[EAS]Davos, Privacy and Blogs

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sun Mar 2 02:13:03 EST 2003

Subject:   Davos, Privacy and Blogs

Dear Colleagues -

A Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist, Laurie Garrett, gets
the opportunity to attend the January '03 World Economic Forum in
Davos, Switzerland. This is an exclusive conference for the 5000
most powerful people in the world. Slightly intoxicated by the
experience, she writes a breezy, chatty conference report about what
is worrying the world's leaders, what Vincente Fox is like, dinner
with the head of the Saudo Secret Police. She writes in the form of
email to some of her journalist friends.


That email circulates among her friends and their friends, and gets
on a mailing list with a Web archive (like our EAS-INFO list here),
thus "crossing the bloodstream." From there it gets all over the
Internet, not what she intended. 

Here is a thoughtful and in-depth discussion of this "privacy spill"
on a Yale Law School discussion list, examining this whole
phenomenon of rapid distributions, the discussions it evoked,
analogies to Napster, the privacy and copyright issues. For that,
be sure to read down to the Epilogue. It's quite fascinating.


[If you are reading this in the EAS-INFO archives, the above URLs
won't work without some editing, because for every "=" sign the
archiving added a spurious "3D" after it, a situation I still
haven't fixed. Sorry. Edit out the "3D"s to make the URLs work.]

If some colleagues, or, more likely, students, have been making you
feel behind the times with mentions of "blogging", the LawMeme
discussion list (of the last URL) is an example. A "blog", short for
Web Log, is a latter-day discussion list with contributions fully
Web enabled. Because of the full html (even xml) attributes possible
for such "postings", it is really a form on instant publishing that
is causing much excitement. E.g. see the item below on Google's
latest move into this area.


(from NewsScan Daily, 18 February 2003)

Google has cut a deal to acquire Pyra Labs, a small group of Web
developers  responsible for developing the software used for the
personal publishing  phenomenon known as blogging (from Weblogging).
Weblogs are a form of  grassroots online diary publishing that
enable users to update their  personal Web sites with a series of
brief postings, arranged  chronologically. The acquisition signals
Google's latest step in its  strategy to move beyond the search
engine market into publishing. Last year  it developed and launched
Google News, and the two years ago it purchased  Deja.com's Usenet,
a massive archive of Web-based discussion groups. 
(Reuters/Los Angeles Times 18 Feb 2003)

More information about the EAS-INFO mailing list