Tech-n-law-ogy

Pelosi Clashes With Facebook and Twitter Over Video Posted by Trump

The video isn’t legally actionable and shouldn’t be taken down, said Jonathan Zittrain, but Facebook and Twitter should probably label the video.

“It’s important for social media sites that have massive reach to make and enforce policies concerning manipulated content, rather than abdicating all responsibility.”

Read more from The New York Times and find more of Zittrain’s thoughts on the BKC Medium Collection 

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Why We Need a Federal Privacy Law

Mutale Nkonde spoke to Coindesk about surveillance capitalism and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA):  

I really like the California law because it's so ambitious. Even if it's eventually attacked by that legislature, you're starting from a really strong place. You never want to make something weak initially and then try to make it stronger because that's just not the way corporate lobbyists work.”

Read more from Coindesk

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A World Without Privacy Will Revive the Masquerade

As the growing scale of facial recognition shows, more data can always be extracted.

“The barrel of privacy invasion has no bottom. The rallying cry for privacy should begin with the strangely heartening fact that it can always get worse. Even now there’s something yet to lose, something often worth fiercely defending,” says Jonathan Zittrain.

Read more from The Atlantic

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

ICE now uses cellphone location data to help arrest immigrants

Dragana Kaurin speaks to the problems that arise when law enforcement uses location data:

“Even though they say it’s anonymous, when compiling different datasets together it gives you a very detailed picture of who you are, better than even you have,” Kaurin said. “This data can be used to discriminate against people by race, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation or class.” 

Read more on Recode from Vox

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A Tale of Two (Small) Victories

What do BIPA and SyRI-related developments tell us about the future of privacy? Elizabeth Renieris weighs in on two recent privacy victories that light a path forward in an otherwise dark digital future. 

“The emerging case law shows us that we don’t need #ownyourdata campaigns or fancy data-as-property proposals to preserve our privacy, dignity, and autonomy. Rather, we need our lawful institutions to apply decades-old laws and principles to new and emerging technologies through an unchanging lens of our shared humanity.”

Read more on Medium

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Coronavirus Rumor Mill Rampant With Bogus News

For those who want help finding out what’s true when it comes to the coronavirus, BKC affiliate Mary Minow says public libraries are a great resource. Librarians—reachable in person, via the internet, or by phone—are trained to help people sift through information for reliable sources.

Librarians remain “highly trusted in this era of nobody trusting anyone,” Minow says. “The trick is the more anxious you are, the less likely you are to pause and say, ‘Oh, could this be true?’ especially if it’s something you already believe.”

Read more from WebMD

 

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The Paradoxes of Network Neutralities

Russell Newman joins Jasmine McNealy to dicuss his book, The Paradoxes of Network Neutralities (MIT Press, 2019), which sets out to provide an explication of the debates surrounding network neutrality.

Listen to the New Books in Technology Podcast

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Le « blackface », une hypocrisie française

Early January, French internet users vehemently denounced a video posted on social networks that showed an African-themed party with a host in blackface and a guest dressed as a monkey, that involved employees of the French company Le Slip Francais. An analysis of the French media reaction to the multiplication of these digital controversies shows that journalists fail to understand and address the racist nature of these "performances" and always re-orientate the debate toward freedom of expression, responsibility of the companies, or the alleged ignorance of the protagonists. This lack of proper understanding often associated with a limited dialogue with communities of color prevents from going further the emotional response and resolve the issue on a long term perspective. 

Read more online from Jeune Afrique (in French) or click here for a PDF of the article

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'Wake-up call': Iowa caucus disinformation serves as warning about 2020 election

The specificity of both Twitter and Facebook’s rules around disinformation leave room for known disinformation agents to work during elections, said Joan Donovan.

"The fact that a known disinformation operation enjoyed hyper-engagement on Facebook shows that Facebook has not been able to stop the weaponization of their product by those with some well-placed resources.”

Read more from NBC News

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Intersection of Race and Technology

BKC fellow Mutale Nkonde joined Sunday Civics to discuss disinformation targeted towards Black communities.

Listen to the podcast

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Who Needs the Russians?

Don’t blame shadowy foreign hackers for the chaos in Iowa. Blame Shadow’s caucus app, says faculty associate Zeynep Tufekci.

