News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending May 29, 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, Data Privacy Brasil, EFF, Gesellschaft fuer Freiheitsrechte, noyb.


NEWS
=====

China Seeks to Impose National Security Law on Hong Kong
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Chinese leaders have announced the country's legislative body would impose national security laws on the city in order to "ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong", Vivian Wang and Austin Ramzy report at the New York Times. Some protesters began deleting their social media accounts and others planned large-scale demonstrations amid concern that the new laws could allow the authorities to criminalize efforts to organize.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/world/asia/hong-kong-china-protest.html

Research Coalition Demands Transparency in Journal Publication Fees
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cOAlition S, whose 22 members include European national research agencies, other organizations, and foundations such as the Wellcome Trust, has adopted rules requiring science journals to provide a breakdown of their editing, proofreading, and other prices as a way of keeping those costs down, Nicholas Wallace reports at Science Magazine. Failure to provide pricing details will mean members refuse to pay any publication fees associated with that publisher. Publishers may choose between two transparency frameworks, one based on a template based on a pilot conducted between January and March, the other the existing Fair Open Access Alliance framework in use by Frontiers, the MIT Press, Copernicus, and MDPI.
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/open-access-science-funders-announce-price-transparency-rules-publishers

German Constitutional Court Finds Privacy Rights Protect Foreigners in Other Countries
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The German Constitutional Court has ruled that the privacy rights enshrined in the German constitution protect foreigners in other countries, and that the Bundesnachrightendienst (BND) security service had no authority to conduct telecommunications surveillance on them, Matthrew Guariglia reports at EFF. In its announcement of the judgement, Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte, which led the constitutional complaint, notes support by the German Journalists Union, the German Federation of Journalists, Research Network, and Reporters without Borders; the plaintiffs were a collection of journalists and activists from numerous countries worldwide.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/05/victory-german-mass-surveillance-abroad-ruled-unconstitutional
https://freiheitsrechte.org/bnd-law/

Brazilian Court Suspends Telecommunications Data Sharing
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Brazil's Supreme Federal Court has ruled to suspend Executive Order 954, which provisionally mandates the sharing of data from telecommunications companies with the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Gispar Pisanu, Rafael A. F. Zanatta, and Mariana Marques Rielli report at Access Now. IBGE, which conducts statistical research for the Ministry of Economy, was supposed to use the data to calculate unemployment rates, contribute to the National Household Sample Survey, and support other statistical production during the pandemic emergency. Privacy advocates hope the ruling sends a warning to President Jair Bolsonaro that proper data protection legislation is now necessary. Bruno Bioni, founder-director of the research association Data Privacy Brasil, has posted an English translation of his testimony to the court.
https://www.accessnow.org/brazilian-supreme-federal-court-rules-in-favor-of-privacy/
https://www.dataprivacybr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/dpbrr_roteiro_sustentacao_stf_english_final.pdf

US Senate Allows Warrantless Inspection of Internet Histories
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The US Senate failed to pass an amendment to parts of the PATRIOT Act (2001) that would have explicitly prevented law enforcement from using the law to support collecting individuals' internet browsing and search histories without a warrant, Rachel Kraus reports at Mashable. The amendment had bipartisan support but failed by a single vote. ACLU has responded with a letter, signed by 50 other groups including CDT and Human Rights Watch, asking leaders of the House of Representatives to provide an opportunity to vote on the amendment in the House.
https://mashable.com/article/patriot-act-internet-history/
https://www.aclu.org/coalition-letter-house-leadership-concerning-wyden-daines-amendment-usa-freedom-reauthorization-act

Schrems Asks European Authorities to Speed Up Case Handling
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On the second anniversary of GDPR's entry into force, Privacy activist and noyb leader Max Schrems has written to the European Data Protection Board, the European Commission, and the European Parliament urging them to push the Irish data protection regulator to speed up its handling of the cases he has brought against Facebook and its subsidiaries, Kirsti Knolle reports for Reuters. Schrems says he will seek a judicial review in the Irish High Court as soon as coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner says it has 23 inquiries open into Big Tech. At TechCrunch, Natasha Lomas reports that the DPC has submitted the draft of its first major cross-border decision, an inquiry into Twitter that the regulator instigated itself, for review by the other EU GDPR watchdogs, who now have a month to submit comments. Lomas notes that a decision is due on July 16 from the CJEU in the case Schrems has brought questioning the legality of Standard Contractual Clauses as a mechanism to support transfers of personal data out of the EU.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-privacy-ireland-idUSKBN2310J9
https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/22/first-major-gdpr-decisions-looming-on-twitter-and-facebook/

Spotify Expands Podcast Market Control
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Following acquisitions of several leading podcast networks, Spotify will pay $100 million over an unstated number of years for an exclusive license to the future episodes and back catalogue of top podcaster Joe Rogan, Ashley Carman reports at The Verge. The deal will move full Rogan episodes off YouTube, where he fears censorship. At Substack, Matt Stoller explains that the deal heralds the death of independent podcasting as Spotify begins to wield new gatekeeping power over distribution and advertising and lead podcasting in the direction of web-style targeting and tracking.
https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/19/21263927/joe-rogan-spotify-experience-exclusive-content-episodes-youtube
https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/on-the-spotify-joe-rogan-deal-and


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

Big Tech Targets Post-Pandemic Infrastructure
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In this article at The Intercept, Naomi Klein outlines the "Pandemic Shock Doctrine" that she sees taking shape as leaders like New York State governor Andrew Cuomo enlist the likes of former Google head Eric Schmidt, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Michael Bloomberg to begin outlining a no-touch, tech-saturated future of post-pandemic redevelopment. In this dystopian future, tens of millions of anonymous workers are exploited in warehouses, data centers, content rating sites, and industrial plants while the privileged receive everything at home via physical or virtual delivery. The pandemic, she concludes, has derailed democratic pre-coronavirus pushback against Big Tech.
https://theintercept.com/2020/05/08/andrew-cuomo-eric-schmidt-coronavirus-tech-shock-doctrine/

