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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending Sept. 24, 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. This is the last edition of the digest, which ceases publication at the end of September 2021. Among Open Society Information Program grantees that publish newsletters covering a similar range of topics are: Access Now, EDRi, EFF, Mozilla Foundation, Privacy International.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Citizen Lab, Creative Commons, Mozilla Foundation.

NEWS
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Leaked Documents Show Facebook Knows Its Flaws and Doesn't Care
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Internal documents show that Facebook ignores its own research showing that its platform's many flaws cause harm, Jeff Horwitz and other Wall Street Journal reporters find in an ongoing series of articles. In the five articles to date: 1) although Facebook claims its rules apply equally to all users, behind the scenes a long list of exempt celebrities and politicians are free to abuse the platform. 2) Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for many of the teenage girls who use it. 3) CEO Mark Zuckerberg resisted fixes  when staff reported that the 2018 changes to Facebook's algorithm, intended to encourage interaction between users, made the platform angrier. 4) The company ignored warnings about the platform's use by drug cartels and human traffickers in developing countries, as well as organ sales, pornography, and government repression. 5) Although Facebook as a company promotes covid vaccines, activists use Facebook's tools to spread conspiracy theories and doubt about both the vaccines and the pandemic itself. At Facebook's blog, Nick Clegg says the stories contain "deliberate mischaracterizations of what we are trying to do". In a Guardian comment, Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of Anti-Social Media, sees little hope of reform: "The problem with Facebook is Facebook." At Techonomy, David Kirkpatrick highlights that 90% of Facebook users are outside the US, but only 13% of its content moderation is focused there; the company's sole concerns are growing its user base and avoiding bad PR in the US. Facebook's ultimate problem, he argues, is Zuckerberg's total control. Finally, at the New York Times, Ryan Mac and Sheera Frankel write that Zuckerberg has greenlit plans for Project Amplify, which will use the site's newsfeed to promote positive stories about Facebook.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-facebook-files-11631713039
https://about.fb.com/news/2021/09/what-the-wall-street-journal-got-wrong/
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/18/facebook-instagram-zuckerberg-teenagers
https://techonomy.com/2021/09/outlaw-renegade-empire-pariah-digesting-the-wsj-series-about-facebook/
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/21/technology/zuckerberg-facebook-project-amplify.html

Australia Gives Police Power to Take Over and Modify Social Media Accounts
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Australia's Federal Police force may take over the accounts of selected social media users and delete or modify content they've posted, Simon Sharwood reports at The Register. The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2021 is intended to help investigators act against users of encrypted services and creates three new types of warrants: account takeover, data disruption, and network activity. Law enforcement can compel sysadmins to help them via assistance orders. The AFP has said it will be "relentless in using the law and its powers to remove child sex abuse material and unlawful content from the dark web and other forums". At QRCodeExpress, John Montaglio reports that Australian police are also seeking access to the data collected via the QR codes used in compulsory contact tracing to solve unrelated crimes.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/14/identify_and_disrupt_bill_australia/
http://www.qrcodepress.com/qr-code-check-in-australia/8539890/

Google Provides User Data to Hong Kong Authorities
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In 2020 Google provided some user data in response to three of 43 requests from the Hong Kong government despite having previously promised not to do so, Selina Cheng reports at the Hong Kong Free Press. Google said that two of the requests related to human trafficking and were accompanied by search warrants signed by a magistrate, and; the third was an emergency disclosure involving a threat to someone's life. None of Google's responses included users' content data. Google, along with other US technology companies, said soon after the June 2020 passage of the new Hong Kong security law that it would only respond to requests made through the US Department of Justice under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. The Washington Post reports that Google, along with Apple, has deleted an opposition voting app from its online store in response to pressure from Russian president Vladimir Putin's censorship office as the polls opened for the country's parliamentary elections.
https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/11/22668734/google-user-data-hong-kong-authorities-china
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/09/17/navalny-google-apple-app-russia/

Big Brands Advertise on Covid Misinformation Sites
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The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has discovered that dozens of big brands including Nike, Amazon, Ted Baker, and Asos, as well as an NHS service, are advertising on websites that spread covid misinformation and conspiracy theories, Rob Davies and Jasper Jackson report at the Observer. The ads are being placed through a complex network of technology companies, including Google, that match advertising space to data about individuals. Because of the opacity of the system, the organizations may be unaware of where their ads appear.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/18/nike-amazon-among-brands-advertising-on-covid-conspiracy-sites

Brazilian Court Cancels Rules Barring Social Media from Removing Content
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The Brazilian Senate and Supreme Court have struck down rules issued by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro that would have temporarily banned social media companies from removing many types of content, Jack Nicas reports at the New York Times. In an earlier story, Nicas explained that the law would only allow networks to remove nudity, drugs, violence, and incitement to crime, including copyright violation. Companies would have been required to get a court order to remove covid misinformation or Bolsonaro's own claim that the only way he'll lose the upcoming 2022 elections is if the vote is rigged.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/world/americas/brazil-bolsonaro-social-media-ban.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/world/americas/bolsonaro-social-networks.html

Britain Adopts "Influence Government" Based on Sensitive Data
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National and local governments in Britain are placing targeted ads based on sensitive personal data on search engines and social media in order to influence the population's behavior, Alex Hern reports at the Guardian. Researchers at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research have found examples ranging from schemes intended to divert young people away from becoming online fraudsters to fire safety tips explaining how to light candles. Many of the campaigns are outsourced to third-party marketing agencies.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/sep/08/study-finds-growing-government-use-of-sensitive-data-to-nudge-behaviour


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

Inside the Gates Foundation
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In this article, The Economist studies the operations of the $50 billion Gates Foundation, which in 2019 paid out $4.1 billion in grants, 11 times the next-largest private American development foundation. The article goes on to consider the co-founders' contrasting strategies. Co-founder Bill Gates tends to prefer data-driven ways of doing good that are quantifiable because they use technological solutions, while co-founder Melinda French Gates argues that quantifiable methods cannot by themselves solve complex problems like poverty.
https://www.economist.com/international/2021/09/18/the-gates-foundations-approach-has-both-advantages-and-limits

