Results tagged “OSFISD digest” from The Other Glass

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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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/


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
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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/2686

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/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

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/

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
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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

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
----------------------------------------
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
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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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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/


***

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


***

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

© 2020 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 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/


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending October 23, 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: Access Now, Article 19, Citizen Lab, Derechos Digitales, EDRi, EFF, Fundación Karisma, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, R3D, SPARC, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung.


NEWS
=====

China Publishes Draft Data Protection Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
China has published its draft data protection law, Cao Siqi and Chen Qingqing report at Global Times. Companies in violation could face fines of up to CNY50 million ($7.4 million), or 5% of their previous year's turnover; however legal experts say the law does not provide significant punishment for data breaches. Infrastructure operators and entities that send significant amounts of personal information overseas will require a security assessment from the Chinese authorities.
https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1203363.shtml

Five Eyes Alliance Calls for Encryption Backdoors
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Members of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance, along with government representatives for Japan and India, have published a statement calling on technology companies to come up with a solution for providing law enforcement access to end-to-end encrypted communications, Catalin Cimpanu reports at ZDNet. The call for backdoors includes encrypted instant messaging, custom encrypted applications, device encryption, and encryption across integrated platforms. In response, the Global Encryption Coalition, whose members include ACLU, Article 19, Citizen Lab, Derechos Digitales, EFF, Fundación Karisma, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, R3D, and Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, calls the statement "ill-considered".
https://www.zdnet.com/article/five-eyes-governments-india-and-japan-make-new-call-for-encryption-backdoors/
https://www.globalencryption.org/2020/10/cdt-gpd-and-internet-society-reject-time-worn-argument-for-encryption-backdoors/

New Cambridge Analytica Documents Show Electoral Lawbreaking
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint with the US Federal Election Commission that the 2016 campaign to elect Donald Trump broke election rules by coordinating behind the scenes with the Super PAC Make American Number 1, Garance Burke reports at AP. The complaint is based on a new cache of documents obtained from former Cambridge Analytica insider Brittany Kiser. Both the Super PAC and Cambridge Analytica were owned by billionaire Robert Mercer. In a Twitter thread, Carole Cadwalladr, who originally broke the Cambridge Analytica story, ties together details of the case relating to the UK's 2016 EU referendum vote: the documents show that Aggregate IQ, which was contracted by Dominic Cummings for the pro-Leave campaign, was, despite many denials, operating as a single entity with Cambridge Analytica.
https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-donald-trump-political-action-committees-elections-campaigns-42a5705b23bbbc780083f57b071bbcb0
https://twitter.com/carolecadwalla/status/131737980318456627

Sandvine Equipment Used for Internet Censorship in Fifteen Countries
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US private equity-based company Sandvine has sold its network traffic management equipment to governments in Belarus, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Eritrea, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, who have used it to impose politically motivated censorship of the internet, Ryan Gallegher reports at Bloomberg. Sandvine has canceled its end user license agreement with Belarus, calling the country's use of its equipment "a human rights violation", and US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has called on the company to reassess its deals in other countries where its equipment could be used to limit internet freedom.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-08/sandvine-s-tools-used-for-web-censoring-in-more-than-a-dozen-nations

Pandemic Fuels Worldwide Digital Repression
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Political leaders worldwide are using the pandemic as a pretext to limit access to information, censor criticism, build new technological systems of social control, and expand surveillance, Adrian Shahbaz and Allie Funk find in the latest Freedom House report. Even before the pandemic, this year had already seen numerous blocks on independent news sites and arrests on dubious charges of spreading misinformation, as well as a trend toward splintering the internet. In a blog posting, Reuters Institute fellow Richard Allan, director of policy in Europe for Facebook between 2009 and 2019, discusses the hard choices that must be made to solve the conflict between data protection laws and the desire for free data flows. The Economist reports that a new study finds a link between the rise of populist parties and incumbents' loss of support, and the rise in mobile internet access since 2010.
https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2020/pandemics-digital-shadow
https://regulate.tech/data-your-place-or-mine-28th-sept-2020/
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/10/10/faith-in-government-declines-when-mobile-internet-arrives

Facebook Deletes QAnon
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook has announced it will delete all QAnon pages, groups, and Instagram accounts and its Dangerous Organizations Operations team will continue to enforce the policy, Matt Stieb reports at New York Magazine. At Bloomberg, Mark Bergen and Joshua Brustein report that YouTube will follow suit if QAnon or other conspiracy theories target specific people or groups; they are hoping to continue to facilitate news and political commentary on its service while expanding its hate and harassment policies to include conspiracies justifying real world violence. At Rolling Stone, EJ Dickson reported in July that TikTok had begun banning hashtags associated with QAnon. At CNN, Bronte Lord and Richa Naik interview a former QAnon follower who believes a period of depression led him to be taken in. After two years, logical inconsistencies led him to question his beliefs and find the subReddits r/Qult_Headquarters and QAnonCasualties and their communities of support.
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/10/facebook-bans-qanon-accounts-across-all-its-platforms.html
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-15/youtube-follows-facebook-in-banning-qanon-but-with-caveats
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/16/tech/qanon-believer-how-he-got-out/index.html


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

Facebook's Algorithm Changes Deliberately Throttled Left-Wing News Sites
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Wall Street Journal, Deepa Seetharaman and Emily Glazer trace Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's development into an active political operator. Since 2016, Zuckerberg has focused on making sure Facebook wouldn't be seen as partisan while maintaining relationships with Jared Kushner and others in the Trump administration. In late 2017, when Facebook changed its algorithm to de-emphasize political news and saw an outsize impact on conservatives, Facebook redesigned the algorithms to have greater impact on left-wing sites such as Mother Jones. In 2019, Zuckerberg blocked the local news sites network Courier Newsroom  as a "partisan-backed site". In a Twitter thread, Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery details the impact of these decisions, which have cost the site between $400,000 and $600,000 a year. At Mother Jones, editorial director Ben Dreyfuss details the history of his magazine's relations with Facebook. At Columbia Journalism Review, Emily Bell and Sara Sheridan explain why distinguishing partisan-backed sites from news is so difficult for Google and Facebook. At the New York Times, Davey Alba and Jack Nicas report that the gap left by the closure of an estimated 2,100 local newspapers across the US is being filled by a nationwide operation of 1,300 local sites that publish propaganda ordered up by Republican groups and PR operatives.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-mark-zuckerberg-learned-politics-11602853200
https://twitter.com/ClaraJeffery/status/1317191129964556288
https://www.motherjones.com/media/2020/10/now-we-know-facebook-made-changes-to-show-you-less-news-from-mother-jones
https://www.cjr.org/analysis/google-and-facebook-have-a-news-labeling-problem.php
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/18/technology/timpone-local-news-metric-media.html

Vaccine Acceptance Requires Building Trust
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Jenny Anderson profiles anthropologist Heidi Larson, founder of the Vaccine Confidence Project. The problem in vaccine hesitancy, Larson says, is not misinformation but a lack of trust. Persuading people to rethink their beliefs requires understanding and answering individuals' real concerns rather than simply telling them facts public health authorities think they need to know.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/health/coronavirus-vaccine-hesitancy-larson.html

UK NGOs Face Constrained Future
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Bond Funding Group, Mike Wright find that only 48% of its 93 UK NGO member respondents are likely to still be in operation in 2022 owing to the combined impact of Brexit, the recession, cuts to official development assistance, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Most expect their income to drop and are implementing cost-cutting measures such as redundancies, pay freezes, recruitment freezes, and furloughs. Small NGOs are particularly vulnerable to closure./
https://www.bond.org.uk/news/2020/10/falling-income-redundancies-and-programme-cuts-can-ngos-survive-the-next-two-years

Institutional Blind Spots Fuel Persistence of Legacy Systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Medium, former Dot Everyone director Rachel Coldicutt discusses the institutional blind spots and complexities that lead to dangerously bad decisions such as Public Health England's mistaken reliance on an antiquated Excel spreadsheet to manage positive COVID tests. Legacy technologies and ignored individual employees who know how to run the systems they're embedded in are everywhere because relying on human ingenuity is cheaper than investing in more modern technology. The situation is made worse when those in charge buy quick-fix technology - in the UK government's case, Palantir's Foundry system - without ensuring that the eventual users understand what they're doing. At New York Magazine, Sharon Weinberger studies how Palantir, now on the eve of going public, has marketed itself as superior technology while losing half a billion dollars a year,.
https://medium.com/@rachelcoldicutt/magical-thinking-and-maintenance-61aeeb796043
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2020/09/inside-palantir-technologies-peter-thiel-alex-karp.html

EU: Placing Human Rights at the Center of the Digital Services Act
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page, Access Now provides three position papers whose policy recommendations are intended to put users' rights at the center of the EU's in-progress Digital Services Act, an initiative to regulate online digital platforms. Access Now proposes gradually increasing responsibilities for gatekeeper companies, building in redress for people using the platforms, and learning from GDPR to create an effective oversight body. In a blog posting, EDRi executive director Claire Fernandez explains why the legislation is important and outlines EDRi's efforts to push it in the direction of human rights.
https://www.accessnow.org/eu-digital-services-act/
https://edri.org/our-work/digital-services-act-what-we-learned-about-tackling-the-power-of-digital-platforms/

COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Finds Wide Adoption
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting, SPARC discusses the free and open COVID-19 Open Research Dataset, which already holds 85,000 scholarly articles related to the virus and continues to grow. Hosted by the Allen Institute for AI and developed in partnership with the National Library of Medicine and others, the dataset enables researchers to use machine learning and AI to identify new approaches to help end the pandemic. The dataset began with 29,000 articles from 50 publishers; as of September, it has been accessed more than 60 million times.
https://sparcopen.org/news/2020/strong-community-response-to-free-scholarly-article-access-to-fight-covid-19/


***

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

Open Data Institute Summit
----------------------------------------
November 10, 2020
The annual ODI Summit invites people from across the world to discuss how humanity can harness the power of data in a changing world.
https://theodi.org/event/odi-summit-2020/

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 tracingcontact-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/

MOVED ONLINE 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/

MOVED ONLINE WEIS
----------------------------------------
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/

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 27-29, 2021
Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conferenceconference, 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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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending September 25, 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: EFF, Mozilla, Privacy International, Ranking Digital Rights.


NEWS
=====

Trump Administration Bans WeChat and TikTok
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Trump administration has issued new rules barring the Chinese-owned apps WeChat and TikTok from US app stores as of midnight on September 20, Ana Swanson, David McCabe, and Jack Nicas report at the New York Times. From September 20 for WeChat and November 12 for TikTok, American companies are also banned from processing transactions for WeChat or hosting its internet traffic. Lance Whitney reports at Forbes that the ban was postponed on September 19, when Oracle and Walmart promised to buy a 20% stake in TikTok owner ByteDance. At the EFF blog, Nathaniel Sobel outlines the friend-of-the-court brief EFF has filed to support a TikTok employee who argues that US president Donald Trump's executive order infringes the Fifth Amendment rights of TikTok's US-based employees; EFF is urging the court to consider the First Amendment rights of the app's millions of users when evaluating the claims. In a posting at LinkedIn, Mozilla Tech Policy Fellow Frederike Kaltheuner notes the irony of awarding TikTok to Oracle when Oracle, which has become a data broker, was the first company Facebook cut off in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as she found in a 2018 report for Privacy International.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/18/business/trump-tik-tok-wechat-ban.html
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/09/trumps-ban-tiktok-violates-first-amendment-eliminating-unique-platform-political
https://www.linkedin.com/posts/frederike-kaltheuner_oracle-tiktok-activity-6711591350019641344-PM9G

Australian News Licensing Law Threatens Media Diversity
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Media diversity, in particular digital-only youth and lifestyle publishers, is likely to be destroyed by Australia's attempt to force Google and Facebook to pay for news, Hal Crawford reports at Nieman Lab. Facebook plans to ban news on its feeds in Australia if the government passes legislation forcing it to negotiate licensing deals with news companies, and the threat leads many to expect that the company will define "news" as broadly as possible, for legal safety. The law's only likely beneficiaries are the largest traditional publishers, Nine and Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp.
https://www.niemanlab.org/2020/09/digital-only-newsrooms-are-in-the-firing-line-as-australian-news-law-grinds-toward-reality/

Researchers Find ISIS Digital Backup
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Moustafa Ayad, the deputy director of the Institute of Strategic Dialogue, has found a terabyte and a half of ISIS material, including training materials and strategies, which effectively is a digital backup capable of rebooting ISIS, Demos research director Carl Miller reports at Wired. Ayad has gone on to find similar caches for al Qaeda and al Shabaab.
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/isis-digital-backup

CJEU Rules that Zero Tariffs Break Network Neutrality Rules
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that its network neutrality rules are incompatible with allowing telcos to provide selected "zero tariff" services, Campbell Kwan reports at ZDNet. The case was referred to CJEU by Telenor after a Hungarian court issued two rulings compelling it to end its zero tariff practices.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/eus-highest-court-rules-net-neutrality-is-incompatible-with-zero-tariffs/

EU: Entertainment Industry Campaigns for Upload Restrictions
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The entertainment industry has begun a campaign to push the European Commission and member state governments into ignoring the user rights MEPs and civil society fought for in copyright reform, former MEP Julia Reda reports in a Twitter thread. Reda analyzes a letter rights holder organizations IFPI and ACT have sent to Commissioner Breton to find that they are pushing for the most restrictive possible interpretation of Article 17, the "upload filter". EDRi spells out its main demands as member states begin transposing the law. At EFF, Christoph Schmon summarizes the recommendations it has submitted for the guidance European Commission is developing.
https://twitter.com/Senficon/status/1304084452767928326
https://edri.org/our-work/upload-filters-still-no-thanks/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/09/eff-eu-commission-article-17-prioritize-users-rights-let-go-filters

New Hong Kong Law Threatens Academic Freedom
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hong Kong professors and students who continued to speak out after the Chinese Communist Party began attacking academic freedom following the 2014 Occupy Central pro-democracy protests are now being stifled under the city's new national security law, The Economist reports. The Hong Kong government is pushing for a more "patriotic" approach in school classrooms, and there are concerns that government pressure will change the way the councils that govern Hong Kong's universities make decisions about grants, promotions, and tenure.
https://www.economist.com/china/2020/08/23/china-is-killing-academic-freedom-in-hong-kong


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

African Internet Shutdowns Ineffective at Silencing Protests
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Vice, Chris Baraniuk discusses a recent study from Ranking Digital Rights that finds that internet shutdowns in African countries have not proved effective at suppressing protests, instead sometimes leading to surges in clashes and increased violence. While shutdowns may heighten the overall sense of chaos and create fear and uncertainty, technological interventions aren't enough to silence activists.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/m7jnaa/internet-shutdowns-dont-help-authoritarians-stop-protests

Capitalism Begets Surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this ebook at Medium, Cory Doctorow dissents at length with Shoshanna Zuboff's proposed course of action in her 2019 book, Surveillance Capitalism, and suggests that instead the future requires creating profitable competitors to today's Big Tech. Surveillance doesn't make capitalism "rogue", he writes. Instead, capitalism, unchecked, begets surveillance.
https://onezero.medium.com/how-to-destroy-surveillance-capitalism-8135e6744d59

Ex-Employee Memos Accuse Facebook of Profiting From Hate
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Buzzfeed, Craig Silverman summarizes a 6,600 word memo by former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang, who worked on the Facebook Site Integrity fake engagement team and writes, "I have blood on my hands" while documenting numerous cases of state actor abuse, many blatant and on vast scales. Silverman calls the memo "a damning account of Facebook's failures." Zhang turned down a $64,000 severance package to avoid signing a non-disparagement agreement. At Ars Technica, Sam Machkovech notes that Zhang's memo did not include the compounding effect of Facebook's Free Basics and Discover services, whose users may have very limited access to news content outside Facebook. At Gizmodo, Whitney Kimball writes that Zhang's departure follows closely on that of software engineer Ashok Chandwaney, whose scathing letter, published in the Washington Post, called the company "an organization that is profiting off hate in the US and globally". At Vice, David Gilbert describes a politically motivated disinformation campaign orchestrated on Facebook against Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa, an ethnic Oromo, who was assassinated on June 29 while driving through Addis Ababa. The killing set off a wave of violence in both the capital and Oromia that has resulted in hundreds of deaths. Facebook had been warned, but has no full-time employees in the country.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/facebook-ignore-political-manipulation-whitstleblower-memo
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/09/sweeping-internal-facebook-memo-i-have-blood-on-my-hands/
https://gizmodo.com/cheers-to-this-facebook-engineer-with-a-blazing-resigna-1844990093
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xg897a/hate-speech-on-facebook-is-pushing-ethiopia-dangerously-close-to-a-genocide

The Aesthetics and Political Economy of Video Culture
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In the Institute of Network Cultures' latest Video Vortex Reader, Inside the YouTube Decade, editors Geert Lovink and Andreas Treske present a collection of essays on the aesthetics and political economy of  video culture, including topics such as algorithmic bias, the rise of deepfakes, image theory, and video as online activism. In the last decade, the smartphone has taken over visual culture, while image technology has become politicized.
https://networkcultures.org/blog/publication/video-vortex-reader-iii-inside-the-youtube-decade/

Arizona Court Indicts Uber Safety Driver for Negligence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At Wired, Aarian Marshall reports that the Rafaela Vasquez, who was in position as the safety driver of a self-driving Uber car that killed a pedestrian in Arizona in 2018, has been indicted for criminal negligence. In an example of what Madeleine Claire Elish called "moral crumple zones" in a paper presented at We Robot in 2016, Uber has not been charged, even though the US National Transportation Safety Board's 2019 report on the crash attributed the blame to many people, including the Uber self-driving executives, who created an "inadequate safety culture".
https://www.wired.com/story/why-not-uber-charged-fatal-self-driving-car-crash/

Origin Story Finds Data Manipulation Roots in 1960s Company
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this review of Jill Lepore's latest book, If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, James Gleick traces the roots of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to Simulmatics, a company that secretly worked for John F. Kennedy's winning 1960 presidential campaign. Although it failed and went bankrupt in 1970, the story of Simulmatics' methods serves Lepore as an origin story for today's data hogs and political manipulation.
https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/10/08/simulating-democracy/


***

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

TOCTec Seminars
----------------------------------------
mySociety is running a series of events between September and November on open data (September 22), digitising parliaments (October 20), and the climate crisis (November, day TBC).
https://tictec.mysociety.org/seminars/2020

OPEN ACCESS WEEK
----------------------------------------
October 19-25, 2020
The theme of this year's Open Access Week is "Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion". Building on our discussions in 2018 ("Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge") and 2019 ("Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge"), 2020 marks the third consecutive year the theme for International Open Access Week will focus on the urgent need for action on equity and inclusion, underscoring the urgency of continuing to center this work.
http://www.openaccessweek.org/profiles/blogs/2020-theme-announcement-english


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 July 8 event considered the impact of rolling out a public health identity system.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Security
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion of voting methods with Rebecca Mercuri, conducted the first security analysis of electronic voting in 2000, and security veteran Peter Neumann, and methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing with Arka Bala (ContextGrid) and serial entrepreneur and investor Aman Johan.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
----------------------------------------
The Benchmark Initiative is running regular events on topics such as 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 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 China 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 genetic engineering (May 16). Event recordings are made available soon after meetings conclude.
https://londonfuturists.com/forthcoming-meetings/

Open Data Institute
----------------------------------------
The ODI's Friday lunchtime talks have moved online. These one-hour talks cover topics such as data ethics, social equity, and trust.
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

CANCELED EIFL General Assembly
----------------------------------------
September 24-26, 2020
Vilnius, Lithuania
The GA is EIFL's major annual knowledge-sharing and networking event for library professionals in developing and transition economy countries.
https://www.eifl.net/events/eifl-general-assembly

Big Tech and Antitrust Conference
----------------------------------------
October 3, 2020
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Yale Law School's Information Society Project and Thurman Arnold Project co-host a half-day conference to explore the role of antitrust and competition law in shaping the future of the digital economy. The conference will discuss the kinds of harms antitrust law needs to address in the digital age; the relationship between antitrust law and broader concerns such as privacy, innovation, and inequality; and policy recommendations, including changes in the interpretation of antitrust laws and doctrines, enforcement practices, and the institutional organization of agencies. We encourage submissions from all disciplines that contribute to related legal, economic, regulatory, or policy discussions.
https://law.yale.edu/yls-today/yale-law-school-events/big-tech-antitrust-conference

CANCELED Future in Review
----------------------------------------
October 6-9, 2020
La Jolla, CA, USA
Future in Review 2019 is a global conference on the intersection of technology and the economy, offering new partnerships, projects, and plans, and the opportunity to analyze and create the future of technology, economics, pure science, the environment, genomics, education, and more.
https://www.futureinreview.com

Privacy Law Forum
----------------------------------------
October 9, 2020
Palo Alto, CA
The program will be very similar to the one originally planned, covering all the hot issues in privacy and cybersecurity law. Registration remains open.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-forum/

Freedom not Fear
----------------------------------------
November 6-9, 2020
Brussels, Belgium
Freedom not Fear is supported by a broad alliance including political parties, professional associations, trade unions, and freedom activists and hopes to join forces with NGOs from all over the world in order to build a strong alliance to oppose the threat increasing surveillance poses to freedom of speech in a digitized world and privacy in the knowledge society.
https://www.freedomnotfear.org/

POSTPONED International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
New date 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/

CHANGED DATE 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/

WEIS
----------------------------------------
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/

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

© 2020 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 24, 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: CyberBRICS, HRDAG, mySociety.