Citizen Lab Researches Signals Intelligence Software
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In this profile, Stephanie Kirchgaessner highlights Ron Deibert's work leading 19-year-old Citizen Lab's research into the signals intelligence software made by companies like NSO Group. The work allows Deibert to explore questions about abuse of power and the efforts of governments and corporations to control the information space.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/12/cat-and-mouse-game-how-citizen-lab-shone-a-spotlight-on-israeli-spyware-firm-nso

Pandemic Normalizes Surveillance Technology
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In this article at Quillette, Alex Gladstein discusses the search for technological fixes for the pandemic and the resulting normalization of surveillance as governments demand to use cellphone tracking, and phone apps to automate contact tracing and quarantine enforcement. It is dangerous, Gladstein writes, to underestimate the effects of "creeping authoritarianism" in the name of public health. At the EFF blog, Katitza Rodriguez, Svea Windwehr, and Seth Schoen discuss the pandemic-related proposals for warrantless location surveillance popping up in Israel, Poland, Ecuador, South Africa, Slovakia, Croatia, and Bulgaria, Peru, and South Korea.
https://quillette.com/2020/05/11/covid-19-and-the-normalization-of-mass-surveillance/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/05/global-contact-tracing-international-proposals-track-covid-19

Human Behavioral Change Means AI Models Need Repairs
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In this article at MIT Technology Review, Will Douglas Heaven discusses the impact of the pandemic-related changes in our behavior on the machine learning models that manage inventory, detect fraud, and write marketing copy for Facebook ads. AI systems are not fit-and-forget, but must be overseen and tweaked by humans when conditions change abruptly.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/05/11/1001563/covid-pandemic-broken-ai-machine-learning-amazon-retail-fraud-humans-in-the-loop/

The Post-Pandemic Future of Online Education
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In this article at the New York Times, NYU associate professor Hans Taparia argues that a lasting effect of the coronavirus pandemic will be to move university education online, lowering student costs and widening universities' reach. Also at the New York Times, Steve Lohr finds that the lockdown has revived MOOCs. In a Twitter thread, social scientist Barbara Smith summarizes advice and resources for moving courses online midstream as was necessary at the beginning of the lockdown and may be again. At the LA Times, high school teacher Jeremy S. Adams explains why the lockdown experience has convinced him that classrooms are essential while worrying that the dire reality of many state budgets will lead policy makers to push education online without recognizing the life-changing consequences.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/opinion/online-college-coronavirus.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/technology/moocs-online-learning.html
https://twitter.com/nanaslugdiva/status/1236372760940564482
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-26/teacher-distance-learning-coronavirus


***

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

Privacy Law Scholars
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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/

Virtual CogX
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
Festival of AI and Emerging Technology (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/

HACKERS ON PLANET EARTH
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July 25-August 2, 2020
New York, NY, USA
As part of reimagining the convention as an online event, HOPE will expand to nine days filled with the normal number of talks. Ticket-buyers will have exclusive access to presenters to ask questions, participate in workshops, and interact with other attendees, and will also receive an exclusive conference T-shirt and badge. HOPE expects that some who would have trouble traveling to the US will now be able to attend. The program is still being finalized. HOPE expects to return as a physical conference in 2021.
https://www.2600.com

DEF CON SAFE MODE
----------------------------------------
August 7-9, 2020
DEFCON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://forum.defcon.org/node/232005


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
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London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Civic Hall
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New York's Civic Hall has moved a number of events online. Coming up toward the end of May are events 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
----------------------------------------
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/

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

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2020
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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/

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 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
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Ongoing
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running 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/

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

Singularity University
----------------------------------------
May, 2020
next:Work is a four-week series of digital events on the changing jobs, careers, and workforce of the future.
https://su.org/nextwork/

Transnational Institute
----------------------------------------
TNI's series of weekly COVID Capitalism webinars covers various aspects of transforming democracy, politics, and the economy for a fairer post-COVID world. June events include COVID-19 and incarceration (June 3); big tech, data, and human rights, a joint event with the Just Net Coalition (June 10); borders and migration (June 17); and the broken trade system (June 24).
https://www.tni.org/en/webinars

PHYSICAL WORLD EVENTS

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/

POSTPONED TO JUNE 2021 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

POSTPONED TO December 14-15, 2020 WEIS
----------------------------------------
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
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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

Netroots Nation
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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. They've drawn 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/

CANCELED 86th World Library and Information Congress
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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/

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/

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/

EIFL General Assembly
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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
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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
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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/2020-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

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

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 May 15, 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: AOW, EDRi, ORG, SPARC.


NEWS
=====

Sidewalk Labs Withdraws from Toronto Development
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Blaming pandemic-related economic conditions, Google sibling Sidewalk Labs has abandoned plans to redevelop a 12-acre section of Toronto's waterfront into a data-driven, sensor-laden futuristic city, Ian Austen and Daisuke Wakabayashi report at the New York Times. The partnership between Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto was announced in 2017, but has faced public pushback over privacy, data ownership, and the ceding of public space to algorithmic decision making. At a panel on smart city governance at Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection 2019, David Murakami Wood gave the local back story on the Sidewalk Labs' public consultations and the hubris of technology companies that think that two years' study is enough to solve the long-entrenched problems cities have.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/world/americas/google-toronto-sidewalk-labs-abandoned.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zldPcUmNjeQ

ICANN Rejects .org Sale
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has rejected the Internet Society's proposal to sell PIR, the owner of the .org generic top-level domain, to the newly created private equity firm Ethos Capital, Timothy B. Lee reports at Ars Technica. Among its concerns, ICANN cited the $360 million in debt that PIR would have been required to take on, Ethos' lack of qualifications to run such a large gTLD, and the lack of transparency.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/05/icann-blocks-controversial-sale-of-org-domain-to-a-private-equity-firm/

Cengage and McGraw-Hill End Merger Plans
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The textbook publishers Cengage and McGraw-Hill have abandoned their merger plans, which had attracted pushback from students, consumer groups, libraries, universities, and bookstores, as well as lawmakers and antitrust authorities, SPARC reports. The companies say antitrust enforcers' requirements that they divest their overlapping businesses made the merger uneconomical.
https://sparcopen.org/news/2020/cengage-mcgraw-hill-merger-called-off/

