Six Appart Open Action Streaming

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to learn about this announcement from 6A. I actually had seen David (he mentioned he as hacking his site on twitter so I went and checked it out) working on it this past week but I thought it was a ‘personal hack’ rather then something that would ship.

Today, we’re shipping the next step in our vision of openness — the Action Streams plugin — an amazing new plugin for Movable Type 4.1 that lets you aggregate, control, and share your actions around the web. Now of course, there are some social networking services that have similar features, but if you’re using one of today’s hosted services to share your actions it’s quite possible that you’re giving up either control over your privacy, management of your identity or profile, or support for open standards. With the Action Streams plugin you keep control over the record of your actions on the web.

Newbies 4 Newbies First CALL

This past Internet Identity Workshop was great for a bunch of reasons – one was that we had this fabulous group of new people show up – who wanted to learn more and share how their experience could be better.

Currently, it takes initiative on the part of a new person to get up to speed. How do we provide resources to accelerate their efforts?
They formed a group called Newbies 4 Newbies that is sort of a club for new folks to help – new folks get oriented. They are going to develop and manage the Starting Points page – and ensure that it meets the needs of new folks. Within in a year folks will move on from being Newbies and others joining the community can take their place.

If you are a newbie to Identity (or some aspects of what we are doing this group is for you). Please feel free to join the call tomorrow at 1pm PST / 4 Eastern – here is the call in information and the agenda.

For those of you who would like to help newbies – They have come up with the concept of “Friendlies” those who have been in the community a while who wouldn’t mind helping the new folks get oriented to their particular area of expertise. If you would like to help out with this feel free to contact Cindy Spannhake or Dan Nelson and let them know the area you wouldn’t mind helping out with.

They are also very conscious that people are quite busy getting stuff done – the goal is help you contribute some of the key knowledge/resouces and then provide it for new people – so it isn’t just stuck in all the brains/blogs of all the people who have been doing this a while.

Leading a Peer-to-Peer Session at RSA

I was informed this weekend that my proposal for a peer-to-peer session at RSA was accepted.

User-Centric Identity and the Enterprise: Promise, Pitfalls and REALITY

This session will surface the issues holding back enterprise adoption of user-centric ID (OpenID, information cards, etc.). Is it a lack of perceived value? Is it the perceived immaturity of the technology? Is it the cost justification? Is it the perceived competition with federation or other enterprise projects already underway? What changes can be made to make them more consumable by the enterprise?

This will take place on Friday April 11 from 10:05 AM – 10:55 AM
The number of the session is: P2P-402A

If you are in the community and coming to RSA please sign up for this P2P session – should be fun.

There are some other user-centric related sessions happening at RSA:

Breaking the Identity Meta System.
Pamela Dingle
Wednesday, April 09 08:00 AM – RED ROOM 302

The user-centric identity community has been working together to prove identity metasystem interoperability for some time, but what happens when the intention is not to interoperate, but to defeat? This session will concentrate on research into abuse and error cases that component owners must be able to recover from gracefully in order to be robust and secure metasystem participants.

How Might OpenID Apply to an Enterprise?
by Yvonne Wilson and Rafat Alvi from SUN on
Tuesday, April 08 05:40 PM – RED ROOM 302

This session will explore applicability of OpenID to various types of enterprise activities. Considerations will be discussed such as security, trust, privacy, data needs and the extent to which OpenID might or might not meet the needs of certain situations.

After The Crash Tomorrow

Apparently the markets are going to crash tomorrow.

It should make for an interesting time at O’Reilly’s next conference Money:Tech – Where Web 2.0 meets Wall Street.

I have also been reading this week Fooled By Randomness. I very much enjoyed The Black Swan and would recommend both books.

The Crash is sort of depressing to think about – but so is the conventional money system that got us to this place in the first place. This weekend Raines shared this video about the Story of Stuff. Makes you think hard about the overall ecology of the system we are all living in.

Knowing that the economy was not doing so well I have been working with Chris Lindstrom on a conference that considers Money and value exchange in our economies.
It builds on a conference that Chris produced in 2004 about Local Currency (there are details about the topics covered in their Conference Report).

It will be an unconference about money. But not ‘regular money’ instead about these topics:

We are going to have a special focus on digital tools and systems for mutual credit creation, value measurement and wealth acknowledgment.