INDELA FUNDING CALL
=====
Indela has opened its second Call for Proposals for projects that seek to advance digital rights in law and policy, as well as support the organizations and ecosystem of actors working to protect those rights, believing that protecting the rights of Internet users will support greater civic participation, and more empowered, inclusive and accountable societies. Indela will consider proposals for projects that include public campaigns, research, public policy advocacy, and litigation. Selected organizations can receive up to $75,000 for projects running over a 12 to 18 month period, as well as opportunities for specialized consultancies and communications support. The extended call deadline is April 30, 2020.
http://www.indela.fund


NEWS
=====

Apple and Google agree collaboration for contact tracing platform
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple and Google will collaborate to build an interoperable platform to enable phone-based contact tracing, Russell Brandom and Adi Robertson report at The Verge. Their system will use short-range Bluetooth connections to create a voluntary network, storing on the phone logs of which phones have been in close proximity, only giving access to health authorities if the phone's owner is diagnosed with COVID-19. In a blog posting, Cambridge University security engineer Ross Anderson explains why the technological proposals for contact tracing will not work in the real world; better, he concludes, to redistribute public resources from surveillance to public health. At The Markup, Julia Angwin discusses the benefits and risks inherent in the Apple-Google proposal, including the potential for data exploitation by the advertising industry. At ACLU, Jennifer Granick summarizes the principles that Apple and Google should follow in designing their platform, taken from the new white paper by Granick and Jay Stanley on the limitations of location tracking in a pandemic. At Ars Technica, Tim Bradshaw finds that the Apple/Google plan relies on modern chips and will exclude up to 1 billion older iOS and Android smartphones, plus the 1.5 billion people who run basic "feature" phones, all chiefly older or lower-income segments of society.
https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/10/21216484/google-apple-coronavirus-contract-tracing-bluetooth-location-tracking-data-app
https://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2020/04/12/contact-tracing-in-the-real-world/
https://themarkup.org/ask-the-markup/2020/04/14/will-googles-and-apples-covid-tracking-plan-protect-privacy
https://www.aclu.org/news/privacy-technology/apple-and-google-announced-a-coronavirus-tracking-system-how-worried-should-we-be/
https://www.aclu.org/report/aclu-white-paper-limits-location-tracking-epidemic
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/04/2-billion-phones-cannot-use-google-and-apple-contract-tracing-tech/

UNC Chapel Hill ends contract with Elsevier
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After more than a year of trying to negotiate with Elsevier, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is ending its instant access subscription package to 2,000 journals, Lindsay McKenzie reports at Inside Higher Ed. UNC says the move will allow it to pay only for the journals it wants.
https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/04/10/unc-chapel-hill-cancels-big-deal-elsevier

California attorney general urges ICANN to block .org sale
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers has delayed deciding whether to approve the Internet Society's planned sale of the .org generic top-level domain, after receiving a letter from California attorney general Xavier Becerra urging it to reject the plan, Kieren McCarthy reports at The Register. Becerra, whose office oversees non-profit organizations registered in California - including ICANN itself - objects to selling .org to the unknown, for-profit privately-owned Ethos Capital and the $300 million debt the plan would place on the registry. He also suggests his office may take action to protect non-profits against ICANN's poor handling of the sale, its unresponsiveness to stakeholders, and its departure from its own stated public interest principles, as well as ISOC's behavior in proposing the sale in the first place.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/04/17/icann_california_org_sale_delay/

Australia will force social media companies to pay for shared content
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In response to the 2019 Digital Platforms Inquiry final report concluding that Google and Facebook have distorted local media and advertising markets, Australia will force social media companies to pay for content shared on their networks, Simon Sharwood reports at The Register. Even though similar laws have failed in Spain and France, Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg intends to proceed, with legislation due in July.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/04/20/australia_to_make_web_media_giants_pay_for_content/

Facial recognition advances to identify people wearing masks
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The coronavirus pandemic has led Chinese AI leader SenseTime to roll out a new version of its facial recognition software in China that can recognize people even though they're wearing face masks, scarves, or fake beards, Masha Borak reports at AbacusNews. The update is based on research into disguised face identification that was published in 2017 by researchers at Stanford. The software works by identifying up to 240 facial feature key points around the eyes, mouth, and nose, using the parts of the face that are visible. Because of the problem of false positives in a larger population, so far the technology is best suited for smaller groups.
https://www.abacusnews.com/tech/wearing-mask-wont-stop-facial-recognition-anymore/article/3051388

US pro-gun groups protest lockdowns in multiple states
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Right-wing, pro-gun groups are behind the anti-lockdown protests in US states including Minnesota, Michigan, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, among others, Jason Wilson reports at the Guardian. Some of these are long-time supporters of US president Donald Trump, and one is linked to Trump's Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. At CNN, Donie O'Sullivan reports that Facebook will remove some posts promoting anti-stay-at-home protests in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska after consulting with officials in those states, but will not remove similar posts in states where the protests do not violate official guidelines. It is seeking guidance from state governments in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. At the New York Times, Daisuke Wakabayashi, Davey Alba, and Marc Tracy report that Bill Gates is the biggest Facebook and YouTube target of all conspiracy theories about the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, based on a 2015 speech in which he warned that the greatest risk to humanity was an infectious virus.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/17/far-right-coronavirus-protests-restrictions
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/20/politics/facebook-covid-shutdown-protests/index.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/17/technology/bill-gates-virus-conspiracy-theories.html


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

Julia Reda launches strategic litigation project
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting for the Kluwer Copyright blog, former Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda outlines her new collaboration with the German fundamental rights NGO Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte, control ©, which will pursue strategic litigation to defend the communications freedoms embedded in the German Basic Law against the requirements of Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive 2019. Reda hopes the initiative will be replicated in other countries.
http://copyrightblog.kluweriplaw.com/2020/04/13/introducing-control-strategic-litigation-for-free-communication/
https://pathwayscommission.bsg.ox.ac.uk/Mariana-Valente-digital-technologies-and-copyright

Law proposals seek to safeguard rights in contact tracing apps
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this LawArXiv preprint, Lilian Edwards and a host of co-authors present a model statute to provide safeguards for symptom tracking and contact tracing apps, as well as immunity certificates, given that these are likely elements of our immediate future. Uptake of the apps and data quality will both be much higher if people have confidence that their rights are being protected, the authors argue. At the Register, Gareth Corfield reports that more than 300 academics from 26 countries have published an open letter asking governments to ensure that contact tracing apps protect their users' privacy, and outlines the risks of the most common approaches. In a white paper for ACLU, Daniel Kahn Gillmor presents principles for technology-assisted contact tracing that call for such systems to be built with public health professionals, narrowly tailored for a specific epidemic, and not displace non-technical measures.
https://osf.io/preprints/lawarxiv/yc6xu/
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/04/20/coronavirus_contact_tracing_academics_social_graph/
https://www.aclu.org/report/aclu-white-paper-principles-technology-assisted-contact-tracing

BRICS countries emphasize data protection
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting for the IAPP, Luca Belli describes the first results from CyberBRICS, a project to systematically analyze the digital policies developed by the BRICS grouping of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). Data protection has become a key priority for these countries in order to assert "digital sovereignty"; they represent 42% of global population and almost 40% of internet users.
https://iapp.org/news/a/data-protection-frameworks-emerging-in-the-brics-countries/

Data trusts and the pandemic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip at the Atlantic Council, Tim Clement-Jones, Wendy Hall, and David Bray discuss the role of data trusts and AI in the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Clement-Jones believes data trusts can offer greater transparency for organizations like public health systems, while Hall explains the importance of legal and ethical frameworks in creating the public trust needed to make them work.
https://atlanticcouncil.org/event/why-data-trusts-could-help-us-better-respond-and-rebuild-from-covid19-globally/

TicTec activists give public participation technology assist
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this Google Doc, mySociety publishes the agenda for late March's TicTec 2020 with links to session recordings. Of particular interest are sessions on using technology to enable public participation in writing and changing Iceland's constitution; lessons learned from building a database to support democratic activism; and how projects and individuals in civic tech can ensure their longevity, particularly in the face of today's challenges.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZsGQlfr0ZJ1jmmuZwgOAUJFONJr4W9UGDU4fktxiXnQ/edit

Finding good science among the noise
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting for the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, founder and CTO Patrick Ball explains how to assess the many visualizations and analyses the media are presenting every day and how to evaluate the many different models and the quality of the underlying science. Ball will follow up with details of how epidemiological models work.
https://hrdag.org/2020/04/02/epidemiology-has-theories-we-should-study-them/


***

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

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

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
April-May
Data & Society is converting all its weekly Wednesday and Databites programs into online interactive formats. Subscribe to its events newsletter for details.
https://datasociety.net/announcements/2020/03/20/march-20-update-covid-19-events-pause-april-2020/

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
----------------------------------------
May-June 2020,
The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's online alternative to its annual conference on emerging legal issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech, and law includes live seminars (recorded and available for later playback) on content moderation and the coronavirus (April 15); a series on Chinese law, trade, and intellectual property (beginning April 22 and extending through May); and the right to repair (August 28).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/


PHYSICAL WORLD EVENTS

POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER AI for Good
----------------------------------------
was May 4-8, 2020; rescheduled to September 21-25, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

CONSIDERING ALTERNATIVE DATES re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER 11-12 Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 8-9, 2020
Chicago, IL, 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/

CANCELED Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2020/03/05/important-cc-global-summit-update/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021 RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 11-12, 2010
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

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
June 15-16, 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/

POSTPONED TO 2021 CPDP LatAm 2020
----------------------------------------
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/

CANCELED Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen  Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

TBC JUNE 1, 2020 DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

Netroots Nation
----------------------------------------
August 13-15, 2020
Denver, Colorado, USA
For more than a decade, Netroots Nation, which began as a convention for the most active members of the DailyKos community, has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives and other organizers and advocacy groups, drawing thousands of attendees from around the country and beyond, to develop their work around topics such as sharing data, developing technology talent, and managing digital campaigns.
https://www.netrootsnation.org/

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

EIFL General Assembly
----------------------------------------
September 24-26, 2020
Vilnius, Lithuania
The GA is EIFL's major annual knowledge-sharing and networking event for library professionals in developing and transition economy countries.
https://www.eifl.net/events/eifl-general-assembly-2020

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
October 6-9, 2020
La Jolla, CA, USA
Future in Review 2019 is a global conference on the intersection of technology and the economy, offering new partnerships, projects, and plans, and the opportunity to analyze and create the future of technology, economics, pure science, the environment, genomics, education, and more.
https://www.futureinreview.com

International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
November 18-20, 2020
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/

POSTPONED We Robot 2020
----------------------------------------
Will update June 1, 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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Privacy Law Forum
----------------------------------------
October 9, 2020
Palo Alto, CA
The program will be very similar to the one originally planned, covering all the hot issues in privacy and cybersecurity law. Registration remains open.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020bclt-privacy-law-forum/

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


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending April 10, 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: AlgorithmWatch, Citizen Lab, Communia, Creative Commons, Digitale Gesellschaft, EDRi, IFLA, Knowledge Ecology International, medConfidential, mySociety, Open Rights Group, Pt2, Wikimedia.


INDELA FUNDING CALL
=====
Indela has opened its second Call for Proposals for projects that seek to advance digital rights in law and policy, as well as support the organizations and ecosystem of actors working to protect those rights, believing that protecting the rights of Internet users will support greater civic participation, and more empowered, inclusive and accountable societies. Indela will consider proposals for projects that include public campaigns, research, public policy advocacy, and litigation. Selected organizations can receive up to $75,000 for projects running over a 12 to 18 month period, as well as opportunities for specialized consultancies and communications support. The extended call deadline is April 30, 2020.
http://www.indela.fund


NEWS
=====

Hungarian Parliament Hands Full Control to Viktor Orbán
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Hungarian parliament has voted to allow prime minister Viktor Orbán to rule by decree during the coronavirus emergency, and has set no time limit, Nick Thorpe reports at the BBC. At The Atlantic, Yasmeen Serhan ponders what the EU can and should do in response; the block cannot unilaterally expel a member state. Suspending some of a country's rights under Article 7 of the Treaty of Lisbon requires the agreement of all other EU members, and referring infringement proceedings to the European Court of Justice would take years.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52095500
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/04/europe-hungary-viktor-orban-coronavirus-covid19-democracy/609313/

Attacks on Press Freedom Rise Across the Globe
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Attacks on media freedom are on the rise across many countries during the coronavirus crisis, Index on Censorship reports. The Indian government is pressuring media advertisers and has shut down channels; Myanmar has blocked more than 200 websites; and 400 Spanish journalists have asked their government to revise a policy that requires all questions to be filtered through the press secretary, who controls whether they get asked. The International Center for Journalists has compiled reports from international news outlets regarding the "extinction event" many are facing, along with their struggles to counter misinformation. In its daily newsletter, Poynter argues that newspapers should restore their paywalls for coronavirus-related stories because the collapse in advertising leaves them no other revenue. In a Twitter posting, Tor Books executive editor Beth Meacham explains the pandemic-related supply chain problems that will damage printed-book publishing for at least a year.
https://www.indexoncensorship.org/disease-control/
https://www.icfj.org/news/key-quotes-frontline-lessons-international-news-outlets-reporting-pandemic-maria-ressa-ritu
https://www.poynter.org/newsletters/2020/put-the-paywalls-back-up-on-coronavirus-coverage/
https://twitter.com/SheckyX/status/1246148311419162624/photo/1

Palantir Provides Data Platform to UK's NHS and US CDC
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The controversial data-mining company Palantir has started work on a data platform for Britain's National Health Service, the Economist reports. Critics are concerned that once embedded, Palantir could be hard to dislodge and that the company has no expertise in managing public health data. However, the crisis is pushing the NHS to improve its analytics in order to better predict the upcoming caseload. At Computing, John Leonard lays out further concerns voiced by the Open Rights Group and the campaigning group medConfidential: does the UK really want a powerful, secretive, foreign company embedded in its health service? At Business Insider, Tyler Sonnemaker finds that Palantir is also providing its software to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help it monitor the spread of COVID-19 and track resources. At its blog, medConfidential lays out a plan for the longer term to ensure that health privacy is protected in the apps, open standards, and platforms that will be built for future pandemics.
https://www.economist.com/britain/2020/03/26/palantir-a-data-firm-loved-by-spooks-teams-up-with-britains-health-service
https://www.computing.co.uk/analysis/4013254/palantir-embedded-nhs
https://www.businessinsider.com/palantir-providing-cdc-with-coronavirus-tracking-software-report-2020-3
https://medconfidential.org/2020/apps-for-the-next-pandemic/

Twitter Takes Down National Leaders' Tweets for Spreading Misinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Twitter's pledge to take down tweets containing false or misleading information about COVID-19 cures has begun with deleting tweets by the presidents of Brazil and Venezuela and US president Donald Trump's personal lawyer, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Kim Lyons, reports at The Verge. The removed tweets included  Nicolás Maduro's endorsement of a method to "eliminate the infection genes" in the virus and Jair Bolsonaro's videos claiming hydroxychloroquine offers a cure and calling for an end to social distancing; Facebook also removed Bolsonaro's video.
https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/30/21199845/twitter-tweets-brazil-venezuela-presidents-covid-19-coronavirus-jair-bolsonaro-maduro

NSO Group Offers Governments Tracking Software to Combat Pandemic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Israel's controversial NSO Group says it is in talks with governments around the world to provide mobile data analysis software that it claims can monitor and predict the spread of the coronavirus, Rory Cellan-Jones reports for the BBC. The company says its software works best if a country's mobile networks provide the records of all of their subscribers. At Vice, Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai quotes Citizen Lab researcher John Scott-Railton, who calls the effort "an extremely cynical attempt from a notorious spyware company to branch out into mass surveillance." At Sky News, Alexander Martin sees a demonstration that NSO Group claims shows that data governments upload will not be accessible by the company.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52134452
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/epg9jm/nso-covid-19-surveillance-tech-software-tracking-infected-privacy-experts-worried
https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-nso-group-attempting-to-woo-west-with-covid-19-tracking-software-11966961

UK: False Coronavirus Connection Leads to Vandalism of Mobile Masts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At least 20 UK phone masts have been torched or vandalised, mostly in the Liverpool and West Midlands areas of the UK, in the baseless belief that the rollout of 5G is connected to the coronavirus pandemic, Jim Waterson and Alex Hern report at the Guardian. Because the rollout has been slow, many of the attacks damaged existing 3G and 4G equipment. In a second Guardian article, Waterson and Hern outline the paths by which false claims about health risks from 5G have spread and why they're so hard to dislodge. Causes include rapidly growing neighbourhood social media groups, the networks' failure to promote scientific evidence about 5G, a frightened population looking for something to blame, and competing claims that make it hard to know what to debunk.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/apr/06/at-least-20-uk-phone-masts-vandalised-over-false-5g-coronavirus-claims
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/apr/07/how-false-claims-about-5g-health-risks-spread-into-the-mainstream


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

UK: Study Attributes Universal Credit Failures to Flawed Policy Assumptions
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The failures of the UK's digital welfare system, Universal Credit, are not due to IT, but to flawed assumptions and trade-offs the Department of Work and Pensions is making between cost reductions, claimants' needs, and policy intent, says Pt2 in a new report. The policy framework is insufficiently flexible, and the focus on automation prioritizes efficiency for the DWP rather than claimants, meaning that decisions are opaque. Pt2 concludes with many recommendations for reform to make the system more responsive, transparent, and better suited to claimants' needs.
https://pt2.works/blog/2020/04/02/universal-credit-report/

Privacy Camp Highlights Activists
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this YouTube channel, Privacy Camp provides recordings of this January's event, organized by EDRi, VUB, IEE, and Privacy Salon. Of particular note were the panel on the impact of surveillance on today's children featuring DefendDigital.me's Jen Persson; "Actually, in Google We Trust"?, in which activists from Russia explain why they are safer using Google and Facebook than the more arcane tools recommended in the West, and "Stories of Activism", in which activists working on a varied group of causes discuss how they work and how they use technology.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGeR6jS_7N7f_msH4BN-WT64roFWAXfj2

Canada: Implementing Open Educational Resources
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this episode of the LawBytes podcast, David Porter explains the benefits of open educational resources and open textbooks to Michael Geist as Canada, like many other countries, abruptly shifts to distance or online learning. Porter, who has long been a leader in advocating for OER, explains the copyright and financial arrangements that had to be put in place to make OER a reality in Canada.
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2020/03/lawbytes-podcast-episode-45/

Principles for Guiding Automated Decision Making
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, AlgorithmWatch publishes a set of principles to guide countries in implementing automated decision-making systems to curb the coronavirus outbreak. Successful solutions are grounded in public health policies, as this is not a technological problem.; eEach national context is different; and fundamental rights should be protected - particularly if the surveillance measures being implemented don't actually work as anti-virus strategies. At The Markup, Julia Angwin warns against rushing headlong into massive surveillance while ignoring our post-9/11 lessons: that it's very invasive and doesn't necessarily work. Via FOIA, she is collecting the algorithms that determine who gets tested in US states.
https://algorithmwatch.org/en/our-position-on-adms-and-the-fight-against-covid19/
https://www.accessnow.org/releases-recommendations-on-privacy-data-protection-covid-19/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/technology/coronavirus-surveillance-tracking-privacy.html
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/asia/2020-03-20/how-civic-technology-can-help-stop-pandemic
https://www.getrevue.co/profile/themarkup/issues/do-we-need-to-give-up-privacy-to-fight-the-coronavirus-234921

Open Letter Calls for Removing Intellectual Property Impediments in Coronavirus Crisis
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this open letter, IFLA urges the World Intellectual Property Organization to ensure that IP  regimes do not hinder efforts to tackle both the coronavirus outbreak and its consequences. It is co-signed by dozens of other organizations such as India's Centre for Internet and Society, Communia, Creative Commons, Digitale Gesellschaft, Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, and the German, Spanish, and Italian branches of Wikimedia. The letter recommends that rights holders should remove licensing restrictions that inhibit remote education and research, create a global pool of rights in technology related to COVID-19, and support countries' rights to use exceptions in the interests of ensuring equitable access to medicines and medical technologies. At The Register, Kieren McCarthy explains the growing conflict between authors' and publishers' organizations and the Internet Archive, which has stripped restrictions off its Open Library collection of 1.4 million copyrighted books for the duration of the pandemic emergency. McCarthy suggests that authors and publishers fear that if uncontested the move will set a precedent that will be hard to dislodge.
https://www.ifla.org/node/92993
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/04/01/internet_archive_justifies_its_vast/

Ban Adtech
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Wired, Gilad Edelman asks why we don't simply ban companies from using personal data for targeting advertising, the practice that lies behind most of the problems on the technology platforms. Removing the financial incentive is a lot simpler than cleaning up each issue - abuse, election manipulation, tracking, and so on. The result might including making companies like Google and Facebook less powerful.
https://www.wired.com/story/why-dont-we-just-ban-targeted-advertising/


***

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.

