and other accounts, and AI voice analysis, which makes guesses about people and their emotional states  based on their voice data. In a second posting, Jennifer Brody and Leanna Garfield cite six examples of how technology companies listen to us.
https://www.accessnow.org/ai-snooping/
https://www.accessnow.org/6-ways-tech-is-listening-to-you/

US and EU Approaches to Antitrust
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of the Sway podcast, Kara Swisher interviews European Commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager, who has proposed regulations requiring Apple to permit alternative app stores and warns Apple not to use security and privacy as excuses. Vestager discusses recent cases where the EU has lost to the technology giants in court, and future directions for regulation and taxation. In an episode of In Lieu of Fun, guest Randy Picker analyzes the recent court dismissal of the US Federal Trade Commission's complaint against Facebook with hosts Kate Klonick, Genevieve DellaFerra, and Ben Wittes. The states' complaint was rejected for filing too late, and the federal complaint failed to define the market it claimed Facebook dominates. Picker and his hosts discuss how the FTC might fix this and refile  under incoming chair Lina Khan.
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/in-lieu-of-fun-episode-85
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/10/opinion/sway-kara-swisher-margrethe-vestager.html


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 14-16, 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
Miami, Florida, USA
We Robot is the leading North American conference on robotics law and policy.  It is designed to foster conversation between the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate. Papers and presentations are often interdisciplinary collaborations relating to how citizens and officials are or will be using robots, AI, and related technologies, and the implications of those technologies for policy and law.
http://werobot2021.com/

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
November 1-4, 2021
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries, Web Summit will gather  founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Tech for Democracy
----------------------------------------
November 9, 2021
Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish Government will host an international conference, Tech for Democracy, to bring states, tech sector representatives, media, academia, and civil society around the same table to focus on concrete ways to make technology support - and not undermine - democracy and civil society.
https://um.dk/en/foreign-policy/tech-for-democracy-2021/

Policy & AI
----------------------------------------
November 9-10, 2021
Palo Alto, California, USA
With artificial intelligence rapidly transforming every aspect of our world, calls for regulation, governance, and oversight are on the rise. HAI's 2021 fall conference will consider four radical proposals for policies that respond to the challenges and opportunities of an AI-powered future. Can basic income address the future of automated work? Should a public agency certify algorithms? How would we regulate AI-based decisions on platforms? Should there be ownership rights in data that fuel algorithms?  Each substantive session will feature the short presentation of one radical proposal with discussion by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines and backgrounds.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/2021-fall-conference-policy-ai-four-radical-proposals-better-society

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-10, 2021
Katowice, Poland
The Internet Governance Forum is an international meeting, held at the initiative of the United Nations, that enables a global discussion on the development of the Internet. It is a place for exchanging thoughts and experiences in the field of Internet governance.
https://www.gov.pl/web/igf2021-en

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 26-28, 2022
Brussels, Belgium
CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP gathers academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world in Brussels, offering them an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. This unique multidisciplinary formula has served to make CPDP one of the leading data protection and privacy conferences in Europe and around the world.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Mozilla Festival
----------------------------------------
March, 2022
TBC
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
----------------------------------------
The Carnegie Council runs frequent events on topics such as illiberal threats to democracy, the societal limits of AI ethics, AI and ethics in Africa, and inclusion. The Council posts audio and a transcript after each event.
https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/calendar/upcoming

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Stanford
----------------------------------------
HAI's series of events covers AI-related topics such as upcoming regulation, issues with algorithms, health, and AI and society.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/upcoming-events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

Hear more from the Information Program!
================================
If you have been forwarded this email by a friend and wish to subscribe to this fortnightly digest, please visit: https://opensocietyfoundations.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=52d98944f5466486ab8567329&id=1c0675de1d. You can also read more about our work on the Open Society Foundations website: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/programs/information-program


Hear less from the Information Program!
================================

Our mailing address is:
Open Society Foundations, 4th Floor Herbal House, 8 Back Hill, London EC1R 5EN, United Kingdom

© 2021 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
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Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending June 25, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: AccessNow, SPARC, Wikimedia Foundation.

NEWS
=====

Twitter Risks Losing Intermediary Status in India
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Twitter has missed the deadlines to appoint "social media intermediaries" to serve as points of contact as required by India's Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, Simon Sharwood reports at The Register. Twitter was accordingly asked to explain that, as well as its decision to label tweets by a spokesperson for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party "manipulated media" to the national parliament's Standing Committee on Information Technology. Law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has hinted that Twitter may have lost its immunity from prosecution for user-generated content that breaches Indian laws.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/06/21/twitter_india_spat_continues/

Croatian Wikipedia Was Ideologically Captured
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A recent independent evaluation of Croatian Wikipedia has found it was captured by ideologically-driven users who are "structurally misaligned" with Wikipedia's guiding five pillars, the Wikimedia Foundation reports. The situation is being remedied. The evaluation found that a small group of admins had undue control over the project and produced "unencyclopedic" distorted content, and recommends reestablishing a robust local governance system with oversight and support from the rest of Wikimedia, as needed. The Foundation hopes the findings will help other community projects struggling with similar issues.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Croatian_Wikipedia_Disinformation_Assessment-2021

Forensic Digital Experts Display Bias
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Former UK forensic science regulator Gillian Tully, a professor at Kings College London, concludes that the findings of a study of 53 digital forensics experts are biased by the contextual information they are given about the investigation, Linda Geddes reports at the Guardian. Digital evidence features in around 90% of criminal cases, and the field's rapid growth means forensic techniques for studying it have had less scientific scrutiny; people also have a tendency to "trust the machine" without considering the role of the person interpreting the machine.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/may/31/digital-forensics-experts-prone-to-bias-study-shows

Israel Discontinues Vaccination Pass
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Israel, which in February was the first country to issue a "green pass" vaccination certificate, ended the system on June 1 because epidemiological data following the country's successful vaccination rollout show it's no longer required, Einat Albin and Aeyal Gross report at Lex-Atlas. They go on to explain how to design such passes to respect human rights and privacy. At the New York Times, Sharon Otterman reports that New York State's "Excelsior Pass" vaccine passport, being created by IBM under a three-year contract, could cost taxpayers $17 million and expand to include details of driver's license, proof of age, and other health records. IBM is contracted to deliver a road map to scale the system up to all 20 million New York residents based on estimates that two-thirds will download passes by 2024. Thousands are already using them to gain entry to baseball games, bars, and restaurants, but the program is voluntary and venues must also accept paper cards.
https://lexatlas-c19.org/first-in-first-out-the-rise-and-fall-of-israels-green-pass/
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/09/nyregion/excelsior-pass-vaccine-passport.html

Lina Khan Becomes Federal Trade Commission Chair
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Big Tech critic Lina Khan has been sworn in as the youngest-ever chair of the US Federal Trade Commission after winning Senate confirmation by 69 votes to 28, David McCabe and Cecilia Kang report at the New York Times. At her confirmation hearing, Khan told the Senate she was concerned by the way technology companies use their power to dominate new, adjacent markets and that regulators should scrutinize these companies' mergers more closely.
https://sparcopen.org/news/2021/sparc-statement-on-public-access-provisions-in-the-u-s-innovation-and-competition-act/

G7 Announces Commitment to Open Science
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The G7 countries will collaborate to remove barriers to the "open and rapid sharing of knowledge, data, and tools" that underpin research, , the G7 announced on its website following its meeting in Cornwall. They intend to promote open science and its dissemination to citizens while seeking to minimize technology-related risk and ensure research security. In a podcast at the BBC, Aleks Krotoski discusses the first ten years of Sci-Hub, the outlaw free repository of scientific journal articles, with Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC, and its importance in retaining the material from open access journals with Mikael Laakso, from Helsink's Hanken School of Economics, who has published a study of vanished journals.
https://www.g7uk.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/G7-2021-Research-Compact-PDF-356KB-2-pages.pdf
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000wz2h
https://arxiv.org/abs/2008.11933


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

US cultural exports disproportionately shape global political debates
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article, the Economist discusses You Are Here, a new book by Syracuse University media researcher Whitney Phillips that examines global information flows. Phillips finds that America plays an outsized role in shaping political debates across the world.
https://www.economist.com/international/2021/06/12/social-media-are-turbocharging-the-export-of-americas-political-culture

Newsrooms Fail to Understand Mmorally-Motivated Networked Harassments
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Substack, Charlie Warzel discusses Alice Marwick's paper on morally-motivated networked harassment to shed light on the environment into which newspapers are, without much understanding, sending their reporters. Newsroom leaders privilege stories on divisive, morally-charged issues without recognizing that context collapse may cause legitimate reporting to be misconstrued and lead to attacks on journalists on unrelated platforms, even when it appears to have no connection to the internet.
https://warzel.substack.com/p/newsrooms-dont-understand-the-internet

Rightscon
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this YouTube channel, AccessNow presents videos from the recently-concluded tenth annual RightsCon. Panels of particular interest include "fireside chats" featuring Cory Doctorow (surveying the technology horizon) and Rappler founder Maria Ressa (on the state of journalism in the Asia-Pacific region), the press briefing on India's online space, and the panel on aligning content moderation with human rights principles featuring David Kaye and two members of the Facebook Oversight Board, University of Oklahoma professor Evelyn Aswad, and Digital Rights Foundation executive director Nighat Dad.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9Jwa_E62RQ&list=PLprTandRM962kq7fcetWh8Uvp0bB0tM8C

Experts Predict AI Will Not Adopt Ethical Principles by 2030
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at the Pew Research Center, Lee Rainie, Janna Anderson, and Emily A. Vogels, present the results of Pew's newly published survey of expert opinion on the long-term impact of AI and its implications. More than two-thirds of the 602 technology innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, and activists who responded agreed that ethical principles focused primarily on the public good will not be employed in most AI systems by 2030. The survey was conducted in the summer of 2020.
https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/06/16/experts-doubt-ethical-ai-design-will-be-broadly-adopted-as-the-norm-within-the-next-decade/

Deepfakes, Disinformation, and Democracy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), in collaboration with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) U.S. Technology Policy Committee (USTPC) and the Online News Association (ONA) present the half-day Deepfakes, Disinformation, and Democracy Conference. Speakers including internet pioneer Vint Cerf and Daniel Braun, deputy head of cabinet of Commission Vice-President Vera Jourová, discuss how to tackle these emerging risks. Braun in particular lays out the EU's strategy for tackling disinformation while defending fundamental rights. At Nieman Lab, Emily Saltz and Claire Leibowicz publish a new report into the platforms' handling of misinformation that focuses on identifying patterns in how they classify and act upon information and its credibility.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ehMJBwj8Kg
https://www.i-com.it/en/2020/12/16/tackling-disinformation-empowering-democracy-the-videotalk-with-daniel-braun-cabinet-jourova/
https://www.niemanlab.org/2021/06/shadow-bans-fact-checks-info-hubs-the-big-guide-to-how-platforms-are-handling-misinformation-in-2021/

The Internet's Declining Entropy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a blog posting at Lawfare, Jonathan L. Zittrain and John Bowers discuss the increasing centralization of the internet and the resulting fragility and structural risks. The "radically decentralized" original design of the internet is disappearing into a handful of cloud providers, any one of whom can become a significant point of failure. In a transcript, Zittrain testifies before the US Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights on the subject of the Internet of Things and interoperability, comparing the present state of siloed single-platform devices, each requiring its own app, to the early days of walled-off information services. Zittrain recommends updating and reforming antitrust law, separating choice of assistant from choice of phone, and subsidies for public goods, and warns that Internet of Things could become a "privacy apocalypse".
https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/download/jonathan-zittrain-testimony
https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/protecting-competition-and-innovation-in-home-technologies
https://www.lawfareblog.com/internet-entropy


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 14-16, 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

Tech for Democracy
----------------------------------------
November 9, 2021
Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish Government will host an international conference, Tech for Democracy, to bring states, tech sector representatives, media, academia, and civil society around the same table to focus on concrete ways to make technology support - and not undermine - democracy and civil society.
https://um.dk/en/foreign-policy/tech-for-democracy-2021/

Policy & AI
----------------------------------------
November 9-10, 2021
Palo Alto, California, USA
With artificial intelligence rapidly transforming every aspect of our world, calls for regulation, governance, and oversight are on the rise. HAI's 2021 fall conference will consider four radical proposals for policies that respond to the challenges and opportunities of an AI-powered future. Can basic income address the future of automated work? Should a public agency certify algorithms? How would we regulate AI-based decisions on platforms? Should there be ownership rights in data that fuel algorithms?  Each substantive session will feature the short presentation of one radical proposal with discussion by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines and backgrounds.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/2021-fall-conference-policy-ai-four-radical-proposals-better-society

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-10, 2021
Katowice, Poland
The Internet Governance Forum is an international meeting, held at the initiative of the United Nations, that enables a global discussion on the development of the Internet. It is a place for exchanging thoughts and experiences in the field of Internet governance.
https://www.gov.pl/web/igf2021-en

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 26-28, 2022
Brussels, Belgium
CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP gathers academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world in Brussels, offering them an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. This unique multidisciplinary formula has served to make CPDP one of the leading data protection and privacy conferences in Europe and around the world.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Mozilla Festival
----------------------------------------
March, 2022
TBC
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
----------------------------------------
The Carnegie Council runs frequent events on topics such as illiberal threats to democracy, the societal limits of AI ethics, AI and ethics in Africa, and inclusion. The Council posts audio and a transcript after each event.
https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/calendar/upcoming

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Stanford
----------------------------------------
HAI's series of events covers AI-related topics such as upcoming regulation, issues with algorithms, health, and AI and society.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/upcoming-events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending June 4, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Access Now, AI Now Institute, Amnesty International Limited, Article 19, Big Brother Watch, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Creative Commons, Derechos Digitales, The Engine Room, English PEN, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Hiperderecho, The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, ISUR, Centro de Internet y Sociedad de la Universidad del Rosario, The Legal Resources Centre, Mozilla Foundation, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, Ranking Digital Rights, R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales.



NEWS
=====

European Court on Human Rights: UK's Bulk Data Interception Was Unlawful
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the methods used by Britain's GCHQ for bulk interception of online communications, which Edward Snowden revealed in 2013, violated the rights to privacy and freedom of expression, and insufficiently protected confidential journalistic material, Haroon Siddique reports at the Guardian. The case joined three cases brought between 2013 and 2015 by 16 organizational applicants and two individuals, including Privacy International, Open Rights Group, ACLU, Amnesty International, Big Brother Watch, English PEN, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, The Legal Resources Centre, and human rights organizations in Ireland, Canada, and Egypt. However, the ECtHR did not rule bulk interception illegal in and of itself.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/may/25/gchqs-mass-data-sharing-violated-right-to-privacy-court-rules
https://privacyinternational.org/long-read/4525/qa-grand-chamber-european-court-human-rights-rules-uk-mass-surveillance-laws-violate

India Censors "Indian Variant" Term for Variant B.1.617.2
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Indian information technology ministry has asked social media companies to remove content using the term "Indian variant" for the variant WHO designates as B.1.617.2, on the basis that calling it "Indian" hurts the country's image, Aditya Kalra reports at Reuters. WHO has since adopted Greek letter code names to avoid national stigmatization, Erin Schumacher reports at ABC News. At Rest of World, Sonia Faleiro profiles Alt News, India's most reputable fact-checking organization, and its efforts to counter misinformation. Much of it emanates from the government and most of it focuses on religious minorities, particularly Muslims. At BuzzFeed,. Pranav Dixit reports that officers from an elite branch of the New Delhi police that investigates terrorism and organized crime "served a notice" to the head of Twitter in India three days after Twitter marked tweets from members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party "manipulated media". Finally, Diksha Madhok reports at CNN that WhatsApp has sued the Indian government to block its new social media rules, which impose numerous requirements for content moderation, compliance with law enforcement, and the ability to trace the origins of messages.
https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/india-asks-social-media-firms-remove-reference-indian-variant-coronavirus-2021-05-21/
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/switches-greek-naming-system-coronavirus-variants/story?id=78016128
https://restofworld.org/2021/fact-checking-modis-india/
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/pranavdixit/police-in-delhi-have-raided-twitters-indian-headquarters
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/26/tech/whatsapp-india-lawsuit-hnk-intl/index.html

Court of Appeal: UK Home Office Must Show Immigrants Their Data
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal found unanimously that a clause in the 2018 Data Protection Act, which brings the EU's General Data Protection Regulation into post-Brexit UK law, that exempted immigrants' data from subject access rights is incompatible with Article 23, the Open Rights Group reports in a press release. ORG, which brought the case with the3million, notes that the Court will reconvene to decide on appropriate relief. The judgment reversed a High Court ruling in 2019.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/press-releases/immigration-exemption-judged-unlawful-excessive-wrong-by-court-of-appeal/
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/03/eu-citizens-lose-high-court-challenge-access-home-office-data

Apple Bows to Chinese Government Requirements
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple has made numerous compromises to do business in China, where the company assembles nearly all its products and earns a fifth of its revenues, Jack Nicas, Raymond Zhong, and Daisuke Wakabayashi report at the New York Times. Among them: localizing data storage with government access, removing the "Designed by Apple in California" label from the backs of iPhones, proactively censoring tens of thousands of apps, and blocking tools for organizing pro-democracy protests and bypassing internet restrictions. CEO Tim Cook responds that the world is better off with Apple in China.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/17/technology/apple-china-censorship-data.html

Technology Companies Fail to Protect Freedom of Expression and Privacy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Only two companies out of 26 - Twitter (53%) and Verizon Media (52%) - scored more than 50% on their policies and practices affecting people's rights of freedom of expression and privacy, according to the newly published 2020 Ranking Digital Rights survey. In a blog posting at Access Now, Isedua Oribhabor and Peter Micek discuss how to bring these companies to accountability;. sSince the last RDR report, a number of companies took important steps such as improving transparency and updating their policies. Amazon, newly added this year, ranked last of the 26. Access Now has asked each company to review their ranking and respond publicly.
https://rankingdigitalrights.org/index2020/
https://www.accessnow.org/ranking-digital-rights-2020/

Musicians and NGOs Ask Spotify to Reject Speech Recognition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Access Now, Fight for the Future, Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, and a global coalition of over 180 musicians and human rights organizations including the Mozilla Foundation, AI Now Institute, Amnesty International, Article 19, Derechos Digitales, Electronic Privacy Information Center, epicenter.works, Hiperderecho, ISUR (Centro de Internet y Sociedad de la Universidad del Rosario), and R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales have called on Spotify to publicly commit to never using, licensing, selling, or monetizing its newly-patented speech recognition technology, Access Now reports. They are concerned that the technology, which Spotify claims can detect emotional state, gender, age, or accent in order to make better music recommendations, could be manipulative, discriminatory, insecure, and privacy-invasive. The company says it has not implemented the technology and has no plans to do so.
https://www.accessnow.org/spotify-spy-tech-coalition/
https://www.stopspotifysurveillance.org/letter.pdf


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Reimagining the Internet
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page are a video introduction and transcript introducing Reimagining the Internet from the Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure, a series of podcasts hosted by Ethan Zuckerman presenting the views of activists, scholars, journalists, and entrepreneurs about how to create online spaces in the public interest. Interviewees include Black Software author Charlton McIlwain, The Markup co-founder and editor-in-chief Julia Angwin, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Wendy Liu, author of Abolish Silicon Valley, and Trebor Scholz, founder of the Platform Coopertivism Consortium.
https://publicinfrastructure.org/podcast/01-welcome-to-reimagining-the-internet

The Disinformation Dozen
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report, the Center for Countering Digital hate finds that just 12 people are responsible for as much as 65% of anti-vaccine content overall, and 73% on Facebook. The report lists all 12 and recommends platforms should remove them and the key organizations they use to disseminate their messages. Top of the list is alternative medicine proponent Joseph Mercola; second is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, who chairs the anti-vaccine advocacy group Children's Health Defense.
https://www.counterhate.com/
https://252f2edd-1c8b-49f5-9bb2-cb57bb47e4ba.filesusr.com/ugd/f4d9b9_b7cedc0553604720b7137f8663366ee5.pdf

Technology Tools to Document Human Rights Abuses
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report on research conducted with the Public Law and International Policy Group and Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems International, the Engine Room surveys the landscape of technology tools used by civil society organizations to document human rights abuses and considers how to meet the common challenges they pose.
https://www.theengineroom.org/tech-tools-for-human-rights-documenters/

Creative Commons Licenses Versus NFTs
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, University of Sussex lecturer Andrés Guadamuz analyzes the interaction between commercial Creative Commons licenses and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which some artists are using to uniquely identify and sell digital copies. NFTs are typically just metadata, often incorporating a link to the original work; it's therefore possible for a third party to create and profit from the NFT while paying the creator earns nothing. Guadamuz argues that this would be legal, violating the spirit, but not the letter, of Creative Commons.
https://www.technollama.co.uk/creative-commons-commercial-use-and-nfts

The Value of Insurrection
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Ethan Zuckerman discusses his new book, Mistrust: How Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them, including links to an adapted version of the first chapter at The Atlantic and a radio interview. Zuckerman began working on his ideas about the value of insurrection as Occupy was winding down and finished it in the wake of the January 6 invasion of the US Capitol.
https://ethanzuckerman.com/2021/01/19/mistrust-or-books-as-letters-to-a-future-world/

The Full Story of the RSA Hack
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Wired, Andy Greenberg tells the full story of the 2011 hack into RSA, which compromised the security of companies and government agencies worldwide, publishing details that have come to light only now that ten-year non-disclosure agreements have expired. This first supply chain attack, like the recent SolarWinds attack, exposed the fragility of our digital infrastructure and taught that every network should be regarded as "dirty".
https://www.wired.com/story/the-full-story-of-the-stunning-rsa-hack-can-finally-be-told/


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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================================
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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending June 11, 2021
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Communia.