”If the Russians were responsible for this confusion and disarray, that might be a relatively easy problem to fix. This is worse.”

Read more on The Atlantic

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Q&A: Misinformation and Coronavirus

We asked members of Berkman Klein’s Misinformation Working Group their thoughts about misinformation and the virus.

“Pandemics reasonably create fear, which can be capitalized upon by actors seeking to sensationalize the pandemic,” says Assembly: Disinformation staff fellow Oumou Ly.

Read more on Medium

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Coronavirus misinformation surges, fueled by clout chasers

Joan Donovan and Natalie Gyenes spoke to NBC News about the coronavirus and misinformation. 

“Just as platforms have provided the capacity to mobilize massive crowds, it also scales scams and fake charities in ways that the public falls prey to,” said Donovan. “We’ve seen similar attempts at keyword squatting by influencers using ecological crises and other significant events to raise money for themselves.”

Nat Gyenes said public health officials and organizations will have to compete harder if they’re to outpace misinformation.

"If authorities like the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aren't the Instagram, Twitter or TikTok accounts that people source for information about the coronavirus outbreak, the entities they encounter may do more harm than good," Gyenes said.

Read more from NBC News

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Inside the Assembly Student Fellowship

Zenzele Best, Program Coordinator for Assembly: Disinformation, offers an inside look at the Assembly Student Fellowship.

“The fall semester of the Assembly Student Fellowship was focused on getting students up to speed on the fast-moving field of disinformation studies, and identifying appropriately scoped problems or questions that might form the basis for projects. Professor Jonathan Zittrain kicked off a yearlong seminar series with a crucial level-setting session for Student Fellows, diving deep into terminology and discussing how rapidly evolving political and social contexts shape disinformation campaigns on digital platforms.”

Read more on Medium

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Here's why the UK is (finally) dumping Article 13 for good

The UK had plenty of opportunities to veto the controversial EU copyright legislation, so why did it wait so long to torpedo Article 13?

The move amounts to a somewhat bizarre U-turn, as the UK was among the 19 nations that initially supported the law, back in a European Council vote in April 2019. It had every opportunity to stop the directive at the time, says Julia Reda. “As has quite often happened in the Brexit debate, you get the impression that EU legislation just falls from the sky and is imposed on the British people,” she says. “But that's not the case – the UK has always been a very powerful player in the EU, due to its size, and it would have been able to simply block the adoption of the copyright directive.”

Read more on Wired UK

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Facebook announces new details about independent oversight board for content moderation

evelyn douek weighed in on the upsides and shortcomings drawbacks of Facebook‘s new content moderation policy. 

“While it’s unacceptable to be having completely unaccountable and private entities making decisions, we also don’t want governments having their hands all over it. … So the oversight board is a new model for handling this.”

Read more on Vox, Reuters, and Lawfare

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Facebook, Google and Twitter scramble to stop misinformation about coronavirus

Joan Donovan spoke to The Washington Post about the coronavirus and misinformation:

“We’re in a low information zone. Scientists have been looking at this, but there isn’t a ton of well marked patterns around how this particular virus spreads,” said Donovan.

Read more from The Washington Post

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How Web 3 can use Google-like tactics to keep users

A new product claims that it offers a way for companies to send in-app notifications while maintaining user privacy. Elizabeth Renieris warns that this may be “rebuilding what blockchain set out to disrupt.”

Read more in Decrypt

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Which Tech Companies Are Doing the Most Harm?

Mutale Nkonde joined Slate's technology podcast What Next: TBD to discuss Alphabet and inherent bias.

“You can effectively use Google products in every single area  of your life, and the underlying algorithms are going to have problems of bias not because Google is a terrible company or the computer scientists are racist, it’s just the fact that they are using societal data and our data has inherent biases.”

Listen to the podcast from Slate

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Google and Microsoft shouldn’t decide how technology is regulated

Jessica Fjeld, lead author of the recent BKC report Principled Artificial Intelligence, warns that giving too much credence to Big Tech is like “asking the fox for guidance on henhouse security procedures.”`

“AI principles are a map that should be on the table as regulators around the world draw up their next steps. However, even a perfect map doesn’t make the journey for you,” writes Fjeld. “At some point—and soon—policymakers need to set out the real-world implementations that will ensure that the power of AI technology reinforces the best, and not the worst, in humanity.”

Read more in Fast Company

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