CANCELED Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://iapp.org/conference/global-privacy-summit/general-information-gps20/

CANCELED Personal Democracy Forum CEE 2020
----------------------------------------
April 23-25, 2020
Gdańsk, Poland
The eighth PDF CEE is organized by the ePaństwo Foundation together with the City of Gdańsk and the European Solidarity Centre and will be followed by the fourth edition of the Festival of Civic Tech for Democracy. The 2020 conference is inspired by the 21 Demands proposed in 1980 by strikers in the Gdańsk Shipyard, and is expected to attract around 500 democracy activists, civic tech enthusiasts, media, business and academic representatives, public administration officials, opinion makers, influencers, cultural activists, digital media specialists and activists to debate human and digital rights, transparency of governments, cybersecurity, civic technologies and countering disinformation.
https://pdfcee.pl/en/

POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER AI for Good
----------------------------------------
was May 4-8, 2020; rescheduled to September 21-25, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

CONSIDERING ALTERNATIVE DATES re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER 11-12 Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 8-9, 2020
Chicago, IL, 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/

CANCELED Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/08/28/cc-global-summit-lisbon-may-14-16/

MOVING ONLINE Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021 RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
June 15-16, 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/

POSTPONED TO 2021 CPDP LatAm 2020
----------------------------------------
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/

CANCELED Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen  Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

TBC JUNE 1, 2020 DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

Netroots Nation
----------------------------------------
August 13-15, 2020
Denver, Colorado, USA
For more than a decade, Netroots Nation, which began as a convention for the most active members of the DailyKos community, has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives and other organizers and advocacy groups, drawing thousands of attendees from around the country and beyond, to develop their work around topics such as sharing data, developing technology talent, and managing digital campaigns.
https://www.netrootsnation.org/

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

EIFL General Assembly
----------------------------------------
September 24-26, 2020
Vilnius, Lithuania
The GA is EIFL's major annual knowledge-sharing and networking event for library professionals in developing and transition economy countries.
https://www.eifl.net/events/eifl-general-assembly-2020

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
October 6-9, 2020
La Jolla, CA, USA
Future in Review 2019 is a global conference on the intersection of technology and the economy, offering new partnerships, projects, and plans, and the opportunity to analyze and create the future of technology, economics, pure science, the environment, genomics, education, and more.
https://www.futureinreview.com

International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
November 18-20, 2020
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/

POSTPONED We Robot 2020
----------------------------------------
Will update June 1, 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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 11-12, 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

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


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

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

News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending March 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: Data and Society, EDRi, EFF, EPIC, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, SPARC.

INDELA FUNDING CALL
=====
Indela has opened its second Call for Proposals for projects that seek to advance digital rights in law and policy, as well as support the organizations and ecosystem of actors working to protect those rights, believing that protecting the rights of Internet users will support greater civic participation, and more empowered, inclusive and accountable societies. Indela will consider proposals for projects that include public campaigns, research, public policy advocacy, and litigation. Selected organizations can receive up to $75,000 for projects running over a 12 to 18 month period, as well as opportunities for specialized consultancies and communications support. The extended call deadline is April 30, 2020.
http://www.indela.fund

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO INFORMATION PROGRAM GRANTEES

=====
At the Open Society Foundations, it is our responsibility to put the public interest at the center of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means reducing the burden on our healthcare systems by helping prevent the spread of the virus to the extent possible. To help keep colleagues and our communities safe, all Open Society employees are working remotely from now until April 20. This decision will require some adjustments, as we tackle the logistical challenges involved. But we will do our utmost to maintain the momentum of our work, and our support for all of you, whose efforts are all the more vital at a time of crisis.

As a funder, we understand that COVID-19 may require shifts in strategy, reprioritization, and adjustments as you encounter unforeseen impacts on you, your organizations, and staff. We stand ready to find flexibility in our grants to help you respond to these challenges wherever possible. Please do not hesitate to contact your program officer with questions or concerns.

If you have a grant proposal currently under review, please be assured that we are continuing with business as usual despite working remotely. As we ourselves adapt to these new circumstances, there could be short delays in our consideration and processing of your grant. But we will be doing everything possible to keep things on track.


NEWS
=====

Privacy and Security for New At-Home Workers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The move to working from home creates new security and privacy issues, Bruce Schneier warns at his blog. Employees' own systems are less likely to be patched, and it's easy to incorrectly configure hastily-installed VPNs and newly set-up tools such as Zoom. To counter these problems, SANS has made freely available a Work From Home Awareness training kit. At Bloomberg, Crystal Tse and Jonathan Browning discuss the risks that home devices such as smart speakers and other listening and watching devices pose to confidentiality for lawyers and others when speaking to clients. At the New York Times, Taylor Lorenz warns that public Zoom conferences are being disrupted by attackers showing pornography or shock videos.
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/03/work-from-home_.html
https://www.sans.org/security-awareness-training/sans-security-awareness-work-home-deployment-kit
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-20/locked-down-lawyers-warned-alexa-is-hearing-confidential-calls
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/style/zoombombing-zoom-trolling.html

Automated Systems Become Humans' Bosses
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The "robot apocalypse" of automating human employment is already here, but instead of replacing low-level workers automated systems are their bosses and managers, dictating how fast they must work, what they say, when they work and for how long, and eliminating "inefficiencies" a human manager would never notice, such as a minute's wait between phone calls, Josh Dzieza reports at The Intercept. The result is stressed-out workers, a rising injury rate, and, increasingly, worker protests. At Wired, Tom Simonite reports on workplace monitoring via technology such as Drishti's machine learning software-enhanced cameras.
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/16/tiktok-app-moderators-users-discrimination/
https://www.wired.com/story/when-ai-cant-replace-worker-watches-them-instead/

Patent Suit Attacks COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Irell & Mandella has asked a court to enjoin the medical diagnostics company BioFire from making the COVID-19 tests it has developed, claiming BioFire is violating patents owned by its client, Softbank-funded Fortress Investment Group. Fortress bought up the patents, which were originally granted to the fraudulent blood testing company Theranos and its founding CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, in 2018 after Theranos went bankrupt. At EFF, Cory Doctorow reports that an engineer who answered a distress call from an Italian hospital to 3D print replacement parts for broken oxygen masks for the hospital's ventilator was unable to get the manufacturer to help by supplying design files. At Vice, Jason Koebler discusses ventilator manufacturers' broad opposition to granting local technicians the information necessary to enable on-site repair.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200316/14584244111/softbank-owned-patent-troll-using-monkey-selfie-law-firm-sues-to-block-covid-19-testing-using-theranos-patents.shtml
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/right-repair-times-pandemic
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxekgx/hospitals-need-to-repair-ventilators-manufacturers-are-making-that-impossible

NGOs Sue US Immigration and Customs Enforcement over "Rigged" Algorithms
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Civil Liberties Union and Bronx Defenders are jointly suing ICE over its "rigged" risk assessment tool, which recommends detaining anyone arrested on suspicion of immigration violations, Sam Biddle reports at The Intercept. EPIC finds that in a 2014 report for former president Barack Obama, the US Department of Justice warned of the dangers of predictive analytics and algorithms in policing, arguing that justice should be dispensed based on each defendant's own conduct and personal history instead of historical data about other people. Obtaining the report took a FOIA request, lawsuit, and negotiated settlement.
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/02/ice-algorithm-bias-detention-aclu-lawsuit/
https://www.aclu.org/news/privacy-technology/the-government-has-a-secret-plan-to-track-everyones-faces-at-airports-were-suing
http://epic.org/2020/03/epic-obtains-doj-report-on-pre.html

Bot Study Finds Disproportionate Climate Change Denial
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A draft study by Brown University PhD candidate Thomas Marlow finds that a quarter of all tweets about climate change on any given day are produced by bots and are disproportionately denialist, Oliver Milman reports at the Guardian. At BoingBoing, Xeni Jardin reports that Twitter's first-ever use of the "manipulated media label" it announced in early March was applied to a misleadingly clipped video of US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and was posted by White House social media director Dan Scavino and retweeted by US President Donald Trump.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/21/climate-tweets-twitter-bots-analysis
https://boingboing.net/2020/03/09/twitter-uses-manipulated-med.html

Scotland Votes for Biometrics Oversight
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Scottish Parliament has voted in favor of creating a Scottish Biometrics Commissioner to ensure that government and police use of biometrics data are underpinned by rules and safeguards, Mark Say reports at UKAuthority. In a press release, the Open Rights Group welcomed the development, which has been the subject of an ORG Scotland campaign for three years.
https://www.ukauthority.com/articles/scotland-to-get-biometrics-commissioner/
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/press/releases/2020/campaigners-welcome-the-creation-of-a-commissioner-to-oversee-use-of-biometrics-by-police-in-scotland


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

Tracking the Spread of Health-Driven Surveillance Legislation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page, Privacy International tracks the global response to COVID-19 as governments pass emergency legislation, restrict movement and assembly, try to control misinformation, and implement unprecedented levels of data exploitation and surveillance. Among its examples, the US Department of Justice has asked Congress for the power to detain individuals indefinitely during national emergencies and for one year afterwards, and Israel has granted its security service access to a previously secret cache of cellular phone data to enable contact tracing. In a blog posting, EDRi calls for responses to COVID-19 to take a fundamental rights-based approach and for exceptional measures to be limited to the duration of the crisis. At EFF, Jason Kelley calls for transparency and public access to government decision making. At his blog, Bruce Schneier adds five principles governments should apply. At the Center for Global Development, Michael Pisa discusses how to balance the social good deriving from having good information with the need to protect individual rights. Imperial College's Computational Privacy Group highlights good alternatives to mass surveillance, and says trust is crucial. In an open letter co-signed by numerous privacy scholars and data analysts, former doteveryone director Rachel Coldicutt reminds the UK's NHSx of social inequities and calls for placing ethics, governance, and transparency at the heart of the data technologies it is developing to suppress the coronavirus.
https://privacyinternational.org/examples/tracking-global-response-covid-19
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/21/doj-coronavirus-emergency-powers-140023
https://privacyinternational.org/examples/3423/israel-security-service-may-use-patients-smartphone-data-contact-tracing
https://edri.org/covid19-edri-coronavirus-fundamentalrights/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/governments-must-commit-transparency-during-covid-19-crisis
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/03/emergency_surve.html
https://www.cgdev.org/blog/covid-19-information-problems-and-digital-surveillance
https://medium.com/@rachelcoldicutt/open-letter-contract-tracking-and-nhsx-e503325b2703

Abolish Big Data
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, Data & Society executive director Janet Haven hosts a talk in which Yeshimabeit Milner, the founder and executive director of Data for Black Lives, argues that big data is the latest installment of a historical legacy of "chattel slavery" via scientific and government oppression. Milner calls to "abolish big data" by rejecting its concentration in a few powerful hands.
https://datasociety.net/events/abolish-big-data/

Chinese State Media Strategies Seek to Control Narrative
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Stanford Cyber Policy Center, Vanessa Molter studies how Chinese state media work to control the narrative around the novel coronavirus and deflect blame. Molter teases out China's approach by comparing Chinese postings on Facebook with those from US media outlets and then turns her attention to how US reporting has evolved over time.
https://cyber.fsi.stanford.edu/news/chinese-state-media-shapes-coronavirus-convo

Fear of Crime Leads Suburbanites to Enable Surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Radical History Review, Matthew Guariglia attributes the suburban proliferation of camera-laden Amazon Ring doorbells to fear of crime, which is leading white suburbanites to willingly invite police, corporations, and bad actors into their homes. The result is that they are voluntarily subjecting themselves to levels of surveillance that black urbanites have long tried to escape.
https://www.radicalhistoryreview.org/abusablepast/surveying-the-suburbs-how-amazon-ring-and-a-racialized-fear-of-crime-is-ushering-in-a-new-period-of-mass-surveillance/

Coronavirus Fight Needs Open Access
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this interview by Canadian law professor Michael Geist for his LawBytes podcast, SPARC executive director Heather Joseph discusses the importance of open access in the global fight against the novel coronavirus to enable scientists to build freely on each other's work. An LSE study found on March 5, however, that more than half of the 13,818 papers published since the 1990s on coronaviruses were behind paywalls even though the underlying work was typically paid for by taxpayers. SPARC Europe reports that the French Open Science Committee has made a record-breaking pledge of €450,000 to OpenCitations, the Public Knowledge Project, and the Directory of Open Access Books. At Wired, Klint Finley reports that government science advisors in a dozen countries including the US have published an open letter calling on scientific publishers asking them to make all research relating to the coronavirus and COVID-19 freely accessible through PubMed Central or through the WHO's COVID database. At Technology Review, Karen Hao reports that under the request of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, researchers at the US National Library of Medicine, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Microsoft have compiled the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset, comprising over 24,000 research papers from bioRxiv, medRxiv, and peer-reviewed journals that cover SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, and coronaviruses.
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2020/03/lawbytes-podcast-episode-43/
https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2020/03/05/the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak-highlights-serious-deficiencies-in-scholarly-communication/
https://sparceurope.org/the-french-open-science-committee-makes-record-breaking-scoss-pledge/
https://www.wired.com/story/global-officials-call-free-access-covid-19-research/
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615367/coronavirus-24000-research-papers-available-open-data

End Internet Shutdowns to Save Lives
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article, Access Now argues that internet shutdowns will help spread the virus, and asks visitors to tweet its calls on governments in Ethiopia, India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh to restore internet access in the areas of their countries where it's been shut down.
https://www.accessnow.org/keepiton-internet-shutdowns-during-covid-19-will-help-spread-the-virus/


***

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.

POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER 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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

CANCELED Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://iapp.org/conference/global-privacy-summit/general-information-gps20/

CANCELED Personal Democracy Forum CEE 2020
----------------------------------------
April 23-25, 2020
Gdańsk, Poland
The eighth PDF CEE is organized by the ePaństwo Foundation together with the City of Gdańsk and the European Solidarity Centre and will be followed by the fourth edition of the Festival of Civic Tech for Democracy. The 2020 conference is inspired by the 21 Demands proposed in 1980 by strikers in the Gdańsk Shipyard, and is expected to attract around 500 democracy activists, civic tech enthusiasts, media, business and academic representatives, public administration officials, opinion makers, influencers, cultural activists, digital media specialists and activists to debate human and digital rights, transparency of governments, cybersecurity, civic technologies and countering disinformation.
https://pdfcee.pl/en/

POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER AI for Good
----------------------------------------
was May 4-8, 2020; rescheduled to September 21-25, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

CONSIDERING ALTERNATIVE DATES re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER 11-12 Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 8-9, 2020
Chicago, IL, 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/

CANCELED Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2020/03/05/important-cc-global-summit-update/

MOVING ONLINE Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021 RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 11-12, 2010
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

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
June 15-16, 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/

POSTPONED TO 2021 CPDP LatAm 2020
----------------------------------------
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/

Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen, Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

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

TBC JUNE 1, 2020 DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

Netroots Nation
----------------------------------------
August 13-15, 2020
Denver, Colorado, USA
For more than a decade, Netroots Nation, which began as a convention for the most active members of the DailyKos community, has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives and other organizers and advocacy groups, drawing thousands of attendees from around the country and beyond, to develop their work around topics such as sharing data, developing technology talent, and managing digital campaigns.
https://www.netrootsnation.org/

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

EIFL General Assembly
----------------------------------------
September 24-26, 2020
Vilnius, Lithuania
The GA is EIFL's major annual knowledge-sharing and networking event for library professionals in developing and transition economy countries.
https://www.eifl.net/events/general-assembly-2020

MozFest 2020
----------------------------------------
October, 2020
Location TBD
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://foundation.mozilla.org/en/initiatives/open-leadership-events/collaborate-with-us-/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
October 6-9, 2020
La Jolla, CA, USA
Future in Review 2019 is a global conference on the intersection of technology and the economy, offering new partnerships, projects, and plans, and the opportunity to analyze and create the future of technology, economics, pure science, the environment, genomics, education, and more.
https://www.futureinreview.com

International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
November 18-20, 2020
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/


***

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

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

News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending March 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, EDRi, La Quadature du Net.