NEWS
=====

Facebook Ends Politicians' Exemption from Content Rules
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In response to the Oversight Board's recommendations in early May, Facebook will extend its suspension of former US president Donald Trump's account for two years from January 7, 2021, the date it began, Julia Carrie Wong reports at the Guardian. At that time, Facebook will work with experts to assess the risk to public safety posed by reinstating the account and use a system of escalating suspension penalties for misbehavior. Facebook will also cease exempting politicians from its content rules, including the ban on hate speech. In a blog posting at Galaxy Brain, Charlie Warzel is dissatisfied with Facebook 's logic. At Vox, Emily Stewart reports shareholders have voted down proposals that would have limited CEO Mark Zuckerberg's control over the company. At Openly, Avi Asher-Schapiro and Maya Gebeily report that while LGBT+ conversion therapy is banned on Facebook and is blocked in English, practitioners promote these practices in Arabic without interference.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/04/facebook-donald-trump-oversight-board-instagram
https://warzel.substack.com/p/5-quick-thoughts-on-facebooks-trump
https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/5/30/18644755/facebook-stock-shareholder-meeting-mark-zuckerberg-vote
https://www.openlynews.com/i/?id=dca4275c-275a-4ede-baec-08074c4f262f


Study Finds Pervasive Flaws in AI Models in Medicine
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A study of more than 400 machine learning models for use in medicine carried out by a research team at the University of Cambridge finds that all of them have methodological flaws, Casey Ross reports at Statnews. Many papers rely on limited or low-quality data, don't test whether they work across a variety of demographics, and fail to specify their statistical methods and approach to training. Many of the resulting algorithms appear accurate in studies but fail in clinical use. At The Verge, Andrew J. Hawkins finds that the autonomous vehicle industry is shrinking as would-be vendors continue to discover that autonomous vehicles will take longer to reach and cost much more than they hoped. Among many mergers, Lyft has sold its self-driving car division to a subsidiary of Toyota, its latest round of funding dropped Waymo's valuation by 85%, and there are very few robotaxi startups left.
https://www.statnews.com/2021/06/02/machine-learning-ai-methodology-research-flaws/

Nigeria Suspends Access to "Unpatriotic" Twitter
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Nigeria's information minister has indefinitely suspended access to Twitter within the country because of "persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence", Emmanuel Akinwotu reports at the Guardian. The move follows closely on Twitter's decision to remove a tweet posted by president Huhammadu Buhari that threatened pro-Biafra groups and suspend his account for 12 hours. Agence France-Presse reports at the Guardian that all TV and radio stations in Nigeria have been directed to suspend "patronage" of Twitter immediately, calling its use "unpatriotic".
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/04/nigeria-suspends-twitter-after-presidents-tweet-was-deleted]
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/02/twitter-deletes-nigerian-presidents-abusive-biafra-tweet
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/07/nigerian-government-tv-radio-broadcasters-suspend-twitter

European Commission Pushes Big Tech to Cease Profiting from Disinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The European Commission has published non-binding guidelines that push big technology companies to commit to not making money from disinformation-linked advertising, Reuters reports at the Financial Post. The proposals update the existing code, which was introduced in 2018 and signed by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Mozilla, and TikTok, along with other advertising and technology lobbying groups. Signatories are expected to develop details of how they will comply by the end of 2021 and implement them in 2022. At Politico, Laura Kayali reports that in France, where Google is being fined €220 million for abusing its dominant position in the online advertising market by self-preferencing, the company has agreed to stop using data from other sell-side platforms to optimize bids on its exchange that those other platforms can't replicate.
https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/eu-guidelines-target-tech-giants-over-monetising-disinformation
https://www.politico.eu/article/france-competition-google-advertising-antitrust-fine/

China Uses Uyghurs as Test Subjects for Emotion Recognition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A software engineer has told the BBC's Panorama news program that he has installed AI and facial recognition-based camera systems to test emotion detection on Uyghurs in police stations in Xinjiang province, Jane Wakefield reports at the BBC. Xinjiang's 12 million Uyghurs are already under comprehensive daily surveillance. The system outputs a pie chart scoring the subject's emotional state; the engineer calls it "pre-judgment without any credible evidence". The program,. "Are You Scared Yet, Human", which investigates the AI race between China and the US,  is available for viewing online until May 2022 for those inside the UK.
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57101248.amp
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000wft2/panorama-are-you-scared-yet-human

British Government Orders Seizure of GPs' Patient Data in England
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The British government has ordered NHS Digital (formerly the Health and Social Care Information Centre) to begin taking comprehensive data from the patient records held by English GPs, Sarah Marsh reports at the Guardian. Doctors are concerned that the move will disrupt doctor-patient trust. The campaign organization medConfidential provides instructions on how to opt out, noting that the government has neither publicized the scheme nor published a data protection impact assessment. A similar attempted move in 2014 attracted so much outrage the project had to be postponed.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/may/30/gps-warn-plans-share-patient-data-third-parties-england
https://medconfidential.org/for-patients/gp-2021/


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

The Decline of Interoperability
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Guardian, Alex Hern notes the divergence of standards between systems and devices, citing as his prime example Apple's ecosystem, which increasingly fences out others, overturning years of progress towards interoperability. In a blog posting from October 2020, Ian Brown and Douwe Korff discuss how to use interoperability as a tool for competition regulation. , which has been proposed as a requirement in the EU Digital Markets Act. In a March 2021 update, they note that the requirement has been killed and seek to understand why and to whose benefit.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/may/30/gadgets-have-stopped-working-together-interoperability-apple
https://www.ianbrown.tech/2020/10/01/interoperability-as-a-tool-for-competition-regulation-2/
https://www.ianbrown.tech/2021/03/29/560/

AI Offers Potential for Automating Disinformation at Scale
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Ben Buchanan, Andrew Lohn, Micah Musser, and Katerina Sedova study the GPT-3 AI system's potential for generating disinformation at scale by testing it on six common disinformation tasks. The report concludes that although GPT-3 will not replace all humans in disinformation operations, it will enable them to create moderate to high-quality messages at an unprecedented scale.
https://cset.georgetown.edu/publication/truth-lies-and-automation/

EU Publishes Implementation Guidance for the "Upload Filter"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, the Communia Association discusses the EU's implementation guidance for Article 17 of the Copyright in the Single Market Directive (the "upload filter"), which has been published on the last day before the implementation deadline. The final version includes some requirements for safeguards, but does not include a promised commitment to protect users' fundamental rights; some provisions even offer opportunities for abuse by rights holders. Communia awaits a decision from the Court of the European Union on whether Article 17 is compatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
https://www.communia-association.org/2021/06/04/article-17-implementation-guidance-strong-user-rights-safeguards-with-a-giant-loophole/

The Industrialization of Ransomware
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Guardian, John Naughton warns that the attack on the US Colonial Pipeline is a sign of cybercrime's industrialization of ransomware. Modern cybercrime operations have tech support, customer ratings, management panels, and negotiation scripts.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/15/welcome-to-darkside-and-the-inexorable-rise-of-ransomware
https://www.theregister.com/2021/06/04/google_chip_flaws/

Github Refuses Code Access to Death Row Inmate
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Github is refusing to share software code that Texas Death Row inmate Joseph Colone believes could expose flaws in key evidence in his case, which depends on DNA analysis  that used a probabilistic genotyping program, Whitney Kimball reports at Gizmodo. The Texas court granted an out-of-state subpoena to obtain the code, but courts in California, where Github is based, refuse to enforce it. Github claims that the 1986 Stored Communications Act prohibits platforms from turning over customer content.
https://gizmodo.com/a-death-row-inmate-has-waited-years-for-github-to-provi-1846976389

The Extractive Reality of AI
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this interview at the Guardian, Microsoft and University of Southern California researcher Kate Crawford outlines her new book, Atlas of AI, which rejects the typically abstract view of AI and grounds it as a technology of extraction, from the planetary and human consequences of  mining rare earth minerals to turning human subjects into data subjects. At MIT Technology Review, Karen Hao reviews the book and interviews Crawford about its genesis.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jun/06/microsofts-kate-crawford-ai-is-neither-artificial-nor-intelligent
https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/04/23/1023549/kate-crawford-atlas-of-ai-review/


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 14-16, 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

Policy & AI
----------------------------------------
November 9-10, 2021
Palo Alto, California, USA
With artificial intelligence rapidly transforming every aspect of our world, calls for regulation, governance, and oversight are on the rise. HAI's 2021 fall conference will consider four radical proposals for policies that respond to the challenges and opportunities of an AI-powered future. Can basic income address the future of automated work? Should a public agency certify algorithms? How would we regulate AI-based decisions on platforms? Should there be ownership rights in data that fuel algorithms?  Each substantive session will feature the short presentation of one radical proposal with discussion by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines and backgrounds.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/2021-fall-conference-policy-ai-four-radical-proposals-better-society

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------
December 6-10, 2021
Katowice, Poland
The Internet Governance Forum is an international meeting, held at the initiative of the United Nations, that enables a global discussion on the development of the Internet. It is a place for exchanging thoughts and experiences in the field of Internet governance.
https://www.gov.pl/web/igf2021-en


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
----------------------------------------
The Carnegie Council runs frequent events on topics such as illiberal threats to democracy, the societal limits of AI ethics, AI and ethics in Africa, and inclusion. The Council posts audio and a transcript after each event.
https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/calendar/upcoming

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Stanford
----------------------------------------
HAI's series of events covers AI-related topics such as upcoming regulation, issues with algorithms, health, and AI and society.
https://hai.stanford.edu/events/upcoming-events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending May 14, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Article 19.


NEWS
=====

Facebook Oversight Board Upholds Trump Suspension
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook's Oversight Board has ruled that the company was right to suspend former US president Donald Trump's account, but wrong to hand out an "indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension", Kari Paul reports at the Guardian. Critics complain that the board has failed to address any of the important issues. On an episode of Ben Wittes' and Kate Klonick's In Lieu of Fun, Eli Sugarman, content director for the Oversight Board, gives an inside view of the board's workings. At the Guardian, Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of Antisocial Media, says the ruling shows the board can't consider the larger context and was designed to ignore Facebook's impact on the world. At BuzzFeed, Craig Silverman, Ryan Mac, and Jane Lytvynenko report that although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the US Congress that during the lead-up to the January 6 insurrection the company had made its service "inhospitable to those who might do harm", an internal report published a week later found the opposite. Facebook's emphasis on deleting fake accounts and inauthentic behavior prevented it from effectively stopping real people planning action. At BuzzFeed, Ryan Mac reports that for months after it banned violent extremist groups, Facebook's preference system went on allowing advertisers to target people interested in militias. At the recent Social Media Summit (video online), experts such as Rappler founder Maria Ressa, Fordham Assistant Professor Zephyr Teachout, Algorithms of Oppression author Safiya Noble, and MEP Marietje Schaake attempt to answer convenor Sinan Aral's desire for solutions.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/may/05/facebook-oversight-board-donald-trump
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/in-lieu-of-fun-episode-29
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/facebook-failed-stop-the-steal-insurrection
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/full-facebook-stop-the-steal-internal-report
https://ide.mit.edu/events/the-social-media-summit-mit-smsmit/

India Censors Social Media Posts Critical of Covid Response
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the request of the Indian government, which is facing a catastrophic second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram removed about 100 posts critical of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and calling for the resignation of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Karen Deep Singh and Paul Mozur report at the New York Times. At The Verge, Kim Lyons notes that under an Indian law enacted in February, Twitter employees could receive jail sentences for refusing to comply with restrictions on posting material the government considers defamatory or that could incite violence.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/25/business/india-covid19-twitter-facebook.html
https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/24/22400976/twitter-removed-tweets-critical-india-censor-coronavirus

China and Russia Spread Covid Misinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Russia and China are behind efforts to spread malign and subversive information on covid using a wide variety of channels including social media, Miriam Matthews, Katya Migacheva, and Ryan Andrew Brown find in a new report from RAND, part of its Countering Truth Decay initiative. In its efforts, China sought to enhance its own reputation, while Russia aimed to destabilize the United States. Public health messaging needs to take account of the impact of these efforts.
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA112-11.html

Kenya, Uganda: Covid Surveillance Reduces Privacy Rights
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Covid-related surveillance measures such as "track and trace" in Kenya and Uganda have reduced people's rights to privacy, data protection, freedom of expression, and access to information, Article 19 finds in a new report. Article 19 recommend a review of all such measures and the introduction of oversight, safeguards, and a ban on biometric mass surveillance in public spaces.
https://www.article19.org/covid-19-reduced-peoples-rights-in-kenya-and-uganda/

TikTok Sued Over Children's Privacy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Acting on behalf of a 12-year-old girl, the former Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has filed a legal claim in the High Court of England and Wales against TikTok and parent company ByteDance for illegally collecting millions of children's private information in the UK and Europe and sharing it with unknown third parties for profit, Abrar Al-Heeti reports at CNN. The claim website explains that this is a representative action on behalf of children in the UK and Europe who have used the service since May 25, 2018, the day GDPR came into force and legalized such suits.
https://www.cnet.com/news/tiktok-could-pay-billions-in-child-privacy-lawsuit/
https://tiktokdataclaim.uk

US Senator Amy Klobuchar Assesses US Antitrust Movements
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Ars Technica, Steven Levy interviews Democratic US Senator for Minnesota Amy Klobuchar about her new book, Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age. Klobuchar, who chaired the recent hearing on the power of Apple and Google and is co-sponsoring a law to limit the market power of big companies, has 44 recommendations for reform. In a second interview with Martin Pengelly for the Guardian, Kobuchar assesses the antitrust attitudes of the current Supreme Court.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/05/why-amy-klobuchar-just-wrote-600-pages-on-antitrust/
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/apr/20/amy-klobuchar-trump-bluster-antitrust-new-book


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

China Releases Second Draft of Data Protection Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Stanford University's Digi China,  Alexa Lee, Samm Sacks, Rogier Creemers, Mingli Shi, and Graham Webster find four new developments in the second draft of China's Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which has been released for public comment and will be read alongside the second draft of the closely-related Data Security Law. PIPL is generally in alignment with the EU's GDPR; it establishes self-regulatory obligations and regulators for platforms, adds new penalties for providing data to foreign authorities without permission, creates a leading data privacy role for the Chinese state cybersecurity and information department, and addresses post-mortem privacy rights.
https://digichina.stanford.edu/news/chinas-draft-privacy-law-adds-platform-self-governance-solidifies-cacs-role

Understanding the Climate Technology Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Evan Meagher discusses what he's learned from five years of work in the climate technology sector. Trust is crucial; neither capital, nor sales strategies, nor exit strategies work the same as in the traditional venture capital world; and policy and regulatory reform are larger sources of leverage than technology. The pace is slow, and the legacy is powerful.
https://evanm.website/2020/02/five-years-in-energy/

Deplatforming Misogyny
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report from Canada's Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, technology and human rights lawyer and researcher Cynthia Khoo examines the role of digital platforms in facilitating gender-based violence, abuse, and harassment (TFGBV) and discusses whether and how platforms should be held accountable. Building on the report, Democratic Expression recommends legislation to require platforms to act responsibly, create an enforcement regulator, set up a social media council and an e-tribunal to expedite dispute resolution, ensure platform transparency,  and devise a mechanism to remove content that poses imminent threat to a person. In a paper for Supreme Court Law Review, Hilary Young and Emily Laidlaw propose a revenge porn tort for Canada. In a video clip, Laidlaw, Khoo, and Molly Reynolds discuss technology-facilitated violence and how to hold platforms accountable.
https://www.leaf.ca/publication/deplatforming-misogyny/
https://ppforum.ca/articles/harms-reduction-a-six-step-program-to-protect-democratic-expression-online/
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3586056
https://hackinghustling.org/erased-the-impact-of-fosta-sesta-2020/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLIiAOXcdYo

Deepfake Geography
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the University of Washington, Kim Eckart summarizes a new study of "deepfake geography", which uses AI to falsify satellite images. Assistant professor of geography Bo Zhao examines the algorithmic methods used to add non-existent landscape features to satellite images and calls for a system of geographic fact-checking.
https://www.washington.edu/news/2021/04/21/a-growing-problem-of-deepfake-geography-how-ai-falsifies-satellite-images/

Devil Strip Reimagines Local News
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Connector on Substack, Micah L. Sifry profiles Devil Strip, which is reimagining local news in Akron, Ohio and its role in civic renewal. A thousand-member cooperative with a nine-member governing board, the site focuses less on the attention-getting reporting common to commercial business models and more on building community.
https://theconnector.substack.com/p/can-local-news-coops-fill-the-civic

Gates Divorce Shakes Up World of Philanthropy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Nicholas Kulish, Rebecca R. Ruiz and David Gelles examine the consequences for the philanthropic world of Bill and Melinda Gates' recently-announced divorce. Insiders say they had already carved out separate paths for their individual interests within their joint foundation, which has grown to play a significant role in global public health. The announcement comes at a time when the foundation also needs to find new trustees.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/08/business/bill-melinda-gates-divorce-foundation.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

Inbots Conference
----------------------------------------
May 18-20, 2021
Online from EU
This event from Inclusive Robotics for a Better Society invites and involves experts from academia, industry, policy makers and EC representatives to give talks and promote the acceptance of robotics in society. This event will serve to promote and disseminate activities and final results of the INBOTS project, as well as to prepare a future road map.
http://inbotsconference2021.inbots.eu/

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Tackling Technology-Facilitated Violence
----------------------------------------
May 25-26, 2021
Online from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Osgoode Law School at York University and the eQuality Project at the University of Ottawa present a two-day conference centered on technology-facilitated violence. TFV poses significant public policy challenges. Social science evidence suggests that women and girls are disproportionately affected by TFV, undermining gender equality and women's full participation in society. This two-day event will bring together experienced and emerging scholars, legal practitioners, policymakers, and civil society organizations from around the world to share and create knowledge on TFV and the particular challenges it presents.
https://ifls.osgoode.yorku.ca/conferences/tacklingtfv/

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

Hear more from the Information Program!
================================
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Hear less from the Information Program!
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Our mailing address is:
Open Society Foundations, 4th Floor Herbal House, 8 Back Hill, London EC1R 5EN, United Kingdom

© 2021 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/
Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending April 23, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: BEUC, Bits of Freedom, Communia International, EFF, Homo Digitalis, Open Rights Group, Panoptykon, Privacy International, and Ranking Digital Rights.


