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January 29 2014


ORF.at — TV-Angebote im Netz

Ö1 gehört gehört http://oe1.orf.at/artikel/364586

January 09 2014


James Gleick: Bits and Bytes

Former 'New York Times' writer James Gleick (the man who popularised "the butterfly effect" in 'Chaos') has produced the definitive history of the age in which we live, 'The Information'. In Gleick's book 'Information' he speaks about the information "flood". He talks with Robyn Williams, presenter of ABC Science and ABC Radio National. We are in a predicament where we have the ability to reach out and get facts easily. Although we may have access this does not necessarily bring with it knowledge. The gatekeepers of information are more important than ever, due to our reliance on these authorities for truth. This event was presented by Sydney Writer's Festival 2011 James Gleick is an author, journalist and biographer whose books explore the cultural ramifications of science and technology. His books have popularised concepts such as "The Butterfly Effect" and sold bucketloads around the world. His most recent book, "The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood", is being hailed as his crowning work. Gleick is also the author of the bestselling books "Chaos", 'Genius', 'Faster' and a biography of Isaac Newton. Three of these books have been Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalists, and have been translated into more than 20 languages. James divides his time between New York City and Florida. Robyn Williams has presented science programs on ABC radio and television since 1972. He is the first journalist to be elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, was a visiting fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, and is a visiting professor at the University of NSW. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2011/05/31/3230976.htm

January 07 2014


Human Rights and Technology

This talk aims to shed some light on recent human rights violations in the context of the use of digital information and communications technology, particularly considering the latest disclosures about the surveillance programmes of Western intelligence services. At the same time, it shall provide information about Amnesty International's positions and activities in this field and invite anybody interested in our work to get involved. In the past 20 years, digital technologies have become widely used in data processing and transmission. This phenomenon, often labelled as „digital revolution“, has brought about great improvements in efficiency in the daily lives of many and for society as a whole. The fight for a better protection of human rights has also benefitted vastly from these developments: It is hard to imagine that the „Arab Spring“ movement could have gained the same momentum without the widespread use of modern information and communications media. Classified documents (the leaks by Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden only being the most spectactular ones) bearing witness, for the first time, to human rights violations of a number of states, wouldn't have seen the same spread and publicity without anonymous online whistleblower platforms like WikiLeaks. Today, numerous projects interconnect human rights defenders all around the world through blogs, social networks, short messaging services and smartphone apps. As networks and bandwidths evolve, these technologies more and more enable activists in all parts of the world to compare notes on a global basis, exchange information and experiences, upload evidence of human rights violations and protect themselves more effectively. On the other hand, governments also use these technologies to spy on, track down and detain people that they believe could jeopardise their power. In many cases, these measures affect people who have merely exercised their human rights. States use their capabilities to oppress actions or opinions they do not deem suitable. They covertly eavesdrop on electronic communications on a large scale, thus undermining the anonymity of communication and the privacy of people. They block content or services on the Internet, break into private email accounts, censor opinions through gigantic word filters, or even shut down communications networks in times of civil unrest and political protests. The revelations of the last months concerning the NSA's and GCHQ's surveillance activities by far exceed the dimensions of global communications interception known to the public so far. At the same time, whistleblowers disclosing classified information about human rights violations face severe persecution by State authorities. The EU Directive on blanket telecommunications data retention and dubious EU research projects like INDECT add to the evolving picture that it is not just states with a well-known record of extensive communications interception, filtering and censoring like China, Iran or Saudi Arabia, that seem to attach little value to human rights in digital networks. These are but a few examples of the ambivalent impact of digitisation on human rights. While modern information and communications technologies have yielded new opportunities for individuals to exercise their rights, they have also given rise to new ways for governments to prevent, obstruct or control these activities effectively. Current developments show that the excessive use of government power in this environment imperils the full enjoyment of human rights, in particular the right to privacy and the freedom of expression and information. In fact, governments all over the world these days seem to engage in what could be described as a repressive backlash against the facilitations that modern information and communications technologies have brought about for the exercise of human rights. Amnesty International's German section is currently setting up a new task force (preliminarily known as Digital@Amnesty) that focuses on human rights violations in the context of the use of digital information and communications technology. Our mission is to keep a critical eye on the further development of these technologies and to assist in finding a position on the issues arising thereof with a view to the future protection of human rights in a digital environment. This talk will present some aspects of our work, the position Amnesty takes on recent incidents in this field (including a legal assessment from a human rights perspective), and ways to get involved. http://events.ccc.de/congress/2013/Fahrplan/events/5539.html Day: 2013-12-30 Start time: 13:45 Duration: 00:30 Room: Saal 6 Track: Ethics, Society & Politics Language: en