NEWS
=====

China: Government Surveillance Escalates to Contain the Coronavirus
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Government surveillance has reached a new level in China as part of the country's response to the coronavirus and may become a "new normal", Lily Kuo reports at the Guardian. Security measures include detailed tracking of people's movements, for example requiring them to scan a QR code and write down their name and ID number, temperature, and recent travel history before entering apartment compounds and workplaces. At the New York Times, Paul Mozur, Raymond Zhong, and Aaron Krolik report that the phone app Alipay Health Code, which citizens are required to install, decides in real time whether the individual should be suspected of carrying the COVID-19 virus and whether they should be permitted to use public spaces. The app assigns each person a green, yellow, or red color health status, and appears to share information with the police, but gives users no transparency into its decision making. In a Twitter thread, Mozur has posted video clips showing the app at work in the metro and in some areas only open to those with green codes.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/09/the-new-normal-chinas-excessive-coronavirus-public-monitoring-could-be-here-to-stay
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/01/business/china-coronavirus-surveillance.html
https://twitter.com/paulmozur/status/1234310754452434945

France: Administrative Court Strikes Down Facial Recognition in Schools
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Administrative Court of Marseille has ruled that facial recognition systems are a disproportionate measure for controlling access to two high schools in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France, La Quadrature du Net reports on its blog. The Court also found that the system breaches the General Data Protection Regulation because students subject to school rules cannot freely give consent. At AI Regulation, Theodore Christakis gives background on the involvement in the case of the French data protection regulator, CNIL, which told the court that less intrusive means could have been found to achieve the objective of increasing school security.
https://www.laquadrature.net/en/2020/02/27/first-success-against-facial-recognition/
https://ai-regulation.com/first-decision-ever-of-a-french-court-applying-gdpr-to-facial-recognition/

Sweden Passes Law Allowing Police Hacking
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Swedish parliament has passed a law that will allow Swedish law enforcement to apply to the courts for a warrant to hack into devices they believe a suspect might have used to commit a crime that attracts at least a two-year prison sentence, Dataskydd.net reports at EDRi. Critics object that the law permits police to hack into devices that belong to mere acquaintances, and allows prosecutors to issue their own warrants if they think the courts will be too slow.
https://edri.org/swedish-law-enforcement-given-the-permission-to-hack/

US Federal Agencies Buy Location History Data
----------------------------------------------------------------------
US federal agencies including Customs and Border Protection, the Secret Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are bypassing warrant requirements by buying location history data from "data-to-knowledge" company Babel Street, Charles Levinson reports at Protocol. Under the terms of use, the agencies are forbidden from using the technology as evidence or mentioning it in legal proceedings. The data enables agents to geofence the area around an investigation site, identify devices that were nearby in the days before the incident, and track their locations through the previous months as well as where they went afterwards. At NBC News, Jon Schuppe reports that after police in Gainesville, FL obtained a geofence warrant, resident Zachary McCoy, who uses the RunKeeper smartphone app to track his bike rides, discovered that riding past a house that had been burgled led police to list him as a suspect and demand access to his Google account.
https://www.protocol.com/government-buying-location-data
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/google-tracked-his-bike-ride-past-burglarized-home-made-him-n1151761

Smithsonian Institution Adds 2.8 Million Images to Public Domain
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Smithsonian Institution has released 2.8 million high-quality images and 3D models into the public domain for free use for any purpose and will continue adding to the database as images, songs, data sets, and other material are digitized and determined to be free of copyright, Mike Masnick reports at TechDirt. As part of the project, the Institution is asking volunteers to work online to help transcribe scans of books and documents.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200225/14150743985/smithsonian-releases-28-million-images-3d-models-into-public-domain.shtml
https://transcription.si.edu/browse?sort=latest

Australian Government Sues Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian information minister, Angelene Falk, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Facebook, arguing that it failed to protect Australia's roughly 311,127 users (in 2014-2015) from having their data collected and exploited for the purposes of political profiling by Cambridge Analytica, contrary to their reasonable expectations, Josh Taylor reports at the Guardian. Falk argues that the system's design made it impossible for users to consent or control how their data was used.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/mar/09/facebook-cambridge-analytica-sued-australian-information-watchdog-300000-privacy-breaches


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

Chinese Censors Seek to Control Spread of Coronavirus Information
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting for Citizen Lab, Lotus Ruan, Jeffrey Knockel, and Masashi Crete-Nishihata outline their study of how the Chinese government is controlling information about the coronavirus on WeChat, YY, and other Chinese social media, where early warnings of the epidemic were censored. In early February, the Cyberspace Administration of China announced it would punish websites, platforms, and accounts for "harmful content", and "spreading fear". At the Washington Post, Tony Romm writes that half-truths and outright falsehoods are proliferating on WhatsApp, particularly in African and Asian countries. At Fast Company, Mark Wilson reports that new research from MIT finds that labeling content as fact-checked and disputed leads to the "implied truth effect" - people believe that unlabeled stories are trustworthy.
https://citizenlab.ca/2020/03/censored-contagion-how-information-on-the-coronavirus-is-managed-on-chinese-social-media/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/02/whatsapp-coronavirus-misinformation/
https://www.fastcompany.com/90471349/study-facebooks-fake-news-labels-have-a-fatal-flaw

Uganda Still Awaits Benefits of Data Protection Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Unwanted Witness summarizes the first year in operation of Uganda's data protection law. Although the Ministry of Information Communications Technology and National Guidance is mandated to develop regulations to enforce the new law, it has yet to establish them, and meanwhile the government has expanded mandatory collection of sensitive personal data under the national ID system and agencies such as the police force are planning to integrate their CCTV systems with national ID and immigration data.
https://www.unwantedwitness.org/one-year-on-what-has-ugandas-data-protection-law-changed/

Global Freedom Declines for Fourteenth Year
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this year's report, Freedom House finds that 2019 was the 14th consecutive year of decline in global freedom; citizens in 64 countries have seen their political rights and civil liberties decline and there has only been improvement in 37. Both democratic - the report cites the US and India - and authoritarian leaders are happy to break down institutional safeguards and ignore the rights of minorities and critics. At The Register, Lindsay Clarke profiles new research from Chatham House that studies the role of digital technology in the current crisis for liberal democracy; the authors, who include MEP Marietje Schaake, former MEP Julia Reda, and computer scientist Wendy Hall, conclude that democracy must evolve to meet new conditions, though they admit this may be a challenge for the EU. In an article at Columbia Journalism Review, Ahana Datta describes numerous government-sponsored cyber attacks on journalists, particularly foreign correspondents. In some cases their phone calls to sources are automatically redirected; in others their phones were targeted with fake SMS authentication codes for WhatsApp, Instagram, or Telegram or with downloadable malware.
https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2020/leaderless-struggle-democracy
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/03/04/is_technology_undermining_democracy_chatham_house/
https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/CHHJ7131-Democracy-Technology-RP-INTS-200228.pdf
https://www.cjr.org/first_person/ft-nations-surveillance-attacks.php

Data Gathering Creates New Problems for Migrants
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog post at EDRi, Petra Molnar summarizes the impact of biometrics and automated decisions on migrants' journeys. Border guards scrape their social media histories and machines interview them while humanitarian organizations partner with private entities and collect biometrics as a requirement for dispensing food and other aid, placing migrants under persistent and oppressive surveillance. The article is the second in a series on AI and migration.
https://edri.org/immigration-iris-scanning-and-iborderctrl/
https://edri.org/the-human-rights-impacts-of-migration-control-technologies/

Cultural Change Brings New Speed to Scientific Collaboration
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Science, Kai Kupferschmidt discusses the coronavirus-inspired transformation of how scientists communicate with each other, adopting tools like Slack and Twitter, posting viral genomes to the GIDSAID platform for near-instant analysis, and uploading reports and data to preprint servers. Few of these tools existed ten years ago, and their use is enabling research to move faster than in any previous outbreak. However, speed also enhances the risk of spreading misinformation. At the LA Times, Michael Hiltzik attributes the change to open access, surmising that COVID-19 could kill off for-profit journal publication. However, Hiltzik notes, the Trump administration has so far failed to follow through with a plan to make federally-funded research immediately free to the public; currently, it may be kept behind a paywall for a year. Also at Science, H. Holden Thorp counts the global cost when scientists are muzzled.
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/completely-new-culture-doing-research-coronavirus-outbreak-changes-how-scientists
https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-03-03/covid-19-open-science?fbclid=IwAR1WQjLCOlNRzoC9JmTt4MvILk3iIf4jFpk5AKQlfk9vUmFmxg3Sf4JGrFc
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6481/959

European Court of Human Rights Rules Against UK DNA Retention
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that UK police breached the privacy rights of Northern Irish citizen Fergus Gaughran, who was convicted of drunk driving in 2008, when they retained his DNA profile, fingerprints, and photograph, Owen Bowcott reports at the Guardian. The UK is one of the few members of the Council of Europe that doesn't time-limit the retention of biometric data. The judgment reverses that of the UK Supreme Court in 2015.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/13/police-keeping-drink-drivers-dna-breached-his-rights-judges-rule


***

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.

AI Summit 2020
----------------------------------------
March 16-17
Brussels, Belgium
Politico's AI Summit returns to Brussels to tackle key questions about the future of AI global regulation and the technology's implementation. The conference will consider whether and how AI development should be limited, different cultural interpretations of "trustworthy", and the challenges of implementing a cross-border and coordinated European approach to AI.
https://diievents.dii.eu/ai-summit/

CANCELLED: ECogS 2020
----------------------------------------
March 23-26, 2020
Okinawa, Japan
The International Conference on Embodied Cognitive Science (ECogS) will bring together approaches that are theoretically and methodologically diverse yet united in their commitment to an alternative orientation, one in which embodied interaction plays the primary organizing role of life, mind, and consciousness.
https://groups.oist.jp/ecogs

TICTeC 2020
----------------------------------------
March 24-25, 2020
Reykjavik, Iceland
mySociety created TICTeC to bridge the gap between civic tech and research - to bring two different communities together, to emphasize the importance of being able to demonstrate impact, and to share what those impacts are. Because Reykjavik's city Council has pioneered using digital tools to elicit feedback from citizens on council policies, expenditures, and projects, the 2020 conference will provide a special opportunity to learn from Iceland's extensive civic technology and civic engagement experience.
https://www.mysociety.org/2019/09/20/join-us-in-reykjavik-for-tictec-2020/

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

Personal Democracy Forum CEE 2020
----------------------------------------
April 23-25, 2020
Gdańsk, Poland
The eighth PDF CEE is organized by the ePaństwo Foundation together with the City of Gdańsk and the European Solidarity Centre and will be followed by the fourth edition of the Festival of Civic Tech for Democracy. The 2020 conference is inspired by the 21 Demands proposed in 1980 by strikers in the Gdańsk Shipyard, and is expected to attract around 500 democracy activists, civic tech enthusiasts, media, business and academic representatives, public administration officials, opinion makers, influencers, cultural activists, digital media specialists and activists to debate human and digital rights, transparency of governments, cybersecurity, civic technologies and countering disinformation.
https://pdfcee.pl/en/

AI for Good
----------------------------------------
May 4-8, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 8-9, 2020
Chicago, IL, 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/

CANCELLED: Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/08/28/cc-global-summit-lisbon-may-14-16/

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 11-12, 2010
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

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
June 15-16, 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/

CPDP LatAm 2020
----------------------------------------
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/

Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen  Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

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

DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

Netroots Nation
----------------------------------------
August 13-15, 2020
Denver, Colorado, USA
For more than a decade, Netroots Nation, which began as a convention for the most active members of the DailyKos community, has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives and other organizers and advocacy groups, drawing thousands of attendees from around the country and beyond, to develop their work around topics such as sharing data, developing technology talent, and managing digital campaigns.
https://www.netrootsnation.org/

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

MozFest 2020
----------------------------------------
October, 2020
Location TBD
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://foundation.mozilla.org/en/initiatives/open-leadership-events/collaborate-with-us-/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
October 6-9, 2020
La Jolla, CA, USA
Future in Review 2019 is a global conference on the intersection of technology and the economy, offering new partnerships, projects, and plans, and the opportunity to analyze and create the future of technology, economics, pure science, the environment, genomics, education, and more.
https://www.futureinreview.com

International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
November 18-20, 2020
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/


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending January 24, 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 OSF.  Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

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


NEWS
=====

Uber Threatens to Sue Colombia under Investor-State Dispute Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The controversial provision in international trade treaties for investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is being invoked for the first time by Uber, which is threatening to sue Colombia for millions of dollars for violating the 2012 United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, Glyn Moody reports at Techdirt. At CNBC, Lauren Feiner reported in early January that Uber would cease operations in the country after a Colombian court ruled in December that the company broke the county's market rules.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200114/06505943728/uber-wins-dubious-honor-being-first-big-tech-company-to-bully-small-nation-using-corporate-sovereignty.shtml
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/10/uber-to-end-service-in-colombia-after-regulatory-crackdown.html

Preliminary CJEU Opinion Finds UK, French, and Belgian Data Retention Unlawful
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, Campos Sánchez-Bordona, has written a preliminary opinion finding that British, French, and Belgian laws requiring telephone and internet companies to store and retain data on citizens' phone and internet activity are unlawful, Bill Goodwin reports at Computer Weekly. The British case was referred to the court by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in response to a challenge filed by Privacy International, which also intervened in the French case. In a backgrounder, PI explains that the opinion is non-binding, though normally followed by the court. The eventual final judgment will be sent back to each state's national court, which must apply the CJEU's ruling.
https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252476876/UKs-phone-and-internet-bulk-data-surveillance-unlawful-says-EU-court-opinion
https://privacyinternational.org/news-analysis/3334/advocate-generals-opinion-national-security-mass-retention-regimes-are

Norwegian Consumer Council and noyb File GDPR Complaints against Adtech Companies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Norwegian Consumer Council and noyb have collaborated to file three GDPR complaints with the Norwegian Data Protect Authority against Grindr, Twitter, and adtech companies Smaato, OpenX, AdColony, and AT&T's AppNexus, based on the NCC's new report on adtech, Max Schrems reports at noyb. At TechCrunch, Natasha Lomas summarizes the report, which finds that ten popular mobile apps transmit user data to at least 135 different advertising or profiling companies, often along with location and IP address, and that mobile users have no hope of escaping being profiled in detail. NCC, with the help of cybersecurity company Mnemonic, subjected ten apps to forensic analysis, including Grindr, Tinder, OKCupid, and two fertility trackers. At Engadget, Violet Blue reports that Airbnb's "trait analyzer" algorithm, which scores the company's users by mining the comprehensive dossiers Airbnb assembles about them, penalizes involvement with drugs, alcohol, hate websites or organizations, or sex work; users with low scores are denied service. At Wired, Tom Simonite recounts the first results of the California Consumer Privacy Act (2019), which include exposing data collection by physical retail stores and restaurants.
https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/14/dating-and-fertility-apps-among-those-snitching-to-out-of-control-adtech-report-finds/
https://fil.forbrukerradet.no/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020-01-14-out-of-control-final-version.pdf
https://noyb.eu/three-gdpr-complaints-filed-against-grindr-twitter-and-the-adtech-companies-smaato-openx-adcolony-and-atts-appnexus/
https://www.engadget.com/2020/01/17/your-online-activity-effectively-social-credit-score-airbnb/
https://www.wired.com/story/stores-must-tell-you-how-theyre-tracking/

Disputes Continue over Sale of .org Registry
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A group of internet pioneers led by Esther Dyson, a former chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has proposed to take over the .org registry as an alternative to the Internet Society's planned sale for $1 billion to newly-formed Ethos Capital, Steve Lohr reports at the New York Times. At EFF, Mitch Stoltz notes that 21,000 people, 660 organizations, and six members of the US Congress have asked ICANN to halt the deal and argues that ICANN should answer many more questions from the community. In two articles at The Register, Kieren McCarthy lays bare the conflicts of interest among those associated with the Ethos deal and reports that ICANN has written to the Internet Society and the registry to halt the sale and demand greater transparency. In a third article, McCarthy examines the 2.3 million-name Colombian .co registry, which has issued tender requirements that actively exclude everyone in the market except the US-based registry operator Afilias.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/07/technology/dot-org-private-equity-battle.html
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/01/icann-needs-ask-more-questions-about-sale-org
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/09/org_preservation/
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/14/icann_org_redacted/
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/15/colombia_dot_co_afilias/

UK: Counter-terrorism Police Place Extinction Rebellion on Extremist List
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK's counter-terrorism police listed Extinction Rebellion alongside neo-Nazi groups and a pro-terrorist Islamist group in a guide to extremist ideological threats that should be reported to the authorities via Prevent, a program that requires police officers, government organizations, and teachers to report those who might commit terrorist acts, Vikram Dodd and Jamie Grierson report at the Guardian. At The Times, Fariha Karim reports that the same list also included Greenpeace, PETA, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In a follow-up, the Guardian reports that although the police quickly recalled the leaflet, home secretary Priti Patel defended the group's inclusion. At Byline Times, GP Adnan Siddiqui writes he saw in his Prevent training that the program criminalizes dissent; after explaining its inner workings he concludes it should be scrapped.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/10/xr-extinction-rebellion-listed-extremist-ideology-police-prevent-scheme-guidance
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/police-put-greenpeace-on-extremist-list-with-neo-nazis-00zpl7r05
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/13/priti-patel-defends-inclusion-of-extinction-rebellion-on-terror-list
https://bylinetimes.com/2020/01/16/as-a-gp-attending-prevent-training-i-was-surprised-by-extinction-rebellions-extremist-listing-but-not-shocked/

US: Tech Company CEOs Beg for Antitrust Regulation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a hearing in front of the US House Antitrust Subcommittee in Colorado, CEOs from companies such as Sonos, Tile, Basecamp, and PopSockets begged lawmakers to rein in Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, complaining that the GAFA companies have copied their services' features and penalized them through algorithm changes, Tony Romm reports at the Washington Post. At CNBC, Lauren Feiner adds that the CEOs characterized this behavior as bullying, and noted that they were taking a risk in speaking publicly. At The Atlantic, Alexis C. Madrigal writes that the culture that made Silicon Valley is changing as companies defend their size and dominance by citing China as a bigger evil whose repression could drown out America's free-speech values.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/01/17/companies-burned-by-big-tech-plead-congress-regulate-apple-amazon-facebook-google/
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/17/sonos-popsockets-complain-to-congress-about-big-tech.html
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/01/why-silicon-valley-and-big-tech-dont-innovate-anymore/604969/


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

Democracy, Climate, and the Loss of Shared Truth
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Byline Times, CJ Werleman connects Australia's raging bushfires to its leaders' ties to the coal industry, the opaqueness of political funding, and the pervasive influence of the Rupert Murdoch-dominated, climate change denialist press, which has even accused the Bureau of Meteorology of falsifying its temperature data records. At the Sydney Morning Herald, Zoe Samios and Andrew Hornery report that a News Corporation Australia employee has accused the company of  "irresponsible" and "dangerous" coverage of the fires as part of a "misinformation campaign". In a Sydney Morning Herald op-ed, Chris Zappone writes that the bushfires show that shared truth is essential for democracy to function. At the New York Times, Dana Goldstein analyzes the differences between the social studies textbooks used in Texas and California schools; though they credit the same authors, state-specific editions differ in their treatment of issues such as immigration, gun control, religion, and the history of slavery.
https://bylinetimes.com/2020/01/06/australia-can-only-save-itself-if-it-fixes-the-rot-in-its-political-system/
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/dangerous-misinformation-news-corp-employee-s-fire-coverage-email-20200110-p53qel.html
https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/australia-s-bushfires-show-why-democracy-requires-shared-truths-20200110-p53qf1.html
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/12/us/texas-vs-california-history-textbooks.html

How China Built Its Technological Powerhouse
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this special report, The Economist's Hal Hodson surveys technology in China, studying state subsidies, legal issues, and sector weaknesses to show how the country has built its capabilities and technological access, and how its capacity for developing new technologies is changing. The report includes articles on IP law in China, the role of state subsidies, and its increasing expertise in microchip design, especially for AI applications. Separately, in a blog posting Andres Guadamuz discusses a Chinese court's ruling that articles generated by artificial intelligence are protected by copyright.
https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2020/01/02/with-the-states-help-chinese-technology-is-booming
https://www.technollama.co.uk/chinese-court-rules-that-ai-article-has-copyright

Four Lessons from Ten Years of Crowdsourcing Eyewitness Accounts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Correspondent, Esra'a Al Shafei outlines four lessons from ten years of work on Bahrain-based CrowdVoice, a platform to crowdsource eyewitness accounts from protests all over the world. Among them: eyewitness testimony and evidence-based reporting are crucial, and these depend on large networks and anonymity.
https://thecorrespondent.com/227/wisdom-of-the-crowd-four-lessons-from-10-years-of-documenting-social-movements/256407845914-c6d77eb3

Russia Poses Stealthier Threat to US 2020 Presidential Election
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Matthew Rosenberg, Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger examine the stealthier tactics Russia's intelligence agencies are set to deploy for the 2020 US presidential election. While defenses have improved since 2016, many of the same vulnerabilities remain, and new attackers, such as Iran, have entered the field. Widespread distrust means the fear of an attack could be as dangerous as the reality.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/us/politics/russia-hacking-disinformation-election.html

Brexit Endangers the EU's Unitary Patent Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Register, Kieren McCarthy explains the arguments being heard in the German Constitutional Court that could kill the planned European Unitary Patent Court. Very few recognize that the risk is serious, he writes; among other arguments, the complaint contends that the court's legitimacy rests on support from the three compulsory signatories which jointly generate most of Europe's patents - France, Germany, and the UK, which will shortly no longer be an EU member. The UPC was expected to be operational in early 2021.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/16/single_european_patent/

The Inherent Conservatism of Artificial intelligence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the LA Review of Books, Cory Doctorow discusses Molly Sauter's 2007 proposition that AI and machine learning are inherently conservative. Empiricism-washing, he writes, "is the top ideological dirty trick of technocrats everywhere"; he concludes that far more important than what technology does is "who it is doing it for and who it is doing it to".
http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/provocations/neophobic-conservative-ai-overlords-want-everything-stay


***

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

FAT* 2020
----------------------------------------
January 27-30, 2020
Barcelona, Spain
ACM FAT* is an annual conference dedicated 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.
https://fatconference.org/

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.
https://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2020

