Info Sharing Agreements! Support it! Make it Real!

Joe Andrieu and the Information Sharing Working Group has put a lot of work and effort into creating a Standard set of Information Sharing Agreements represented by a standard label. They want to invest in user -research to make it really work.

I am putting in $100 and I encourage all of you to do the same. They need to raise $12000 in the next 8 days.

See the Kickstarter Campaign here.

The Relationship Paper

Bob’s Relationship Paper is now available. If you haven’t read it yet – you should. It articulates a key point about the challenge regarding the current frame of social networks – relationships are just lines on a graph rather then being nodes that hold information about the nature and parameters of the relationship.

On Gaza

I don’t write about politics on my blog that much but have spoken up about some of my travels in the world and what I have seen.

I thought with all the twitter blips going by about “the ground invasion in gaza beginning I wanted to share what I wrote about in the summer of 2006 my own personal visit to Gaza in the summer of 2000.

This is the last 1/2 of a post a post called “Security theater and the “real” threats – inhuman conditions“.

Speaking of ‘they’ – who are they? I just watched a film from Netflicks – Death in Gaza. It was of two documentary film makers one of whom died while shooting the film. I spent the summer of 2000 in Jerusalem for 10 weeks I lived and worked there and did what I call “NGO tourism”. I worked at one of the worlds foremost human rights organizations – BTselem the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and then also worked at the PCATI the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (while there I got my education in what torture is going on and how it affects people – really awful).

My fellow international interns and I would spend our weekends traveling about going through the Westbank and up to Nazareth, and Haifa over to Televiv down to Hebron. [[you can read what I wrote about Hebron here]]

One time we got to go to Gaza for 2 days. One of the interviewers for B’Tselem was traveling there so the two of us got to go with him. We got hooked up with two guys who worked in an NGO in Gaza and went on a tour for a day… from one end to the other … inside the camps and everything. It was amazingly powerful. Just like in the movie I saw the little kids the ones who are 5 and 6 happily playing away not really knowing there life circumstances yet. Then the older boys would glare glints of anger in there eyes. They are 10-13 years old knowing what they don’t have. The get that it is not normal to have open sewers in the streets. It is not normal to have 10 people living in one room. It is not normal to be growing bunnies up stairs that you kill to have food or a donkey living in your living room. Why do they know this…there are satalite dishes…basically everyone has a TV and can see what life is like in Isreal, and America and the rest of the normal arab world. When you think about that maybe some of this makes a bit more sense. It is not normal to feel like going to school you could get killed (as they young girl in Death in Gaza talks about). It is not normal to have your school playmates killed by gunfire (like the little boys have happen to them in the movie). Or bulldozers coming to plow your house down in the middle of the night (like threatens to happen in the movie ) How can you feel peaceful in this kind of environment?

I know after witnessing what I did that day I was shaken. I really felt my soul had been shaken up like my body was still and it was moving. It was eerily like the feeling I had after exiting the memorial museum at Hiroshima. The thing was…what I had witnessed that day was happening to real people ‘now’ not a historical event from 60 years ago. The depth of suffering is quite intense and the failure to connect with people as people and to really resolve the conflict continues to cause suffering. More bombs and planes and threats of nuclear weapons going off doesn’t make the situation better. It makes it worse. Send in armies of compassionate empathetic listeners. Make public peoples family stories and histories. Find some way through. There are some amazing stories of reconciliation that have happened in Israel/Palestine. They prove it is possible. I do have hope but not if everyone just sees an enemy instead of people, families and societies with real human and community needs.

I was sorting through my stuff over the weekend and found something from B’Tselem. They still send me the reports the write. It was a 11×17 fold over about the wall situation in Jerusalem. Just really disruptive to normal peoples lives. The whole of the Westbank is oriented around the trade flows through main cities. The most main one being East Jerusalem. The fact that they want to cut the Palestinians off from their main economic hub is just mean. People don’t like people who do mean things. Why is this so hard to understand!

It makes me very sad to hear there is a war happening. There has been a war on the Palestinian people for a long time.