Lucrative Disinformation Campaigns Target Kenya
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In this blog posting, the Mozilla Foundation introduces a new report that outlines malicious, coordinated, and inauthentic attacks on Twitter that are undermining Kenyan civil society. Among the report's findings: disinformation campaigns are lucrative for influencers; Twitter's trending algorithm amplifies the campaigns; and the campaigns are increasingly targeting individuals. After the report's release, Twitter responded by deleting over 100 accounts in violation of its policies who were operating in Kenya. At Wired, Noam Cohen profiles Ksenia Coffman, whose inclination to bold editing to remove misinformation, particularly about Nazi history, has led other editors to call her "unencyclopedic". At Slate, Stephen Harrison reviews Wikipedia's twenty-year history of combating misinformation.
https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/blog/fellow-research-inside-the-shadowy-world-of-disinformation-for-hire-in-kenya/
https://www.wired.com/story/one-womans-mission-to-rewrite-nazi-history-wikipedia/
https://slate.com/technology/2021/09/wikipedia-september-11-20th-anniversary.html

Eight Recommendations for Open Research
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In this article at Times Higher Education, Robert Darby argues that open research practices improve the quality and integrity of research, increase protection against fraud, and enhance public trust. He goes on to make eight recommendations for changing universities' culture, including reforming incentives, creating open research award competitions, and joining or establishing a national reproducibility network.
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/eight-ways-your-university-can-make-research-culture-more-open

Theranos Trial Tests the Limits of Silicon Valley
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In this podcast series, John Carreyrou examines the evidence presented at the in-progress trial against Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos. Carreyrou's original reporting for the Wall Street Journal exposed the fraud at the heart of the company, which claimed to be able to conduct myriad tests on tiny samples of blood collected from a finger prick. Carreyrou contends that the case is important in ensuring that future companies do not copy Theranos in applying the "fake it till you make it" ethos of Silicon Valley software developers to medical devices.
https://www.threeuncannyfour.com/show/bad-blood/

NSO Group Uses Zero-Click, Zero Day Vulnerability to Attack Apple Devices
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In this video clip from Democracy Now, director Ron Deibert discusses Citizen Lab's latest discovery, a zero-click, zero-day vulnerability in the image rendering library used in Apple's iMessage that NSO Group has used to take over targets' iOS, WatchOS, and MacOS devices. In response, Apple issued a patch for all 1.65 billion-plus of its products. Citizen Lab believes the abuse, called FORCEDENTRY, has been active at least since February 2021. Deibert warns that what NSO Group is offering is "despotism as a service" that enables "transnational repression".
https://citizenlab.ca/2021/09/democracy-now-nso-group-spies-secretly-seized-control-of-apple-devices-by-exploiting-flaw-in-code/
https://twitter.com/citizenlab/status/1437499624529580034

Privacy Law Reshapes the Web
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In this article at the New York Times, Brian X. Chen outlines the privacy law-driven shift away from personal data-driven advertising that is reshaping the web. In response to moves by Apple, Google, and Facebook to limit their dependence on personal data, media publishers, app developers, and online retailers are considering how to revamp their business models. Many are turning to subscription fees and other charges, or raising prices.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/16/technology/digital-privacy.html

Paywalling Scientific Research Holds Back Progress on Climate Change
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In this article at The Scotsman, Catherine Stihler, CEO of Creative Commons, welcomes the approaching COP26 meeting, which will be held in Glasgow, and argues that locking scientific research behind paywalls is holding back progress on climate change. Open data and open science enabled developing COVID vaccines at speed, and can do the same for the climate crisis - if we let it. Creative Commons intends to launch new ventures to remove unnecessary barriers.
https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/climate-change-glasgow-agreement-can-save-the-planet-but-locking-scientific-research-behind-paywalls-is-holding-us-back-catherine-stihler-3357616

***

DIARY
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*** 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. ***

ONE-OFF EVENTS

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/

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/

Privacy Symposium Africa
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November 3-5, 2021
Online from Kampala, Uganda
Privacy Symposium Africa is a unique platform established to attract, present, and discuss original research results, policy, and technology developments related to personal data protection and privacy, aiming at promoting discussions, collaboration, and knowledge exchange on data protection and privacy.
https://privacysymposiumafrica.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. The theme of the 2022 conference is "data protection and privacy in transitional times".
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Enigma 2022
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February 1-3, 2022
Santa Clara, CA, USA
Enigma centers on a single track of engaging talks covering a wide range of topics in security and privacy. Our goal is to clearly explain emerging threats and defenses in the growing intersection of society and technology, and to foster an intelligent and informed conversation within the community and the world.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/enigma2022/call-for-participation

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/

LIBER 2022
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July 5-8 2022
Odense, Denmark
LIBER's annual conference brings library directors and their staff together for three days of networking and collaboration. Delegates mainly come from Europe but people from around the world are welcome, and we regularly welcome guests from countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. The goal of the conference is to identify the most pressing needs for research libraries, and to share information and ideas for addressing those needs.
https://liberconference.eu/


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/

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/events/

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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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending Sept. 10, 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. This is the second-to-last edition of the digest, which will cease publication at the end of September 2021.

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EFF.

