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Monica B

879 days ago
Rebecca T Fellows Hour about Fellows Program, 6.23.15
Premise: Ford wants a document showcasing Berkman’s fellows program as a model of a successful program.
Mainly focused on past 4-5 years, and focused on what is working now?
More qualitative; like a case study, not data report
Q: How would you define success as a fellow?
Matthew Battles: Opportunity to learn from a diversity of backgrounds, disciplines, and perspectives and skillsets. That cornucopia has been key to the success for me. I've particularly enjoyed learning from attorneys, an extraordinary immersion in a kind of discourse I haven't participated in.
Ellery Biddle: I know a lot of thought goes into the composition of how people play off of each other, and that's huge and hard to know.  It's a mysterious process that clearly has a big part of why that works.
Kit Walsh: Connections mean you're situated going forward outside of the center.  The benefit continues.
Jack C Jack: Berkman Friends feels continuous with the in-person fellow relationships
Rebecca T Malavika: Not overengineered.  Not polices.  Treated like adults.  Incentivizes you to make your own success.
Q: It is sufficiently engineered?
Nathan Freitas: Not consistent because it's what we make of it.  I'm happy with that, because I'll make a lot out of it.
Matthew Battles: The nature of the support is unique to this fellowship program.  I wonder how it works.  On one hand, this is distinct from other fellowship programs here at Harvard, where there is a stipend attached.  It's striking how entrepreneurial the Berkman program has been throughout its life without that support.  But the community and the sense of community, of fellows, of staff - the sense of community is a very strong one, and that's different from other fellowship programs too.  It's a strength that could be marbled; could be hard to unpack.
David W Andrew Lowenthal:   The flip side of the marbling is the Hierarchy of participation - who gets to participate. 
Rebecca T Matthew: have to wonder who can't be a part of this.  What is this community missing because there's no support for a certain set of cohorts that can't take the time and don't have the support to be hacking in this way.
David W Hasit: I was a joint fellow at Nieman. Nieman is very regimented. Events and things you are expected to do. I think I learned far more here than at Nieman because I was surrounded by people in my field there. 
The regimentation isn't a good thing or bad. It is what it is. 
Rebecca T Mal: there was a tension.  If there were time conflicts, you went to other events because they were paying you.
Q: What do you think this fellowship might do for you going forward/once you leave?
David W Ellery: I wasn't part of academia before. The idea of teaching never seemed like a realist possibility, and it does now.
Rebecca T Matthew: Consistently exciting is the infusion into the academy for people who are not career academics, and it's super healthy.  Excites me to see people coming from the outside.
Nathan Freitas: ITP had being an adjunct professor.  I prefer this model, because I had no time to associate with others there because I was teaching for no money.  I got to teach and got to have the title, which was great, but with Berkman it's been more of a retreat/meditation time to reflect.  There are different ways to bring industry into academia, and this is a good model.  Berkman doesn't feel like a drag on me.  I don't need a stipend because it's an energizing thing.
Mal: Lots of the tools and techniques we take for granted being here seem revolutionary outside of here.  It's a measure of success, where I feel I"m adding to a conversation now in ways I maybe didn't before. Hackpads, hackathons, breakout groups.I think it's just the mindset and the way you approach problem 
Hasit: it opens doors.  If you can say you come from a place like this that has a strong reputation, it helps.
Emy T Emy: Being able to participate in an academic community but not as an academic has been very valuable.  Berkman has provided me the intellectual space for me to put my policy and program experience into context of the field of Internet policy and digital inclusion.
Rebecca T Question: to what extent do you think the harvardness of Berkman makes it a success.
Kit: it helps the program take more risks.  HArvard has room to take the risks; if you're starting a new fellows program you may have more anxiety.
Mal: I say I'm at Berkman, not Harvard.  It doesn't sound like you're bragging.
Sandra: Many times people don't know Berkman, but they do know Harvard, so you can use that.  
Emy T Emy: Frankly, I don't know if Dept of Commerce would have let me work remotely and reduce my hours if the fellowship wasn't situated in Harvard or similar level academic institution.  I appreciate that the fellowship includes practitioners as well as academics.
David W Matthew: 
Andrew: It's not necessarily that people are turning up for the brad bt because they know the other people who are there. It does it a much easier ride than another fellows program. 
Matthew: There have been people reluctant to come beecause of the Harvard name and who don't want to be associated with Harvard.
Ellery: Or people who feel they don't belong. With GV, there are people who come to me from the community and say theat what were doing is cool and they wish they could do it. They feel it's for a different sort of person.
Rebecca T Nathan F: The people who have been here and the things that have been done here, stuff that's important for me and my community.  Humblebragging! s As a critique, I will say that I thought that more people would be around more often.  I've seen less of those types of people than I've thought.
David W Becca: Have you reached out to those people and have they turned you away?
NF: They haven't turned me away. But the abstract impression of Berkman is different from the reality.
