ESID has a shiny new website

Last week made a quantum leap into the 21st century by leaving html behind and diving head first into a WordPress-powered adventure.  All our projects are now included, core researchers have profile pages, and there are tags everywhere (you can find me under PEA, public sector reform and state capacity). Plus we have just launched the new ESID blog, which I will be editing with the help of our communications and editing team. My chief goal is to turn it into a platform for online commentary on the politics of development (guest posts are welcome!), as well as a window into how a research organization actually works, what the research process looks like in the months or years between proposal and peer review. Stay tuned.

Spy-proofing the internet

NSA whistleblower/traitor/hero/crazy person Edward Snowden made an appearance at the TED conference that took place this week in Vancouver, Canada. He was interviewed by organizer Chris Anderson and even exchanged some words with father-of-the-web Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Check out the video, and maybe follow it up by reading about what it would take to make the internet spy-proof in an era in which your Amazon browsing habits are not encrypted.

Or you can do what Ron Swanson does.

[Suggested reading: Cryptonomicon (1999), by Neal Stephenson]

The legacy of Alan Turing

British chancellor George Osborne announced yesterday that the government of the United Kingdom will found an Alan Turing Institute dedicated to research on big data. Universities and other organizations can bid for the £42 million, 5-year grant to establish the Institute. A public gesture which is nonetheless small compensation for the government’s persecution of a man who played a central role in the Allied victory in World War II. Continue reading The legacy of Alan Turing

La jaula de hierro digital: “PRISM” y el estado en internet

La historia que tiene a medio internet escandalizada estos días es la última filtración sobre la vigilancia que la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional (NSA) ejerce sobre comunicaciones online entre Estados Unidos y el extranjero, a través de un programa llamado PRISM (“Prisma”). El diario progresista británico The Guardian tiene todos los detalles de la historia, y acaba de publicar un perfil y entrevista al filtrador, un ex-trabajador de la CIA y la NSA que actualmente se ha recluido en un hotel en Hong Kong. La filtración del programa PRISM puede estimular un debate público que hasta ahora se había circunscrito a intelectuales y activistas de la red: ¿Dónde acaba el imperativo de proteger a los ciudadanos, y dónde empieza la jaula de hierro digital? Continue reading La jaula de hierro digital: “PRISM” y el estado en internet