October 2019 Archives

News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending October 11, 2019

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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, EFF, Oxford Internet Institute.


NEWS
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UK and US sign mutual law enforcement data access agreement
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The US attorney general, William Barr, and UK's Home Secretary, Priti Patel, have signed an agreement to allow law enforcement agencies to demand access to certain data directly from the other country's technology companies, bypassing the lengthy and cumbersome inter-government Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process, Julia Carrie Wong reports at the Guardian. At EFF, Katitza Rodriguez and Camille Fischer argue that the deal will "trample" cross-border privacy safeguards by enabling the countries to bypass each other's legal regime, and note that the enabling legislation is, in the US, the CLOUD Act, and, in the UK, the Investigatory Powers Act and the 2019 Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act, all of which EFF opposed. Wong also reports that the US, UK, and Australia will pressure Facebook to create a backdoor in its encrypted messaging apps to allow governments direct access to the content of communications.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/03/facebook-surveillance-us-uk-australia-backdoor-encryption
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/10/race-bottom-privacy-protection-us-uk-deal-would-trample-cross-border-privacy

Russia begins installing isolationist internet option
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Alexander Zharov, the head of Russia's federal communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has confirmed to the press that under the Russian Internet Law (RuNet) president Vladimir Putin signed into law earlier in 2019 equipment is being installed on the networks of the country's major telecom operators that will operate an alternative domain name system and steer traffic away from non-Russian servers, Zak Doffman reports at Forbes. "Combat" testing is expected to begin during the month of October. The "RuNet" network is supposed to be deployed only in cases where the system's integrity, stability, or security is "in danger".
https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/09/24/russia-begins-installing-equipment-to-cut-its-access-to-world-wide-web/#639083136574

UK: Police build secret database to combat radicalization
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The UK's counter-terrorism police have been secretly sharing details of thousands of individuals referred to the government's anti-radicalization Prevent program via the National Police Prevent Case Management database, which is accessible to all police forces in all parts of the UK as well as the Home Office, Jamie Grierson reports at the Guardian. Prevent was intended to be a voluntary program that diverted people from terrorism before they commit a crime; individuals are not informed when they are added to the database. In 2017-2018, 7,318 people were referred to Prevent by public servants such as teachers, police, or doctors; 57% were age 20 or younger, and 2009 were under 16. Only 394 were deemed to need specialist support. Also at the Guardian, Nosheen Iqbal reports that the Prevent program, the Home Office, and the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism have spent more than £9 million to quietly fund groups that run online platforms, workshops, and events aimed at young Muslims.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/06/counter-terror-police-are-running-secret-prevent-database
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/sep/15/lifestyle-website-for-muslim-teens-is-covertly-funded-by-the-home-office

France: Google declines to pay publishers to link to news stories
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Rather than pay licensing fees to French news organizations, Google will remove the previews accompanying links to news stories unless publishers actively request their inclusion, Timothy B. Lee reports at Ars Technica. In passing its transposition of the copyright directive enacted by the EU earlier this year, France hoped that Google would pay licensing fees. Instead, Google's move is expected to reduce traffic to news sites, exactly as happened when similar legislation was tried in Spain. Google notes that it derives no revenues from linking to news stories. At Politico, Laura Kayali reports that some press publishers have estimated that Facebook's and Google's market power in online advertising costs their sector €250-320 million per year.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/09/despite-new-law-google-refuses-to-pay-to-link-to-french-news-sites/
https://www.politico.eu/article/licensing-agreements-with-press-publishers-france-google/

China: Applicants for mobile phone numbers must pass facial recognition check
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The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced that from December 1 signing up for mobile and data services will require a facial recognition identification test, Jane Li reports at Quartz. MIIT says the requirement, an expansion of the real name registration system China launched in 2013, is part of its efforts to control fraud and safeguard citizens in cyberspace; citizens will also not be allowed to pass their numbers on to others.
https://qz.com/1720832/china-introduces-facial-recognition-step-to-get-new-mobile-number/

