Posts Categorized / Internet

CFP: Internet Research 14: Resistance and Appropriation (Denver, October 2013)

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Events, Internet     Comments 6 Comments
Dec
5

The 14th Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) is being held 24-27 October 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The full call for papers is below. See you there!

Call for Papers
Internet Research 14.0: Resistance and Appropriation
24-27 October 2013
Denver, USA

Internet Research 14.0 will focus on the theme of Resistance and Appropriation. Many people think of the internet and related technologies as basic infrastructure — a field for everyday life. But this ignores the processes through which we decide to use the internet, and the complex relationships between social practices and technologies. We invite contributions that help us to understand these processes and relationships. The conference organizers particularly invite explorations of how people, alone or together, choose to use these technologies in ways other than their most commonly accepted uses.

To this end, we call for papers, panel and pre-conference workshop proposals from any discipline, methodology, community or a combination of them that address the conference themes, including, but not limited to, papers that intersect and/or interconnect with the following:

* The internet, technology and social movements
* Appropriation of content and infrastructure
* Reconfiguring meaning
* Reconfiguring participation
* The political economy of social-technical practice
* User-centered/originated design
* User appropriation and repurposing
* Contention, cooperation and organization
* Digital media artists

Sessions at the conference will be established that specifically address the conference themes, and we welcome innovative, exciting, and unexpected takes on those themes. We also welcome submissions on topics that address social, cultural, political, legal, aesthetic, economic, and/or philosophical aspects of the internet beyond the conference themes. In all cases, we welcome disciplinary and interdisciplinary submissions as well as international collaborations from both AoIR and non-AoIR members.

SUBMISSIONS

We seek proposals for several different kinds of contributions. As in the past, we welcome proposals for traditional academic conference PAPERS, organized PANEL PROPOSALS that present a coherent group of papers on a single theme, as well as PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS which focus on a particular topic. We also invite proposals that will focus on discussion and interaction among conference delegates. A common form of this type is the ROUNDTABLE SESSION, but we would also like to encourage other formats, such as OPEN FISHBOWL SESSIONS. (See the Wikipedia entry under ìFishbowl (conversation)î for a description of this format. Fishbowl sessions should cover broad topics of interest to a wide segment of the AoIR community.)

DEADLINES

Submissions Due: March 1, 2013 (Papers, Panels and Pre-Workshops. Details below)

Notification: May 31, 2013

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

All papers and presentations will be evaluated in a standard double-blind peer review, with the exception of Roundtable/Fishbowl, Ignite, and Preconferences, which will include the names of presenters and organizers as part of the refereeing process.

Format

SHORT PAPERS (individual or multi-author) – Minimum 1000 words, 1200 word maximum not including bibliography. Papers should include:

- Description/summary of the workís intellectual merit with respect to its findings, its relation to extant research and its broader impacts.

- A description of the methodological approach or the theoretical underpinnings informing the research inquiry.

- Conclusions or discussion of findings.

- Bibliography of work cited.

PANEL PROPOSALS – submit a description of 600-800 words on the panel theme, plus the SHORT PAPER for each presentation. The panel organizer must assemble these materials for submission.

ROUNDTABLE and FISHBOWL PROPOSALS – submit a statement indicating the nature of the discussion and form of interaction, and listing initial participants. (In the case of a fishbowl proposal, this will include the name of the moderator, and the names of the first four speakers for the fishbowl.)

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS – please submit all workshop proposals via email to Lynn Schofield Clark: ir14sitechair@aoir.org

Workshop proposals should include names of presenters, and a 1,000-word description.

IGNITE-IR presentation: Ignite is a high-energy five-minute plenary presentation format (see http://igniteshow.com/). Please submit a proposal via http://bit.ly/ignite-ir14 no later than August 1, 2013.

Papers, presentations and panels will be selected from the submitted proposals on the basis of multiple blind peer review, coordinated and overseen by the Program Chair. Each individual may present only one paper during the conference, though they may be listed as a co-author on multiple papers. In addition to this one presentation, they may also appear on a panel, roundtable, or performance.

PUBLICATION OF SHORT AND EXTENDED PAPERS

All Short Papers accepted for presentation will be published in the Selected Papers of Internet Research(http://spir.aoir.org). In addition, selected extended papers from the conference will be invited to appear in a special annual AoIR issue of Information, Communication & Society (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rics20/current). Authors selected for submission for this issue will be contacted prior to the conference.

