Results tagged “june 2019” from The Other Glass

News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending June 14, 2019

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 OSF.  Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Centrum Cyfrowe, Communia, EDRi, EFF, noyb, Open Knowledge Foundation.


Poland files legal complaint against the EU Copyright Directive
Poland, which opposed the Copyright Directive the EU passed in March, has filed a complaint against the new rules in the Court of Justice of the European Union, Cory Doctorow reports at BoingBoing. At The Parliament Magazine, Martin Banks reports that former Scottish MEP Catherine Stihler, now chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, welcomes the complaint against "this chilling attack on freedom of expression". In a posting at Communia, Natalia Mileszyck gives further background on the complaint, deplores regrets the political aspect of what should be a non-partisan complaintmatter, and notes that the Centrum Cyfrowe Foundation has filed an FOI request for a copy of the text of the complaint.

Irish Supreme Court allows Schrems complaint against Facebook to proceed
The Irish Supreme Court has refused Facebook's application to block the referral of Max Schrems' case against Facebook to the Court of Justice of the European Union, Schrems reports at noyb. The case began in 2013, when Edward Snowden's revelation that Facebook allows the US government to engage in "mass processing" of Europeans' personal data despite the EU's data protection laws led Max Schrems to bring a complaint to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. CJEU will hear the case on July 9, and after that the Commissioner will finally have to rule on the original complaint.

Czech Republic: Court allows data retention law to stand
After 14 years, the Czech Constitutional Court has rejected Iuridicum Remedium's proposal to declare the Czech data retention law unconstitutional, IuRe reports at EDRi. The law was enacted as the Czech Republic's national implementation of the EU Data Retention Directive, which the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled invalid in 2014.

Amazon Ring doorbells create police-sponsored private surveillance network
Amazon's camera-equipped Ring doorbells and Neighbors app are creating widespread private surveillance networks promoted by police departments offering discounts on the devices, Alfred Ng reports at CNet. In some of these deals, police require recipients to turn over footage on request. Ring responds that it does not support such conditions. On Twitter, Access Now's Amie Stepanovich posts the Ring's terms of service, which grant Ring and its licensees a royalty-free perpetual license to all videos the doorbells record. At the Guardian, Erin Durkin reports that 130 Brooklyn residents have filed a formal complaint with the state to block their landlord from installing a facial recognition-operated building access control system, a practice that is quietly spreading. The tenants believe the system is discriminatory and intended to fuel gentrification.

Chinese censors erase memories of Tiananmen Square
In this article at Vice, David Gilbert documents China's efforts to erase the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre from the internet. Inside China, more than 10,000 domains, including Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, and a blacklist of over 300 words keeps all mention of the protests from view. In the lead-up to the 30th anniversary, the Chinese government forced the social media platform Weibo to shut down comments and block international users from logging in. The result is "collective amnesia" and a generation deliberately kept in ignorance of its country's past. The Weiboscope project is documenting how older Chinese citizens mark the anniversary, but many use codes younger people don't understand. Cate Cadell interviews content screening workers at Beijing Bytedance who say that the censorship is largely automated and very accurate, and news is rejected unless it comes from state-controlled media first.

US technology companies oppose Huawei ban
US technology companies, particularly chip makers, are seeking exceptions from the Trump administration's ban on selling to China's Huawei claiming it will undermine their profits and ability to innovate, Reed Albergotti reports for the Washington Post.  At Quartz, John Detrixhe reviews the ban's other consequences, which are now beginning to surface. Google claims Huawei's likely move to fork Android will damage US national security; Facebook is barring Huawei from pre-installing its apps; and self-driving cars may be delayed because Huawei is the only supplier that as yet can supply reliable 5G equipment. At Nikkei Asian Review, Toyoki Nakanishi suggests that although users can still download these apps, updates will fail because they won't have Android updates . At the Washington Post, Jordan Link details Huawei's deeply embedded position in Africa.


Ransomware attack paralyzes Baltimore government systems
In this podcast from WNYC, city hall reporter Emily Sullivan and Syracuse University professor Lee W. McKnight discuss the ransomware attack that has denied the city of Baltimore and its residents access to government systems for a month. The city refuses to pay the demanded BTC13 (about $100,000), a responsible decision that will nonetheless is likely cost the city over $10 million and months of downtime . There have been at least 169 such attacks on US state and local governments, including the city of Atlanta, since 2013. Governments are soft targets because overworked staff and budget constraints leave few resources for security, training, or modernizing systems. Baltimore's attack was traced to a two-year-old unpatched vulnerability.	

