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Creating the future: Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2009

CFP logo

From conference co-chairs Cindy Southworth and Jay Stanley’s Call for presentations, tutorials, and workshops:

The 19th annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference is now accepting proposals for panels, workshop sessions, and other events.

CFP is the leading policy conference exploring the impact of the Internet, computers and communications technologies on society. It will be taking place in June 2009, just months into a brand new U.S. administration — an exciting moment in history, as we look into the future and ask, “Where do we go from here?” For more than a decade, CFP has anticipated policy trends and issues and has shaped the public debate on the future of privacy and freedom in an ever more technology-filled world. CFP focuses on topics such as freedom of speech, privacy, intellectual property, cybersecurity, telecommunications, electronic democracy, digital rights and responsibilities, and the future of technologies and their implications.

We are requesting proposals and ideas for panels, plenaries, debates, keynote speakers, and other sessions that will address these and related topics and how we can shape public policy and the public debate on these topics as we create the future.

More information, and a link to the submission form, here.  The submission deadline is December 19 January 23.

CFP has always been a meeting ground for different perspectives: academics, privacy advocates, corporate types, government, activists, and at times hackers and students.  The quality of presentations is high, and there’s a good mix between big names and “not the usual suspects”.   Washington DC, six months into a new administration that’s being described as “the first internet presidency”, with privacy and civil liberties issues on the table … it should be a particularly good year!

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Petitions are soooooo 20th century

I set up a petition here, and I’ll be sending the comments onward to John Podesta and Michael Strautmanis of the Obama transition team.

— Matt Stoller, Larry Summers At Treasury: A Fox in the Henhouse, OpenLeft

The first two replies to Matt’s post were

JoelN: Is it still possible to start new ‘MyBO’ groups?

Oly: I would like to see the netroots take up the anti-Summers cause as we took up the anti-Bayh cause.

When I made a similar suggestion later on Thursday in another thread, Matt responded by banning me.    Continue Reading »

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Oxdown Gazette: some initial reactions

oxdown gazette logo

cross-posted on Oxdown Gazette

The conversation in the blogosphere is — I sincerely hope — about to change.

— Jane Hamsher, And the Big Announcement Is…, Firedoglake, July 2008

I’ve spent a bunch of time at Firedoglake’s Oxdown Gazette this last week, regularly checking the home page and recommended stories, commenting here and there, as well as making eight posts of my own starting with Hiiii (waves) — enough to form some definite impressions.   So I thought it would be interesting to share them and see what others have to say.

Different people are on Oxdown for different reasons; so let me start with a bit about my perspective.   I’m currently engaging in a lot of online activism while working on a book about social networks (professional bio here).  I started my blog Liminal States last year with a goal of mashing up discussions about computer security and software engineering, social networks, politics, critical theory, psytrance, and personal stuff.  As an activist, though, it’s important to have a base in the progressive blogosphere as well; with Get FISA Right, for example, OpenLeft played a critical role.   My style is very collaborative, and a community-oriented site like Oxdown has a lot of appeal; and so for the Voter Suppression Wiki I decided to experiment with cross-posting there as well as Pam’s House Blend.
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Berkman Center researcher publishes 1700 students’ Facebook data: “We did not consult w/ privacy experts on how to do this, but we did think long and hard ….”

facebook logoI think I’ll let others tell the story for me …

September 25:

In collaboration with Harvard sociology graduate students Kevin Lewis and Marco Gonzalez, and with UCLA professor Andreas Wimmer and Harvard professor Nicholas Christakis, Berkman Fellow Jason Kaufman has made available a first wave of Facebook.com data through the Dataverse Network Project.

The dataset comprises machine-readable files of virtually all the information posted on approximately 1,700 FB profiles by an entire cohort of students at an anonymous, northeastern American university.

Tastes, Ties, and Time: Facebook data release, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University

September 29:

The “non-identifiability” of such a dataset is up for debate….  According to the authors, the collection of the dataset was approved by the IRB, Facebook and the individual college.  The dissemination of the dataset appears to be approved by the IRB.

Facebook Datasets and Private Chrome, Fred Stutzman, Unit Structures

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A One Million Strong Facebook moneybomb!

I posted an earlier draft of this on October 4.

One Million Strong's fundraising goalThe Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack) Facebook group is in the midst of its October moneybomb to scare McCain fundraising drive, with a goal of raising $15K by October 15th to push the group’s total to $40K.  It’s an ambitious goal; while the group has over 760,000 members (up 40,000 since the last time I checked a few weeks ago), nobody knows how many follow the discussion board actively.  So please, if you’re an Obama supporter, get involved and help out!

