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Bringing the ‘social’ out of the operator walled gardens

A ‘walled garden’ is the term aptly applied to the last decade of mobile operator services. And Facebook is the generic name aptly applied to the social network revolution of our times. Wikipedia defines ‘walled gardens’ as referring “to a carrier’s or service provider’s control over applications, content, and media on platforms … and restriction of convenient access to non-approved […]

December 5, 2010 · 1 comment · Commentary

Amazon and WikiLeaks – Online Speech is Only as Strong as the Weakest Intermediary

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of expression against government encroachment – but that doesn’t help if the censorship doesn’t come from the government. The controversial whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, which has begun to publish a trove of over 250,000 classified diplomatic cables, found itself kicked off of Amazon’s servers earlier this week. WikiLeaks had apparently moved from a […]

December 4, 2010 · 1 comment · Commentary

Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software

The Relevance of IT for Humanitarian Response The humanitarian response domain aims to help save lives and alleviate human suffering in responding to: i) rapid-onset natural disasters, such as tsunamis, earthquakes, and pandemics; ii) slow-onset natural disasters, such as global warming, droughts, and famine; and iii) human-instigated disasters, such as civil wars. The humanitarian response domain consists of an ecosystem […]

December 1, 2010 · 1 comment · Commentary

FTC’s New Privacy Report Endorses “Do Not Track” Mechanism to Empower Online Consumers

This morning, the Federal Trade Commission released its long-anticipated privacy report. The report is the final result of a series of FTC privacy roundtables held earlier this year that solicited comments from leading scholars, industry figures and nonprofits including EFF about the consumer privacy challenges posed by new technologies. One of the main focuses of the FTC’s report is online […]

December 1, 2010 · 1 comment · Commentary

Location, Location, Location: Three Recent Court Controversies on Cell Phone & GPS Tracking

Welcome to the 21st century, where we all carry tracking devices in our pockets and where one morning you might find an FBI-installed GPS tracking device on your car. In this age of location-based-everything, the legal question of whether or not the government has to get a search warrant based on probable cause before secretly tracking you becomes all the […]

December 1, 2010 · 1 comment · Commentary

Wikileaks: Lessons For Consumer Privacy

The website Wikileaks recently published hundreds of thousands of confidential State Department cables. These communications apparently reveal the details of conversations with, and personal impressions and assessments of, foreign leaders and diplomats. Many fear that the leak will undermine international relations in profound and unknowable ways. One of the unintended consequence of the leak, however, may be to strengthen the […]

November 29, 2010 · 0 comments · Commentary