Everyone should help Dan Gillmor write his book.
I was just appointed committee member of the Committee for the Protection of Identification Information for the City of Yokohama. I was appointed by Hiroshi Nakada, the mayor of Yokohama. Yokohama is one of the most active opponents of the Japanese Basic Resident Code system and has made it optional for the residents of the City of Yokohama. Mayor Nakada argues (rightly) that the current Basic Resident Code law is illegal because there is not sufficient privacy protection as originally mandated in the law. This argument is quite valid until the privacy bill passes. The privacy bill is being deliberated in the Diet at this moment. I believe, and have said publicly, that this privacy bill currently being drafted is too strong on business and too lenient on bureaucrats and would not constitute strong privacy vis a vis the issue of National ID.
Currently of the 3,450,000 residents of Yokohama, 845,000 people have opted out of receiving national ID's. When the privacy bill passes, it is likely that Yokohama will have to hook its network up to the national network. Yokohama has passed a local bill and created this small committee of five people to advise the mayor who has made it clear in the bill that Yokohama would disconnect their local system from other prefectures and the national system in the event that there was evidence of privacy failures in the system. The bill states that the mayor will seek the advice of the committee to judge whether such privacy breaches have occurred and what they should do about it.
The press conference just ended so there is no press yet, but I will provide links if there is any press coverage.
Mayor Nakada is 38 year old, young for a Japanese mayor. He was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum this year.
Ross provides an improved picture of the Ecosystem of Networks and ties in the idea of Social Capital.
I'm late blogging this, but Dave Winer's speech about why programmers need to work with laywers, why Napster failed and why weblogs will allow us to do an "end-run" around the "fat smelly execs" of the media companies. Very funny and inspirational.
Robert Kaye of Musicbrainz arrived in Tokyo yesterday. The cherry blossom season is about to end, but Robert had cherry blossoms in his hair so the season will be a little longer this year. We had dinner and talked about RDF.