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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending July 9, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending June 25, 2021

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

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

NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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

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



NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

Hear more from the Information Program!
================================
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Hear less from the Information Program!
================================
Our mailing address is:
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© 2021 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/
Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending June 11, 2021
====================================================
The Information Program NEWS DIGEST, published on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, aims to update colleagues in the Open Society Foundations and friends further afield about the news, opinions and events the Program team have been watching this fortnight. The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily reflect those of the Information Program or the Open Society Foundations. Prepared by Wendy M. Grossman.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Communia.

NEWS
=====

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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


Hear less from the Information Program!
================================
You are receiving this email because you signed up for updates from the Open Society Information Program. 

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

Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending May 14, 2021

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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


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

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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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