Privatization, platformization, and domination: the challenges of smart cities
In this op-ed at The Globe and Mail, Rutgers law professor Ellen P. Goodman discusses the lessons she and Julia Powles learned from their newly-published study of the Sidewalk Labs development in Toronto. Goodman advises residents of cities with similar projects to keep their eye on the curb: who will gather and govern the data there? Who will be in charge of enforcing the law? Who will collect the penalties for infractions? How those contracts are awarded can make the difference between public space and vendor lock-in. In the paper, they discuss the challenges of privatization, platformization, and domination in more depth.

Workshop studies the economics of information security
In this series of postings at Light Blue Touchpaper, Cambridge security engineer Ross Anderson liveblogs the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (remotely, because Anderson, along with two prominent cryptographers, was unable to obtain a US visa to attend in person). Among the wide range of topics are AI in military decision making, the lack of incentives for companies to invest in cybersecurity, trust in algorithms, and the behavioral aspects of privacy.

Uber forges destructive path through society
In this article at American Affairs, transport expert Hubert Horan reviews the risks to society posed by Uber, which his financial analysis shows is unlikely to ever become sustainably profitable. We all share the damage: Uber uses its (artificial) market power to depress drivers' pay, solves no structural industry problems, and has survived only by burning billions of dollars in subsidies while engaging in "legal disobedience, competitor sabotage, harassment of critical journalists and of people who sued Uber, obstruction of local law enforcement, and intellectual property theft". Crucial to Uber's success is convincing local governments to cede control of the taxi industry from democratically accountable regulators to private investors - a campaign copy-and-pasted from a 1990s Koch brothers-funded effort to deregulate the taxi industry.

Academics protest Palantir privacy conference sponsorship
In this opinion piece at the Guardian, Marisa Franco summarizes the letter signed by more than 140 academics, including Naomi Klein and Douglas Rushkoff, asking the Privacy Law Scholars conference and the University of California at Berkeley, where the conference was held in late May, to drop Palantir as a sponsor because it helps Immigration and Customs Enforcement separate families and deport immigrants. The letter also calls on the conference co-founders, Chris Hoofnagle and Daniel Solove, to resign from the company's advisory board on privacy and civil liberties. In 2018, DATACTIVE boycotted the Amsterdam Privacy Conference for accepting Palantir's sponsorship.

Tim Berners-Lee seeks to revive communities and networks
In this blog posting, Ethan Zuckerman watches Jonathan Zittrain and Tim Berners-Lee discuss the latter's Solid, a new protocol for personal clouds, and Inrupt, the company he's founded to promote it, as positive means to revive the sociotechnical system of networks and communities that Facebook has overwhelmed. Berners-Lee believes Solid stands a chance at widespread adoption because it does not disrupt what's already in place. Zuckerman is also working on methods of creating new communities for small groups and sees Solid as a potential underpinning.


If you would like your event listed in this mail, email

Data for Policy
June 11-12, 2019
London, UK
The fourth international Data for Policy conference has "Digital Trust and Personal Data" as its main theme. The conference will also welcome contributions in the broader data science for government and policy discussions. In particular, the organizers encourage submissions around the value and harm of using data in the public sector, deployment experience in government, "digital ethics" and "ethics engineering" concepts, personal data sharing frameworks and technologies, transparency in machine learning processes, analytics at source, and secure data transaction methodologies.

RightsCon 2019
June 11-14, 2019
Tunis, Tunisia
RightsCon Tunis will continue to be a space for civil society, technologists, businesses, startups, public servants, and lawyers to connect, collaborate, build strategies, draft declarations, and move forward real-world change. Whether in provocative plenaries, intimate roundtables, informal meetings, or the lively Community Village, RightsCon Tunis will help shape the future of human rights in the digital age.

The Web That Was
June 19-21, 2019
Amsterdam, Netherlands
As the first generation of web users ages, the early web has become simply another object of nostalgia. The third biennial Research Infrastructure for the Study of Archived Web Materials (RESAW) conference will rethink our relationship to the web's past and the past web, and consider how to reconstruct and re-evaluate its history. The conference will host a lecture-performance by Geert Lovink and guests on the history and preservation of Amsterdam's early internet culture.

Africa Data Protection and Privacy Conference
June 24-28, 2019
Accra, Ghana
The first Africa Data Protection and Privacy Conference, convened by the Network of African Data Protection Authorities and Ghana Data Protection Commission, will bring together established authorities in Africa and their Global North counterparts for thought leadership, insight, best practice, high level strategic content, and networking, providing a critical platform for promoting Africa's drive for data protection and privacy laws in Africa.

LIBER 2019
June 26-28, 2019
Dublin, Ireland
The LIBER Conference 2019 will be held in collaboration with CONUL, the Consortium of National and University Libraries for the island of Ireland. The conference brings library directors and their staff together for three days of networking and collaboration. 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.