AI@Work
----------------------------------------
March 5-6, 2020
Amsterdam, Netherlands
From automating simple tasks to predicting efficiencies, AI has much to offer business. Yet we have also been warned: AI will reinforce biases, hide important decisions, and deplete employment. Are we headed to a smarter workplace, or a dumber future? AI@Work will go beyond siloed debate: computer scientists, ethicists, academics, policy makers, and business leaders will come together to share ambitions, experiences, concerns, and visions.
https://ai.reshapingwork.net/

AI Summit 2020
----------------------------------------
March 16-17
Brussels, Belgium
Politico's AI Summit returns to Brussels to tackle key questions about the future of AI global regulation and the technology's implementation. The conference will consider whether and how AI development should be limited, different cultural interpretations of "trustworthy", and the challenges of implementing a cross-border and coordinated European approach to AI.
https://diievents.dii.eu/ai-summit/

ECogS 2020
----------------------------------------
March 23-26, 2020
Okinawa, Japan
The International Conference on Embodied Cognitive Science (ECogS) will bring together approaches that are theoretically and methodologically diverse yet united in their commitment to an alternative orientation, one in which embodied interaction plays the primary organizing role of life, mind, and consciousness.
https://groups.oist.jp/ecogs

TICTeC 2020
----------------------------------------
March 24-25, 2020
Reykjavik, Iceland
mySociety created TICTeC to bridge the gap between civic tech and research - to bring two different communities together, to emphasize the importance of being able to demonstrate impact, and to share what those impacts are. Because Reykjavik's city Council has pioneered using digital tools to elicit feedback from citizens on council policies, expenditures, and projects, the 2020 conference will provide a special opportunity to learn from Iceland's extensive civic technology and civic engagement experience.
https://www.mysociety.org/2019/09/20/join-us-in-reykjavik-for-tictec-2020/

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

Personal Democracy Forum CEE 2020
----------------------------------------
April 23-25, 2020
Gdańsk, Poland
The eighth PDF CEE is organized by the ePaństwo Foundation together with the City of Gdańsk and the European Solidarity Centre and will be followed by the fourth edition of the Festival of Civic Tech for Democracy. The 2020 conference is inspired by the 21 Demands proposed in 1980 by strikers in the Gdańsk Shipyard, and is expected to attract around 500 democracy activists, civic tech enthusiasts, media, business and academic representatives, public administration officials, opinion makers, influencers, cultural activists, digital media specialists and activists to debate human and digital rights, transparency of governments, cybersecurity, civic technologies and countering disinformation.
https://pdfcee.pl/en/

AI for Good
----------------------------------------
May 4-8, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/08/28/cc-global-summit-lisbon-may-14-16/

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 11-12, 2010
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/papers-2020.html

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
June 15-16, 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/

Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen  Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

WEIS 2020
----------------------------------------
June, 2020 (TBD)
Brussels, Belgium
The annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security crosses the disciplines of economics, behavioural science, and computer security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

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

DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

Netroots Nation
----------------------------------------
August 13-15, 2020
Denver, Colorado, USA
For more than a decade, Netroots Nation, which began as a convention for the most active members of the DailyKos community, has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives and other organizers and advocacy groups, drawing thousands of attendees from around the country and beyond, to develop their work around topics such as sharing data, developing technology talent, and managing digital campaigns.
https://www.netrootsnation.org/

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/

MozFest 2020
----------------------------------------
October, 2020
Location TBD
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://foundation.mozilla.org/en/initiatives/open-leadership-events/collaborate-with-us-/

Future in Review
----------------------------------------
October 6-9, 2020
La Jolla, CA, USA
Future in Review 2019 is a global conference on the intersection of technology and the economy, offering new partnerships, projects, and plans, and the opportunity to analyze and create the future of technology, economics, pure science, the environment, genomics, education, and more.
https://www.futureinreview.com

International Open Data Conference
----------------------------------------
November 18-20, 2020
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/


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending December 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 next issue of this digest will be published on the second Thursday of January 2020. 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: EDRi, EPIC, medConfidential, Open Rights Group, Privacy International.


NEWS
=====

China: Scientists Seek to Predict Facial Structure from DNA Samples
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chinese scientists, along with others elsewhere, are working on DNA phenotyping, a technique to derive a person's facial image from their DNA, Sui-Lee Wee and Paul Mozur report at the New York Times. Ethics experts fear the technology will be used to justify and intensify racial profiling and other types of discrimination against Uighurs, who are required to submit DNA samples as part of a mandatory health check program. The BBC reports that China also now requires facial scans as a condition of registering for mobile phone service so all internet users can be matched to their real-life identities. At the South China Morning Post, Sarah Dai discovers that in several residential neighborhoods the Chinese government is trialing a face-scanning system in public bins, to oversee a new garbage sorting program, and social housing, to block illegal subletting.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/business/china-dna-uighurs-xinjiang.html
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-50587098
https://www.scmp.com/tech/policy/article/3020977/chinas-facial-recognition-mania-now-extends-public-housing-and-trash

Gamer Social Media Offer Abusers Access to Young People
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Games like Minecraft and Fortnite, along with the gamer social media platform Discord, provide pedophiles and abusers with an easy way to dupe young people into sharing sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves, Nellie Bowles and Michael H. Keller report at the New York Times. Some perpetrators groom thousands of victims, while the companies concerned have little incentive to tackle the issue. It's believed that the vast majority of cases are never reported.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/07/us/video-games-child-sex-abuse.html

UK: Election Sees Political Parties Exploit Data and Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group has sent the UK's Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties a letter threatening legal action if they do not cease processing the data pertaining to three individuals, Carole Cadwalladr reports at the Guardian. ORG claims that abuse of personal data is a systemic issue in British politics. In two articles at New Statesman, Chris Stokel-Walker analyzes the main UK parties' advertising media choices in the run-up to the December 12 general election: on YouTube the Conservatives seek mass coverage, while on Facebook Labour targets voters and engagement. At BuzzFeed News, Alberto Nardelli reports that for €300 NATO Stratcom bought 3,530 comments, 25,750 likes, 20,000 views, and 5,100 followers across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to test their ability to detect potentially malicious activity. The newly-released study finds that after four weeks, 80% of these purchased engagements were still online, and after three weeks 95% of a sampling of fake accounts reported to the companies remained active. In a series on digital campaigning, the Guardian examines the demographics the British parties are targeting and how voters follow the news on their smartphones.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/09/campaigners-threaten-uk-parties-with-legal-action-over-data-processing
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/media/2019/12/tories-are-spending-big-youtube-ads-here-s-why
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/election-2019/2019/12/facebook-jeremy-corbyn-getting-all-attention
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/albertonardelli/facebook-twitter-google-manipulation-nato-stratcom
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/series/the-digital-campaign

Journal Publishers Rethink Consent in View of Surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Journal publishers Wiley and Springer Nature will reevaluate papers they have published on ethnic minority groups in China after the Belgian engineering professor Yves Moreau raised concerns in a Nature article, Benedicte Page reports at The Bookseller. As DNA databases and surveillance continue to grow, publishers are putting in place stricter requirements for obtaining consent, to ensure that research papers do not put vulnerable populations at increased risk.
https://www.thebookseller.com/news/publishers-vow-new-checks-china-surveillance-research-1128121

UK Health System Sells Patient Records to Pharmaceutical Companies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK Department of Health and Social Care's licensing arm, Clinical Practice Research Datalink, sold millions of NHS patient records to companies such as Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Eli Lilly, Toby Helm reports at the Guardian. The discovery follows the leak of UK-US trade negotiation documents indicating that the "free flow of data" is a top priority for the US. Campaigning organization medConfidential queries whether the transfers were consensual, safe, and transparent. Also at the Guardian, Amy Walker reports that a UK government contract gives Amazon free rein to use NHS health care information to enable Alexa to offer expert health advice to users on systems, causes, and definitions of conditions, and other content, which Amazon may freely share with third parties and use to develop new products and applications. Privacy International, which obtained the contract under an FOI request, finds a lack of transparency and warns that it allows Amazon to use NHS information for advertising and marketing.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/07/nhs-medical-data-sales-american-pharma-lack-transparency
https://privacyinternational.org/long-read/3298/alexa-what-hidden-behind-your-contract-nhs

New South Wales Police Obtain International Warrant for Simon Davies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Australian police have been unable to locate long-time high-profile privacy advocate Simon Davies since issuing, in September 2016, an international arrest warrant listing 18 child sexual and indecent assault offenses relating to four teenage boys between 1981 and 1987, the BBC reports. In a statement, Privacy International, which Davies co-founded and left in 2010, said that during his time at PI neither board nor staff had any knowledge of suspicions against him and the organization did not work with children.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50714406


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

The Democratic Dilemma in Banning Terrorist Organizations
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this document, the UK's Independent Terrorism Reviewer, Jonathan Hall, publishes the text of his November 26 talk to the Israel Democracy Institute on the democratic dilemmas inherent in designating terrorist organizations, a legal power in operation in both the UK and Israel. The lack of any system for removing organizations from the terrorism list makes the decision to add them inevitably political. He believes the power should be retained, but that it may be too blunt to deal with evolving threats such as those posed by right-wing extremist groups. The new power to designate "no-go areas" has been picked up by Australia and Denmark, and is being considered in the Netherlands. At the Jerusalem Post, Yonah Jeremy Bob reports more of Hall's remarks and the ensuing discussion.
https://terrorismlegislationreviewer.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/191126-Israel-Talk-.pdf
https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/UK-counter-terror-official-We-can-learn-from-Israel-about-opposing-terror-609107

Opportunities for Education Lurk in EU Copyright Directive
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Communia, Teresa Nobre explains the mandatory exception for digital and cross-border education incorporated in Article 5 of the 2019 EU Copyright Directive and suggests how it should be implemented in transposing legislation. Countries have an opportunity to move beyond the law and improve existing exceptions.
https://www.communia-association.org/2019/12/05/implementing-new-eu-exception-digital-cross-border-education/

Don't Be Evil
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this audio clip at Slate, Financial Times assistant editor Rana Foroohar is interviewed about Don't Be Evil, her new book about the big technology companies' betrayal of their founding principles. The book was sparked by discovering that just 10% of companies hold 80% of worldwide corporate wealth because of their data holdings. At the Guardian, John Naughton reviews Foroohar's book and surmises its lesson may be that Big Tech has already become "too big to fail".
https://slate.com/podcasts/live-at-politics-and-prose/2019/12/rana-foroohar-book-dont-be-evil
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/03/dont-be-evil-review-rana-foroohar-tech-giants-too-big-to-fail

Experts Disagree on DNS-over-HTTPS Implementation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, computer scientist Paul Vixie discusses the history of the domain name system (DNS), which he helped implement, and the planned move to route DNS queries over the secure web protocol HTTPS (DoH), which Mozilla, Google, and Cloudflare are proposing to turn on by default. DoH gives users greater security against monitoring and interception, as EFF argues in a letter urging US lawmakers to support it, but, Vixie says, it poses genuine problems for those managing private networks.
https://youtu.be/LYosersEBoM
https://www.eff.org/press/releases/eff-and-partners-urge-us-lawmakers-support-new-doh-protocol-more-secure-internet

South Africa: President Should Enact Copyright Reform
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Business Day, Andrew Rens and Achal Prabhala argue that the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, should sign the long-awaited copyright reform bill without further delay. Until the law comes into force, visually impaired people are blocked from accessing information, musicians struggle to collect the royalties they are owed, media creators lack freedoms granted in other countries, and students struggle to afford textbooks. The country is also awaiting action on agreed changes to patent policy.
https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2019-12-05-no-reason-for-president-to-delay-urgently-needed-copyright-law/

Reengineering Social Media for the Public Interest
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article for the Columbia Journalism Review, Ethan Zuckerman imagines what the web would look like if it were designed to serve the public interest, drawing on the history of radio to suggest alternative models for social media network design. At Buzzfeed, Cameron Wilson profiles the difficulties facing the untrained volunteers who run neighborhood Facebook groups, which function as combined town square, Neighborhood Watch, and emergency information service. At EDRi, observer Homo Digitalis profiles a previously unknown Facebook content moderation center in Athens. At the New York Times, Annalee Newitz sets out in search of ways to back the public sphere at risk from today's social media and finds suggestions for new business models (science fiction writer John Scalzi), "slow media" (Safiya Noble), and algorithm-generated new rules (Janelle Shane's GPT-2). In a Reddit AMA, Jimmy Wales discusses how his new social network WT.Social, which will survive on at-will donations from its users, will handle the thorny questions that other social media have struggled with.
https://www.cjr.org/special_report/building-honest-internet-public-interest.php
https://www.buzzfeed.com/cameronwilson/neighbourhood-facebook-groups-bushfires-defamation-fights
https://edri.org/shedding-light-on-the-facebook-content-moderation-centre-in-athens/
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/30/opinion/social-media-future.html
https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/e52r7u/iama_jimmy_wales_founder_of_wikipedia_now_trying/


***

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

CPDP 2020
----------------------------------------
January 22-24, 2020
Brussels, Belgium
The 2020 edition of Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection continues the tradition of  offering 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.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org

FAT* 2020
----------------------------------------
January 27-30, 2020
Barcelona, Spain
ACM FAT* is an annual conference dedicated 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.
https://fatconference.org/

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.
https://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2020

AI@Work
----------------------------------------
March 5-6, 2020
Amsterdam, Netherlands
From automating simple tasks to predicting efficiencies, AI has much to offer business. Yet we have also been warned: AI will reinforce biases, hide important decisions, and deplete employment. Are we headed to a smarter workplace, or a dumber future? AI@Work will go beyond siloed debate: computer scientists, ethicists, academics, policy makers, and business leaders will come together to share ambitions, experiences, concerns, and visions.
https://ai.reshapingwork.net/

AI Summit 2020
----------------------------------------
March 16-17
Brussels, Belgium
Politico's AI Summit returns to Brussels to tackle key questions about the future of AI global regulation and the technology's implementation. The conference will consider whether and how AI development should be limited, different cultural interpretations of "trustworthy", and the challenges of implementing a cross-border and coordinated European approach to AI.
https://diievents.dii.eu/ai-summit/

TICTeC 2020
----------------------------------------
March 24-25, 2020
Reykjavik, Iceland
mySociety created TICTeC to bridge the gap between civic tech and research - to bring two different communities together, to emphasize the importance of being able to demonstrate impact, and to share what those impacts are. Because Reykjavik's city Council has pioneered using digital tools to elicit feedback from citizens on council policies, expenditures, and projects, the 2020 conference will provide a special opportunity to learn from Iceland's extensive civic technology and civic engagement experience.
https://www.mysociety.org/2019/09/20/join-us-in-reykjavik-for-tictec-2020/

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

AI for Good
----------------------------------------
May 4-8, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/08/28/cc-global-summit-lisbon-may-14-16/

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 11-12, 2010
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/papers-2020.html

Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen  Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

WEIS 2020
----------------------------------------
June, 2020 (TBD)
Brussels, Belgium
The annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security crosses the disciplines of economics, behavioural science, and computer security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

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

DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

Netroots Nation
----------------------------------------
August 13-15, 2020
Denver, Colorado, USA
For more than a decade, Netroots Nation, which began as a convention for the most active members of the DailyKos community, has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives and other organizers and advocacy groups, drawing thousands of attendees from around the country and beyond, to develop their work around topics such as sharing data, developing technology talent, and managing digital campaigns.
https://www.netrootsnation.org/

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
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 29, 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: Access Now, Amnesty International, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Center for Democracy and Technology, Creative Commons, Dejusticia, EFF, EU DisinfoLab, Free Software Foundation, Internet Archive, Public Knowledge, Wikimedia.


NEWS
=====

Internet Society Privatizes .org Generic Top-Level Domain Registry
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Internet Society has announced it will sell the .org generic top level domain name registry to the private equity firm Ethos Capital, after which Public Interest Registry, the owner of .org since 2003, will discard its non-profit status, Kieren McCarthy reports at The Register. The sale follows the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decision to lift price caps on .org domains for the next ten years. At The Longest Now, Sam Klein calls the decision a race toward regulatory capture and provides additional background. At its blog, EFF details its six months of efforts to persuade ICANN to remove contract provisions that make it easier for authorities to censor NGOs' websites. A coalition of organizations including EFF, Free Software Foundation, Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, Wikimedia, and numerous others representing museums, the Scouting movement, volunteers, and non-profits have sent an open letter asking the Internet Society to reconsider. Organizations and individuals may sign on at the Save Dot Org website.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/20/org_registry_sale_shambles/
https://blogs.harvard.edu/sj/2019/11/23/a-tale-of-icann-and-regulatory-capture-the-dot-org-heist/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/11/nonprofit-community-stands-together-protect-org
https://www.eff.org/document/coalition-letter-sale-public-interest-registry
https://savedotorg.org/

UK: AI Use Exacerbates Racism and Disempowerment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A new algorithmic tool for categorizing prisoners in UK jails risks automating and embedding racism, exacerbating the problems exposed in a 2017 review by the Labour MP David Lammy, Croften Black warns in a new report for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. At UK Authority, Michael Cross summarizes the objections of UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Philip Sales to digital government depersonalization of public services, which turns individuals into powerless "serfs".
https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2019-11-14/prisoner-risk-algorithm-could-program-in-racism
https://www.ukauthority.com/articles/judge-sounds-serf-warning-on-digital-public-services/

Russian Law Requires Domestic Software on New Devices
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Under a new law, Russia will ban the sale of an as-yet unpublished list of smartphones, computers, and smart TVs that do not include preinstalled Russian software, the BBC reports. Bill co-author Oleg Nikolayev claims the intention is to show users there are Russian alternatives to Western software; critics fear that the requirement will lead manufacturers to withdraw from the Russian market and that the software will be used to spy on users.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50507849

INTERPOL Specialist Group Seeks to Ban End-to-End Encryption
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the behest of the US Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, the 37th meeting of the INTERPOL Specialists Group on Crimes against Children issued a draft resolution banning end-to-end encryption and blaming the technology industry for child exploitation, Sean Gallegher reports at Ars Technica.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/11/think-of-the-children-fbi-sought-interpol-statement-against-end-to-end-crypto/

Fake Local Media Outlets Seek to Spread Indian Influence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A coordinated network of 265 fake local media outlets in more than 65 countries is managed by India's Srivastava Group in order to influence institutions and elected representatives, provide NGOs with press material, and influence public perceptions of Pakistan, EU DisinfoLab reports. The lab will soon publish a full report and welcomes contributions.
https://www.disinfo.eu/2019/11/13/uncovered:-265-coordinated-fake-local-media-outlets-serving-indian-interests/

Big Tech Business Models Depend on Systematic Violation of Human Rights
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A new report from Amnesty International argues that Google's and Facebook's business models fundamentally depend on constant surveillance and systematic violation of human rights, and that while their power has so far kept governments and regulators from holding them accountable, the era of self-regulation is ending,  Christine Fisher reports at Engadget. In another new report, Dejusticia analyzes the privacy policies of 30 companies with data-driven business models active in Colombia to identify practices overlooked by the country's data protection regime. At Slate, Elena Botella examines leaked documents to reveal that Facebook gains $132.80 in revenues per US or Canadian user. At The Correspondent, Jesse Frederik and Maurits Martijn present data showing that we actually do not know whether online advertising works.
https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/21/facebook-google-amnesty-international-human-rights/
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol30/1404/2019/en/
https://www.dejusticia.org/en/publication/accountability-of-google-and-other-data-driven-business-models-data-protection-in-the-digital-age/
https://slate.com/technology/2019/11/facebook-six4three-pikinis-lawsuit-emails-data.html
https://thecorrespondent.com/100/the-new-dot-com-bubble-is-here-its-called-online-advertising/13228924500-22d5fd24


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

Proposals Favor Geoblocking Open Access Research
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at the LSE, Martin Eve argues that we should resist proposals to use geoblocking to limit access to the countries that were involved in funding research and its publication or to countries that have strong open access policies. Giving in to insularity impedes the benefits of research and compromises the moral argument for open access.
https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2019/11/11/if-we-choose-to-align-open-access-to-research-with-geo-political-borders-we-negate-the-moral-value-of-open-access/