US Patent Office Says AI System Cannot Be Patent Owner
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Following a similar ruling from the UK Intellectual Property Office, the US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected two patents listing the Dabus AI system as the inventor, the BBC reports. The patent offices argue that innovations must be attributed to humans in order to avoid the complications that would arise from recognizing corporations as inventors. Following a surge in AI-driven filings at the European Patent Office, the World Intellectual Property Organization held a public consultation on this issue that closed in February.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52474250
https://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/artificial_intelligence/call_for_comments/

US Supreme Court Upholds Right to Freely Share Official State Legal Code
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Supreme Court has narrowly upheld the right to freely share the official legal code of the state of Georgia, Timothy B. Lee reports at Ars Technica. The state had sued the nonprofit Public.Resource.org, founded by longtime public information activist Carl Malamud, for publishing the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The annotations are added by Lexis-Nexus, which charges hundreds of dollars for access to the code. Twenty-two other states have used similar arrangements for publishing their state laws; the new precedent will force them to rethink their policy.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/04/supreme-court-rules-georgia-cant-put-the-law-behind-a-paywall/

UK May Shift Contact Tracing Plans After Human Rights Legal Opinion
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK's National Health Service's digital arm, NHSx, which began trials of its contact tracing app on the Isle of Wight on May 7, is considering shifting to the decentralized platform being built by Apple and Google in collaboration, Alex Hern and Kate Proctor report at the Guardian. The centralized NHSx design, which holds and processes the data the app collects on a government server, has both technical and human rights issues. Also at the Guardian, Owen Bowcott summarizes the legal opinion drafted by AWO legal director Ravi Naik and others: the centralized design needs detailed justification to satisfy human rights and data protection laws. In testimony before Parliament's Human Rights Committee, Michael Veale (UCL, ORG advisory council member) and Orla Lynskey (LSE) discuss the technical and human rights implications of the centralized design versus the decentralized approach of Apple/Google and the DP-3T project, which is finding early adoption by several EU countries. At Computer Weekly, Alex Scroxton reports that in its assessment the Committee concludes that the app requires legislative oversight to gain public trust. AWO's work was funded by the Open Society Foundations.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/may/07/uk-may-ditch-nhs-contact-tracing-app-for-apple-and-google-model
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/03/covid-19-tracking-app-must-satisfy-human-rights-and-data-laws
https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/6f0f52cf-9fda-4785-bf63-af156d18b6c7
https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252482591/NHSX-contact-tracing-app-needs-legislative-oversight


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

Quarantine Enforcement Methods Were Tested on Refugees
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Crofton Black traces the history of the methods being used or proposed in many counties for enforcing quarantine, and finds they were tested on refugees; the European data protection supervisor shut down a social media monitoring project being run by the European Asylum Support Office that searched social media content from would-be migrants in an array of languages. Numerous companies and agencies, including Vodafone, the European Space Agency, the Dutch Statistics Office, Thales Alenia, and others, pitched to offer services for the border agency Frontex's project to build an "early warning system" for migration.
https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2020-04-28/monitoring-being-pitched-to-fight-covid-19-was-first-tested-on-refugees

Scholarly Publishers Collaborate to Maximize Peer Review Efficiency
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this announcement at the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), Claire Redhead reports that the scholarly publishers PLoS, eLife, FAIRsharing, PREreview, PeerJ, Hindawi, Royal Society, Outbreak Science, and F1000 Research are working together to create initiatives and standards to maximize the efficiency of peer review for COVID-19-related research. Alongside calls for suitably expert volunteer reviewers and assistance in identifying important and crucial COVID-19 preprints, OASPA continues to call for openness by default for preprints, research, underlying data, models, code, and materials in order to maximize preproducibility and credibility.
https://oaspa.org/scholarly-publishers-working-together-during-covid-19-pandemic/

Facebook Names First Oversight Board Members
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article for Just Security, UN Special Rapporteur Dave Kaye discusses the potential impact of Facebook's Oversight Board, the first of whose members have been announced. While the listed individuals are undoubtedly experts on social media and human rights and Facebook has committed to the project with a trust of $130 million in funding and a global consultation, Kaye argues that improving Facebook's self-governance is only one small part of answering the problems of online speech and censorship. Also at Just Security, Chinmayi Arun suggests that the board is a promising experiment, but is concerned that the company has already set the rules the board will implement without consultation or democratic legitimacy, and is leaving out several aspects of international human rights norms, which are already well developed.
https://www.justsecurity.org/70035/the-republic-of-facebook/
https://www.justsecurity.org/70021/the-facebook-oversight-board-an-experiment-in-self-regulation/

Seeing Through Technology Hype
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, London Futurists founder David Wood, former operating system architect at Psion and Symbian, moderates a discussion on how to see through technology hype, with Gemma Milne, author of the new book Smoke and Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It, Turing Institute Fellow Jack Stilgoe, and Jenny Kleeman, author of the forthcoming book Sex Robots and Vegan Meat.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWXuek-2jVo

EU's Data Protection Regulators Lack Necessary Technical Expertise
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a new report, Brave's Insight team finds that data protection regulators throughout Europe have not been given the tools they need to enforce GDPR. Brave, which makes a privacy-protecting web browser, has collected data showing how few expert technical investigators are working to find GDPR infringements, and that regulators are hesitant to punish major technology firms because they can't afford the legal costs of defending their decisions. As a result, GDPR is at risk of failing.
https://brave.com/dpa-report-2020/

Document Pool Tracks COVID-19 and Digital Rights
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page EDRi is building a document pool on COVID-19 and digital rights. The collection so far includes EDRi member organisations' analysis of, responses to, and recommendations for protecting digital rights in the face of the pandemic and EDRi's own analysis of tracing apps, along with links to mapping exercises in specific domains such as freedom of expression and privacy, official EU documents, and other useful resources.
https://edri.org/covid-19-digital-rights-document-pool/