Some elements that are not obvious to people is the depth of connection to land and history that is present along with the really bad living conditions.
* In the refugee camps villagers who fled their villages together – still live together 50 years later – they have a sense of identity as people of a place (a place that only the oldest people alive still remember) but that the young people feel they belong to too.
* The number of people and the conditions of living are very hard to imagine – they have the density of New York – but all in cement block houses that have tiny rooms 9×9. 1200 people a km.
* They don’t have electricity in the winter because the wiring is so ad-hoc that it is to dangerous to run in the winter.
* They don’t have sewage systems – other then the ones that run in the street.
* When the Israelis had a presence in Gaza they had their own roads – the good ones – that Palestinians could not drive on. (I was driving around with palestinians so we were on the “bad” roads).
* They have families of 10 living in one room houses.
* They have families that have a donkey’s living with them in their one room too.

These are extreme living conditions and the reason they voted for Hamas has to do with the fact that the islamic organization the religious arm of the political organization actually helps poor (as they are called to by their religious texts) impoverished people by feeding them. If you lived in these kinds of conditions wouldn’t you vote for the group that on the ground in practical reality actually helped you a bit.

There are some other interesting things to know about the Palestinian people… How do I know all this – yes I visited the territories but I wrote my senior thesis 40 pages on “The Lost Opportunity for Sustainable Development in Palestine” – 10 of them specifically about demography.

* They have HIGH levels of basic education Palestinians have the highest levels literacy in the arab world.

* They have a lot of higher educational institutions.

* They have the highest level of educational attainment of women in the arab world (normally educated women cut back on the number of children they have).

* Even though the women are relatively very educated – they are very committed to having children and lots of them

Women living in Palestine have a total fertility rate (TFR) of 5.6 children—significantly higher than women in other countries that have similar levels of education and access to health services. (Women in Gaza have 6.6 births, on average, while women in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) have an average of 5.2 births.) they are clear they are fighting a long term demographic “race” with Israel. More palestinians means more votes and more bodies to resist the injustice they have suffered.

* They have a very young population (in 2005 – 18% was below the age of 5, 45% was below the age of 15) this means that is lots of young men of marriageable age and seeking work.

So you put all this together
1. a population that watches TV from around the world on satellite dishes,
2. that lives in abject poverty
3. That is highly educated and mostly in the arts (political science, economics, english, comparative literature etc…)
4. Young men without an economic opportunities compounded by the fact that without this they can’t marry and thus can’t have sex. THEY ARE FRUSTRATED.

They know – they see every day on TV what they don’t have. We live in a globalized world and it is not just about ‘us’ those in North America and Europe knowing about the rest of the world – the rest of the world has the same tools too. They see the gap – with their own eyes and it makes them angry.

I don’t want to be all down on this post. This went by on twitter a few days ago It is about a contributor/admin on WikiHow (the wiki for how too manuals) and it made me cry – it is why I love the internet and the power it has to connect people and give people meaningful ways to contribute and help one another.

Many of you know that the dedicated wikiHowian and new admin, VC, lives in Gaza. (Actually VC is only a new admin on the English wikiHow. He has been an admin on Arabic wikiHow for a while.) And everyone knows that there is currently a war in Gaza right now. Even before the recent fighting started, VC suffered from sporadic internet access caused by electrical outages. So I felt lucky to get this email reply when I asked how he was surviving the war:

It is terrible indeed, however, it is kind people like yourself and other wikiHow editors that keep me going on, sane and to some extent even happy that I have friends who really care about me without even really ever seeing me. Thank you very much for asking and checking on me. I’m safe and sound and so is my family and my friends. The circumstances however are hard on the children, but with some tenderness, love and patience, they’ll get through it (or so I hope). The area where I live in Gaza is considered relatively safe as it is the center of the city.

It is in rough and extremely hazardous situations like these that we usually need something to hold on to … to believe in. wikiHow and its community has been that and more to me. It was and still is what I turn to so as to find comfort and peace of mind. The wikiHow community members are so supportive and kind. When I set at the computer and start doing anything related to wikiHow, it is currently my only escape outlet where I can, for some sweet moments, forget about the war, the harsh circumstances and the suffering all around me. And when I see a message by one of the editors, whether discussing some wikiHow related matter or simply saying “hi, how are you”, it makes me feel … alive, not cutoff of the world outside … having what I call a “universal family” that cares and comforts me.

For all of that Jack, I’d like to thank you for founding this wonderful family, making it possible for me and many others to feel at home no matter what.

