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September 25 2011



Ich habe daher einen Aufruf an Hochschulen aufgesetzt, der unterschrieben werden kann:

Aufruf an die Hochschulen:
Schafft kompatible dezentrale Soziale Netzwerke!

Studierende und Hochschulen hatten bislang eine Vorreiterrolle bei der Etablierung internetgestützter Sozialer Netzwerke.
Soziale Netzwerke (Facebook, Xing, StudiVZ, Google+, etc.) sind untereinander nicht in der Weise kompatibel, wie wir dies von Telefonen und E-Mails kennen.
Mit Sorgen beobachten wir eine Monopolisierung, die mit der zentralen Sammlung individueller Daten einhergeht.
Wir fordern die Hochschulen auf, dezentralisiert kompatible Soziale Netzwerke für die eigene Hochschul-Community zu etablieren und die Studierenden und Beschäftigten der Hochschule mit einem entsprechenden Zugang in der Weise auszustatten, wie sie auch bereits E-Mail-Accounts erhalten. Diese Sozialen Netzwerke sollten auf frei zugänglichen Programmen (wie bspw. Diaspora*) beruhen, die eine Kompatibilität auch über den Hochschulbereich hinaus ermöglichen.

Diesen Aufruf findet ihr hier: Aufruf an die Hochschulen


Facebook - Die Zivilgesellschaft ist gefragt | der Freitag - Blogeintrag von Andreas Kemper 2011-09-25

September 20 2011


Die anfängliche netzpolitische Aufbruchsstimmung weicht aber immer mehr einer Ernüchterung: Die vom ehemaligen Innenminister Thomas de Maizière erarbeiteten netzpolitischen Thesen wurden von seinem unterkomplex argumentierenden Nachfolger Hans-Peter Friedrich lautlos ad acta gelegt. Absurderweise sollen stattdessen jetzt ein Pseudonymisierungsverbot für Diskussionen im Internet und eine rasche Wiedereinführung der Vorratsdatenspeicherung das Internet „zivilisieren“.

Digitale Bewegung: Über den Bildschirmrand hinaus | Der Freitag 2011-09-19
Reposted bykrekk krekk

September 18 2011


After l’affaire Spitzer, readers in comments have repeatedly noted that Schneiderman had better be squeaky clean since he would be targeted by private investigators, as Spitzer clearly was. This Post “story” looks to have been the result of private investigators going after Schneiderman’s staff, with the intent of intimidating them and embarrassing and discrediting him. This report is even less specific than the one the Post filed on the maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape and clearly came from private investigators in the employ of DSK. And those sensationalistic charges, that she was a hooker, that the union had placed her in the hotel and had some sort of profit sharing arrangement, that she was turning tricks while under protective custody, all appear to have been fabrications (they initially sounded plausible because they were detailed, but the maid is suing the Post for defamation, and a source has indicated that there is no evidence that she was a prostitute).

Are Private Investigators Being Used to Intimidate New York Attorney General Schneiderman’s Staff? | naked capitalism - 2011-09-18

September 10 2011


W3C Tracking Protection Working Group - 2011-09

The Tracking Protection Working Group is chartered to improve user privacy and user control by defining mechanisms for expressing user preferences around Web tracking and for blocking or allowing Web tracking elements. The group seeks to standardize the technology and meaning of Do Not Track, and of Tracking Selection Lists.


August 30 2011

It’s official: Google wants to own your online identity

Ever since Google launched its new Google+ social network, we and others have pointed out that the search giant clearly has more in mind than just providing a nice place for people to share photos of their pets. For one thing, Google needs to tap into the “social signals” that people provide through networks like Facebook so it can improve its search results. But there’s a larger motive as well: as chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt admitted in an interview in Edinburgh over the weekend, Google is taking a hard line on the real-name issue because it sees Google+ as an “identity service” or platform on which it can build other products.