Health Care Provider Ascension Hires Google to Manage Patient Data
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this radio clip and transcript at NPR, Shannon Bond discusses the $2 billion contract under which Google manages clinical data collected by Ascension, a large Catholic health care system that operates hospitals and doctors' offices in 20 US states and Washington, DC. Ascension and Google respond that Google is not allowed to use the data, which is kept encrypted, for advertising or research. The news broke a few days after Reuters reported that Google will acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion, promising that Fitbit users' health and wellness data will not be used for ads.
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/14/779208282/google-health-data-project-under-scrutiny
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fitbit-m-a-alphabet-idUSKBN1XB47G

Privacy-Related Organizations Accept Funding from Google and Facebook
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Bloomberg, Daniel R. Stoller investigates Google's and Facebook's donations to think tanks and NGOs that work on privacy issues, and suggests the donations influence these organizations' work with legislators and journalists. The seven organizations listed are: Center for Democracy and Technology, Future of Privacy Forum, Access Now (total donations $208,000), EFF ($30,000), Brookings Institution, Cato Institute, and American Enterprise Institute.
https://news.bloomberglaw.com/privacy-and-data-security/facebook-google-donate-heavily-to-privacy-advocacy-groups

Digital Technologies Threaten Academic Freedom
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this forum from International Studies Perspectives, researchers examine various aspects of the impact of online centralization, censorship, and surveillance on scholarship. In order to avert the threats to academic freedom being brought by harassment, exploitation, centralized infrastructure, monitoring via "smart" campuses and classrooms, and anti-terrorism initiatives, it is increasingly essential to improve "digital hygiene".
https://academic.oup.com/isp/advance-article/doi/10.1093/isp/ekz016/5584393

Global Players Fund African Fintech Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Quartz article, Yomi Kazeem surveys the state of the fintech sector in Africa, where 66% of the adult population are unbanked and for whom new companies and technologies offer an opportunity for financial inclusion. In Kenya, financial inclusion has risen to 83% since M-Pesa mobile money launched in 2007. Entrants into these markets include startups backed by American giants PayPal, Visa, Stripe, and Mastercard alongside others backed by Chinese companies and investors. In a Twitter thread, Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson reports that the Apple Card's algorithm assigned him 20 times the credit limit offered to his wife even though they file joint returns, have been married a long time, and live in a community property state. At the New York Times, Yiren Lu explains the workings in China of WeChat's miniprograms, which offer easy access to payment processing for small and medium-sized businesses moving online.
https://qz.com/africa/1751701/everything-you-need-to-know-about-african-fintech/
https://twitter.com/dhh/status/1192540900393705474
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/13/magazine/internet-china-wechat.html

How to Identify AI Snake Oil
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this interview at IEEE Spectrum, Janelle Shane, author of You Look Like a Thing and I Love You, explains to Eliza Strickland that the narrower the problem the AI is asked to solve, the smarter it will seem. At BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow summarizes Princeton computer scientist Arvind Narayanan's guide to recognizing AI snake oil. Narayanan divides current AI into three categories: perception (making rapid progress), automating judgment ("imperfect but improving"), and predicting social outcomes ("fundamentally dubious").
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/robotics/artificial-intelligence/blogger-behind-ai-weirdness-thinks-todays-ai-is-dumb-and-dangerous
https://boingboing.net/2019/11/21/debullshitifying-ai.html

White Nationalists Operate Openly on Facebook
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Guardian, Julia Carrie Wong reports on the open operations of white nationalists on Facebook and the company's refusal to take action to stop them. Active groups such as Red Ice TV, now banned from YouTube, and VDare, the Affirmative Right, and American Free Press, as well as two Holocaust denial organizations, have longstanding Facebook pages. Despite critics' objections, Facebook includes Breitbart News on its list of trusted sources of information.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/21/facebook-white-nationalists-ban-vdare-red-ice


***

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

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.
http://site.uit.no/muninconf/

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.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/call-for-panels

FAT* 2020
----------------------------------------
January 27-30, 2020
Barcelona, Spain
ACM FAT* is an annual conference dedicated 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.
https://fatconference.org/

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.
https://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2020

AI@Work
----------------------------------------
March 5-6, 2020
Amsterdam, Netherlands
From automating simple tasks to predicting efficiencies, AI has much to offer business. Yet we have also been warned: AI will reinforce biases, hide important decisions, and deplete employment. Are we headed to a smarter workplace, or a dumber future? AI@Work will go beyond siloed debate: computer scientists, ethicists, academics, policy makers, and business leaders will come together to share ambitions, experiences, concerns, and visions.
https://ai.reshapingwork.net/

AI Summit 2020
----------------------------------------
March 16-17
Brussels, Belgium
Politico's AI Summit returns to Brussels to tackle key questions about the future of AI global regulation and the technology's implementation. The conference will consider whether and how AI development should be limited, different cultural interpretations of "trustworthy," and the challenges of implementing a cross-border and coordinated European approach to AI.
https://diievents.dii.eu/ai-summit/

TICTeC 2020
----------------------------------------
March 24-25, 2020
Reykjavik, Iceland
mySociety created TICTeC to bridge the gap between civic tech and research ñ to bring two different communities together, to emphasize the importance of being able to demonstrate impact, and to share what those impacts are. Because Reykjavik's city Council has pioneered using digital tools to elicit feedback from citizens on council policies, expenditures, and projects, the 2020 conference will provide a special opportunity to learn from Iceland's extensive civic technology and civic engagement experience.
https://www.mysociety.org/2019/09/20/join-us-in-reykjavik-for-tictec-2020/

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

AI for Good
----------------------------------------
May 4-8, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/08/28/cc-global-summit-lisbon-may-14-16/

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San JosÈ, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen  Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

WEIS 2020
----------------------------------------
June, 2020 (TBD)
Brussels, Belgium
The annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security crosses the disciplines of economics, behavioural science, and computer security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

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

DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

Netroots Nation
----------------------------------------
August 13-15, 2020
Denver, Colorado, USA
For more than a decade, Netroots Nation, which began as a convention for the most active members of the DailyKos community, has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives and other organizers and advocacy groups, drawing thousands of attendees from around the country and beyond, to develop their work around topics such as sharing data, developing technology talent, and managing digital campaigns.
https://www.netrootsnation.org/

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/


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License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending November 15, 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: Citizen Lab, EDRi, EFF, Open Rights Group.


NEWS
=====

Twitter Employees Charged with Spying for Saudi Arabia
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Department of Justice has arrested and charged two Twitter employees with spying for Saudi Arabia by accessing the company's information on dissidents who use the platform, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Bensinger report at the Washington Post. The case is significant both because Twitter is Saudi's de facto public space (according to Human Rights Watch researcher Adam Coogle) and because court papers link at least one of the spies to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. At YCombinator's Hacker News, a Twitter employee who worked with one of the arrestees describes the tools they had available and efforts to fix them.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/former-twitter-employees-charged-with-spying-for-saudi-arabia-by-digging-into-the-accounts-of-kingdom-critics/2019/11/06/2e9593da-00a0-11ea-8bab-0fc209e065a8_story.html
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21470898

WhatsApp Sues NSO Group
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook's WhatsApp subsidiary has launched a lawsuit in a California court against the Israeli cyber-weapons company NSO Group claiming that the company's technology was used to attack more than 1,400 of its users, Stephanie Kurchgaessner, Nick Hopkins, and Oliver Holmes report at the Guardian. At least 100 of those users were democracy activists, journalists, and academics, whom the company warned privately when it discovered the attacks. At Reuters, Christopher Bing and Raphael Satter report that Citizen Lab, which worked with WhatsApp to identify the hacking targets, found that among them were high-profile government and military officials spread across at least 20 countries on five continents.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/01/whatsapp-hack-is-serious-rights-violation-say-alleged-victims
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-cyber-whatsapp-nsogroup/exclusive-whatsapp-hacked-to-spy-on-top-government-officials-at-u-s-allies-sources-idUSKBN1XA27H

India Commissions Facial Recognition Database to Link to Aadhaar
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Indian National Crime Records Bureau has published a 172-page document requesting bids from companies to build what is likely to become one of the world's biggest facial recognition databases, Glyn Moody reports at Privacy News Online. The database would be a single, central resource accessible to police in the country's 29 states and seven union territories. At Reuters, Rina Chandran adds that Indian authorities say the country is severely under-policed, and needs facial recognition technology to compensate. At Comparitech, Paul Bischoff reports that its latest survey of the world's top 100 most-surveilled cities, based on the number of CCTV cameras per 1,000 residents, finds that eight of the top ten are Chinese; the others are London (placed sixth) and Atlanta (tenth). Also high-ranked are the Indian cities of Delhi and Chennai. Comparitech finds little correlation between the number of public CCTV cameras and crime or safety.
https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2019/11/beyond-aadhaar-india-wants-to-create-a-giant-centralized-facial-recognition-database/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-tech-facialrecognition-trfn/mass-surveillance-fears-as-india-readies-facial-recognition-system-idUSKBN1XH0S9
https://www.comparitech.com/vpn-privacy/the-worlds-most-surveilled-cities/

Data-Driven Policing Leads to Racial Profiling
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Data-driven policing is leading to racial profiling, the European Network Against Racism finds in a new report. Authors Eric Kind and Patrick Williams find that new technologies such as mobile fingerprinting scanners, crime analytics, social media monitoring, and mobile phone extraction will disproportionately add to the over-policing of minority communities, even though law enforcement agencies present them as race-neutral, unbiased, and objective. The research was supported by the OSF Information Program and Open Justice Initiative,
https://www.enar-eu.org/Data-driven-policing-is-leading-to-racial-profiling

Internet Archive Helps Expand Wikipedia's Sourcing
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A new initiative by the Internet Archive is allowing Wikipedia to improve its reliability by providing a two-page preview of books cited as sources, Klint Finley reports at Wired. The Archive's Wayback Machine has scanned 3.8 million books, with more millions waiting, and is digitizing other analog media; also, its InternetArchiveBot tool scans Wikipedia for broken links and adds links to stored copies in the Wayback Machine. In a blog posting, Archive founder Brewster Kahle says books are critical to informing "a generation of digital learners". In a speech to the Indian Young National Academy of Science, longtime activist Carl Malamud outlines his efforts to grant Indian scientists the scientific literature access they need to conduct text and data mining, and calls the ongoing "colonization of knowledge" a "moral travesty".
https://www.wired.com/story/internet-archive-wikipedia-more-reliable/
https://blog.archive.org/2019/10/29/weaving-books-into-the-web-starting-with-wikipedia/
https://public.resource.org/speech.inyas.20191106.pdf (PDF)

Abuse Drives Female Politicians to Resign
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Women in early political careers make up a disproportionately large number of the 70-plus British MPs who are standing down in the December 12 general election, Frances Perraudin and Simon Murphy report at the Guardian. Many highlight the abuse, threats, and intimidation that have become part of their daily lives as politicians. At the Washington Post, Meagan Flynn reports that in her resignation speech Congresswoman Katie Hill cited the double standards and "misogynistic culture" that led her to resign after her estranged husband gave her nude images to conservative news sites without her consent.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/31/alarm-over-number-female-mps-stepping-down-after-abuse
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/28/after-resigning-rep-katie-hill-vows-battle-revenge-porn-which-critics-blame-her-downfall/


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

EFF Urges Adoption of DNS-over-HTTPS
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this press release, EFF urges the US Congress to support implementing DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH), a protocol for encrypting domain name system (DNS) requests that Mozilla and Google are incorporating into web browsers, in order to embed encryption more deeply into the internet, thereby improving privacy and impeding governments' ability to track and censor people. At Ars Technica, Timothy B. Lee explains why ISPs are largely opposed: DoH will remove some of their control. An Open Rights Group report released in June welcomes encrypted DNS, but argues that turning it on should always be a user choice. In a net.wars posting, Wendy M. Grossman outlines the UK controversy over implementing DoH: ISPs are opposed to DoH because it will increase centralization and disable some of their security techniques, and others because it will break the workarounds used to block access to child abuse images.
https://www.eff.org/press/releases/eff-and-partners-urge-us-lawmakers-support-new-doh-protocol-more-secure-internet
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/09/isps-worry-a-new-chrome-feature-will-stop-them-from-spying-on-you/
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/about/reports/dns-security-getting-it-right
https://www.pelicancrossing.net/netwars/2019/05/namesakes_1.html

Active Russian Facebook Influence Operation Targets African Countries
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting, the Stanford Internet Observatory summarizes its new paper documenting the connections between Yevgeny Prigozhin, best known for running the Internet Research Agency troll farm, and an active Facebook influence operation targeting Libya, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madascar, Mozambique, and Sudan. The operation also leverages public WhatsApp and Telegram groups.
https://cyber.fsi.stanford.edu/io/news/prigozhin-africa

Twitter and Facebook Take Opposite Approaches to Political Advertising
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Guardian article, Julia Carrie Wong discusses Twitter's decision to ban political advertising as the UK's politicians campaign for re-election and the US 2020 presidential race ramps up, raising the pressure on Facebook to do likewise. Separately, Wong reports Facebook's decision to exempt politicians from third-party fact-checking because it "believes in freedom of expression". In a video clip at CNBC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pushes Zuckerberg to explain his company's policies on disseminating false information. In a second clip at C-Span, Joyce Beatty (D-OH) probes Facebook's commitment to diversity. At the New Yorker, Sue Halpern discusses the difficulty of regulating narrowcast political ads and calls Mark Zuckerberg's free speech argument a deceptive use of the word "free". At the New York Times, Siva Vaidhyanathan argues we need legislation to force companies to cease using personal data for microtargeting. Based on his six months as head of global elections integrity for Facebook, Yaël Eisenstat argues in the New York Times that because Facebook's profits depend on amplifying lies and selling targeting tools, tinkering with advertising policies won't work. Finally, in an EDRi blog post summarizing UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye's sixth report on information and communication technology, Ella Jakubowska outlines his specific recommendations to help states and Internet companies comply with the fundamental principles of human rights when designing efforts to control online hate speech.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/30/twitter-ban-political-advertising-us-election
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/10/facebook-trump-politics-technology-zuckerberg
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/23/aoc-grills-zuckerberg-over-facebook-allowing-lies-in-political-ads.html
https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4824601/user-clip-rep-beatty-questions-zuckerberg-diversity-housing-practices-10-23-19
https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-problem-of-political-advertising-on-social-media
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/02/opinion/facebook-zuckerberg-political-ads.html
https://edri.org/hate-speech-online-lessons-for-protecting-free-expression/

Browser Fingerprinting Trumps Privacy Choices
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Washington Post, Geoffrey A. Fowler explains browser fingerprinting, an increasingly-used form of online tracking that is difficult for internet users to avoid, even if they use a VPN or turn on private browsing mode. Sites even exploit the choice to turn on "Do Not Track" to uniquely identify visitors. Fowler identifies 183 popular sites that use fingerprinting, and asks 30 to explain why.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/10/31/think-youre-anonymous-online-third-popular-websites-are-fingerprinting-you/

Child Abuse Victims Suffer as Their Images Continue to Circulate
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Michael H. Keller and Gabriel J.X. Dance discuss the case of two sisters who are haunted by the photos and videos of their childhood abuse, which their father posted online ten years ago and which have been found in over 130 child sexual abuse investigations this year alone. Despite the decade-old existence of PhotoDNA, which fingerprints and identifies abuse images, the response from technology companies remains inconsistent, largely unilateral, reactive, and secretive.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/09/us/internet-child-sex-abuse.html

The Loss of the "Good Internet"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Week, Phillip Maciak laments the death of the "good internet", the 2000s era of blogs, new media, and message boards that gave a generation of good, thoughtful writers a chance to start their careers with fresh approaches. Maciak now begins his class on cultural criticism in the digital age with a week of obituaries for sites like Grantland, Gawker, The Awl, and Television without Pity. A Washington Post editorial notes that for the ninth year in a row Freedom House's annual report finds that internet freedom is decreasing worldwide as mass surveillance and government media manipulation continue to rise.
https://theweek.com/articles/875251/good-internet-history
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-internet-gets-less-free--for-the-ninth-year-in-a-row/2019/11/05/ffe3fca0-ff48-11e9-8bab-0fc209e065a8_story.html


***

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

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.
https://www.igf2019.berlin/

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.
http://site.uit.no/muninconf/

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.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/call-for-panels

FAT* 2020
----------------------------------------
January 27-30, 2020
Barcelona, Spain
ACM FAT* is an annual conference dedicated 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.
https://fatconference.org/

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.
https://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2020

AI@Work
----------------------------------------
March 5-6, 2020
Amsterdam, Netherlands
From automating simple tasks to predicting efficiencies, AI has much to offer business. Yet we have also been warned: AI will reinforce biases, hide important decisions, and deplete employment. Are we headed to a smarter workplace, or a dumber future? AI@Work will go beyond siloed debate: computer scientists, ethicists, academics, policy makers, and business leaders will come together to share ambitions, experiences, concerns, and visions.
https://ai.reshapingwork.net/

TICTeC 2020
----------------------------------------
March 24-25, 2020
Reykjavik, Iceland
mySociety created TICTeC to bridge the gap between civic tech and research - to bring two different communities together, to emphasize the importance of being able to demonstrate impact, and to share what those impacts are. Because Reykjavik's city Council has pioneered using digital tools to elicit feedback from citizens on council policies, expenditures, and projects, the 2020 conference will provide a special opportunity to learn from Iceland's extensive civic technology and civic engagement experience.
https://www.mysociety.org/2019/09/20/join-us-in-reykjavik-for-tictec-2020/

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

AI for Good
----------------------------------------
May 4-8, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/08/28/cc-global-summit-lisbon-may-14-16/

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen  Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

WEIS 2020
----------------------------------------
June, 2020 (TBD)
Brussels, Belgium
The annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security crosses the disciplines of economics, behavioural science, and computer security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

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

DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

Netroots Nation
----------------------------------------
August 13-15, 2020
Denver, Colorado, USA
For more than a decade, Netroots Nation, which began as a convention for the most active members of the DailyKos community, has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives and other organizers and advocacy groups, drawing thousands of attendees from around the country and beyond, to develop their work around topics such as sharing data, developing technology talent, and managing digital campaigns.
https://www.netrootsnation.org/

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
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 October 25, 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: EFF, Oxford Internet Institute, Ranking Digital Rights.