Nov 13th Kids Online: Balancing Safety and Fun – (un)confernece about the issues and best practices

I am working with Joi Podgorny and Denise Tayloe on this day following the Internet Identity Workshop Nov 10-12 in Mountain View, CA. You can register here on Event Brite. We are bringing together a range of practitioners and experts to work collaboratively for a day together.

Our goal is to leave the day with greater clarity around some core best practices and have next steps as an industry to help kids being safer online.

All of the attendees will make up the agenda together at the event itself. We do welcome ideas and suggestions for topics you hope get discussed the day of the event.

This is a day to dive in and work collaboratively on these kinds issues around kids online:

  • Who and what are we trying to protect digital kids from?
  • Are there standards and norms in practice that we can leverage to formalize best practices for industry?
  • Kids fake their ages to gain access to online content, do we as an industry care? If so, then?
  • How do we create best practices that are flexible based on age range, content and willingness for parental involvement by industry or the child?
  • How can we create cyber spaces that balance interesting and fun with safety?
  • What is the role of government in either defining or supporting best practices?

Who this (un) conference is for:

  • Online Community/Virtual World Managers
  • Policy officers and Security Officers at large companies
  • Consultants in the kids online space
  • Identity technologists
  • State Attorney Generals
  • Legislative Staffers
  • Parents and Kids
  • Academics in the field
  • Bloggers

Adult attendees of the conference are welcome to bring their children ages 10-25 to particiapte in the conversations. There will not be child care, this is about talking about the issues with the constituents we are talking about present.

(Kid’s Online is an Identity Commons Action Group)

This week the Internet Safety Task Force had a meeting this past week. dana boyd has a post about it happening here.

Here are some reports from the blogosphere worth reading:

Harry Lewis – More on Internet Safety
I was pretty shaken by the end of the first day of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force yesterday. I had a meeting right afterwards, which I entered by yelping a primal scream.

Benlog – Children vs. Anonymity
The day started with a few words from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal….I think the only statement I agree with is that parents should be empowered.

Surveill@nce St@te – State AGs Push Online Child Safety Snake Oil
Won’t someone think of the children?
Given the intense political pressure to do something about child safety online, and a complete lack of proven, peer-reviewed, and abuse-resistant technologies available on the market, a number of private companies have stepped in to fill the void…

Braden Cox – The Safety Chase
Discussions focused mostly on what technical solutions exist for addressing the perceived lack of online safety on social networking websites. But overall there’s still a need to connect the most important dot—do proposed solutions actually make children safer?

Jim Kertetter – Help line in the works for cyberbullying victims
Perhaps the biggest reason for that is students’ behavior: A recent survey of high school students done by the Teenangels found 70 percent of the kids surveyed share passwords with other people. The reasons are often innocuous, such as asking someone to check their e-mail for them, or to find a homework assignment for them. Often, teens in relationships will share passwords to assure one another they’re being faithful.

You know your conference is to cheap when…

You know your conference is to cheap when other conferences offer you $200 discounts to register EARLY and yours only costs $200.

In case you missed it the Internet Identity Workshop has an announcement up and registration is open. Phil and I implore you to PLEASE register early so we know how many of you are coming.

We subtly softened our language about “user-centric identity” to take into account that there is some concern that this might be going to far in one direction and it may be that the parameters of the relationship in the middle is where the focus needs to be.

The Internet Identity Workshop focuses on what has been called user-centric identity. Basically asking the question how can people manage their own identity across the range of websites, services, companies and organizations that they belong to, purchase from and participate with. IIW is a working meeting for a range of groups focused on the technical, social and legal issues arising with the emergence identity, relationship and social layer of the web.

I think this year Identity as a service will make a strong appearance. Companies like Symplified are doing interesting things that have application in the enterprise market first but could have usefulness on the consumer side maybe sooner then we think.

More from the announcement:
As a community we have been exploring these kinds of questions:

  • How are social networking sites and social media tools applying user-centric identity? (this is the question I am interested in knowing more about. How is it working now that you can actually implement some of this stuff – it is not just big ideas any more)
  • What are the open standards to make it work? (identity and semantic)
  • What are technical implementations of those standards?
  • How do different standards and technical implementations interoperate?
  • What are the new social norms and legal constructs needed to make it work?
  • What tools are needed to make it usably secure for end-users?
  • What are the businesses cases / models that drive all this?