Because it is about money – but not just ‘regular’ money – we are calling it the unMoney Convergence. (we haven’t even got our logo up yet but I thought I would announce it given the forthcoming events of tomorrow) It will be in Seattleon April 14-16 following the Green Festival.

The unMoney unConference would have been a silly name.

Identity Commons Wiki Care and Feeding

The Identity Commons Wiki has pretty much all been moved over from the old to the new wiki. I did what I think are the last 6 major pages today.

There are a few that could use some attention from the community to improve their content.

What are the upcoming conferences this spring and summer that cover identity. Feel free to add past events – the ones you spoke at should be here.

There are no events in 2007 – which was an exciting year for identity. So if folks would like to contribute the stories they thought were big – just a few people entering one each would do.

It has papers related to concepts, principles and background related to user-centric identity along with Law Policy and Society. Please add papers that you use/know to be references for the field.

Johannes did a great job of pulling the landscape together
The Protocols Technology section needs some information in it (it is blank).

Thanks for taking the time to help out filling in the details – this is what helps outsiders figure out what is going on in this space.

Next week we will have our first Newbies 4 Newbies call. They will need these to be more complete to help develop the Starting Points page to help with orientation.

I AM Twittering!!!

So this weekend I just leapt in. I got Twitterific – going.

I am thinking we could almost have an aggregate identity twitter stream like we have for blogs with Planet Identity.

If you want to follow me I am “identitywoman”

If you are in the Identity community – but I don’t know who you are please let me know. I will say yes to you following me other wise I will just think you are one of the 40 other unknown guys who asked to follow me but I have not given permission to.

Identity Gang Meeting in NYC

I am headed to NYC to facilitate the Online Community Unconference East. While there I thought it would make sense to have a meetup about Identity Commons and all the stuff happening in the community.

Ryan Jenssen reached out to me this week about community developments and contributing. We chatted back and forth and he agreed to have the event at his offices – at Angel Soft. I think we should have drinks starting at 6:15 dinner at 7 and presentation(s) at 7:30 for 1/2 an hour then lots of mingling.

Identity Gang – Social for Identity Commons
Feb 19th at 6:15 – dinner at 7:00 $10 fee.
Please RSVP on Upcoming or e-mail me if you don’t want to do that.

Should be a great opportunity to meet other NYers involved in the community and ask all the questions you want about the community efforts, OpenID, Higgins, OSIS, Bandit, Pamela Project.

Yahoo whole heartedly supporting OpenID

Here is the Press Release. The announcement triples the number of OpenID accounts.

It should do a lot to encourage relying party adoption of OpenID.
It also means mainstream user education has just begun.

It is also interesting to see the narrative in the ‘media’ that get the story wrong
Clint Boulton on Google Watch has this quote “OpenID creator JanRain.” The story of community collaboration to get to OpenID2.0 to happen is quite remarkable (bringing together 4 different “competing” efforts) and I hope that some media outlet investigating what this all means actually gets it right.

He also goes on to say this

Okay (grumble, grumble) but I’m going to go back to standby that if humans can design something, humans can break it. It’s only a matter of time before folks find a way to break OpenID. If that happens, stick a fork in the emerging protocol. Until then, enjoy the digital convenience OpenID has to offer.

I thought the protocol had already been broken but the community is working very hard to address these problems.

The funny part for me is that my Yahoo! ID kinda sucks – it is ‘earthwaters’ from WAY back in college – I wanted a handle – and that was what I came up with. I don’t really want to use it as a handle around the web. I wonder if thy will have other users with this challenge and how they will address it.

I am the product manager for Yahoo!’s OpenID effort. One of the nice things about our implementation is that you don’t HAVE to use your Yahoo! ID (eg: johnsmith) in your OpenID URL. Also, if you are a Flickr user, you will be able to use the URL for your Flickr photos page (eg: as your OpenID URL. We are launching the service pretty soon and your feedback will be highly appreciated!

Also, if it helps other readers of your blog, I can post this comment there once the issue is fixed.

Exciting times ahead!

