👓 Article 13 makes it official. It’s time to embrace decentralization | Ben Werdmüller

Read Article 13 makes it official. It's time to embrace decentralization by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
Today the EU passed Articles 11 and 13 of its new Copyright Directive in a 438 to 226 vote. This has, rightly, been widely painted as a complete disaster for European internet businesses - and the internet industry as a whole. Here's the first clause of Article 13 in its entirety: Information societ...

👓 The Terrible Arguments Against the Constitutionality of the Mueller Investigation | LawFare Blog

Read The Terrible Arguments Against the Constitutionality of the Mueller Investigation (Lawfare)
There is no serious argument that Robert Mueller’s appointment violates the Constitution.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Hunt for the Golden State Killer | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Hunt for the Golden State Killer by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Paul Holes was on the verge of retirement, having never completed his decades-long mission to catch the Golden State Killer. Then he had an idea: Upload DNA evidence to a genealogy website.

On today’s episode:

• Paul Holes, an investigator in California who helped to crack the case.

Background reading:

• A spate of murders and rapes across California in the 1970s and 1980s went unsolved for decades. Then, last week, law enforcement officials arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, a former police officer.

• Investigators submitted DNA collected at a crime scene to the genealogy website GEDmatch, through which they were able to track down distant relatives of the suspect. The method has raised concerns about privacy and ethics.

A stunning story with some ingenious detective work. I worry what the potential privacy problems are off in the future, though one of the ideas here is that it actually helps protect the privacy of some individuals who are wrongly and maliciously accused and thus saves a lot of time and money.

The subtleties will be when we’re using this type of DNA evidence more frequently for lower level crimes while at the same time the technology gets increasingly cheaper to carry out.

Reply to The Indieweb privacy challenge (Webmentions, silo backfeeds, and the GDPR) by Sebastian Greger

Replied to The Indieweb privacy challenge (Webmentions, silo backfeeds, and the GDPR) by Sebastian GregerSebastian Greger (sebastiangreger.net)
Originally intended to showcase a privacy-centred implementation of emerging social web technologies – with the aim to present a solution not initially motivated by legal requirements, but as an example of privacy-aware interaction design – my “social backfeed” design process unveiled intricate challenges for Indieweb sites, both for privacy in general and legal compliance in particular.

Again Sebastian Greger has written up a well-thought-out and nuanced approach to design. Here he discusses privacy and GDPR with a wealth of research and direct personal experience in these areas. He’s definitely written something interesting which I hope sparks the beginning of a broader conversation and evaluation of our ethics.

There’s so much to think about and process here, that I’ll have to re-read and think more specifically about all the details. I hope to come back to this later to mark it up and annotate it further.

I’ve read relatively deeply about a variety of privacy issues as well as the weaponization of data and its improper use by governments and businesses to unduly influence people. For those who are unaware of this movement over the recent past, I would highly recommend Cathy O’Neil’s text Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which provides an excellent overview with a variety of examples about how the misuse of data can be devastating not just to individuals who are broadly unaware of it, but entire segments of society.

There is a lot of publicly available data we reveal via social media and much of it one might flippantly consider “data exhaust” which has little, if any inherent value by itself. Unfortunately when used in aggregate, it can reveal striking things about us which we may either not be aware of ourselves or which  we wouldn’t want to be openly known.

My brief thought here is that much like the transition from the use of smaller arms and handguns, which can kill people in relatively small numbers, to weapons like machine guns on up to nuclear weapons, which have the ability to quickly murder hundreds to millions at a time, we will have to modify some of our social norms the way we’ve modified our “war” norms over the past century. We’ll need to modify our personal social contracts so that people can still interact with each other on a direct basis without fear of larger corporations, governments, or institutions aggregating our data, processing it, and then using it against us in ways which unduly benefit them and tremendously disadvantage us as individuals, groups, or even at the level of entire societies.

In my mind, we need to protect the social glue that holds society together and improves our lives while not allowing the mass destruction of the fabric of society by large groups based on their ability to aggregate, process, and use our own data against us.

Thank you Sebastian for kicking off a broader conversation!

Disclaimer: I’m aware that in posting this to my own site that it will trigger a tacit webmention which will ping Sebastian Greger’s website. I give him permission to display any and all data he chooses from the originating web page in perpetuity, or until such time as I send a webmention either modifying or deleting the content of the originating page. I say this all with some jest, while I am really relying on the past twenty years of general social norms built up on the internet and in general society as well as the current practices of the IndieWeb movement to govern what he does with this content.

Following Casey Fiesler

Followed Casey Fiesler (Casey Fiesler)
#academia #geek Casey Fiesler is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science (and Computer Science, by courtesy) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Armed with a PhD in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech and a JD from Vanderbilt Law School, she primarily researches social computing, law, ethics, and fan communities (occasionally all at the same time).

An interesting researcher at the intersections of law, online communities, and social media.

The minimum age of criminal responsibility continues to divide opinion | The Economist

Read The minimum age of criminal responsibility continues to divide opinion by The Data Team (The Economist)

A proposal to let Philippine criminal courts try nine-year-olds has drawn sharp criticism. But in 35 American states, children of any age can be convicted and sentenced

COMMON law has long held that committing a crime requires both a prohibited act and a “mens rea”, or “guilty mind”—the criminal knowing that the act was wrong. There is no global consensus regarding the youngest age at which a child can be deemed to have such intent, and thus can be tried and convicted of a criminal offence. Ten years ago the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended an “absolute minimum” age of 12 for criminal responsibility, and urged countries “to continue to increase it to a higher age level”. The Philippines appears poised to move in the opposite direction: lawmakers there have proposed reducing the cut-off from 15 years old to nine. The bill has prompted sharp criticism both at home and abroad, and legislators are still arguing over its text.

Not long ago the Philippines earned a reputation for a relatively progressive stance on this issue. It introduced its current minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) in 2006, making it one of just 19 countries whose MACR is 15 or older. However, Rodrigo Duterte, the president, has adopted a harsh “tough-on-crime” agenda. The bill’s supporters say it would stop adult criminals from recruiting children under the age of criminal responsibility for drug-trafficking. Human-rights advocates counter that there is no evidence that this would reduce crime. Instead, says Leo Ratledge of Child Rights International Network, a British charity, it would punish victims of exploitation rather than those who exploit them.

The other members of the MACR-above-14 club are an incongruous bunch. Predictably, they include places like Norway and Sweden, which take a generally liberal approach to criminal justice. However, the top of the table is occupied by less developed countries that happen to have revised their juvenile-justice laws in recent years: in Timor-Leste and Mozambique, the MACR is now 16. Although most European states sit comfortably above the UN recommendation, there are notable exceptions. Scotland can hand out criminal records to eight-year-olds, though legislation is being mooted that will raise the minimum age limit to 12. In the rest of Britain, ten-year-olds can be tried for a crime. This British colonial legacy is reflected in the relatively low MACRs seen in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Similarly, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are among the 21 countries that set a MACR of seven, the lowest national age globally.

In some cases the law is not clear-cut. The MACR in Comoros is based on puberty. It can differ by sex (as in Iran) or type of offence (Malaysia), while Poland and France entrust the issue to judges’ discretion. Nonetheless, even a vague minimum of “puberty” provides more protection than simply having no MACR at all. Just a handful of countries have no national MACR. The most striking is the United States. Although America sets a threshold of 11 years old for federal offences, the overwhelming share of crimes are policed at the state level. And 35 out of the 50 states have not set a MACR, putting them in a club with Cuba, Malaysia (exclusively for terrorism) and Sudan (for drug offences).