Our event is highly participatory anyone who wants to present can do so. The agenda is made all together on Tuesday morning. We do this unconference style – for those who have not yet been you can read what community leaders have said about the effectiveness of the format.

If you are NEW please come to Monday’s introductory session starting at 1pm. If you have attended before it is worth coming to get the latest updates on where things are.

Yes it is CHEAP – $200 if you are an independant, and $350 if you come from a corporateion. You get all your meals paid for (healthy food – some say the best ever conference food).

If you want to come and you can’t afford it – talk to us – we want you there if you want to be there.

If you are an Identity blogger and have been to IIW PLEASE blog about this one coming up. We also have a blog sidebar logo you an put up.

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Identity Books Arrive

So I had two book shipments arrive today – i thought I would share them in case any of you out there also are reading or hope to read these books soon. Let me know.

From AMAZON today came

Identity and Control: How Social Formations Emerge, Second Edition by Harrison C. White.
This one was recommended by the Value Networks mailing list that I am on. It dives into the construction of sociocultural context. Chapter one is titled Identities and Control. Should be good.

I am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter (author of Godel, Escher, Bach) This one was recomended to my by Scott David at lunch when I met him in Seattle recently. A mutual friend introduced us five months ago in e-mail. He is a lawyer based in Seattle and participating in the ID-Legal group . The book asks the question “What do we mean when we say “I”?

I got three books that I hope will be useful in gaining some more skills/tools for communicating about identity topics.

Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with PICTURES by Dan Roam

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds (I saw him present at SlideShare recently.

Indexed (the space betwen short, nerdy and oddly attractive) by Jessica Hagy (her blog) – think Hugh MacLeod but with diagrams on index cards rather then cartoons on the back of business cards.

Books I bought in Boston and shipped home arrived :)

Buckminster Fuller:Staring with the Universe is the catalogue from the Whitney Museum exhibit about him. This gets to our identity as beings on spaceship earth in the universe.

Uniforms: Why we are what we where by Paul Fussel

Ok these’s don’t exactly have to do with identity but they are fun – and besides “you are what you eat” right?
Slow Food: why our Food should be Good, Clean and Fair by Carlo Petrini – it is a translation of his manifesto originally in italian – this weekend happens to be Slow Food Nation

On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries by Richard Reynolds.

Last week Cody’s Books was closing in Berkeley. The bank of the company that owned the store recalled the loans. The store closed about 6 weeks ago and sat there with all the books inside. Then 2 weeks ago they sold all those remaining books at 40% off.

I got four Identity related books

Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, Updated and Expanded Edition (2007) by Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau.
Less Safe, Less Free: Why Americans are Loosing the War on Terror by David Cole and Jules Lobel

Who’s Watching You? The Chilling Truth about the State Surveillance, and Personal Freedom by Mick Farren and John Gibb


cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity and Identity on the Internet by Lisa Nakamura. (cybertypes is her updated word for stereotypes that appear on in the context of cyberspace).

What is the problem?

At MashupCamp 6 I lead a session about Data Sharing. Asking what is the scope of this problem. Dusty created this diagram from the session. I am going to take the Whiteboard and translate it into a diagram shortly. This conversation could have gone on for at least another hour. It is a big elephant and I hope we can get clearer on it and solve some of the problems at the Data Sharing events.

Keen attacks the “identity dog’s” right to exist.

In my home town paper the headline was Disconnect 1st Amendment from Internet hatemongers. The LA times version was Douse the Online Flamers: Faceless Internet sadists who ruin reputations don’t deserve full free-speech protection. Written by Andrew Keen the Cult of the Amateur guy – who wrote the book to get attention and blogs himself .

It begins with our little friend the “identity dog“.

THE CARTOON isn’t as amusing as it once was. “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” one Web-surfing canine barked to another in that 1993 classic from the New Yorker. Back then, of course, at the innocent dawn of the Internet Age, the idea that we might all be anonymous on the Web promised infinite intellectual freedom. Unfortunately, however, that promise hasn’t been realized. Today, too many anonymous Internet users are posting hateful content about their neighbors, classmates and co-workers; today, online media is an increasingly shadowy, vertiginous environment in which it is becoming harder and harder to know other people’s real identities.