NEWS
=====

Apple Pauses CSAM Scanning
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After considerable backlash, Apple has paused the introduction of its planned system to scan customers' devices and photographs uploaded to iCloud for child sexual abuse material (CSAM), Thomas Claburn reports at The Register. In a blog posting, EFF deputy executive director Kurt Opsahl argues that such a system is dangerous because, "If you build it, they will come". At the New York Times, cybersecurity expert Matthew D. Green and former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos explain the novel privacy risks such a system would bring.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/03/apple_scanning_pause/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/08/if-you-build-it-they-will-come-apple-has-opened-backdoor-increased-surveillance
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/11/opinion/apple-iphones-privacy.html

China Issues Draft Regulations for Recommendation Algorithms
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The Cyberspace Administration of China has published draft regulations for recommendation algorithms that are intended both to ensure platforms "spread positive energy" and to stop users from being manipulated, Kendra Schaefer reports in a Twitter thread. Stanford's DigiChina policy center has published a translation of the draft. At Reuters, Brenda Goh reports that China's National Press and Publication Administration will ban gaming companies from providing services to under-18s outside of one hour a day on weekends and public holidays. At the Guardian, Alex Hern says that while the West is unlikely to follow suit, gaming companies should think seriously about their business models and revenue sources.
https://twitter.com/kendraschaefer/status/1431134515242496002
https://digichina.stanford.edu/news/translation-internet-information-service-algorithmic-recommendation-management-provisions
https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-rolls-out-new-rules-minors-online-gaming-xinhua-2021-08-30/
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/04/why-the-industry-should-heed-chinas-crackdown-on-video-game-players

Google Locks Accounts Belonging to Former Afghan Government
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Google has locked accounts belonging to the recently-fallen Afghan government as reports indicate that the Taliban are seeking to examine emails sent and received by the two dozen government bodies that used Google's servers. The emails and related databases could provide information to put at risk former administrators, ministers, government contractors, tribal allies, and former partners.
https://www.rappler.com/technology/google-locks-afghan-government-accounts-taliban-seek-emails

Google Decommissions Clinical Support App Streams
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Google is decommissioning its UK clinician support app Streams, Natasha Lomas reports at TechCrunch. The Streams "mobile medical device" was developed in 2015 by DeepMind in collaboration with the Royal Free NHS Trust soon after Google acquired it in 2014. The app, intended to be part of a five-year plan to bring AI into health care, apparently never incorporated AI and was the subject of a 2017 scandal over sharing patient data without consent. In a second disturbing development, 2018 DeepMind handed off the app to Google Health, raising privacy concerns. The company says it is changing focus to Care Studio, which it is testing with two US health systems.
https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/26/google-confirms-its-pulling-the-plug-on-streams-its-uk-clinician-support-app/
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/technology/what-happened-ibm-watson.html

US Court Rules AI Systems Cannot Be Awarded Patents
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A federal judge has upheld a decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office that only natural persons can be awarded patents and recognized as inventors, ruling out awarding patents to AI systems, Katyanna Quach reports at The Register. Judge Leonie Brinema argued the requirement for applicants to take an oath swearing that they are the inventor on patent applications can only be met by natural persons.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/04/ai_patent_ruling/?td=keepreading-top

UK Plans Overhaul of Data Protection Laws
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The UK will overhaul its privacy rules looking to move away from the EU's General Data Protection Regulation while retaining the UK's data protection laws' adequacy status, Alex Hern reports at the Guardian. The government has published more details about its plans on its own website. At Ian Brown's blog, he and Douwe Korff discuss the areas where UK law is also at odds with GDPR. At Campaign, marketers express concern about the risk to consumer trust and the EU's adequacy decision if the UK strays too far.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/aug/26/uk-to-overhaul-privacy-rules-in-post-brexit-departure-from-gdpr
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-unveils-post-brexit-global-data-plans-to-boost-growth-increase-trade-and-improve-healthcare
https://www.ianbrown.tech/2021/06/17/initial-comments-on-the-eu-commissions-final-gdpr-adequacy-decision-on-the-uk/
https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/uk-government-plans-roll-back-gdpr-good-news-adland/1726187


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

Australian Research Council Bans Preprint Citations
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The Australian Research Council has banned applicants for its fellowships from citing preprint material in funding applications, a particular problem for early-career researchers, Donna Lu reports at the Guardian. An application tracker has found that at least 23 people have so far been excluded because of this rule. Lu also reports that more than 600 members of the Australian research community have called on ARC to reconsider the rule, warning that excluding preprint citations means applicants will not be using the full range of contemporary knowledge in a given discipline. At Nature, Clare Watson reports that scientists are calling the rule "plain ludicrous".
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/aug/20/devastating-career-event-scientists-caught-out-by-change-to-australian-research-council-fine-print
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/aug/24/australian-research-council-under-pressure-after-funding-rule-angers-academic-community
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02318-8

Counting the Costs of the Post-9/11 Security State
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In this article at the Guardian, Ed Pilkington reviews the rise of the US's surveillance state as the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches. Within days, the FBI and NSA began implementing the warrantless surveillance to keep tabs on digital communications they had long wanted. Despite the efforts of Congressional oversight committees and AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein, the true extent did not become clear until Edward Snowden's 2013 revelations. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies estimates that the militarized post-9/11 security state has cost $21 trillion.
20th anniversary 9/11 - cost of War on Terror, constant surveillance
https://ips-dc.org/report-state-of-insecurity-cost-militarization-since-9-11/

Eight US States Agree to Store Driver's Licenses in Apple's Wallet App
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple will begin storing in its Wallet app driver's licenses from eight US states later this year, Samuel Axon reports at Ars Technica. The system's first use will be identification checks at airports. The company says users will not have to hand over their phones or show screens; the information will be delivered by tapping the phone or an Apple watch on a reader. At Muckrock, BJ Mahal studies Freedom of Information Act responses from 24 states to understand whether the system will be fair and what its impact on privacy will be.
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/09/in-eight-us-states-apple-will-begin-storing-drivers-licenses-on-the-iphone/
https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2021/aug/25/apple-wants-your-new-drivers-license-to-be-an-ipho/

Accenture's Secret Role in Facebook Content Moderation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Adam Satariano and Mike Isaac reveal Accenture's crucial yet secretive $500 million-a-year role in moderating content on Facebook. Accenture employs more than a third of the 15,000 people Facebook says it pays to examine users' posts, and deals with the impact on workers of reviewing posts. The deal provides Accenture a presence in Silicon Valley. Also at the New York Times, Ryan Mac, Mike Isaac, and Sheera Frenkel report that Facebook is considering forming a commission to advise it on global election-related matters such as the viability of political ads and how to handle election-related misinformation.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/31/technology/facebook-accenture-content-moderation.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/25/technology/facebook-election-commission.html