NEWS
=====

US Supreme Court Rules That Google API Is Fair use
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Supreme Court has ruled six to two that Google's copying of application programming interfaces (APIs) from Oracle's Java SE was fair use, Brian Fung reports at CNN. Allowing Oracle to enforce its copyright claim would "risk harm to the public," the majority opinion said,  because it would make Oracle a new gatekeeper for software code. At EFF's blog, Michael Barclay provides the case background, outlines the lower court rulings, and explains why EFF supported Google in an amicus brief. On YouTube, the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology presents an initial appraisal of the case and its significance with professors Pamela Samuelson, Peter Menell, and Sean O'Connor, and Tom Goldstein, who argued the case for Google in the Supreme Court.
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/05/tech/google-oracle-supreme-court-ruling/index.html
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/02/eff-asks-supreme-court-clean-oracle-v-google-mess
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDLTOwoSRNg&feature=youtu.be

Facebook Allows Return of State-Backed Azerbaijan Harassment Campaign
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A state-backed troll network that targets independent news outlets and opposition politicians in Azerbaijan, which Facebook banned less than six months ago, has been allowed to return to the platform, Julia Carrie Wong and Luke Harding report at the Guardian. The result, they write, appears to allow the country's authoritarian regime to drown out debate in one of the country's only venues for free expression. The campaign was originally allowed to continue for 14 months after data scientist Sophie Zhang warned managers and executives of its existence in August 2019. Many of Facebook's tools have not been translated into Azeri, none of the company's staff speak the language, and neither the eastern European nor the Middle Eastern policy teams claims responsibility for Azerbaijan. In a second Guardian article Wong details Zhang's experience, first reported in leaks of her September 2020 7,800-word departure memo, which describes the company's failure to respond when she reported evidence of large-scale manipulation of its platform by foreign governments. Zhang's new information tells of political manipulation in Honduras, Mexico, and the UK, among others. Zhang calls Facebook "complicit by inaction".
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/apr/13/facebook-azerbaijan-ilham-aliyev
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/apr/12/facebook-fake-engagement-whistleblower-sophie-zhang

Two Die in Tesla Autonomous Driving Crash
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two men were killed in Spring, Texas after a 2019 Tesla crashed into a tree and burst into flames that took many hours to put out because the battery kept reigniting, Lora Kolodny reports at CNBC. No one was driving; both occupants were found in passenger seats. In the February 11 episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Autopilot was getting good enough that "you won't need to drive most of the time unless you really want to." However, the company told the California Division of Motor Vehicles in late 2020 that "neither Autopilot nor Tesla's [Full-Service Driving] Capability is an autonomous system". Nonetheless, many social media videos show Teslas on the road with the driver hands-free, asleep at the wheel, or not in the driver's seat.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/18/no-one-was-driving-in-tesla-crash-that-killed-two-men-in-spring-texas-report.html

EU Proposes Regulations for "High-Risk" AI Systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The EU is proposing to require human oversight and a "kill switch" for "high-risk" AI systems such as algorithms used by police and in recruitment for decision making, generalized and indiscriminate AI surveillance systems, and social scoring, the BBC reports. The military is exempt, as are systems used by authorities to safeguard public security. At Bloomberg, Natalia Drozdiak reports that companies could be fined as much as 4% of global revenue if they fail to comply. In a Twitter thread, UCL lecturer Michael Veale dissects the proposals to identify strengths and weaknesses. At the Guardian, Zoë Corbyn interviews MIT ethicist Kate Darling, whose new book, The New Breed, compares the arrival of robots to the history of domesticating animals. Darling argues that we will be better served by thinking of robots as partners rather than competitors.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56745730
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-13/eu-poised-to-set-ai-rules-that-would-ban-surveillance-scoring
https://twitter.com/mikarv/status/1382261746736455684
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/apr/17/ai-ethicist-kate-darling-robots-can-be-our-partners

Australia Considers Compulsory ID Verification for Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Australia is considering a compulsory, points-based ID verification system for users of social media and online dating sites, Sarah Coble reports at Infosecurity Magazine. Sites would also be required to provide identifying details when requested by the eSafety Commissioner or law enforcement, or if directed to do so by a court. The proposal is one of 88 recommendations in a recent federal parliamentary report proposing strategies for decreasing family, domestic, and sexual violence; the report also recommends considering regulations to enable law enforcement access to end-to-end encrypted data, and to increasing criminal and civil penalties for technology-facilitated abuse.
https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/australia-considers-social-media/
https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/reportrep/024577/toc_pdf/Inquiryintofamily,domesticandsexualviolence.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

Apple and Google Block UK Contact Tracing App Update
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple and Google have blocked an update to the UK's contact tracing app because it breaks agreed terms and conditions by asking those who test positive for covid to upload the list of location QR codes they have collected via venue check-ins, Jane Wyatt reports at the BBC. The update was intended to coincide with reduced restrictions on movement and mixing.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56713017


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Library Vendors Build and Sell Surveillance Systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, SPARC examines library vendors' increasing involvement in building and selling surveillance systems to governments and government agencies. These sophisticated, global surveillance systems include online tracking technologies, massive aggregation of user data, and services based on the results, and their development is supported by revenues from library subscriptions paid to vendors such as RELX, Thomson Reuters, and LexisNexis.
https://sparcopen.org/news/2021/addressing-the-alarming-systems-of-surveillance-built-by-library-vendors/

How QAnon Stays Online
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Bloomberg, William Turton and Joshua Brustein profile 23-year-old Nick Lim, whose 18-month-old company, VanwaTech, is crucial to keeping extremist right-wing sites like Daily Stormer and 8kun - and therefore QAnon - online. Lim, who tells Bloomberg he intends to branch out into hosting pornography, relies on Russian service providers for technical infrastructure. At the New York Times, Caolan Robertson, a filmmaker who produced videos for numerous extreme right-wing YouTube personalities who now works for Byline TV, explains to Cade Metz the key ingredients for attracting attention on social media.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-04-14/qanon-daily-stormer-far-right-have-been-kept-online-by-nick-lim-s-vanwatech
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/15/technology/alt-right-youtube-algorithm.html

Open Letter Asks European Parliament to Deliver ePrivacy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, the Open Rights Group introduces an open letter, signed by Panoptykon, Privacy International, Ranking Digital Rights, BEUC, Bits of Freedom, Communia International, Homo Digitalis, EFF, and 20 other organizations, which asks the European Parliament to ensure that the ePrivacy Regulation delivers on its intended objectives. The EU Council has approved a draft that legitimizes online tracking practices and removes provisions to make users' settings legally enforceable.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/adtech-an-open-letter-to-the-european-parliament/
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/publications/eprivacy-regulation-an-open-letter-from-30-civil-society-organisations/

Colorization APIs Falsify History
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Twitter thread, artist and game designer Gwen C. Katz studies colorization APIs, which are being increasingly used on historical photographs. To test the APIs' accuracy, Katz first digitally desaturated early 20th-century color photos, and then colorized them using the DeepAI Image Colorization API. The results, which Katz posts, show that the API replaces the vivid colors of reality with a misleading drabness. At Smithsonian Magazine, Elizabeth Gamillo discusses MyHeritage's AI program Deep Nostalgia, which animates images of historical figures, some of whom were careful to control how and when they were photographed. At the Irish Times, art historian Emily Mark-FitzGerald argues that colorizing old photos always falsifies history; as examples FitzGerald cites projects to colorize photos of victims of the 1975-1979 Cambodian genocide and registration photographs taken by the Nazis at Auschwitz before killing Jewish and other prisoners. In both cases photos were not only colorized but digitally altered to appear cheerful and calm.
https://twitter.com/gwenckatz/status/1381652071695351810

Legal Approaches to Online Harassment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of the University of Virginia Media Lab's "Democracy in Danger" podcast series, "The Wild Web", hosts Siva Vaidhyanathan and Will Hitchcock interview MacArthur Fellow Danielle Citron. Among the subjects she discusses are her years of work opposing online harassment and pushing US states to pass laws to outlaw online attacks such as defamation, doxxing, rape and death threats, and revenge porn, Section 230, and the opposition she met from libertarian internet culture. Citron argues that it's now time for government to enforce these laws to rein in cyberspace aggression.
https://medialab.virginia.edu/wild-web

IETF Struggles to Agree on New Technical Language
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Kate Conger discusses the Internet Engineering Task Force's efforts to make technical language more inclusive. While there is general agreement that terms like "master", "slave", "whitelist", and "blacklist" should be deprecated, stakeholders are finding it difficult to reach consensus on their replacements.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/13/technology/racist-computer-engineering-terms-ietf.html


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

Bringing Dark Patterns to Light
----------------------------------------
April 29, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
"Bringing Dark Patterns to Light: An FTC Workshop" will explore the ways in which user interfaces can have the effect, intentionally or unintentionally, of obscuring, subverting, or impairing consumer autonomy, decision-making, or choice. The workshop will bring together researchers, legal experts, consumer advocates, and industry professionals to examine what dark patterns are and how they might affect consumers and the marketplace. Some of the topics the workshop will examine include:
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/bringing-dark-patterns-light-ftc-workshop

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending April 23, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: BEUC, Bits of Freedom, Communia International, EFF, Homo Digitalis, Open Rights Group, Panoptykon, Privacy International, and Ranking Digital Rights.


NEWS
=====

US Supreme Court Rules That Google API Is Fair use
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Supreme Court has ruled six to two that Google's copying of application programming interfaces (APIs) from Oracle's Java SE was fair use, Brian Fung reports at CNN. Allowing Oracle to enforce its copyright claim would "risk harm to the public," the majority opinion said,  because it would make Oracle a new gatekeeper for software code. At EFF's blog, Michael Barclay provides the case background, outlines the lower court rulings, and explains why EFF supported Google in an amicus brief. On YouTube, the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology presents an initial appraisal of the case and its significance with professors Pamela Samuelson, Peter Menell, and Sean O'Connor, and Tom Goldstein, who argued the case for Google in the Supreme Court.
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/05/tech/google-oracle-supreme-court-ruling/index.html
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/02/eff-asks-supreme-court-clean-oracle-v-google-mess
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDLTOwoSRNg&feature=youtu.be

Facebook Allows Return of State-Backed Azerbaijan Harassment Campaign
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A state-backed troll network that targets independent news outlets and opposition politicians in Azerbaijan, which Facebook banned less than six months ago, has been allowed to return to the platform, Julia Carrie Wong and Luke Harding report at the Guardian. The result, they write, appears to allow the country's authoritarian regime to drown out debate in one of the country's only venues for free expression. The campaign was originally allowed to continue for 14 months after data scientist Sophie Zhang warned managers and executives of its existence in August 2019. Many of Facebook's tools have not been translated into Azeri, none of the company's staff speak the language, and neither the eastern European nor the Middle Eastern policy teams claims responsibility for Azerbaijan. In a second Guardian article Wong details Zhang's experience, first reported in leaks of her September 2020 7,800-word departure memo, which describes the company's failure to respond when she reported evidence of large-scale manipulation of its platform by foreign governments. Zhang's new information tells of political manipulation in Honduras, Mexico, and the UK, among others. Zhang calls Facebook "complicit by inaction".
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/apr/13/facebook-azerbaijan-ilham-aliyev
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/apr/12/facebook-fake-engagement-whistleblower-sophie-zhang

Two Die in Tesla Autonomous Driving Crash
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two men were killed in Spring, Texas after a 2019 Tesla crashed into a tree and burst into flames that took many hours to put out because the battery kept reigniting, Lora Kolodny reports at CNBC. No one was driving; both occupants were found in passenger seats. In the February 11 episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Autopilot was getting good enough that "you won't need to drive most of the time unless you really want to." However, the company told the California Division of Motor Vehicles in late 2020 that "neither Autopilot nor Tesla's [Full-Service Driving] Capability is an autonomous system". Nonetheless, many social media videos show Teslas on the road with the driver hands-free, asleep at the wheel, or not in the driver's seat.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/18/no-one-was-driving-in-tesla-crash-that-killed-two-men-in-spring-texas-report.html

EU Proposes Regulations for "High-Risk" AI Systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The EU is proposing to require human oversight and a "kill switch" for "high-risk" AI systems such as algorithms used by police and in recruitment for decision making, generalized and indiscriminate AI surveillance systems, and social scoring, the BBC reports. The military is exempt, as are systems used by authorities to safeguard public security. At Bloomberg, Natalia Drozdiak reports that companies could be fined as much as 4% of global revenue if they fail to comply. In a Twitter thread, UCL lecturer Michael Veale dissects the proposals to identify strengths and weaknesses. At the Guardian, Zoë Corbyn interviews MIT ethicist Kate Darling, whose new book, The New Breed, compares the arrival of robots to the history of domesticating animals. Darling argues that we will be better served by thinking of robots as partners rather than competitors.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56745730
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-13/eu-poised-to-set-ai-rules-that-would-ban-surveillance-scoring
https://twitter.com/mikarv/status/1382261746736455684
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/apr/17/ai-ethicist-kate-darling-robots-can-be-our-partners

Australia Considers Compulsory ID Verification for Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Australia is considering a compulsory, points-based ID verification system for users of social media and online dating sites, Sarah Coble reports at Infosecurity Magazine. Sites would also be required to provide identifying details when requested by the eSafety Commissioner or law enforcement, or if directed to do so by a court. The proposal is one of 88 recommendations in a recent federal parliamentary report proposing strategies for decreasing family, domestic, and sexual violence; the report also recommends considering regulations to enable law enforcement access to end-to-end encrypted data, and to increasing criminal and civil penalties for technology-facilitated abuse.
https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/australia-considers-social-media/
https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/reportrep/024577/toc_pdf/Inquiryintofamily,domesticandsexualviolence.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

Apple and Google Block UK Contact Tracing App Update
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple and Google have blocked an update to the UK's contact tracing app because it breaks agreed terms and conditions by asking those who test positive for covid to upload the list of location QR codes they have collected via venue check-ins, Jane Wyatt reports at the BBC. The update was intended to coincide with reduced restrictions on movement and mixing.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56713017


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Library Vendors Build and Sell Surveillance Systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, SPARC examines library vendors' increasing involvement in building and selling surveillance systems to governments and government agencies. These sophisticated, global surveillance systems include online tracking technologies, massive aggregation of user data, and services based on the results, and their development is supported by revenues from library subscriptions paid to vendors such as RELX, Thomson Reuters, and LexisNexis.
https://sparcopen.org/news/2021/addressing-the-alarming-systems-of-surveillance-built-by-library-vendors/

How QAnon Stays Online
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Bloomberg, William Turton and Joshua Brustein profile 23-year-old Nick Lim, whose 18-month-old company, VanwaTech, is crucial to keeping extremist right-wing sites like Daily Stormer and 8kun - and therefore QAnon - online. Lim, who tells Bloomberg he intends to branch out into hosting pornography, relies on Russian service providers for technical infrastructure. At the New York Times, Caolan Robertson, a filmmaker who produced videos for numerous extreme right-wing YouTube personalities who now works for Byline TV, explains to Cade Metz the key ingredients for attracting attention on social media.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-04-14/qanon-daily-stormer-far-right-have-been-kept-online-by-nick-lim-s-vanwatech
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/15/technology/alt-right-youtube-algorithm.html

Open Letter Asks European Parliament to Deliver ePrivacy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, the Open Rights Group introduces an open letter, signed by Panoptykon, Privacy International, Ranking Digital Rights, BEUC, Bits of Freedom, Communia International, Homo Digitalis, EFF, and 20 other organizations, which asks the European Parliament to ensure that the ePrivacy Regulation delivers on its intended objectives. The EU Council has approved a draft that legitimizes online tracking practices and removes provisions to make users' settings legally enforceable.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/adtech-an-open-letter-to-the-european-parliament/
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/publications/eprivacy-regulation-an-open-letter-from-30-civil-society-organisations/

Colorization APIs Falsify History
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Twitter thread, artist and game designer Gwen C. Katz studies colorization APIs, which are being increasingly used on historical photographs. To test the APIs' accuracy, Katz first digitally desaturated early 20th-century color photos, and then colorized them using the DeepAI Image Colorization API. The results, which Katz posts, show that the API replaces the vivid colors of reality with a misleading drabness. At Smithsonian Magazine, Elizabeth Gamillo discusses MyHeritage's AI program Deep Nostalgia, which animates images of historical figures, some of whom were careful to control how and when they were photographed. At the Irish Times, art historian Emily Mark-FitzGerald argues that colorizing old photos always falsifies history; as examples FitzGerald cites projects to colorize photos of victims of the 1975-1979 Cambodian genocide and registration photographs taken by the Nazis at Auschwitz before killing Jewish and other prisoners. In both cases photos were not only colorized but digitally altered to appear cheerful and calm.
https://twitter.com/gwenckatz/status/1381652071695351810

Legal Approaches to Online Harassment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of the University of Virginia Media Lab's "Democracy in Danger" podcast series, "The Wild Web", hosts Siva Vaidhyanathan and Will Hitchcock interview MacArthur Fellow Danielle Citron. Among the subjects she discusses are her years of work opposing online harassment and pushing US states to pass laws to outlaw online attacks such as defamation, doxxing, rape and death threats, and revenge porn, Section 230, and the opposition she met from libertarian internet culture. Citron argues that it's now time for government to enforce these laws to rein in cyberspace aggression.
https://medialab.virginia.edu/wild-web

IETF Struggles to Agree on New Technical Language
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Kate Conger discusses the Internet Engineering Task Force's efforts to make technical language more inclusive. While there is general agreement that terms like "master", "slave", "whitelist", and "blacklist" should be deprecated, stakeholders are finding it difficult to reach consensus on their replacements.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/13/technology/racist-computer-engineering-terms-ietf.html


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

Bringing Dark Patterns to Light
----------------------------------------
April 29, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
"Bringing Dark Patterns to Light: An FTC Workshop" will explore the ways in which user interfaces can have the effect, intentionally or unintentionally, of obscuring, subverting, or impairing consumer autonomy, decision-making, or choice. The workshop will bring together researchers, legal experts, consumer advocates, and industry professionals to examine what dark patterns are and how they might affect consumers and the marketplace. Some of the topics the workshop will examine include:
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/bringing-dark-patterns-light-ftc-workshop

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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Our mailing address is: Open Society Foundations, 4th Floor Herbal House, 8 Back Hill, London EC1R 5EN, United Kingdom © 2021 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/ Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending April 9, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Access Now, Citizen Lab, EDRi, EFF, La Quadrature du Net, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, R3D.