It goes into depth about several cases where anonymous online speech was harmful to people online.
And ends with him too..

All three of these cases indicate that the U.S. Supreme Court soon might need to rethink the civic value of anonymous speech in the digital age. Today, when cowardly anonymity is souring Internet discourse, it really is hard to understand how anonymous speech is vital to a free society. That New Yorker cartoon remains true: On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. But it is the responsibility of all of us — parents, citizens and lawmakers — to ensure that contemporary Web users don’t behave like antisocial canines. And one way to achieve this is by introducing more legislation to punish anonymous sadists whose online lies are intended to wreck the reputations and mental health of innocent Americans.

I just finished reading Daniel Solove the Future of Reputation.
It goes in to great detail about the different forms that violations of privacy and reputation can happen and what the law has had to say about it.

One of the most important things to remember is that Virtue of Anonymity this is covered on page 139 of the chapter on Free Speech, Anonymity and Accountability (PDF).

The saga ofArticle III Groupie demonstrates how easy it seems to be anonymous on the Internet. A person can readily create a blog under a pseudonym or can post anonymous comments to blogs or online discussion groups. According to a survey, percent ofbloggers use pseudonyms rather than their real identities. Anonymity can be essential to free speech. As the Supreme Court has noted: “Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress ofmankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all.”60 Anonymous speech has a long history as an important mode of expression.

Between 1789 and 1809, six presidents, fifteen cabinet members, twenty senators, and thirty-four congressmen published anonymous political writings orused pen names. It was common for letters to the editor in local newspapers to be anonymous. Ben Franklin used more than forty pen names during his life. Mark Twain, O. Henry, Voltaire, George Sand, and George Eliot were all pseudonymous authors. Indeed, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay published the Federal Papers under the pseudonym Publius. Their opponents, the Anti-Federalists, also used pseudonyms.62
Anonymity allows people to be more experimental and eccentric without risking damage to their reputations.63Anonymity can be essential to the presentation ofideas, for it can strip away reader biases and prejudices and add mystique to a text. People might desire to be anonymous because they fear social ostracism or being fired from their jobs. Without anonymity, some people might not be willing to express controversial ideas. Anonymity thus can be critical to preserving people’s right to speak freely.

He goes on to talk about the problems that non-accountable anonymous speech can create.

One page 148 he gets to Balancing Anonymity and Accountability. It covers “John Doe” Law suits and the Issues around Section 230 immunity – that ISP’s and other hosters like Yahoo! or even me on my blog are not responsible for what others say in online spaces we provide. The and cases that Keen points to are the result of the failing to find a way to apply Section 230 immunity well.

Solove proposes asks “What Should the Law Do?”

Although existing law lacks nimble ways to resolve disputes about speech and privacy on the Internet, completely immunizing operators of websites works as a sledgehammer. It creates the wrong incentive, providing a broad immunity that can foster irresponsibility. Bloggers should have some responsibilities to others, and Section 230 is telling them that they do not. There are certainly problems with existing tort law. Lawsuits are costly to litigate, and being sued can saddle a blogger with massive expenses. Bloggers often don’t have deep pockets, and therefore it might be difficult for plaintiffs to find lawyers willing to take their cases. Lawsuits can take years to resolve. People seeking to protect their privacy must risk further publicity in bringing suit.

These are certainly serious problems, but the solution shouldn’t be to insulate bloggers from the law. Unfortunately, courts are interpreting Section 230 so broadly as to provide too much immunity, eliminating the incentive to foster a balance between speech and privacy. The way courts are using Section 230 exalts free speech to the detriment ofprivacy and reputation. As a result, a host ofwebsites have arisen that encourage others to post gossip and rumors as well as to engage in online shaming. These websites thrive under Section 230’s broad immunity.

The solution is to create a system for ensuring that people speak responsibly without the law’s cumbersome costs. The task ofdevising such a solution is a difficult one, but giving up on the law is not the answer. Blogging has given amateurs an unprecedented amount ofmedia power, and although we should encourage blogging, we shouldn’t scuttle our privacy and defamation laws in the process.