Singapore: "Fake news" law comes into effect
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The new Singaporean Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill came into force on October 2, James Griffiths reports at CNN. Individuals may face fines of up to SGD50,000 ($36,000) or up to five years in prison, with those sanctions doubling if the alleged falsehood is posted using a fake or bot-controlled account. Companies may be fined up to SGD1 million ($735,000). Government ministers can decide whether to order takedown or an annotated correction, though they must explain why the alleged misinformation is false. Human Rights Watch Asia expects the law to be abused for political purposes. Other countries that have introduced or are considering similar legislation include Australia, the UK, and Fiji.
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/02/asia/singapore-fake-news-internet-censorship-intl-hnk/index.html


FEATURES AND ANALYSIS
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Wikipedia edit war erupts over Taiwan coverage
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In this article at the BBC, Demos researcher Carl Miller, author of The Death of the Gods, finds that Wikipedia's coverage of Taiwan has become the forum for an edit war comprising 1,600 edits across 22 politically sensitive entries. Chinese officials and academics, Miller writes, are pursuing a campaign to systematically correct what they believe to be Wikipedia's anti-Chinese biases. The campaign is extending to personal attacks on Wikipedia editors.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49921173

Faculty value for outreach not reflected in promotion criteria
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In this blog posting, Erin C. McKiernan, Juan Pablo Alperin, and Lesley A. Schimanski discuss their three years of research to find ways to reform academic review, promotion, and tenure (RPT), as many faculty cite concerns about these types of evaluations as important factors limiting their adoption of open access, open data, and open scholarship practices. Their work finds a mismatch between the language in RPT policy documents and what faculty actually value, such as readership and reach. This research was supported by the Open Society Foundations.
https://sfdora.org/2019/09/30/opportunities-for-review-promotion-and-tenure-reform/

Manipulation of public opinion is a global problem
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In this press release, Philip Howard and Samantha Bradshaw of the Oxford Internet Institute summarize their new report taking inventory of the use of algorithms, automation, and big data to shape public life and find that manipulation of public opinion is a global problem that has spread to 70 countries, 45 of them democracies. Seven countries - China, India, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela - are the source of foreign influence operations, while 25 countries work with private companies or communications firms that offer "computational propaganda" as a service. Facebook remains the platform of choice for social media manipulation. At Buzzfeed News, Jeremy Singer-Vine and Kevin Collier find that 1.3 million comments to the US Federal Communications Commission website opposing network neutrality in 2017 were fakes posted by political operatives.
https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/news/releases/use-of-social-media-to-manipulate-public-opinion-now-a-global-problem-says-new-report/
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jsvine/net-neutrality-fcc-fake-comments-impersonation

CJEU ruling opens door for upload filters
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In this blog posting, Eleonora Rosati discusses the October 3 ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union that holds that an intermediary such as Facebook can be ordered to remove, worldwide, content that is identical and equivalent to content that has been found illegal. The case originated in Austria in 2018, when the politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek sought an injunction to force Facebook to remove disparaging statements made about her in a user's public comment. EDRi argues that the ruling opens the door for "upload filters" on all online content, damaging freedom of expression. In a blog posting, the legal firm Hunton Andrews Kurth analyzes the CJEU's decision in late September in Google v. CNIL that a country can require that platforms apply the right to dereferencing (the "right to be forgotten") worldwide, but should take into account a number of factors regarding the person, the offense, and the public interest.
https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2019/10/breaking-cjeu-rules-that-intermediary.html
https://edri.org/cjeu-ruling-could-open-the-door-for-upload-filters/
https://www.huntonprivacyblog.com/2019/09/26/cjeu-rules-right-to-be-forgotten-on-google-limited-to-the-eu-in-landmark-case/

New software license seeks to give developers control
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In this article at Wired, Klint Finley discusses Coraline Ada Ehmke's proposed new "Hippocratic license", intended to give open source developers a way of exerting control over how their software is used. Tying the "do no harm" license to existing international human rights standards, she hopes, will reduce the uncertainty inherent in defining "harm". The license still needs to pass a legal review and there are compatibility issues to be solved.
https://www.wired.com/story/open-source-license-requires-users-do-no-harm/