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

On October 23, 2013, there will be a limited number of pre-conference workshops and symposia that will provide participants with in-depth, hands-on and/or creative opportunities. We invite proposals for these pre-conference workshops. Local presenters are encouraged to propose workshops that will invite visiting researchers into their labs or studios or locales. Proposals should be no more than 1000 words, and should clearly outline the purpose, methodology, structure, costs, equipment and minimal attendance required, as well as explaining its relevance to the conference as a whole. Proposals will be accepted if they demonstrate that the workshop will add significantly to the overall program in terms of thematic depth, hands on experience, or local opportunities for scholarly or artistic connections. These proposals and all inquiries regarding pre-conference proposals should be submitted as soon as possible to both the Conference Chair and Program Chair and no later than March 1, 2013.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Program Chair: Hector Postigo, Media Studies and Production, School of Media and Communication, Temple University. ir14programchair@aoir.org

Conference Chair: Lynn Schofield Clark, School of Communication, University of Denver. ir14sitechair@aoir.org

Information Society Series Book: The Digital Rights Movement

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Law & Policy, Internet, Publications     Comments 1 Comment
Oct
16

I’m very pleased to announce that the fourth book in the MIT Press “Information Society Series” I am co-editing with Laura DeNardis has been released:

The Digital Rights Movement: The Role of Technology in Subverting Digital Copyright
Hector Postigo

The movement against restrictive digital copyright protection arose largely in response to the excesses of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. In The Digital Rights Movement, Hector Postigo shows that what began as an assertion of consumer rights to digital content has become something broader: a movement concerned not just with consumers and gadgets but with cultural ownership. Increasingly stringent laws and technological measures are more than incoveniences; they lock up access to our “cultural commons.”

Postigo describes the legislative history of the DMCA and how policy “blind spots” produced a law at odds with existing and emerging consumer practices. Yet the DMCA established a political and legal rationale brought to bear on digital media, the Internet, and other new technologies. Drawing on social movement theory and science and technology studies, Postigo presents case studies of resistance to increased control over digital media, describing a host of tactics that range from hacking to lobbying.

Postigo discusses the movement’s new, user-centered conception of “fair use” that seeks to legitimize noncommercial personal and creative uses such as copying legitimately purchased content and remixing music and video tracks. He introduces the concept of technological resistance–when hackers and users design and deploy technologies that allows access to digital content despite technological protection mechanisms–as the flip side to the technological enforcement represented by digital copy protection and a crucial tactic for the movement.

About the Author

Hector Postigo is Associate Professor in the Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Mass Media in the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University.

Congrats, Hector!

International Symposium on Internet Ethics presentation: "Internet Ethics Issues and Action in the United States"

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Events, Information Ethics, Internet     Comments No Comments
Sep
6

Next week I will be a featured speaker at the first “International Symposium on Internet Ethics” hosted by the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and Korea Society of Internet Ethics (KSIE).

Alongside other international representatives, I will be presenting a talk on “Internet Ethics Issues and Action in the United States,” where I outline a set of core set of Internet ethics issues related to privacy, property, content, and security.

The full presentation is below.

Values in Design of Future Internet Architecture

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Internet, Values In Design     Comments No Comments
Apr
19

A central theme in much of my research and advocacy is ensuring attention to ethical values becomes an integral part of the conception, design, and development of information systems. Various frameworks have been developed to help pursue this goal (ie, value-sensitive design, values at play, critical technical practice), which can collectively be termed Values-In-Design (VID). Broadly, VID seeks to broaden the criteria for judging the quality of technological systems to include the advancement of moral and human values, and to proactively influence the design of technologies to account for such values during the conception and design process. VID has been a motivating factor in my research on vehicle safety communication technologies, Web search engine privacy practices, and book digitization projects, just to name a few examples, and my commitment to achieving VID has also lead to explorations of some of its challenges (here and here).

For the next few days I will be participating in a project aiming to apply the VID perspective to future Internet architecture (FIA) design eforts: the Values-In-Design Council.

The National Science Foundation has recently funded multiple projects to envision and  pursue new ways to build a “more trustworthy and robust Internet.” As described by the NSF:

The four basic research and system design projects funded under FIA explore different dimensions of the network architecture design space and emphasize different visions of future networks. NSF anticipates that the teams will explore new directions and a diverse range of research thrusts within their research agenda but also work together to enhance and possibly integrate architectural thinking, concepts and components, paving the way to a comprehensive trustworthy network architecture of the future.