Digital Media Is Broken
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Medium, Ryan Broderick argues that digital media is broken as a business. YouTuber Logan Paul's 31 million subscribers across four channels represent a vastly more efficient operation than the 25 million subscribers across ten channels counted by Vice, which recently announced layoffs to pivot to video via TikTok and YouTube. The last ten years have seen formerly distinctive sites like Vice become indistinguishable from one another as they become part of content farms.
https://www.garbageday.email/p/making-algorithmic-dog-food-for-the

US: Public Can Reclaim Ownership of Publicly-Funded Science
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at The Intercept, Alexander Zaitchik outlines US president Joe Biden's opportunity to roll back some of the effects of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which allowed private companies to patent government-funded research. Even at the time, the bill's opponents warned that it would promote greater concentration of economic power and slow technological innovation.
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/29/bayh-dole-act-public-science-patents/


***

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

We Robot
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
Online from Miami, Florida
We Robot's tenth annual conference will bring together the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate.
http://robots.law.miami.edu/

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

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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. The theme of the 2022 conference is "data protection and privacy in transitional times".
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Enigma 2022
----------------------------------------
February 1-3, 2022
Santa Clara, CA, USA
Enigma centers on a single track of engaging talks covering a wide range of topics in security and privacy. Our goal is to clearly explain emerging threats and defenses in the growing intersection of society and technology, and to foster an intelligent and informed conversation within the community and the world.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/enigma2022/call-for-participation

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/

LIBER 2022
----------------------------------------
July 5-8 2022
Odense, Denmark
LIBER's annual conference brings library directors and their staff together for three days of networking and collaboration. Delegates mainly come from Europe but people from around the world are welcome, and we regularly welcome guests from countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. The goal of the conference is to identify the most pressing needs for research libraries, and to share information and ideas for addressing those needs.
https://liberconference.eu/


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/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 August 27, 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, EFF, Fundación Karisma, Privacy International, R3D, and Ranking Digital Rights.

NEWS
=====

China Passes Personal Information Protection Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
China has passed the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), one of the world's strictest data protection laws, due to take effect on November 1, Josh Horwitz reports at Reuters. The law arrives following a series of government-backed complaints about technology companies' treatment of user privacy.
https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/20/china-passes-data-protection-law/

Facebook Publishes "Widely Viewed Content Report"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook has published the first quarterly "Widely Viewed Content Report, Will Oremus reports at the Washington Post. Oremus notes that while independent studies have typically found the top performers are primarily right-wing and conservative political personalities, Facebook's report finds that the recent most-viewed links include a Wisconsin company for Green Bay Packers fans and the online storefront of CBD seller Pure Hemp. A Facebook employee describes the report as an effort to counter the independent research, whose work Facebook has recently blocked. At his blog, Ethan Zuckerman distinguishes between reach (which Facebook's report covers) and engagement (which it doesn't) and finds that the report fails to share enough data to draw any meaningful conclusions, calling it "transparency theater". Zuckerman believes researchers need to stop waiting for the platforms to supply data and develop ways to generate their own. At the New York Times, Davey Alba and Ryan Mac reveal the contents of a report Facebook prepared for the first three months of 2021 but never published because executives thought it would make the company look bad. At Bloomberg, David McLaughlin reports that the US Federal Trade Commission has refiled its antitrust case asking the federal court to unwind Facebook's acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/08/18/facebook-most-viewed-content-report/
https://ethanzuckerman.com/2021/08/18/facebooks-new-transparency-report-is-really-strange/
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/20/technology/facebook-popular-posts.html
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-19/facebook-set-to-be-hit-by-new-u-s-antitrust-case-in-ftc-do-over

Biometric Databases Place Afghans at Risk in New Regime
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Afghans are scrambling to delete their digital histories, fearing that those histories and the country's biometric databases and digital IDs can be used to track and target them, Rina Chandran reports at Reuters. The Human Rights First group warns that the Taliban likely now has access to these databases. At its blog, Privacy International describes the data-intensive systems that have been built over the last 20 years by both Afghan and foreign actors, and highlights the risks as they fall into the hands of new entities. These include the national ID system, biometric voter registrations, the biometric counter-terrorism database, the security and intelligence infrastructure, and, less formally, social media photos and other data.
https://www.reuters.com/article/afghanistan-tech-conflict/afghans-scramble-to-delete-digital-history-evade-biometrics-idUSL8N2PO1FH
https://privacyinternational.org/news-analysis/4615/afghanistan-what-now-after-two-decades-building-data-intensive-systems

Investigation Finds Flaws in Shotspotter's AI-Backed Evidentiary Software
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A review of thousands of internal documents, emails, presentations, and contracts, along with interviews of public defenders, has exposed serious flaws in using gunshot detection company ShotSpotter's technology for evidentiary support, Garance Burke, Martha Mendoza, Juliet Linderman, and Michael Tarm report at APNews. They profile a recently-dismissed case against an Illinois resident, who was arrested for murder and held for a year on the basis of a silent security video coupled with the sound of gunshots collected by ShotSpotter's pervasive network of microphones. ShotSpotter's proprietary algorithms are its primary selling point, but the investigators found that employees can and do change the source, location, and number of shots.
https://apnews.com/article/artificial-intelligence-algorithm-technology-police-crime-7e3345485aa668c97606d4b54f9b6220

US Senators Object to TikTok Biometrics Collection
----------------------------------------------------------------------
US senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD) have sent a letter to TikTok CEO Shoul Zi Chew expressing alarm over changes to the app's privacy policy that allow the company to "automatically collect biometric data, including certain physical and behavioral characteristics from video content posted by its users," Carly Page reports at TechCrunch. Earlier in 2021, TikTok paid $92 million to settle a class action lawsuit over collecting users' biometric data and sharing it with third parties.
https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/19/senators-challenge-tiktoks-alarming-plan-to-collect-users-voice-and-face-biometrics/

California Court Rules Gig Worker Exemption Unconstitutional
----------------------------------------------------------------------
California's Alameda County Superior Court has ruled that the state's 2020 ballot measure (California Proposition 22) exempting ride-share and food delivery drivers from state labor law and classified them as independent contractors is unconstitutional, Kanishka Singh reports at Reuters. The Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Coalition, which represents Uber, Lyft, and Door Dash, among many others, says it will appeal.
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/court-rules-california-gig-worker-initiative-is-unconstitutional-sacramento-bee-2021-08-21/
https://protectdriversandservices.com/about/our-coalition/


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

Distributed Denial of Secrets Publishes Something to Offend Everyone
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at New Republic, Jacob Silverman profiles Distributed Denial of Secrets, a Wikileaks-like transparency collective of unusual collaborative discipline, technical sophistication, and array of sources. DDoSecrets has published a 32TB archive of posts and videos from the January 6 Capitol insurrection as a shareable archive used in Congressional hearings, as well as maps of the Myanmar junta's business dealings, the Russian government's plans in Ukraine, and even internal messages from Wikileaks.
https://newrepublic.com/article/163106/ddossecrets-new-wikileaks-julian-assange
https://inlieuof.fun/stream/495

Researchers Deemed Apple-style Backdoored Encryption "Too Dangerous"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Washington Post, Princeton researchers Jonathan Mayer and Anunay Kulshreshta reveal that two years ago they built a system like the new one Apple has announced for scanning end-to-end encrypted systems for child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Their peer-reviewed paper concluded that the technology is dangerous because it is easily repurposed for surveillance and censorship, and false positives can be gamed to implicate innocent users. They had planned to discuss potential paths for mitigating the dangers at a conference this month, but were preempted by Apple's announcement, which they find puzzling in its lack of response to questions about potential misuse. At its blog, Joe Mullin reports that EFF has joined a coalition of more than 90 organizations, which include R3D, Ranking Digital Rights, Privacy International, Fundación Karisma, and Access Now, in sending a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook urging him to halt the plan. At Citizen Lab, Jeffrey Knockel and Lotus Ruan study the censorship Apple applies to custom product engravings across six regions and finds the company does not fully understand what it censors.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/19/apple-csam-abuse-encryption-security-privacy-dangerous/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/08/eff-joins-global-coalition-asking-apple-ceo-tim-cook-stop-phone-scanning
https://citizenlab.ca/2021/08/engrave-danger-an-analysis-of-apple-engraving-censorship-across-six-regions/

The New Field of Machine Unlearning
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Wired, Tom Simonite profiles research into machine unlearning - that is, methods for removing all traces of a person or data point from a machine learning system without affecting its performance. The goal is not only to preserve privacy and comply with data protection legislation but also to be able to modify these systems without having to rebuild them from scratch, as now.
https://www.wired.com/story/machines-can-learn-can-they-unlearn/

Moral Outrage as Social Media Amplifier
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of In Lieu of Fun, Kate Klonick and Ben Wittes host Yale researcher Molly Crockett, who discusses her lab's latest study of moral outrage and its role as an amplifier on social media. Crockett, who studies the psychology of online interaction and how people and algorithms interact to police others' postings, has built a tool to measure the scale of shaming via social networks. At ZDNet, Wendy M. Grossman reviews Charles Arthur's new book, Social Warming, which compares the increasingly high external costs of abuse on social media to climate change. "No one intended this to happen," he writes. Crockett's work is among the research he discusses. At the Guardian, John Naughton reviews the new book An Ugly Truth by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang, which studies Facebook's internal debates in the face of the last four years of public complaints about the company's content moderation. The book exposes the frustration of many Facebook employees with the company's relentless drive for profits and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's total control.
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/in-lieu-of-fun-episode-120
https://www.zdnet.com/article/social-warming-book-review/

IMF Proposes Analyzing Web Records for Credit Scoring
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at the International Monetary Fund, Arnoud Boot, Peter Hoffmann, Luc Laeven, and Lev Ratnovski argue that AI and machine learning analysis of alternative sources of information, such as individuals' computer hardware, browser type, and web search and purchase histories, could replace traditional "hard information" used in credit scoring. The authors believe that the switch could not only enable financial inclusion for informal workers, rural residents, and unbanked people but improve upon traditional methods.
https://blogs.imf.org/2020/12/17/what-is-really-new-in-fintech/

Governments and Social Media Fail at Online Participatory Democracy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this podcast episode, Red Pages hosts Justin and Gord welcome Civic Hall founder Micah Sifry to discuss the state of online tools for participatory democracy, the gamification of politics and the strengths and weaknesses of democratic platforms. Governments, he argues, see online delivery as a luxury, not a necessity. Despite some successful experiments in mass engagement around the world, long-term sustainability is difficult because it requires commitment. Many tools are also not designed to scale, leading many to defect back to the easier option of representative democracy. None of the big social media platforms have seen building tools to support online democracy efforts as an opportunity.
http://redpagespodcast.com/listen/global-democracy-and-gamification


***

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

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/

We Robot
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
We Robot's tenth annual conference will bring together the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate.
http://robots.law.miami.edu/

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

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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. The theme of the 2022 conference is "data protection and privacy in transitional times".
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

Enigma 2022
----------------------------------------
February 1-3, 2022
Santa Clara, CA, USA
Enigma centers on a single track of engaging talks covering a wide range of topics in security and privacy. Our goal is to clearly explain emerging threats and defenses in the growing intersection of society and technology, and to foster an intelligent and informed conversation within the community and the world.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/enigma2022/call-for-participation

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/

LIBER 2022
----------------------------------------
July 5-8 2022
Odense, Denmark
LIBER's annual conference brings library directors and their staff together for three days of networking and collaboration. Delegates mainly come from Europe but people from around the world are welcome, and we regularly welcome guests from countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. The goal of the conference is to identify the most pressing needs for research libraries, and to share information and ideas for addressing those needs.
https://liberconference.eu/


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/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 August 13, 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: EFF, La Quadrature du Net, SPARC.

NEWS
=====

Apple Embraces Backdoored Encryption to Report Child Abuse Images
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple has abruptly and unexpectedly announced that it will add technology to its phones and cloud services that will detect, decrypt, and report known child sexual abuse material (CSAM) to law enforcement and notify parents if children's iMessage accounts send or receive sexually explicit material, Zack Whittaker reports at TechCrunch. The technology will roll out in the US first; Apple has not announced a timetable for international use. At EFF, India McKinney and Erica Portnoy outline the high price of these moves for user privacy. EFF is concerned about the lack of transparency and oversight, and also that the system, once built, will expand to suit the whims of authoritarian governments. At Lawfare, Nicholas Weaver defends the decision, calling it "privacy-preserving mass surveillance". At The Verge, Mitchell Clarke reports that WhatsApp will not adopt similar measures and calls Apple's announcement "very concerning". At Daring Fireball, John Gruber presents a detailed analysis of what Apple is - and is not - doing. In an open letter to Apple, organizations including the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the New York Public Library, and ThinkPrivacy call on Apple to halt the plan and commit to end-to-end encryption; within a day it had been signed by more than 4,000 individuals, including Edward Snowden and cryptographer Matthew Green.
https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/05/apple-icloud-photos-scanning/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/08/apples-plan-think-different-about-encryption-opens-backdoor-your-private-life
https://www.lawfareblog.com/encryption-and-combating-child-exploitation-imagery
https://daringfireball.net/2021/08/apple_child_safety_initiatives_slippery_slope
https://appleprivacyletter.com/


Facebook Shuts Down Transparency Research
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook has shut down the tools and personal accounts belonging to the Ad Observatory, a research project at New York University that studies the site's ad targeting, Matthew Ingram reports at the Columbia Journalism Review. The company blamed the decision on the need to protect user privacy and rules enshrined in its 2019 $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission. At Protocol, Issie Lapowsky points out that the data being shared with the NYU researchers pertained to advertisers, not individual users. In an episode of In Lieu of Fun, Kate Klonick and Stanford law professor Nate Persily discuss the case and mull how to enable legitimate research studying Facebook's advertising practices without compromising privacy. At the FTC, acting director Samuel Levine publishes an objecting letter to Facebook that concludes: "Had you honored your commitment to contact us in advance, we would have pointed out that the consent decree does not bar Facebook from creating exceptions for good-faith research in the public interest."
https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/facebook-shuts-down-research-blames-user-privacy-rules.php
https://www.protocol.com/nyu-researchers-facebook-disables-accounts
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/in-lieu-of-fun-episode-110
https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/blog_posts/Letter%20from%20Acting%20Director%20of%20the%20Bureau%20of%20Consumer%20Protection%20Samuel%20Levine%20to%20Facebook/letter_to_mark_zuckerberg_from_samuel_levine.pdf
https://www.theverge.com/2021/8/6/22613365/apple-icloud-csam-scanning-whatsapp-surveillance-reactions


Luxembourg Data Protection Regulator Fines Amazon €746 Million Under GDPR
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Amazon's latest quarterly report, released at the end of July, reveals that the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection fined the company a record €746 million ($887 million) under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, Richard Lawler reports at The Verge. CNPD's decision is not publicly available. Amazon intends to appeal. At its website, La Quadrature du Net, which brought the action on behalf of 10,000 people, promises to keep fighting the domination of the big technology companies. At Wired, Matt Burgess discusses the many problems that have hampered the enforcement of GDPR; this case took three years to conclude.
https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/30/22601661/amazon-gdpr-fine-cnpd-marketplace-antitrust-data
https://www.laquadrature.net/en/2021/07/30/amazon-fined-746-million-euros-following-our-collective-legal-action/
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/amazon-gdpr-fine

AI Tools Fail in Controlling Pandemic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
None of the hundreds of AI tools developed to help control the coronavirus pandemic were of any use and some were actively harmful, Will Douglas Heaven reports at MIT Technology Review. Key problems, found by studies from the Turing Institute, Nature, and the British Medical Journal, is the poor quality of the data used to build these algorithms and the unrealistic expectations that lead people to use the tools regardless. AI developers need to collaborate more with clinicians and share a few successful models rather than constantly building their own poorly tested versions.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/07/30/1030329/machine-learning-ai-failed-covid-hospital-diagnosis-pandemic/
https://www.turing.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2021-06/data-science-and-ai-in-the-age-of-covid_full-report_2.pdf
https://www.nature.com/articles/s42256-021-00307-0
https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1328

Colombian Call Center Workers Push Back Against In-Home Surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Call center workers who provide outsourced customer service in Colombia are being pressured to sign a contract allowing their employer, Teleperformance, to install AI-powered surveillance cameras in their homes, and are beginning to unionize as a result, Olivia Solon reports at NBC News. Teleperformance is one of the world's largest call center companies, employing 39,000 workers in Colombia and 380,000 worldwide; its clients include Apple, Amazon, and Uber. An earlier attempt in Albania was struck down by the Information and Data Protection Commissioner. The contract requires workers to agree to sharing images, video analysis or objects around their workspaces, biometric data, and data and images relating to their children under 18 if they are picked up by the video and audio monitoring tools. Workers may also be required to take polygraph tests. In the US, home care workers report that in the name of combating fraud electronic visit verification systems are subjecting both themselves and their clients to rigid controls that amount to house arrest.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/big-tech-call-center-workers-face-pressure-accept-home-surveillance-n1276227
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/28/digital-surveillance-caregivers-artificial-intelligence


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

Misinformation as a Service
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Max Fisher explores the emerging misinformation industry, in which private companies sell services once largely confined to the world's intelligence agencies while offering clients deniability. The resulting campaigns attack covid vaccines, fake anti-government sentiment, spread polarizing conspiracies, and disrupt elections in every part of the world and are growing more sophisticated. They are also comparatively cheap and embraced by populist leaders. At the Guardian, Chris McGreal reports that the thinktank InfluenceMap finds that Facebook failed to enforce its own rules during the 2020 US presidential election and allowed fossil fuel companies to promote the claim that oil and gas can be part of climate change remediation.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/world/europe/disinformation-social-media.html
https://www.salon.com/2021/08/08/a-terrifying-new-theory-fake-news-and-conspiracy-theories-as-an-evolutionary-strategy/
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/facebook-fossil-fuel-industry-environment-climate-change

The Pandemic Legacy of Pervasive QR Codes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Erin Woo discusses the rise of QR codes in restaurants and retailers and the enhanced tracking they bring. QR codes are being widely adopted to minimize contact during transactions as part of covid security. Because of the opportunities for upselling and data analysis, businesses will be reluctant to give them up even after the pandemic ends.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/26/technology/qr-codes-tracking.html

Vaccination Passports Pose Ethical and Infrastructure Issues
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, hosts a discussions of vaccination passports, which are being widely proposed for international travel and less widely for domestic purposes. Linnet Taylor discusses the impact on already-disenfranchised communities, Seda F. Gurses and Michael Veale highlight the problem of increased dependence on computational infrastructures owned and operated by just a handful of private companies, and Effy Vayena looks at the ethical limits to public health interventions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG3QG7Yza00

Pandemic Provides Lessons for Open Science
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of the Impacts of COVID-19 podcast, Jean Claude Burgelman, professor of open science policy at the Free University of Brussels, interviews SPARC executive director Heather Joseph about the role open science has played in countering the pandemic. Openness has worked, but better physical and human infrastructure are needed, as are better tools for dealing with sudden floods of preprints and ways to speed up peer review.
https://policylabs.frontiersin.org/content/impacts-of-covid-19-open-science-heather-joseph

Privacy Standards Create Tensions Within W3C
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Protocol, Issie Lapowsky describes the strains within the W3C, which has become a battleground between the engineers who build web browsers and representatives of adtech companies who use the language of "the open web" and "user choice" but underneath fear for their survival. The dispute risks recapitulating the story of Do Not Track, which died when the working group assigned to develop it as a standard failed to reach a consensus on how it should work. This round began when Google proposed to reengineer Chrome to block third-party cookies and web tracking and develop Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as a new standard.
https://www.protocol.com/policy/w3c-privacy-war

The Promise and Threat of Open Source Intelligence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article, The Economist suggests that "open source intelligence" (OSINT) - satellite images, for example - coupled with modern collaborative tools such as Slack are enabling everyone from hobbyists to experts to expose misdeeds in an unprecedented way. OSINT, the article argues, is strengthening civil society and law enforcement alike, and making markets more efficient, although it also poses a threat to individual privacy.
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/08/07/the-promise-of-open-source-intelligence

***

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

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/

We Robot
----------------------------------------
September 23-25, 2021
We Robot's tenth annual conference will bring together the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate.
http://robots.law.miami.edu/

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

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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. The theme of the 2022 conference is "data protection and privacy in transitional times".
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/

LIBER 2022
----------------------------------------
July 5-8 2022
Odense, Denmark
LIBER's annual conference brings library directors and their staff together for three days of networking and collaboration. Delegates mainly come from Europe but people from around the world are welcome, and we regularly welcome guests from countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. The goal of the conference is to identify the most pressing needs for research libraries, and to share information and ideas for addressing those needs.
https://liberconference.eu/

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

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/

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 July 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: Access Now, Amnesty International, Citizen Lab, Communia, EFF, R3D.

NEWS
=====

Leaked Database Shows Global Targets of Cybersurveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The "Pegasus" phone hacking software developed by Israel-based NSO Group is is being used by authoritarian governments to target human rights activists, business executives, religious figures, academics, journalists, lawyers, and union and government officials around the world, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Paul Lewis, David Pegg, and Sam Cutler report at the Guardian. The report is based on an investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media outlets into a database of 50,000 phone numbers that was first seen by Amnesty International and the Paris-based non-profit Forbidden Stories. The numbers are believed to belong to people of interest to NSO clients since 2016, but it is not clear if the devices were the objects of successful or attempted hacks. Media outlets are slowly releasing the names. At Rappler, Gelo Gonzales reports that NSO spyware can successfully infect even the latest, most secure iPhones. At Citizen Lab, Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton, Siena Anstis, and Ron Deibert publish the results of the independent review Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories requested, which validates the organizations' forensic methodology, and notes that Citizen Lab's own research has independently reached similar conclusions. In a second new report, Citizen Lab reveals details of the secretive Israel-based company Candiru, whose software, which sells spyware exclusively to governments, can infect and monitor iPhones, Androids, Macs, PCs, and cloud accounts. After recovering a copy of Candiru's Windows spyware from a victim, Citizen Lab, working with Microsoft, found more than 100 victims including human rights defenders, dissidents, journalists, activists, and politicians in a host of countries in the Middle East and Western Europe.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/18/revealed-leak-uncovers-global-abuse-of-cyber-surveillance-weapon-nso-group-pegasus
https://www.rappler.com/technology/nso-spyware-step-ahead-secure-iphone-project-pegasus
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/the-sims-serial-killers

Austrian Supreme Court Refers Schrems' Facebook Complaint to CJEU
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Austria's Supreme Court has referred key issues in Max Schrems' complaint questioning the legal basis on which Facebook collects user data to the Court of Justice of the European Union and awarded Schrems €500 in symbolic damages, Douglas Busvine reports at Reuters. Schrems' complaint argues that by treating consent as a contract instead of a fundamental right, Facebook deprives users of the rights and protections afforded by the General Data Protection Regulation. At noyb.eu, Schrems gives details of the referred questions.
https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N2OW0HH
https://noyb.eu/en/breaking-austrian-ogh-asks-cjeu-if-facebook-undermines-gdpr-2018