TikTok becomes vector for Chinese foreign policy
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In this Guardian article, Alex Hern finds from leaked documents detailing the moderation guidelines for the video-sharing app TikTok that the app's owner, ByteDance, is using it to advance Chinese foreign policy aims abroad. Among the types of content that are either deleted or marked so only the original poster can see them are criticisms of China's socialist system, controversial topics such as separatism, protests such as Tiananmen Square, and 20 "foreign leaders or sensitive figures". ByteDance says the version the Guardian saw was retired in May and that the current guidelines do not reference specific countries or issues. At FFWD, Chris Stokel-Walker expands on the story to discuss how foreign governments should respond.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/25/revealed-how-tiktok-censors-videos-that-do-not-please-beijing
https://ffwd.medium.com/taiwan-is-restricting-chinese-video-apps-like-tiktok-for-fear-of-disinformation-cc0a46f62af0


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

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

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

Web Summit
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November 4-7. 2019
Lisbon, Portugal
The Web Summit gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: where to next? In 2018, speakers included Margrethe Vestager, Tim Berners-Lee, and Microsoft CEO Brad Smith.
https://websummit.com/

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

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

IGF Global
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November 25-29, 2019
Berlin, Germany
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was set up in 2006 as an open discussion platform of the United Nations for key legal, political, social and technical issues relating to the internet. IGF's multi-stakeholder model aims to ensure that all relevant societal groups are equally involved in preparations and implementation: governments, civil society, business, academia, international organizations, and the technical community. This is particularly of note in terms of representatives from developing and newly industrializing countries, which otherwise tend to be under-represented.
https://www.igf2019.berlin/

Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing
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November 27-29, 2019
Tromsø, Norway
The Munin Conference is an annual conference on scholarly publishing and communication, primarily revolving around open access, open data and open science.
http://site.uit.no/muninconf/

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

FAT* 2020
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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

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

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/

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

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

DEF CON 28
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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

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

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/


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending September 27, 2019

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

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Amnesty International, Bits of Freedom, Citizen Lab, EDRi, MIT Media Lab, Privacy International.


NEWS
=====

Fallout from Epstein scandal continues at MIT
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In a contentious September 18 meeting led by president Rafael Reif, MIT faculty debated the institute's acceptance of funding from Jeffrey Epstein, Susan Svriuga reports at the Washington Post. Fifty female faculty members protested MIT's cultural habit of undervaluing women. Held over for later discussion is a proposal to establish a committee to protect academic integrity. On September 12, in a post at Medium MIT, scientist Selam Jie Gano responded to Epstein-related comments sent to a Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) mailing list by angrily calling for the removal of Free Software Foundation founder and MIT visiting professor Richard Stallman. Five days later, Richard Lawler reported at Engadget that Stallman had resigned from both MIT and the Free Software Foundation. At Wired, journalist Virginia Heffernan picks apart the "sausage-fest" intellectual pretensions of the members of Epstein-connected literary agent John Brockman's mostly-male Edge Network, which she joined in 2009 and left in 2016. On September 20, Lisa Song reported at ProPublica that the allegedly non-functional food computer produced by MIT Media Lab's Open Agriculture Initiative is also a polluter that has dumped dangerous levels of nitrogen into local waterways.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/09/19/mit-faculty-responds-epstein-scandal-calling-culture-change-greater-accountability/
https://medium.com/@selamie/remove-richard-stallman-fec6ec210794
https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/17/rms-fsf-mit-epstein/
https://www.wired.com/story/an-end-to-pornography-sophistry-and-panty-raids/
https://www.propublica.org/article/mit-media-lab-kept-regulators-in-the-dark-dumped-chemicals-in-excess-of-legal-limit

Digital lending brings debt and data exploitation to Kenya
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The rising uptake of digital lending across Kenya is profiting from pushing tens of thousands of people into debt and leaving them open to data exploitation exploiting their data, Abdi Latif Dahir reports at Quartz. Google has begun blocking apps that promote short-term personal loans, which account for four of the ten most popular apps in Kenya. Part of the blame may lie with permissive regulations that exempt digital lenders from the restrictions that apply to banks.
https://qz.com/africa/1712796/mobile-loans-apps-tala-branch-okash-face-scrutiny-in-kenya/