Schmidt’s comments came during an interview with Andy Carvin, the National Public Radio digital editor who has become a one-man newswire during the Arab Spring revolutions. Carvin asked the Google chairman about the company’s reasoning for pushing its real-name policies on Google+ — a policy that many have criticized (including us) because it excludes potentially valuable viewpoints that might be expressed by political dissidents and others who prefer to remain anonymous. In effect, Schmidt said Google isn’t interested in changing its policies to accommodate those kinds of users: if people want to remain anonymous, he said, then they shouldn’t use Google+.

Google+ is primarily an “identity service”

But it was the former Google CEO’s remarks about the rationale for this policy that were most interesting: He didn’t just say — as Vic Gundotra, the Google executive in charge of the new social network has — that having real names maintains a certain tone of behavior that is more preferable to anonymous forums (an argument that online-community pioneer Derek Powazek has also made). According to Carvin, Schmidt said the reason Google needs users with real names is that the company sees Google+ as the core of an identity platform it is building that can be used for other things:

He (Eric) replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information.

As Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson noted in a blog post in response to Schmidt’s comments, this is an admission by the company that it wants to be an identity gatekeeper. Others have made similar observations since the launch of Google+. Programmer and online veteran Dave Winer, for example, said when the real-name policy first started to become a hot-button issue that Google’s purpose was clearly to “provide identity in a commerce-ready way. And to give them information about what you do on the Internet, without obfuscation of pseudonyms.” In his blog post, Fred Wilson said:

It begs the question of whom Google built this service for? You or them. And the answer to why you need to use your real name in the service is because they need you to.

Real names are more valuable to advertisers

As I tried to outline in a recent GigaOM Pro research report entitled “How social search is changing the search industry” (subscription required), there’s an obvious search-related rationale for launching a social network like Google+, since indexing and mining that kind of activity can help the company provide better “social search” results. But the real-name issue has more to do with Google’s other business: namely, advertising. Users who are anonymous or pseudonymous are arguably a lot less valuable to advertisers than those who choose to attach their real identities, including their age and gender, location and other demographic details to their accounts.

What kind of services is Schmidt referring to when he says that Google is looking at Google+ as an identity platform that could support other services? Dave Winer thinks that the company wants to effectively become a bank — something he also suspects that Apple and Amazon are interested in as well — and that’s definitely a possibility. Apple and Google both seem interested in NFC technology (near-field communication), which turns mobile devices into electronic wallets, and having a social network tied to an individual user’s identity would come in handy. Ross Dawson says Google wants to build a “reputation engine” using Google+ as a platform.

Whatever its specific interests are, Google clearly sees Facebook as a competitive threat not just because it has developed a gigantic social network with hundreds of millions of devoted users, but also because it has become a kind of identity gatekeeper — with tens of millions of those devoted users happily logging into other websites and services with their Facebook credentials, thus sending Facebook valuable data about what they are doing and where they are doing it. And the ubiquitous “like” button provides even more data, something Google is also trying to mimic with its +1 buttons.

Google needs a horse in the identity race

The bottom line is that Google needs to have a horse in this identity race, and it has been unable to create one so far. The growth of Google+ provides a reason for people to create Google profiles, and that data — along with their activity on the network and through +1 buttons — goes into the vast Google cyberplex where it can be crunched and indexed and codified in a hundred different ways. And the more people who decide to do it, the better it gets, both for Google and for its advertising strategy. As the saying goes, if you’re not paying for it, then you’re the product being sold.

