Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment
Fourth Amendment - Search and Seizure

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Barlow has gone public with his fight for his 4th Amendment rights. Please read the story on his blog. I commend Barlow for discussing this in public and for fighting for his rights since you lose rights that you don't fight for, even if it's embarrassing or painful. It is generally true of all forms of fighting for privacy related rights. It's often very difficult since you get cast as someone who might "need privacy more than others." You also lose your privacy when you fight for it in public. You may not agree with Barlow's judgement if he was indeed carrying drugs, but Americans should be worried if they lose their 4th amendment rights.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION : He doesn't say that the allegations are necessarily true.

Following up an earlier post about how my AOL Instant Messenger account is hosed...

eWeek has another update. eWeek interviews David Ferris from a market-research company who says, "One of the things that ought to happen is that companies need to be prepared to pay for more reliable service, but they're generally not prepared to do so." Ooo. Scary. Actually, maybe that should read "companies need to prepare to run their own IM servers that use interoperable standards." I wonder if AOL is thinking of charging for IM. This reminds me of a comment by someone from AOL at a conference that I recently participated in. I was suggesting that "presence" should be free and interoperable and people should try to make money building applications on top of "presence". The person from AOL said, "users will pay if they have no choice." Instant Messenger is a very good example of bad technology from the bubble era when people like AOL had double digit market share of Internet users. Why can't AOL users message MSN users? Because they have tried to keep users in a walled garden. This is exactly why the total number of AOL users hasn't been growing and their market share is shriveling. The Internet is ABOUT choice and interoperability. This whole idea of making walled gardens and trying to charge them because "they don't have a choice" is so misguided that it actually doesn't make business sense. The main reasons I was using AIM was because of iChat. Does anyone know why Apple went with iChat instead of something open like Jabber? Maybe this glitch is a good thing. Maybe "all this grief for no revenue" will cause AOL to charge money for IM and drive their users away to Jabber. Quick, someone write a better Jabber client.

Dan Gillmor blogs that he is leaving the San Jose Mercury News next month to work on a citizen-journalism project. Awesome. Practice what you preach. Good luck Dan and let us know more about your new project when you can.

joho - I'm VERY excited about the possibilities. E.g., OhMyGillmor.

I'm off to Boston today to participate in the About Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits & Bytes conference at the Berkman Center. Lots of interesting folks seem to be coming. The theme of the meeting is:

How are technologies changing politics, both in the U.S. and abroad? The purpose of this conference is to take a skeptical, results-oriented look at the current state of politics after the 2004 election and from an international perspective in terms of issue-based campaigns, emerging business models, and new tools that affect politics both online and off. The conference will focus on the following questions:

- Has "citizenship" changed in the online era?
- Are online business models helpful guides for politics and political organizing?
- What international examples are promising?
- Did the web affect the 2004 election?

My session will be at 4PM on Saturday. I'm participating in the Global Voices Online section which has a blog where we've been discussing the issues already. The conference starts today and goes until Saturday. If you're in Boston and are interested in this topic, I suggest you think about dropping by. Look forward to seeing everyone there!

UPDATE: The conference is supposed to be webcast. It doesn't seem to be working for me right now, but it might just be me.

UPDATE 2: Just set up #harvardbits on Freenode if anyone wants to backchannel.