Future of the Internet and How to Stop It — CC licensed Jonathan Zittrain book about the danger the Internet faces

Nick sez, "Jonathan Zittrain gets so many things right in his book, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It about what he calls 'generative technology' and why it's so important. It's chock-full of all sorts of issues that make Boingers salivate – freedom of speech, copyright, open source software, digital rights activism, privacy, censorship – put together into a very convincing argument in favor of unbridled innovation. — Read the rest

"Intellectual Debt": It's bad enough when AI gets its predictions wrong, but it's potentially WORSE when AI gets it right

Jonathan Zittrain (previously) is consistently a source of interesting insights that often arrive years ahead of their wider acceptance in tech, law, ethics and culture (2008's The Future of the Internet (and how to stop it) is surprisingly relevant 11 years later); in a new long essay on Medium (shorter version in the New Yorker), Zittrain examines the perils of the "intellectual debt" that we incur when we allow machine learning systems that make predictions whose rationale we don't understand, because without an underlying theory of those predictions, we can't know their limitations.

Towards a general theory of "adversarial examples," the bizarre, hallucinatory motes in machine learning's all-seeing eye

For several years, I've been covering the bizarre phenomenon of "adversarial examples (AKA "adversarial preturbations"), these being often tiny changes to data than can cause machine-learning classifiers to totally misfire: imperceptible squeaks that make speech-to-text systems hallucinate phantom voices; or tiny shifts to a 3D image of a helicopter that makes image-classifiers hallucinate a rifle

How do we fix IoT security without blocking interoperability and creating monopolies?

Jonathan Zittrain (previously) writes, "There's reason to worry about security for the ever-growing Internet of Things, and it'll be tempting to encourage vendors to solely control their devices that much more, limiting interoperability or user tinkering. There are alternatives – models for maintaining firmware patches for orphaned devices, and a 'Faraday mode' so that iffy devices can still at least partially function even if they're not able to remain safely online. — Read the rest

FBI's war on encryption is unnecessary because the Internet of Things will spy on us just fine

The war on encryption waged by the F.B.I. and other intelligence agencies is unnecessary, because the data trails we voluntarily leak allow "Internet of Things" devices and social media networks to track us in ways the government can access.

That's the short version of what's in "Don't Panic: Making Progress on the 'Going Dark' Debate," a study published today by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. — Read the rest

This Day in Blogging History: Calvin and Hobbes search engine; Boyle's "Public Domain"; Sex-blogging in China

One year ago today

Search engine for the full text and descriptions of every Calvin and Hobbes script: A search engine that runs against the full text and descriptions of all the Calvin and Hobbes strips.

Five years ago today

James Boyle's "The Public Domain" — a brilliant copyfighter's latest book, from a law prof who writes like a comedian: Boyle ranks with Lessig, Benkler and Zittrain as one of the most articulate, thoughtful, funny and passionate thinkers in the global fight for free speech, open access, and a humane and sane policy on patents, trademarks and copyrights. — Read the rest

This Day in Blogging History: Victory for naked American hero; Crazy nude airplane passenger; How suits and lawyers ruined nerds' good time

One year ago today

Portland's "Naked American Hero" not guilty! John was found not guilty — hurray!

Five years ago today

Nude, crazed airplane passenger: "stripped naked, got dressed again, and then attempted to open the emergency exit door."

Ten years ago today
How the Nerds Were Having A Perfectly Good Time Until The Businesspeople And Lawyers Showed Up And Ruined Everything: Jonathan Zittrain and Terry Fisher's talk: "Domain names – How the mess came about"

Declaration of Internet Freedom

I've signed the Declaration of Internet Freedom, a short, to-to-point manifesto for a free and open Internet. It's attracted some very august signatories, including Amnesty International, Hackers and Founders, Global Voices, Mozilla, the NY Tech Meetup, Personal Democracy, Fight for the Future, Yochai Benkler, danah boyd, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Aaron Swartz and Jonathan Zittrain. — Read the rest

ROFLcon III

ROFLcon, the biennial extravaganza of deranged internet culture, takes place this weekend in Cambridge, Mass. The third such event, there'll be panels about memes, microfame, gaming and art, with a keynote speech from Jonathan Zittrain.

Attending will be Anil Dash, Andy Baio, Chris Poole, Nick Douglas, Joel Veitch, Chris Torres, Jason Scott, and many more. — Read the rest