That’s the obvious background to the real-name issue, something Eric Schmidt has effectively confirmed with his remarks in Edinburgh. Whether users like the position that puts them in remains to be seen.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Kat B Photography

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

Reposted fromdarinrmcclure darinrmcclure

August 29 2011



(L)egal identity needs to be administrated in the online domain (which, contrary to what NSTIC and others seem to think, is not demonstrably proven), it remains that without the protections outlined in the “dotrights” campaign, the NSTIC effort is an incredibly dangerous movement for state managed identity as well as for citizens/consumers and their rights/interests. But don’t take my word for it, consider carefully the wording and implications of Mr. Messina:

“The last thing that I’ll add — which itself is controversial — is that this whole system, at least at the outset, will be voluntary and opt-in,” Messina says. “That means that if you don’t want the convenience of not having to use passwords anymore, you won’t have to. If you’re okay rotating your passwords and maintaining numerous discreet accounts across the web, that’s cool too. I don’t think a mandatory system would succeed — at least not without proving its security, stability, convenience, and utility over several years.”

I would point out that the current efforts by Google are, in fact, “entirely voluntary and opt-in”.

I would also point out that they have made it exceedingly clear that they are being driven by a yet-unexplained motivation that makes taking a “don’t like it, leave” stance attractive for Google.

I would further point out that Google’s CEO Schmidt himself stated that (paraphrasing), “Google+ is an identity service”; this is also supported by Google’s own site.

My assertions and conclusions at this point are, I think, things that you will find utterly logical:

  1. Google intends to be one (the first? the premiere? the only?) identity service for the USA.
  2. Google intends that their existing hold over users (adoption of services and products and related entrenchment thereto) be the weight brought to bear that ensures adoption rather than abandonment.
  3. Google intends that their ability to demonstrate adoption will allow them to leverage themselves, if not into the position of sole provider, then into a position of an elite few.
  4. Google intends to lobby and support our government in reaching a point of transition at which this “entirely voluntary and opt-in” identity service may become a mandatory one.
  5. Google is counting on YOUR continued use and willingness to adopt and endure any change they make to accomplish this.

Seem far fetched? Why? Messina is obviously thinking about it, the NSTIC is as well, thus Google, our Government, and who knows who else are thinking about it, too. Look at this and understand: There is not that much distance at all between Messina’s statements and the above assertions and conclusions and, frankly, that distance will close rapidly if Google is right about consumer apathy and passive adoption.


The NSTIC, you, and me (and Google?)… | BonnieNadri.Com - 2011-08-29

August 26 2011



This whole persona/pseudonym argument may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but the fact is, the forum for public discourse is no longer the town hall, or newspaper, or fliers on the street. It is here on the Internet, and it is happening in communities like this, hosted by private sector companies. Freedom of speech is not guaranteed in these places. As +Lawrence Lessig once said,"the code is the law." The code that Google applies, the rules they set up now in the software, are going to influence our right to speak out now and in the future. It is imperative that we impress upon Google the importance of providing users with the same rights (and responsibilities) as exist in the society that nurtured Google and brought about its success.

I'm going to try to summarize the discussion as I've seen it over the past few weeks. Since this is a long post (tl;dr), here's a description of what's coming so if you want, you can skip to the section that you're interested in.


Here lies the huge irony in this discussion. Persistent pseudonyms aren't ways to hide who you are. They provide a way to be who you are. You can finally talk about what you really believe; your real politics, your real problems, your real sexuality, your real family, your real self. Much of the support for "real names" comes from people who don't want to hear about controversy, but controversy is only a small part of the need for pseudonyms. For most of us, it's simply the desire to be able to talk openly about the things that matter to every one of us who uses the Internet. The desire to be judged—not by our birth, not by our sex, and not by who we work for—but by what we say.

Pseudonyms are not new to the computer age. Authors use them all the time. Our founding fathers used them. Anonymous and pseudonymous speech have been part of democratic society since its beginning. What is new is that more and more strangers, whom we have never seen and never spoken to, know our names. What is new is that a name, with just a few minor pieces of information (birthdate, friends names, employer, industry, town…) can in a few seconds provide thousands of personal details about who you are and where you live.