NEWS
=====

Apple Rules Expose Extent of Google's Data Collection
----------------------------------------------------------------------
New rules for Apple's app store requiring privacy labels identifying the categories of data apps collect have exposed the extent of Google's data collection via its Chrome web browser and standalone Search app, Thomas Claburn writes at The Register. At Forbes, Zak Doffman responds with a deeper analysis of Google's data collection and recommends that users should change away from Chrome. At Search Engine Land, George Nguyen finds that 65% of Google searches are zero-click - that is, end without a click to another web property - up from 50% in June 2019. The impact is uneven across industries, and businesses need to pay attention to the queries that affect them.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/03/16/keep_scrolling_googles_privacy_labels/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2021/03/20/stop-using-google-chrome-on-apple-iphone-12-pro-max-ipad-and-macbook-pro/
https://searchengineland.com/zero-click-google-searches-rose-to-nearly-65-in-2020-347115

Russia Requires Pre-Installed Russian Software on All Smart Devices
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A new law that came into effect on April 1 requires all Russian smartphones, computers, and other smart devices to come pre-installed with Russian apps such as search engines, maps, web browsers, and navigation software, Reuters reports. The intent is to strengthen internal control over the internet and reduce dependence on foreign sources.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-technology-software-idUSKBN2BO4P2

Ethos Capital Seeks Controlling Stake in Domain System Operator Donuts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethos Capital, which was blocked from buying the non-profit that runs the .org generic top-level domain (gTLD) in 2019, is now buying a controlling stake in Donuts, the largest operator of new gTLDs including .charity, .community, .news, and .healthcare, Mitch Stoltz reports at EFF's blog. Donuts also runs the technical operations for .org, and EFF is asking the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which runs the domain name system, to demand changes to Donuts' registry contracts that will protect users' free speech rights. Kieren McCarthy reports at The Register that Nominet, the national registry for UK, is rejecting calls for serious change despite a membership vote that has cost it its CEO, chairman, and three board members. Nominet is under fire for ignoring its membership's desire that Nominet should remain a non-profit focused on its core registry and channel excess revenue into charitable ventures. The present board and senior management want to use the substantial revenues from .uk to enter commercial markets. At the Open Rights Group blog, executive director Jim Killock and Heather Burns report that ORG voted in favor of removing the CEO and others, and argue that Nominet should reform its structure to enhance transparency and accountability, and work on developing the UK internet by investing in human rights and open technologies.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/04/ethos-capital-grabbing-power-over-domain-names-again-risking-censorship-profit
https://www.theregister.com/2021/04/01/nominet_future_plans/

Personal Data of 533 Million Facebook Users Posted Online for Free
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The phone numbers and personal data of 533 million Facebook users from a 2019 breach have been made freely available on a "low-level hacking forum", opening the way for their use for impersonation and fraud, AJ Dellinger reports at Forbes. In a Twitter thread, CrackedLabs researcher Wolfie Christl examines the 1,573 apps and sites his account lists in "Off-Facebook Activity" and outlines the ways that Facebook continuously collects and analyzes our "value" to and behavioral data from the sites we visit. The biggest offenders in sending this type of data to Facebook are media sites; others include technology companies, recruitment sites, personal finance, food delivery, universities, government agencies, and even NGOs such as Amnesty International. In another Twitter thread, Ashkan Soltani notes that ACLU has just updated its privacy statement to admit that it shares constituent information with service providers - including Facebook.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajdellinger/2021/04/03/personal-date-of-533-million-facebook-users-leaks-online/
https://twitter.com/WolfieChristl/status/1378347615067250696
https://twitter.com/ashk4n/status/1378064556187021312

Myanmar Shuts Down Wireless Broadband Access
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On April 1 the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications ordered internet service providers to suspend wireless broadband services, AccessNow reports. Because it's common in Asia for service providers to connect using wireless routers, the result is to disrupt all but the few broadband connections that use fiber optic and fixed cable. The move is the most recent in a series of escalations of censorship and surveillance since mid-February.
https://www.accessnow.org/update-internet-access-censorship-myanmar/

UK Plans Tests of Covid Passports
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK is to conduct trials of covid passports using the football cup finals, the World Snooker Championship, a comedy club, and a cinema as venues, Michael Savage reports at the Guardian. At CNBC, Natasha Turak reported in January that Israel, which has been the fastest to vaccinate its entire population, will launch a "green booklet" covid vaccination certificate. In both cases, the certificate/passport will give qualified people exemptions from restrictions such as self-isolation. The UK version will also take into account negative tests and illness-derived immunity. In a blog posting, Privacy International explains the practical and logistical problems with such proposals. In a report, Big Brother Watch highlights the risks of covid passports, calling them "the end of liberty as we know it" in a blog posting. In an op-ed at the British Medical Journal, Stefan David Baral, Jean Olivier Twahirwa Rwema, and Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya warn that vaccine passports benefit the few at the expense of the many and argue that such policies need to be evaluated in the context of vaccine hoarding by richer countries. Also at the BMJ, Tasnime Osama and Mohammad S Razai say that we need more evidence about the long-term effectiveness of the different vaccines and warns of the potential for societal divide, exclusion, and coercive workplaces.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/first-look-at-vaccine-passports/
https://privacyinternational.org/long-read/4350/anytime-and-anywhere-vaccination-immunity-certificates-and-permanent-pandemic
https://bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Access-Denied-Big-Brother-Watch.pdf
https://bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/2021/04/vaccine-passports-the-end-of-liberty-as-we-know-it/
https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/03/30/covid-19-vaccine-passports-will-harm-sustainable-development/
https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n861

FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

China Shapes Digital Infrastructure via Digital Silk Road
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this journal article at SSRN, Matthew S. Erie and Thomas Streinz analyze China's shaping of transnational data governance via the "Digital Silk Road", which supplies digital infrastructure to emerging markets. China's growing "Beijing Effect" influence over data governance beyond its borders is due to a combination of "push" and "pull" factors rather than digital authoritarianism. Legal frameworks are needed to steer digital transformation in beneficial directions, they conclude. At its blog, Citizen Lab has a video clip and transcript of the testimony of senior research associate Christopher Parsons to the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations regarding national security, governance, and trust with respect to Chinese companies and their technical products and services. Among Parson's recommendations are requirements that organizations providing critical infrastructure products include a "software bill of goods" that identifies technical dependencies, and that social media companies publish details of their content moderation practices and state-mandated surveillance and censorship that apply to their platforms. In a blog posting, R3D summarizes executive director Luis Fernando García's contribution to a recent seminar organized by UNESCO: instead of imposing censorship, governments should ensure that platforms' policies are consistent with human rights and adopt policies to break up the concentration of power.
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3810256
https://citizenlab.ca/2021/03/christopher-parsons-delivers-testimony-to-special-committee-on-canada-china-relations/
(Spanish) https://r3d.mx/2021/03/17/regulacion-de-plataformas-digitales-debe-centrarse-en-politicas-consistentes-con-los-derechos-humanos/

European Commission Proposes Risk-Based Approach to AI Regulation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at EDRi, Access Now asks the European Commission to take a rights-based approach for its forthcoming regulation on AI. The risk-based approach outlined in the white paper, Access Now argues, is based on a misreading of GDPR, which is based on rights and making them operational. At Freedom to Tinker, Ed Felten introduces the AI Nation podcast series co-created by Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy and Philadelphia NPR station WHYY. The first episode outlines the current state of AI deployment; the second discusses automated vehicles and weapons. In a journal article, Marion Oswald outlines a three-pronged approach to ensuring trustworthy use of AI in UK policing. In a new report, the Alan Turing Institute maps the gender job gap in AI, finding gender disparities throughout education, careers, jobs, seniority, status, and skills. In a video clip at YouTube, the African American Policy Forum presents a discussion of the bias and diversity issues highlighted in the 2020 documentary Coded Bias, with Timnit Gebru, Joy Buolamwini, Cathy O'Neil, and Ruha Benjamin. Finally, at the Guardian, John Naughton cites them and many more in explaining why women are Silicon Valley's most insightful critics.
https://edri.org/our-work/eu-should-regulate-ai-on-the-basis-of-rights-not-risks/
https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2021/03/15/ai-nation-podcast-from-citp-and-whyy/
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3812576
https://www.turing.ac.uk/news/where-are-women-mapping-gender-job-gap-ai
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC3K2v0Cs2g
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/03/why-silicon-valley-most-astute-critics-women-tech-gender

Combating Disinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report at the National Academy of Sciences, Nadia M. Brashier, ProfileGordon Pennycook, Adam J. Berinsky, and David G. Rand find that timing is crucial in making fact-checking effective and that placing the fact-check after social media headlines was the best of the options they tried. In a syllabus, the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) compiles essential readings and references in disinformation to counterbalance the dominant narrative that focuses on social media platforms and the 2016 election. The syllabus aims to incorporate the substantial pre-2016 literature on propaganda and persuasion, explore the role of legacy media, and highlight the role of intersectional power.
https://www.pnas.org/content/118/5/e2020043118
https://citap.unc.edu/research/critical-disinfo/

Technopolicing the EU Border
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, La Quadrature du Net outlines the "technopolice" deployed at the borders of "fortress Europe", whose methods LQDN says are experimentally developed and tested under EU programs such as Horizon 2020 and then sold on to others. Among the projects LQDN highlights are the €8 million Roborder, a plan to use swarms of autonomous drones to patrol the border, and the "AI lie detctor" lborderCtrl, which claims to be capable of emotions analysis and has been tested in Greece, Hungary, and Latvia.
https://www.laquadrature.net/en/2021/03/31/technopolice-at-the-borders/

Democracy in a Digital Future
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page the University of Iceland presents video clips of the two-day Democracy in a Digital Future conference, featuring talks from David Runciman, Shoshana Zuboff, and Mireille Hildebrandt, whose talk, "Is Democracy Computable?" warns that data-driven prediction risks freezing our future.
https://edda.hi.is/events/democracy-in-a-digital-future/

Palantir's Europe-wide Data Access
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Guardian, Daniel Howden, Apostolis Fotiadis, Ludek Stavinoha, and Ben Holst study Palantir's increasing access to sensitive health data across Europe on a wide scale. By offering free trials, the company has signed contracts with countries such as the UK and Greece without completing GDPR-mandated impact assessments. Privacy International told the Guardian that "improvement clauses" included in these contracts allow Palantir to use the collected data to improve its products; the company denies that it uses such data to train algorithms. Palantir's Foundry and Gotham products are also used by Europol, the Danish police and intelligence services, and the Netherlands' covid response.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/02/seeing-stones-pandemic-reveals-palantirs-troubling-reach-in-europe


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

Bringing Dark Patterns to Light
----------------------------------------
April 29, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
"Bringing Dark Patterns to Light: An FTC Workshop" will explore the ways in which user interfaces can have the effect, intentionally or unintentionally, of obscuring, subverting, or impairing consumer autonomy, decision-making, or choice. The workshop will bring together researchers, legal experts, consumer advocates, and industry professionals to examine what dark patterns are and how they might affect consumers and the marketplace. Some of the topics the workshop will examine include:
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/bringing-dark-patterns-light-ftc-workshop

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

Hear more from the Information Program!
================================
If you have been forwarded this email by a friend and wish to subscribe to this fortnightly digest, please visit: https://opensocietyfoundations.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=52d98944f5466486ab8567329&id=1c0675de1d. You can also read more about our work on the Open Society Foundations website: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/programs/information-program


Hear less from the Information Program!
================================
Our mailing address is:
Open Society Foundations, 4th Floor Herbal House, 8 Back Hill, London EC1R 5EN, United Kingdom

© 2021 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/
Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending March 26, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Privacy International, Wikimedia.


NEWS
=====

Leaked Memos Show Why Google Escaped Antitrust Action in 2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Confidential memos show that the US Federal Trade Commission's decision not to sue Google on antitrust grounds in January 2013 after a 19-month investigation was based on a misreading of the evidence and its economists' incorrect and contradictory assumptions about the future, Leah Nylen reports at Politico. The FTC missed its opportunity by assuming that desktop computers would continue to dominate search and Microsoft, Yahoo, and Mozilla would be competitive in mobile, and by underestimating the spread of data collection and targeted advertising. Google insists that the complete documents show that the FTC made the right decision. In a follow-up, Nylen finds that many of those involved in that probe are still active, though some have switched sides. At the New York Times, Matt Stoller and Pat Garofalo examine the antitrust bills pending in US states, most notably Arizona, that aim to end Apple's and Google's app store monopolies.
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/16/google-files-ftc-antitrust-investigation-475573
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/16/google-files-power-players-475578
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/opinion/apple-google-app-monopoly.html

Wikimedia Will Launch Paid Enterprise API
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wikimedia Foundation will launch a paid enterprise API for high-volume commercial re-users of Wikipedia's content, Aditya Saroha reports at The Hindu. While Wikimedia will not offer exclusive contracts or content, and will not stop anyone from using existing free methods of access, the opt-in service is intended to eliminate duplicated effort. It also hopes that the resources commercial organizations currently spend internally to rebuild Wikimedia project data can be diverted to support the free knowledge ecosystem, lessening the dependence on donors.
https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/wikipedia-wants-big-tech-to-pay-for-using-its-content/article34109772.ece

Hackers Breach Live Feeds of More than 150,000 CCTV Cameras
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A group of hackers claim to have breached a hoard of data collected by Verkada, a Silicon Valley startup, from live feeds of 150,000 surveillance cameras inside hospitals, police departments, prisons, schools, and companies including Tesla and Cloudflare, William Turton reports at Bloomberg. At ACLU, Jay Stanley says the hack offers four key lessons on surveillance: the dangers of connected cameras, vendors themselves can be snoopers, cameras may be inappropriately and unethically placed as in prisons and ICUs, and facial recognition may be installed without even the customer's knowledge.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-09/hackers-expose-tesla-jails-in-breach-of-150-000-security-cams
https://www.aclu.org/news/civil-liberties/major-hack-of-camera-company-offers-four-key-lessons-on-surveillance

Far-Right Extremists Embrace Open Source Software and Platforms
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Far-right extremists are moving to open source software and decentralized communications platforms such as PeerTube and Twitter-like Pleroma, Mastodon, and Matrix in order to avoid censorship and law enforcement, Jason Wilson reports at the Guardian. After losing its hosting and app store presence, Gab rebuilt using Mastodon's software. Also at the Guardian, Peter Stone reports that the Southern Law Poverty Center and the Global Disinformation Index have found that in the year to March 2021 far-right extremists used social media, cryptocurrencies, tax-exempt status, and other tools to take in $1.5 million. At The Intercept, Micah Lee studies the 65GB of data, covering the period from August 2016 to February 19, that hackers copied from Gab and leaked to the Distributed Denial of Secrets collective.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/12/far-right-open-source-technology-censorship
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/10/us-far-right-extremists-millions-social-cryptocurrency
https://theintercept.com/2021/03/15/gab-hack-donald-trump-parler-extremists/

Uganda: Unwanted Witness Wins Complaint Against SafeBoda App
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A complaint filed by the Ugandan civil society organization Unwanted Witness about the data-sharing practices of the SafeBoda motorcycle riding app has led the country's data protection regulator to order the company to fundamentally reform its practices, Privacy International reports. The complaint was based on PI's 2020 investigation under the 2019 Data Protection and Privacy Act 2019, which found that SafeBoda was sharing users' personal data with third parties without their knowledge or consent.
https://privacyinternational.org/news-analysis/4459/win-unwanted-witness-ugandas-data-protection-authority-finds-ride-sharing-app

Christie's Auctions Digital Artwork with Non-Fungible Token for $69.4 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Christie's has auctioned a digital collage by Mike Winkelmann ("Beeple"), accompanied by a non-fungible token (NFT) to guarantee its authenticity, for $69.4 million, the AP reports at WRAL. NFTs record the detail of digital collectibles on a blockchain, and have recently boomed as an offshoot of the popularity of cryptocurrencies. At its blog, MalwareBytes Labs discusses the potential for NFT fraud and hijacking. Blocking these requires fixing three fundamental design flaws.
https://www.wraltechwire.com/2021/03/12/nft-rage-non-fungible-tokens-hits-art-world-with-whopping-69-4m-digital-art-sale/
https://blog.malwarebytes.com/explained/2021/03/nfts-explained-daylight-robbery-on-the-blockchain/


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

The Ethics of Analyzing Extremist Online Content
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this third and most recent blog posting in a series of four at VOX-Pol, Matti Pohjonen explores the techniques used to analyze extremist online content and outlines the criticisms raised about the validity and negative social costs of these methods. Pohjonen suggests that some mitigation for these problems may come from mixing methods and adopting more qualitative approaches. Vox-POL will host a discussion of these methods and their ethics on March 30 (see diary).
https://www.voxpol.eu/terrorism-informatics-part-iii-analysing-extremist-content/

Facebook's Oversight Board Faces Conflicting Company Motives
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Guardian article, constitutional law student Jeremy Lewin argues that Facebook's oversight board is a dangerous sham that insulates Facebook from criticism but can only show its independence by restoring content Facebook has deleted. Since dangerous and socially objectionable content drives engagement and therefore profits, Lewin concludes that the oversight board will inevitably cause Facebook's moderation policies to regress. At MIT Technology Review, Karen Hao profiles the work of Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, the Facebook director tasked with leading the Responsible AI team and examining the societal impact of the company's algorithms. Hao finds inherent conflict between Quiñonero's efforts to limit noxious material and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's desire to optimize growth. In a Twitter thread, Gordon Lichfield, one of Hao's editors, outlines Facebook's responding PR strategy. At BuzzFeed, Ryan Mac and Craig Silverman detail the playbook Facebook has created to help employees rebut claims that its services sow polarization and division. At the Guardian, John Naughton calls the technology industry's recent interest in ethics "a manipulative fraud", citing as his example Google's recent dismissal of Ethical AI team leaders Timnit Gebru, and Margaret Mitchell. "Current machine learning systems have ethical issues the way rats have fleas," he writes.
https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/17/facebook-content-supreme-court-network
https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/11/1020600/facebook-responsible-ai-misinformation/
https://twitter.com/glichfield/status/1370735851882299393
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/facebook-execs-polarization-playbook
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/13/google-questions-about-artificial-intelligence-ethics-doesnt-want-answers-gebru-mitchell-parrots-language

Eli Pariser Seeks to Reconnect Filter Bubbles
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this interview for The Markup's newsletter, editor Julia Angwin invites Eli Pariser to revisit his ten-year-old "filter bubble". At his latest venture, New_Public, Pariser is trying to build digital spaces that weave social fabric rather than tear it apart. Based on his work, The Markup has developed a tool that shows the difference between Republicans' and Democrats' feeds on Facebook.
https://www.getrevue.co/profile/themarkup/issues/popping-the-filter-bubble-438407
https://themarkup.org/citizen-browser/2021/03/11/split-screen

PublicSpaces Plans to Reclaim the Internet
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page are video clips of the just-concluded PublicSpaces Internet conference, organized by the Waag Society, PublicSpaces, and Pakhuis de Zwijger. PublicSpaces is a coalition of more than 25 public organizations in media, heritage, education, health care, and festivals aiming to reclaim the internet as a force for the common good. Of particular interest are Friday's "Meet in the Middle", in which Ethan Zuckerman and Melanie Rieback explore positive disrupters, and "Mapping the ecosystem". On its blog, Waag outlines "Public Stack", a research project to build an alternative, trusted internet solely out of technologies that support public values. At Medium, Rachel Coldicutt writes about reclaiming polarizing technologies to create "dense, warm" ecosystems. Engineers may think decentralizing the web can be achieved with technology, but instead, she writes, it's people who will make it happen: "be radically sociable, delinquent, and make a scene".
https://publicspaces.net/conference-2021/timetable/
https://waag.org/en/project/public-stack-alternative-internet
https://rachelcoldicutt.medium.com/delinquent-telephone-activity-f75f815d6e9a

