In the beginning of 2021, the AI Now Institute launched “A New AI Lexicon,” a collection of contributions assessing language about critical AI topics. This includes resituating and retooling common AI buzzwords as well as focusing on underexplored, alternative narratives around AI technology.

So far, the essay contributions have been organized by keyword, like CARE, MAINTENANCE, DISSENT, and OPEN. The essays about AI in “care” and “dissent,” in particular, contain similar critiques against technological determinism and solutionism.

We live today, arguably, in a care-poor and discourse-poor world. People are excluded from supportive communities and systems of care due to medical…

In the second part of the Lumen Researcher interview series, we spoke with Daniel Seng, Associate Professor at National University of Singapore (NUS) and Director at NUS’s Centre for Technology, Robots, Artificial Intelligence, and the Law.

Professor Seng pursued his doctoral degree from Stanford Law School, where he used machine learning, natural language processing, and big data techniques to conduct research on copyright takedown notices. His doctoral thesis was the beginning of his decade-long association with the Lumen Project, then known as Chilling Effects.

As a part of his research, Prof. Seng has worked on five papers that have used…

In June, US House lawmakers released a package of bills that intend to curb the monopolies of Big Tech platforms. The bills, although not yet finalized for a House Floor vote, are pioneering in scope and depth; the regulations seek to stimulate competition among digital platforms through bans on behavior such as self-preferencing and leveraging market power over several business lines.

From the perspective of user experience, one act, in particular, has exciting, transformative potential: the ACCESS Act. The linchpin of the ACCESS Act is mandating interoperability among large online platforms.

Interoperability is as intuitive as it is absent from…

The Lumen Project operates with the motivation that good data informs good policy. Lumen receives copies of notices sent to a wide variety of different companies and while comparing them in the aggregate is fascinating, looking at just one company’s notices is also very interesting and may provide greater insight into not only the kind of content removal requests that the company in question receives, but also what motivated the users who sent them. YouTube’s notices are a great example.

Currently, YouTube shares with Lumen copies of takedown requests it receives in several different categories: defamation, trademark, counterfeit, and “other…

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was enacted in October 1998 to implement two WIPO treaties as well as to address some of the copyright-related issues caused by the growing and widespread use of the internet. Section 512(c)(3) of the Act, which created a notice and takedown regime for alleged online copyright infringement, requires ‘proper notification’ by the sender in order for the notice to be considered as a valid DMCA takedown request.

The six elements for proper notification under the Act are first, the signature of a person authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf, second, identification of allegedly…

Earlier this month, news broke that the video gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) — the maker of FIFA, Battlefield, The Sims, and a number of other popular games — was hacked, resulting in the theft of hundreds of gigabytes of source code. In contrast to other recent cyberattacks, hacks resulting in the theft of intellectual property raise unique cybersecurity concerns.

Many of the most recent high-profile cyberattacks have employed ransomware, a strategy in which hackers break into and encrypt databases before demanding exorbitant ransom payments in exchange for the decryption key.

Cybersecurity experts believe that ransomware attacks on American municipalities…

During the eruption of violence between Israel and Palestine in May, Facebook sparked new controversy with its content moderation practices, this time regarding pro-Palestine content. One practice in particular reaches the heart of Facebook’s often-controversial and blunt treatment of hate speech: its treatment of the word “Zionist.”

Zionism is an ideology and movement to establish a Jewish national state in the region of Palestine, including current-day Israel.

Although Facebook has not published any official any statement on the topic, Facebook spokespeople have been giving the same answer when reached for comment; spokesperson Dani Lever told The Washington Post in May…

In June 2021, RightsCon, a summit on human rights in the digital age organized by Access Now, hosted its annual summit. Like the one in 2020, this year’s event was entirely online. This was especially apropos because it truly reflected the advent of the digital age and elevates the need for conversation about digital rights. The five-day conference brought various stakeholders from across the spectrum of digital rights together to discuss human rights in the digital age.

Lumen has held sessions at the conference in 2016 and 2018. In 2016, Lumen held a research workshop for Mapping the Landscape for…

Photo by gruntzooki: Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

King County, Washington State’s most populous county with over 2 million residents, passed an ordinance on June 1, 2021, banning both administrative offices and local law enforcement agencies from using facial recognition technology and from gathering information through agreements with third parties’ use of the technology.

The ordinance acknowledged that “the use of facial recognition technology to watch, categorize, monitor and record the…movements of country residents disproportionately impacted people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people and political activists of all backgrounds.” …

This week, WhatsApp petitioned the Delhi High Court in India, challenging the newly enforced Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, specifically their compulsory decryption requirement.

Rule 4(2) and Rule 6 of the Rules require all social media intermediaries operating in India to, at the request of the government or the courts, enable identification of the first originator of a message shared on their platform, which will require decryption of relevant messages. In the instances where the originator of a message is not based in India, the first person in India to have shared the…

Lumen Database Team

Collecting and facilitating research on requests to remove online material. Visit lumendatabase.org and email us if you have questions.

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