On Openness and the Open Social Network

Many years ago when I first me the guys doing “user-centric identity” – way back in the day in 2002-2003 – yes there were people talking about thinking about and exploring the implications of interoperable social networks BEFORE Friendster “happened.” I clearly remember a conversation I had with Owen Davis (one of the original founders of Identity Commons v1) about how if there really was to be an identity layer of the web that would work for people – that “the people” would need to be involved in making it happen. They explored really experimental ideas for organizational forms thinking about how to give membership for all those who had identities in the system. They had a recursive membership problem. Needed members didn’t have any couldn’t decide who was members…..sort of crazy making.

Owen always highlighting the importance of the conversations about the social network and identity portability being open so that a wide range of view points and considerations can be a part of making it real.

I remember this often when we put on our gatherings Internet Identity Workshop and the Data Sharing Summit – I worry that we don’t have a broad enough spectrum of humanity in the room to get it right. We just founded Inclusive Initiatives at this last IIW (it got applaud from the whole audience when we announced it) to focus providing opportunities to learn about, engage with and include a wider range of people with needs from and identity layer we haven’t got in the mix yet. We are having our first conference call on Monday or Tuesday.

It is not just about hackers hacking up some code. Code is “Law” and it also in the realms of people and their information about relationship it is the “social fabric”. People are participating in multiple contexts with very different norms. It is important that there is sensitivity to peoples needs that these not all merge together. The post before this one is an essay that I wrote last year for Web 2.0 Expo. It highlights some of the complexities found in the social nature of identity – and personally identifying information.

Bob recently said this in a post about opening the social graph:

My Burton Group colleague Mike Neuenschwander is fond of saying that our generation is using computer geeks – the least social people on the planet – to design social systems. This is the kind of thing he’s talking about.

Opening the social graph will destroy social networks, and turn them into sterile public spaces in which formation of meaningful and intimate relationships is not possible. Opening the social graph is a bad idea. Relationship information is not the property of individuals – it held in joint custody among all parties in a relationship, and it cannot be used or disclosed in violation of the rules under which it was brought into the relationship – or else the relationship will die and the individuals in it will be harmed. If you don’t understand this, or come to understand it, you will never have any real relationships, and neither will the software you write.

I don’t necessarily agree that computer geeks are the “least social folks” (I quite enjoy socializing with you). I do think it is true that computer geek social culture does not reflect the diversity of human culture in this world that this social layer of the internet must be inclusive of if it is to be successful.

Ben Laurie Makes this point in response to Bob’s Post:

when I share social data, I do so under certain conditions, both explicit and implict. What I care about, really, is that those conditions continue to be met. I don’t really mind who does the enforcing, so long as it is enforced. So, it seems to me that its OK to create the social graph, you just have to be exceedingly careful what you do with it.

This presents two, in my view, enormous technical challenges. The first is dealing with a variety of different conditions applying to different parts of the graph. Even representing what those conditions are in any usable way is a huge task but then you also need to figure out how to combine them, both when multiple conditions apply to the same piece of data (for example, because you figured it out twice in different ways) or when the combination of various pieces of data, each with its own conditions, yield something new.

Once you’ve done that you are faced with a much larger problem: working out what the implicit conditions were and enforcing those, too. The huge adverse reaction we saw to Facebook’s Beacon feature shows that such implicit conditions can be unobvious.

I do think it is pain in the butt to ‘re-invite’ my friends – are there ways to ‘re-invite them’ but not via e-mail? – are there ways to leverage the work that Liberty Alliance has done on the People Services Spec. from what I could discern from presentations I have seen it has promise to meet the needs articulated.

One way to deal with the issues I talked about regarding multiple contexts is to actually make the concept of Limited Liability Persona’s.

No doubt people need to be able to look at their whole social graph – who are all the people I am connected to – my address book and get information about them and the contexts I share with them. This does not mean i have one public open social graph.

This is what some of the original graphics of the Social Physics project communicated was their goal.

Looking in the Way Back Machine I found this American Revolution 2 from 2004 …quite inspiring it begins.

Today we are not full citizens of the Web. We have no effective voice in how our digital selves are captured, stored, represented, bought and sold. In short we have no voice in how that most precious and precarious aspects of ourselves, – our multiple digital identities- are governed.

Social Physics – all those concepts and understandings of how identities for people work across multiple contexts is all being woven into the Higgins Project (at Eclipse). Participants in developing this framework (and other working code relevant to the problem) are noticeably absent from the upcoming invitation only gathering on the subject of the Social Graph.

