The Summer 2015 schedule is posted! It’s a terrific group of guests, discussing topics ranging from legislative decision-making to control over robots. I look forward to chatting with them!
Note: because I have several writing deadlines coming up this summer (on issues like trade secrecy in start-ups and transparency in trade negotiations), there’s a a slightly lighter schedule than normal. Apologies; alas, articles do not write themselves — yet.
If you’ve been paying attention to the links below recent show posts (and why wouldn’t you? Are you THAT busy?), you may have noticed a new link to Stitcher. For those who don’t know, Stitcher is a proprietary podcast listening app. Based upon listener requests, and my own interactions with some people who wanted to hear the show there, Hearsay Culture is now available at Stitcher. The show will remain available through the existing media, so you’re not required to migrate to Stitcher. So in a world of seemingly endless options, here’s another to consider. I hope that you find it useful!
I’m pleased to post Show # 239, June 3, my interview with Jacob Silverman, author of Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection. Jacob has written an insightful critique of the costs associated with information socialization and sharing. [Note: as a contracts professor, I should point out that this book does not use “terms of service” (end-user license agreements and the like) as we might in first-year Contracts]. Focusing on the meaning of status, visibility and followers, Jacob runs through a range of concerns surrounding social media, including sentiment analysis, privacy and “dataveillance.” We probed several areas in our discussion, from the meaning of the monicker “Luddite” to whether technology is, in fact, neutral. I greatly enjoyed the interview.
I am pleased to post Show # 238, May 27, my interview with Prof. Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University on Bitcoin, cryptography, privacy and web transparency. Arvind does a range of information policy-related research and writing as a professor affiliated with Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP). [Note: I am a Visiting Research Collaborator at CITP]. Through studying the operation of and security challenges surrounding the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, Arvind has been able to assess cryptography as a privacy-enhancing and dis-intermediating technology. To that end, we had a wide-ranging discussion, from the varied roles of cryptography to commercial surveillance and transparency. Because Arvind is such a dynamic and interdisciplanary scholar, we had a wonderful discussion that I hope you enjoy!
At long last, I’m pleased to post Show # 237, May 20, my interview with return guest Prof. Gabriella Coleman of McGill University, author of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. Biella has written a remarkable anthropological study of Anonymous, the ubiquitous collection of technology activists who were born out of the “lulz” (i.e., pranksterism plus). Over many months, Biella got to know an assortment of individuals involved in Anonymous, and through that interaction paints a complex and surprising picture of their operations. In our discussion, we talked about both her research methods and the insights that she developed through her work. In an era of networked interactions that exist on the spectrum from public to secret, Biella’s work is both groundbreaking and essential. I greatly enjoyed our broad discussion.
I’m pleased to post Show # 236, May 13, my interview with Peter Asaro of the School of Media Studies at The New School, on killer robots. Peter is one of the leading experts on the somewhat haphazard introduction of robotics into everyday life. As the Spokesperson for the The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, Peter has taken a key role in educating the public about robotics’ current and potential future capabilities. In our discussion, we canvassed the nascent world of robotics law and regulation, and the impact of robotics on everything from the availability of jobs for humans to the right of privacy. Because we are seemingly at the near-dawn of this era, I was thrilled to have Peter on the show to discuss his important work. I hope that you enjoy the interview.
I’m pleased to post Show # 235, April 29, my interview with Profs. Irina Manta of Hofstra Law and David Olson of Boston College Law, authors of Hello Barbie: First They Will Monitor You, Then They Will Discriminate Against You. Perfectly. Irina and David have written a challenging and insightful article that posits a burgeoning economy where, as they put it, “manufacturers of software and of consumer goods … make use of consumer monitoring technologies and restrictive software licenses to more perfectly price discriminate.” Put differently, Irina and David argue that corporate monitoring and the ability to set restrictive license terms may not have the negative effects that one might assume; indeed, it may make software more affordable for more people. Drawing on the somewhat-creepy story of Mattel’s Hello Barbie, Irina and David have penned a fascinating article that positions the Internet of Things as a potential boon to software and technology access. We explored the structure and ramifications of their arguments in a fun discussion, which I hope you enjoy!
I’m pleased to post Show # 234, April 22, my interview with Prof. Danielle Citron of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace. Danielle has written the definitive study of the range of activities that constitute “hate crimes” on the Internet. Focusing on activities ranging from “revenge porn” to cyber-stalking, Danielle takes a critical look at the law and norms around this behavior today. Given that policymakers, speech platforms and even law enforcement are struggling to ascertain the scope of these problems and how they should be addressed, Danielle’s work is a timely and sorely needed contribution to our understanding of speech and harms in modern communications today. I was thrilled to have Danielle on the show and hope that you find the show enlightening.
I’m excited to post the last show of the winter 2015 quarter, Show # 233, March 18, my interview with Pedro Roffe of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and Prof. Xavier Seuba of the University of Strasbourg, co-editors of ACTA and the Plurilateral Enforcement Agenda. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was the first modern effort to address copyright piracy on the Internet in the international lawmaking arena. It was a failure in no small part due to the excessive secrecy of the negotiations; nonetheless, there is more to learn from the experience than merely procedural failure. In our discussion, we spanned procedure and substance, including lessons to be learned for ongoing trade negotiations like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Given the ongoing battle over fast tracking the TPP, this show is particularly timely. I greatly enjoyed the discussion and hope that you do as well!