At our meetup this past Monday, October 20th, Gregory Foster presented on the asymmetry in data flow between United States government entities and the public. Communities like MuckRock have arisen to streamline open records requests, but scaling and improving the data dialog remains difficult, and many agencies have become cautious about ‘Government 2.0′ efforts post-Snowden. How can we “Think globally, act locally” on these issues here in Austin? We discussed these and related topics — ComputerCOP, IMSI Catcher detectors, and Automated License Plate Readers.

Big thanks to Capital Factory for hosting us and providing this recording. (Note: You can use the bottom-right button to toggle between Greg and the room. Neat!)

Further Reading:

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Here’s a video about the dangers of using ComputerCOP software, which has been distributed by hopefully unwitting law enforcement organizations:

In 2011, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office distributed 5,000 copies of ComputerCOP with keylogger.

Sources:

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Two weeks ago, Ed Cavazos led an interactive talk on the legal complexities and challenges around property, possession, and access in virtual worlds. You can watch the full video recording here thanks to our friends at Capital Factory.

Ed’s talk begins immediately. Discussion goes from 0:19 to 1:44.

Related Links:

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Time: Monday, September 15, 7pm-9pm
Location: Capital Factory, 701 Brazos Street, Suite 1601, Austin, TX.
Speaker: Ed Cavazos, Managing Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani
RSVP

edcOnline video game environments, and, in particular, MMOs (massively multiplayer online games), simulate real-world interaction so well that interesting questions are arising about the application of law and social contracts in those realms. This is especially true when virtual goods and currencies take on real value and can be traded or exchanged for items of value outside of the game. How do game rules intersect with the law? Should games be governed by their own theories of justice? What does the future hold as the distinction between on-line play and off-line society begins to blur?

Relevant Links:

Live Stream Info:

An interactive live video stream of the meetup with be available here, thanks to Capital Factory’s LifeSize system. If you cannot attend in person, we invite you to watch and ask questions in the chat room for us to include in the discussion.

 

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City approves Austin Fire Department drone study

September 4, 2014

Austin Fire Department eyes the skies… On August 7th, the Austin City Council approved a four-year study on the use of robotics by the Austin Fire Department. The draft Interlocal Agreement between the City and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) was unanimously approved along with other items on the consent docket at the […]

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Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies in Austin: Annotated Recording

August 25, 2014

Last week’s EFF-Austin meetup featured informative presentations and a lively discussion on cryptocurrencies. My recording of the meetup, along with links to the speakers’ presentations and topics from the Q&A, is now available: EFF-Austin August Meetup Audio + Links — Soundcloud You can also listen below. Mouse over the bottom of the waveform to see where each speaker begins.

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August Meetup: Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies in Austin

August 13, 2014

When: Monday, August 18, 2014 7pm-9pm Where: Capital Factory, 701 Brazos Street, Suite 1601, Austin, TX RSVP: Meetup.com This month’s meetup will focus on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Several speakers will introduce participants to core cryptocurrency concepts while sharing local innovations in the thriving Bitcoin economy. Several speakers will give ten-minute talks on: Core Technical Concepts […]

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21st Century Virtual Identity: a recording

July 23, 2014

EFF-Austin had a great interactive meeting July 21, with Tom Brown presenting on “21st Century Virtual Identity” and more. Stephen Torrence agreed to record the meeting and post it at Soundcloud. He’s also taken time to annotate the recording. [Link to the recording] [Link to Tom Brown's slides] And here’s the recording, if you just […]

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July Meetup: 21st Century Virtual Identity

July 7, 2014

When: Monday, July 21, 2014 7pm-9pm Where: Capital Factory, 701 Brazos Street, Suite 1601, Austin, TX RSVP: Meetup.com Speaker: Tom Brown, with an update of his June 1, 2011 talk on Internet Identity The commercialization of the web and the spread of mobile devices have increasingly changed how we identify ourselves and interact with each […]

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Wired: “What Everyone Gets Wrong in the Debate about Net Neutrality”

June 23, 2014

“We shouldn’t waste so much breath on the idea of keeping the network completely neutral. It isn’t neutral now. What we should really be doing is looking for ways we can increase competition among ISPs — ways we can prevent the Comcasts and the AT&Ts from gaining so much power that they can completely control the […]

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