***

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

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/

Virtual CogX
----------------------------------------
June 8-10, 2020
London, UK
Festival of AI and Emerging Technology (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/

DEF CON SAFE MODE
----------------------------------------
August 7-9, 2020
DEFCON is one of the oldest and largest continuously running hacker conventions.
https://forum.defcon.org/node/232005


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.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Civic Hall
----------------------------------------
New York's Civic Hall has moved a number of events online. Coming up toward the end of May are events 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
----------------------------------------
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/

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

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/

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
----------------------------------------
Ongoing
The Open Rights Group and its local offshoots are running 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/

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
----------------------------------------
May, 2020
next:Work is a four-week series of digital events on the changing jobs, careers, and workforce of the future.
https://su.org/nextwork/


PHYSICAL WORLD EVENTS

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/

POSTPONED TO JUNE 2021 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

POSTPONED TO December 14-15, 2020 WEIS
----------------------------------------
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

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. They've drawn 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/

CANCELED 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/

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/

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/

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/2020-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

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

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 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

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 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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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 February 28 , 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: Algorithm Watch, Association for Progressive Communications, EDRi, Privacy International.


NEWS
=====

Coronavirus Threatens to Disrupt Academia Worldwide
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Academia around the world will suffer the effects of travel bans, closures, and test cancellations imposed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic for the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond, Joyce Lau and John Ross report at Times Higher Education. However, the crisis offers an opportunity to improve and enhance remote and online learning. At the China Media Project, Da Shiji reports on government secrecy and lockdown in Wuhan, where 11 million people are being held under quarantine. SCMP reports that the death of Li Wenliang, the doctor reprimanded by police for warning about the virus outbreak, has prompted calls within China for free speech rights. At Papers Please, Edward Hasbrouck considers the legal position of quarantine orders within the US. At the Jakarta Post, AFP reports that efforts to contain the outbreak are being disrupted by thousands of coordinated Russia-linked social media accounts that are spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories and sowing distrust of Western responders. Finally, at The Atlantic, Zeynep Tufecki suggests that the reason China was slow to act was not endemic secrecy but "authoritarian blindness"; when people are afraid to speak truth openly, the authorities know less and less.
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/universities-brace-lasting-impact-coronavirus-outbreak
http://chinamediaproject.org/2020/01/27/dramatic-actions/
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3050086/coronavirus-hundreds-chinese-sign-petition-calling-freedom
https://papersplease.org/wp/2020/01/31/can-quarantine-orders-restrict-travel-and-movement/
https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/02/22/russia-linked-disinformation-campaign-fueling-coronavirus-alarm-us-says.html
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/02/coronavirus-and-blindness-authoritarianism/606922/

Swiss Authorities Investigate Crypto AG
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Swiss government has ordered an inquiry into the global cryptographic communications equipment company Crypto AG following revelations that the company was owned outright for decades by the US CIA and Germany's equivalent, the BND, Julian Borger reports at the Guardian. The company deliberately weakened the encryption products it sells to more than 100 countries to enable the agencies to eavesdrop on both adversaries and allies. The story that Crypto AG's products were designed to enable access for GCHQ and NSA codebreakers was first reported in 1976 by Duncan Campbell in Time Out.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/11/crypto-ag-cia-bnd-germany-intelligence-report
https://www.duncancampbell.org/PDF/1976-may-time-out-the-eavesdroppers.pdf

Preprint Repositories Struggle to Stay Open
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The platforms that host preprint repositories for emerging economies are struggling to raise enough money to stay in operation, Smrity Mallapaty reports at Nature. In December 2018 Charlottesville VA-based Center for Open Science warned the servers it hosts - such as INA-Rxiv (Indonesia), AraiXiv (Arabic-language), AfricArxiv, and IndiaRxiv, which are all run by volunteers - that beginning in 2020 it would need to charge fees to cover its annual maintenance costs of $230,000. INA-Rxiv, which was set up in 2017, has decided to close and the marine conservation science repository, MarXiv, has stopped accepting submissions.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00363-3

South Africa: Artists Protest US Pressure to Weaken Copyright Reform Bill
----------------------------------------------------------------------
South African artists, authors, and publishers have picketed the US Embassy in Pretoria to protest US pressure on South Africa to weaken the fair use provisions in its copyright reform bill, which has been awaiting President Cyril Ramphosa's signature for nearly a year, Phanuel Shuman reports at SABC News, which also has a video clip about the protests. In an open letter to the president signed by numerous civil society organizations representing more than half a million South Africans, Re-Create calls on the president to sign the bill. Signatories include Right2Know, Wikimedia South Africa, Creative Commons South Africa, and the Association for Progressive Communications. TorrentFreak reports that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which represents entertainment industry rights holder groups, has recommended placing South Africa on the US Trade Representative's Priority Watch List,.
http://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/sa-artists-stage-protest-outside-us-embassy-amid-copyright-amendment-bill-bill/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0Yzt0TmKp4
https://www.re-createza.org/new-blog/2019/8/23/open-letter-to-the-president-of-south-africa
https://torrentfreak.com/u-s-copyright-groups-want-south-africa-to-ensure-that-5g-doesnt-boost-piracy-200217/

EU Considers AI Regulation and Bloc-wide Facial Recognition System
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In publishing its white paper on regulating AI, the EU fails to appreciate risks other than loss of trust hampering its adoption, Nicola Kayser-Bril writes at Algorithm Watch. In a previously-seen draft, the white paper suggested banning real-time facial recognition; the final version concludes there is no need for a ban on "remote biometric identification" but says it should only be used in cases of substantial public interest. At The Intercept, Zach Campbell and Chris Jones find that a leaked report drawn up by the national police forces of ten EU member states, led by Austria, calls for legislation to introduce and interconnect facial recognition databases in every EU member state. The European Commission is paying Deloitte almost €700,000 to consider changes to the Prüm system, which connects DNA, fingerprint, and vehicle registration databases for cross-border searching, and €500,000 to a consortium of public agencies to map the use of facial recognition in criminal investigations in all EU member states. At Forbes, Tom Brewster reports that London's Metropolitan Police is testing live facial recognition\ in locations such as the Oxford Street shopping district despite legal challenges launched by Big Brother Watch and Liberty. At the New York Times, Davey Alba reports that US, public schools are turning on facial recognition with the goal of preventing mass shootings and stopping sexual predators.
https://algorithmwatch.org/en/story/ai-white-paper/
https://theintercept.com/2020/02/21/eu-facial-recognition-database/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2020/02/20/london-police-just-turned-on-facial-recognition-in-one-of-the-worlds-busiest-shopping-districts/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/business/facial-recognition-schools.html