World War II Hackers

The use of encryption to secure sensitive data from unauthorized eyes is as old as human communication itself. Before the relatively new method of computerized encryption software converting data into a format unintelligible to anyone lacking the necessary key for its decryption, for a long time there was pen and paper and the human brain doing quite a bit of work. Up until the 20th century encryption had to be done literally by hand, to then be transmitted in paper form, via telegraphy or radio. In this context, encryption of data has always been of special importance during times of political conflict and war; subsequently, it saw its major developments during those times in history. This talk will examine and explain common hand encryption methods still employed today using the example of one very successful Soviet espionage group operating in Japan in the 1930s and 1940s: the spy ring centered around Richard Sorge, codenamed “Ramsay”. In the summer of 1938, the Japanese Secret Police started to notice mysterious radio transmissions emanating from somewhere in the Tokyo area. These transmissions, consisting of seemingly meaningless groups of digits, seemed to be directed towards the Asian mainland; neither the Secret Police nor the Japanese Communications Ministry and the Communications Bureau of the Governor General of Korea were able to pinpoint the where and from more precisely. It wasn't until 1941 that Japanese authorities uncovered the full scope and meaning of these messages – by accident and at first disbelieving what they had unearthed. The seemingly gibberish radio transmissions did indeed emanate from the heart of Tokyo and, as it turned out, were received in Vladivostok and passed on to Moscow, to be presented to Stalin himself. Decrypted, they contained vital information about secret German and Japanese plans, even the date of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. This information had been gathered by Richard Sorge, a German citizen with a colorful personality who had infiltrated the small German community in Japan under the guise of a journalist and even gained the friendship and trust of the German ambassador, giving him access to any information available inside the embassy of Japan's ally. In Japan since 1933, Sorge had built a spy ring around a small group of confidantes: a Japanese journalist with connections to powerful Japanese political circles, a French-Yugoslav communist, and a German radio technician, Max Clausen. Clausen's technical knowledge proved vital for the group's success: he was able to build a transmitter and receiver capable of reaching up to 4,000 km from scratch, using parts available in Tokyo shops without raising suspicion. His radio station was fully portable in a large briefcase and assembled in under 10 minutes. The dispatches transmitted to the Soviet Union by Sorge's group were written in English and then converted into digits using a straddling checkerboard and, to scramble the content even more, a book cipher, using pages from a statistical yearbook as the key. The Japanese authorities were not able to decipher the messages, Sorge's encryption method remained unbroken until Max Clausen explained it himself after his arrest in 1941. The historical importance of Sorge's espionage material remains a controversial issue among historians; some call him the greatest spy of all times, some argue that since Stalin did not trust his information, Sorge had little influence on the outcome of World War II. Instead of trying to settle this argument, my talk will examine the technical aspects of Sorge's work in Japan: I will describe the DIY radio station used to wirelessly transmit his dispatches over thousands of kilometers and show how these dispatches were manually encrypted using nothing but a pen, paper, and a book – suggesting that this method is still valid today, offering low-tech ways of concealing information, be it private or politically delicate material. http://events.ccc.de/congress/2013/Fahrplan/events/5474.html Day: 2013-12-27 Start time: 21:45 Duration: 01:00 Room: Saal G Track: Ethics, Society & Politics Language: en

August 14 2013


Andrew Fowler on We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks - Arts - Browse - Big Ideas - ABC TV

Opinion has always been sharply divided about Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, between the welded on uncritical fandom and former co workers or ‘donors to the cause’ who’ve put up bail money and done their dough; and now have fairly dark views of Assange. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2013/08/12/3820449.htm

July 27 2013


Verteidigung: Informant Manning handelte mit guten Absichten | tagesschau.de

Das Schicksal von Whistleblower Manning liegt nun in den Händen der Militärrichterin. Der Prozess endete mit dem Schlussplädoyer der Verteidigung, die den Wikileaks-Informanten als naiven, jungen Mann darstellte. Das Urteil wird kommende Woche erwartet. http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/manning120.html

July 05 2013


Empörung über NSA-Spionage in Deutschland und der EU | tagesschau.de

Die Empörung über den US-Geheimdienst NSA wächst. Laut einem "Spiegel"-Bericht ist Deutschland eines der Hauptziele - die NSA überwache hier monatlich eine halbe Milliarde Kommunikationsdaten. Auch mutmaßliche Spionage bei der EU sorgt für Ärger. http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/nsa-deutschland-eu100.html

April 03 2013


What Information Was by David Weinberger

It's puzzling that even though we named an age after information, very few people can tell you what information is. And the ones with the clearest answers are often defining information in the technical sense, which is not the sense in which the culture took it up. In this session, we'll look back at information, trying to understand what about it led us to embrace it as the dominant -- paradigmatic -- way of understanding ourselves and our world. David Weinberger will present an informal sketch of a direction, suggesting that we leaped into information because it reflected a long-held but squirrely metaphysics. There will be lots of time for open discussion. http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/luncheon/2009/11/weinberger

January 14 2012


Is It Time For You To Go On An 'Information Diet'? : NPR

We're used to thinking of "obesity" in physical terms — unhealthful weight that clogs our arteries and strains our hearts. But there's also an obesity of information that clogs our eyes and our minds and our inboxes: unhealthful information deep-fried in our own preconceptions. In The Information Diet, open-source-Internet activist Clay Johnson makes the case for more "conscious consumption" of news and information. Johnson, the founder of Blue State Digital, which provided the online strategy for the 2008 Obama campaign, talks with NPR's Scott Simon about ways to slim and stretch our minds. http://www.npr.org/2012/01/14/145101748/is-it-time-for-you-to-go-on-an-information-diet

September 13 2011


More than a metaphor: Making places with information

Conference: IA Summit 2011 Speaker(s): Andrea Resmini, Andrew Hinton, Jorge Arango Like building architects before them, information architects are creating the spaces in which people meet, transact, communicate, and learn. The spaces that IAs design are where many people will be spending a considerable part of their lives. A heady role! This session will explore relationship between information and architecture, taking seriously the phrase “the design of information spaces”. You’ll learn how place-making works as a design methodology, the importance of context on the design of an information space, and how to explain the value of IA in architectural terms that clients and colleagues can understand more clearly. http://library.iasummit.org/podcasts/more-than-a-metaphor-making-places-with-information/

June 15 2011


Untangling Complexity

The world feels like a kind of Rube Goldberg device - an intricate and complicated system delivering very modest results. People despair of social systems ever working properly, but maybe complexity is a good thing. A Calgary Institute for the Humanities Community Forum loosens a few knots.

June 02 2011


April 30 2011

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