Higgins IS:

• Higgins enables the use of the card metaphor to support a consistent mechanism for authentication across all devices/platforms
• Higgins enables diffusion of this metaphor by providing toolkits for implementation of IdP’s and RP
Higgins Solutions (made up of Higgins components) can be used to implement this new highly connected world.
• The Identity Attribute Service Solution makes it easier to build applications that leverage identity information from multiple sources (with the appropriate privacy controls of course.)
• Because Higgins is open source, it makes diffusion easier.

Yeah it has taken a while. It also takes a while to build infrastructure in the real world at has the potential to scale to internet size.

I figured out how to think about what ‘infrastructure is in internet realm’ around the time the i-name registry opened in the summer – it took so long cause it is like building a major bridge. I watch the bridge they are building over the Bay grow – it has guys working on it all the time – I watch it grow bit by bit when I ride the bus. It is SLOW but it happens and when it does you have a great highway to go over the water (rather then alternative forms – a boat, or how about an the current decaying earthquake prone span).

One of the reasons I (and the whole community) have worked so hard to create open accessible events like the Internet Identity Workshop and the Data Sharing Summit it that this layer and the issues are to important not to be dealt with in open fora. Those who want to be there to participate and help out to tackle the tough questions – to be free to put forward their ideas, solutions and working code. You know Open Source like. There is always someone interesting who shows up – you didn’t know who contributes something great.

Identity Commons is open, inclusive, and bottoms-up, and all of us abide by a set of principles to help assure this. We provide a minimal structure for supporting community activities, and we hold space for the entire community to collaborate.

The vision of an Open Social Network – one working on open standards that really empowers people AND balances the tension between individuals and the communities they are in is one I am passionate about. I wouldn’t have spent the last 4 years of my life working on building a community to focus on these issues.

The purpose of Identity Commons is to support, facilitate, and promote the creation of an open identity layer for the Internet — one that maximizes control, convenience, and privacy for the individual while encouraging the development of healthy, interoperable communities.

Please join us in figuring this challenge out. Many of us have put a lot of work into getting to where we are now and there is a long way to go. As Bob said Gerry said after IIW in December “We reached the end of the beginning.” This is evidenced by efforts like popping up building on the foundations we have laid.

Our next IIW is May 12-14 in Mountain View again. They are a lot of fun please join us. I hope we can have a Data Sharing Summit before that and hopefully some other open outcome focused collaborative events around other aspects needed to make this all more of a reality.

(if you want to comment please just e-mail me – long story my tech has not gotten OpenID working on this WordPress blog yet).

The “We” of Identity for “Our Web” (the Social Graph)

I originally wrote this for Web 2.0 Expo last year April 2007 – It was called Why Identity Matters for Web 2.0. It has not been published in HTML yet. I kept hoping to make it better to refine it more. I will do that but now is the time to put this out there in linkable form.

The “We” of Identity for “Our Web” (the Social Graph)
[Originally the Why Identity Matters for Web 2.0]

Web 2.0 is about the emergence of an alive web – made up of people connecting and sharing together in groups. It is literally pulsing with the thoughts, hopes, wishes, actions, poems, prose, photos, video’s and many cultural expressions of our lives. Our identities – who we are is socially constructed. We could start with the word ubuntu – it is not just the name of a user-friendly Linux distribution it is a zulu word that means “I am who I am because of who we are together.”

Doc Searls has put it another way – we are the authors of each other. We have had “identity” since the dawn of time – our identity is innately shaped by the culture we live in, the geography of place and the resources at hand. Through Web 2.0 tools we are just doing what has been done for millennia in communities where sharing stories shaped culture and gave us a sense of who we are – exchanging all sorts of value with each other – some of which were around material goods, and some of which were around services. And much of it was mutual authoring through the creation and sharing of culture, meaning and reputation. Who we are and who the individual was mattered enormously in the context of the “we”.

I recently heard a talk by David Weinberger where he talked about first, second and third order information storage related to books. I think this frame can be helpful for us to think about what is going on with identity for people and the web. In first order storage, books exist in one place on a book shelf. Second order storage is the card catalogue with the meta-data about the books on the book shelf. With digital media and the internet we have third order storage of books where the data (the book content) and the meta data (information about the book) are both virtual and can exist in more then one place at a time.