NEWS
=====

UN Special Rapporteur warns of "digital welfare dystopia"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, warns that the world must act quickly to "avoid stumbling, zombie-like, into a digital welfare dystopia", the United Nations Commission on Human Rights reports. Too often, the altruistic claims made for digitizing government benefits services mask the real intention of slashing welfare benefits, installing surveillance, and generating profits for private companies. One of Alston's examples is the Netherlands, whose System Risk Indication system allows central and local government authorities to feed broad categories of previously siloed data about claimants into an undisclosed model to score the likelihood that they will commit benefit fraud. To date, it has been used exclusively in areas with a high proportion of low-income residents, migrants, and ethnic minorities.
https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25156&LangID=E
https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25152&LangID=E

Automated Systems Place Poor People at Increased Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Campaigners in India are finding that benefit support is being withdrawn from the country's most vulnerable citizens whenever there is a glitch - such as an unrecognized thumbprint or a failure to link to the Aadhaar numbering system - leaving them to die of starvation, Rebecca Ratcliffe reports at the Guardian. The story is part of the "Automating Poverty" project, which explores the consequences of increased computerization and algorithmic scoring in government services across the world. In Bristol, UK, an algorithm tries to assess the likely futures of 11 and 12-year-olds based on comparisons to current adults when they were the same age.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/16/glitch-india-biometric-welfare-system-starvation
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/15/bristol-algorithm-assess-citizens-risk-harm-guide-frontline-staff
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/series/automating-poverty
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/14/automating-poverty-algorithms-punish-poor

Human Rights Index Adds Indicators for Transparency in Advertising
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ranking Digital Rights has published draft indicators for transparency and accountability in targeted advertising policies and practices and algorithmic decision making for inclusion in its index, which assesses corporate threats to rights to privacy and freedom of expression, Nathalie Maréchal reports at the RDR's blog. RDR will follow up with a pilot study and welcomes feedback. RDR is also advertising for consultants to undertake a scoping study to inform funding proposals for its new German affiliate.
https://rankingdigitalrights.org/2019/10/18/newindicators/
https://rankingdigitalrights.org/srdrn/rfp-scoping-study/

Hate Speech Detection Systems Display Racial Bias
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at TechCrunch, Devin Coldeway summarizes a research paper that finds widespread racial bias in the training datasets used to develop hate speech detection systems such as Google's Jigsaw algorithm, which flags black American slang as "toxic". In a blog posting at 20 Minutes Into the Future, Daniel Harvey highlights the pattern of using contractors to give technology companies plausible deniability for unsavory practices. His example: to improve the face unlock feature of its Pixel 4, Google increased the diversity of its facial recognition training dataset by sending contractors to US cities and offered $5 certificates in return for scanning faces. In Atlanta, contractors targeted homeless people and low-income students, often without explaining the purpose of the scans or that they worked for Google.
https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/14/racial-bias-observed-in-hate-speech-detection-algorithm-from-google/
https://www.scribd.com/document/421898931/The-Risk-of-Racial-Bias-in-Hate-Speech-Detection
https://20minutesintothefuture.substack.com/p/google-vs-black-people-scandal-in
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/10/google-allegedly-used-homeless-train-pixel-phone/599668/

Russian Hacking Group Masquerades as Iranian Cyber-Espionage
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Russian "Turla" hacking group has exploited an Iranian cyber-espionage operation to conduct attacks on government and industry organizations in dozens of countries, primarily in the Middle East but including Britain, Al-Jazeera reports. The practice, known as "fourth party collection", has also been used by US and its Western allies, according to documents released by Edward Snowden. Danny Palmer reports at ZDNet that researchers have found that the sophisticated Russian "Cozy Bear" hacking group, also known as "APT29", which was one of the groups that hacked the Democratic National Committee in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election, has not, as previously thought, ceased operations but has used four new families of malware to target ministries of foreign affairs in at least three European countries, as well as the US embassy of an EU country in Washington, DC. Both Turla and Cozy Bear are thought to be associated with the Russian intelligence service. At Wired, Andy Greenberg recounts the history of Russian hackers' false flags.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/hacking-hackers-russian-group-hijacked-iran-spy-operation-191021041816789.html
https://www.zdnet.com/article/cybersecurity-warning-this-sophisticated-russian-hacking-group-is-back-in-action-again/
https://www.wired.com/story/russian-hackers-false-flags-iran-fancy-bear/

FBI Traces Child Sexual Exploiters via Bitcoin Payments
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Department of Justice rescued 23 children in abusive situations in the US, Spain, and the UK, arrested 330 people, and seized 8TB of child sexual exploitation videos by tracing $370,000 in bitcoin payments to the Welcome to Video child sexual exploitation site that it closed down in 2018, Merrit Kennedy reports at NPR. The site was hidden on the Tor network, and, prosecutors said, was one of the first of its kind to monetize child exploitation videos by using bitcoin.
https://www.npr.org/2019/10/16/770628069/one-of-the-worst-forms-of-evil-more-than-330-arrested-in-child-porn-site-bust


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

Open Access Continues Growth
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting summarizing a new study of open access by Heather Piwowar, Jason Priem, and Richard Orr, Our Research finds that green (especially when made available within a year of publication), gold, and hybrid papers receive more views than their closed or bronze counterparts. In 2019, OA articles received 52% of article views, even though only 31% of articles are available as OA. The researchers estimate that by 2025 those numbers will be 70% and 44%.
https://blog.ourresearch.org/future-of-oa/

The Many Ways in Which AI Contributes to Climate Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Medium, Roel Dobbe and Meredith Whittaker from the AI Now Institute explore the connections between AI and climate change. The technology sector is expected to contribute 3-3.6% of global greenhouse emissions by 2020, roughly equivalent to aviation and larger than the world's fifth biggest polluting country, Japan. Little of these energy demands are filled by renewables; in 2018 OpenAI reported that the amount of computation used in the largest AI training runs has been doubling every 3.5 months. In addition, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Google are all pitching AI services to fossil fuel companies to help optimize and accelerate fossil fuel production and extraction.
https://medium.com/@AINowInstitute/ai-and-climate-change-how-theyre-connected-and-what-we-can-do-about-it-6aa8d0f5b32c

US House Committee Considers How to Build a Healthier Internet
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this recorded livestream, the US House Committee on Energy & Commerce holds a hearing on fostering a healthier internet to protect consumers, with testimony from Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman, recent MacArthur award winner and anti-revenge pornography campaigner Danielle Citron, EFF legal director Corynne McSherry, UC Berkeley's Henry Farid, Google's head of intellectual property policy, Katherine Oyama, and Gretchen S. Peters, the executive director for the Alliance to Counter Crime Online. Among the topics discussed are deepfakes, revenge porn, and the difficulties of content moderation.
https://energycommerce.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/hearing-on-fostering-a-healthier-internet-to-protect-consumers

School Surveillance Rises in US and UK
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Guardian article, Lois Beckett examines the rampant growth of school surveillance in the US, where its adoption is being fueled by free offers and the fear of school shootings, and in the UK, where it's being billed as "de-radicalization". A spokesperson for Gaggle, which supplies one of the US systems, argues that school surveillance prepares children for their adult lives of workplace monitoring. At Wired, Tom Simonite examines the growing use of AI-enhanced facial recognition in schools.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/22/school-student-surveillance-bark-gaggle
https://www.wired.com/story/delicate-ethics-facial-recognition-schools/

Women Form Primary Deepfakes Target
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Giorgio Patrini discusses Deeptrace's work researching the evolving capabilities of and threats posed by deepfakes and synthetic media. The lab's latest work finds that the number of deepfake videos has doubled over the last seven months to 14,678, 96% of them non-consensual deepfake pornography that has attracted 134 million views on the top four websites offering videos targeting female celebrities worldwide. This growth is supported by the increasing commodification of tools and services that enable non-experts to create them, particularly in China and South Korea.
https://deeptracelabs.com/mapping-the-deepfake-landscape/

Tackling Misinformation Requires Collective Action
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report from the Oxford Internet Institute, Phil Howard and Lisa-Maria Neudert make four recommendations for tackling the spread of misinformation: governments should verify campaigners and track expenditure, political parties should be more transparent about data sources, social media platforms should create open archives of ads and report on moderation and takedowns, and civil society should act as external auditors. At openDemocracy, Peter Osborne finds that the UK media from the Daily Mail to the BBC are failing to challenge claims made by prime minister Boris Johnson regarding Brexit or to report corrections when they have been proved untrue. Finally, in a WhatsApp-funded study of WhatsApp lynchings in India find that mainstream media act as an accelerant that gives misinformation added credibility, and ideology and prejudice are bigger factors than ignorance or digital illiteracy.
https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/news/releases/collective-action-needed-now-to-tackle-spread-of-disinformation-in-public-life-finds-new-report/
https://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/93/2019/09/CyberTroop-Report19.pdf
https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/british-journalists-have-become-part-of-johnsons-fake-news-machine/
https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/whatsapp-lynching-fake-news-misinformation-study_in_5da89bc9e4b0b5c9be4b067b


***

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

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.
https://www.biometricsinstitute.org/event/biometrics-congress-2019/

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.
https://websummit.com/

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.
http://wpes.tech/

Tech Giants, Monopoly Power, and Public Discourse
----------------------------------------
November 14-15, 2019
New York, NY, USA
At this symposium, convened by the Knight First Amendment Institute, leading legal scholars, economists, and technologists will examine the extent and nature of the technology giants' ability to structure, shape, and distort public discourse, and consider whether anti-monopoly tools might usefully be deployed to limit, expose, or counter this power. Speakers include Ellen P. Goodman, Lina Khan, Tim Wu, and Ethan Zuckerman.
https://knightcolumbia.org/content/the-tech-giants-monopoly-power-and-public-discourse

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.
https://www.igf2019.berlin/

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.
http://site.uit.no/muninconf/

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.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/call-for-panels

FAT* 2020
----------------------------------------
January 27-30, 2020
Barcelona, Spain
ACM FAT* is an annual conference dedicated 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.
https://fatconference.org/

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.
https://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2020

TICTeC 2020
----------------------------------------
March 24-25, 2020
Reykjavik, Iceland
mySociety created TICTeC to bridge the gap between civic tech and research - to bring two different communities together, to emphasize the importance of being able to demonstrate impact, and to share what those impacts are. Because Reykjavik's city Council has pioneered using digital tools to elicit feedback from citizens on council policies, expenditures, and projects, the 2020 conference will provide a special opportunity to learn from Iceland's extensive civic technology and civic engagement experience.
https://www.mysociety.org/2019/09/20/join-us-in-reykjavik-for-tictec-2020/

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

AI for Good
----------------------------------------
May 4-8, 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by the International Telecommunications Union in partnership with sibling UN agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation, and ACM.
https://aiforgood.itu.int/

re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/08/28/cc-global-summit-lisbon-may-14-16/

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

Aspen Ideas Festival
----------------------------------------
June 27-July 3, 2020
Aspen  Colorado
Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Anyone may purchase a pass to attend.
https://www.aspenideas.org/pages/register

WEIS 2020
----------------------------------------
June, 2020 (TBD)
Brussels, Belgium
The annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security crosses the disciplines of economics, behavioural science, and computer security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/

DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

FTC PrivacyCon
----------------------------------------
July 21, 2020
Washington, DC
The US Federal Trade Commission's fifth annual PrivacyCon, which is free and open to the public, will focus in particular on the privacy of health data collected, stored, and transmitted by mobile apps.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/privacycon-2020

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

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
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 September 13, 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: Liberty, MIT Media Lab, Open Markets Institute,  Open Rights Group, SPARC.


NEWS
=====

Jeffrey Epstein scandal envelops MIT Media Lab
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On September 7 Joichi Ito resigned as director of the MIT Media Lab after several weeks of escalating controversy over funding he accepted for the Media Lab ($525,000) and his investment fund ($1.2 million), report Kayla Epstein and Rebecca Tan at the Washington Post. The issue surfaced in August, when the suicide of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking of women and girls exposed Epstein's connections to prominent scientists, artists, politicians, and technologists including AI pioneer Marvin Minsky. In a September 6 New Yorker article, Ronan Farrow reports that after MIT disqualified Epstein as a donor, Ito deliberately concealed his continuing relationship with Epstein, who both donated his own funds and acted as an intermediary soliciting millions of dollars in funding from other wealthy donors, allegedly including Bill Gates. At the New York Times, Marc Tracy and Tiffany Hsu report that Gates denies any business partnership or personal relationship with Epstein, and that on September 7 Ito resigned from the boards of the MacArthur Foundation and affiliate Lever for Change, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the New York Times Company, as well as a visiting professorship at Harvard. Finally, at the Guardian Lois Beckett reports that MIT has ordered an independent investigation.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/09/07/head-mit-media-lab-resigns-amid-scandal-over-jeffrey-epstein-donations/
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-an-elite-university-research-center-concealed-its-relationship-with-jeffrey-epstein
https://twitter.com/macfound/status/1170443088055144448
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/sep/07/jeffrey-epstein-mit-media-lab-joi-ito-resigns-reports
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/07/business/mit-media-lab-jeffrey-epstein-joichi-ito.html

UK: Cardiff high court rules police use of automated facial recognition is legal
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a case brought by a former Liberal Democrat councilor and backed by Liberty, the UK high court in Cardiff has ruled that it is legal for the South Wales Police to use automatic facial recognition to find people in crowds, Owen Bowcott reports at the Guardian. The ruling coincided with revelations that facial recognition software had been deployed across the entire 67-acre redeveloped King's Cross area of London with the cooperation of the Metropolitan Police. Mark Blunden and Jonathan Prynn report at the Evening Standard that several other areas of London - the Barbican arts complex, Liberty department store, and Hay's Galleria mall near London Bridge - have been granted planning consent to install high-definition cameras with facial recognition capability.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/04/police-use-of-facial-recognition-is-legal-cardiff-high-court-rules
https://www.standard.co.uk/tech/facescanning-cctv-approved-for-london-hotspots-despite-privacy-storm-a4226661.html

India: TikTok fuels violence and social division
----------------------------------------------------------------------
TikTok is fueling an epidemic of casteist speech promoting violence in societies and villages in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Nilesh Christopher reports at Wired. Between November 2018 and April 2019 the company removed 36,365 15-second videos that broke its rules on hate speech and religion, and 12,309 videos that included dangerous behavior and violence - 29 times the amount of pornographic content removed from the service, yet only a tenth of the number of videos that were reported to moderators. India's IT Ministry has threatened to ban TikTok.
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/tiktok-india-hate-speech-caste

Consumer advocates and student organizations oppose textbook publisher merger
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Opposition from consumer advocacy groups and student government organizations to the merger between college textbook giants Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education is growing, Lindsay McKenzie reports at Inside Higher Ed. Opponents argue that the merger would create the world's second-largest education publisher, reduce competition, eliminate the used book market, and ultimately raise prices for students. The Open Markets Institute estimates the merged publisher would control at least 41% of the higher education textbook market, approximately equal to rival publisher Pearson. In a press release, SPARC announced it has submitted a filing calling on the US Department of Justice to block the merger, arguing that it will violate the Clayton Antitrust Act and exploit students' personal data.
https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2019/07/30/cengage-and-mcgraw-hill-merger-faces-growing-opposition
https://sparcopen.org/news/2019/sparc-urges-department-of-justice-to-block-merger-between-cengage-and-mcgraw-hill/

Mozilla begins rolling out DNS-over-HTTPS as Firefox default
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In late September Mozilla will begin rolling out support for the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol by default inside Firefox, Catalin Cimpanu reports at ZDNet. DoH sends domain name system requests, which today travel the internet unencrypted, over a secure, encrypted HTTPS channel. The change is controversial because it will hide DNS traffic from internet service providers, who often use it to spot malware and other attacks, and will also disrupt some anti-virus software and parental controls. In a blog posting, Mozilla explains options for countering these problems. In a June 2019 report, the Open Rights Group explained the good and bad sides of the move. In a net.wars posting, Wendy M. Grossman summarizes the controversy as discussed at the Internet Service Providers Association conference in May.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/mozilla-to-gradually-enable-dns-over-https-for-firefox-us-users-later-this-month/
https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2019/09/06/whats-next-in-making-dns-over-https-the-default/
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/about/reports/dns-security-getting-it-right
https://www.pelicancrossing.net/netwars/2019/05/namesakes_1.html

Microsoft deletes widely-used facial recognition training dataset
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Following controversy about misuse of facial recognition software and the lack of consent of those whose images appear in the large public datasets, Microsoft has deleted its facial recognition database, MS Celeb, which was extensively used to train and test facial recognition systems, Nicole Lindsy reports for CPO Magazine. As the technology continues to expand in functionality and adoption, Microsoft is calling for it to be regulated.
https://www.cpomagazine.com/data-privacy/microsoft-deletes-massive-facial-recognition-database/


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

Filmmaker Beeban Kidron seeks to ensure children's privacy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this profile at the New York Times, Natasha Singer discusses the efforts of independent filmmaker and House of Lords member Beeban Kidron to force Silicon Valley companies to stop exploiting children's personal data in order to manipulate their behavior. Kidron's 2013 documentary InRealLife sensitively profiles teens' use of the internet; she is also founder of 5Rights to promote children's digital rights. In 2017, she pushed the Age Appropriate Design Code through the British Parliament.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/27/technology/baroness-kidron-children-tech.html

Internet shutdown paralyzes Kashmir while mesh networks protect Hong Kong protesters
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Patrick Kingsley describes how businesses and individuals cope during internet shutdowns in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Cameroon, eastern Congo, and Kashmir, where the internet has been inaccessible for the last month. Among other troubles, dissidents struggle to learn when it's safe for them to venture out of hiding. Also at the New York Times, Vindu Goel, Karan Deep Singh, and Sameer Yasir describe in detail the situation in Kashmir shortly after the outage began: pharmacies cannot restock, and the region is paralyzed. At Quartz, Matthew De Silva reports that Hong Kong protesters are turning to Bluetooth-connected mesh networks to stay organized and safe, and to provide communications in case the Chinese government shuts down internet access.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/02/world/africa/internet-shutdown-economy.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/technology/india-kashmir-internet.htmll
https://qz.com/1701045/hong-kong-protestors-use-bridgefy-to-preempt-internet-shutdown/

Polish government seeks to cancel Copyright Directive upload filter
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at TechDirt, Glyn Moody discusses the Polish government's complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the upload filter embedded in Article 17 of the 2019 copyright directive. The complaint will force the CJEU to consider whether upload filters are "proportional and necessary".
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190819/08344542817/details-emerge-polish-governments-formal-request-top-eu-court-to-throw-out-upload-filters.shtml

Librarians protest privacy-invasive Lynda.com learning tool changes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at CNBC, Jennifer Elias finds that librarians are protesting changes to Microsoft-owned LinkedIn's Lynda.com learning tools. As part of rebranding as LinkedIn Learning, a new policy introduced without consultation requires library patrons to create LinkedIn accounts using their full names and email addresses, which librarians regard as a violation of patrons' privacy. When asked why it was necessary to create a profile to authenticate users, LinkedIn told librarians theirs wasn't a significant enough revenue stream to justify creating an alternative solution. In a blog posting, Samantha Lee, the Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair of the Connecticut Library Association, explains why LinkedIn's policy conflicts with the long-held principles librarians observe.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/28/linkedin-change-to-learning-tools-registration-upsets-librarians.html
https://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=17968

Epstein scandal provokes profound questions about technology research funding
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at New Republic, Evgeny Morozov highlights Jeffrey Epstein's relationship with literary agent John Brockman, whose Edge Foundation network promoted the Media Lab, TED, and Wired magazine, calling on fellow clients and networkers to join him in severing ties. In a blog posting on August 20, shortly after the news broke about Epstein's connection to the MIT Media Lab, Ethan Zuckerman explains his immediate decision to leave the lab. At Technology Review, Angela Chen and Karen Hao recount a tense Media Lab meeting intended to begin rebuilding trust that failed when founder Nicholas Negroponte defended the lab's fundraising practices. In an August 27 Guardian piece, researcher Kate Darling notes the deeper problems surrounding science funding, and at The Tech Kenyan student Arwa Mboya discusses Ito's abuse of power. In a Twitter thread, the Media Lab's sole Hispanic faculty member, Cesar A. Hidalgo, describes an environment that sidelined women and minorities. At Medium, One Laptop Per Child co-founder Mary Lou Jepsen discusses the history of the Media Lab's funding and how to change the general exclusion of women in science and technology. At the Guardian, Morozov argues that the scandal has exposed the techno-elites as "morally bankrupt opportunists".
https://newrepublic.com/article/154826/jeffrey-epsteins-intellectual-enabler
http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2019/08/20/on-me-and-the-media-lab/
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614264/mit-media-lab-jeffrey-epstein-joi-ito-nicholas-negroponte-funding-sex-abuse/
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/27/jeffrey-epstein-science-mit-brockman
https://thetech.com/2019/08/29/joi-ito-needs-to-resign
https://twitter.com/cesifoti/status/1170345117695320065
https://medium.com/@maryloujepsen/do-we-throw-joi-ito-under-the-bus-8619ccb036ec
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/07/jeffrey-epstein-mit-funding-tech-intellectuals


***

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


MozFest
----------------------------------------
October 21-27, 2019
London, UK
MozFest 2019 is the tenth anniversary gathering of educators, activists, technologists, researchers, artists, and young people dedicated to creating a better, healthier internet. This year's theme is "Healthy AI".
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

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.
https://www.biometricsinstitute.org/event/biometrics-congress-2019/

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.
https://websummit.com/

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.
http://wpes.tech/

Tech Giants, Monopoly Power, and Public Discourse
----------------------------------------
November 14-15, 2019
New York, NY, USA
At this symposium, convened by the Knight First Amendment Institute, leading legal scholars, economists, and technologists will examine the extent and nature of the technology giants' ability to structure, shape, and distort public discourse, and consider whether anti-monopoly tools might usefully be deployed to limit, expose, or counter this power. Speakers include Ellen P. Goodman, Lina Khan, Tim Wu, and Ethan Zuckerman.
https://knightcolumbia.org/content/the-tech-giants-monopoly-power-and-public-discourse

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.
https://www.igf2019.berlin/

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.
http://site.uit.no/muninconf/

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.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/call-for-panels

FAT* 2020
----------------------------------------
January 27-30, 2020
Barcelona, Spain
ACM FAT* is an annual conference dedicated 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.
https://fatconference.org/

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.
https://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2020

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en

Creative Commons Global Summit
----------------------------------------
May 14-16, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
The 2019 CC Summit gathered nearly 400 Creative Commoners from across the globe to attend over 130 sessions and seven keynotes. The Summit, comprising discussion, debate, workshops and planning, talks, and community building, is for anyone who's interested in the global movement for the commons as an activist, advocate, artist, librarian, educator, lawyer, or technologist.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/08/28/cc-global-summit-lisbon-may-14-16/

Privacy Law Scholars
----------------------------------------
June 4-5, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Organized jointly by BCLT and the George Washington University Law School, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. PLSC brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science), and practitioners (industry, legal, advocacy, and government).
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Festival of AI and Emerging Technology
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
CogX draws together speakers from industry, government, and academia to create "a space to learn, discover, and connect with the people and technologies that are shaping the future of humanity".
https://cogx.co/

RightsCon
----------------------------------------
June 9-12, 2020
San José, Costa Rica
Each year, RightsCon, organized by AccessNow, gathers over 1,000 expert speakers from around the world.
https://www.rightscon.org/

WEIS 2020
----------------------------------------
June, 2020 (TBD)
Brussels, Belgium
The annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security crosses the disciplines of economics, behavioural science, and computer security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/

DEF CON 28
----------------------------------------
August 6-9, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
DEF CON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://defcon.org/index.html

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

86th World Library and Information Congress
----------------------------------------
August 15-21, 2020
Dublin, Ireland
WLIC is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
https://2020.ifla.org/


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Our mailing address is:
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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending June 28, 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: Communia, Creative Commons, Open Rights Group.


