Free Culture [en]

A new course on Open Research at the School of Open

Creative Commons - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:58

The following is a guest post by Beck Pitt, researcher at the Open University’s OER Research Hub. We are collaborating with Beck and her team to investigate attitudes towards sharing educational resources online and the impact of School of Open courses.

Are you curious about what it means to research openly and what benefits it could have? Interested in how you can be open and ethical when conducting research? Wondering how openness could help raise the profile of your research? Thinking about the benefits of sharing reflections on your research?

The award-winning, Hewlett Foundation-funded OER Research Hub based at The Open University (UK) is pleased to announce its very own School of Open course in collaboration with the Peer 2 Peer University and Creative Commons. It opens for sign-up today at https://p2pu.org/en/courses/2377/open-research/.

Over six months in the making and peer-reviewed by the community, this new School of Open course offers the opportunity to explore the concept and practices of open research with participants from around the world. The course has been designed for any researcher who has an interest in utilizing open techniques and practices in their own research.

Join researchers Bea de los Arcos, Rob Farrow, Beck Pitt, and project manager Natalie Eggleston for this four-week course that explores what open research is and the issues involved around it, including: ethics, dissemination, reflection, and evaluation. The course starts Monday, 15 September 2014 and features its very own “Open Research” badge for course completion and participation.

Sign up for the course here

To sign up, simply click the “Start Course” button on the lower left of the course page once you have signed into or registered for a p2pu.org account. Sign-up will remain open through Friday, 12 September.

About the OER Research Hub

The OER Research Hub is an international open research project examining the impact of open educational resources (OER) on learning and teaching practices. It works collaboratively with initiatives, projects and organisations around the world, disseminating its research and curating evidence for the impact of OER on its Impact Map.

About the School of Open

The School of Open is a global community of volunteers focused on providing free education opportunities on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, and research. Volunteers develop and run online courses, offline workshops, and real world training programs on topics such as Creative Commons licenses, open educational resources, and sharing creative works. The School of Open is coordinated by Creative Commons and P2PU, a peer learning community for developing and running free online courses.

Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Comcast Data Breach Leaks Thousands of Unlisted Phone Numbers, Threatening Customers' Privacy

Electronic Frontier Foundation - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:46

The longer my information is out there, the worse the issue gets, yet still no action. I have paid for unpublishing my information for years as I testified in a murder trial. Now, my wife, children, and I are [a]ll in danger; and I have nowhere to turn.

Four years ago, users of Comcast's phone service who had paid for their personal information to be unlisted noticed that something was amiss. Complaints started appearing from these individuals who found their names, addresses, and telephone numbers in phone directories both online and off.

Later, it was revealed that this breach of confidential information affected more than 74,000 individuals and households in California—over half of Comcast's users in California with unlisted numbers. While the breach hit California the hardest, it also occurred with Comcast customers in other states. These numbers were treated just like ordinary listed phone numbers, licensed by Comcast to "publishers," directory assistance providers, and apparently passed on to other databases and published for everyone to see.

This is but one example of how a mistake in an industry built upon the acquisition and selling of personal information can hurt people.  And this is why California law requires phone companies to protect their customers' unlisted or non-published phone numbers.1 The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has opened up an investigation [pdf] to determine whether and to what extent Comcast may have broken the law in allowing this release of non-published numbers. EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien has submitted testimony [pdf] as an expert witness for the California PUC in this case.

These customers were paying Comcast every month to keep their personal information out of public databases. Many of these customers rely on having a non-published number to withhold their names, telephone numbers, and addresses from public lists, not only to preserve their privacy, but to protect their safety. Data breaches like Comcast's can have grave consequences; many complaints explicitly mention abusive relationships or serious threats. As one complainant wrote:

They have put my life in danger & this is not the littlest bit of exaggerating.... I'm tired of getting the runaround & have now contacted corporate office, being paraplegic already how am I suppose [sic] to protect myself from a man that has threatened to kill me...

Comcast claims to have first heard about this breach in October of 2012, and they reported the error to California's Public Utilities Commission in January 2013. However, the Commission has found complaints about wrongly published unlisted numbers from more than two years earlier.

While "getting the runaround" from Comcast has become a matter of course, these reports reveal the actual danger that can come from a breach. And such breaches will only happen more often as more data is collected, shared, and sold.

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission released its long-awaited report on the hidden intricacies of the data economy, focusing on data brokers. Apparent is the scope of use for consumer data: from marketing to risk mitigation and debt collection. Information gleaned from phone number databases can be used to flesh out profiles of individuals, making them easier targets for advertising campaigns and services—and more visible to those who want to find them.

