The draft Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) is a proposed new law on surveillance that was presented to parliament in November 2015. The bill is currently before the Joint Committee (i.e. both Houses of Parliament) which is investigating the content of the bill and will report its recommendations to the Houses in February 2016. The first step of the procedure having been a call for written evidence, which had to be submitted by 21 December 2015, as well as public hearings in November, December 2015 and January 2016. Since the IPB has obvious implications for privacy and digital rights, I decided to take a closer look at the Bill (despite it being 299 pages long).
For those of us who might not be in the UK, or have too many other things to think about, a brief reminder. Care.Data is the name of the programme in the UK that aims to bring together into a central database the patient data that is currently held distributed through the country at each separate GP surgery.
In the shadow of the tragic attacks in Paris recently, people will undoubtedly be asking themselves again what could possibly be done to improve the safety of innocent civilians and protect all us of from further violence of that, or any other, kind. Predictable, voices will be calling for more powers for security agencies and urging government to rush the newly proposed Investigative Powers Bill (IPB) through parliament so that GCHQ can drag their search net though the internet and stop any future attacks from happening.
As a researcher who has spent some time working on AI and Robotics I naturally tend to notice when AI gets discussed in the news. Over the last couple of years, social media and software companies have all started to invest heavily in AI research such as Google’s purchase of the robotics company Boston Dynamics, Facebook, as well as Microsoft, Apple and IBM’s Watson and Deep Blue of course. Partially in response to this, research institutes (e.g. Future of Life institute, Future of Humanity institute, Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI)) and well known scientists and industrialists (e.g. Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, Elon Musk and Bill Gates) have launched various campaigns and given media interviews to raise their concerns about the possible extinction level threat posed by the possible rise of Superintelligent AI.
The 2015 ACM Web Science conference WebSci’15 is being held at the Oxford e-Research Centre and Keble College, Oxford, with an excellent programme of over 60 papers and posters, alongside seven exciting Web Science workshops, plus keynotes, panels and Late Breaking Research. The conference runs from Sunday 28 June to Wednesday 1 July, and is the seventh in the conference series organised by the Web Science Trust.
Web Science is the emergent study of the people and technologies, applications, processes and practices that shape and are shaped by the World Wide Web. Web Science aims to draw together theories, methods and findings from across academic disciplines, and to collaborate with industry, business, government and civil society, to develop our knowledge and understanding of the Web: the largest socio-technical infrastructure in human history. This year’s paper sessions are themed around Politics & Culture, Data Challenges, Online Social Behaviour, Innovating Methods, Ethics, Digital Narratives, and Social Safety and Wellbeing.
CaSMa participated in this conference with two ‘Late Breaking Research’ presentations:
- ‘A tailored web, filtered to your personal profile’, by Ansgar Koene, related to a project we are developing with regards to Ethical, Privacy and Agency implications of personalized information filtering systems.
- ‘Acting Out Digital Dilemmas to Promote Digital Reflections’, by Elvira Perez Vallejos, related to the iRights project.
The 2nd international conference on Internet Science “Societies, governance and innovation” will be organised in Brussels under the aegis of the European Commission, by the EINS project, the FP7 European Network of Excellence in Internet Science.
This highly multidisciplinary conference will allow to foster dialogue among scholars and practitioners belonging to various disciplines: Computer Science, Sociology, Art, Mathematics, Physics, Complex systems analysis, Psychology, Economics, Law, Political Science, Epistemology, etc.
Open Day and Scientific Conference
May 27: OPEN DAY
A registration-free event open to anyone interested in the Internet Science topic. An opportunity for the EINS Network of Excellence to interact with external stakeholders, detail project methodological approach, and showcase its results to a wider community. This open day will be an occasion for new stakeholders to join the EINS affiliate programme (Internet Science community) and to discuss on the Internet Science challenges of today and tomorrow.
May 28-29: SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE
A scientific conference inviting researchers from various disciplines to present papers shedding light on Internet research, and in particular papers crossing rigid disciplines boundaries, describing original research and innovative ideas. Structured interactive sessions (roundtables and provocative panels) will be part of these two days.
In addition to an active contribution to the round-table discussion on “Internet Research Ethics: Striking a balance between conflicting interests” during the Open Day, CaSMa researcher Ansgar Koene will also present his paper on “Ethics of personalized information filtering” during the session on Internet and Innovation on May 29th.
What use would a digital bill of rights be?
The Liberal Democrats have been a lone voice among the parties calling for a digital bill of rights governing our growing use of the internet. But is it the right solution for the problem in hand?
Surveys suggest that the bill should pique the interest of at least a few floating voters, with almost three-quarters of British adults in one survey concerned over unauthorised access to their private information online.