Sands F: The expectations of which projects ...I've heard rumors outside of Harvard that Berkman is tending toward policy and governance and thus isn't as diverse as it used to be. I've heard people say they're not into governance so they wouldn't fit here The degree to which we exude certain types of focus afects who shows up here.
Mal: If you look at the success of the program itself, one of the greatest succeses is how many copycat institutions it's generated. I sometimes wonder idf Berkman is still #1. I keep coming back to JZ: We either do A which we're best at, or C where we take a risk. But we don't do B which other people are doing well. So the greatest success of Berkam is it's greatest competition.
Ellery: For our class (2014) the intro to Berkman wasn't very tight.  "Everyone who's part of the Berkman community is coming togeth and we'll be in the smae room and they'll be some big talks." But so much of the experience is social. Everone who knows one another are happy to see each other but the new kids didn't get a strong enough introduction to that. I was an interen some years prior so I knew more people, but I heard it from others in my class. "I don't know anyone."
Tatiana Indina: For a Russian being part of the B community is huge. It is a great honor. At the same time it's a challenge for people comeing from far away since the fellowship has different dimensions. E.g., some fellows get funding, some don't. Some are here all the time, some not. This creates a hierarchy that is especially difficult for people coming from far away. We were very happy to have a p2p grant with our center.  It's great we have tools for long-distance participating but that doesn't work as well for networking. Even email threads don
't help achieving that goal.
TI: Also, it's great to have different people from different fields. AT the same time, it's a challenge. Coming from a different background and studying a very specific topic it was hard to integrate it into the rest of Berkman. My culture was very culturally specific. There was no clear mechanism for how to participate in a dialogue. It's the same challenge as at any international conference. I don't know what could help. Maybe facilitating more for different cultural viewpoints and lines of research. We may be discussing something that doesn't exist in my country, or I'm talking something that exists only in my country. From one side people studying different things is a great thing, and on the other it can be hard connect. 
Rebecca T Mal: The network of centers is something that does a really good job.  Brings to bear multiple views etc - scale and diversity of things across the world I haven't seen other places do.
Sandra: Others may have/be coming from existing communities (such as the Network of Centers and Digitally Connected) where people find support. There are many ways people are working to integrate people who are outside of these things.
matthew B: opportunity to shape this.  SHape and texture of the conversation  - do more work as a community to express that we are a university wide center.  Growth on that into other spaces has been slow.  Opportunity to invite others.
David W Tatiana: The model is that Berkman is a self-organized community. Fellows are expected to organize themselves to make things happen. Many cultures are not familiar with those environments. You're used to being more regulated. Also the lack of networks. HArd to overcome this.  Would be helpful to have help doing this.
Rebecca T Q: Are people satisfied with their ability to interact across their particular areas of interest?
David W Ellery: vWillow and I have talked about doing a little more on Fellows Hours. We have missed opportunities just to hear what people are doing, just let someone talk for 20 mins. You could always just put up your hand and do it, but somehow it didn't happen. It could use a little kick. A half hour to talk about this.
Sands: The ten min talks...
NF: We did a speed dating thing +1
Andrew: It comes down to managing scale. The community has grown but maybe not the infrastructure to support it. If you're going to be at this scale, the infrastructural requirement grows. You can self-organize to a degree. But there's a line at which it becomes unrealistic. How much does the Center want to put into supporting the community. Where do we want to scale this to and where's the sweet spot? Balancing initiative 
Emy T Emy: Yes, I'd like to hear more about what people are working on and give them the chance to go in-depth, i.e. allocate at least an hour for them to talk.
Monica B Feedback from ceiling: As a remote participant, I found colleagues were very open to collaboration -- mostly people I've met in the ceiling.
Rebecca T q: how important have the working groups/self-organized groups been?
David W Jack: Angry Tech has been important to our experience. Coming back to acadmeic,s having a place to dip my toes into those waters was important. 
914 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Monica B 914 days ago
Monica B Personalized learning
In light of the proposed Student Digital Privacy and Parent Rights Act  (Messer and Polis), discussion of obsession over data, its value, and the practical realities of promised benefits. 
921 days ago
Tim D Focused conversations on Internet Policy issues 
Willow B
  • Surviellance
Tim D
  • Legislative change to authorize surveillance
  • There is a history of combatting Surveillance
Willow B
  • There has been legalized / legistimized surveillance for ages, especially for marginalized communities such as welfare mothers and those in low income housing.
Tim D
  • There are more services in the market for surveillance: there are more cameras out there than ever before
  • Information doesn't exist in a silo - not just what government is doing now, about what might happen in future.
  • Legislative bodies not even aware of all the information they should have
  • Surveillance doesn't work at catching "baddies"
Willow B
  • This sort of surveillence is new.
Tim D
  • Surveillance is a long-standing problem
  • SORM System - all Russian companies required by law to install surveillance equipment 
Willow B
  • Terrorism/fear of terrorism is a major legitimizer
  • Multi-national campaign to de-legitimize anonymity is part of legitimizing mass surveillance.
