Of Interest

  • Remember That Time We Saved the Internet?

    My Twitter feed tells me that today is the fifth anniversary of the day the Internet “went dark” in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). For anyone who needs a reminder, SOPA and PIPA were pieces of copyright legislation touted by their proponents as necessary to prevent online piracy and to protect U.S. jobs in the film, television, and music industries.

  • How FamilyTreeNow Makes Stalking Easy

    Date published: 
    January 17, 2017

    "Companies rarely get in trouble if someone the uses personal information they sell in an unauthorized way, creating a “Wild West” where data brokers and people-search engines aren’t closely regulated, says Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and the author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace. “There are businesses that from low to high, small to big, that don’t care about FCRA,” Citron said. “They are scofflaws.”

  • American Spies - Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, And What to Do About It (Past Event)

    February 8, 2017
    Stanford Law School

    US intelligence agencies - the eponymous American spies - are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance. Written for a general audience by a surveillance law expert, this book educates readers about how the reality of modern surveillance differs from popular understanding.

  • Digital Impact; Policy and Practice for the Non-profit Sector in 2017

    In this digital day and age we’re grappling with questions like:

    • What are the key digital policy issues that matter to nonprofits in 2017?
    • What are the most pressing challenges to nonprofits and activists?
    • What should nonprofits, foundations and community activists know about? How can they get involved? And what should they be doing to keep themselves and their communities safe?

    This event will help inform and open a conversation on this topic with our audience of foundation and nonprofit leaders, students, philanthropists and more.


  • Tool Without a Handle: "Trustworthy Tools"

    “Tool Without a Handle:  Trustworthy Tools”

    “’What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate, who did not stay for an answer.” – Francis Bacon, Of Truth (Essays, Civil and Moral (1625).

    This blog previously dealt with one flavor of “fake news”:  provocative fictions that can prompt panic and violence.  In this blog, I’ll deal with the related issue of propaganda.  My conclusion:  propaganda achieves its harmful effects by the meaning readers assign to the content.  As such, responses to propaganda should focus on the process by which readers assign meaning, and how that process leads to anxiety or anger and then, in turn, to harmful action.


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