On Pseudonymity, Privacy and Responsibility on Google+ - TechnoSocial | 2011-07-27
Reposted bykrekkeat-slow

August 03 2011


The problem with the civility argument is that it doesn’t tell the whole story. Not only is uncivil discourse alive and well in venues with real name policies (such as Facebook), the argument willfully ignores the many voices that are silenced in the name of shutting up trolls: activists living under authoritarian regimes, whistleblowers, victims of violence, abuse, and harassment, and anyone with an unpopular or dissenting point of view that can legitimately expect to be imprisoned, beat-up, or harassed for speaking out.


via Diaspora* -
Randi Zuckerberg Runs in the Wrong Direction on Pseudonymity Online | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 2011-08-02
Reposted bykrekk krekk

August 02 2011


Eine Geschichte aus einer möglichen Zukunft: Sie sitzen in der U-Bahn einem interessanten Menschen gegenüber. Wie heißt er? Wo arbeitet er? Wofür interessiert er sich? Sie halten kurz ihr Smartphone hoch, fotografieren unauffällig das Gesicht ihres Gegenübers und nach ein paar Sekunden erscheinen auf ihrem Handy all diese Details.

Ferne Zukunft? Im Prinzip wäre das technisch schon sehr bald möglich, sagen die Forscher Alessandro Acquisti und Ralph Gross von der Carnegie Mellon University. Die Wissenschaftler haben in mehreren Experimenten Belege dafür gefunden, dass die Technik funktioniert. Es ist möglich, Menschen nahezu in Echtzeit per Software zu identifizieren - anhand von im Internet frei verfügbaren Fotos.

Acquisti und Gross stellen ihre vorläufigen Forschungsergebnisse in den kommenden Tagen vor, unter anderem auf der Black Hat Konferenz, einem der wichtigsten Treffen von IT-Sicherheitsforschern. 


Bilderkennung: Ich weiß, wer du bist | SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Netzwelt - 2011-08-02
Reposted bydigitalekulturresearchbrightbyteFreeminder23SmokeyTheBeartowserkrekkentspanndich

July 07 2011

Hyper-Public: A Symposium on Designing Privacy and Public Space in the Connected

Hyper-Public: A Symposium on Designing Privacy and Public Space in the Connected World // June 9-10, 2011 // Harvard University

Hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Technology is transforming privacy and reshaping what it means to be in public.  Our interactions—personal, professional, financial, etc.—increasingly take place online, where they are archived, searchable, and easily replicated.  Our activities in the physical worlds are digitized by the ubiquitous cameras operated by store-owners, government agencies and our friends, who post and tag pictures of us.  We share our location both deliberately, via social media updates, and inescapably, via our location-aware telephones.

Discussions of privacy often focus solely on the question of how to protect privacy.  But a thriving public sphere, whether physical or virtual, is also essential to society.  The balance of social mores and personal freedom in these spaces is what makes cooperation and collective action possible.

Design reflects a society’s beliefs about private and public life.  A city with welcoming parks, plazas and verandas expresses a public culture – and one where blank garage-door walls line empty streets does not.  Yet design is also an agent of change. New media are our new public forums and the design of their interfaces affects what people reveal, wittingly or not.  Design is essential in making legible the line between private and public, and in showing people the significance of the information they are revealing. Most importantly, in an era in which technology is collapsing the boundaries that maintained our privacy, we must understand how design can promote tolerance.  For as our world becomes more public, it is only with heightened tolerance that we can maintain the freedom we value in privacy.

This symposium will bring together computer scientists, ethnographers, architects, historians, artists and legal scholars to discuss how design influences privacy and public space, how it shapes and is shaped by human behavior and experience, and how it can cultivate norms such as tolerance and diversity.





People reshape new spaces and technologies to suit their needs. How do they perceive changing boundaries of private and public? How do they adapt to these changes—or change the technology?

  • Beatriz Colomina, Princeton University
  • danah boyd, Microsoft Research
  • Ethan Zuckerman, Berkman Center
  • Moderator: Jeffrey Schnapp, Harvard Metalab

Beatriz Colomina on Architectures and Surveillance
video ~30 min.


June 30 2011

December 26 2009

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