July 13, 2019
London, UK
Themes for this year's shortly-to-be-announced ORGCon are digital privacy; free speech, censorship, and the role of algorithms; mass government surveillance; and data and democracy.

PETS 2019
July 16-20, 2019
Stockholm, Sweden
The 19th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium will bring together privacy experts from around the world to present and discuss recent advances and new perspectives on research in privacy technologies. PETS/PoPETs is the premier venue for novel applied and/or theoretical research into the design, analysis, experimentation, or fielding of privacy-enhancing technologies.

August 8-11, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest continuously running hacker conventions, and also one of the largest. The DEF CON 27 theme, in a way, responds to '1983' with new questions. What does it look like when we make the better choice? What kind of world do we hack together in the sunniest timeline? How does our real best-case scenario compare to the future we've been dreaming of for generations?

SOUPS 2019
August 11-13, 2019
Santa Clara, California, USA
The 2019 Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program will feature technical papers on aspects of privacy and security such as innovative functionality and design, field studies, usability evaluations of privacy features, and longitudinal studies.

August 14-18, 2019
Stockholm, Sweden
Wikimania 2019 will be the 15th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.

85th World Library and Information Congress
August 24-30, 2019
Athens, Greece
The theme of IFLA's 2019 conference, "Libraries: dialogue for change", invites the library and information science international community to discuss, re-examine, re-think and re-interpret the role of libraries as promoters of change. In an era of rapid changes in the socio-economic-technological sphere, libraries ought to define their role as information providers, promoters of reading, settlers for the community they serve, key players in innovation, and leading actors for changes in society. A constant, open dialectic relationship between libraries and society will lead to well-informed citizens facilitating progress and development, implementing the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and leading to prosperity in all fields of the democratic society.

Biometrics Congress
October 28-30, 2019
London, UK
The Biometrics Institute Congress provides an independent platform where the international biometrics community can gather to conduct off-the-record discussion among the institute's multi-stakeholder community. In 2018, representatives from over 30 nations attended. This year's theme is making the world a safer place through the responsible and ethical use of biometrics in an era where laws and regulations are often unable to stay abreast of technology change and the business models based on it.

Web Summit
November 4-7. 2019
Lisbon, Portugal
The 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? In 2018, speakers included Margrethe Vestager, Tim Berners-Lee, and Microsoft CEO Brad Smith.

18th Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society
November 11, 2019
London, UK
The goal of this workshop, held in conjunction with the ACM CCS conference, is to discuss and find solutions to the privacy problems that result from the transformation of society brought by the Information Revolution. One of the major implications of this technological shift has been a massive increase in the collection, sharing, and analysis of personal data. The workshop will include academia, government, and industry, as well as communities such as law and business, who will present novel research on all theoretical and practical aspects of electronic privacy, as well as experimental studies of fielded systems.

IGF Global
November 25-29, 2019
Berlin, Germany
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was set up in 2006 as an open discussion platform of the United Nations for key legal, political, social and technical issues relating to the internet. IGF's multi-stakeholder model aims to ensure that all relevant societal groups are equally involved in preparations and implementation: governments, civil society, business, academia, international organizations, and the technical community. This is particularly of note in terms of representatives from developing and newly industrializing countries, which otherwise tend to be under-represented.

Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing
November 27-29, 2019
Tromsø, Norway
The Munin Conference is an annual conference on scholarly publishing and communication, primarily revolving around open access, open data and open science.

CPDP 2020
January 22-24, 2020
Brussels, Belgium
The 2020 edition of Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection has issued a call for panels in all areas related to technological privacy and data protection.

FAT* 2020
January 27-30, 2020
Barcelona, Spain
ACM FAT* is an annual conference dedicating to bringing together a diverse community to investigate and tackle issues in this emerging area. Topics of interest include the theory and practice of fair machine learning, measurement and auditing of deployed systems, users' experience of algorithms, and the ethical, moral, social, and policy implications of big data and ubiquitous intelligent systems.

Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit
February 19-21, 2020
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Attending the Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit is an opportunity for anyone seeking cross-disciplinary strategies and partnerships that deliver scalable, transferable, and equitable solutions to urban neighborhoods.

We Robot 2020
April 2-4, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
We Robot is an interdisciplinary conference on the legal and policy questions relating to robots. The increasing sophistication of robots and their widespread deployment everywhere - from the home, to hospitals, to public spaces, and even to the battlefield - disrupts existing legal regimes and requires new thinking on policy issues. The conference fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and those who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate.


This list is now managed by MailChimp.

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: You can also read more about our work on the Open Society Foundations website:

Our mailing address is:
Open Society Foundations, 7th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP, United Kingdom

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0


Powered by Movable Type 4.32-en