Although our bodies can only be in one place at a time a lot of what web 2.0 is about is the extension of ourselves into the digital realm. Some of us have personal pages on multiple social networks. We put information about ourselves online and share it in all kinds of places. We work together to filter and sort information for our communities. We play games with people from around the world. (70% of Second Life is from outside the US). We manage our Instant Messaging presence on multiple networks simultaneously! Who we are when we do all these things matters a lot because the bread crumbs we leave behind. The impressions we make on others – the way those people mark, tag or otherwise order our shared experience.

We are also seeing challenges in this new atom bit mix. In extending ourselves into the digital realm things happen to our identities that were not possible when all records about us were stored physically. This new fluidity can be a bit disconcerting and raises new privacy concerns. It is easy to ping a database and learn about all ones past transactions with a company – this could be good for self reflection and better deals but bad take it to use against us. We are sharing ourselves in new ways online –we can project pieces of ourselves through our blogs, we can show up in Flickr, and online video’s. We are all “a little famous” to others beyond what we could be in ‘just’ a physical world – where once you might have shown up in the local paper just once in your life for winning a science fair – (like I did when I was 12!) – now you show up daily to your friends but also to those who randomly discover you. The old model still has my science fair win locked up in the local paper in a microfiche in my home town library. The new model has me and anyone else distributed, searchable, browsable and discoverable across the globe.

The promise of Web 2.0 comes with the distributed web of information by and about me AND by us about us. With an identity layer there exists the potential for products and services to go beyond isolated silos to deeply link together people, events, associations, meaning and media to become more than the sum of what any application could do or be alone. Identifiers that work in the digital realm along with human friendly metaphors and user-interfaces to manage this including one’s own privacy are critical for a fully realized vision. These new identity tools to be trusted must protect privacy, reputation and be secure. These are the challenges that must be solved collaboratively by the larger web 2.0 community.

Web 2.0 is only going to work if people trust the web enough to use it. PHRAUD, Phishing, pharming and theft of identity, are destroying user trust and USER TRUST is critical for Web 2.0 to succeed. Kim Cameron, one of the leaders in the Identity community has been tracking fraud statistics and they are staggering. When the Internet was created it was a small community of scientists, hackers and academics who didn’t need an identity infrastructure, because they already had (out of band) in the context of their own smaller communities. Web 2.0 creates the opportunityfor us to ‘know’ each other again and reweave a fabric of trust on the web through communities. This is a hard problem well beyond the ability of any one person or one community to solve it. In the Identity Commons community some building blocks to solve these issues have emerged but we don’t know the answers.

The community has innovated OpenID as a way for individuals to sign-in to sites across the web that support the protocol. Looking ahead are conversations about:

  • datasharing services so that I can update my information once and it “shows up” in multiple places or not as I desire.
  • personal network portability where I can take/share/access ‘my’ network of contacts from one service to another.
  • vendor relationship management services so I can manage my relationships with companies I buy from.

All of this is still individually centric and I think the real value opportunity is in communities – communities of people who know each other, care about each other and seek to collaborate together on activities none could really do alone. How do we – show up together in many places? The power of groups to work together and move themselves around from context to context coherently is nearly impossible. The real value is in the WE made of many I’s, because people fundamentally see themselves as part(s) of social groups. For web 2.0 this means having tools that support both people AND communities. Success in an interconnected social web means platforms and companies need to begin thinking about designing for “my architecture” this is in the context of our web, so they must also begin thinking about designing for “we architecture.” I (as a user) am going to use tools that work for me using my identity to hang my relationships on – hooks to me — if you will. Because I am a social being – I relate to many groups and share many imagined communities and cultures with others. This will unleash a reflective power this gives us as individuals and collectively the ability to make better decisions and act differently. It creates a feedback loop we didn’t have before.

Community is about shared meaning, understanding and trust to take action together. When you get down to it trust is crucial for a heart in Web 2.0. This raises the question of how and why do we trust? Is it because you hand me government papers that say you are who you say you are? When do we do that in real life? Only when we are interacting with abstract entities – ‘the bank’, ‘the government’, ‘the passport control check point.’ We generally don’t use these to interact with others socially.