Senior citizens often unlist their phone numbers to escape unwanted telemarketer calls. Yet, as the FTC report and many articles note, seniors are one of the more sought after segments of the population, since they are often vulnerable to deals, tricks, and scams. (For a specific example, the New York Times covered the story of Charles Guthrie, who was duped after a data broker sold his number to thieves.)

Consumers with unlisted numbers have a serious expectation of privacy, and Comcast broke not only their contracts with these customers, but most likely the law. There will be an evidentiary hearing in this case in September.

Files:  i1310003_sed_testimony_of_expert_witness_of_lee_tien_cor.pdf oii_13_10_003_comcast_-_final.pdfRelated Issues: Privacy
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Categorías: Free Culture [en]

MSF Letter to Indian government – IP negotiations in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Infojustice - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:24
[Médecins Sans Frontières, Link]  Ahead of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Conference to be held in Myanmar on 27-28 August 2014, see the letter below from Medecins Sans Frontieres addressed to the Indian Minister of State for Commerce & Industry regarding the inclusion of intellectual property (IP) in the negotiations of the Regional [...]
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 11:10
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

The Politicization Of The US Patent System

IP-Watch - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 09:03
The Washington Post story, How patent reform’s fraught politics have left USPTO still without a boss (July 30), is a vivid account of how patent reform has divided the US economy, preempting a possible replacement for David Kappos who stepped down 18 months ago. The division is even bigger than portrayed. Universities have lined up en masse to oppose reform, while main street businesses that merely use technology argue for reform. Reminiscent of the partisan divide that has paralyzed US politics, this struggle crosses party lines and extends well beyond the usual inter-industry debates. Framed in terms of combating patent trolls through technical legal fixes, there lurks a broader economic concern – to what extent ordinary retailers, bank, restaurants, local banks, motels, realtors, and travel agents should bear the burden of defending against patents as a cost of doing business.
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

EU Commission Consultation On Protection Of Non-Agricultural GIs

IP-Watch - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 08:46
The European Commission recently launched a public consultation on the protection of geographical indications for non-agricultural products.
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 08:06
As if cutting off from their games millions of users wasn't enough for the day, Forbes reports that [the] hacker collective (or individual) known as the “Lizard Squad” succeeded in taking offline many gaming services including Blizzard’s Battle.net and Sony PSN. But things took a turn from irritating DDoS attacks to another level of harassment earlier this afternoon when the group took to Twitter to announce publicly that it a believed the flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley had explosives on board. The flight had been bound from Dallas to San Diego, but in response to the bomb threat, the plane was diverted to Phoenix.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 08:06
As if cutting off from their games millions of users wasn't enough for the day, Forbes reports that [the] hacker collective (or individual) known as the “Lizard Squad” succeeded in taking offline many gaming services including Blizzard’s Battle.net and Sony PSN. But things took a turn from irritating DDoS attacks to another level of harassment earlier this afternoon when the group took to Twitter to announce publicly that it a believed the flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley had explosives on board. The flight had been bound from Dallas to San Diego, but in response to the bomb threat, the plane was diverted to Phoenix.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 08:06
As if cutting off from their games millions of users wasn't enough for the day, Forbes reports that [the] hacker collective (or individual) known as the “Lizard Squad” succeeded in taking offline many gaming services including Blizzard’s Battle.net and Sony PSN. But things took a turn from irritating DDoS attacks to another level of harassment earlier this afternoon when the group took to Twitter to announce publicly that it a believed the flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley had explosives on board. The flight had been bound from Dallas to San Diego, but in response to the bomb threat, the plane was diverted to Phoenix.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 08:06
As if cutting off from their games millions of users wasn't enough for the day, Forbes reports that [the] hacker collective (or individual) known as the “Lizard Squad” succeeded in taking offline many gaming services including Blizzard’s Battle.net and Sony PSN. But things took a turn from irritating DDoS attacks to another level of harassment earlier this afternoon when the group took to Twitter to announce publicly that it a believed the flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley had explosives on board. The flight had been bound from Dallas to San Diego, but in response to the bomb threat, the plane was diverted to Phoenix.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 25 Agosto, 2014 - 08:06
As if cutting off from their games millions of users wasn't enough for the day, Forbes reports that [the] hacker collective (or individual) known as the “Lizard Squad” succeeded in taking offline many gaming services including Blizzard’s Battle.net and Sony PSN. But things took a turn from irritating DDoS attacks to another level of harassment earlier this afternoon when the group took to Twitter to announce publicly that it a believed the flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley had explosives on board. The flight had been bound from Dallas to San Diego, but in response to the bomb threat, the plane was diverted to Phoenix.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]
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