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Would You Like Your Private Information to be Available on a VHS or Betamax Tape?

When I was a young child growing up in the late 1980s, my parents were lucky enough to be able to afford to have both a VHS-tape video-recorder in the living room and a Betamax tape recorder in their bedroom. This effectively meant that to me, the great video format wars weren't a decade-defining clash of technologies, but rather they consisted mainly of answering the question "in which room can I watch my favorite cartoons?". more»

Jakarta Declaration Calls on Governments to Recognize Legitimacy of Encryption

Today in Indonesia, media leaders gathered at UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day event issued the "Jakarta Declaration" calling on governments of the world to recognize the importance of a free and independent media in creating "peaceful, just and inclusive societies". The declaration calls on governments to take steps to support the freedom of the press, and, in the midst of the many actions was this statement: Recognise the legitimacy of the use of encryption and anonymisation technologies more»

New Chapter Working Groups Open Closed Doors

One thing was clear from a recent presentation by the new leaders of the SF-Bay Internet Society (ISOC) Chapter Working Groups: inclusion and collaboration will be the key to these groups' success. As Dr. Brandie Nonnecke, the Internet Governance Working Group (WG) Chair said, "We haven't yet cracked the code on what 'multistakeholder' means." But that won't stop her and Dr. Jaclyn Kerr, the Data Protection, Privacy, and Security WG Chair, from trying. more»

Understand More, Fear Less: Will G20 Be Able to Contribute to an Internet Future with a Human Face?

Last week, the G20's ministers responsible for the digital economy met in Düsseldorf to prepare this year's G20 summit, scheduled for Hamburg, July 2017. Building on important strides initiated two years ago during the G20 summit in Antalya and based on the G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative (DEDCI), which was adopted last year under the Chinese G20 presidency, the Düsseldorf meeting adopted a "G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Declaration" which also includes a "Roadmap for Digitalisation". One day before the ministerial meeting, non-state actors were invited to discuss "Policies for a Digital Future" within a so-called Multistakeholder Conference. more»

Dissecting the (Likely) Forthcoming Repeal of the FCC's Privacy Rulemaking

Last week, the House and Senate both passed a joint resolution that prevent's the new privacy rules from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from taking effect; the rules were released by the FCC last November, and would have bound Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States to a set of practices concerning the collection and sharing of data about consumers. The rules were widely heralded by consumer advocates, and several researchers in the computer science community, including myself, played a role in helping to shape aspects of the rules. more»

Human Rights and Regular Internet Users

Human rights are a topic that came up several times at the IETF meeting that just ended. There's a Human Rights Research Group that had a session with a bunch of short presentations, and the featured two talks at the plenary asking, 'Can Internet Protocols Affect Human Rights?' The second one, by David Clark of MIT, was particularly good, talking about "tussle" and how one has to design for it or else people will work around you. more»

Is Call Forwarding an "Information Service" and Why It Matters for FTC Jurisdiction

Time to brush the dust off your Computer II notebooks. Are voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding enhanced services or telecom services? Today's case: FTC v. American eVoice, Ltd... The FTC brought an action against Defendants claiming that they were engaged in cramming, adding unwanted voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding services to consumers bills to the tune of $70 million. more»

Google Claims It Fixed the Security Holes the CIA Exploited

WikiLeaks shook the internet again on March 7, 2017, by posting several thousand documents containing information about the tools the CIA allegedly used to hack, among others, Android and iOS devices. These classified files were obtained from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence, although they haven't yet been verified and a CIA official declined to comment on this incident. This isn't the first time that the U.S. government agencies were accused of crossing the line and undermining online security and civil liberties, as it's been only a year since the infamous FBI-Apple encryption dispute. It's like "1984" all over again. more»

The Internet as Weapon

One of the most striking and enduring dichotomies in the conceptualization of electronic communication networks is summed up in the phrase "the Internet as weapon." With each passing day, it seems that the strident divergence plays in the press -- the latest being Tim's lament about his "web" vision being somehow perverted. The irony is that the three challenges he identified would have been better met if he had instead pursued a career at the Little Theatre of Geneva and let SGML proceed to be implemented on OSI internets rather than refactoring it as HTML to run on DARPA internets. more»

Wikileaks, the CIA, and the Press

As you've probably read, WikiLeaks has released a trove of purported CIA documents describing their hacking tools. There's a lot more that will be learned, as people work their way through the documents. For now, though, I want to focus on something that's being misreported, possibly because of deliberately misleading text by WikiLeaks itself. Here's the text from WikiLeaks... more»