Trust, in part, comes from knowledge of past interactions and basis a decision to trust in the present comes from a combination of current context and past interactions. These can be interactions with

  • ourselves. I trust my friend Sally because we have been doing things together for a long time.
  • others we know who vouch for their past experience. I trust Bill who is Sally’s friend because she trusts him.
  • others we don’t know who assert successful past interactions. I don’t know Jane but she says Suzie was a good person to do business with.

Trust is not an algorithm it is a knowing set of instincts we evolved and intuition we develop to survive and thrive in social groups. Each of us individually and each of our communities (the we’s) have our own way of balancing our needs for trust as our lives and community dynamics that unfold moment to moment. We make decisions regarding trust based on a range information that we have which we mentally aggregate to form judgments as we need to.

The “how” of all this is not obvious – science is just starting to unpack the deeper roots of our minds and human social behavior around trust instincts and intuition. In our evolutionary past these were tribal groups of around 150 people that you knew for life. A question we must ask our selves is what if our natural ways of discerning about trust don’t scale to the size of our social context today whether it is cities of millions or a web of billions? Another question that arises is what happens when our assumptions for social behavior work in a shared culture be it epistemic, geographic or religious but not in another? How do we as an evolving web 2.0 culture develop enough cultural literacy, emotional maturity and helpful tools to overcome these hurdles?

We must think deeper then “5 star ratings” and gesture algorithms to look deeper human at drivers and social processes. Instead of thinking in terms of technology and platform we need to innovate solutions to these difficult problems that are user-centric. And solutions that are rooted in community contexts.

So what do we do today? Where do we start? I believe the place to begin is to start supporting OpenID to become a relying party and if possible an OpenID provider. OpenID gives users the freedom to extend themselves across the web in a way that is under THEIR control.

Next, before we can get to good answers, we need to determine good questions. I invite you to join the conversation at Identity Commons and the Internet Identity Workshop about how group identities along with individual identities should be supported in a living web, the new web for all of us – Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 provides us with a fabulous new set of engines that have made Wikipedia possible created live search and many others we learning about here. So the big question is what kind of new engines can Web 2.0 provide us to enhance IDENTITY and TRUST to form a distributed social fabric. What can YOU do with Web 2.0 to create a trustable social web? That’s my question to all of you building and participating in Web 2.0.

(if you want to comment please just e-mail me – long story my tech has not gotten OpenID working on this WordPress blog yet).

Fighting all the terrorists at home?

A friend sent me this article “The Internet Must Die” today. I was a bit shocked by the legislation it highlighted H.R. 1955 the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007”.

it’s coming up for a vote in the Senate early this year. If it passes, which seems likely, a Bush signature is a given

Yes the article itself is on the hysterical side. This is what the Huffington Post said about the legislation late last year:

One would have thought that the systematic dismantling of the Constitution of the United States would have been enough to satisfy even the most Jacobin neoconservative, but there is more on the horizon, and it is coming from people who call themselves Democrats. The mainstream media has made no effort to inform the public of the impending Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. The Act, which was sponsored by Congresswoman Jane Harman of California, was passed in the House by an overwhelming 405 to 6 vote on October 24th and is now awaiting approval by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which is headed by Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. It is believed that approval by the committee will take place shortly, to be followed by passage by the entire Senate.

Harman’s bill contends that the United States will soon have to deal with home grown terrorists and that something must be done to anticipate and neutralize the problem. The act deals with the issue through the creation of a congressional commission that will be empowered to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and designate various groups as “homegrown terrorists.” The commission will be tasked to propose new legislation that will enable the government to take punitive action against both the groups and the individuals who are affiliated with them. Like Joe McCarthy and HUAC in the past, the commission will travel around the United States and hold hearings to find the terrorists and root them out. Unlike inquiries in the past where the activity was carried out collectively, the act establishing the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Commission will empower all the members on the commission to arrange hearings, obtain testimony, and even to administer oaths to witnesses, meaning that multiple hearings could be running simultaneously in various parts of the country. The ten commission members will be selected for their “expertise,” though most will be appointed by Congress itself and will reflect the usual political interests. They will be paid for their duties at the senior executive pay scale level and will have staffs and consultants to assist them. Harman’s bill does not spell out terrorist behavior and leaves it up to the Commission itself to identify what is terrorism and what isn’t. Language inserted in the act does partially define “homegrown terrorism” as “planning” or “threatening” to use force to promote a political objective, meaning that just thinking about doing something could be enough to merit the terrorist label. The act also describes “violent radicalization” as the promotion of an “extremist belief system” without attempting to define “extremist.”

