Bookmarked Interoperable Facebook (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

What if Facebook – and the other tech giants – were simply less important to your life? What if you had lots of choices about how you and the people you care about could communicate with each other?

In a video and paper, Cory Doctorow unpacks how an interoperable Facebook might work. He does this by unpacking four scenarios:

– Notifying contacts that you are leaving Facebook
– Blocking content from particular federated servers
– Blocking objectionable material from Facebook that it allows, but your network does not
– Posting material that Facebook prohibits

What excites me about the world that Doctorow imagines in this paper is the control and nuance over such things as feeds. Personally, I would be just grateful to be able to follow updates from sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin via a feed, rather than having to log in.

Liked How to Change Your Off-Facebook Activity Settings (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to not only “clear” the off-Facebook activity already linked with your account, but also to prevent future activity from being associated with your account going forward. Note that this won’t stop third parties from sending Facebook information about you—it will only stop Facebook from associating that information with your account.

Bookmarked Schools Are Pushing the Boundaries of Surveillance Technologies (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Surveillance does not equal safety; it undermines student trust in their learning environments, isn’t effective at keeping them safe, and reinforces systemic injustice. Schools need to slam the brakes and think about what kind of dystopia they’re creating for their students. 

Mona Wang and Geenie Gebhart discuss the increase of surveillance technology in schools. This is often used in the name of safety, however the authors suggest education is being “made a testbed for mass surveillance with no evidence, and no way to opt out.”

Ever since I have been in education, there have been applications to support surveillance. I think what has changed is their breadth and reach. Where the applications providing ability to view screens was restricted to the computer lab, the rise of portable devices and cloud computing has made such surveillance more doable.

Although focusing on data, Ben Williamson provides his own take on the current climate within education:

Bookmarked In serving big company interests, copyright is in crisis (Boing Boing)

One of the biggest problems with copyright in the digital era is that we expect people who aren’t in the entertainment industry to understand and abide by its rules: it’s no more realistic to expect a casual reader to understand and abide by a long, technical copyright license in order to enjoy a novel than it is to expect a parent to understand securities law before they pay their kid’s allowance.

Cory Doctorow provides a summary of a range of incidents that have led to copyright to being in a point of crisis.
Bookmarked There are now four competing visions of the internet. How should they be governed? (World Economic Forum)

As countries begin to think about how to regulate cross-border e-commerce in the future, they have found their work complicated by competing visions of what the internet is, and what it is for.

Kieron O’Hara outlines four (plus one) visions for the internet from the perspective of e-commerce:

  1. Silicon Valley
  2. Beijing’s paternal internet
  3. Brussels’ bourgeois internet
  4. Washington DC’s commercial internet

And a bonus one, Moscow mule model.

It is interesting thinking about this after the EU’s recent decision to sign off the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive. Casey Newton proposes that there may come a time when we may need digital passports.

Liked EFF Presents Cory Doctorow’s Science Fiction Story About Our Jailbreaking Petition to the Copyright Office (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Now it was Brian’s turn to say “No way” but Alanna wouldn’t budge. The only way she was going to trust a camera in her house from then on was if she knew that anyone was free to read its code and tell her what it was doing. She couldn’t reprogram it herself, but she also couldn’t do her own brain surgery, and she could trust the peer-reviewed, open process that designed the procedures they’d use if that day ever came.

“It’s not brain surgery, Brian,” she said, as she downloaded the code.

Liked Federal Judge Says Embedding a Tweet Can Be Copyright Infringement (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Rejecting years of settled precedent, a federal court in New York has ruled [PDF] that you could infringe copyright simply by embedding a tweet in a web page. Even worse, the logic of the ruling applies to all in-line linking, not just embedding tweets. If adopted by other courts, this legally and technically misguided decision would threaten millions of ordinary Internet users with infringement liability.