Saudi Arabian Spies Operated Inside Twitter
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A complaint filed by the US FBI alleges that two Saudi Arabian citizens working on Twitter's global media team passed identifying information from thousands of user profiles to the Saudi Arabian government over a period of seven months in 2015, Alex Kantrowitz reports at Buzzfeed News. The case highlights vulnerabilities within US technology companies, which don't plan for the possibility that employees may have close relationships with foreign governments and abuse their access to sensitive data to spy on their behalf. One dissident based in Canada is suing the company for failing to fully disclose the spying; others inside Saudi Arabia are believed to have been arrested and tortured.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/alexkantrowitz/how-saudi-arabia-infiltrated-twitter


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

NGOs at Risk from GDPR Abuse
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Responsible Data, Vera Franz summarizes her new report, written with Ben Hayes and Lucy Hannah, highlighting the potential for governments and corporations to use GDPR as a weapon against NGOs. Organizations such as Global Witness and Romania's RISE project have received subject access requests and regulatory demands intended to expose their sources. NGO leaders and funders need to ensure their organizations find the balance between non-compliance and over-compliance.
https://responsibledata.io/2020/02/11/ngos-embrace-gdpr-but-will-it-be-used-against-them/
https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/publications/civil-society-organizations-and-general-data-protection-regulation-compliance

Law Enforcement Targets Cloud Storage for Forensic Analysis
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at EDRi, Privacy International summarizes its new report on mass data collection technology used by law enforcement investigators to forensically analyze data stored in the cloud. Now that phones are increasingly locked down, user data stored on third-party servers is considered the future of mobile forensics, especially as analysis software has begun to include facial and emotion recognition. There is little transparency about cloud extraction technology, and public understanding is limited.
https://edri.org/cloud-extraction-a-deep-dive-on-secret-mass-data-collection-tech/
https://privacyinternational.org/long-read/3300/cloud-extraction-technology-secret-tech-lets-government-agencies-collect-masses-data

OpenAI Succumbs to Commercial Pressures
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Technology Review, Karen Hao reports that the four-year-old research lab OpenAI has lost touch with its founding aspirations of transparency, openness, and collaboration and instead has become obsessed with maintaining secrecy, protecting its image, and enforcing employee loyalty. In March 2019, OpenAI added a for-profit arm and accepted a $1 billion investment from Microsoft; it followed up by changing its pay structure and releasing the GPT-2 auto-text generator it had previously called too dangerous to release. Hao believes the lab is succumbing to pressure to commercialize and social responsibility is losing out.
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615181/ai-openai-moonshot-elon-musk-sam-altman-greg-brockman-messy-secretive-reality/

US Moves Toward Data Privacy Legislation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Verge, Makena Kelly outlines US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-NY) proposal for an independent Data Protection Agency whose remit would be to protect consumer data. Under her data protection act, consumers would have the right to file complaints triggering investigations into malpractice, and the agency would work with the technology industry to promote the development of privacy-enhancing technologies. In a video clip, the Washington State House Innovation, Technology, and Economic Development Committee hears testimony regarding the state's in-progress data privacy bill, SB 6281. At Geekwire, Monica Nickelsburg summarizes Washington ACLU's opposition to and Microsoft's support for the bill.
https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/13/21135231/kirsten-gillibrand-facebook-google-data-protection-agency-privacy-big-tech
https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6281&Year=2019&Initiative=false
https://www.geekwire.com/2019/aclu-washington-state-lawmaker-clash-data-privacy-bill-backed-microsoft/

We Need to Talk About Cloud Neutrality
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Wired, Holly Wood argues that today the cloud, not the internet, is the essential enabler of the technology economy - and unlike the internet, much of which was publicly financed or subsidized, the cloud is fully owned and operated by a handful of private companies.  Given the potential for abuse, in a world where Netflix hosts its streaming services on Amazon, which is also its competitor, we should be thinking about cloud neutrality, not network neutrality. At the New York Times, David McCabe profiles Sarah Miller's work as leader of the newly-founded American Economic Liberties Project, which is dedicated to pushing for government action on corporate concentration across a wide array of industries including agriculture and medicine as well as technology.
https://www.wired.com/story/we-need-to-talk-about-cloud-neutrality/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/11/technology/big-tech-antitrust.html

US National Archives Grants Government Agencies Deletion Rights
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this audio clip at WNYC, Columbia University professor Matthew Connelly raises the alarm about a 2017 agreement under which, despite opposition from both lawmakers and the public, the US National Archives agreed to let Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials delete or destroy documents relating to the sexual abuse and death of undocumented immigrants. The result, exacerbated by ongoing budget cuts, Connelly says here and in a recent New York Times op-ed, is that we may never find out the truth about ICE's policies under the Trump administration. In response, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero called Connelly's claims "misleading" while admitting that the US State Department uses automated algorithms to decide what to delete or destroy. At Alternet, Connelly provides more detail of the deletion practices in in an interview with Amy Goodman.
https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/takeaway/segments/national-archives-deleting-records-about-trumps-ice-policies
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/04/opinion/archives-document-destruction.html
https://www.alternet.org/2020/02/the-national-archives-is-destroying-records-about-victims-of-trumps-ice-policies-a-historian-explains-the-implications/


***

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

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

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/

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 February 14, 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: EDRi, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, SPARC, The Engine Room.


