This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
unique EU-backed €1.5 million RoboLaw Project, Salvini is managing a team of roboticists, lawyers and philosophers (yes, philosophers) from a consortium of European universities, who are working hard to come up with proposals for the laws and regulations necessary to manage emerging robotics technologies in Europe
Monday’s launch of a new think tank called DisCo that wants to educate Congress about disruptive technologies is just one of several new efforts proposed by the Internet and startup community to get their voices heard.
The decisions taken in Dubai in December have the potential to put government handcuffs on the Net. To prevent that — and keep the Internet open and free for the next generations — we need to prevent a fundamental shift in how the Internet is governed.
I encourage you to take action now: Insist that the debate about Internet governance be transparent and open to all stakeholders.
One of my favourite maxims about the role of technology in society is called Kranzberg’s first law. He argues that “technology is neither good nor bad – nor is it neutral”. It’s irresponsible to assume that the tools being built just wander out into the world with only positive effects. Technology doesn’t determine practice, but how a system is designed does matter. How systems are used also matters, even if those uses aren’t what designers intended
Most of the Internet’s problems, Cerf believes, stem from the issue of state sovereignty. The Internet was designed to ignore national boundaries. It was designed this way, Cerf says, because “it was intended to deal with a military problem”: how could soldiers exchange messages without letting their enemies know where they were? … The Internet had no center at all. With one exception. The sole centralized feature of the Internet was the Domain Name System. The United States created that system, which lives on root servers, and Americans maintained it even as the Internet started spreading… Because the D.N.S. servers are the first stop, the D.N.S. is not just the Internet’s address book. It’s also the corner post office. Whoever runs the D.N.S. system can potentially control whether your browser requests get to the proper place and thus control where you can and can’t go online.
the Internet was established on a bedrock of trust: trust that people were who they said they were, and trust that information would be handled according to existing social and legal norms. That foundation of trust crumbled as the Internet expanded. The system is now approaching a state of crisis on four main fronts. The first is sovereignty: by definition, a boundary-less system flouts geography and challenges the power of nation-states. The second is piracy and intellectual property: information wants to be free, as the hoary saying goes, but rights-holders want to be paid and protected. The third is privacy: online anonymity allows for creativity and political dissent, but it also gives cover to disruptive and criminal behavior—and much of what Internet users believe they do anonymously online can be tracked and tied to people’s real-world identities. The fourth is security: free access to an open Internet makes users vulnerable to various kinds of hacking, including corporate and government espionage, personal surveillance, the hijacking of Web traffic, and remote manipulation of computer-controlled military and industrial processes.
One thing that struck me as odd was the absence of a discussion around information quality. We face attacks that are as much about flooding the Internet with information as well as attacks that are about restricting the Internet. These different problems seem to require somewhat different approaches. I think it would make sense to discuss internet freedom and information quality at some stage, but I did not see too much of that. I.e. tools of freedom can easily be turned to tools for propaganda. And that is a hard problem. Just imagine trying to build a propagande detection algorithm
On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. …
If successful, these new regulatory proposals would upend the Internet’s flourishing regime, which has been in place since 1988. That year, delegates from 114 countries gathered in Australia to agree to a treaty that set the stage for dramatic liberalization of international telecommunications. This insulated the Internet from economic and technical regulation and quickly became the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.
Since the Net’s inception, engineers, academics, user groups and others have convened in bottom-up nongovernmental organizations to keep it operating and thriving through what is known as a “multi-stakeholder” governance model. This consensus-driven private-sector approach has been the key to the Net’s phenomenal success
Piracy is not going to be solved by the heavy hand of the law. As far as businesses should be concerned, it can only ultimately be “solved” by new business models, just as radios, record players, tape recorders, and video recorders all required media companies to figure out new ways of making money. We are not about to jump in a time machine to return to the 60s and give up the internet just because some companies can’t compete.