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Data Is a Toxic Asset

We can be smarter than this. We need to regulate what corporations can do with our data at every stage: collection, storage, use, resale and disposal. We can make corporate executives personally liable so they know there's a downside to taking chances. We can make the business models that involve massively surveilling people the less compelling ones, simply by making certain business practices illegal.

From Data Is a Toxic Asset - Schneier on Security

Wikimedia Foundation director resigns after uproar over “Knowledge Engine”

Earlier this month, documents related to the grant were leaked to and published by The Signpost, Wikipedia's online newspaper. In a special report, The Signpost published the 13-page grant agreement and ran an article asserting that the "Knowledge Engine" would be, contrary to statements by Jimmy Wales and other board members, some type of generalized Internet search engine. "The presentation contrasts the ideals and motivations of commercial search engines—they 'highlight paid results, track users' internet habits, sell information to marketing firms'—with those of 'Wikipedia Search', which will be private, transparent, and globally representative," wrote The Signpost. "It repeatedly stressed that "no other search engines carry these ideals."

From Wikimedia Foundation director resigns after uproar over “Knowledge Engine” | Ars Technica

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The Plan to Give Every Cellphone User Free Data

“I felt conflicted, frankly,” said Steve Song, a telecommunications policy activist. “I do think it’s problematic to have one of the largest companies in the world managing a large chunk of the world’s personal data. It’s clearly an issue that we need to be thinking about, and we don’t want to—in the name of doing something good—unintentionally do something bad by creating a de facto monopoly. At the same time, I felt that it just didn’t seem ethical to say, ‘You should just turn this service off.’”

From The Plan to Give Every Cellphone User Free Data - The Atlantic

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Sci-Hub as necessary, effective civil disobedience

Besides saving lives by making 48 million research papers accessible to patients and doctors, Sci-Hub to me signifies that the scientific community (well, admittedly, a tiny proportion of it), is starting to lose its patience and becomes ready for more revolutionary reform options. A signal that the community starts to feel that it is running out of options for evolutionary change. To me, Sci-Hub signals that publisher behavior, collectively, over the last two decades has been such a gigantic affront to scholars that civil disobedience is a justifiable escalation. Personally, I would tend to hope that Sci-Hub (and potentially following, increasingly radical measures) would signal that time has run out and that the scientific community is now ready to shift gears and embark on a more effective strategy for infrastructure reform.
Although I realize that it’s probably wishful thinking.

From bjoern.brembs.blog » Sci-Hub as necessary, effective civil disobedience

IFLA issues Statement on Right to be Forgotten

IFLA urges library professionals to participate in policy discussions about the right to be forgotten, while both supporting the right to privacy for individual citizens and assisting individuals in their searches for information.  To this effect, library professionals should:

Raise awareness among policy makers to ensure that the right to be forgotten does not apply where retaining links in search engine results is necessary for historical, statistical and research purposes; for reasons of public interest; or for the exercise of the right of freedom of expression.

From IFLA issues Statement on Right to be Forgotten

Don't Panic Making Progress On The "Going Dark" Debate

We’re not being asked to choose between security and privacy. We’re being asked to choose between less security and more security.

This trade-off isn’t new. In the mid-1990s, cryptographers argued that escrowing encryption keys with central authorities would weaken security. In 2011, cybersecurity researcher Susan Landau published her excellent book Surveillance or Security?, which deftly parsed the details of this trade-off and concluded that security is far more important. Ubiquitous encryption protects us much more from bulk surveillance than from targeted surveillance. For a variety of technical reasons, computer security is extraordinarily weak.

If a sufficiently skilled, funded, and motivated attacker wants in to your computer, they’re in. If they’re not, it’s because you’re not high enough on their priority list to bother with. Widespread encryption forces the listener – whether a foreign government, criminal, or terrorist – to target. And this hurts repressive governments much more than it hurts terrorists and criminals.

From Don't Panic Making Progress On The "Going Dark" Debate [PDF]

The dark side of big data

For now, assume that all your digital data is accessible by a single instance, say your government. In this case you provide your government with incredible control over yourself and also your relatives. A mere measurement of how defiant you are could be dangerous for you, depending on where you live. Furthermore, someone gazing at your data is not required to remain inactive. One might try to manipulate your opinion by placing solely the content on (social) media platforms that you are supposed to see.

From The dark side of big data

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Simplifying Legalese For The Internet Age

The current User Agreement is too complicated, which allows large companies to take advantage of user ignorance. What can be done to change it?

Why Alabama plans to use schools, libraries to fill broadband coverage gaps

And that's by targeting secondary education. By working with 35 school districts across the state, the Office of Broadband Development will use the Federal Communication Commission's E-rate Modernization Order, which makes it possible for schools and libraries to construct and operate their own fiber networks. The districts will make competitive bids, and if their needs qualify as more cost-effective than lit services, they can take advantage of the match-rate program.
"Through this program, if the state will help pay required match, the FCC will kick in an additional 10 percent, making it possible for schools and libraries to build and own their fiber network that is paid for up to 90 percent with federal funds," Johnson said. "This offer was made available due to the high cost of getting adequate connectivity to schools and libraries."

From Why Alabama plans to use schools, libraries to fill broadband coverage gaps - Birmingham Business Journal

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The story of Wikipedia and libraries is being rewritten around the world this week with #1Lib1Ref

Update, January 21: The story of Wikipedia and libraries is being changed, updated, improved and broadened around the world this week. Forty-four news agencies and blogs have mentioned the #1Lib1Ref campaign, which has also received support from The Internet Archive, TechConnect, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. At press time, 983 tweets use the hashtag. You can follow along with the campaign on Twitter by watching the hashtag and [email protected] Urge your local librarian(s) to join this global movement!

From Updated: the story of Wikipedia and libraries is being rewritten around the world this week with #1Lib1Ref « Wikimedia blog

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