As currently envisioned, the Commission will not operate in perpetuity. After the group has done its work, in eighteen months’ time, a Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism will be established to study the lessons learned. The center will operate either out of the Department of Homeland Security or out of an appropriate academic institution and will be tasked with continuing to monitor the homegrown terrorism problem and proposing legislation and other measures to counter it.
As should be clear from the vagueness of the definitions, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act could easily be abused to define any group that is pressuring the political system as “terrorist,” ranging from polygamists, to second amendment rights supporters, anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, and peace demonstrators. In reality, of course, it will be primarily directed against Muslims and Muslim organizations. Given that, there is the question of who will select which groups will be investigated by the roving commissions. There is no evidence to suggest that there will be any transparent or objective screening process. Through their proven access both to the media and to Congress, the agenda will undoubtedly be shaped by the usual players including David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, Steve Emerson, and Frank Gaffney who see a terrorist hiding under every rock, particularly if the rock is concealing a Muslim. They and their associates will undoubtedly find plenty of terrorists and radical groups to investigate. Many of the suspects will inevitably be “anti-American” professors at various universities and also groups of Palestinians organized against the Israeli occupation, but it will be easily to use the commission formula to sweep them all in for examination.

Identity and Presence: Speaking at Event Friday

I am speaking on Friday at the Value Networks Community Cluster about Identity. The theme is Presence 2.0: Rise of Living Networks.

I did not make up this Copy describing the even but here it is:

We are in the throes of a major revolution in collaboration, community, business, the environment, economics and civil society. Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 are ushering in a new network era. A deep social reorientation of work and wealth creation is in play. Prosperity is achieved through deliberate pursuit of diverse relationships. It is positively critical to nourish and nurture your links and flow paths through periodic, same time, same place collaboration and periodic transorganizational collaboration. These key relationships are further developed and optimized through ecologies of living social networks. Today we have an enormous capabilities infrastructure for social network applications. Fact is, these innovations still depend, in large part, and on many levels, on well-developed personal relationships.

Enterprise 2.0 Presence and Identity: The Rise of Living Social Networks will examine rapidly expanding, hyper-connected social network services, programmable webs and socially-mediated, knowledge-based business activities. New device-based social networks, an IPv6 address space of 3.4×1038, geocoding, pervasive computing, collective intelligence networks and, above all, the importance of collaboration to everything, has fundamentally and permanently altered they way we learn, work, play and thrive. Living social networks are making an enormous impact to the environment, wealth and well-being. Specifically, living social networks are becoming critical to all business. They are the critical value paths essential to corporate performance, business excellence and civil societies. For example, live, real-time communications such as IM, VoIP and mobile are becoming far more emergent and social. Simultaneously, asynchronous social networks applications like blogs, wikis and email are becoming far more real time.

Here is who will be speaking:

  • David Coleman will cover his newest book, Collaborate 2.0.
  • Stuart Henshall will examine presence and enhanced knowledge path and flows.
  • Phil Wolff will lead a discussion on the Enterprise 2.0 social stack.
  • Kaliya Hamlin,The Identity Women, will furnish an important update on the identity.
  • Verna Allee will review recently conclude mobile worker research using VNA.
  • Ross Mayfield will further develop the vision of the social enterprise.
  • Alex Lewis will cover Microsoft’s Presence strategy in OCS 2007.
  • Don Steiny respected Stanford researcher in social network analysis.

If you want to come you can get a discount – 60% off.
Yeah don’t ask me about the price point – I already brought it up – apparently they ‘break even’. They even made me pay to talk. I like Verna a lot so I said yes.

Frontline: Growing UP Online, Jan 22

I am a HUGE fan of Frontline. I regularly watch the shows in their entirety online (I don’t own a TV haven’t since 1995 – when I left home).

Their next show is called Growing Up Online. It should be interesting to see how they cover the subject. Just in case you are wondering the didn’t forget to cover “online sexual predators.”