Technology Infrastructure Enables Crime to Scale
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip of his March 2021 Dertouzos Distinguished Lecture at MIT and accompanying blog summary, security engineer Ross Anderson analyzes platforms and services from the point of view of security economics and shows that malware-as-a-service crime networks scale as easily as YouTube and Instagram. Computer scientists, he argues, have insights to offer the economists and lawyers who typically staff regulatory agencies and become policy makers.
https://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2021/03/18/infrastructure-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0GRhlo4V-c

Clearview AI in Depth
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Kashmir Hill summarizes five revelations from her simultaneously-published year-long study of Clearview AI: the far-right provocateur Charles Johnson was an early contributor; the company's customer list has risen to 3,100 and the company is valued at nearly $109 million; investigators and border officials say it has revolutionized the investigation of child abuse; and the company has hired First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams to help defend it against privacy-related legal action. The full-length article explores the legal, technical, and social context in which Clearview is operating, including the 11 lawsuits filed against it in Illinois under the state's 2008 Biometric Information Privacy Act.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/technology/clearview-facial-recognition-ai.html
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/03/18/magazine/facial-recognition-clearview-ai.html


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

European Association for Biometrics
----------------------------------------
March 9, 15, and 30, 2021
Online from Bussum, The Netherlands
In a series of events on the theme of "demographic biometric fairness", the European Association for Biometrics will feature presentations on current research by experts from academic, industry, and governmental organisations and will facilitate interactions and discussions with the audience in order to create awareness, a common ground, and next steps.
https://eab.org/files/press/EAB-News_release_Demographic_Fairness-2021-01-18.pdf

VOX-Pol
----------------------------------------
March 30, 2021
Online from UK
In "Terrorism Informatics", VOX-Pol presents a panel on how researchers can ethically use and analyze extremist content.
https://www.voxpol.eu/events/vox-pol-webinar-terrorism-informatics/

Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue
----------------------------------------
April 6, 2021
Online from Washington, DC
TACD will present a discussion on "Consumers, competition law, and platform power in the digital economy" featuring Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) and French Renew Europe MEP Stéphanie Yon-Courtin. The discussion will cover issues such as the scope of alignment between the EU and the US on competition policy and tackling the market power of the big technology companies. The role of regulation in creating conditions for effective competition is at the heart of discussions both in the EU and the US.
https://tacd.org/events/consumers-competition-law-and-platform-power-in-the-digital-economy/

Bringing Dark Patterns to Light
----------------------------------------
April 29, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
"Bringing Dark Patterns to Light: An FTC Workshop" will explore the ways in which user interfaces can have the effect, intentionally or unintentionally, of obscuring, subverting, or impairing consumer autonomy, decision-making, or choice. The workshop will bring together researchers, legal experts, consumer advocates, and industry professionals to examine what dark patterns are and how they might affect consumers and the marketplace. Some of the topics the workshop will examine include:
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/bringing-dark-patterns-light-ftc-workshop

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
August, 2021
Online from Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

OAI12
----------------------------------------
September 6-10, 2021
Online from Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will focus on     scholarly publishing, digital research data, reproducibility and research integrity, diversity, inclusivity and collaboration, and the future of open science.
https://indico.cern.ch/event/1015275/

ALPSP Annual Conference
----------------------------------------
September 15-17, 2021
Online from UK
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' annual conference provides a friendly forum to share information, learn about new initiatives and engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarly publishing community. The main themes for 2021 are "Discoverability and Accessibility" and "The Great Reset: Scenario planning for life after COVID".
https://alpsp.cventevents.com/event/5a76c9bf-384d-433c-8719-104efee5daff/summary

Open Education Global
----------------------------------------
September 27-October 1, 2021
Online
Each day of the 2021 2021 conference program will have webinars comprised of five presentations and interactive asynchronous activities focused on that day's action area. Sessions may be in any of the six official languages of the United Nations - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish.
https://conference.oeglobal.org/2021/online-conference/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

DRAILS
----------------------------------------
The Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is presenting a series of discussions on topics such as robotics (Frank Pasquale, April 1), rights, technology, and society (Anne-Sophie Hulin, May 19), and justifiability and contestability of algorithmic decision systems (Daniel Le Métayer, June 1).
https://drails.org/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

Hear more from the Information Program!
================================
If you have been forwarded this email by a friend and wish to subscribe to this fortnightly digest, please visit: https://opensocietyfoundations.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=52d98944f5466486ab8567329&id=1c0675de1d. You can also read more about our work on the Open Society Foundations website: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/programs/information-program


Hear less from the Information Program!
================================

Our mailing address is:
Open Society Foundations, 4th Floor Herbal House, 8 Back Hill, London EC1R 5EN, United Kingdom

© 2021 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/

Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending March 12, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Access Now, EFF, Open Future, Privacy International.


NEWS
=====

India: New Rules Require Platforms to Trace "Unlawful Messages"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
New rules for social media intermediaries make it mandatory for platforms to comply with government requests to trace the originator of "unlawful" messages, The Hindu reports. While the Electronics and IT minister calls the rules "soft-touch oversight", critics warn that the guidelines could undermine the principle of the open and accessible internet and violate the rights to privacy and free speech. In a follow-up, also at The Hindu, Raman Jit Singh Chima calls the rules a "dramatic dangerous move" toward increased censorship and argues that they are unlawful. At the Guardian, Naomi Klein finds that routine uses of well-known technology tools are helping the Indian government target and campaign against climate activists and farmers opposing new agricultural laws that open up land ownership to private investment.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-announces-new-social-media-rules/article33931290.ece
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/more-about-big-government-than-big-tech/article33956682.ece
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/mar/04/how-big-tech-helps-india-target-climate-activists-naomi-klein

UK's Immigration System Builds In Surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK's vast immigration system costs more than £2 billion a year and incorporates advanced back-end and front-end surveillance tools while failing to provide basic and vital services, Privacy International writes in a new report detailing the system's inner workings. Among the companies profiting from this system are Accenture, Experian, Cellebrite, Palantir, and Teradata. At Medium, Dave Gershgorn finds that US Customs and Border Protection used facial recognition to scan more than 23 million people in 2020 - and caught no imposters.
https://privacyinternational.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/PI-UK_Migration_Surveillance_Regime.pdf
https://onezero.medium.com/despite-scanning-millions-of-faces-feds-caught-zero-imposters-at-airports-last-year-e34c32500496

US: Biden Appoints Tim Wu to National Economic Council
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Biden administration has appointed Columbia law professor Tim Wu to the National Economic Council as a special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy, Cecilia Kang reports at the New York Times. The appointment suggests that the White House intends to take a more confrontational approach to the technology industry than previous administrations, including working with Congress to strengthen antitrust laws. Politico reports that Biden is also expected to appoint Lina Khan, who advocates antitrust reform in order to curb Big Tech's power, to the Federal Trade Commission.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/05/technology/tim-wu-white-house.html
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/03/09/scoop-biden-taps-another-big-tech-trustbuster-492042

Google Plans Own Tools to Replace Third-Party Cookies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Google, which has already announced it will block third-party "tracking" cookies in its Chrome browser, says it will not participate in efforts to build a replacement, Gerritt De Vynck reports at the Washington Post. Instead, the company will develop its own tools that it says will preserve privacy while allowing advertisers to target groups known as "Federated Learning of Cohorts" (FLoC) selected by shared interests. At EFF, Bennett Cyphers calls third-party cookies "the web's biggest mistake", but argues that users and advocates must reject FloC, calling it a "misguided" attempt to reinvent behavioral tracking. At Medium, Will Oremus argues that the new system will in fact reinforce Google's dominance by placing the emphasis on first-party data, which Google collects via search, Android, Gmail, YouTube, and its many other services.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/03/google-ad-tracking-browser/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/03/googles-floc-terrible-idea
https://onezero.medium.com/googles-next-power-play-f296c2e3020e

Indian Government Backs Right-Wing Koo Social Network
----------------------------------------------------------------------
India's Koo, a hate-filled, right-wing, year-old Twitter clone, is being embraced by the country's government, Prana Dixit reports at BuzzFeed. Millions of people have joined the service since the commerce minister posted to his 10 million Twitter followers that he had opened an account; Twitter had refused to obey an order to block accounts critical of India's Hindu nationalist government. Koo has no moderation team, and relies on users to flag content they think is problematic.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/pranavdixit/koo-muslim-hate-india

Israel Launches Vaccine Passports
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Israel launched a vaccine passport system on February 21 as the country ended a one-month lockdown, Cat Ferguson and Joshua Mitnick report at MIT Technology Review. The app version of the pass has serious privacy issues: it uses outdated encryption and reveals more information than necessary. The pass may be difficult to adapt for other countries such as the US, which has neither a universal identity record nor a cohesive system of medical records.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/01/1020154/israels-green-pass-is-an-early-vision-of-how-we-leave-lockdown/


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Open Future Launches to Promote a Shared Digital Europe
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting, the Open Future think tank for a shared digital Europe announces its launch. Open approaches flourish when many people collaborate to create a common resource (such as Wikipedia or OpenStreetMap) or where external incentives or requirements encourage it (such as Open Access, Open Educational Resources, and Public Domain heritage collections). In recent years, commercial platform logic has overwhelmed open ecosystems; Open Future argues Europe has a unique opportunity to restore part of the original promise of the internet. At Public Books, Lucy Bernholz and Toussaint Nothias ask if free assembly and association can survive the internet as our physical spaces become digitized.
http://paradox.openfuture.eu/
https://www.publicbooks.org/can-free-assembly-survive-the-internet/

Anti-Science, the Internet, and Medical Freedom
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this paper in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Texas vaccine scientist Peter J. Hotez traces the US's embrace of anti-science and "medical freedom" during the covid pandemic back to the early colonies. To save lives, Hotez argues that scientists must participate in a counter-offensive, but says broader innovative solutions are also needed, including a push to remove anti-science content on the internet.
https://www.jci.org/articles/view/149072/pdf

European Commission's Data Governance Act Threatens Data Governance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In these comments for the European Parliament's upcoming debate, Access Now argues that the European Commission's proposal for a Data Governance Act is an "unjustified change" towards a data-driven economy and risks undermining the data governance model already enshrined in privacy and data protection laws. Access Now recommends that Article 5 should be changed to block the reuse of personal data or data from which personal data can be inferred.
https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12491-Data-sharing-in-the-EU-common-European-data-spaces-new-rules-/F1484899

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this YouTube page are video clips from this year's Computer, Privacy, and Data Protection conference. Of particular interest are the panels on new police surveillance technologies, personal data protection in Africa, and user choice and freedom through interoperability. In a blog posting, Ian Brown, who led the latter panel, and Douwe Korff discuss the role interoperability can play in encouraging competition.
https://www.youtube.com/c/CPDPConferences/videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERyMl9U7Od8
https://www.ianbrown.tech/2021/01/19/competition-policy-vs-the-world/

The Ethics of Using Satellite Data in Development
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Devex, Malia Politzer argues that it's crucial that development and aid professionals consider the ethics of collecting and using satellite data for responding to natural disasters, controlling disease outbreaks, and planning and plotting sanitation facilities and refugee camps. Issues such as ownership, access, and what happens to the data when the project is finished are crucial. In Uganda, open-sourced mapping data was crucial to understanding all water sources used by households and identifying those that might become contaminated during floods.
https://www.devex.com/news/why-we-need-to-think-about-ethics-when-using-satellite-data-for-development-99148

Misinformation and the 2020 US Presidential Election
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report, the Election Integrity Partnership, which includes the Stanford Internet Observatory, the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public (CIP), Graphika, and the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, finds that the fragmented US electoral system creates a critical gap that non-governmental entities can fill with both foreign and domestic mis- and disinformation. They urgently recommend collaboration across government, civil society, media, and social media platforms.
https://www.eipartnership.net/report

***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

European Association for Biometrics
----------------------------------------
March 9, 15, and 30, 2021
Online from Bussum, The Netherlands
In a series of events on the theme of "demographic biometric fairness", the European Association for Biometrics will feature presentations on current research by experts from academic, industry, and governmental organisations and will facilitate interactions and discussions with the audience in order to create awareness, a common ground, and next steps.
https://eab.org/files/press/EAB-News_release_Demographic_Fairness-2021-01-18.pdf

The Good Web Festival
----------------------------------------
March 19, 2021
Online from London, UK
Britain's Demos think tank and security agency GCHQ co-host a collaborative one-day workshop on the future of the internet featuring leading thinkers from government, tech, and the public with the goal of securing a digital democratic future against its opponents.
https://hopin.com/events/the-good-web-festival

LibrePlanet 2021
----------------------------------------
March 20-21, 2021
Online from Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The 13th edition of the Free Software Foundation's annual conference, "Empowering Users", is a multi-day event that attracts a broad audience including software developers, law and policy experts, activists, students, and computer users to learn skills, celebrate free software accomplishments, and face upcoming challenges to software freedom. The conference features programming for all ages and all levels of experience. Keynote speakers include Julia Reda and other community leaders.
https://libreplanet.org/2021/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
TBD
Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/webinars.https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending February 26, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: AccessNow, HRDAG, Open Rights Group.


NEWS
=====

Facebook Blocks and Unblocks Australian News
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After a week in which Facebook blocked all links to Australian news, the Australian government agreed to last-minute changes to the News Media Bargaining Code, which the lower house passed on February 16, Lisa Visentin reports at the Sydney Morning Herald. At The Verge, Casey Newton explains why Facebook chose to block, while Google instead entered into, a three-year deal to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to link to its output. At the New York Times, Damien Cave finds that the block blanked state health departments, emergency services, the Bureau of Meteorology, non-profits, and political campaign messages while retaining pages dedicated to aliens, UFOs, anti-vaccination campaigns, and conspiracy theories. At TechDirt, Mike Masnick defends Facebook's refusal to pay the "link tax". At his blog, Benedict Evans deplores the arrival of paying to link and says that by hindering cross-site ad targeting the 2018 arrival of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has dented publishers' revenues. At Renew Economy, Ketan Joshi predicts that the Murdoch deal will make Google a major disseminator of climate change denial and bigotry, which are entrenched in News Corporation's Australian output. In a video clip, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calls for an independent Royal Commission to investigate the Murdoch empire's monopoly power, which promotes climate change denial, conflates news and opinion, and strangles local news and public debate. At the Guardian, Jim Waterson reports that UK media regulator Ofcom has granted Murdoch permission to launch a Fox News-style UK channel in the spring of 2021. At his blog, Matt Stoller links Facebook's block to the discovery, via unsealed California court documents, that under the oversight of COO Sheryl Sandberg the company has been defrauding advertisers for years.
https://amp.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-agrees-to-last-minute-amendments-to-media-code-20210222-p574kc.html
https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/18/22288510/google-facebook-australia-news-media-bargaining-code
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/business/media/facebook-australia-news.html
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210217/22383446265/bizarre-reaction-to-facebooks-decision-to-get-out-news-business-australia.shtml
https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2021/2/17/paying-for-news
https://youtu.be/Ap_LuSQ5NSc
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/dec/01/rupert-murdochs-news-uk-tv-channel-given-approval-to-launch
https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/facecrook-dealing-with-a-global-menace

EU: ePrivacy Regulation Begins Trilogue Negotiations
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After four years of unprecedented lobbying and internal disagreements, the Council of the European Union has agreed the text of the ePrivacy Regulation, opening the final stage of trilogue negotiations, Glyn Moody reports at Privacy News Online. Unlike GDPR, which covers personal data at rest, the ePrivacy Regulation will protect personal data in transit. At ZDNet UK, Daphne Leprince-Ringuet reports that the EU has issued draft documents that accept the UK's data protection laws as equivalent to GDPR; these now await approval from the European Data Protection Board and a committee of representatives of EU member states.
https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/the-battle-over-the-eus-far-reaching-eprivacy-regulation-enters-its-final-and-crucial-stage/
https://www.zdnet.com/article/personal-data-might-continue-to-flow-between-the-eu-and-the-uk-but-its-too-early-to-declare-victory/

South Africa Declares Interception Act Unconstitutional
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The South African Constitutional Court has declared unconstitutional the country's Regulation of Interception of Communications Act, aimed at preventing criminals from using mobile phones for illegal activities, on the basis that it does not incorporate adequate safeguards, BusinessDay reports.
https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2021-02-04-court-finds-rica-act-unconstitutional/

UK Rules Uber Drivers Are Employees
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK Supreme Court has upheld a 2016 lower court ruling that Uber drivers are employees entitled to rights such as paid holidays and minimum wage, Sarah Butler reports at the Guardian. The decision could fundamentally reshape the gig economy in the UK.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/19/uber-drivers-workers-uk-supreme-court-rules-rights

Censors Shut Down Clubhouse in China
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The newly-popular audio-only, iOS-only social media app Clubhouse enabled rare unfettered debate for Mandarin speakers until Chinese censors abruptly blocked it on February 8, the Stanford Internet Observatory reports. The Observatory also raises concerns that Shanghai-based Agora, which supplies backend infrastructure to Clubhouse, could provide the Chinese government with access to users' raw audio. At Bloomberg, Jamie Tarabay and Kartikay Mehrotra report on a successful cybersecurity breach in which an unidentified user was able to stream Clubhouse audio feeds onto their own third-party website. At The Hill, Rebecca Klar discusses concerns that Clubhouse, as a new form of talk radio, may become a vector for misinformation and that the app's structure of ephemeral privately moderated chatrooms will make surveillance and archiving - and therefore investigations - difficult.
https://cyber.fsi.stanford.edu/io/news/clubhouse-china
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-22/clubhouse-chats-are-breached-raising-concerns-over-security
https://thehill.com/policy/technology/539655-clubhouses-rising-popularity-raises-misinformation-concerns

Changes to Kenyan Law Enable Government Access to Communications
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A new law amending the Official Secrets Act grants the Kenyan government access to phone and computer data of any person, but leaves obtaining a court order optional, Bridget Andere reports at AccessNow. The National Assembly should now amend the Act to provide checks and balances and protect Kenyans' right to privacy, she concludes.
https://www.accessnow.org/kenya-right-to-privacy/


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Proposals for Intermediary Liability Reform
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this paper, law professors Danielle Citron and Mary Anne Franks advocate reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects platforms from intermediary liability. Citron and Franks argue that the idea of the internet as a "speech machine" is a myth; much of what takes place online is conduct, not speech. They propose modifications intended to foster free speech while curbing bad behavior, adding that reform, which must be carefully thought through, is long overdue. At NPR, Bob Allyn profiles "Christian libertarian" Rob Monster, whose company, Epik, enables right-wing sites like InfoWars, BitChute, Patriots.win, AR-15.com, and Parler. Monster believes their deplatforming is an abuse of power by the technology companies. In an academic paper studying the dataset of Parler postings that hackers archived during the January 6 invasion of the US Capitol, UCL researchers find large influxes of new users after endorsements by popular figures and in reaction to the 2020 US presidential election. In a Techdirt podcast, Mike Masnick and the Open Rights Group's Heather Burns explain why regulating the internet won't solve the problem of broken government.
https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1662&context=uclf
https://www.npr.org/2021/02/08/965448572/meet-the-man-behind-epik-the-tech-firm-keeping-far-right-websites-alive
https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.03820
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210216/12463746257/techdirt-podcast-episode-270-regulating-internet-wont-fix-broken-government.shtml

