Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Rebecca suggests starting the Blogger Corps.

Rebecca MacKinnon
Bloger Corps?

... For early blog-adopters, blogging was an end in itself. For the activist community, blogging has to be an effective means to a concrete end.

In the final wrap-up session of Bloggercon III, I suggested that socially conscious members of the blogging community (of all political persuasions) might want to organize a "Blogger Corps." Through it, bloggers could donate their time to help poorly funded activists or non-profit groups to figure out what blogging tools are right for them, set up blogs, and develop effective blogging strategies.

Count me in Rebecca. I've been doing my own share of Johnny Appleseed evangelism, but I think a more organized approach where we can share information and coordinate activities would be great. I think we should start a wiki page. ;-)

One thing that Yossi, our tour guide in Jerusalem, showed us that was interesting was all of the Jewish graves at the foot of Mount Olive. According to the Jewish scripture, the Messiah was to come to earth and those in the graves at the foot of the mountain would be the first to come back to life. The legend says that they would then go to the Temple of the Rock to be the first to pray there. The problem is, the front gate of the Temple of the Rock has been sealed and along the wall facing the Jewish graves is a whole section of Muslim graves. According to legend, the Sons of David can not enter these graves and would not be able to go directly to the Temple to pray. I'm sorry if I'm mangled the story or names, but this is what I understood from the explanation.

I can see how the Muslims might want to make it difficult for the first reborn Jewish to reach their Temple, but isn't intentionally putting Muslim graves in the way a sort of recognition that the Jewish Messiah is real? It seemed a bit contradictory to me.

Does anyone know anything else about this legend and this topography? It's quite interesting how the various religions in Jerusalem seemed to acknowledge each other's legends and prophets, but just believe their own more strongly... or maybe I'm missing something completely. If someone could shed some light, I would greatly appreciate it.

Blogging from the bullet train on my way to Kyoto to chair a panel at the STS Forum. I usually don't moderate or chair panels so this will be an interesting experience for me. I guess the key will be to shut up and listen.

I still haven't shaken this bronchitis, but I think I should be better by the time I'm up. I did see a doctor and got some proper medication. I asked my doctor again whether I was contagious. He said, "not that contagious, but it depends on the person." Not very reassuring. So if you're feeling weak, don't shake my hand. ;-)

Ejovi was prevented from giving his talk by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Ejovi did the security audit on the local government system connected to the Japanese National ID system (Jyukinet) for the prefecture of Nagano. I audited his audit and wrote an opinion for Governor of Nagano last December. It does suck that they blocked is talk, which I think would have been fair and balanced as Ejovi says. However, I can easily imagine the government taking a hard stance on this considering all of the trouble they are having controlling the spin. Anyway, welcome to my world Ejovi. Ejovi, if you really want to give this talk, I think you need to do it with some political backup like Nagano or another local government.

Donna Wentworth @ EFF Deep Links
Govt. Responds; Indymedia Seizure Order May Have Come from Italy

The US government has responded (PDF) to EFF's motion to unseal the mysterious government order that resulted in the seizure of two servers hosting more than 20 Independent Media Center (IMC) websites. The reply, which argues that the order should remain secret, contains details that suggest that the order may have originated in Italy.

In the reply, the government contends that the seizure order should be kept sealed because (1) EFF and our Indymedia clients lack standing to contest the seizure, (2) the request for confidentiality came from an unnamed foreign government pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), trumping the Bill of Rights, and (3) disclosure would imperil "an ongoing criminal terrorism investigation."

EFF strongly disagrees.

So do I. Read the entire EFF post for lots of good details. I have been fighting against MLAT and other transborder law enforcement treaties for years arguing that cases just like this would occur. Most of the arrangements seem to assume that all law enforcement can be trusted and call for special powers to combat cybercrime because it is particularly multinational. These special powers often trump local laws, including in the case above, the Bill of Rights. I can imagine a future where agencies "share" databases of citizen activities and use these databases to create profiles for immigration border protection purposes. That's one of the reasons why I am so against the National ID in Japan. There are people who believe the government should have more central databases of consumer transactions for things like tracking down tax fraud. The risk to the people is that a centralized database would be a very obvious target for foreign agencies. The point is the government can't "share" what it doesn't have.