  • Attempts to get rid of encryption wholesale
  • Cryptowar is back
Tim D
  • Security cameras are not neccessarily secure - easily accessible
  • The risks are not only from government
  • Public discussion of surveillance and immigration not linked 
Willow B
  • Surviellance is asymmetrical. It now extends to more people than it did previously.
  • There is transnational collaboration amongst secret services. "we don't spy on our own citizens" but there's exchanging of data
Tim D
  • There is much more surveillaince in the workplace, and is now considered to be part of the employment contract -- at least in the U.S. 
  • Most controversial articles of Marco Civil is Article 15 -stating that logs must be kept for period of 6 months for ISPs
  • Data retention was ruled illegal in EU because unlimited, but as limited length - it can be allow, and reasonable
Willow B
  • Network effects are a thing.
  • Small staff in UK to combat this.
Willow B Question:
  • What is the history of surveillance for immigrant populations?
How do we feel about this?
Tim D
  • I feel like lighting everything on fire
Willow B
  • Critical time (esp in Europe) where many deicisons are being made which will be diffiult to overturn, rather than to prevent. IF ONLY WE HAD AN OPERATING PUBLIC SPACE. 
  • Wherever you go, there might be cameras! Careful about what we say and do.
  • Creative acts of disobedience
  • Using the cameras as product placement for street vendors in Brazil
  • Concern that retroactively there has been protection of intelligence agencies. Legislation ends up providing cover rather than regulating.
Tim D
  • Sigh
Willow B
  • Short term has been terrible. Longer term (Church) is better.
  • ACLU against Clapper ruled that collection of phone data not ok. After ~35 times approved by intelligence court.
  • Excitement of review of Patriot Act! And people care! Holy shit!
  • Average folk don't internalize the fear like folk around this table do.
  • We have some victories, seeing oversight balance. Are we in the 1% corner, or balancing things out 50/50?
  • Don't know how to fight this from a minority position.
  • Do you see this as irrevocably linked to a liberal/conservative divide?
  • The Right goes for this straight away, at least in the UK
  • In the US, the Libertarians are the ones saying this sucks.
  • Seeing a lot of internet governance in resonance with the left, a shift to the radical left.
Tim D
  • Sense of hopelessness and disenfranchisement - growing belief that people can't change anything any more anyway
  • There are things we can learn from the communities who have been under surveillance a lot longer than we have: low income mothers, etc. people with ways of fighting from a minority position.
Willow B What does our gut reaction tell us?
Tim D
  • Really glad all these agencies suck at analysis
  • There are opportunities to learn from other country contexts & other local contexts
Willow B
  • We can only see links and clues when looking back
Tim D
  • What you are leaning to do - and what is easier and harder - scan, improve access and analysis. 
  • Let's record everything now, and lets work out what/how to access later
Willow B
  • Need alternative narratives, and we don't have those.
  • People do have legitimate security fears.
  • What happens when/if mass surveillance does start working well?
  • Should incorporate rights at its heart.
Tim D
  • Germany: Boston bombing prevented in Frankfurt. 
What can we do?
Luis R
  • Workshopping anti-surveillance technology
Willow B
  • Is there some way of getting oversights? Surveillance should be more open! Transparency on what is going on. National Security shouldn't be a bracket when you have open government and Freedom of Information
  • Get better at encryption / increase the cost of surveillance!
Luis R
  • Attend to "cultural protocols" and question different understandings of openness, transparency, and privacy:
  • that is, bring up different cultural understandings of what personhood is and what is the nature of social ties (what can/should be preserved and kept private, what is in the realm of the public? the differences are striking across cultures...) 
Willow B
  • Visualization of cell phone data to show the depth and breadth of data
  • Show it's not just government, it's also companies that have all that data
Tim D
  • Not cut corners in disaster and humanitarian response: don't use look at the data, ask people what is going on. 
  • Identifying personal principles of non-surveillance
  • Walk away from certain situations: government monitoring of funded projects
  • Sharing different organisational styles across borders: how are these different from model in other countries, and how could they be imitated? 
Willow B
  • Find individuals who can financially support!
Tim D
  • Other issues
1) Taking advantage of transparency for anti-corruption: but keeping reforms going, too +1
2) China: the great firewall as a tool of attack+3
3) Building out a balkanised Internet in Tanzania/Africa +1
4) Changing Massachusetts public records law+2
5) Patriot act expiry
7) European privacy legislaition
8) Anti-stress laws +3
9) Biometrics for election
11) Open standards in (UK | Brazil) +3
12) Transnational institutions and multi-stakeholder governance +1
13) Federal student data privacy act
Willow B
  • China: the great firewall as a tool of attack
Tim D
  • For many years - maybe 20 years - China has blocked outgoing traffic to websites it does not want citizens to read
Willow B
  • JZ's work was in figuring out what was being blocked (VPN, see what works and what doesn't).
948 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Monica B 948 days ago
 The future of the internet is when it becomes "natural" and ubiquitous.

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