As calibration, here’s how some well-know progressive blogs did with their September fundraising.  It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, because they’re raising money for Congressional elections, but it’s still a real eye-opener.   (See the first comment for details and sources.)

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Ask Facebook to de-friend Ted Ullyot!

cross-posted at the Oxdown Gazette

Logo for anti-Ullyot Facebook groupThe L.A. Times’ Tech blog* is reporting that Ted Ullyot — a former chief of staff to former AG Alberto Gonzales, a former AOL in-house lawyer and a former Kirkland & Ellis partner — is moving to San Fran to take the top legal job at Facebook.

Facebook Sends Ted Ullyot a Friend Request, Dan Slater, Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

And just in case you were wondering:

As for his stint in the Bush administration, that was something he had long sought and something for which he remains grateful, Ullyot said. Despite the politically charged high drama, he said: “I have nothing but good to say about it.”

Facebook hires general counsel as it continues to grow, Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times Technology blog

Unsurprisingly, there’s a protest group: We demand that facebook fire Alberto Gonzales’ right-hand man, Ted Ullyot.  283 members and counting.

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A One Million Strong Facebook moneybomb (DRAFT)

revised and updated version to be published during the week of 10/6

One Million Strong's fundraising goal

It seems to me that it’s a pretty interesting story that One Million Strong now has fundraising potential on roughly the same level as well-known progressive blogs OpenLeft and myDD — especially in an election where there’s been so much focus on Obama supporters “looking like Facebook”, the campaign’s innovative use of the my.barackobama.com social network site, and Obama’s huge advantage with the youth vote. Hopefully some enterprising bloggers and journalists will cover it.  Campus newspapers are an obvious sweet spot; and so are Obama-supporting blogospheres like the black blogosphere and progressive blogosphere.

Read on for more …

The Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack) Facebook group is in the midst of its October moneybomb to scare McCain fundraising drive, with a goal of raising $15K by October 15th to push the group’s total to $40K.  It’s an ambitious goal; while the group has over 760,000 members (up 40,000 since the last time I checked a few weeks ago), nobody knows how many follow the discussion board actively.

As calibration, here’s how some well-know progressive blogs did with their September fundraising:

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No blank check for Wall Street: It’s not over

originally posted on Pam’s House Blend

no blank check for Wall Street logoDebbie Stone: Do you think it’s over?
Mike Tobacco: Yeah, sure.– the final lines from Killer Klowns from Outer Space, right before it becomes clear that no, it’s not over

Ah well.  After Monday’s brief shining moment of resistance from the House, the politics of business as usual asserted themselves.  With the aid of “sweeteners” (aka bribes) to bring holdouts on board, relentless arm-twisting from both parties leadership, and the sense even among skeptics that something needs to be done today, the bailout bill passed the House today.

Will the bailout bill as currently constructed work to stop the crisis? Most economists, even a lot of those like Roubini and Krugman who support the bill’s passage under the “better than nothing” theory, are skeptical — and so am I. I guess we’ll know in a few months, if not sooner. Which means that we should expect some major restructuring of the bill as things move forward.

And if as expected much of the money flows directly to the pockets of major shareholders and Wall Street executives, will Congress act to restrict profiteering? Lehman’s already handed out $2.5 billion in bonuses, and according to the Treasury’s reassuring conference call with financial institutions, the “restrictions” on executive compensation will be easy to evade. Again, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

One way or another, the fight for Wall Street accountability is far from over.

What next for No blank check for Wall Street? There are a few important things to do at this point:

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No blank check for Wall Street: announcing “an open letter to Congress”

No blank check for Wall Street is a group of people demanding accountability for Wall Street for its role in the 2008 financial crisis. We welcome those who oppose a bailout as well as those support a bailout with accountability.  Please see our website for more.  Our Facebook page and #nobailout on twitter are the best ways to follow events.  For earlier posts in this series, please see Jon Pincus’ page on Pam’s House Blend.  Help get the word out!

Executive summary

Partnering with MixedInk, we’re going to be working on two open letter on the Wall Street bailout

  • http://mixedink.com/letter_to_congress/no_blank_check_for_wallstreet/ is addressed to Congress, with our recommendations for legislation, to be delivered this week — so please get involved now!
  • next, we’ll write a follow-on letter to the presidential candidates, with our reactions to any legislation that’s passed and thoughts about next steps, and deliver it on October 14 — the day before the presidential debate on domestic policy.

As we make progress on the letters, we’ll be using Facebook as well as other mechanisms to make sure that politicians hear our feedback.  We think they’ll listen.

Please get involved — and please help get the word out about No blank check for Wall Street!