The Birth of the Facebook Oversight Board
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article for the New Yorker, law professor Kate Klonick chronicles the two-year path to the formation and earliest decisions of Facebook's official oversight board, watching as the company decides how much power it should have and solicits public nominations. At Politico, Cristiano Lima reports that the board's first significant decision, whether to make the suspension of Donald Trump's account permanent, received more than 9,000 public comments and is due in April.
https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/inside-the-making-of-facebooks-supreme-court
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/11/facebook-oversight-trump-banned-468730

Racism and Stereotyping Surface in Image-Generation Algorithms
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at MIT Technology Review, Karen Hao examines the implications of a case in which an image-generation algorithm autocompleted a cropped picture of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's head and neck to show her wearing a bikini. Both OpenAI's iGPT and Google's SimCLR use unsupervised machine learning; Hao finds both present issues of racism and stereotyping similar to those that plague text-generation algorithms. In an episode of the Common Law podcast, University of Virginia law professor Deborah Hellman discusses her theory on discrimination and the real effects algorithms have in expanding discrimination and injustice.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/01/29/1017065/ai-image-generation-is-racist-sexist/
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/common-law/id1454024159

Vaccination Passports Proposed to Restore International Travel
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Biometric Update, Chris Burt introduces the Good Health Pass initiative, a framework for interoperable vaccination passports proposed by a coalition including Airport Council International, Covid Credential Initiative, Linux Foundation Public Health, Mastercard, IBM, and many more. While the World Health Organization currently advises against such a system, expectations are that as vaccines continue to roll out such passes will be adopted to restore international travel and the global economy. The UK's Royal Society has issued a report listing 12 criteria that should be met before any such system is adopted. A report from the Ada Lovelace Institute highlights the risks of such an approach and lists seven steps to determine whether vaccination passports are justifiable. The UK government has issued a public consultation on digital identities, which includes vaccination status as an example of the kind of attribute that might be included.
https://www.biometricupdate.com/202102/digital-ids-privacy-by-design-moment-may-come-from-immunity-passport-standards
https://royalsociety.org/news/2021/02/12-challenges-for-vaccine-passports/
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/blog/shot-in-the-arm/
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-digital-identity-and-attributes-trust-framework/the-uk-digital-identity-and-attributes-trust-framework

Google Plans to Replace Third-Party Cookies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Wired, Matt Burgess outlines Google's Privacy Sandbox's plan to replace third-party cookies in its next big Chrome update and says it will up-end today's infrastructure of individualized tracking and profiling on the web. The plan is intended to reduce fraud, limit the need for CATPCHAs, and offer new ways to track advertising performance. Google's replacement, Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) will use AI to place people in interest groups based on their browsing histories, similar to Netflix's recommendation algorithm. The UK's Information Commissioner's Office and Competition and Markets Authority are already investigating Privacy Sandbox, as ending third-party cookies could more deeply entrench Google and Facebook's dominance of adtech.
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-chrome-cookies-third-party-ads

Victims Have Little Recourse  Against Large-Scale Online Smear Campaigns
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Kashmir Hill tells the story of Guy Babcock, whose family were targeted with a smear campaign of startling proportions, mounted by a former employee his father had fired decades earlier who conducted similar actions against a large group of other targets. Situations where one angry person targets a large group of perceived enemies are not uncommon, yet technology companies still offer little help to stop them.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/30/technology/change-my-google-results.html


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

Open Data Day
----------------------------------------
March 6, 2021
Local events worldwide
Organized by the Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data. Groups from around the world create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.
https://opendataday.org/

MozFest 2021
----------------------------------------
From March 8, 2021
Online from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, and part maker festival. It is the premier gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

European Association for Biometrics
----------------------------------------
March 9, 15, and 30, 2021
Online from Bussum, The Netherlands
In a series of events on the theme of "demographic biometric fairness", the European Association for Biometrics will feature presentations on current research by experts from academic, industry, and governmental organisations and will facilitate interactions and discussions with the audience in order to create awareness, a common ground, and next steps.
https://eab.org/files/press/EAB-News_release_Demographic_Fairness-2021-01-18.pdf

The Good Web Festival
----------------------------------------
March 19, 2021
Online from London, UK
Britain's Demos think tank and security agency GCHQ co-host a collaborative one-day workshop on the future of the internet featuring leading thinkers from government, tech, and the public with the goal of securing a digital democratic future against its opponents.
https://hopin.com/events/the-good-web-festival

LibrePlanet 2021
----------------------------------------
March 20-21, 2021
Online from Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The 13th edition of the Free Software Foundation's annual conference, "Empowering Users", is a multi-day event that attracts a broad audience including software developers, law and policy experts, activists, students, and computer users to learn skills, celebrate free software accomplishments, and face upcoming challenges to software freedom. The conference features programming for all ages and all levels of experience. Keynote speakers include Julia Reda and other community leaders.
https://libreplanet.org/2021/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
TBD
Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
----------------------------------------
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Geneva Internet Platform
----------------------------------------
The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), a Swiss initiative run by DiploFoundation is organizing monthly briefings on internet governance, providing updates and news and projections of how they will influence future developments.
https://dig.watch/events

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending February 12, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Access Now, Bits of Freedom, EFF, noyb.


NEWS
=====

US Adds Copyright Legislation to COVID Relief Package
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two copyright bills were unexpectedly added to the middle of the 5,600-page spending bill and coronavirus relief package the US Congress hurriedly passed in December 2020, Katharine Trendacosta and Cara Gagliano report at EFF. The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act makes running an illegal streaming service a felony, but of greater concern is the Copyright Alternatives in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE). CASE creates a Copyright Claims Board inside the Copyright Office that can hear infringement claims from rights holders seeking less than $30,000 in redress per proceeding, and those affected must opt out if they wish to avoid being bound by the board's decisions.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/02/some-answers-questions-about-state-copyright-2021

UN Adapts Children's Rights for Digital Environment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has adopted General Comment 25 on children's rights in the digital environment, the UK's 5Rights Foundation reports on its website. The Comment discusses children's rights to non-discrimination, to life and development, and to be heard. It also states that the best interests of the child should be taken into account when regulating the digital environment.
https://5rightsfoundation.com/uploads/5Rights%20welcomes%20UN%20General%20Comment%20ushering%20in%20new%20standards%20for%20children.pdf

Myanmar Shuts Down Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Following protests against the military coup, the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications ordered mobile networks and internet service providers to block first Facebook and then Twitter and Instagram in the country until further notice, Kim Lyons reports at The Verge. Spokespeople for Facebook and Twitter issued statements opposing the disruption of personal communications and the public conversation.
https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/6/22269831/myanmar-orders-block-twitter-facebook-instagram-military-coup

Hamburg Authority Orders Clearview AI to Partially Delete Profile
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After an 11-month investigation that included submissions from noyb, the Hamburg Data Protection Authority ordered facial recognition company Clearview AI to delete the hash values relating to the biometric profile - though not the images themselves - of Computer Chaos Club member Matthias Marx, noyb reports on its website. The order, which must be implemented by February 12, also affirms the right of all Hamburg residents not to be included in Clearview AI's database without their consent. At the New York Times, Kashmir Hill reports that Canada's privacy commissioner has said Clearview should delete Canadians' faces from its database because the company engages in "mass surveillance, and it is illegal". However, dozens of law enforcement agencies and organizations across Canada use the company's app for investigating child sexual abuse crimes, among other things. Clearview contends that it did not require permission because the images were posted on public websites.
https://noyb.eu/en/clearview-ais-biometric-photo-database-deemed-illegal-eu
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/technology/clearview-ai-illegal-canada.html

India Proposes to Regulate Non-Personal Data
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology's revised proposals for an Indian data protection law focus on non-personal data, and they fail to address the booming black market in people's personal data, Naman M. Aggarwal and Raman Jit Singh Chima report at  Access Now. Access Now argues that a framework for protecting personal data should be developed first, and that a standalone law on non-personal data jeopardizes long-term plans for data protection governance.
https://www.accessnow.org/india-personal-data-protection/

Amazon Attempts to Block Union Drive
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Amazon has launched a drive to stop more than 2,000 workers at its Alabama warehouse from unionizing, Michael Sainato reports at the Guardian. Ballots, which were due to go out on February 8, will be counted on March 30; Amazon's lawyers are trying to appeal a court ruling allowing workers to vote by mail. At the BBC, Jane Wakefield reports that Amazon has installed AI-powered cameras in its delivery vans that constantly record drivers and report any of 16 actions, including hard braking, driver distraction, and yawning. Amazon claims the cameras are to help keep drivers safe. At AP News, Joseph Pisani reports that Andy Jassy, who runs Amazon's cloud computing business, will replace Jeff Bezos as CEO later in 2021.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/03/amazon-intensifies-severe-effort-discourage-first-warehouse-union
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-55938494
https://apnews.com/article/jeff-bezos-steps-down-amazon-ceo-a5af30868a90cd300dd616796bc1aec2


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Disinformation During the Libyan Conflict
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Lawfare, Alexei Abrahams and Joey Shea share their study of the role and evolution of coordinated disinformation and propaganda in the ongoing Libyan conflict. They find that foreign intervention has undermined confidence in the authenticity of political discourse in and beyond the region, and that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have all been implicated in information operations during Libya's civil war.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/coordinated-behavior-libyas-regional-disinformation-conflict

Smartphone Location Data Reveals Capitol Attackers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Charlie Wurzel and Stuart A. Thompson review the dataset of about 100,000 smartphone pings that reveal that 40% of the phones near the rally stage were also in and around the Capitol while Trump supporters were invading it. The data is unquestionably useful to law enforcement for finding and punishing the attackers. However, Wurzel and Thompson argue that it should never have been collected and that doing so places everyone's privacy at risk. Among the issues they cite: the inherent inaccuracies in location data, the mobile advertising identifiers now attached to each individual who uses a smartphone, and the way the data is spread to myriad commercial organizations across many sectors. At Gizmodo, Shoshana Wodinsky reports that the Center for Democracy and Technology is suing the US Department of Homeland Security over the failure of two of its agencies to respond to three separate freedom of information requests asking how it uses social media data in examining visa applications.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/0amaz5/opinion/capitol-attack-cellphone-data.html
https://gizmodo.com/dhs-sued-over-its-social-media-surveillance-tactics-1846092273

Canada Proposes Digital Sales and Services Taxes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of his Lawbytes podcast, Michael Geist interviews Itai Gringberg, an expert on cross-border taxation, about upcoming Canadian plans for digital taxes. Proposals include mandatory payments supporting Canadian content, a digital sales tax by July 2021, and a digital services tax in 2022. Digital services taxes, or proposals to create them, exist in many countries, though both the US and China oppose the idea. It's not clear how to manage the substantially different interests of developing countries and emerging market economies.
https://soundcloud.com/aclu/what-does-free-speech-mean-online

Avoiding Burnout in Digital Activism
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Bits of Freedom, Ties Rademacher argues that the digital rights movement needs to prioritize the mental health and well-being of activists or risk losing them to burnout. Digital rights campaigns always seem more urgent, but given the years they take and the frequency of setbacks, facilitating well-being is increasingly important.
https://www.bitsoffreedom.nl/2021/02/05/the-digital-rights-movement-needs-to-prioritize-sustainable-working/

Documentaries Lose Editorial Independence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Columbia Journalism Review, Danny Funt examines the rise of TV documentaries as streaming services embrace the genre. Although many are solid investigative journalistic work, the producers of the highest-profile, biggest-budget titles, such as Hulu's "Hillary" (Clinton), have surrendered their editorial independence in return for access and exclusive footage. Global streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple, HBO, and Showtime do not vet financiers, restrict who can participate in production, nor have rules limiting who can receive compensation.
https://www.cjr.org/special_report/documentary-film-editorial-independence.php

Market Manipulation and the Gamestop Share Price Spike
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Washington Post, Matt O'Brien examines the wild spike in the price of Gamestop shares that has been attributed to the activism of the WallStreetBets subReddit. While some of the forum's old-timers undoubtedly profited, later, smaller buyers are likely to have lost money. At Washington Monthly, Robert J. Shapiro's detailed study of trading data leads him to attribute the spike to market manipulation by competing hedge funds. At City Journal, Bruno Maçães contends that the incident has laid bare the departure of the financial markets from shared reality, the latest casualty in the "truth wars".
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/gamestop-booster-did-well-many-devotees-wont-as-shares-sag/2021/02/04/1c466876-671a-11eb-bab8-707f8769d785_story.html
https://washingtonmonthly.com/2021/02/03/gamestop-isnt-a-popular-uprising/
https://www.city-journal.org/gamestop-and-the-truth-wars


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

Open Data Day
----------------------------------------
March 6, 2021
Local events worldwide
Organized by the Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data. Groups from around the world create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.
https://opendataday.org/

MozFest 2021
----------------------------------------
From March 8, 2021
Online from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, and part maker festival. It is the premier gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

European Association for Biometrics
----------------------------------------
March 9, 15, and 30, 2021
Online from Bussum, The Netherlands
In a series of events on the theme of "demographic biometric fairness", the European Association for Biometrics will feature presentations on current research by experts from academic, industry, and governmental organisations and will facilitate interactions and discussions with the audience in order to create awareness, a common ground, and next steps.
https://eab.org/files/press/EAB-News_release_Demographic_Fairness-2021-01-18.pdf

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
TBD
Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

Modern Law Review: Are We Owned?
----------------------------------------
October 8, 2021
Stirling, Scotland, UK
The Modern Law Review will present a one-day conference, "Are We Owned? A Multidisciplinary and Comparative Conversation on Intellectual Property in the Algorithmic Society". The conference will discuss the future of autonomy as the terms of service that apply to phones and computers become embedded in "smart" physical objects throughout our environment and within our bodies.
https://guidonotoladiega.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/call-for-abstracts-are-we-owned-a-multidisciplinary-and-comparative-conversation-on-intellectual-property-in-the-algorithmic-society/

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
October 8-9, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

CAMRI
----------------------------------------
The Communication and Media Institute (CAMRI) at London's University of Westminster hosts a series of online events presenting the work of sociologists, historians, economists, and activists studying online developments around the world. Spring 2021 offerings include a reassessment of the 2010 Arab Spring and studies of internal communication connections within the Global South, the changing role of public service media, decolonizing the curriculum, and using Facebook to reduce polarization.
https://camri.ac.uk/events/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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Our mailing address is:
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License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending January 29, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Access Now, AI Now Institute, Data & Society, EDRi, EFF. Homo Digitalis, Human Rights Watch, Panoptykon Foundation, Privacy International, and Ranking Digital Rights.


NEWS
=====

Pandemic Provides Excuse to Deploy Surveillance Technologies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The pandemic has turned refugees into test subjects for surveillance technologies, Petra Molnar tells Raphael Tsavkko Garcia in an interview at Medium after conducting a fact-finding mission in Greek refugee camps for EDRi. Molnar witnessed the birth of the Kara Tepes containment center where, as at other camps, COVID-19 has provided an excuse to experiment with drones, AI lie detectors, risk scoring, and voice printing. At The Nation, Felipe de la Hoz suggests new US president Joe Biden will replace the now-canceled border wall with advanced surveillance technology that will pose greater danger to both migrants and US citizens.
https://onezero.medium.com/how-the-pandemic-turned-refugees-into-guinea-pigs-for-surveillance-tech-d7cf916551cc
https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/biden-immigration-surveillance/

Open Letter Calls for Human Rights Protection in AI Regulation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EDRi and 61 other civil society organizations have written an open letter to the European Commission calling for regulatory red lines to protect human rights in the upcoming proposal on artificial intelligence, EDRi reports on its website. Among the issues the letter highlights are biometric mass surveillance, structural discrimination, access to justice, and workers' rights. EDRi member signatories such as Privacy International, Homo Digitalis, and the Panoptykon Foundation are joined by AI Now Institute, Ranking Digital Rights, Statewatch, and Human Rights Watch.
https://edri.org/our-work/civil-society-call-for-ai-red-lines-in-the-european-unions-artificial-intelligence-proposal/

Misinformation in Circulation Plummets After Trump Twitter Ban
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A study from Zignal Labs finds that misinformation dropped by 73% in the week after January 8, when Twitter banned former US president Donald Trump and more than 70,000 accounts associated with QAnon, Elizaeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg report at the Washington Post. The frequency with which Trump's posts were retweeted made him the site's biggest amplifier. At Wired, Sonner Kehrt describes Sara-Jayne Terp's use of cybersecurity tools to track false claims as if they're malware in order to understand and stop misinformation campaigns. At Medium, Sarah Emerson argues that instead of targeting Parler, Congress should ask the FBI to study the entire social media landscape; this includes Facebook and Twitter, which played essential roles in the unrest, as well as Telegram, MeWe, and other sites to which former Parler users are turning. At Politico, Kara Swisher argues that while the technology companies did the right thing in finally banning Trump, it took them too long. Examining the companies' power is an urgent necessity, particularly given their ability to terminate entire businesses, as in Parler's case. At Wired, James Temperton reports that lax security allowed hackers and archivists to save 70TB of Parler posts, and document its role as a "radicalization engine".
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/16/misinformation-trump-twitter/
https://www.wired.com/story/data-scientist-cybesecurity-tools-quash-misinformation/
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jan/16/how-to-fix-social-media-trump-ban-free-speech
https://onezero.medium.com/parler-is-just-a-symptom-of-a-much-bigger-problem-1f1bb2e54333
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/01/16/what-the-right-gets-wrong-about-big-tech-and-the-capitol-coup-491437
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/parler-shutdown-future

Hong Kong Authorities Crack Down on Digital Dissent
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A digital sweep shows that Hong Kong authorities are using the powers granted them by the new 2020 national security law to redo the Great Firewall, Shibani Mahtani reports at the Washington Post. Hong Kong police now send devices seized from arrestees to mainland China for data extraction; digital rights activists say the government intends to crack down on dissent online and use confiscated devices to map and silence the opposition.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/hong-kong-national-security-law-internet/2021/01/12/01738064-53b6-11eb-acc5-92d2819a1ccb_story.html

Facebook Refers Trump Account Ban to Oversight Board
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook has asked the 20-person Oversight Board to decide if the company acted correctly in suspending former US president Donald Trump and whether it should be permanent, Ben Wittes reports at Lawfare. Wittes finds no obvious way to balance keeping politicians' words accessible and accountable against the risks of harmful or offensive speech. The board is accepting public comments and will decide in 90 days. At The Markup, Leon Yin and Alfred Ng the Citizen Browser project data shows that although Facebook claims it had stopped recommending "civic groups", in fact the recommendations continued throughout December and January, most frequently to its panel's Trump voters. In a second report based on Citizen Browser data at The Markup, Colin Lecher and John Keegan find that Facebook showed Biden and Trump voters substantially different coverage of the Capitol riot. At the New York Times, Kate Conger and Mike Isaac provide an inside look at how Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made his decision.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/facebook-has-referred-trumps-suspension-its-oversight-board-now-what
https://themarkup.org/citizen-browser/2021/01/19/facebook-said-it-would-stop-pushing-users-to-join-partisan-political-groups-it-didnt
https://themarkup.org/citizen-browser/2021/01/14/biden-and-trump-voters-were-exposed-to-radically-different-coverage-of-the-capitol-riot-on-facebook
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/16/technology/inside-twitter-decision-trump.html