He concludes

Words can wound. They can destroy a person’s reputation, and in the process distort that person’s very identity. Nevertheless, we staunchly protect expression even when it can cause great damage because free speech is essential to our autonomy and to a democratic society. But protecting privacy and reputation is also necessary for autonomy and democracy. There is no easy solution to how to balance free speech with privacy and reputation. This balance isn’t like the typical balance ofcivil liberties against the need for order and social control. Instead, it is a balance with liberty on both sides ofthe scale—freedom to speak and express oneselfpitted against freedom to ensure that our reputations aren’t destroyed or our privacy isn’t invaded.

As I have tried to demonstrate in this chapter, a delicate balance can be reached, but it is not an easy feat. In many instances, free speech and privacy can both be preserved by shielding the identities ofprivate individuals involved in particular stories. With the Internet, a key issue for the law is who should be responsible for harmful speech when it appears on a website or blog. Much speech online can be posted by anybody who wants to comment to a blog post or speak in an online discussion forum. Commentators can cloak themselves in anonymity and readily spread information on popular blogs and websites. The law currently takes a broadly pro–free speech stance on online expression. As a result, it fails to create any incentive for operators ofwebsites to exercise responsibility with regard to the comments ofvisitors.

Balancing free speech with privacy and reputation is a complicated and delicate task. Too much weight on either side ofthe scale will have detrimental consequences. The law still has a distance to go toward establishing a good balance.

Andrew Keen is an ‘attention seeker’ (I had a ruder phrase in here but thought better then to publish it)- he is writing to be provocative, get attention and called upon to play the role of the ‘other side’ in a community that is experimenting with a range of forms of openness that challenge traditional or entrenched ‘expertise, authority and hierarchy’. Those threatened by emergence of power via new technologies ‘like’ what Andrew has to say. I think it is irresponsible for Andrew to call to the end of the First Amendment’s protection of Anonymous speech online because some small percentage of people are hurt by this – clearly there needs be some evolution in the law and the practices that we have to balance privacy and freedom.

Data Sharing Workshop and 2nd Summit

About a week ago I posted about the choice landscape we have for these events. No one seemed to have an opinion so we went with both and are having one event leaning more towards ‘the technical’ and another leaning more towards vendors with products and potential buyers.

The Data Sharing Workshop, April 18 – 19 at the SFSU, Downtown Campus.

The Data Sharing Summit, May 15, at the Computer History Museum. (immediately following the Internet Identity Workshop)

We received such a positive response to the Data Sharing Summit in September, 2007 and, given the ongoing emergence of different data sharing initiatives, such as, Social Networking Portability, the 1.0 release of the Higgins Framework, DiSO, MT activity feeds, etc. we decided that it was a good time to hold another summit.

Our purpose is to provide gathering spaces in which all parties can work together on the challenge of data sharing. We create the agenda the day it happens. It is about getting things done and figuring out the tough problems – there is no committee deciding who does or does not get to ‘present’ it is about breaking up and really diving in figuring out the solutions and building the consensus to get adoption.

Data Sharing Workshop Details

April 18-19, Friday-Saturday, SFSU Downtown Campus

We selected April 18th and 19th because it seemed like an ideal time to host this event, given that it falls in between RSA and Web 2.0 Expo. People who are the Bay Area from around the world will be able to participate in figuring out how to get data sharing to happen. Although the event will focus on technical aspects, it will also include social, legal and business issues related to data sharing. The space can accommodate up to 200 attendees.

This event is being co-presented by SFSU Institue for the Next Generation Internet

We decided to hold the event on Friday and Saturday to accommodate the needs of different attendees. If you are at a company that is focused on this work and you prefer not to work on weekends, you can attend Friday. Or if you are interested in the subject but are unable to attend due to work commitments, you can come on Saturday. Those who are highly dedicated can come to both days.

Data Sharing Summit 2 Details
May 15, Thursday, Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA

This event will immediately follow the Sixth Internet Identity Workshop at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA. There will be a combined focus on technical work and on opportunities for vendors with solutions in this space to share and connect with potential adopters of Data Sharing tools.

You may want to arrive on the afternoon of May 14th to participate in Internet Identity Workshop activities relevant to DSS (such as the OSIS Interop). May 15th will be a long intensive day, ending around 5 or 6, in time for dinner. Because it is important to close the event together as a group, please make plans to be there all day. The space can hold up to 400 people.