NEWS
=====

Privacy International Files Personal Data Complaint Against MI5
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In collaboration with Liberty UK, Privacy International has filed a complaint against the security agency MI5 with the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal based on the agency's admission that it was holding personal data in an "ungoverned space", PI reports in a press release. The complaint adds to previous cases in which longstanding and serious failings have emerged regarding MI5's collection and use of personal data.
https://privacyinternational.org/news-analysis/3356/pi-and-liberty-submit-new-legal-challenge-after-mi5-admits-vast-troves-personal


Dutch Court Shuts Down Benefit Fraud Prediction System
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Dutch court has shut down the government SyRi system, which flagged thousands of immigrants and people in low-income communities as likely to commit benefit fraud, on the basis that it violates European human rights and data protection laws, Tom Simonite reports at Wired. In coming to its decision, the court heard testimony from representatives of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, who submitted an influential report on the dangers of the digital welfare state to the UN General Assembly last year. The fact that the ruling cites international human rights laws and norms means the case is likely to be widely influential.
https://www.wired.com/story/europe-limits-government-algorithm-us-not-much/

Facial Recognition App May End Privacy in Public Places
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The little-known and secretive company Clearview AI has built a groundbreaking facial recognition app that can match a single uploaded image to its database of 3 billion public images and provide details of where it appeared, Kashmir Hill reports at the New York Times. The company says more than 600 law enforcement agencies now use its app, potentially ending all privacy in public places. In a follow-up story, Hill and Bariel J.X. Dance report that the company's technology is being used to identify child victims of sexual abuse. At CNet, Alfred Ng reports that the company believes that despite the cease-and-desist letters it's received from Twitter, Facebook, and Google the First Amendment protects its right to scrape these "publicly-available" images. At The Verge, Casey Newton considers 15 years of diminishing privacy by drawing a straight line to Clearview AI from Google Maps.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/technology/clearview-privacy-facial-recognition.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/business/clearview-facial-recognition-child-sexual-abuse.html
https://www.cnet.com/news/clearview-says-first-amendment-lets-it-scrape-the-internet-lawyers-disagree/
https://www.theverge.com/interface/2020/2/7/21126498/google-maps-birthday-privacy-street-view-germany-clearview-ai

UK: School Data Passed to Betting Companies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Sunday Times investigation found that the UK Department of Education Learning Records Service database had granted access to personal data about more than 28 million British pupils over the age of 14 to betting companies, Jen Persson reports at DefendDigital.Me. The group calls for a full investigation and a system-wide audit given previous complaints about the misuse of children's data. At TES, Amy Gibbons reports that using the information enabled one gambling firm to increase the numbers of young people passing its identity checks by 15%. Recent surveys and reports have found that nearly half of all children between the ages of 11 and 16 have spent money on gambling. In November 2018, the Guardian reported that 55,000 British 11-to-16-year-olds were classed as problem gamblers.
https://defenddigitalme.com/2020/01/comment-on-sunday-times-story-gbg-use-of-national-learner-records/
https://www.tes.com/news/gambling-companies-access-data-28-million-children
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/21/number-of-problem-gamblers-aged-11-16-rises-to-55000

US: President Considers Mandating Open Access to All Federally Funded Research
----------------------------------------------------------------------
US president Donald Trump is considering issuing an executive order requiring all federally funded research to be immediately accessible to the public for free, Kelsey Brugger and Sean Reilly report at E&E News. At STAT, Robert M. Kaplan reviews the reasons to support the move, although 125 publishers and scientific organizations oppose it. SPARC reports that it has submitted a letter of support, along with numerous other scientists, patient advocates, and publishers.
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1061836761
https://www.statnews.com/2020/02/06/open-science-publishing-and-public-research-support-could-trump-have-it-right/
https://sparcopen.org/our-work/rumored-2020-white-house-open-access-policy/

US: Companies Lobby to Weaken Internet Liability Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
IBM and Disney are among a wide array of companies lobbying to weaken S230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, the law that shields online platforms from liability for content posted by their users, David McCabe reports at the New York Times. Also lobbying to weaken the law are Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt, who want S230 modified so Airbnb and other home-rental services can't use it to block local regulations.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/04/technology/section-230-lobby.html


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

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this page at YouTube, CPDP lists video clips of this year's conference sessions, the vast majority of which covered one or more aspects of AI. Among the most notable are panels on data protection in the smart city; the ethics of adtech (organized by the Open Rights Group); AI and migration control (organized by EDRi); adtech and the future of the internet; and algorithmic regulation of transportation.
https://www.youtube.com/user/CPDPConferences/videos

Inside the Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Re-Elect President Trump
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Atlantic, McKay Coppins describes the billion-dollar disinformation campaign to re-elect US president Donald Trump, which depends on tools and techniques developed by dictators elsewhere. Having created a separate Facebook account and liked a few pro-Trump pages, Coppins is swamped by pro-Trump propaganda videos and winds up doubting every news story of any stripe. Coppins goes on to trace these tactics' history of being used to support Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte and discredit journalists who have criticized Trump. The Economist's annual report on the state of democracy finds that although 2019 scored lowest since assessments began in 2006, there is hope in the form of popular protests. At Al Jazeera, Santiago Zabala argues that digital populism is even more dangerous than the emotional appeals of right- and left-wing populist politicians. Finally, at CNBC, Salvador Rodriguez reports that the new oversight board Facebook is setting up is "filled with loopholes" and its influence over the company's actions will be very limited.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-2020-disinformation-war/605530/
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/01/22/global-democracy-has-another-bad-year
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/beware-digital-populism-200207150123445.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/28/facebook-oversight-board-bylaws-leave-company-firmly-in-control.html

New Study Finds Exclusion and Empowerment in Digital Identity
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report, the Engine Room studies the real-life social and cultural consequences of digital ID systems among marginalized communities in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Thailand. Among the key findings: while digital ID can both empower and increase surveillance of marginalized groups; these systems are growing, partly because one of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals is for everyone to have a legal identity by 2030; context matters; and both the ID itself and the process of obtaining it can be exclusionary.
https://digitalid.theengineroom.org/