Period-tracking apps send data to Facebook
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In a new report, Privacy International finds that at least two popular period-tracking apps, Maya and MIA Fem, shared intimate details of their users' sexual health and activity with Facebook and other entities via the Facebook Software Development Kit, Marie C. Baca reports at the Washington Post. The apps began sharing data as soon as they were opened, before users could consent to the privacy policies. The New York Times reports that unsealed Massachusetts court filings show that Facebook has suspended 69,000 apps, many for not cooperating with Facebook's investigation into their behavior; 10,000 were suspended for improperly gathering users' personal information.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/09/10/these-apps-may-have-told-facebook-about-last-time-you-had-sex/

Use of AI tools for surveillance expand across the globe
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According to a new report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, at least 75 countries are actively using AI tools such as facial recognition for surveillance, Matt O'Brien reports at AP News. Much of the technology is supplied around the world by Chinese technology companies, led by Huawei and Nikvision, followed by Japan's NEC, and US-based IBM, Palantir, and Cisco. Many of the projects cited in the report, written by Boise State University associate professor Steven Feldstein, are "smart city" systems.
https://apnews.com/d1f77d3dd2684d7e8d7d47cbd192d8dd

Copyright law threatens freedom of public information
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A preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice for the European Union has raised the possibility that public documents could be censored because of copyright law, Diego Naranja reports at EDRi. The case involved the publication of German military reports. The Court stated that copyright as claimed by the German government would only apply if the reports are an intellectual creation, and said it is up to Member States to decide case by case how to apply copyright exceptions and limitations while balancing fundamental EU rights such as freedom of information. Naranja fears that the decision may mean that national parliaments deciding how to implement the "upload filter" provision in the 2019 Copyright Directive may block documents of public relevance from public authorities in order to avoid similar judicial disputes. Also at EDRi, Bits of Freedom argues that the Dutch government should display greater ambition in transposing the Directive to protect the rights of internet users as much as possible.
https://edri.org/cjeu-public-documents-could-be-censored-because-of-copyright/

NSO Group changes policy to respect human rights
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Following reports from Citizen Lab that NSO Group's software had been used to target political activists in Mexico, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, the Israel-based company has announced it will abide by UN guidelines to prevent rights abuses, Steven Scheer reports for Reuters. Based on the company's history, Amnesty International is skeptical that the company's change of policy will make a difference.
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-rights-nso/cyber-spying-firm-nso-to-follow-human-rights-guidelines-idUKKCN1VV11S


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

Deepfakes and the threat to democracy
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In this interview and TED talk video clip, Boston University professor Danielle Citron discusses Deepfake videos and the threat they pose to the 2020 US presidential election. Writing with Robert Chesney, Citron has proposed legal changes to the role of intermediaries, as well as self-regulation and education. In an essay at the Guardian, William Davies argues that the source of our inability to agree on facts is not filter bubbles but the fact that direct access to data, and the loss of curation or framing makes it harder, not easier, to discern which points matter.
http://www.bu.edu/articles/2019/qa-laws-danielle-citron-warns-that-deepfake-videos-could-undermine-the-2020-election/
https://www.ted.com/talks/danielle_citron_how_deepfakes_undermine_truth_and_threaten_democracy
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/sep/19/why-cant-we-agree-on-whats-true-anymore

Sidewalk Labs Toronto plan threatens democratic governance
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In this posting at Medium, Ellen P. Goodman summarizes the first expert review of the master innovation and development plan for a section of the Toronto waterfront published by Sidewalk Labs, a Google sibling, in June. The 15-member multidisciplinary Digital Advisory Strategy Advisory Panel to Waterfront Toronto's preliminary review finds that the plan is insufficiently explicit, fails to explain how it will meet the project's goals, lacks privacy protection and data governance, and gives Sidewalk too great a share of the intellectual property. Goodman notes that her forthcoming paper with Julia Powles shows how the consultation and development process leading to the published plan threatened democratic governance and illustrated the problems with tech-centered urbanism.
https://medium.com/@ellgood/sidewalk-toronto-tech-the-master-plan-6d8f76419945
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3390610