Details:

As An Assessment of Bailout Bill Options from a Former Congressional Staffer on Naked Capitalism (ooh!) makes abundantly clear, there’s no good way to predict what will happen next with the Wall Street crisis.  In the short term, the ball’s in Congress’ hands: the next vote’s expected Thursday or Friday, and public support for a bailout is dropping.  Even if some legislation passes, that doesn’t mean the crisis or the discussions are over — an obvious next milestone is the upcoming Presidential debate on the economy, and there’s talk about a lame-duck session of Congress in December.  Looks like No blank check for Wall Street might be around for a while.  I hope the web stays up.

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No blank check for Wall Street: Send a message to Congress!

The $700 billion dollar bailout legislation will result in a huge expense to taxpayers — with all the benefits going to corporations and large stockholders. Most economists  think that this plan will fail to address the underlying issues that caused the crisis. And there are many other issues for concern in the bill, such as whether the mechanism to prevent excess compensation will actually work in practice.

There’s no excuse for Congress to repeat the folly of the Patriot Act and pass half-baked legislation that creates huge problems for our country. Let’s send a mesasge to Congress: rather than allowing the decision to be driven by politics, false urgency from the Bush Administration, and Wall Street greed, we should take the time to have a full debate, making sure to include the input from economists AND consumer advocates … and make sure we’re not giving a blank check to Wall Street.

Here’s how you can help.

If you’re on Facebook:

  1. Sign up as a fan and watch your “updates” for what’s next
  2. reply to the No blank check for Wall Street thread on Nancy Pelosi’s profile
  3. share this link with your Facebook friends, and ask them to reply — and to forward it to THEIR friends

If you’re not on Facebook:

  1. sign up for our annoucement email list and check your email for what’s next!
  2. email this information to your friends, and ask them to help
  3. phone or email your legislators and tell them how you feel

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No blank check to Wall Street: Call to action!

No blank check for Wall Street is a multi-partisan group of people demanding accountability for Wall Street for its role in the 2008 financial crisis. We welcome those who oppose a bailout as well as those support a bailout with accountability.  Please see our website for more.  Our Facebook feed is the best way to track what’s happening; updates on the campaign’s progress in the first comment.

Also posted on Pam’s House Blend

Enough feeling powerless as a “crisis” spurs the government to talk about taking $700 billion out of taxpayers’ pockets with no oversight!  I know there are a lot of people out there who are just as angry as I am. So let’s do something about it.

A couple days ago, I launched the No blank check for Wall Street activism campaign by creating a Facebook page and a web site. The goal of our campaign is to send politicians a strong message:

  • Wall Street firms and executives should be held accountable, and should not be allowed to profit from misdeeds
  • Any government spending or loan guarantees to Wall Street as part of a recovery package must not be a blank check; it must involve meaningful oversight, accountability, and fair compensation to taxpayers.

To start with, we’ll give politicians feedback directly on their Facebook pages with a wall-writing campaign. (If you’re not on Facebook, don’t worry, there are still ways for you to get involved.)  Most politicians’ Facebook pages are usually fairly quiet. When they start seeing 10, 20, 50, 100 messages a day, all letting them know that we don’t want a blank check for Wall Street, they’ll take notice — and so will the media.

Here’s how you can help:

  • most importantly: let your friends and family know – by email, text, twitter, IM, or phone.  feel free to cut-and-paste as much of this as you want!
  • If you’re on Facebook: sign up as a fan and start writing on walls
  • If you know somebody on Facebook: please forward them the link and ask them to join us
  • If you blog: please mention No blank check for Wall Street and link to the Facebook page and our wiki

Now’s the time to act. Please join us!

jon

PS: the easiest ways to stay in touch are via our Facebook feed or our announcements email list. And if you’re on other social network sites instead (Yahoo!, MySpace, SecondLife, YouTube), stay tuned: we might do something there as well.

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No blank check for Wall Street! (DRAFT)

DRAFT!

Final version posted on OpenLeft and Pam’s House Blend

Executive Summary: please check out the No blank check for Wall Street Facebook page, add yourself as a fan, let your friends know, and blog about it.

How to help:

If you’re on Facebook, it takes next to no time to sign up as a fan.  While you’re at it, please post a link to wherever you’re reading this to your profile, and share it with your friends; and maybe even write a note about it.

If you’re on other social network sites, please check the current list.  If you don’t see your site, please help out by starting up a No blank check for Wall Street! page there as well.

If you’re a blogger or journalist, why not cover this as an emerging story?  If it pans out, you’ll have a scoop.  When you get a chance, please add your article to the coverage page.

And if you use email, please send mail to your friends and ask them to join!

Details:

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