The Misinformation Virus
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this BBC radio program, "The Misinformation Virus", Angela Saini investigates how and why pseudoscience continues to spread, no matter how often it's debunked. At Wired, Omer Benjakob reports on Wikipedia's efforts to contain disinformation about the coronavirus. At Patreon, internet pioneer Howard Rheingold, author of Net Smart, republishes an essay for the New School's Public Seminar in which he suggests that solving today's lopsided deception arms race will require legislation to curb the monopoly power of digital megacorporations. At New Humanist, Eleanor Gordon-Smith discusses the importance of emotion and trust in persuading people to change their minds about long-held beliefs. Finally, The Economist reviews Under the Influence, a new book by Cornell professor Robert Frank, who suggests we could harness "behavioral contagion" to support social goals.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000c9sm
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/wikipedia-coronavirus
https://www.patreon.com/posts/democracy-is-33747750
https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/5554/rational-debate-is-broken-heres-how-to-fix-it
https://www.economist.com/open-future/2020/02/07/we-can-harness-peer-pressure-to-uphold-social-values

Price-Fixing Lawsuit Strangled Ebooks
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Vox, Constance Grady delves into the records of a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice in 2012 against Apple and five of the then-Big Six publishing houses in order to understand why ebooks are so expensive - and why they still command only 20% of the book market. The DoJ contended that Apple and the publishers were conspiring to fix prices; Apple and the publishers claimed they were merely countering the predatory threat posed by Amazon. Antitrust law professor Christopher Sagers tells Grady that the underlying problem is industry consolidation at all levels; he believes the government should also have sued Amazon.
https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/12/23/20991659/ebook-amazon-kindle-ereader-department-of-justice-publishing-lawsuit-apple-ipad

OECD Oversees Talks on Taxing the Digital Giants
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Politico, Mark Scott and Aaron Lorenzo explain the key issues and proposals for discussion in the late-January international talks on taxing the digital giants. The talks are overseen by the OECD, which has been tasked with finding a compromise between countries who want the companies to pay tax where they earn revenues, such as Austria and Italy, which have already passed digital tax rules targeting US companies, and countries that believe the companies should pay tax where their headquarters are.
https://www.politico.eu/article/oecd-digital-tax-france-us-steve-mnuchin-bruno-le-maire-europe/


***

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

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

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/

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 January 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 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.

NEWS
=====

Cambridge Analytica Files Show Worldwide Electoral Manipulation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
An anonymous Twitter account, @HindsightFiles, has posted the first tranches of an expected 100,000 files sourced from ex-Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser, Carole Cadwalladr reports at the Guardian. The tens of thousands of files so far released provide links to elections in Malaysia, Kenya, and Brazil, and suggest that Cambridge Analytica was working for a political party in Ukraine in 2017. The former head of the UK's MI6 Russian intelligence, Christopher Steele, tells the Guardian the fact that bad actors have not been punished in any country means the prospects for manipulation of the 2020 US presidential election are even worse. At the Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima reports that the US military is exploring options for information warfare tactics to use against Russian officials and oligarchs if they seek to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/04/cambridge-analytica-data-leak-global-election-manipulation
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/us-cybercom-contemplates-information-warfare-to-counter-russian-interference-in-the-2020-election/2019/12/25/21bb246e-20e8-11ea-bed5-880264cc91a9_story.html

South Africa: Copyright Bill Attracts Review of US Trade Benefits
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Office of the US Trade Representative will review South Africa's eligibility for Generalized System of Preferences benefits following a petition from the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which opposes the copyright bill that has been awaiting the South African president's signature for eight months, law professors Sean Flynn and Jonathan Band report at InfoJustice. The US trade program gives developing countries extra tariff reductions. Among the Alliance's complaints are a provision for fair use, the right to use excerpts in education, and protections for local creators.
https://theconversation.com/making-sense-of-south-africas-new-copyright-bill-and-us-trade-threats-128418

France: Tax Authorities May Trawl Personal Social Media Accounts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The French Constitutional Court has ruled that customs and tax authorities will be allowed to review individuals' social media profiles, posts, and photographs to look for tax avoidance, the BBC reports. After protests from the data protection regulator CNIL and human rights groups, the court added some limitations: social media content that is password-protected is off-limits, and authorities may only use information individuals divulge about themselves. The BBC also reports that Google will pay France almost €1 billion in back taxes and fines to end a four-year investigation.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50930094
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49674544

EU: Enforcement Fails General Data Protection Regulation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A year and a half after the EU's General Data Protection Regulation came into force, a lack of enforcement and regulators' failure to cooperate across borders on investigations lead critics to doubt that the law will be able to rein in the big technology companies, Nicholas Vinocur reports at Politico. Helen Dixon, the Irish data protection regulator, dissents, saying investigations under a complex, untested law take time. At Reuters, Ricardo Bito reports that Brazil's Ministry of Justice has fined Facebook BRL6.6 million ($1.6 million) for improperly sharing user data with the app "thisisyourdigitallife".
https://www.politico.eu/article/we-have-a-huge-problem-european-regulator-despairs-over-lack-of-enforcement/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-brazil-fine/brazil-fines-facebook-1-6-million-for-improper-sharing-of-user-data-idUSKBN1YY0VK

Lawsuits Seek to Block California's Gig Economy Employment bill
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Uber and Postmates are suing the state of California to stop Assembly Bill 5, which provides employment protections to gig-economy workers, from taking effect, Joel Rosenblatt and Ellen Huet report at Bloomberg. The companies argue that the bill is unconstitutional because its list of exemptions - truck drivers, commercial fishermen, travel agents, direct salespeople, and grant writers - is ill-defined and unpredictable. At the Sacramento Bee, Sophia Rollag reports that freelance journalists are suing the state over their inclusion in the bill, which requires publications to class anyone producing more than 35 articles or photos for them as an employee. In December, Vox Media CEO John Ness announced in SBNation that the company would end its contracts with California-based freelancers but encouraged them to apply for newly-created part-time and full-time posts.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-31/uber-postmates-sue-california-to-block-landmark-gig-worker-law
https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article238479503.html
https://www.sbnation.com/2019/12/16/21024100/thank-you-california