The four FIA projects are described in more detail here.

Along with these technical projects, the NSF has also funded the creation of the Values-in-Design Council, a multi-disciplinary team of experts in the social analysis of digital information technologies, led by Helen Nissenbaum, who are tasked to work alongside the recipients of the FIA technical grants. As described by Nissenbaum:

Council members will serve as analysts and consultants to the FIA projects, helping to identify junctures in the design process in which values-critical technical decisions arise; locating design parameters and variations that differentially call into play relevant values; for and with respective projects, developing rich conceptual understandings of relevant values; for and with project investigators, operationalizing values to enable transition from values conceptions into design features; with FIA investigators, examining the interplay of values embodied in design with respective values embodied in law and policy; and where possible, verifying values in design through prototyping, user testing and other empirical analyses.

The full list of VID Council members is here.

At this week’s meeting, hosted by Colorado State University’s Computer Science Department, each of the four project teams will provide an update of their work, and then discussion will focus on this set of questions:

Who are the service providers in your architecture, and what is the resulting provider ecosystem? (Some of the FIA architecture seem to presume a provider ecosystem similar to today: a connected set of packet forwarders. Some presume other services related to carriage, such as storage providers. )

  • What is the incentive of each of these actors to enter into their line of business? Where would your architecture require payments among actors to sustain viability?

Options for control: which actors can influence the behavior of a transfer?

  • Does your architecture provide user control over aspects of service selection: routes, service qualities, or providers of support service (e.g. like DNS in today’s Internet)?
  • To what extent does your architecture support or resist the goals of those who wish to control access to classes of information (e.g. governments, rights-holders). How does this position influence the balance of power in your network, and its viability? Which actors have the ability (or perhaps the easy ability) to block communication among willing end-points?
  • IP addresses accidentally turned out to be scarce resources, for no good reason. What features of your architecture might turn out to be “scarce resources” or resources over which some potentially powerful actor could exercise control?
  • Do you have hierarchies with single points of control at the root? Is there information you share with partners that has to be signed by a trusted third party?
  • Are there policies that you have explicitly embedded in your design?

What is the range of services that the system provides to the higher layers?

  • Compared to today’s Internet, would you expect the same sort of commercial entities at the higher layers?
  • For example, (especially in the context of those architectures that emphasize information retrieval), would you imagine that there would be CDNs operating on top of your architecture?
  • Does your architecture provide an API that defines the service interface of your system?

Interfaces among providers

  • What types of information is expected to be exchanged between providers?  This goes beyond packet forwarding to include:
    • Routing information
    • Naming information (e.g. DNS zone transfers)
    • An interconnection agreement between providers in today’s Internet may have Service Level Requirements, or specify aspects of routing policies (cold potato, hot potato).  What would you expect to find in inter-provider agreements in your architecture?
    • To what extent do services provided to higher levels (see above) require negotiation or cooperation among the various actors that make up the overall network?
    • What mechanisms does your architecture provide for negotiation among service providers?
    • What range of functions are supported by the protocols and mechanisms that hook them together?
    • Operators are sometimes worried about all getting together to solve operational issues. It is hard to do and looks like anti-trust. What are the “top five” aspects of your architecture that require operational coordination?

Market forces and regulation

  • To what extent does your proposal facilitate or limit the use of competition as a discipline on the market?
  • If regulation were proposed to require some sort of non-discriminatory access or “network neutrality”, what might that mean in your design? Where might forms of discriminatory service emerge?

Evolvability

  • How does your architecture allow innovation and the migration to new mechanisms?
  • Which sorts of evolution seem to require global coordination, like the migration to IPv6 today?

Trust, isolation and availability

  • What sorts of trust assumptions does your design make about the various actors that make up the ecosystem?
  • Does your architecture provide means for instrumentation or data-gathering? What sorts of data? Internal structure of the network, usage, routes, outages, etc?
  • To what extent does your architecture include tools to detect that actors are not functioning properly? Which actors have access to these tools?
  • How do your options for control allow different actors to respond to actors that are not trustworthy or mis-functioning?
  • Availability often implies “extra” or “diverse” resources. Does your architecture depend on resources that are otherwise under-utilized to achieve high availability. Is economics a barrier to a high-availability network? Both within a region and across regions, does your design allow the operator to trade off explicitly between cost and availability/resilience?

