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The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community

The CIA's D. Calvin Andrus has deposited The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community in SSRN. This is a very interesting early theoretical analysis of the benefits of harnessing two Web 2.0 technologies for collaborative information development. Here's the abstract:

US policy-makers, war-fighters, and law-enforcers now operate in a real-time worldwide decision and implementation environment. The rapidly changing circumstances in which they operate take on lives of their own, which are difficult or impossible to anticipate or predict. The only way to meet the continuously unpredictable challenges ahead of us is to match them with continuously unpredictable changes of our own. We must transform the Intelligence Community into a community that dynamically reinvents itself by continuously learning and adapting as the national security environment changes.

Recent theoretical developments in the philosophy of science that matured in the 1990's, collectively known as Complexity Theory, suggest changes the community should make to meet this challenge. These changes include allowing our officers more autonomy in the context of improved tradecraft and information sharing. In addition, several new technologies will facilitate this transformation. Two examples are self-organizing knowledge websites, known as Wikis, and information sharing websites known as Blogs. Allowing Intelligence Officers and our non-intelligence National Security colleagues access to these technologies on SIPRNet, will provide a critical mass to begin the transformation.

An earlier unpublished version of this paper received the Intelligence Community’s Galileo Award for 2004. Cross-posted on Law Librarian Blog. [JH]

June 1, 2007 in Blog Studies, Wikis | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

West Virginia Law Students Blogging About Their Legal Studies and Experiences in Brazil

Twenty-five West Virginia University College of Law students currently participating in the Legal Study in Brazil Program are blogging about their experiences. Check it out. [JH]

May 31, 2007 in New Blogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

China backing off mandatory blogger identity registration

The Xinhua news agency is reporting that the Chinese government looks set to back down from its long-held intention to impose strict real-name registration for the country's 20 million bloggers after outcries from the industry. In a draft self-discipline code for blog services published by the Internet Society of China (ISC) on Tuesday, real-name registration is only to be "encouraged" instead of being made compulsory.

Related posts on Ars Technica and Tech Law Prof Blog. [JH]

May 30, 2007 in Blog Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rationalizing Internet Safe Harbors

Stanford Law Prof Mark Lemley has deposited Rationalizing Internet Safe Harbors in SSRN. Here's the abstract:

Internet intermediaries - service providers, Web hosting companies, Internet backbone providers, online marketplaces, and search engines - process hundreds of millions of data transfers every day, and host or link to literally tens of billions of items of third party content.

Some of this content is illegal. In the last 12 years, both Congress and the courts have concluded that Internet intermediaries should not be liable for a wide range of content posted or sent through their systems by another. The reasoning behind these immunities is impeccable: if Internet intermediaries were liable every time someone posted problematic content on the Internet, the resulting threat of liability and effort at rights clearance would debilitate the Internet.

While the logic of some sort of safe harbor for Internet intermediaries is clear, the actual content of those safe harbors is not. Rather, the safe harbors actually in place are a confusing and illogical patchwork. For some claims, the safe harbors are absolute. For others, they preclude damages liability but not injunctive relief. For still others they are dependent on the implementation of a “notice and takedown” system. And for at least a few types of claims, there is no safe harbor at all. This patchwork makes no sense. In this article, I suggest that it be replaced with a uniform safe harbor rule. A single, rationally designed safe harbor based on the trademark model would not only permit plaintiffs the relief they need while protecting Internet intermediaries from unreasonable liability, but would also serve as a much needed model for the rest of the world, which has yet to understand the importance of intermediaries to a vibrant Internet.

May 29, 2007 in Blogosphere | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack