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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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/?mc_cid=81df08bfcd&mc_eid=901b84981a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending March 12, 2021

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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

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


NEWS
=====

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending February 12, 2021

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

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Access Now, Bits of Freedom, EFF, noyb.


NEWS
=====

US Adds Copyright Legislation to COVID Relief Package
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two copyright bills were unexpectedly added to the middle of the 5,600-page spending bill and coronavirus relief package the US Congress hurriedly passed in December 2020, Katharine Trendacosta and Cara Gagliano report at EFF. The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act makes running an illegal streaming service a felony, but of greater concern is the Copyright Alternatives in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE). CASE creates a Copyright Claims Board inside the Copyright Office that can hear infringement claims from rights holders seeking less than $30,000 in redress per proceeding, and those affected must opt out if they wish to avoid being bound by the board's decisions.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/02/some-answers-questions-about-state-copyright-2021

UN Adapts Children's Rights for Digital Environment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has adopted General Comment 25 on children's rights in the digital environment, the UK's 5Rights Foundation reports on its website. The Comment discusses children's rights to non-discrimination, to life and development, and to be heard. It also states that the best interests of the child should be taken into account when regulating the digital environment.
https://5rightsfoundation.com/uploads/5Rights%20welcomes%20UN%20General%20Comment%20ushering%20in%20new%20standards%20for%20children.pdf

Myanmar Shuts Down Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Following protests against the military coup, the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications ordered mobile networks and internet service providers to block first Facebook and then Twitter and Instagram in the country until further notice, Kim Lyons reports at The Verge. Spokespeople for Facebook and Twitter issued statements opposing the disruption of personal communications and the public conversation.
https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/6/22269831/myanmar-orders-block-twitter-facebook-instagram-military-coup

Hamburg Authority Orders Clearview AI to Partially Delete Profile
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After an 11-month investigation that included submissions from noyb, the Hamburg Data Protection Authority ordered facial recognition company Clearview AI to delete the hash values relating to the biometric profile - though not the images themselves - of Computer Chaos Club member Matthias Marx, noyb reports on its website. The order, which must be implemented by February 12, also affirms the right of all Hamburg residents not to be included in Clearview AI's database without their consent. At the New York Times, Kashmir Hill reports that Canada's privacy commissioner has said Clearview should delete Canadians' faces from its database because the company engages in "mass surveillance, and it is illegal". However, dozens of law enforcement agencies and organizations across Canada use the company's app for investigating child sexual abuse crimes, among other things. Clearview contends that it did not require permission because the images were posted on public websites.
https://noyb.eu/en/clearview-ais-biometric-photo-database-deemed-illegal-eu
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/technology/clearview-ai-illegal-canada.html

India Proposes to Regulate Non-Personal Data
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology's revised proposals for an Indian data protection law focus on non-personal data, and they fail to address the booming black market in people's personal data, Naman M. Aggarwal and Raman Jit Singh Chima report at  Access Now. Access Now argues that a framework for protecting personal data should be developed first, and that a standalone law on non-personal data jeopardizes long-term plans for data protection governance.
https://www.accessnow.org/india-personal-data-protection/

Amazon Attempts to Block Union Drive
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Amazon has launched a drive to stop more than 2,000 workers at its Alabama warehouse from unionizing, Michael Sainato reports at the Guardian. Ballots, which were due to go out on February 8, will be counted on March 30; Amazon's lawyers are trying to appeal a court ruling allowing workers to vote by mail. At the BBC, Jane Wakefield reports that Amazon has installed AI-powered cameras in its delivery vans that constantly record drivers and report any of 16 actions, including hard braking, driver distraction, and yawning. Amazon claims the cameras are to help keep drivers safe. At AP News, Joseph Pisani reports that Andy Jassy, who runs Amazon's cloud computing business, will replace Jeff Bezos as CEO later in 2021.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/03/amazon-intensifies-severe-effort-discourage-first-warehouse-union
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-55938494
https://apnews.com/article/jeff-bezos-steps-down-amazon-ceo-a5af30868a90cd300dd616796bc1aec2


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

Disinformation During the Libyan Conflict
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Lawfare, Alexei Abrahams and Joey Shea share their study of the role and evolution of coordinated disinformation and propaganda in the ongoing Libyan conflict. They find that foreign intervention has undermined confidence in the authenticity of political discourse in and beyond the region, and that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have all been implicated in information operations during Libya's civil war.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/coordinated-behavior-libyas-regional-disinformation-conflict

Smartphone Location Data Reveals Capitol Attackers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the New York Times, Charlie Wurzel and Stuart A. Thompson review the dataset of about 100,000 smartphone pings that reveal that 40% of the phones near the rally stage were also in and around the Capitol while Trump supporters were invading it. The data is unquestionably useful to law enforcement for finding and punishing the attackers. However, Wurzel and Thompson argue that it should never have been collected and that doing so places everyone's privacy at risk. Among the issues they cite: the inherent inaccuracies in location data, the mobile advertising identifiers now attached to each individual who uses a smartphone, and the way the data is spread to myriad commercial organizations across many sectors. At Gizmodo, Shoshana Wodinsky reports that the Center for Democracy and Technology is suing the US Department of Homeland Security over the failure of two of its agencies to respond to three separate freedom of information requests asking how it uses social media data in examining visa applications.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/0amaz5/opinion/capitol-attack-cellphone-data.html
https://gizmodo.com/dhs-sued-over-its-social-media-surveillance-tactics-1846092273

Canada Proposes Digital Sales and Services Taxes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of his Lawbytes podcast, Michael Geist interviews Itai Gringberg, an expert on cross-border taxation, about upcoming Canadian plans for digital taxes. Proposals include mandatory payments supporting Canadian content, a digital sales tax by July 2021, and a digital services tax in 2022. Digital services taxes, or proposals to create them, exist in many countries, though both the US and China oppose the idea. It's not clear how to manage the substantially different interests of developing countries and emerging market economies.
https://soundcloud.com/aclu/what-does-free-speech-mean-online

Avoiding Burnout in Digital Activism
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at Bits of Freedom, Ties Rademacher argues that the digital rights movement needs to prioritize the mental health and well-being of activists or risk losing them to burnout. Digital rights campaigns always seem more urgent, but given the years they take and the frequency of setbacks, facilitating well-being is increasingly important.
https://www.bitsoffreedom.nl/2021/02/05/the-digital-rights-movement-needs-to-prioritize-sustainable-working/

Documentaries Lose Editorial Independence
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Columbia Journalism Review, Danny Funt examines the rise of TV documentaries as streaming services embrace the genre. Although many are solid investigative journalistic work, the producers of the highest-profile, biggest-budget titles, such as Hulu's "Hillary" (Clinton), have surrendered their editorial independence in return for access and exclusive footage. Global streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple, HBO, and Showtime do not vet financiers, restrict who can participate in production, nor have rules limiting who can receive compensation.
https://www.cjr.org/special_report/documentary-film-editorial-independence.php

Market Manipulation and the Gamestop Share Price Spike
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Washington Post, Matt O'Brien examines the wild spike in the price of Gamestop shares that has been attributed to the activism of the WallStreetBets subReddit. While some of the forum's old-timers undoubtedly profited, later, smaller buyers are likely to have lost money. At Washington Monthly, Robert J. Shapiro's detailed study of trading data leads him to attribute the spike to market manipulation by competing hedge funds. At City Journal, Bruno Maçães contends that the incident has laid bare the departure of the financial markets from shared reality, the latest casualty in the "truth wars".
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/gamestop-booster-did-well-many-devotees-wont-as-shares-sag/2021/02/04/1c466876-671a-11eb-bab8-707f8769d785_story.html
https://washingtonmonthly.com/2021/02/03/gamestop-isnt-a-popular-uprising/
https://www.city-journal.org/gamestop-and-the-truth-wars


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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 January 29, 2021

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

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Access Now, AI Now Institute, Data & Society, EDRi, EFF. Homo Digitalis, Human Rights Watch, Panoptykon Foundation, Privacy International, and Ranking Digital Rights.


NEWS
=====

Pandemic Provides Excuse to Deploy Surveillance Technologies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The pandemic has turned refugees into test subjects for surveillance technologies, Petra Molnar tells Raphael Tsavkko Garcia in an interview at Medium after conducting a fact-finding mission in Greek refugee camps for EDRi. Molnar witnessed the birth of the Kara Tepes containment center where, as at other camps, COVID-19 has provided an excuse to experiment with drones, AI lie detectors, risk scoring, and voice printing. At The Nation, Felipe de la Hoz suggests new US president Joe Biden will replace the now-canceled border wall with advanced surveillance technology that will pose greater danger to both migrants and US citizens.
https://onezero.medium.com/how-the-pandemic-turned-refugees-into-guinea-pigs-for-surveillance-tech-d7cf916551cc
https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/biden-immigration-surveillance/

Open Letter Calls for Human Rights Protection in AI Regulation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
EDRi and 61 other civil society organizations have written an open letter to the European Commission calling for regulatory red lines to protect human rights in the upcoming proposal on artificial intelligence, EDRi reports on its website. Among the issues the letter highlights are biometric mass surveillance, structural discrimination, access to justice, and workers' rights. EDRi member signatories such as Privacy International, Homo Digitalis, and the Panoptykon Foundation are joined by AI Now Institute, Ranking Digital Rights, Statewatch, and Human Rights Watch.
https://edri.org/our-work/civil-society-call-for-ai-red-lines-in-the-european-unions-artificial-intelligence-proposal/

Misinformation in Circulation Plummets After Trump Twitter Ban
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A study from Zignal Labs finds that misinformation dropped by 73% in the week after January 8, when Twitter banned former US president Donald Trump and more than 70,000 accounts associated with QAnon, Elizaeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg report at the Washington Post. The frequency with which Trump's posts were retweeted made him the site's biggest amplifier. At Wired, Sonner Kehrt describes Sara-Jayne Terp's use of cybersecurity tools to track false claims as if they're malware in order to understand and stop misinformation campaigns. At Medium, Sarah Emerson argues that instead of targeting Parler, Congress should ask the FBI to study the entire social media landscape; this includes Facebook and Twitter, which played essential roles in the unrest, as well as Telegram, MeWe, and other sites to which former Parler users are turning. At Politico, Kara Swisher argues that while the technology companies did the right thing in finally banning Trump, it took them too long. Examining the companies' power is an urgent necessity, particularly given their ability to terminate entire businesses, as in Parler's case. At Wired, James Temperton reports that lax security allowed hackers and archivists to save 70TB of Parler posts, and document its role as a "radicalization engine".
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/16/misinformation-trump-twitter/
https://www.wired.com/story/data-scientist-cybesecurity-tools-quash-misinformation/
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jan/16/how-to-fix-social-media-trump-ban-free-speech
https://onezero.medium.com/parler-is-just-a-symptom-of-a-much-bigger-problem-1f1bb2e54333
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/01/16/what-the-right-gets-wrong-about-big-tech-and-the-capitol-coup-491437
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/parler-shutdown-future

Hong Kong Authorities Crack Down on Digital Dissent
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A digital sweep shows that Hong Kong authorities are using the powers granted them by the new 2020 national security law to redo the Great Firewall, Shibani Mahtani reports at the Washington Post. Hong Kong police now send devices seized from arrestees to mainland China for data extraction; digital rights activists say the government intends to crack down on dissent online and use confiscated devices to map and silence the opposition.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/hong-kong-national-security-law-internet/2021/01/12/01738064-53b6-11eb-acc5-92d2819a1ccb_story.html

Facebook Refers Trump Account Ban to Oversight Board
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook has asked the 20-person Oversight Board to decide if the company acted correctly in suspending former US president Donald Trump and whether it should be permanent, Ben Wittes reports at Lawfare. Wittes finds no obvious way to balance keeping politicians' words accessible and accountable against the risks of harmful or offensive speech. The board is accepting public comments and will decide in 90 days. At The Markup, Leon Yin and Alfred Ng the Citizen Browser project data shows that although Facebook claims it had stopped recommending "civic groups", in fact the recommendations continued throughout December and January, most frequently to its panel's Trump voters. In a second report based on Citizen Browser data at The Markup, Colin Lecher and John Keegan find that Facebook showed Biden and Trump voters substantially different coverage of the Capitol riot. At the New York Times, Kate Conger and Mike Isaac provide an inside look at how Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made his decision.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/facebook-has-referred-trumps-suspension-its-oversight-board-now-what
https://themarkup.org/citizen-browser/2021/01/19/facebook-said-it-would-stop-pushing-users-to-join-partisan-political-groups-it-didnt
https://themarkup.org/citizen-browser/2021/01/14/biden-and-trump-voters-were-exposed-to-radically-different-coverage-of-the-capitol-riot-on-facebook
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/16/technology/inside-twitter-decision-trump.html

Users Flee WhatsApp After Policy Changes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
WhatsApp has lost millions of users since a poorly-explained update to its terms of service, scheduled for February 8 and now delayed until May, Alex Hern reports at the Guardian. Facebook intended to enable new business messaging features and clarify existing policies; instead, users posted that WhatsApp was claiming the right to read users' messages and share the data with Facebook. Many have switched to Signal. At the New York Times, the editorial board calls for curbs on the technology companies' overreach via lopsided contracts, and highlights some of the most egregious terms and conditions clauses that users never notice.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jan/24/whatsapp-loses-millions-of-users-after-terms-update
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/23/opinion/sunday/online-terms-of-service.html


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

New US Administration Brings Hope for Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a "transition memo", EFF calls on the new US Biden-Harris administration to further reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, act to limit the use of facial recognition, require a warrant to search travelers' devices at the border, reject mandatory backdoors in encryption software and devices, foster competition in social media rather than altering Section 230, and bolster network neutrality. In a blog posting, Access Now launches a tracker for seven core digital rights issues it hopes Biden-Harris will prioritize. At Vox, Sara Morrison suggests that Biden's Federal Communications Commission should restore network neutrality, ensure universal affordable access to broadband internet, and drop Trump-era plans to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. At The Register, Kieren McCarthy offers an assessment of the damaging tenure of departing FCC chair Ajit Pai.
https://www.eff.org/wp/eff-transition-memo-incoming-biden-administration
https://www.accessnow.org/biden-era-tech-policy-tracker/
https://www.vox.com/recode/21557495/biden-fcc-digital-divide-net-neutrality-section-230
https://www.theregister.com/2021/01/20/pai_us_telecoms/

Nigerian COVID-19 Technology Brings Surveillance Concerns
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Global Voices, Boye Adegoke writes that Nigeria's weak accountability, lack of political will to bring in data protection and privacy legislation, history of surveillance, and repressive approach to COVID-19 are leading local digital rights activists to worry that two new privately-developed contact tracing apps may provide the state with additional tracking and targeting capabilities. The human rights losses will only be clear after the pandemic ends.
https://globalvoices.org/2021/01/19/covid-19-digital-rights-and-nigerias-emerging-surveillance-state/

QAnon Prophecies Fail As Biden Is Inaugurated
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In an article at the New York Times, Kevin Roose tracks QAnon believers' dismay at US president Joe Biden's inauguration, which they were led to expect would be blocked by a dramatic series of arrests leading to former president Donald Trump's return to power. At NBC News, Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins recount the history of QAnon, which started when a YouTube video creator and two 4chan moderators picked it to promote out of an array of obscure conspiracy theories. On Twitter, digital sociologist Jen Schradie collates a list of books on the American far-right, research which until now has been female-dominated.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/technology/qanon-inauguration.html
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/how-three-conspiracy-theorists-took-q-sparked-qanon-n900531
https://twitter.com/schradie/status/1349419832324874244

Russian Protests Mark Return of Alexei Navalny
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of their 5pm EST daily videocast, In Lieu of Fun, Lawfare editor Ben Wittes and law professor Kate Klonick ask Alexander Vindman, Bianna Golodryga, and Toomas Hendrick to analyze the Russian protests over the arrest of Alexei Navalny and the impact on Russian dissent of new social media such as Tik-Tok. Among their suggestions to the new Biden government for curbing Russian corruption: enforce money laundering rules.
https://inlieuof.fun/stream/303

Kenya 2022 Presidential Election Brings Misinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a posting at Global Voices, Njeri Wangari warns that Kenya must speed up implementation of its 2020 data protection law in order to be ready to block voter manipulation via big data in the upcoming August 2022 presidential election. Misinformation online is already growing as political battles move online. For most of Kenya's 53 million citizens, smartphones provide their only mode of internet and social media access.
https://globalvoices.org/2021/01/16/kenya-must-implement-data-protection-law-before-2022-presidential-election/

Digital Technology and Democratic Theory
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip from the Data & Society Research Institute, Lucy Bernholz, Rob Reich, and Seeta Peña Gangadharan discuss their new book, Digital Technology and Democratic Theory. The book collects essays by scholars from multiple disciplines to offer a sober, long-term assessment of digital technologies' impact on fundamental aspects of democracy such as the structure of the public sphere and resistance to unjust sociotechnical systems.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLO3YjTcFxc


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending January 15, 2021

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

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


NEWS
=====

Privacy International Wins High Court Ruling Against General Warrants
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After a five-year battle, the UK High Court has held that "general warrants" are illegal and that the security and intelligence services cannot rely on non-specific warrants to authorize wide-ranging property interference and certain forms of computer hacking, Privacy International reports. PI issued the judicial review challenge after a 2016 decision by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. If it is not appealed, the judgment will go back to the tribunal for execution.
https://privacyinternational.org/news-analysis/4359/victory-high-court-against-governments-use-general-warrants

US Capitol Invasion Was Openly Planned on Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The January 6 invasion of the US Capitol was openly planned and publicized on numerous easily accessible niche and mainstream sites, Jane Lytvynenko and Molly Hensley-Clancy report at Buzzfeed News. At NBC News, Ben Collins and Brandy Zdrozny find many published warnings, contrary to Washington Police Chief Robert Contee, who claimed no one could have foreseen the insurrection. In an article at The Atlantic, Adrienne LaFrance likens Facebook to the "Doomsday Machine", hypothesized by military strategist Herman Kahn in order to make nuclear war unthinkable. In a Twitter thread, Seth Abramson examines point by point the "Save America March" speech US president Donald Trump delivered to the crowd waiting to march on the Capitol; the speech forms the basis of an article of impeachment. Finally, in a video clip Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals his memories of growing up in post-Nazi Austria and draws lessons for American democracy.
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/06/politics/us-capitol-lockdown/index.html
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/extremists-made-little-secret-ambitions-occupy-capital-weeks-attack-n1253499
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/12/facebook-doomsday-machine/617384/
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1347908845281095680.html
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/trump-rioters-planned-online
https://twitter.com/i/status/1348249481284874240

Tech Companies Block Trump and Far-Right Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Following the Capitol attack, Twitter and Facebook suspended Donald. Trump's personal accounts including Instagram and WhatsApp, Olivia Harrison reports at Refinery29.  At the Huffington Post, Lydia O'Connor and Dominique Mosbergen report that the government-owned @POTUS account, the Trump campaign account, and several others were also suspended after Trump tried to circumvent the ban by tweeting from them. The Trump Twitter Archive retains the searchable set of Trump's tweets from September 2016 onward. The Guardian reports that Twitter has suspended 70,000 accounts sharing QAnon content. At the New York Times, Sapna Maheshwari reports that Shopify has closed two ecommerce sites tied to Trump, one of them his campaign store. At CNet, Stephen Shankland, Edward Mayer, and Ian Sherr report that Apple, Google, and Amazon have all banned the far-right Parler social network from their services. At TechDirt, Mike Masnick considers the Trump ban and the balance between justifiable content moderation and censorship; no definitive set of rules can handle all situations. At The Hill, Joe Ferulla argues that the Capitol attack threatens the First Amendment because profits drive the "mass delusion machine".  At the New York Times, Lauren Hirsch lists numerous companies that are withdrawing political donations as a result of the insurrection.
https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/01/10252779/trump-ban-twitter-facebook
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/trump-twitter-potus-account_n_5ff9096fc5b6c77d85e6ca55?ri18n=true
https://www.thetrumparchive.com/
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jan/12/twitter-suspends-70000-accounts-sharing-qanon-content
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/07/business/shopify-trump-online-store.html
https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-apple-google-ban-parler-app-over-violent-content-around-capitol-attack/
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210108/17022646023/not-easy-not-unreasonable-not-censorship-decision-to-ban-trump-twitter.shtml
https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/533521-sacking-the-capitol-proves-free-speech-is-in-trouble
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/business/banks-citigroup-goldman-sachs-politicians.html

WeChat Spreads Chinese Censorship Across the Globe
----------------------------------------------------------------------
WeChat has become a worldwide vector for Chinese censorship, Jeanne Whalen reports at the Washington Post. Its millions of US users disagree about the remedy. Some favoring the White House plan to ban the app even though in September a federal court in San Francisco stayed the ban on First Amendment grounds. Others would rather see owner Tencent sued, punished, or fined.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/07/wechat-censorship-china-us-ban/

Cars Provide Rich Data for Digital Forensic Investigators
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Law enforcement investigators are increasingly using the data gathered by modern cars' telemetry and infotainment systems as part of their crime-solving efforts, Olivia Solon reports at NBCNews. The sensors and phone links provide far-reaching troves of digital evidence, including calls made and locations visited, and less-obvious details such as how much drivers and passengers weigh. Unlike phones, cars lack information security to protect this data from overreach.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/snitches-wheels-police-turn-car-data-destroy-suspects-alibis-n1251939

Britain Funds Media "Influence" in Venezuela
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The UK has allocated £250,000 from its aid budget to "influence" local and national media agendas in Venezuela, raising suspicions that it is trying to help remove Nicolas Maduro from power, Matt Kennard and John McEvoy reports at Daily Maverick. Separately, the British government also funds the Westminster Forum for Democracy, which has spent over £750,000 to "strengthen democracy" in Venezuela since 2016.
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-01-06-revealed-uk-sets-up-media-influencing-project-in-venezuela-amid-secretive-750000-democracy-promotion-programme/


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

Copyright Exceptions Needed to Support Education During Pandemic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Education International argues that in 2021 the World Intellectual Property Organization should rectify the opportunity it missed at its November 2020 Standing Committee meeting to produce urgently-needed guidance on copyright exceptions to help education, research, and cultural heritage organizations with COVID-19-related intellectual property challenges.
https://www.ei-ie.org/en/detail/17063/wipo%e2%80%99s-missed-opportunity-to-produce-guidance-on-copyright-exceptions-hits-education-during-pandemic

Techniques for Building AI Models Are Broken
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at MIT Technology Review, Will Douglas Heaven discusses findings from 40 researchers across seven different teams at Google that today's techniques for building machine learning models leave no way to tell whether the models will work in the real world. "Underspecification", a known problem in statistics in which different effects may have many possible causes, means in practice that training data may produce multiple models that differ in tiny, arbitrary ways that can lead to large differences in performance.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/11/18/1012234/training-machine-learning-broken-real-world-heath-nlp-computer-vision/

Activism Leads Google Workers to Unionize
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this podcast at the Wall Street Journal, Bowdeya Tweh describes the events and activism that led Google employees to unionize and considers the prospects for organizing at other Silicon Valley companies. At CNN, Brian Fung explains how the new Alphabet Workers' Union will function.
https://www.wsj.com/podcasts/why-google-workers-formed-a-union/50FC530F-D1DB-4E43-A1A5-D2EE96B6E2B7.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/04/tech/google-alphabet-union/index.html

Countering Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence and Abuse
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, the Canada-based Centre for International Governance Innovation presents a panel featuring Suzie Dunn, who discusses her research on technology-facilitated gender-based violence and abuse. Countering the technology-fueled exploitation of women requires responses from numerous sectors including law enforcement, legislators, technologists, victim support workers, editors, and NGOs. In a paper, UCL researchers Tomás Bermudez, Maddalena Esposito, and Jay Neuner survey the use of "stalkerware" in intimate partner violence. At the Women's Service Network, the second national survey on technology abuse and domestic violence in Australia finds increased use of technology to entrap women. The three most commonly used technologies are text messaging, smartphones, and Facebook; the fastest-growing are video cameras and GPS tracking apps.
https://www.cigionline.org/multimedia/deepfakes-and-digital-harms-emerging-technologies-and-gender-based-violence
https://www.chayn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/steappstalkerware_report.pdf
https://wesnet.org.au/about/research/2ndnatsurvey/

QAnon Is How Religions Begin
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of Kate Klonick's and Benjamin Wittes' daily videocast, In Lieu of Fun, Atlantic editor Adrienne LaFrance discusses what she learned about QAnon in researching a lengthy May 2020 article. She finds an important difference between people who profit from QAnon and true believers for whom this "pro-Trump conspiracy theory" is so impossible to dislodge that, "this is how religions begin".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUBBYq66VmI
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/qanon-nothing-can-stop-what-is-coming/610567/

Moving AI Forward
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this video clip, the second debate in a series hosted by Montreal.AI, scholars and practitioners from a variety of disciplines, including Ryan Calo, Barbara Tversky, and Daniel Kahneman, discuss how AI should move forward and how to solve challenges such as understanding causality, bias, reasoning, and ethics.
https://montrealartificialintelligence.com/aidebate2/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOI3Bb3p4GM


***

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

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


ONE-OFF EVENTS

linux.conf.au
----------------------------------------
January 23-25, 2021
Online from Sydney, Australia
The 22nd linux.conf.au focuses on Linux, and the community that has built up around it, and the values that it represents. It is a deeply technical conference covering topics varying from the inner workings of the Linux kernel to the inner workings of dealing with communities. Run by volunteers, linux.conf.au is a not-for-profit conference that aims to provide attendees with a world-class conference at a down to earth rate.
https://linux.conf.au

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 27-29, 2021
Online from Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP 2021, "Enforcing Rights in a Changing World", will gather academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world to offer an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

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

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

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

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONGOING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

© 2020 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/

Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending December 11, 2020

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

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EDRi, Panoptykon Foundation.


NEWS
=====

EU Digital Services Act Will Overhaul Platform Content Management
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The EU is preparing the Digital Services Act to overhaul how platforms such as Google and Facebook manage content, Silvia Amaro reports at CNBC. Competition chief Margrethe Vestager believes it's crucial that digital services be open about why and how the platforms control what we see. The new rules are predicted to require dramatic changes in Big Tech's business models and practices. The European Parliament has posted a briefing providing a pre-legislative synthesis of national, regional, and local positions on the prospective act.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/05/digital-services-act-how-the-eu-is-going-after-big-tech.html https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2020/659369/EPRS_BRI(2020)659369_EN.pdf

Anti-Vaccination Misinformation Gains Traction in Unrelated Groups
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Vaccine misinformation that was circulating via now-removed large and influential anti-vaccine Facebook pages continues to circulate in smaller, better-connected groups that have shifted focus, Brandy Zadrozny reports at NBC News. A pre-print paper by George Washington University physicist Neil Johnson finds that groups for pet lovers, parent school groups, and yoga fans are increasingly connecting with the anti-vaccination movement. The London-based Center for Countering Digital Hate estimates that the anti-vaccination movement has gained 8 million followers since 2019.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/covid-19-vaccines-face-varied-powerful-misinformation-movement-online-n1249378

Google Fires Leading AI Ethicist Timni Gebru
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After a dispute over a paper studying big AI language models like the one incorporated into Google's search engine, Google fired Timnit Gebru, the leader of Google's Ethical Artificial Intelligence Team, Kim Lyons reports at The Verge. Gebru, known for her work on algorithmic bias, has said she felt she was being censored by the company. Eight hundred Google workers and more than 1,000 academic, industry, and civil society members have signed a letter of protest to support Gebru. At MIT Technology Review, Karen Hao finds that an early draft of the paper favors mitigating four main risks of large models: carbon footprint, increasing homogeneity, diverting research away from understanding in favor of language manipulation, and the potential for deception. At CBS News, Irina Ivanova reports that the US National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint that Google surveilled, interrogated, and then illegally fired two employees it suspected of workplace organizing.
https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/5/22155985/paper-timnit-gebru-fired-google-large-language-models-search-ai
https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/12/04/1013294/google-ai-ethics-research-paper-forced-out-timnit-gebru/
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/google-illegally-fired-workers-labor-organizing-allegation/

Kazakhstan Government Intercepts Secure Web Traffic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
For the third time since 2015, in a "cybersecurity training exercise" the Kazakhstan government is forcing citizens in its capital, Nur-Sultan to install a root certificate on their devices as a condition for gaining access to foreign internet services, Catalin Cimpanu reports at ZDNet. The certificate, once installed, performs a man-in-the-middle attack that allows the government to intercept all secure web (HTTPS) traffic from users' devices.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/kazakhstan-government-is-intercepting-https-traffic-in-its-capital/

Internet Society Funds Internet Engineering Task Force
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Internet Society (ISOC) has committed to supply the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) with an annual contribution of $41.4 million for the next six years, Kieren McCarthy reports at The Register. IETF will use the money for core operations and says the length of the commitment will permit it to engage in better financial planning. ISOC has also promised an additional $30 million over the same time period to match funds the IETF raises itself. The goal is to make IETF sustainable and self-sufficient at a time when the internet's basic protocols are beginning to modernize.
https://www.theregister.com/2020/12/03/internet_society_ietf/

EU Campaign Seeks Ban on Biometric Mass Surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Over 10,000 people have signed up to support EDRi's "Reclaim Your Face" campaign to demand a ban on biometric mass surveillance, Janosch Delcker reports at Politico. Part of the reason is that little if being heard about legal obligations to tThe campaign is supported by 12 EDRi member organizations, which are coordinating national campaigns in Italy, Serbia, Greece, Czechia, Netherlands, France, and Germany.
https://www.politico.eu/article/activists-urge-eu-to-ban-live-facial-recognition-in-public-spaces/
https://edri.org/our-work/campaign-reclaim-your-face-calls-for-a-ban-on-biometric-mass-surveillance/


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

Facebook Oversight Board Begins Case Consideration
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Vice, David Gilbert lists the first six cases, selected from 20,000 submissions, to be considered by Facebook's official independent Oversight Board. Five were submitted by users; several question Facebook's decisions under its hate speech policy. The only one referred to the board by Facebook relates to the risk of offline harm caused by misinformation about COVID-19. Critics such as the experts who created the unaffiliated Real Facebook Oversight Board, complain that the most pressing issues, such as Steve Bannon's call to behead FBI director Christopher Wray and public health expert Antony Fauci, are not being considered. At the Guardian, Rebecca Ratcliffe cites an Amnesty International report that accuses Facebook and YouTube of complicity in Vietnam's "industrial-scale" censorship and repression.
https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvxj4w/here-are-the-first-6-cases-before-facebooks-toothless-supreme-court
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/01/facebook-youtube-google-accused-complicity-vietnam-repression

Exploring the Internet's White Supremacist Ecosystem
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this audio clip at NPR, Sam Sanders interviews Talia Lavin about her year undercover infiltrating extremist online communities, which led to her new book, Culture Warlords. Adopting personas such as a white Midwestern American female in search of a husband and a West Virginia man with a pickup truck, Lavin finds that anti-Semitism is an essential part of white supremacy and that the biggest promulgators of online hate are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Telegram. At ZDNet, Wendy M. Grossman reviews the book. At The Conversation, Julia Posetti, Jackie Harrison, and Silvio Waisbord say their survey of 1,210 international media workers finds that online attacks on female journalists are increasingly spilling over into offline violence, leading women to withdraw from frontline reporting and public engagement. The newly-released New Zealand Commission report on the Christchurch shootings finds the attacker was a "lone wolf " who "spent much time" accessing extreme right-wing content online, which "may have contributed to his actions".
https://www.npr.org/2020/11/04/931527391/white-supremacy-and-its-online-reach
https://www.zdnet.com/article/culture-warlords-book-review-into-the-heart-of-online-darkness/
https://theconversation.com/online-attacks-on-female-journalists-are-increasingly-spilling-into-the-real-world-new-research-150791
https://chchroyalinquiry.cwp.govt.nz/

How to Reform Adtech
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this report, "To Track or Not To Track? Towards Privacy-Friendly and Sustainable Online Advertising", the Panoptykon Foundation shows that it's possible to reform the adtech industry without bankrupting online publishers. To make that happen, however, European policy makers must enforce GDPR and create incentives for adopting alternatives through new regulations.
https://en.panoptykon.org/privacy-friendly-advertising

Tyler Cowen Interviews Wikipedian-in-Chief Jimmy Wales
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this episode of the Conversations with Tyler podcast, Tyler Cowen interviews Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on the subject of content moderation, the threat posed by Trump's demands that Congress repeal Section 230, which protects Wikipedia from intermediary liability, and Wikipedia's unique position in the internet landscape. The Hindustan Times reports that the Indian government has asked Wikipedia to remove a map that shows the region Aksai Chin as part of China.
https://cowenconvos.libsyn.com/jimmy-wales
https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/delete-map-that-shows-aksai-chin-as-part-of-china-india-tells-wikipedia/story-TCT6rUz89TU2wrN8k7HwOL.html

Nature Journals Adopt Controversial Open Access Fee Structure
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Forbes, Madhukar Pai argues that Nature's newly-announced open access fees for its journals conflict with its recent "diversity commitment" pledging faster movement toward equity for under-represented groups. The 20-plus scientists he interviews find the fees "extraordinarily high" and exclusionary; publisher representative James Butcher called their concerns "valid" but defended the fees on the basis of the publisher's cost overheads. Pai concludes by pushing universities to de-emphasize prestige journals.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/madhukarpai/2020/11/30/how-prestige-journals-remain-elite-exclusive-and-exclusionary/?sh=5ba3fdd14d48

Signal Spreads End-to-End Encryption
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this Wired article, Andy Greenburg explains the wide adoption of Signal, the encryption protocol used by the eponymous messaging app as well as Facebook's WhatsApp and, now, Android messaging. Popularly, the answer is Signal's reputation as a well-designed open source protocol; technically, experts like its implementation of the privacy protecting technique "perfect forward secrecy".
https://www.wired.com/story/signal-encryption-protocol-hacker-lexicon/

Investigation Finds Rape Videos Infest Pornhub
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof reports the results of his lengthy investigation of  the world's tenth-most-visited website, Pornhub, which sells itself as "the cheery, winking face of naughty" and finds dozens of user-posted rape videos available for viewing or download, either way resulting in revenues for Pornhub's owner, Mindgeek. Kristof struggles for solutions, but suggests allowing only verified users to post videos, banning downloads, and increasing moderation. At industry news site Xbiz, Gustavo Turner calls Kristof's article "emotional pornography" and disputes his approach. AP News reports that in response to Kristof's article Mastercard and Visa are investigating of their business relationship with the site, and Pornhub has hired a law firm to conduct an independent content review, will ban downloads, and announce criteria for verifying users.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.html
https://www.xbiz.com/news/256091/op-ed-new-york-times-fights-pornhub-with-emotional-pornography
https://apnews.com/article/mastercard-visa-pornhub-relationship-754c1968076b4b4fa4e657ee9641fd57
https://apnews.com/article/pornography-fb5e6c853a162d73e353768f51c1adce

***

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

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


ONLINE EVENTS

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
December 14-15, 2020
Online from Brussels, Belgium
The annual workshop on the economics of information security is a cross-disciplinary event to develop more effective approaches to information security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 27-29, 2021
Online from Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP 2021, "Enforcing Rights in a Changing World", will gather academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world to offer an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. The October 29 event considers what forms of mandatory reporting can help achieve public sector accountability.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion of with prominent women in security, a discussion of the security problems in online voting, and methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

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

Civic Hall
----------------------------------------
New York's Civic Hall has moved a number of events online. Recent events include political influence, a session on designing stories to expose racial inequities, and an interactive discussion of the new book by Sasha Costanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need.
https://civichall.org/event-calendar/

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats for the rest of 2020.
Databites: https://datasociety.net/library/design-justice/
Network Power Hours: https://datasociety.net/library/community-and-accessibility-online/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PHYSICAL WORLD EVENTS

MOVED ONLINE Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 27-29, 2021
Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP 2021, "Enforcing Rights in a Changing World", will gather academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world to offer an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

MozFest 2021
----------------------------------------
March 2021
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest programs and events are co-created by a group of dynamic, vibrant and varied community collaborators, all working towards one goal: the opportunity for everyone to live a healthy online life.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

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

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

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

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021 TBC
Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 2021
Milan, Italy
Contemporary children and their parents are inventing what it is to have a digital childhood, and in doing so are introducing families, schools and policy makers to new ways of thinking, doing and being. This conference discusses and expands research trajectories through these uncertainties and aims to build bridges across the different disciplines and strands of research in this area. It will forge a new way forward and consolidate the base of what we already know, revealing what we have yet to investigate and address, and what important insights are emerging that must be taken seriously.
http://www.digitisingearlychildhood.com/2020-conference.html

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
Postponed from June 23-25, 2020
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

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

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

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


***

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


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

© 2020 Open Society Foundations. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/

Your privacy is important to us. View our Privacy Policy: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/policies/privacy
News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending November 27, 2020

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

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: EDRi, EFF, InternetLab, Open Rights Group.


NEWS
=====

False Claims of US Election Fraud Circulate on Social Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Disinformation about voter fraud has been repeatedly plugged by influential social media accounts for months, led by US president Donald Trump, Marianna Spring reports at the BBC. "Stop the Steal" groups on Facebook have amassed more than a million members, although several were removed after users posted threats of violence. Experts are concerned that the public's faith in democracy will be eroded as a result. At the New York Times, Sheera Frenkel reports that the independent Transparency.tube report finds that YouTube videos endorsing false claims of widespread election fraud were viewed more than 138 million times in the week of the election. The BBC reports that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and government and fact-checking organizations will collaborate to stop COVID-19 vaccine misinformation from circulating. Currently, the Centre for Countering Digital Hate says 95% of such material on social media is not removed. At Reuters, Elizabeth Culliford and Katie Paul report that Facebook estimates that ten to 11 of every 10,000 content views during the third quarter of 2020 included hate speech.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-55009950
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/technology/election-misinformation-often-evaded-youtubes-efforts-to-stop-it.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55005385
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-content/facebook-estimates-hate-speech-seen-in-1-out-of-1000-views-on-its-platform-idUSKBN27Z2R0

Facebook, Google, and Twitter Oppose Pakistani Censorship Law
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Through the Asia Internet Coalition, which represents numerous technology companies, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have threatened to leave Pakistan because they are alarmed by new censorship laws, the Associated Press reports at The Hindustan Times. The laws give the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the power to remove and block digital content that poses harm, intimidates, or "excites disaffection" toward the government or hurts the integrity, security, and defense of Pakistan in other ways, and allow for fines of up to $3.14 million for failing to block content deemed to be in violation. Social media companies are also required to provide any information or data in unencrypted format to the country's designated investigation agency.
https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/google-facebook-and-twitter-threaten-to-leave-pakistan-over-new-rules/story-LIBChHJbeR9Vjy2CYJs9dJ.html

UK: Japan-UK Trade Deal Threatens Privacy Standards
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Politics.co.uk, Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock summarizes the recently announced UK-Japan deal, which commits the UK to accepting lower privacy standards for data transfers and undermines algorithmic transparency and access to source code, and may limit the right to repair. It also makes intermediary liability contingent on copyright enforcement. The government has provided very little detail to either the public or Parliament. At EDRi, ORG goes into more detail about why the deal is likely to make it impossible for the EU to grant the UK an adequacy ruling under the GDPR.
https://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2020/11/19/uk-japan-deal-dismantles-uk-s-privacy-protections
https://edri.org/our-work/uk-japan-trade-agreement-violates-data-protection-rights/

Japanese Companies and Banks Experiment with Digital Currencies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
More than 30 Japanese firms including brokerages, telecommunications firms, utilities, and retailers, as well as the country's three biggest banks will experiment next year with providing a private digital currency to promote digitization, Leika Kihara reports at Reuters. In addition, the Bank of Japan plans to issue a digital yen.  In a podcast for FinTech Australia, David Birch, author of The Currency Cold War, discusses the future of digital currencies and the battle for global economic power between the US and China.
https://www.reuters.com/article/banking-digital-currencies-japan/japan-inc-to-begin-experiments-issuing-digital-yen-idINKBN27Z0I6
https://tieronepeople.com/2020/08/18/david-birch-currency-cold-war/

Airports Adopt Facial Recognition for Travelers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Policy Options, Tamir Israel reports that airports across the world are embedding facial recognition in border crossings and boarding procedures claiming it will increase efficiency, security, and safety even though the technology is error-prone and racially biased. Israel warns that its adoption as proof of identity or nationality is dangerous for refugees and others and threatens human rights. A report from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic documents this adoption, warns of the intrusive surveillance it brings, and calls for a reset. At the Guardian, Katy Fallon reports that Tendayi Achiume, the UN's special rapporteur on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, has called for a moratorium on the use of surveillance technologies including AI lie detector tests, iris scans for refugees, and voice imprinting software in asylum applications. At Papers Please, Edward Hasbrouck says the recent US General Administration Office report on the use of facial recognition on travelers fails to address numerous legal and constitutional issues. At the New York Times, Shira Ovide argues that despite its flaws, given the right policies and oversight facial recognition can be a valuable tool for law enforcement.
https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/november-2020/facial-recognition-is-transforming-our-borders-and-we-are-not-prepared/
https://cippic.ca/en/news/facial_recognition_transforming_our_borders
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/nov/11/un-warns-of-impact-of-smart-borders-on-refugees-data-collection-isnt-apolitical
https://papersplease.org/wp/2020/09/03/gao-report-on-dhs-use-of-facial-recognition-on-travelers/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/technology/facial-recognition-software-police.html


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

Privacy Makes Progress in Brazil
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting at EFF, Katitza Rodriguez summarizes InternetLab's fifth annual report on telecom privacy and data protection in Brazil. This edition finds that half of its eight featured telecom providers for mobile and broadband services have made significant progress in data protection since 2019, but notes they also signed non-transparent data-sharing agreements with states and municipalities to help them combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In a joint letter, Access Now and Direitos na Rede Coalition express their concern that three of the nominated directors of the Brazilian Data Protection Authority are members of the armed forces; they ask the European Commission, the Council of Europe, and the Global Privacy Assembly to emphasize the importance of an independent DPA when engaging with the Brazilian government on data protection matters.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/11/internetlabs-report-sets-direction-telecom-privacy-brazil
https://www.accessnow.org/joint-letter-dpa-brazil-military/

OpenStreetMap Has Become Critical Infrastructure
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this posting at Medium, Joe Morrison discovers that OpenStreetMap, which was founded as a collaborative atlas by a few British graduate students in 2004, is now critical infrastructure for some of the most-used software and the recipient of investment and contributions from Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Increasing corporate involvement is creating dissent within OSM's diverse and vibrant community; 1.5 million people have contributed to the atlas, which incorporates 4.5 million changes per day.
https://joemorrison.medium.com/openstreetmap-is-having-a-moment-dcc7eef1bb01

Systemic Racism Inside Scientific Funding
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at Cell, Kaful Dzirasa examines systemic racism within US scientific funding despite ten years of effort by the National Institutes of Health to address the problem, and argues that the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the black community is further proof of the desperate need for equity.
https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31223-X#%20

Privacy Is Hard
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this paper for the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Alessandro Acquisti, Laura Brandimarte, and George Loewenstein review streams of social science literature to find that although consumers fundamentally care about online privacy it's prohibitively difficult for individuals to protect themselves. Policy intervention, the remaining option, is often blocked by powerful interests that oppose it. In a paper for New Media & Society, Taj Morse and Michael Birnhack study attitudes towards privacy after death and find that users fall into three groups: one whose preferences and actions match; one who fail to act to implement their interest in privacy, extending the "privacy paradox" after death; and a third who wish to share their data posthumously but also fail to act, which the authors dub the "inverted privacy paradox".
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3688497
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3727874

Big Tech Prepares for Different Joe Biden
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a podcast at Bloomberg, Gigi Sohn explains why Silicon Valley expects to see a different Joe Biden from the one who left the vice-presidency four years ago, though she thinks it will be difficult to find remedies for platform power that Republicans and Democrats can agree on. Sohn would prefer the government to create a regulatory agency to oversee the technology companies rather than break them up.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2020-11-14/big-tech-prepares-for-different-joe-biden-this-time-podcast

Fixing the Internet: Third-Party Doctrine
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this third episode of EFF's podcast series, "How to Fix the Internet", Danny O'Brien, Cindy Cohn and Jumana Musa discuss the third-party doctrine, which allows government and law enforcement ready access to communications metadata, where contents of messages require a court order. This hole in US privacy law, originally conceived with physical envelopes in mind but broadly repurposed, enables highly invasive traffic analysis. EFF believes a warrant should be required.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/11/podcast-episode-fixing-digital-loophole-fourth-amendment