Implicit in these questions are various ethical concerns, including: autonomy, access, freedom from bias, control, and trust. I’m excited about the conversations that will unfold over the next couple of days, and will provide public reflections here as appropriate.

Information Society Series Book: The Reputation Society

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Internet, Privacy, Publications     Comments No Comments
Jan
24

I’m very pleased to announce that the third book in the MIT Press “Information Society Series” I am co-editing with Laura DeNardis has been released:

Reputation SocietyThe Reputation Society: How Online Opinions Are Reshaping the Offline World
Edited by Hassan Masum and Mark Tovey
Foreword by Craig Newmark

In making decisions, we often seek advice. Online, we check Amazon recommendations, eBay vendors’ histories, TripAdvisor ratings, and even our elected representatives’ voting records. These online reputation systems serve as filters for information overload. In this book, experts discuss the benefits and risks of such online tools.

The contributors offer expert perspectives that range from philanthropy and open access to science and law, addressing reputation systems in theory and practice. Properly designed reputation systems, they argue, have the potential to create a “reputation society,” reshaping society for the better by promoting accountability through the mediated judgments of billions of people. Effective design can also steer systems away from the pitfalls of online opinion sharing by motivating truth-telling, protecting personal privacy, and discouraging digital vigilantism.

About the Editors

Hassan Masum is a policy and technology strategist and Affiliate Researcher at the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation at the University of Waterloo.

Mark Tovey is an Affiliate Researcher at the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation at the University of Waterloo. He is the editor of Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace.

This book was inspired by the “Symposium on Reputation Economies in Cyberspace” I helped organize at the Yale Information Society Project in 2007, and I’m excited to see the results of that event finally get published.

I’m also happy to note that I co-authored one the chapters in the volume with Anthony Hoffmann, a PhD student at UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. Our contribution is titled, “Privacy, Context, and Oversharing: Reputational Challenges in a Web 2.0 World“:

When personal information is shared online, it may spread farther and faster than expected or inappropriately push intimate details to near-strangers. Zimmer and Hoffmann address the twin risks of information spreading beyond its intended context and the oversharing of personal information.

You can purchase the book at Amazon, etc. Enjoy!

CFP: Internet Research 13.0: Technologies (2012 – Salford, UK)

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Events, Internet     Comments No Comments
Dec
22

The 13th Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) is being held 
October 18-21, 2012 in Salford (Greater Manchester) UK. The full call for papers is below:

IR.13 - TechnologyCall for Papers

Internet Research 13.0: Technologies

The 13th Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)

October 18-21, 2012

MediaCity:UK – University of Salford
Salford – Greater Manchester – UK

Internet Research 13.0 will focus on the theme of technologies, understood in the broadest sense as crafts, techniques, and systems. The conference will examine the place of the Internet in the contemporary world and in relation to a range of existing and emerging technologies, considering its impact in a context where life is entangled with technologies of all kinds as never before. The conference will bring together scholars, researchers, students and practitioners from many disciplines to map and situate the development of the Internet as part of the history of human technology.

To this end, we call for papers, panel and pre-conference workshop proposals from any discipline, methodology, community or a combination of them that address the conference themes, including, but not limited to, papers that intersect and/or interconnect with the following:

  • the speed and acceleration of technological change
  • 
the past, present and future of technology
  • emerging and converging technologies
  • educational technology
  • cultures of crafting
  • connectivity and access
  • space, location and mobile technologies
  • technology, networks and attachments
  • 
technology and the body
  • 
technologies of the self
  • technology, regulation and ethics

Sessions at the conference will be established that specifically address the conference themes, and we welcome innovative, exciting, and unexpected takes on those themes. We also welcome submissions on topics that address social, cultural, political, legal, aesthetic, economic, and/or philosophical aspects of the internet beyond the conference themes. In all cases, we welcome disciplinary and interdisciplinary submissions as well as international collaborations from both AoIR and non-AoIR members.

Submissions

We seek proposals for several different kinds of contributions. As in the past, we welcome proposals for traditional academic conference PAPERS, organized PANEL PROPOSALS that present a coherent group of papers on a single theme, as well as PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS which focus on a particular topic. We also invite proposals that will focus on discussion and interaction among conference delegates. A common form of this type is the ROUNDTABLE SESSION, but we would also like to encourage other formats, such as OPEN FISHBOWL SESSIONS. (See the Wikipedia entry under “Fishbowl (conversation)” for a description of this format. Fishbowl sessions should cover broad topics of interest to a wide segment of the AoIR community.) Finally, we invite short 5-minute talks on topics of interest to the community as part of our Ignite-IR panels. Please see below for more information on this format.