If you are super into the topic of Data Sharing we highly recommend that you come to the [ Internet Identity Workshop] that precedes it.

The Problems, Offerings and Solutions that we put forward at the start of the first DSS is quite informative. Proposed topics and Outcomes are also lay the ground work for these next two events.

If you are interested in sponsoring please contact Laurie Rae at

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Death in first person shooter games

I wonder if this applies to the death of an online persona too?
We shall see….

From Slashdot:

“Brandon Erickson has an interesting post about an experiment on players’ emotional reactions to killing and being killed in a first-person shooters (FPS) with a group of students who played James Bond 007: Nightfire while their facial expressions and physiological activity were tracked and recorded moment-to-moment via electrodes and various other monitoring equipment. The study found that “death of the player’s own character…appear[s] to increase some aspects of positive emotion.” The authors believe this may result from the temporary “relief from engagement” brought about by character death. “Part of this has to do with the intriguing aesthetic question of precisely how the first-person-shooter represents the player after the moment of death,” says Clive Thompson. “This sudden switch in camera angle — from first person to third person — is, in essence, a classic out-of-body experience, of exactly the sort people describe in near-death experiences. And much like real-life near-death experiences, it tends to suffuse me with a curiously zen-like feeling.” An abstract of the original article, “The psychophysiology of James Bond: Phasic emotional responses to violent video game events” is available on the web.” Obnoxiously this alleged scholarly research is not available for free, so we’ll just have to speculate wildly what it says based on the abstract.

There are a lot of donkey’s in my neighborhood (and I know who they are)

The Huffington Post had a new feature on their website the FundRace. It is an interactive map of the whole country that lets you search addresses, zip codes, cities, names, occupations and employers to find out who is giving to political candidates.

This is the map of my neighborhood. My husband and I are talking about sending Obama some money. If we had – we would be on this map. I am not sure how I feel about that.

When Brian first showed me the map – It was shocking – in another time and place this is a map to fuel Mob violence against neighbors. I thought of this in part because of what is going on in Berkeley with thousands of out of town ‘troop’ supporters showed up in town to show their displeasure with the Berkeley City council resolution regarding the armed forces recruiting center in downtown. Emotions are high in the city at what are day long processes. Those out of towners could use something like this to ‘target’ people who had contributed to campaigns they did not approve of.

If we are going to have this kind of radical transparency we are also going to have to have a mature society that manages to keep wacky group behavior under control.


Hey Kailya,
agreed! although that info has always been available, locally and easily, it wasn’t online, which now makes getting it super easy.

the issue is that our personal addresses, searchable with our names, are now online, and that is new and different. those of us with private addresses are now findable if we participate in campaign donations.

my advice is to get a po box or a mailing address and just use that.

but it is a new level of exposure that is strange.


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.

How do you validate who you are?

This story was just posted on Slashdot and raises interesting questions about how we determine how we determine who someone is in relationship to digital content.

“A fifteen year old from Perth, Australia, posed as an employee of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, demanding that YouTube remove hundreds of video clips of ‘The Chasers War on Everything.’ The amusing part is that The Chaser is a comedy company well known to perpetrate exactly this sort of prank.”

Profile Linker – is the time right for open standards…?

Tech Crunch has a review of Profile Linker.

They have one partnership sealed already, with Photobucket, and hope to do more. But for sites where they are unable to get a partnership they’ll have to gather information using the user’s credentials. There’s a risk that networks will simply cut them off.
They have portable profiles:
Portable Profiles allow you to take your content with you anywhere on the web. Mobilize your bio, share your photos.

Best of all, you only need to make updates in ONE place and all your portable profiles will be automatically updated all over the web.

one way they do this is...Don’t feel like entering ALL your profile content again?Well we can do all the work for you. Just tell us your Facebook login or MySpace URL and we’ll get your photo and more . .

All this proves the time is really right for open standards to do this.

Polar Rose soon to search photos for faces on the web

This story comes from Slashdot. A startup Polar Rose is about to launch a face search tool.

Polar Rose relies on a combination of our unique face recognition algorithms and the collective intelligence of our users….we don’t and can’t rely exclusively on face recognition, but also harness the collective intelligence of our users who help train our software and tag names on people we haven’t seen before.