***

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

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


ONLINE EVENTS

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

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
December 2-4, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries and indeed, the world itself, Web Summit gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
December 14-15, 2020
Brussels, Belgium
The annual workshop on the economics of information security is a cross-disciplinary event to develop more effective approaches to information security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. The October 29 event considers what forms of mandatory reporting can help achieve public sector accountability.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
----------------------------------------
Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion of with prominent women in security, a discussion of the security problems in online voting, and methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

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

Civic Hall
----------------------------------------
New York's Civic Hall has moved a number of events online. Recent events include political influence, a session on designing stories to expose racial inequities, and an interactive discussion of the new book by Sasha Costanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need.
https://civichall.org/event-calendar/

Data & Society
----------------------------------------
Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats for the rest of 2020.
Databites: https://datasociety.net/library/design-justice/
Network Power Hours: https://datasociety.net/library/community-and-accessibility-online/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PHYSICAL WORLD EVENTS

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
----------------------------------------
January 27-29, 2021
Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP 2021, "Enforcing Rights in a Changing World", will gather academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world to offer an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

MozFest 2021
----------------------------------------
March 2021
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest programs and events are co-created by a group of dynamic, vibrant and varied community collaborators, all working towards one goal: the opportunity for everyone to live a healthy online life.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

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

Thotcon
----------------------------------------
May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

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

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
----------------------------------------
June 3-4, 2021 TBC
Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Digitising Early Childhood
----------------------------------------
June 2021
Milan, Italy
Contemporary children and their parents are inventing what it is to have a digital childhood, and in doing so are introducing families, schools and policy makers to new ways of thinking, doing and being. This conference discusses and expands research trajectories through these uncertainties and aims to build bridges across the different disciplines and strands of research in this area. It will forge a new way forward and consolidate the base of what we already know, revealing what we have yet to investigate and address, and what important insights are emerging that must be taken seriously.
http://www.digitisingearlychildhood.com/2020-conference.html

CPDP LatAm 2021
----------------------------------------
Postponed from June 23-25, 2020
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

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

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

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


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News digest | Open Society Information Program | Week ending November 13, 2020

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

Current and former grantees featured in this issue: Citizen Lab, EFF, Ian Brown, Open Rights Group.


NEWS
=====

US Elects Democrat Joe Biden as 46th President
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Multiple US media outlets have projected that Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States, defeating incumbent Donald Trump, Marguerite Reardon reports at CNet. Reardon considers Biden's potential influence on technology policy, including infrastructure, broadband deployment, security, digital divide, intermediary liability, and monopolistic practices. At Substack, Matt Stoller surveys, more specifically, Biden's possible approach to bringing antitrust actions against the companies. At AdWeek, Scott Nover suggests that Biden will push tougher enforcement on antitrust, privacy, misinformation, and China, while resurrecting network neutrality. At Law360, Dani Kass says that Biden's record on intellectual property and recent statements suggest he will protect US IP via trade enforcement and anti-piracy measures and tackle drug pricing (despite his history of favoring Big Pharma).
https://www.cnet.com/news/biden-beats-trump-heres-what-it-means-for-tech/
https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/how-would-president-biden-approach
https://www.adweek.com/media/what-to-expect-how-a-biden-administration-would-tackle-tech-policy/
https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/1321697

US Department of Justice Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Department of Justice, joined by 11 states, has issued an antitrust suit against Google, the largest against a technology company since its late-1990s complaint against Microsoft, Brian Fung reports at CNN. The suit alleges that Google pays billions of dollars a year to device and browser manufacturers to be their default search engine, allowing it to own or control roughly 80% of search queries in the US. At The Conversation, Hemant K. Bhargava suggests that the agreement under which Google pays Apple $8 to $12 billion a year to make its search engine the default on iOS is itself potentially illegal behavior - on the part of Apple. At Substack, Matt Stoller calls the case a "carbon copy" of the DoJ's Microsoft complaint and calls it a stunning victory for anti-monopolists. At Netzpolitik, Brussels journalist Alexander Fanta and Ingo Dachwitz publish their study of Google's strategic funding of the media industry. Since 2013, Google has handed €200 million in cash to leading media companies, as well as funding fellowships, media conferences, and journalism research, all while resisting political efforts to force the company to share advertising revenues with the publishing industry. The Free Press Journal reports that the US Federal Trade Commission could follow up with an antitrust suit against Facebook by the end of November that could force the company to unwind past acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. Separately, the EU has sent a statement of objections to Amazon over the use of seller data and has begun a second antitrust investigation into Amazon's possible preferential treatment of its own retail offers and those of marketplace sellers that use the company's fulfillment and delivery services.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/25/technology/apple-google-search-antitrust.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/20/tech/doj-google-antitrust-case/index.html
https://theconversation.com/google-antitrust-case-suggests-apple-should-be-in-the-department-of-justices-crosshairs-too-148691
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/10/antitrust-suit-against-google-watershed-moment-0
https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/the-google-suit-were-all-anti-monopolists
https://twitter.com/FantaAlexx/status/1320626012372242432
https://netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2020/10/AH103_Google_Executive_Summary_ENG.pdf
https://www.freepressjournal.in/world/antitrust-probe-us-federal-trade-commission-could-sue-facebook-by-november-end-says-report
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2077

California Legislation Increases Data Protection Rights
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The US state of California has passed Proposition 24, the California Privacy Rights Act, which adds to the 2019 California Consumer Privacy Act, Sara Morrison reports at Vox. The CPRA grants additional rights and closes loopholes in the earlier law, and also makes it harder to weaken legislatively. At CNN, Sara Ashley O'Brien reports that California also passed Proposition 22, which exempts Uber, DoorDash, and Lyft from classifying drivers as employees. Labor and union organizers, who opposed the proposition, are concerned it will lower labor standards across the entire delivery and logistics industry.
https://www.vox.com/2020/11/4/21534746/california-proposition-24-digital-privacy-results
https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/04/tech/california-proposition-22/index.html

Transnational Digital Repression Spreads Across the World
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Saudi Arabia, China, and Rwanda, among others, lead the world in transnational digital repression, Citizen Lab reports, based on an annotated bibliography it has compiled of summarized relevant media reports, technical reports, and academic literature on states' use of digital tools to exert pressure on citizens living abroad to constrain dissident political or social action. Further research is needed to understand how to address this repression once identified, and to understand the impact on targets.
https://citizenlab.ca/2020/11/annotated-bibliography-transnational-digital-repression/

Canadian Internet Regulation Bill Expands Regulation of Speech
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Canada's Internet Regulation bill is expected to grant the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission extensive new powers to regulate internet-based video streaming services, including mandating payments to support Canadian content production and discoverability requirements, Michael Geist reports at his blog. Geist, who characterizes the bill as "get money from web giants", argues that all of these proposed reforms are based on fictions but do represent significant new regulation of speech.
https://www.michaelgeist.ca/2020/11/heritage-minister-steven-guilbeaults-get-money-from-web-giants-internet-regulation-bill-an-unauthorized-backgrounder/

Open Rights Group Launches Legal Action Against UK Information Commissioner's Office
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Open Rights Group and UCL academic Michael Veale have launched a legal action against the UK's Information Commissioner's Office over the latter's decision in September  2020 to close their complaint against the adtech industry practice of real-time bidding, Carly Page reports at Forbes. Veale and ORG executive director Jim Killock brought the original complaint in September 2018; in June 2019 the ICO found the adtech industry to be in breach of data protection law. The ICO said it wanted to avoid placing undue pressure on any industry during the coronavirus crisis.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlypage/2020/11/05/uk-privacy-watchdog-faces-legal-action-for-quietly-closing-adtech-gdpr-complaint/