Deadlines

  • 

Submissions Due: 1 March 2012 (Papers, Panels and Pre-Workshops. Details below.)
  NOTE: The submission deadline is a HARD DEADLINE; there will be NO extensions to this date.
  • Notification: 1 May 2012
  • Full Papers Submissions Due for inclusion in Selected Papers of IR: 1 July 2012
  • Ignite-IR Final Proposal Deadline: 1 August 2012
  • Ignite-IR Slides Due: 15 September 2012

Submission Requirements

  • All papers and presentations will be evaluated in a standard blind peer review.
  • PAPERS (individual or multi-author) – submit abstract of 600-800 words
  • PANEL PROPOSALS – submit a description of 600-800 words on the panel theme, plus a 250-500 word abstract for each paper or presentation. The panel organizer must assemble these materials for submission
  • ROUNDTABLE and FISHBOWL PROPOSALS – submit a statement indicating the nature of the discussion and form of interaction, and listing initial participants. (In the case of a fishbowl proposal, this will include the name of the moderator, and the names of the first four speakers for the fishbowl.)
  • PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS – please submit all workshop proposals via email to atwood@aoir.org. Workshop proposals should include names of presenters and a 1,000-word description.
  • IGNITE-IR – please submit a one-paragraph abstract and other information. Details at http://ir13.aoir.org/ignite-ir

Papers, presentations and panels will be selected from the submitted proposals on the basis of multiple blind peer review, coordinated and overseen by the Program Chair. Each individual may present only one paper during the conference, though they may be listed as a co-author on multiple papers. In addition to this one presentation, they may also appear on a panel, roundtable, or performance. The exception is the Ignite-IR lightening talk, which may be in addition to any other presentations.

Publication of Papers

Full papers submitted by the 1 July 2012 deadline will undergo review to be published in an open-access, online collection, Selected Papers of Internet Research (ISSN 2162-3317). A template and guidelines for preparing your final paper are available on the conference website (http://ir13.aoir.org/papers)

Selected papers from the conference will alternatively be published in a special issue of the journal Information, Communication & Society. Authors selected for submission for this issue will be contacted prior to the conference.

Pre-conference Workshops

On 18 October 2012, there will be a limited number of pre-conference workshops and symposia that will provide participants with in-depth, hands-on and/or creative opportunities. We invite proposals for these pre-conference workshops. Local presenters are encouraged to propose workshops that will invite visiting researchers into their labs or studios or locales. Proposals should be no more than 1,000 words, and should clearly outline the purpose, methodology, structure, costs, equipment and minimal attendance required, as well as explaining its relevance to the conference as a whole. Proposals will be accepted if they demonstrate that the workshop will add significantly to the overall program in terms of thematic depth, hands on experience, or local opportunities for scholarly or artistic connections. These proposals and all inquiries regarding pre-conference proposals should be submitted as soon as possible to both the program chair (atwood@aoir.org) and no later than 1 March 2012.

Contact Information

Program Chair: Feona Attwood, Communication, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. email: attwood@aoir.org

Local Conference Chair: Ben Light, School of Media, Music, and Performance, University of Salford, UK. email: light@aoir.org

Preview of Association of Internet Researchers IR.12 Conference

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Events, Internet     Comments No Comments
Oct
7

I’m looking forward to spending next week in Seattle, WA for the for the Association of Internet Researchers conference, Internet Research 12.0 – Performance and Participation. (Full program is available here)

Monday, Elizabeth Buchanan and I are convening a doctoral colloquium, bringing together over thirty young scholars to discuss their dissertation research with a collection of notable Internet researchers. It should be a stimulating — and hopefully fruitful — day.

Tuesday the main conference kicks off, featuring a new format for AoIR: Ignite presentations. An “Ignite” presentation is a structured, high-energy, short talk in which you share your passion and creative ideas about internet research. Like pecha-kucha, Ignite is formed around a formalism: you must create a “deck” of 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. This represents a radical departure from the traditional paper presentation, and is focused on telling an enlightening story, making an argument, and inciting an audience to come to your way of thinking and action. Nick Proferes, a 2nd year SOIS PhD student, is slated to kick off the ignite sessions with a very clever presentation of his on-going research into how issues of research ethics are discussed on the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) mailing list. I saw a preview of Nick’s talk — it will be very entertaining.

Wednesday, I’m moderating a privacy panel, featuring these excellent papers:

Information Movements in Networked Spaces: A Model of Networked Private and Public Spaces
Beth Patin, Jeff Hemsley, Karine Nahon
University of Washington, United States of America

Seeing Surveillance in the Cloud: Both Sides for the Moment
David J. Phillips, Karen Pollock, Michael Murphy
U Toronto, Canada

Social Networking & Young Adults in the U.S.: Participation, Privacy, and (Mis)Perceptions
Heidi A. McKee, Hillary Oberpeul, Amy Wilkins, Francis Kazungu
Miami University, United States of America

I also will be attending various sessions on technology & resistance, the Wisconsin labor protests, and, of course, just catching up with many old friends.

And while in Seattle, I’ll be taking in the Battlestar Galactica exhibit at the EMP museum. I also might or might not be spending some time at Tavern Law.

Hope to see many of you there!

Information Society Series Book: Opening Standards – The Global Politics of Interoperability

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Law & Policy, Internet, Publications     Comments No Comments
Sep
13

I’m very pleased to announce that the second book in the MIT Press “Information Society Series” I am co-editing with Laura DeNardis has been released:

Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability
Edited by Laura DeNardis
September 2011

Openness is not a given on the Internet. Technical standards–the underlying architecture that enables interoperability among hardware and software from different manufacturers–increasingly control individual freedom and the pace of innovation in technology markets. Heated battles rage over the very definition of “openness” and what constitutes an open standard in information and communication technologies. In Opening Standards, experts from industry, academia, and public policy explore just what is at stake in these controversies, considering both economic and political implications of open standards. The book examines the effect of open standards on innovation, on the relationship between interoperability and public policy (and if government has a responsibility to promote open standards), and on intellectual property rights in standardization–an issue at the heart of current global controversies. Finally, Opening Standards recommends a framework for defining openness in twenty-first-century information infrastructures.

Contributors discuss such topics as how to reflect the public interest in the private standards-setting process; why open standards have a beneficial effect on competition and Internet freedom; the effects of intellectual property rights on standards openness; and how to define standard, open standard, and software interoperability.

About the Editor

Laura DeNardis is Associate Professor in the School of Communication at American University. She is the author of Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance (MIT Press, 2009) and a Fellow at the Yale Information Society Project at Yale Law School.

You can purchase the book at Amazon, etc. Enjoy!

Firefox 5 Adds Cross-Platform "Do Not Track", and Puts it in Privacy Tab

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Internet, Privacy, Values In Design     Comments No Comments
Jun
21

A few months ago Mozilla released Firefox 4, which featured an important “Do Not Track” function which informs websites and advertisers whether you wish to have your activity monitored and collected for behavioral targeting purposes. The problem, however, was that Firefox essentially buried the option, forcing users to stumble upon it on the “Advanced” tab of their preference, rather than the more logical “Privacy” tab.

I had spoken with a high level Mozilla rep (will remain nameless since I didn’t receive confirmation that I could publish the conversation in full) after the release of version 4 about this important design flaw, and the person told me they were up against hard deadlines to get the feature included in version 4, and didn’t have time to tweak the preferences GUI. The representative agreed this was “less than ideal” and promised that the entire privacy panel would be “revamped” in future releases.

Today, Mozilla has released version 5 of its popular browser, and they have kept their promise. In this new version, the option to turn on “Do Not Track” is rightfully located at the very top of the “Privacy” tab in the preferences panel:

(Another notable enhancement is that the Do Not Track feature now works across platforms.)

I’m glad to see that Mozilla is paying attention and (finally) recognizing that these design decisions matter.

In Opposition to Defunding WISCNET and other Internet Connectivity Programs

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Ethics, Information Law & Policy, Internet     Comments No Comments
Jun
13

Last week, the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) passed a budget omnibus motion that affects the entire University of Wisconsin system. Sections 23-26 of the budget measure includes new telecommunication rules that would have extraordinarily negative ramifications, particularly for providing affordable Internet connectivity in support of research collaborations and education at universities, school, libraries and other public institutions statewide.

As Ars Technica summarizes:

[At] the urging of Wisconsin’s state telecommunications association, Republican legislators have introduced an omnibus bill that would sever WiscNet from the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Division of Informational Technology, and bar it from taking any money from UW.

The proposed law even goes so far as to prohibit UW from taking National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA) broadband stimulus grants, or joining any entity that offers broadband to the general public.

These measures would force UW to return an estimated $39 million in such funds to Washington, DC, warned Tony Evers, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, last week. And they would force schools to turn to Badgernet, Wisconsin’s state wide-area-network, which depends heavily on AT&T as its primary vendor.

Today, individual members of the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies community has joined the chorus of voices speaking out against this bill. A PDF of the letter is here, and the full text is below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Zimmer, michael.zimmer@gmail.com

Dear members of the State Legislature:

As library and information science students, scholars, professionals, and educators, we are dedicated to maximizing and defending people’s free access to information and knowledge. Given this professional and ethical obligation, the undersigned individual members of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies community urge the removal of sections 23-26 in the currently pending UW System Budget Bill.

Advanced and affordable broadband Internet networking is critical to the success of students, researchers and industry statewide. Services such as WISCNET, and related consortial connectivity projects like Internet2 and EDUCAUSE, provide vital access to information for libraries, schools, historical societies, museums, hospitals and local municipalities across Wisconsin.

The “telecommunications” section of the legislation as proposed would severely limit broadband connectivity throughout the state of Wisconsin and would cut the networked information services various libraries and educational institutions provide to the citizens of the state of Wisconsin, such as Internet access, networking and collaboration, and online education and job training. It would also prohibit the UW System from being a member of Internet2 and other nonprofit consortia focusing on connectivity and information exchange, severely limiting state educators, researchers, and learners’ ability to participate in global, national and regional research and learning development in areas from Alzheimer’s prevention to astrophysics to child development.

The passage of sections 23-26 of the UW System Budget Bill would be devastating to the State. The undersigned individual members of the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies community strongly urge the legislature to remove these sections form the bill, and to support WISCNET and other connectivity initiatives that provide vital access to information in support of the State’s educational and economic development.

Signed,

(Signees are writing in their personal capacity, not as representatives of UW-Milwaukee or the School of Information Studies. Titles and affiliations are for identification purposes only, and imply no institutional endorsements.)

  • Liza Barry-Kessler, Doctoral Student
  • Edward Benoit III, Doctoral Student
  • Katie Blank, Assoc. Special Librarian
  • Dave Bloom, Researcher
  • Raina Bloom, Lecturer
  • Amy Cooper Cary, Director, Archival Studies Program
  • Karen Davies, Assistant Professor
  • Alexandra Dimitroff, Associate Professor
  • Melodie Fox, Doctoral Student
  • Thomas Haigh, Associate Professor
  • Rebecca Hall, Web Development & Marketing Coordinator
  • Catherine Hansen, Lecturer & Director, Professional Development Institute
  • Anthony Hoffmann, Doctoral Student
  • Adam Hudson, Lecturer
  • Jessica Hutchings, Graduate Advisor
  • Dick Kawooya, Senior Lecturer
  • Margaret Kipp, Assistant Professor
  • Sharon Lake, Graduate Advisor
  • Joyce M. Latham, Assistant Professor, Co-Director, Center for Information Policy Research, Coordinator, Public Library Leadership Program
  • Peter J Lor, Visiting Professor
  • Marta Magnuson, Doctoral Student
  • Jeremy Mauger, Doctoral Student
  • Steven Miller, Senior Lecturer
  • Robert Nunez, Web Developer & Graduate Student
  • Wihelm Peekhaus, Post-doctoral Research Associate
  • Nick Proferes, Doctoral Student
  • Angela Sadowsky, Undergraduate Advisor
  • Betsy Schoeller, Lecturer & Distance Education Coordinator
  • Jim Schultz, Information Technology Specialist & Graduate Student
  • James Sweetland, Professor Emeritus
  • Gabriella Tato, Marketing Media Assistant
  • Thomas D. Walker, Associate Professor
  • Mary Wepking, Senior Lecturer & School Library Media Coordinator
  • Bonnie Withers, Lecturer
  • Iris Xie, Professor
  • Chad Zahrt, Assistant Dean
  • Michael Zimmer, Assistant Professor & Co-Director, Center for Information Policy Research