Users Flee WhatsApp After Policy Changes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
WhatsApp has lost millions of users since a poorly-explained update to its terms of service, scheduled for February 8 and now delayed until May, Alex Hern reports at the Guardian. Facebook intended to enable new business messaging features and clarify existing policies; instead, users posted that WhatsApp was claiming the right to read users' messages and share the data with Facebook. Many have switched to Signal. At the New York Times, the editorial board calls for curbs on the technology companies' overreach via lopsided contracts, and highlights some of the most egregious terms and conditions clauses that users never notice.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jan/24/whatsapp-loses-millions-of-users-after-terms-update
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/23/opinion/sunday/online-terms-of-service.html


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

New US Administration Brings Hope for Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a "transition memo", EFF calls on the new US Biden-Harris administration to further reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, act to limit the use of facial recognition, require a warrant to search travelers' devices at the border, reject mandatory backdoors in encryption software and devices, foster competition in social media rather than altering Section 230, and bolster network neutrality. In a blog posting, Access Now launches a tracker for seven core digital rights issues it hopes Biden-Harris will prioritize. At Vox, Sara Morrison suggests that Biden's Federal Communications Commission should restore network neutrality, ensure universal affordable access to broadband internet, and drop Trump-era plans to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. At The Register, Kieren McCarthy offers an assessment of the damaging tenure of departing FCC chair Ajit Pai.
https://www.eff.org/wp/eff-transition-memo-incoming-biden-administration
https://www.accessnow.org/biden-era-tech-policy-tracker/
https://www.vox.com/recode/21557495/biden-fcc-digital-divide-net-neutrality-section-230
https://www.theregister.com/2021/01/20/pai_us_telecoms/

Nigerian COVID-19 Technology Brings Surveillance Concerns
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Global Voices, Boye Adegoke writes that Nigeria's weak accountability, lack of political will to bring in data protection and privacy legislation, history of surveillance, and repressive approach to COVID-19 are leading local digital rights activists to worry that two new privately-developed contact tracing apps may provide the state with additional tracking and targeting capabilities. The human rights losses will only be clear after the pandemic ends.
https://globalvoices.org/2021/01/19/covid-19-digital-rights-and-nigerias-emerging-surveillance-state/

QAnon Prophecies Fail As Biden Is Inaugurated
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In an article at the New York Times, Kevin Roose tracks QAnon believers' dismay at US president Joe Biden's inauguration, which they were led to expect would be blocked by a dramatic series of arrests leading to former president Donald Trump's return to power. At NBC News, Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins recount the history of QAnon, which started when a YouTube video creator and two 4chan moderators picked it to promote out of an array of obscure conspiracy theories. On Twitter, digital sociologist Jen Schradie collates a list of books on the American far-right, research which until now has been female-dominated.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/technology/qanon-inauguration.html
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/how-three-conspiracy-theorists-took-q-sparked-qanon-n900531
https://twitter.com/schradie/status/1349419832324874244

Russian Protests Mark Return of Alexei Navalny
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of their 5pm EST daily videocast, In Lieu of Fun, Lawfare editor Ben Wittes and law professor Kate Klonick ask Alexander Vindman, Bianna Golodryga, and Toomas Hendrick to analyze the Russian protests over the arrest of Alexei Navalny and the impact on Russian dissent of new social media such as Tik-Tok. Among their suggestions to the new Biden government for curbing Russian corruption: enforce money laundering rules.
https://inlieuof.fun/stream/303

Kenya 2022 Presidential Election Brings Misinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a posting at Global Voices, Njeri Wangari warns that Kenya must speed up implementation of its 2020 data protection law in order to be ready to block voter manipulation via big data in the upcoming August 2022 presidential election. Misinformation online is already growing as political battles move online. For most of Kenya's 53 million citizens, smartphones provide their only mode of internet and social media access.
https://globalvoices.org/2021/01/16/kenya-must-implement-data-protection-law-before-2022-presidential-election/

Digital Technology and Democratic Theory
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip from the Data & Society Research Institute, Lucy Bernholz, Rob Reich, and Seeta Peña Gangadharan discuss their new book, Digital Technology and Democratic Theory. The book collects essays by scholars from multiple disciplines to offer a sober, long-term assessment of digital technologies' impact on fundamental aspects of democracy such as the structure of the public sphere and resistance to unjust sociotechnical systems.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLO3YjTcFxc


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

MozFest 2021
----------------------------------------
From March 8, 2021
Online from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, and part maker festival. It is the premier gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

European Association for Biometrics
----------------------------------------
March 9, 15, and 30, 2021
Online from Bussum, The netherlandsNetherlands
In a series of events on the theme of "demographic biometric fairness", the European Association for Biometrics will feature presentations on current research by experts from academic, industry, and governmental organisations and will facilitate interactions and discussions with the audience in order to create awareness, a common ground, and next steps.
https://eab.org/files/press/EAB-News_release_Demographic_Fairness-2021-01-18.pdf

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
TBD
Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending January 15, 2021

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Education International, Privacy International.


NEWS
=====

Privacy International Wins High Court Ruling Against General Warrants
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After a five-year battle, the UK High Court has held that "general warrants" are illegal and that the security and intelligence services cannot rely on non-specific warrants to authorize wide-ranging property interference and certain forms of computer hacking, Privacy International reports. PI issued the judicial review challenge after a 2016 decision by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. If it is not appealed, the judgment will go back to the tribunal for execution.
https://privacyinternational.org/news-analysis/4359/victory-high-court-against-governments-use-general-warrants

US Capitol Invasion Was Openly Planned on Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The January 6 invasion of the US Capitol was openly planned and publicized on numerous easily accessible niche and mainstream sites, Jane Lytvynenko and Molly Hensley-Clancy report at Buzzfeed News. At NBC News, Ben Collins and Brandy Zdrozny find many published warnings, contrary to Washington Police Chief Robert Contee, who claimed no one could have foreseen the insurrection. In an article at The Atlantic, Adrienne LaFrance likens Facebook to the "Doomsday Machine", hypothesized by military strategist Herman Kahn in order to make nuclear war unthinkable. In a Twitter thread, Seth Abramson examines point by point the "Save America March" speech US president Donald Trump delivered to the crowd waiting to march on the Capitol; the speech forms the basis of an article of impeachment. Finally, in a video clip Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals his memories of growing up in post-Nazi Austria and draws lessons for American democracy.
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/06/politics/us-capitol-lockdown/index.html
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/extremists-made-little-secret-ambitions-occupy-capital-weeks-attack-n1253499
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/12/facebook-doomsday-machine/617384/
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1347908845281095680.html
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/trump-rioters-planned-online
https://twitter.com/i/status/1348249481284874240

Tech Companies Block Trump and Far-Right Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Following the Capitol attack, Twitter and Facebook suspended Donald. Trump's personal accounts including Instagram and WhatsApp, Olivia Harrison reports at Refinery29.  At the Huffington Post, Lydia O'Connor and Dominique Mosbergen report that the government-owned @POTUS account, the Trump campaign account, and several others were also suspended after Trump tried to circumvent the ban by tweeting from them. The Trump Twitter Archive retains the searchable set of Trump's tweets from September 2016 onward. The Guardian reports that Twitter has suspended 70,000 accounts sharing QAnon content. At the New York Times, Sapna Maheshwari reports that Shopify has closed two ecommerce sites tied to Trump, one of them his campaign store. At CNet, Stephen Shankland, Edward Mayer, and Ian Sherr report that Apple, Google, and Amazon have all banned the far-right Parler social network from their services. At TechDirt, Mike Masnick considers the Trump ban and the balance between justifiable content moderation and censorship; no definitive set of rules can handle all situations. At The Hill, Joe Ferulla argues that the Capitol attack threatens the First Amendment because profits drive the "mass delusion machine".  At the New York Times, Lauren Hirsch lists numerous companies that are withdrawing political donations as a result of the insurrection.
https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/01/10252779/trump-ban-twitter-facebook
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/trump-twitter-potus-account_n_5ff9096fc5b6c77d85e6ca55?ri18n=true
https://www.thetrumparchive.com/
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jan/12/twitter-suspends-70000-accounts-sharing-qanon-content
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/07/business/shopify-trump-online-store.html
https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-apple-google-ban-parler-app-over-violent-content-around-capitol-attack/
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210108/17022646023/not-easy-not-unreasonable-not-censorship-decision-to-ban-trump-twitter.shtml
https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/533521-sacking-the-capitol-proves-free-speech-is-in-trouble
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/business/banks-citigroup-goldman-sachs-politicians.html

WeChat Spreads Chinese Censorship Across the Globe
----------------------------------------------------------------------
WeChat has become a worldwide vector for Chinese censorship, Jeanne Whalen reports at the Washington Post. Its millions of US users disagree about the remedy. Some favoring the White House plan to ban the app even though in September a federal court in San Francisco stayed the ban on First Amendment grounds. Others would rather see owner Tencent sued, punished, or fined.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/07/wechat-censorship-china-us-ban/

Cars Provide Rich Data for Digital Forensic Investigators
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Law enforcement investigators are increasingly using the data gathered by modern cars' telemetry and infotainment systems as part of their crime-solving efforts, Olivia Solon reports at NBCNews. The sensors and phone links provide far-reaching troves of digital evidence, including calls made and locations visited, and less-obvious details such as how much drivers and passengers weigh. Unlike phones, cars lack information security to protect this data from overreach.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/snitches-wheels-police-turn-car-data-destroy-suspects-alibis-n1251939

Britain Funds Media "Influence" in Venezuela
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK has allocated £250,000 from its aid budget to "influence" local and national media agendas in Venezuela, raising suspicions that it is trying to help remove Nicolas Maduro from power, Matt Kennard and John McEvoy reports at Daily Maverick. Separately, the British government also funds the Westminster Forum for Democracy, which has spent over £750,000 to "strengthen democracy" in Venezuela since 2016.
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-01-06-revealed-uk-sets-up-media-influencing-project-in-venezuela-amid-secretive-750000-democracy-promotion-programme/


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Copyright Exceptions Needed to Support Education During Pandemic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Education International argues that in 2021 the World Intellectual Property Organization should rectify the opportunity it missed at its November 2020 Standing Committee meeting to produce urgently-needed guidance on copyright exceptions to help education, research, and cultural heritage organizations with COVID-19-related intellectual property challenges.
https://www.ei-ie.org/en/detail/17063/wipo%e2%80%99s-missed-opportunity-to-produce-guidance-on-copyright-exceptions-hits-education-during-pandemic

Techniques for Building AI Models Are Broken
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at MIT Technology Review, Will Douglas Heaven discusses findings from 40 researchers across seven different teams at Google that today's techniques for building machine learning models leave no way to tell whether the models will work in the real world. "Underspecification", a known problem in statistics in which different effects may have many possible causes, means in practice that training data may produce multiple models that differ in tiny, arbitrary ways that can lead to large differences in performance.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/11/18/1012234/training-machine-learning-broken-real-world-heath-nlp-computer-vision/

Activism Leads Google Workers to Unionize
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this podcast at the Wall Street Journal, Bowdeya Tweh describes the events and activism that led Google employees to unionize and considers the prospects for organizing at other Silicon Valley companies. At CNN, Brian Fung explains how the new Alphabet Workers' Union will function.
https://www.wsj.com/podcasts/why-google-workers-formed-a-union/50FC530F-D1DB-4E43-A1A5-D2EE96B6E2B7.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/04/tech/google-alphabet-union/index.html

Countering Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence and Abuse
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, the Canada-based Centre for International Governance Innovation presents a panel featuring Suzie Dunn, who discusses her research on technology-facilitated gender-based violence and abuse. Countering the technology-fueled exploitation of women requires responses from numerous sectors including law enforcement, legislators, technologists, victim support workers, editors, and NGOs. In a paper, UCL researchers Tomás Bermudez, Maddalena Esposito, and Jay Neuner survey the use of "stalkerware" in intimate partner violence. At the Women's Service Network, the second national survey on technology abuse and domestic violence in Australia finds increased use of technology to entrap women. The three most commonly used technologies are text messaging, smartphones, and Facebook; the fastest-growing are video cameras and GPS tracking apps.
https://www.cigionline.org/multimedia/deepfakes-and-digital-harms-emerging-technologies-and-gender-based-violence
https://www.chayn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/steappstalkerware_report.pdf
https://wesnet.org.au/about/research/2ndnatsurvey/

QAnon Is How Religions Begin
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of Kate Klonick's and Benjamin Wittes' daily videocast, In Lieu of Fun, Atlantic editor Adrienne LaFrance discusses what she learned about QAnon in researching a lengthy May 2020 article. She finds an important difference between people who profit from QAnon and true believers for whom this "pro-Trump conspiracy theory" is so impossible to dislodge that, "this is how religions begin".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUBBYq66VmI
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/qanon-nothing-can-stop-what-is-coming/610567/

Moving AI Forward
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, the second debate in a series hosted by Montreal.AI, scholars and practitioners from a variety of disciplines, including Ryan Calo, Barbara Tversky, and Daniel Kahneman, discuss how AI should move forward and how to solve challenges such as understanding causality, bias, reasoning, and ethics.
https://montrealartificialintelligence.com/aidebate2/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOI3Bb3p4GM


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONE-OFF EVENTS

linux.conf.au
----------------------------------------
January 23-25, 2021
Online from Sydney, Australia
The 22nd linux.conf.au focuses on Linux, and the community that has built up around it, and the values that it represents. It is a deeply technical conference covering topics varying from the inner workings of the Linux kernel to the inner workings of dealing with communities. Run by volunteers, linux.conf.au is a not-for-profit conference that aims to provide attendees with a world-class conference at a down to earth rate.
https://linux.conf.au

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 27-29, 2021
Online from Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP 2021, "Enforcing Rights in a Changing World", will gather academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world to offer an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

TICTec 2021
----------------------------------------
March-May 2021
Online
In lieu of its usual two-day annual conference, mySociety will instead host a series of short, energetic, and to-the-point online TICTeC "Show and Tell" presentations that will feature speakers from around the world talking about the impacts of digital tools intended to empower citizens.
https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

MozFest 2021
----------------------------------------
From March 8, 2021
Online from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, and part maker festival. It is the premier gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
TBD
Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Online from Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021
Online from Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://privacyscholars.org/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 7-11, 2021
Online
AccessNow's tenth RightsCon will bring together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, technologists, advocates, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the world to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.
https://www.rightscon.org/

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
July 2021
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America. The conference will especially focus on data protection at a time of social emergency - COVID-19, democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

SOUPS 2021
August 8-10, 2021
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The 17th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction, security, and privacy. It will be colocated with USENIX 2021.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 change-makers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. Late-2020 events included discussions of regulating for algorithm accountability and "almost-future" AI.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion with prominent women in security, security problems in online voting, methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing, advanced botnet researcher, and using marketing techniques to improve cybersecurity communication.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude.
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event
https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats. Its first event for 2021 examines digital technology and democratic theory.
https://datasociety.net/events/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

In Lieu of Fun
----------------------------------------
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's University School of Law who specializes in online speech and governance, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-founder and chief editor of Lawfare, hold a nightly discussion of current affairs, law, politics, and digital media with invited guests. Daily at 5pm Eastern Time.
https://inlieuof.fun/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending November 27, 2020

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EDRi, EFF, InternetLab, Open Rights Group.


NEWS
=====

False Claims of US Election Fraud Circulate on Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Disinformation about voter fraud has been repeatedly plugged by influential social media accounts for months, led by US president Donald Trump, Marianna Spring reports at the BBC. "Stop the Steal" groups on Facebook have amassed more than a million members, although several were removed after users posted threats of violence. Experts are concerned that the public's faith in democracy will be eroded as a result. At the New York Times, Sheera Frenkel reports that the independent Transparency.tube report finds that YouTube videos endorsing false claims of widespread election fraud were viewed more than 138 million times in the week of the election. The BBC reports that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and government and fact-checking organizations will collaborate to stop COVID-19 vaccine misinformation from circulating. Currently, the Centre for Countering Digital Hate says 95% of such material on social media is not removed. At Reuters, Elizabeth Culliford and Katie Paul report that Facebook estimates that ten to 11 of every 10,000 content views during the third quarter of 2020 included hate speech.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-55009950
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/technology/election-misinformation-often-evaded-youtubes-efforts-to-stop-it.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55005385
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-content/facebook-estimates-hate-speech-seen-in-1-out-of-1000-views-on-its-platform-idUSKBN27Z2R0

Facebook, Google, and Twitter Oppose Pakistani Censorship Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Through the Asia Internet Coalition, which represents numerous technology companies, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have threatened to leave Pakistan because they are alarmed by new censorship laws, the Associated Press reports at The Hindustan Times. The laws give the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the power to remove and block digital content that poses harm, intimidates, or "excites disaffection" toward the government or hurts the integrity, security, and defense of Pakistan in other ways, and allow for fines of up to $3.14 million for failing to block content deemed to be in violation. Social media companies are also required to provide any information or data in unencrypted format to the country's designated investigation agency.
https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/google-facebook-and-twitter-threaten-to-leave-pakistan-over-new-rules/story-LIBChHJbeR9Vjy2CYJs9dJ.html

UK: Japan-UK Trade Deal Threatens Privacy Standards
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Politics.co.uk, Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock summarizes the recently announced UK-Japan deal, which commits the UK to accepting lower privacy standards for data transfers and undermines algorithmic transparency and access to source code, and may limit the right to repair. It also makes intermediary liability contingent on copyright enforcement. The government has provided very little detail to either the public or Parliament. At EDRi, ORG goes into more detail about why the deal is likely to make it impossible for the EU to grant the UK an adequacy ruling under the GDPR.
https://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2020/11/19/uk-japan-deal-dismantles-uk-s-privacy-protections
https://edri.org/our-work/uk-japan-trade-agreement-violates-data-protection-rights/

Japanese Companies and Banks Experiment with Digital Currencies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
More than 30 Japanese firms including brokerages, telecommunications firms, utilities, and retailers, as well as the country's three biggest banks will experiment next year with providing a private digital currency to promote digitization, Leika Kihara reports at Reuters. In addition, the Bank of Japan plans to issue a digital yen.  In a podcast for FinTech Australia, David Birch, author of The Currency Cold War, discusses the future of digital currencies and the battle for global economic power between the US and China.
https://www.reuters.com/article/banking-digital-currencies-japan/japan-inc-to-begin-experiments-issuing-digital-yen-idINKBN27Z0I6
https://tieronepeople.com/2020/08/18/david-birch-currency-cold-war/

Airports Adopt Facial Recognition for Travelers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Policy Options, Tamir Israel reports that airports across the world are embedding facial recognition in border crossings and boarding procedures claiming it will increase efficiency, security, and safety even though the technology is error-prone and racially biased. Israel warns that its adoption as proof of identity or nationality is dangerous for refugees and others and threatens human rights. A report from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic documents this adoption, warns of the intrusive surveillance it brings, and calls for a reset. At the Guardian, Katy Fallon reports that Tendayi Achiume, the UN's special rapporteur on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, has called for a moratorium on the use of surveillance technologies including AI lie detector tests, iris scans for refugees, and voice imprinting software in asylum applications. At Papers Please, Edward Hasbrouck says the recent US General Administration Office report on the use of facial recognition on travelers fails to address numerous legal and constitutional issues. At the New York Times, Shira Ovide argues that despite its flaws, given the right policies and oversight facial recognition can be a valuable tool for law enforcement.
https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/november-2020/facial-recognition-is-transforming-our-borders-and-we-are-not-prepared/
https://cippic.ca/en/news/facial_recognition_transforming_our_borders
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/nov/11/un-warns-of-impact-of-smart-borders-on-refugees-data-collection-isnt-apolitical
https://papersplease.org/wp/2020/09/03/gao-report-on-dhs-use-of-facial-recognition-on-travelers/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/technology/facial-recognition-software-police.html