We will open up for a royalty-free use of our API’s, which will allow for partners to integrate the Polar Rose functionality into existing sites or create stand-alone applications of Polar Rose, for example:

* A news site that wants to let users help tag photos, and link stories together based on who appears in photos.
* A photo-sharing site that wants to let users automatically tag new uploads, and search and sort archives based on the people in a photo.
* A social networking or dating site that wants to wants to help users find more pictures of a person, elsewhere on the net or just in the photos of the person’s friends.

The only significant requirements we put for the use of the APIs, is that the Polar Rose signature rose is used, and data that users generate is passed back to us on a non-exclusive basis. The reason being that every piece of data helps train our engine.

Some have privacy concerns. I certainly do – when Riya was pitching similar face recongintion for a flickr like tool I was creeped out. They are now doing a visual search engine so you can put in a purse or boot that you like and it searches for purses and boots like that.

Privacy concerns from New Scientist:

Polar Rose and future developments that make facial recognition available to the masses risk encroaching on people’s privacy, warns Yaman Akdeniz, director of the UK non-profit group Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties.

“Although this sounds like a great idea, I would not like to be searchable in this way, or so easily tracked without my consent,” says Akdeniz. The database compiled by Polar Rose is similar to the kind of biometric database some governments wish to use, he points out.

“I wonder whether they have a right to build such a database,” says Akdeniz, he suggests people think twice before embracing such potentially intrusive tools, and consider which photos of themselves they allow online.

Others agree. Simon Davies, director of the campaign group Privacy International and a specialist in technology and privacy at the London School of Economics, UK, says face-searching technology is valuable but must be used responsibly.

He fears Polar Rose could help identity thieves or stalkers, or even be used by the police to monitor protesters. “They could use the service to find where people have been, what their activities are, or who they associate with,” he says.

Search engines should allow users to prevent their photos being searched, says Davies. “There should be a way to put code in a webpage that signals you want to opt out,” he told New Scientist.

Wow! – Todays Surprise I was on stage at Gnomedex.

“Identity Woman” Kaliya

Originally uploaded by JoshB.

The audience did a shout out for who would lead the the “MVP” discussion here at Gnomedex. They picked me. This has got to be one of the highlights of my career so far. I was handed the mic and invited on stage (right then) to lead a discussion for 15min. Thanks to Dave and Marc for their vocal support.

I used the opportunity to talk about the gap that I see between the civil society – (the group forming network that has been a foundational part of america – DeTocqueville wrote about it) and the social tool building sector. There is a massive gap. I hope that we can find ways to bridge it.

The reason that I am involved in the Identity world is because I want to see people, the citizens in civil society be empowered. I highlighted at the end the potential to weave together – MircoAps to meet their community needs. Where is the “myspace” for churches? Where are the social network tools to augment the neighborhood or a city block mailing list? I hope this community can engage with my challenge to them.

The identity stuff is happening right now big time. There is the Identity Open Space in Vancouver July 20-21. and in Santa Clara Sept 11.

I put forward that several things – there are a few organizations in the intersection –

• Planetwork (where I am the Network Director) We are working on the 1Society Project to build open source open standards based reference architecture for the identity layer working for civil society.
InterraProject – local economy loyalty card and social networking for community.
• The Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network
• Compumentor (Net2)
• Aspiration (They have the Advocacy Dev III coming up at the end of the month).

Other things that came up during the conversation:
Today we talked about lifestyle businesses and success beyond the ‘massive liquidity event’. These are the kinds of companies that can fulfill the huge array of niches. There is an enormous market to serve civil society group forming networks.

There were some people talking about how ‘we don’t need tools’ – everything is fine or that online tools are really just good for interest communities that are not geographic.
Susan Mernit stood up and said to those being contrarian should listen to what I was saying – for those of us who care about open source we should make sure these tools work for civil society. The big companies – Microsoft etc. are making life management tools and we as a community should be thinking about them too.

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THE WORD: Managiziation

Mike Neuenschwander gave a GREAT performance this morning. Last year he destroyed a guitar on stage and assured us that it had a good life in guitar heaven. This year he brought us THE WORD: Managization. I captured it using my camera’s video function. You can check it out over on my Vlog.

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