TikTok Issues First Transparency Report
----------------------------------------------------------------------
TikTok's first transparency report shows that the company received 298 legal requests for information from 28 countries, and 26 requests to remove or restrict content from nine countries, Zoe Schiff reports at The Verge. India led the requests for information (107) followed by the US (79); India also led on requests for content blocking (11). No requests came from China, where TikTok is not available despite its ownership by a Chinese company, ByteDance. TikTok took down 85% of content reported for copyright infringement. At Wired, Louise Matsakis notes the report's omissions, such as the potential for China to influence content by shaping moderation rules and the implementation of community guidelines. At NetzPolitik, Markus Reuter and Chris Köver find that TikTok's moderators systematically suppress content by disadvantaging it in search results or keeping it out of the algorithmic feed users see when they log in. At the Guardian, Lily Kuo reports that 17-year-old Feroza Aziz's videos were blocked after she used a make-up tutorial to highlight Beijing's treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang. Finally, at TechCrunch, Josh Constine reports that ByteDance, which also owns the China-only Douyin video apps, has built technology allowing users to create their own deepfakes, though the feature has not (yet) been released.
https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/31/21044876/tiktok-china-transparency-report-bytedance-takedown-requests-zero
https://www.tiktok.com/safety/resources/transparency-report
https://www.wired.com/story/tiktok-first-transparency-report/
https://netzpolitik.org/2019/cheerfulness-and-censorship/#spendenleiste
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/28/tiktok-says-sorry-to-us-teenager-blocked-after-sharing-xinjiang-videos
https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/03/tiktok-deepfakes-face-swap/


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

India Leads the World's Democracies in Internet Shutdowns
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the BBC, Shadab Nazmi highlights India's world-leading number of internet shutdowns; 2019 through mid-December saw 96 of these, largely in response to protests against India's new citizenship law, which forces Muslims to prove their right to remain in the country. The Internet Shutdown Tracker portal, run by the Software Freedom Law Center, shows that the longest shutdown is in Kashmir - 153 days and continuing. Other notable shutdowns in 2019 included Assam, some districts in West Bengal, and even parts of the capital city, Delhi. At BuzzFeed, Pranav Dixit gives details of the Delhi shutdown, in which police ordered all major carriers to stop all "voice, SMS, and internet" services.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-50819905
https://internetshutdowns.in/
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/pranavdixit/to-prevent-protests-against-an-anti-muslim-law-indias

"Pink Slime" Websites Masquerade as Local News
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A network of hundreds of partisan websites are masquerading as local news outlets and disseminating algorithmically-generated articles and a smaller number of reported stories in order to manipulate US public opinion, the Columbia Journalism Review reports. Media discoveries of about 200 of these sites sparked an investigation by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School, which traces the networks back to conservative businessman Brian Timpone, whose company became known in 2012 for low-cost automated generation of stories with faked bylines and quotes (dubbed "pink slime"); the sites are coopting the empty space left by the closure of many genuine local newspapers.
https://www.cjr.org/tow_center_reports/hundreds-of-pink-slime-local-news-outlets-are-distributing-algorithmic-stories-conservative-talking-points.php

Scholars Begin Fightback Against Predatory Publishing
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Nature, 43 leading scholars from ten countries take a first step toward combating predatory publishing by agreeing a definition of the term. Among the characteristics they included are: false or misleading information such as fake impact factors; lack of transparency; aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation; and deviation from best editorial and publication practices.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03759-y

Oncologist Debunks DeepMind's AI Breast Cancer Screening Accuracy Claim
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Twitter thread, Vinay Prasad, an oncologist and associate professor, explains the problems with Google DeepMind's widely-reported claim to have developed a deep neural network that can read mammograms more accurately than radiologists. The goal of cancer screening, Prasad writes, is to find treatable cancers; Google's research measured the AI's detection of biopsy-proven cancers. A proper study will be expensive and require years to conduct.
https://twitter.com/VprasadMDMPH/status/1212840987363442689

Price-Fixing Lawsuit Strangled Ebooks
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow highlights TheSoul Publishing, a Cyprus-based Russian entertainment company that commands the third-largest audience on YouTube, after Disney and Warner, yet only began its activities in 2015. Many of the videos published on channels such as Bright Side and 5-Minute Crafts are odd, and become counter-factual when they stray into commentary on the US and Russia; they are, however, highly popular money-makers. At Lawfare, Lisa Kaplan provides the background reporting Maddow drew upon; including screenshots from videos that have since being removed. TheSoul is also active on Facebook, where data collection and targeted advertising may be more important motivations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klFdOyQq79Y
https://www.lawfareblog.com/biggest-social-media-operation-youve-never-heard-run-out-cyprus-russians

CEOs Urge Companies to Embrace Wider Social Values
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Medium posting, Ross LaJeunesse, former head of international relations at Google, explains that he left the company after 11 years because he realized that it would never embrace human rights or work to change its bullying workplace culture. At Harvard Business Review, Mara Zepeda and Jennifer Brandel discuss a recent statement issued by leading CEOs that pushes companies to stop focusing on maximizing shareholder returns as their sole corporate purpose. Zepeda and Brandel suggest that startups need alternatives to venture capital funding; new founders should learn from Zebras Unite, a movement made up of companies that prioritize mutualism, shared prosperity, and social good, and believe there should be more public/private collaborations. In a working paper, Stanford Law professsors Mark Lemley and Andrew McCreary suggest ways for the technology industry to replace exit strategies with the goal of building enduring independent companies.
https://medium.com/@rossformaine/i-was-googles-head-of-international-relations-here-s-why-i-left-49313d23065
https://hbr.org/2019/09/we-need-more-startups-that-dont-prioritize-growth-above-all-else
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3506919


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

CPDP 2020
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

Personal Democracy Forum CEE 2020
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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
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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
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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

Creative Commons Global Summit
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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