NEWS
=====

US considers punishing local data storage laws by limiting access to work visas
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US has told India it is considering limiting the number of H-1B visas issued to skilled workers from countries that require foreign companies to store data locally, Neha Dasgupta and Aditya Kalra report at Reuters. Indians currently receive an estimated 70% of these visas; the cap would be set between 10% and 15%. India's data storage laws particularly affect payments companies such as Mastercard and Visa.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-india-exclusive-idUSKCN1TK2LG

Facebook-led consortium announces global digital currency
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook has announced Libra, a digital currency to be governed by a consortium that includes Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz, Stripe, Uber, Lyft, and Spotify, as well as non-profits Kiva, and Women's World Banking, Frank Chaparro and Aislinn Keely report at The Block. Corporate members pay $10 million to participate. At the New York Times, Matt Stoller finds four problems: the commingling of user and financial data is dangerous for both privacy and security; insiders can selectively exploit data in anti-competitive ways; theft or hacking of Libra could place the entire financial system at risk; and Libra challenges national security and sovereignty. At the Guardian, Alex Hern finds that user activity on Facebook has dropped by almost 20% in the last year. At Pymnts.com, Karen Webster details Libra's system design, and explains why it won't bring financial inclusion for the world's 1.7 billion unbanked people as Facebook claims. Finally, at the Guardian, John Harris argues that Libra risks entrenching Facebook so deeply that governments will never be able to challenge it.
https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2019/06/14/facebooks-cryptocurrency-partners-revealed-we-obtained-the-entire-list-of-inaugural-backers/
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/19/opinion/facebook-currency-libra.html
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jun/20/facebook-usage-collapsed-since-scandal-data-shows
https://www.pymnts.com/facebook/2019/what-the-launch-of-facebooks-libra-means-for-payments/
https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2019/06/18/what-will-it-take-for-facebooks-libra-to-help-the-unbanked-and-gain-traction-in-venezuela/

UK delays age verification system
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK has delayed implementing age verification for online pornography as required by the 2017 Digital Economy Act for at least six months because the government failed to notify the EU as required by the Technical Regulations Directive, Jim Watterson and Alex Hern report at the Guardian. The system was due to take effect on July 15. The news broke shortly after the Open Rights Group published a report on the system's implementation, which it says offers consumers little privacy protection and does not help them make informed choices.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jun/20/uks-porn-age-verification-system-to-be-delayed-indefinitely
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/press/releases/2019/org-report:-bbfc-age-verification-standard-is-pointless,-misleading-and-potentially-dangerous

Yemen: World Food Programme suspends aid to regions refusing biometrics
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The World Food Programme is partially suspending food aid in the Houthi-controlled regions of Yemen because they refuse to accept a biometric registration system the WFP says is essential to controlling food aid and combating fraud, Aaron Martin and Linnet Taylor report at Global Data Justice. The Houthis argue that the biometrics program is part of an intelligence operation and is counter to national security.
https://globaldatajustice.org/2019-06-21-biometrics-WFP/

Canada: copyright review recommends expanding fair dealing
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The 36 recommendations in Canada's five-yearly review of copyright law include expanding fair dealing, retaining internet safe harbor rules, and permitting circumvention of copy protection systems for lawful purposes such as exercising fair dealing rights, Timothy Vollmer reports for Creative Commons. At his blog, Michael Geist reviews the recommendations in detail, noting that the committee declined to recommend EU-style linking rights. At Communia, Paul Keller welcomes Canada's skepticism about the EU's approach to remuneration and online service provider liability.
https://creativecommons.org/2019/06/06/new-canadian-report-offers-balanced-recommendations-for-progressive-copyright-reform/
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2019/06/the-authoritative-canadian-copyright-review-report-industry-committee/
https://www.communia-association.org/2019/06/13/canadian-copyright-report-lets-wait-see-upload-filters-press-publishers-rights-will-fail/

Stress and low pay plague Facebook content moderators
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Numerous Facebook content moderators working for the company's contractor, Cognizant, break their NDAs to tell The Verge's Casey Newton about their miserable and chaotic working conditions, the low pay, suicides, rapid turnover, and stress of reviewing disturbing content. Facebook, he concludes, needs to make contractors like Cognizant more accountable for their workers' mental health. In her newly-published book, Behind the Screen, Sarah T. Roberts reports on years of work investigating these invisible workers.
https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/19/18681845/facebook-moderator-interviews-video-trauma-ptsd-cognizant-tampa
https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300235883/behind-screen


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

How to control artificial intelligence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, Daniel Dennett's lecture argues that artificial general intelligence - synthetic consciousness - is possible, though distant, but human control will be essential for our own safety. In a paper for Artificial Intelligence and Law, Joanna J. Bryson, Mihailis E. Diamantis, and Thomas D. Grant conclude that conferring legal personhood on synthetic entities, which the EU is considering, creates too many difficulties regarding accountability for violations of the rights of humans. In late May, 42 countries adopted the OECD's principles on AI, which include holding organizations and individuals accountable for the systems they develop. In a blog posting, Bryson suggests holding AI accountable by keeping and securing logs; the car industry has been able to achieve this because it was already well-regulated.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhsiFjDoxgk
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10506-017-9214-9
https://www.oecd.org/science/forty-two-countries-adopt-new-oecd-principles-on-artificial-intelligence.htm
https://joanna-bryson.blogspot.com/2019/01/a-smart-bureaucrats-guide-to-ai.html

Expanding video analytics creates army of robot surveillance guards
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, ACLU's Jay Stanley summarizes his new report on the coming army of robot surveillance guards that is being created by sophisticated, high-speed video analytics, already a $3.2 billion industry. Billions of actively watching cameras in dashboards, doorbells, automated stores, when combined, he writes, will represent "an extension of corporate and bureaucratic power".
https://www.aclu.org/blog/privacy-technology/surveillance-technologies/army-robot-surveillance-guards-coming

US: Platform safe harbor under threat
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this lengthy article at Wired, Christine Biederman tells the story of the Backpage prosecution, which threatens to end the protection from liability for content users post afforded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act 1996. At The Verge, Adi Robertson interviews Jeff Kosseff about his new book, The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet, on the history of S230.
https://www.wired.com/story/inside-backpage-vicious-battle-feds/
https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/21/18700605/section-230-internet-law-twenty-six-words-that-created-the-internet-jeff-kosseff-interview

The global landscape of local news
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this series of video clips, Index on Censorship and Global Journalist survey the landscape of local news, and finds deserts in the US and Mexico and constraints in India, Poland, and Argentina. British journalists, too, are losing confidence in their ability to hold powerful interests to account. The partners go on to suggest new business models and strategies for dealing with fake news.
https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2019/06/global-journalist-local-news-in-global-decline/

African machine learning community blossoms
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article for MIT Technology Review, Karen Hao explores the African machine learning community, which is blossoming despite difficulties such as international travel. IBM Research has offices in Nairobi and Johannesburg; Google has opened a lab in Accra; and ICLR will host its flagship AI research conference in Addis Ababa next year. While the goals of these initiatives are the same as elsewhere - increasing access to health care, improving financial inclusion, enhancing food security, and improving government efficiency - the context provides new problems to explore.
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613848/ai-africa-machine-learning-ibm-google/

US House Intelligence Committee hears testimony on deepfakes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this livestream from June 13, the US House Intelligence Committee hears testimony on the problem of deepfakes and artificial intelligence. Among those testifying about the future, legal challenges, and impact of deepfakes, University of Maryland professor and advocate Danielle Citron, co-founder of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), urges lawmakers to punish both producers and distributors. At the Huffington Post, Jesselyn Cook explores the impact of deepfake porn on the women whose faces are used without permission. CCRI has helped pass laws banning revenge porn in 38 US states. At the Guardian, Oscar Schwartz argues that deepfakes are a power problem, not a technology problem, and says technological solutions will not fix the "deep-seated social problem of truth decay and polarization".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdLS9MlIWOk
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/deepfake-porn-heres-what-its-like-to-see-yourself_n_5d0d0faee4b0a3941861fced
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/24/deepfakes-facebook-silicon-valley-responsibility
https://www.cybercivilrights.org/


***

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

ORGCon
----------------------------------------
July 13, 2019
London, UK
Themes for this year's ORGCon are digital privacy; free speech, censorship, and the role of algorithms; mass government surveillance; and data and democracy.
https://orgcon.openrightsgroup.org/2019/

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.
https://petsymposium.org/

DEF CON 27
----------------------------------------
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?
https://defcon.org/index.html

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.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2019/call-for-papers

Wikimania
----------------------------------------
August 14-18, 2019
Stockholm, Sweden
Wikimania 2019 will be the 15th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://wikimania.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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.
https://2019.ifla.org/#news

Techfestival
----------------------------------------
September 5-7, 2019
Copenhagen, Denmark
Techfestival was created to find human answers to technological progress. In its third year, the festival will work across ten tracks to examine the ways technology shapes our societies, from building cities to exercising modern democracy.
https://techfestival.co/

MozFest
----------------------------------------
October 21-27, 2019
London, UK
MozFest 2019 is the tenth anniversary gathering of educators, activists, technologists, researchers, artists, and young people dedicated to creating a better, healthier internet. This year's theme is "More responsible artificial intelligence".
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

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.
https://www.biometricsinstitute.org/event/biometrics-congress-2019/

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.
https://websummit.com/

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.
http://wpes.tech/

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.
https://www.igf2019.berlin/

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.
http://site.uit.no/muninconf/

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.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/call-for-panels

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.
https://fatconference.org/

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.
https://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2020

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
----------------------------------------
April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

re:publica 2020
----------------------------------------
May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19,500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending July 26, 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: NOYB, Privacy International.


NEWS
=====

US: FTC approves $5 billion fine against Facebook
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Federal Trade Commission has approved a fine of $5 billion against Facebook after an investigation sparked by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Cecilia Kang reports at the New York Times. The settlement, which has been criticized as not significant enough to the company, still must be approved by the Justice Department, which has rarely rejected an FTC settlement.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/technology/facebook-ftc-fine.html

Indian digitization project plans to mine research papers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Long-time open information activist Carl Malamud is working with Indian researchers to build a store of text and images extracted from 73 million journal articles published between 1847 and the present that can be scanned and mined by computers for new insights, Priyanka Pulla reports at Nature. Malamud believes the database, to be held at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, is legal because no human will be allowed to read or search it, it is not connected to the internet, single articles can't be pulled out for perusal, and only non-commercial researchers may use it.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02142-1

US: Palantir's software directly powers anti-immigrant raids
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Palantir's data mining software has directly powered the accelerating number of workplace raids conducted by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the company's staff are closely involved in ICE's operations, George Joseph reports for WNYC. The company faces a backlash from activists and its own staff at the same time that it is reportedly considering going public in 2020. At Motherboard, Caroline Haskins gives highlights of Palantir's top-secret manual for its Gotham service, which it supplies to law enforcement to underpin massive databases known as "fusion centers". The manual shows both how the software works and how police are taught to use it.
https://www.wnyc.org/story/palantir-directly-powers-ice-workplace-raids-emails-show/
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/9kx4z8/revealed-this-is-palantirs-top-secret-user-manual-for-cops

Unauthorized use of image databases fuels adoption of facial recognition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dozens of giant databases of facial images compiled by companies and researchers without oversight or their subjects' knowledge are being shared around the world to train facial recognition systems, Cade Metz reports at the New York Times. Images are scraped from social networks, photo sharing websites, and dating services, or sourced from government collections of driver's license and visa photos. The Brainwash database, compiled at Stanford University, includes 10,000 images from a local cafe; these were later used by Chinese academics associated with an AI company that provides surveillance technology to the Chinese government to monitor Uighurs. At the Washington Post, Drew Harwell learns from a cache of records that both the FBI and ICE are using facial recognition software to mine state driver's license photos without the knowledge or consent of either the public or lawmakers seeking matches for undocumented immigrants or crime suspects. At the Atlantic, Tiffany C. Li notes that these rapid, widespread deployments are legal, as they do not fall within our present conceptions of "privacy".
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/13/technology/databases-faces-facial-recognition-technology.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/07/07/fbi-ice-find-state-drivers-license-photos-are-gold-mine-facial-recognition-searches
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/faceapp-reveals-huge-holes-todays-privacy-laws/594358/

Pearson Education moves textbooks to "digital first"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pearson Education is switching its business model to "digital first", Andrew Whalen reports at Newsweek. Beginning in the US and extending to other markets later, the company will cease updating print versions of its textbooks, which are typically updated every three years. Pearson claims the result will be to reduce prices for students while increasing its own revenues, but critics object that the move will shut down the market for renting second-hand textbooks and alienate the 92% of students who prefer print to ebooks.
https://www.newsweek.com/textbook-colleges-cheap-publisher-pearson-ebook-resell-1449860

Privacy concerns lead German state to ban Microsoft Office 365 in schools
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The data protection commissioner in the German state of Hesse has ruled that it is illegal for schools to use Microsoft Office 365 because its standard configuration raises the possibility that US officials can access  students' and teachers' personal information under the US CLOUD Act (2018), Cathrin Schaer reports at ZDNet. Students are generally unable to give consent, explains Austrian digital rights lawyer and NOYB founder Max Schrems, who is bringing a case in the European Court of Justice to challenge the US-EU Privacy Shield agreement. The software also represents a legal risk to local German authorities.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-office-365-banned-in-german-schools-over-privacy-fears/


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

The dubious new technology of emotional recognition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, ACLU's Jay Stanley analyzes a study of emotion recognition, as numerous new products claim to be able to determine emotions by analyzing facial expressions and other physiological signs. After reviewing more than 1,000 papers in the psychological literature, five scientists concluded that there is no scientific basis for the claim that an individual's emotional state can be inferred from their facial movements.
https://www.aclu.org/blog/privacy-technology/surveillance-technologies/experts-say-emotion-recognition-lacks-scientific

Chinese internet outstrips the US
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this summary, the South China Morning Post gives highlights of the annual China Internet report 2019. China far outstrips the US in internet users, mobile use, and, especially, mobile payments, and is leading in 5G. The report goes on to compare the arrays of technology companies, IPOs, and venture capital firms, and notes that globally startups are beginning to copy the most successful Chinese companies.
https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/china-internet/

Options for data governance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Privacy International Mozilla-Ford Fellow, Valentina Pavel explores four possible futures for data governance: property rights that create data markets; direct payments for data as labor; nationalized data funds; and clear user rights. A rights regime puts more responsibility on individuals to manage their data, but principles such as data minimization, purpose specification, and fairness can reduce the burden.
https://privacyinternational.org/long-read/3088/our-data-future

The truth of 2016 elections remains elusive
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Guardian article, Carole Cadwalladr reviews Netflix's new documentary about the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal she was first to investigate, The Great Hack. While setting the film in its wider context of other recent books and articles on data and democracy, Cadwalladr asks when we will ever know the truth about the 2016 US presidential election and UK's EU referendum. The UK Press Gazette reports that Leave.EU funder Arron Banks has filed a libel suit against Cadwalladr for statements in recent speeches, and has issued a legal threat against Netflix for The Great Hack. In response, the Guardian publishes an open letter from press freedom campaigners and NGOs warning the UK government that the country's courts are being used to intimidate and silence journalists working in the public interest.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/20/the-great-hack-cambridge-analytica-scandal-facebook-netflix
https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/carole-cadwalladr-will-defend-true-claims-about-brexiteer-aaron-banks-in-libel-battle/
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/20/arron-banks-netflix-threat-great-hack-documentary
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/20/letter-press-freedom-campaigners-call-for-action-on-vexatious-lawsuits

Populist leaders stress trade at the expense of automation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this discussion of Carl Benedikt Frey's recent book, The Technology Trap, John Harris argues that we do not focus nearly enough on computing power as a cause of the widespread economic disruption and rise of populism surrounding us as transformation of production and consumption continues. Technology and automation are largely ignored by modern populist leaders, who focus instead on globalization and trade.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/22/nigel-farage-donald-trump-talking-tech-revolution-automation-populists

Regulation and new rules risk fracturing YouTube
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Medium's new digital video culture publication, FFWD, which he founded, Chris Stokel-Walker explains the impact of YouTube's new terms of service, which came into effect on July 22. Stokel-Walker believes that the fracturing of the platform that will result from diverging national regulations will eventually result in adopting a "lowest common denominator" regime. Also at FFWD, Amelia Tait explores how now-grown former child "reality TV" stars are finding their voices on YouTube, where they have a chance to reclaim their public image on their own terms. The same option may not be as available to today's crop of social media child stars, who have been groomed and presented by their parents, to whom the laws protecting child stars on film and TV sets do not apply.
https://ffwd.medium.com/regulation-is-coming-to-youtube-and-its-going-to-be-ugly-ac385d340cd9
https://ffwd.medium.com/reality-tv-turned-these-kids-into-villains-youtube-gave-them-a-chance-to-set-the-record-straight-f29b0f4bc3bd


***

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

DEF CON 27
----------------------------------------
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?
https://defcon.org/index.html

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.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2019/call-for-papers

Wikimania
----------------------------------------
August 14-18, 2019
Stockholm, Sweden
Wikimania 2019 will be the 15th Wikimania conference, an annual event for the international Wikimedia community.
https://wikimania.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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.
https://2019.ifla.org/#news

Techfestival
----------------------------------------
September 5-7, 2019
Copenhagen, Denmark
Techfestival was created to find human answers to technological progress. In its third year, the festival will work across ten tracks to examine the ways technology shapes our societies, from building cities to exercising modern democracy.
https://techfestival.co/

MozFest
----------------------------------------
October 21-27, 2019
London, UK
MozFest 2019 is the tenth anniversary gathering of educators, activists, technologists, researchers, artists, and young people dedicated to creating a better, healthier internet. This year's theme is "More responsible artificial intelligence".
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

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.
https://www.biometricsinstitute.org/event/biometrics-congress-2019/

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.
https://websummit.com/

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.
http://wpes.tech/

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.
https://www.igf2019.berlin/

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.
http://site.uit.no/muninconf/

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.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/call-for-panels

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.
https://fatconference.org/

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.
https://meetingoftheminds.org/events/motm2020

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.
https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/werobot

Global Privacy Summit
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April 7-8, 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Global Privacy Summit will gather more than 3,600 professionals from around the world for an outstanding program with a truly global focus.
https://10times.com/global-privacy-summit

re:publica 2020
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May 6-8, 2020
Berlin, Germany
re:publica is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. More than 19 500 participants from 80 countries came together to discuss current issues of digital society at the three-day festival. Participants represent a cross-section of (digital) society, which include professionals from economics, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media, and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists, and social media experts.
https://re-publica.com/en


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