MySpace. YouTube. Facebook. Nearly every teen in America is on the Internet every day, socializing with friends and strangers alike, “trying on” identities, and building a virtual profile of themselves–one that many kids insist is a more honest depiction of who they really are than the person they portray at home or in school.

In “Growing Up Online,” FRONTLINE peers inside the world of this cyber-savvy generation through the eyes of teens and their parents, who often find themselves on opposite sides of a new digital divide. From cyber bullying to instant “Internet fame,” to the specter of online sexual predators, FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin investigates the risks, realities and misconceptions of teenage self-expression on the World Wide Web.

Saving Kids from Predators – parents blog their e-mail addresses


From Connecticut’s attorney general, Richard Blumenthal: “If for nothing else, this set of principles is a landmark and milestone because it involves an acknowledgment of the importance of age and identity authentication and a commitment to explore and develop those means,” he said. “If we can put a man on the moon we can do age and identity authentication. Today we form a partnership that will protect children , purge predators and expunge inappropriate content including pornography.”

I could highlight my usual point when it comes to sexual predators online….kids are far more vulnerable to being sexually abused AT HOME by people the know including family members. This fetish with predators online is a mass projection to avoid looking at this real fact.

Government data linked together…

From Slashdot:

a story from The Guardian about FBI interest in connectivity between its own database resources and those abroad. It’s spearheading a program labeled ‘Server in the Sky’, meant to coordinate the police forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to better fight international crime/terrorist groups. The group is calling itself the International Information Consortium.

“Britain’s National Policing Improvement Agency has been the lead body for the FBI project because it is responsible for IDENT1, the UK database holding 7m sets of fingerprints and other biometric details used by police forces to search for matches from scenes of crimes. Many of the prints are either from a person with no criminal record, or have yet to be matched to a named individual. IDENT1 was built by the computer technology arm of the US defence company Northrop Grumman. In future it is expected to hold palm prints, facial images and video sequences.”

Two good Conferences Jan 26th

There are two good conferences happening in the Bay Area on January 26th.

Technology in Wartime Conference is being put on by Computer Professional for Social Responsibility at Stanford.

The goal of this non-partisan conference will be to consider the ethical implications of wartime technologies and how these technologies are likely to affect civilization in years to come. Ultimately we want to engage a pressing question of our time: What should socially-responsible computer professionals do in a time of high tech warfare?

The Toll Roads? The Legal and Political Debate over Net Neutrality by the The University of San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Bulletin

Net Neutrality refers to free access to the Internet without discrimination based upon how often a user accesses the Internet or how much broadband capacity they utilize. Advocates for Net Neutrality believe that users are entitled to unlimited access in order to preserve current freedoms as well as to prevent broadband providers from abusing their power to block applications they do not favor or to discriminate between content providers. Critics of Net Neutrality and associated legislative proposals believe that Net Neutrality rules would reduce incentives to upgrade networks and launch next generation network services and, in turn, inhibit the most efficient access to the broadband network.

Should Internet Service Providers continue to drive the same “neutral” course, giving all search requests and other uses of the Net equal treatment? Absent legislation, will these ISP’s create Internet “toll roads,” giving preference to certain types of information? It is these types of questions that are at the heart of the debate on Net Neutrality.

“We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.”

some people to have so little sense. It is like saying it would be ok to open every piece of mail before they deliver it to your door, photo copy it an put it in a file. We would never allow that – the founding fathers of the US would have never allowed this. How can people who are in a position of leadership with the US government honestly believe that this is ok. From the RawStory:

McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity.

“Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the autority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search,” author Lawrence Wright pens.

“Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said,” Wright adds. “Giorgio warned me, ‘We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'”

A zero-sum game is one in which gains by one side come at the expense of the other. In other words — McConnell’s aide believes greater security can only come at privacy’s expense.

McConnell has been an advocate for computer-network defense, which has previously not been the province of any intelligence agency.

Who Killed the Electric Car?

WOW! What an amazing film and depressing. I totally recommend you see it if it comes to your neighborhood or rent it on Netflix (or equivalent).

GM killed the electric CAR. It happened – and they killed it. They said there was not enough consumer ‘demand’ but that is patently false. They knew there was demand they had waiting lists. They didn’t want the car to happen BECAUSE it would be successful and threatened the Oil Industry.

The film ends on a hopeful note and there will be a sequel. Who Saved the Electric Car.