Mexico Internet Guidelines Threaten Network Neutrality
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Seven years after being issued a mandate, the Mexican Federal Institute of Communications has approved guidelines for internet traffic management that jeopardize network neutrality, Access Now reports at its blog. The guidelines provide some minor improvements to privacy safeguards and bars the government from mandating internet shutdowns or requesting disruptions to the internet or mobile apps. R3D had to take the government to court to force it to publish the guidelines and says it will continue fighting for network neutrality in Mexico.
https://www.accessnow.org/mexico-guidelines-jeopardize-net-neutrality/

CJEU Advocate General Partially Upholds Platform Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a non-binding recommendation in a case brought by the Polish government, the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has declined to strike down Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive, which holds platforms liable for infringing content users post (the "upload filter"), Christoph Schmon reports at the EFF Deeplinks blog. However, Communia explains in a Twitter thread, the AG also recommends ensuring that implementations include safeguards to protect legal uploads from automated filters. If the CJEU follows the AG's recommendation, EU member states will have to amend their national implementations.
https://copyright4creativity.eu/2021/07/15/cjeu-advocate-general-oe-the-risks-at-eu-level-of-a-this-can-only-mean-approach-or-the-disconnect-between-the-law-and-national-reality/
https://www.eff.org/about/staff/christoph-schmon

Canadian Border Agency Tested Facial Recognition to Find Previous Deportees
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Over a period of six months in 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency quietly tested automated facial recognition on millions of travelers through Toronto's Pearson Airport to try to match them to a list of 5,000 people who had previously been deported, Tom Cardoso and Colin Freeze report at The Global and Mail. When the system returned a match from one of the 31 cameras pointed at international arrivals in Terminal 3, a border official would review the data and dispatch a floor officer to pull the traveler in for secondary inspection. Presentation slides from the system's supplier, Face4Systems, say that the pilot led to 47 hits; it is not clear whether any were deported.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ottawa-tested-facial-recognition-on-millions-of-travellers-at-torontos/


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

Hong Kong and Chinese Wikipedians Battle over Protest Articles
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Hong Kong Free Press, Selina Cheng reports that dissenting editors are competing to control the content of the Wikipedia pages relating to Hong Kong political events. Mainland Chinese counterparts have threatened to report them, and Hong Kong-based editors are struggling to find reliable news sources to cite since the closure of Apple Daily and the disappearance of its news archive, and can't agree on the reliability of Chinese media.
https://hongkongfp.com/2021/07/11/wikipedia-wars-how-hongkongers-and-mainland-chinese-are-battling-to-set-the-narrative/

The Dangers of Evidentiary Software
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Lawfare, Susan Landau discusses the dangers posed by software used to produce evidence, based on work with Matt Blaze, Steve Bellovin, and Brian Owsley. Evidentiary software frequently fails due to bugs and other technical issues in operating systems, software, or hardware, or may introduce uncertainty when it hasn't been sufficiently tested. As an example, Landau cites the probabilistic DNA analysis software TrueAllele. Landau recommends that defendants should have the right to adversarial audits; software, she argues, should be subject to cross-examination just like human witnesses.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/dangers-posed-evidentiary-softwareand-what-do-about-it

European Data Protection Authorities Call for Ban on AI Biometric Recognition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a joint statement, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Data Protection Board have called for a ban on using AI to automatically recognize people via biometrics such as scans of face, gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, keystrokes, ethnicity, and emotion, Matt Burgess reports at Wired. In April, the EU announced rules that permitted remote biometric identification but, calling it "high-risk", proposed stricter controls than some other types of AI. While facial recognition has had the most attention, the market for other biometrics is booming, partly due to EU research funding.
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/europe-ai-biometrics

Facebook Withdraws Access to Data Analysis Tool CrowdTangle
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Kevin Roose tells the story of Facebook's data analytics tool, CrowdTangle, which was withdrawn from access for journalists and researchers in favor of selective disclosure of in-house results using the tool. Facebook says it is still committed to increasing transparency. CrowdTangle was the tool journalists and researchers used to show that pro-Trump commentators were spreading misinformation and hyperpartisan commentary during the 2020 US presidential election.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/technology/facebook-data.html

An Unseen Industry Links Unique Phone IDs to Real Identities
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Vice, Joseph Cox explores the behind-the-scenes industry that links phones' unique IDs ("MAIDs") to the real name, physical address, and other personal information of their owners. Advertisers say the IDs are anonymous - or at least pseudonymous - but the reality is that apps collect MAIDs and provide them to third parties that offer identity resolution and identity graphs.
https://www.vice.com/en/article/epnmvz/industry-unmasks-at-scale-maid-to-pii

Tool Finds Geographical Differences in Google Search Results
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Wired, Tom Simonite tries the new tool SearchAtlas, created by PhD students Rodrigo Ochigame (MIT) and Katherine Ye (Carnegie-Mellon), which exposes the geographical differences in Google's search results. While SearchAtlas can't reveal how the company's search engine algorithms work, it does show expose the varying cultural prejudices and government preferences that may be embedded in them. The work was partly inspired by Safia Noble's 2018 book, Algorithms of Oppression.
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/europe-ai-biometrics

Covid-Related Government Data Collection Lacks Transparency
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Slate, Ben Ballard finds that public health officials' sources of data and the methods they and their commercial partners use to analyze it during the pandemic have been kept secret at the expense of public trust. Although numerous initiatives have tried to catalogue these efforts, public health officials have not adopted post-Snowden norms such as transparency reports.
https://slate.com/technology/2021/07/government-data-collection-covid-transparency.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

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

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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/

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 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
=====

Digital and Civil Rights Organizations Call for Ban on Surveillance-Based Advertising
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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

We Robot 2021
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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/

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------
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/

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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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!
================================
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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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