The toxic relationship between us and our smartphones
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In this posting at Medium, Maria Farrell outlines the many ways in which our relationship with our phones and electronic devices is abusive. Today, we love but do not trust our phones. In the future changed financial and political ecosystem she imagines, we could do both.
https://conversationalist.org/2019/09/13/feminism-explains-our-toxic-relationships-with-our-smartphones/

China: Social credit targets businesses first
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In this article at the New York Times, Alexandra Stevenson and Paul Mozur outline China's efforts to amass data about companies from public and private sources - government data, court decisions, environmental records, copyright violations, payroll data, political affiliations - and use it to grade businesses and their managers. Low-scoring companies can be banned from borrowing money, and their executives barred from traveling. Although social credit has yet to materialize for individuals on a mass scale, 33 million businesses have been given initial evaluations by the central economic planning agency, and the country hopes to make it a nationwide regulatory tool to keep the business world under party control.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/22/business/china-social-credit-business.html

Economics of Uber don't add up
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In this latest in a series of 21 postings analyzing Uber at Naked Capitalism, transport expert Hubert Horan reviews Super Pumped!, Uber's history as told by New York Times reporter Mike Isaac, who has broken many stories about the company. Isaac is readable and factually correct, Horan writes, but fundamentally misunderstands that Uber is not a successful company that was nearly undone by a reckless, boundary-pushing CEO but that of a subsidized, predatory company whose CEO's antics were board-approved and that will never recoup the $20 billion it has lost because it has no power to transform its industry in order to grow into profitability. At The New Republic, Maureen Tkacik studies a different case of managerial disaster: the 20-year-long profound change in managerial focus from safety and problem-solving to financialization that, helped by oblivious regulators and deadly software, led to the Boeing 737 MAX's two crashes earlier this year. The story shows how security and integrity of supply chains will be increasingly crucial in building - and, decades later, debugging - the hybrid cyber-physical systems of the future.
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/09/hubert-horan-can-uber-ever-deliver-part-twenty-one-mike-isaacs-book-ignores-economics-and-financial-results-and-gets-the-uber-story-almost-entirely-wrong.html

The privacy-invasive ecosystem of smart TV trackers
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In this blog posting at Freedom to Tinker, a group of Princeton researchers outline their work to understand the tracking system of over-the-top streaming devices such as the Roku, Amazon Fire, and smart TVs. Although online's major trackers, Google and Facebook, are prominent, these channels are also home to lesser-known trackers such as adrise.tv and monarchads.com, and users have no effective countermeasures.
https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2019/09/18/watching-you-watch-the-tracking-ecosystem-of-over-the-top-tv-streaming-devices/


***

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

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

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

Web Summit
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November 4-7. 2019
Lisbon, Portugal
The Web Summit gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: where to next? In 2018, speakers included Margrethe Vestager, Tim Berners-Lee, and Microsoft CEO Brad Smith.
https://websummit.com/

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

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

IGF Global
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November 25-29, 2019
Berlin, Germany
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was set up in 2006 as an open discussion platform of the United Nations for key legal, political, social and technical issues relating to the internet. IGF's multi-stakeholder model aims to ensure that all relevant societal groups are equally involved in preparations and implementation: governments, civil society, business, academia, international organizations, and the technical community. This is particularly of note in terms of representatives from developing and newly industrializing countries, which otherwise tend to be under-represented.
https://www.igf2019.berlin/

Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing
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November 27-29, 2019
Tromsø, Norway
The Munin Conference is an annual conference on scholarly publishing and communication, primarily revolving around open access, open data and open science.
http://site.uit.no/muninconf/

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

FAT* 2020
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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

TITCTeC 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

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/

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

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

DEF CON 28
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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

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

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/


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