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

Internet Governance Forum
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On this YouTube page, the Internet Governance Forum has posted videos of the pre-events for this year's meeting. Of particular interest are a session on stalkerware and helping victims of domestic violence, and another on child rights, safety, and lessons from the pandemic led by Baroness Beeban Kidron, whose 5Rights Foundation advocates for children's privacy.
https://www.youtube.com/user/igf/videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc3qQAraKDU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwcFLbU93fw

Chinese Draft Data Protection Law Follows Lead of GDPR
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at LinkedIn, Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna summarizes China's draft data protection law. Most of the 13 key points she picks out loosely match provisions in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, such as the right to access, copy, correct, complete, delete personal information and get explanations. The new law will apply to all companies offering services and products inside China or analyzing the activities of people inside China; fines may be as high as 5% of a company's turnover.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chinas-draft-personal-information-protection-law-13-zanfir-fortuna

The Face of Facebook in India Resigns
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Mumbai Mirror, Kunal Purohit discusses the resignation of Facebook India's public policy head, Ankhi Das, after reports linked her to India's ruling BJP party. Purohit chronicles her nine years of acting as the company's chief lobbyist in its biggest global market; she was hired to protect the company from government regulation. However, over time her role grew to include influence over numerous other departments, including content moderation. At Fast Company, Alex Pasternack profiles the work of former Facebook ads team employee James Barnes, who in 2016 worked for the Trump campaign's Project Alamo data operation and in 2020 turned his inside knowledge to building a system to motivate young Democratic-leaning voters to turn out to vote.
https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/others/sunday-read/when-fb-lost-face/articleshow/78973906.cms
https://www.fastcompany.com/90570689/acronym-james-barnes-facebook-2020-campaign-advertising

Five Myths About Misinformation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this article at the Washington Post, sociologist Brendan Nyhan debunks five myths about misinformation. He finds that filter bubbles are often overstated, that most people have varied information diet, that the "backfire effect" is exaggerated, and that most people can distinguish between truth and distortion. The bigger problem, he concludes, that partisanship undermines accountability.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-misinformation/2020/11/06/b28f2e94-1ec2-11eb-90dd-abd0f7086a91_story.html

Interoperability as a Tool to Boost Competition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In this blog posting, Jonathan Todd summarizes Ian Brown's new research paper on interoperability as a tool to give the EU the means to boost competition in digital markets. Requiring the largest platforms to implement interoperability would force them to compete on the merits of their products and services, enable new market entrants to offer real choice, and enable society to benefit from network effects without giving any one provider market power.
https://www.ianbrown.tech/2020/10/01/interoperability-as-a-tool-for-competition-regulation-2/
https://www.openforumeurope.org/publications/ofa-research-paper-interoperability-as-a-tool-for-competition-regulation/

Section 230, Intermediary Liability, and Competition
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a posting for Verfassungsblog, cyber rights lawyer Mike Godwin discusses the political and legislative background of intermediary liability, enshrined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which is under review in the US Congress. If the goal is competition among content hosting companies, he writes, best not to alter S230, as today's most successful companies are best placed to adapt, while biased content moderation leaves a market opening for a new service.
https://verfassungsblog.de/on-publishers-carriers-and-bookstores/1


***

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

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


ONLINE EVENTS

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

Web Summit
----------------------------------------
December 2-4, 2020
Lisbon, Portugal
At a time of great uncertainty for many industries and indeed, the world itself, Web Summit gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?
https://websummit.com/

Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
----------------------------------------
December 14-15, 2020
Brussels, Belgium
The annual workshop on the economics of information security is a cross-disciplinary event to develop more effective approaches to information security.
https://weis2020.econinfosec.org/


ONGOING

Ada Lovelace Institute
----------------------------------------
London's Ada Lovelace Institute, founded in 2019 to ensure the ethical use of AI, is running a series of events on the issues surrounding the use of technologies in response to the pandemic. The October 29 event considers what forms of mandatory reporting can help achieve public sector accountability.
https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/events/

Bace Cybersecurity Institute
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Recent webinars sponsored by Bace Security include a "fireside" discussion of with prominent women in security, a discussion of the security problems in online voting, and methods for privacy-protecting digital contact tracing.
https://www.bacesecurity.org/page/2686

Benchmark Initiative
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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://vimeo.com/user40391998/videos).
https://benchmarkinitiative.com/event

Civic Hall
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New York's Civic Hall has moved a number of events online. Recent events include political influence, a session on designing stories to expose racial inequities, and an interactive discussion of the new book by Sasha Costanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need.
https://civichall.org/event-calendar/

Data & Society
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Data & Society has moved its weekly Databites and Network Power Hours programs into online interactive formats for the rest of 2020.
Databites: https://datasociety.net/library/design-justice/
Network Power Hours: https://datasociety.net/library/community-and-accessibility-online/

EFF
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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/list?type=event

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/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PHYSICAL WORLD EVENTS

POSTPONED International Open Data Conference
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New date in 2021 TBC
Nairobi, Kenya
The sixth edition of IODC will be hosted by the government of Kenya with support from the OD4D Network, IDRC, and the World Bank. The conference program will be co-created with the community via an open call for proposals to ensure a diverse agenda of interactive sessions, workshops, and ancillary events. A special focus will be placed on building bridges with the broader data community, exploring how to bring the power of the newest technologies to some of the world's oldest problems, and creating new models for collaboration in order to drive social and economic value from open data in Africa and around the world.
https://opendatacon.org/

Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
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January 27-29, 2021
Brussels, Belgium
As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. Within an atmosphere of independence and mutual respect, CPDP 2021, "Enforcing Rights in a Changing World", will gather academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world to offer an arena to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends.
https://www.cpdpconferences.org/

MozFest 2021
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March 2021
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MozFest programs and events are co-created by a group of dynamic, vibrant and varied community collaborators, all working towards one goal: the opportunity for everyone to live a healthy online life.
https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/

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

Thotcon
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May 14-15, 2021
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The 11th Chicago-based Thotcon hacking conference is a non-commercial event intended to combine a top-quality information security conference with a casual and social experience.
https://thotcon.org/

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

Privacy Law Scholars 2021
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June 3-4, 2021 TBC
Washington, DC, USA
Privacy Law Scholars is a paper workshop intended to improve the quality of legal scholarship in the area of privacy. Participants submit works-in-progress for workshop discussions led by commenters on the papers.
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/bcltevents/2020-privacy-law-scholars-conference/

Digitising Early Childhood
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June 2021
Milan, Italy
Contemporary children and their parents are inventing what it is to have a digital childhood, and in doing so are introducing families, schools and policy makers to new ways of thinking, doing and being. This conference discusses and expands research trajectories through these uncertainties and aims to build bridges across the different disciplines and strands of research in this area. It will forge a new way forward and consolidate the base of what we already know, revealing what we have yet to investigate and address, and what important insights are emerging that must be taken seriously.
http://www.digitisingearlychildhood.com/2020-conference.html

CPDP LatAm 2021
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Postponed from June 23-25, 2020
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Latin America will be held in conjunction with the first Latin American Privacy Law Scholars conference and MyData's first Latin American meeting. The theme will be "Data Protection in Latin America: Democracy, Innovation, and Regulation". The organizers hope it will be a unique opportunity to bring together varied and complementary perspectives on data protection and its impact on democracy, innovation, and regulation in Latin America.
https://cpdp.lat/en/

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

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

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


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