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Privacy Makes Progress in Brazil
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at EFF, Katitza Rodriguez summarizes InternetLab's fifth annual report on telecom privacy and data protection in Brazil. This edition finds that half of its eight featured telecom providers for mobile and broadband services have made significant progress in data protection since 2019, but notes they also signed non-transparent data-sharing agreements with states and municipalities to help them combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In a joint letter, Access Now and Direitos na Rede Coalition express their concern that three of the nominated directors of the Brazilian Data Protection Authority are members of the armed forces; they ask the European Commission, the Council of Europe, and the Global Privacy Assembly to emphasize the importance of an independent DPA when engaging with the Brazilian government on data protection matters.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/11/internetlabs-report-sets-direction-telecom-privacy-brazil
https://www.accessnow.org/joint-letter-dpa-brazil-military/

OpenStreetMap Has Become Critical Infrastructure
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Medium, Joe Morrison discovers that OpenStreetMap, which was founded as a collaborative atlas by a few British graduate students in 2004, is now critical infrastructure for some of the most-used software and the recipient of investment and contributions from Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Increasing corporate involvement is creating dissent within OSM's diverse and vibrant community; 1.5 million people have contributed to the atlas, which incorporates 4.5 million changes per day.
https://joemorrison.medium.com/openstreetmap-is-having-a-moment-dcc7eef1bb01

Systemic Racism Inside Scientific Funding
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Cell, Kaful Dzirasa examines systemic racism within US scientific funding despite ten years of effort by the National Institutes of Health to address the problem, and argues that the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the black community is further proof of the desperate need for equity.
https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31223-X#%20

Privacy Is Hard
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this paper for the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Alessandro Acquisti, Laura Brandimarte, and George Loewenstein review streams of social science literature to find that although consumers fundamentally care about online privacy it's prohibitively difficult for individuals to protect themselves. Policy intervention, the remaining option, is often blocked by powerful interests that oppose it. In a paper for New Media & Society, Taj Morse and Michael Birnhack study attitudes towards privacy after death and find that users fall into three groups: one whose preferences and actions match; one who fail to act to implement their interest in privacy, extending the "privacy paradox" after death; and a third who wish to share their data posthumously but also fail to act, which the authors dub the "inverted privacy paradox".
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3688497
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3727874

Big Tech Prepares for Different Joe Biden
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a podcast at Bloomberg, Gigi Sohn explains why Silicon Valley expects to see a different Joe Biden from the one who left the vice-presidency four years ago, though she thinks it will be difficult to find remedies for platform power that Republicans and Democrats can agree on. Sohn would prefer the government to create a regulatory agency to oversee the technology companies rather than break them up.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2020-11-14/big-tech-prepares-for-different-joe-biden-this-time-podcast

Fixing the Internet: Third-Party Doctrine
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this third episode of EFF's podcast series, "How to Fix the Internet", Danny O'Brien, Cindy Cohn and Jumana Musa discuss the third-party doctrine, which allows government and law enforcement ready access to communications metadata, where contents of messages require a court order. This hole in US privacy law, originally conceived with physical envelopes in mind but broadly repurposed, enables highly invasive traffic analysis. EFF believes a warrant should be required.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/11/podcast-episode-fixing-digital-loophole-fourth-amendment


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONLINE EVENTS

TICTec Seminars
----------------------------------------
mySociety is running a series of events between September and November on open data (September 22), digitizing parliaments (October 20), and the climate crisis (November, day TBC).
https://tictec.mysociety.org/seminars/2020

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
December 2-4, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries and indeed, the world itself, Web Summit gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
December 14-15, 2020
Brussels, Belgium
The annual workshop on the economics of information security is a cross-disciplinary event to develop more effective approaches to information security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. The October 29 event considers what forms of mandatory reporting can help achieve public sector accountability.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion of with prominent women in security, a discussion of the security problems in online voting, and methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude (https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos).
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event

Civic Hall
----------------------------------------
New York's Civic Hall has moved a number of events online. Recent events include political influence, a session on designing stories to expose racial inequities, and an interactive discussion of the new book by Sasha Costanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need.
https://civichall.org/event-calendar/

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats for the rest of 2020.
Databites: https://datasociety.net/library/design-justice/
Network Power Hours: https://datasociety.net/library/community-and-accessibility-online/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/list?type=event

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


PHYSICAL WORLD EVENTS

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 27-29, 2021
Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP 2021, "Enforcing Rights in a Changing World", will gather academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world to offer an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

MozFest 2021
----------------------------------------
March 2021
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest programs and events are co-created by a group of dynamic, vibrant and varied community collaborators, all working towards one goal: the opportunity for everyone to live a healthy online life.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
TBD
Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021 TBC
Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 2021
Milan, Italy
Contemporary children and their parents are inventing what it is to have a digital childhood, and in doing so are introducing families, schools and policy makers to new ways of thinking, doing and being. This conference discusses and expands research trajectories through these uncertainties and aims to build bridges across the different disciplines and strands of research in this area. It will forge a new way forward and consolidate the base of what we already know, revealing what we have yet to investigate and address, and what important insights are emerging that must be taken seriously.
http://www.digitisingearlychildhood.com/2020-conference.html

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
Postponed from June 23-25, 2020
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 changemakers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending November 13, 2020

====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on 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 Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Citizen Lab, EFF, Ian Brown, Open Rights Group.


NEWS
=====

US Elects Democrat Joe Biden as 46th President
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Multiple US media outlets have projected that Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States, defeating incumbent Donald Trump, Marguerite Reardon reports at CNet. Reardon considers Biden's potential influence on technology policy, including infrastructure, broadband deployment, security, digital divide, intermediary liability, and monopolistic practices. At Substack, Matt Stoller surveys, more specifically, Biden's possible approach to bringing antitrust actions against the companies. At AdWeek, Scott Nover suggests that Biden will push tougher enforcement on antitrust, privacy, misinformation, and China, while resurrecting network neutrality. At Law360, Dani Kass says that Biden's record on intellectual property and recent statements suggest he will protect US IP via trade enforcement and anti-piracy measures and tackle drug pricing (despite his history of favoring Big Pharma).
https://www.cnet.com/news/biden-beats-trump-heres-what-it-means-for-tech/
https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/how-would-president-biden-approach
https://www.adweek.com/media/what-to-expect-how-a-biden-administration-would-tackle-tech-policy/
https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/1321697

US Department of Justice Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Department of Justice, joined by 11 states, has issued an antitrust suit against Google, the largest against a technology company since its late-1990s complaint against Microsoft, Brian Fung reports at CNN. The suit alleges that Google pays billions of dollars a year to device and browser manufacturers to be their default search engine, allowing it to own or control roughly 80% of search queries in the US. At The Conversation, Hemant K. Bhargava suggests that the agreement under which Google pays Apple $8 to $12 billion a year to make its search engine the default on iOS is itself potentially illegal behavior - on the part of Apple. At Substack, Matt Stoller calls the case a "carbon copy" of the DoJ's Microsoft complaint and calls it a stunning victory for anti-monopolists. At Netzpolitik, Brussels journalist Alexander Fanta and Ingo Dachwitz publish their study of Google's strategic funding of the media industry. Since 2013, Google has handed €200 million in cash to leading media companies, as well as funding fellowships, media conferences, and journalism research, all while resisting political efforts to force the company to share advertising revenues with the publishing industry. The Free Press Journal reports that the US Federal Trade Commission could follow up with an antitrust suit against Facebook by the end of November that could force the company to unwind past acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. Separately, the EU has sent a statement of objections to Amazon over the use of seller data and has begun a second antitrust investigation into Amazon's possible preferential treatment of its own retail offers and those of marketplace sellers that use the company's fulfillment and delivery services.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/25/technology/apple-google-search-antitrust.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/20/tech/doj-google-antitrust-case/index.html
https://theconversation.com/google-antitrust-case-suggests-apple-should-be-in-the-department-of-justices-crosshairs-too-148691
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/10/antitrust-suit-against-google-watershed-moment-0
https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/the-google-suit-were-all-anti-monopolists
https://twitter.com/FantaAlexx/status/1320626012372242432
https://netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2020/10/AH103_Google_Executive_Summary_ENG.pdf
https://www.freepressjournal.in/world/antitrust-probe-us-federal-trade-commission-could-sue-facebook-by-november-end-says-report
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2077

California Legislation Increases Data Protection Rights
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US state of California has passed Proposition 24, the California Privacy Rights Act, which adds to the 2019 California Consumer Privacy Act, Sara Morrison reports at Vox. The CPRA grants additional rights and closes loopholes in the earlier law, and also makes it harder to weaken legislatively. At CNN, Sara Ashley O'Brien reports that California also passed Proposition 22, which exempts Uber, DoorDash, and Lyft from classifying drivers as employees. Labor and union organizers, who opposed the proposition, are concerned it will lower labor standards across the entire delivery and logistics industry.
https://www.vox.com/2020/11/4/21534746/california-proposition-24-digital-privacy-results
https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/04/tech/california-proposition-22/index.html

Transnational Digital Repression Spreads Across the World
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Saudi Arabia, China, and Rwanda, among others, lead the world in transnational digital repression, Citizen Lab reports, based on an annotated bibliography it has compiled of summarized relevant media reports, technical reports, and academic literature on states' use of digital tools to exert pressure on citizens living abroad to constrain dissident political or social action. Further research is needed to understand how to address this repression once identified, and to understand the impact on targets.
https://citizenlab.ca/2020/11/annotated-bibliography-transnational-digital-repression/

Canadian Internet Regulation Bill Expands Regulation of Speech
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Canada's Internet Regulation bill is expected to grant the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission extensive new powers to regulate internet-based video streaming services, including mandating payments to support Canadian content production and discoverability requirements, Michael Geist reports at his blog. Geist, who characterizes the bill as "get money from web giants", argues that all of these proposed reforms are based on fictions but do represent significant new regulation of speech.
https://www.michaelgeist.ca/2020/11/heritage-minister-steven-guilbeaults-get-money-from-web-giants-internet-regulation-bill-an-unauthorized-backgrounder/

Open Rights Group Launches Legal Action Against UK Information Commissioner's Office
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and UCL academic Michael Veale have launched a legal action against the UK's Information Commissioner's Office over the latter's decision in September  2020 to close their complaint against the adtech industry practice of real-time bidding, Carly Page reports at Forbes. Veale and ORG executive director Jim Killock brought the original complaint in September 2018; in June 2019 the ICO found the adtech industry to be in breach of data protection law. The ICO said it wanted to avoid placing undue pressure on any industry during the coronavirus crisis.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlypage/2020/11/05/uk-privacy-watchdog-faces-legal-action-for-quietly-closing-adtech-gdpr-complaint/


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
====================	

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this YouTube page, the Internet Governance Forum has posted videos of the pre-events for this year's meeting. Of particular interest are a session on stalkerware and helping victims of domestic violence, and another on child rights, safety, and lessons from the pandemic led by Baroness Beeban Kidron, whose 5Rights Foundation advocates for children's privacy.
https://www.youtube.com/user/igf/videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc3qQAraKDU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwcFLbU93fw

Chinese Draft Data Protection Law Follows Lead of GDPR
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at LinkedIn, Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna summarizes China's draft data protection law. Most of the 13 key points she picks out loosely match provisions in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, such as the right to access, copy, correct, complete, delete personal information and get explanations. The new law will apply to all companies offering services and products inside China or analyzing the activities of people inside China; fines may be as high as 5% of a company's turnover.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chinas-draft-personal-information-protection-law-13-zanfir-fortuna

The Face of Facebook in India Resigns
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Mumbai Mirror, Kunal Purohit discusses the resignation of Facebook India's public policy head, Ankhi Das, after reports linked her to India's ruling BJP party. Purohit chronicles her nine years of acting as the company's chief lobbyist in its biggest global market; she was hired to protect the company from government regulation. However, over time her role grew to include influence over numerous other departments, including content moderation. At Fast Company, Alex Pasternack profiles the work of former Facebook ads team employee James Barnes, who in 2016 worked for the Trump campaign's Project Alamo data operation and in 2020 turned his inside knowledge to building a system to motivate young Democratic-leaning voters to turn out to vote.
https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/others/sunday-read/when-fb-lost-face/articleshow/78973906.cms
https://www.fastcompany.com/90570689/acronym-james-barnes-facebook-2020-campaign-advertising

Five Myths About Misinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Washington Post, sociologist Brendan Nyhan debunks five myths about misinformation. He finds that filter bubbles are often overstated, that most people have varied information diet, that the "backfire effect" is exaggerated, and that most people can distinguish between truth and distortion. The bigger problem, he concludes, that partisanship undermines accountability.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-misinformation/2020/11/06/b28f2e94-1ec2-11eb-90dd-abd0f7086a91_story.html

Interoperability as a Tool to Boost Competition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Jonathan Todd summarizes Ian Brown's new research paper on interoperability as a tool to give the EU the means to boost competition in digital markets. Requiring the largest platforms to implement interoperability would force them to compete on the merits of their products and services, enable new market entrants to offer real choice, and enable society to benefit from network effects without giving any one provider market power.
https://www.ianbrown.tech/2020/10/01/interoperability-as-a-tool-for-competition-regulation-2/
https://www.openforumeurope.org/publications/ofa-research-paper-interoperability-as-a-tool-for-competition-regulation/

Section 230, Intermediary Liability, and Competition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a posting for Verfassungsblog, cyber rights lawyer Mike Godwin discusses the political and legislative background of intermediary liability, enshrined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which is under review in the US Congress. If the goal is competition among content hosting companies, he writes, best not to alter S230, as today's most successful companies are best placed to adapt, while biased content moderation leaves a market opening for a new service.
https://verfassungsblog.de/on-publishers-carriers-and-bookstores/1


***

DIARY
==============
*** In light of the coronavirus outbreak, please follow your organization's travel guidelines, and check links to events listed below regularly for participation restrictions and updates as to whether events will go ahead.***

If you would like your event listed in this mail, email
info.digest@opensocietyfoundations.org.


ONLINE EVENTS

TICTec Seminars
----------------------------------------
mySociety is running a series of events between September and November on open data (September 22), digitizing parliaments (October 20), and the climate crisis (November, day TBC).
https://tictec.mysociety.org/seminars/2020

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
December 2-4, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries and indeed, the world itself, Web Summit gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
December 14-15, 2020
Brussels, Belgium
The annual workshop on the economics of information security is a cross-disciplinary event to develop more effective approaches to information security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. The October 29 event considers what forms of mandatory reporting can help achieve public sector accountability.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion of with prominent women in security, a discussion of the security problems in online voting, and methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as the use of location data to end the global sanitation crisis, the safe use of location data in human migration; data, power, and the pandemic; and managing social distancing in public spaces. All events are posted on Vimeo soon after they conclude (https://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos).
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event

Civic Hall
----------------------------------------
New York's Civic Hall has moved a number of events online. Recent events include political influence, a session on designing stories to expose racial inequities, and an interactive discussion of the new book by Sasha Costanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need.
https://civichall.org/event-calendar/

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats for the rest of 2020.
Databites: https://datasociety.net/library/design-justice/
Network Power Hours: https://datasociety.net/library/community-and-accessibility-online/

EFF
----------------------------------------
EFF and its local counterparts in the Electronic Frontier Alliance are running numerous events on subjects such as technology education, open source, voting security, and content moderation.
https://www.eff.org/events/list?type=event

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
Future in Review is running a series of online "FiReSide" events. Recent topics include Chinese-US relations after the presidential election, and the future technology struggle.
https://www.futureinreview.com/fireside/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online seminars on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law include AI, privacy law, technology law as a vehicle for anti-racism, and a look ahead to the next telecommunications act.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/

London Futurists
----------------------------------------
The London Futurists group, led by former Psion and Symbian architect David Wood, is presenting near-weekly speaker-led events focusing on potential radical transformations of humanity and society. Upcoming topics include anticipating future pandemics and a discussion of Michael Baxter's new book, Living in the Age of the Jerk. Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/
https://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime (London time) talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, trust, and converting weather into music.
https://theodi.org/events/talks/

Open Rights Group
----------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running frequent online presentations and discussions of digital privacy, democracy, and data exploitation. Recent topics have included the launch of ORG's data and democracy report, a proposed law to ensure that contact-tracing apps are surrounded with privacy-protecting safeguards, and the effect of the pandemic on democratic institutions.
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/events/

Public Knowledge
----------------------------------------
Public Knowledge is running public web events on subjects such as algorithmic amplification of hate speech, the survival of local journalism, and how to protect privacy during a pandemic.
https://www.publicknowledge.org/events/

RUSI
----------------------------------------
London's Royal United Services Institute is running frequent online events considering topics relating to international politics, terrorism, financial crime, policing, and warfare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it will bring.
https://rusi.org/event/mapping-pandemic-policing-uk-during-covid-19

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
Singularity University's upcoming events include reimagining primary education and a series of executive programs aimed at various countries.
https://su.org/events/


PHYSICAL WORLD EVENTS

POSTPONED International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
New date in 2021 TBC
Nairobi, Kenya
The sixth edition of IODC will be hosted by the government of Kenya with support from the OD4D Network, IDRC, and the World Bank. The conference program will be co-created with the community via an open call for proposals to ensure a diverse agenda of interactive sessions, workshops, and ancillary events. A special focus will be placed on building bridges with the broader data community, exploring how to bring the power of the newest technologies to some of the world's oldest problems, and creating new models for collaboration in order to drive social and economic value from open data in Africa and around the world.
https://opendatacon.org/

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 27-29, 2021
Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP 2021, "Enforcing Rights in a Changing World", will gather academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world to offer an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

MozFest 2021
----------------------------------------
March 2021
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest programs and events are co-created by a group of dynamic, vibrant and varied community collaborators, all working towards one goal: the opportunity for everyone to live a healthy online life.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

Wikimania 2021
----------------------------------------
TBD
Bangkok, Thailand
Wikimania 2020, now Wikimania 2021, will be the 16th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2020

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

TILTing Perspectives
----------------------------------------
May 19-21, 2021
Tilburg, the Netherlands
TILTing perspectives 2021 brings together, for the seventh time, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society to share insights, exchange ideas, and formulate, discuss, and suggest answers to contemporary challenges related to technological innovation.
https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tilt/events/tilting-perspectives

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021 TBC
Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 2021
Milan, Italy
Contemporary children and their parents are inventing what it is to have a digital childhood, and in doing so are introducing families, schools and policy makers to new ways of thinking, doing and being. This conference discusses and expands research trajectories through these uncertainties and aims to build bridges across the different disciplines and strands of research in this area. It will forge a new way forward and consolidate the base of what we already know, revealing what we have yet to investigate and address, and what important insights are emerging that must be taken seriously.
http://www.digitisingearlychildhood.com/2020-conference.html

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
Postponed from June 23-25, 2020
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

DEF CON 29
----------------------------------------
August 5-8, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Def Con is one of the oldest and best-attended hacker conferences. Each year it attracts thousands of professional and amateur security researchers.
https://www.defcon.org

Singularity University Global Summit 2021
----------------------------------------
August 23-25, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Global Summit 2021
Singularity University's premier annual gathering brings together 2,000 changemakers for talks on AI, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, the future of work, impact, investing, robotics and more.
https://su.org/summits/su-global-summit/

World Library and Information Congress 2021
----------------------------------------
August 2021
Rotterdam, Netherlands
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/


***

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