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:

Quote:
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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