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The Failure Of High Tech Policing

Sometimes people ask us why we write so much about the police on Techdirt. Though our coverage has grown somewhat beyond the boundaries of incidents directly involving technology, the reality is that the problems with law enforcement persistently intersect with the same technological and legal issues we've always discussed here. But this week the focus is squarely on cops and technology: Mike is joined by Matt Stroud, author of the new book Thin Blue Lie, as well as our own Tim Cushing, to...


Crying Wolf Over Conservative Censorship

You've heard the uproar — conservatives are being censored on social media! But... are they? The short answer is no. The long answer is this week's podcast, with Lincoln Network policy head Zach Graves joining us for a discussion about the misinformation, hyperbole and general ridiculousness surrounding supposed social media bias.


Delivery-Driven Government

Lots of people have tried to sum up the differences between Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. — but it isn't so easy to hone in on. Nevertheless, it's clear that at least some aspects of the west-coast tech approach could benefit a government that all-too-often appears incapable of accomplishing anything much. This week, we're joined by former US Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Code For America founder Jennifer Pahlka to discuss what the Hill can learn from the Valley.


Can Journalism Survive A Free Market?

It's no secret that journalism outfits are struggling, and have been for some time. There are lots of competing ideas about why this is the case, and who to blame, but the ultimate question is the same: how do we fund good journalism going forward? This week, Mike is joined on the podcast by someone whose opinions on this question differ significantly from his own — Columbia Journalism professor and former online editor-in-chief of the Guardian Emily Bell — to talk about whether journalism...


The (Big?) Business Of Podcasting

We can hardly believe it, but as of this moment we've released 200 episodes of the Techdirt podcast! For this milestone, we've brought the increasingly-rare original team of co-hosts back together for a bit of a meta-episode all about podcasts — specifically, the recent news that Spotify has acquired Gimlet Media for the impressive and, to many, surprising sum of $230-million. Mike joined by Dennis Yang and Hersh Reddy to discuss what Spotify might be up to, and just how big the podcasting...


From Apple To The ACLU, With Jon Callas

Jon Callas has been at the forefront of computer security issues for a long time, most recently as the head of Apple's team of internal hackers that try to break into the company's own products. But just a couple of months ago, he made a change, and left Apple to work on tech policy at the ACLU. This week, he joins us on the podcast to discuss the new job, computer security policy, and the latest phase of the crypto-wars.


Life Without The Tech Giants

One of the most common responses to various complaints about giant tech companies is that you can just not use their products and services. Many people have pointed out just how difficult that would really be, but Gizmodo's Kashmir Hill decided to try it for real: she cut Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple out of her life for a week each, followed by a week without any of them. Her report on that final, empty week is coming out soon, but in the mean time she joins us on the...


The Grand Re-Opening Of The Public Domain

As our readers surely know by now, 2019 is the first time in a long time that new works have actually entered the public domain in the US! The Internet Archive and Creative Commons hosted a celebration of this fact, and this week we're joined by IA's Lila Bailey and CC's Timothy Vollmer to talk about that event and the exciting possibilities of a re-opened public domain.


The CES 2019 Post-Mortem

It's that time again! Mike spent the week before last at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, checking out all the latest technology that companies are most eager to show off, and now once again he's joined on the podcast by CES veteran Rob Pegoraro for the CES 2019 Post-Mortem.


The EU Endangers Free Speech Online... Again

The latest in the EU's string of internet regulatory efforts has a new target: terrorist propaganda. Just as with past regulations, the proposed rules seem onerous and insane, creating huge liability for internet platforms that fail to do the impossible. This week, we're joined by returning guests Daphne Keller from Stanford's Center For Internet And Society and Emma Llansó from the Center for Democracy and Technology to discuss this most recent danger to online free speech in the EU.


Ninja Future, With Gary Shapiro

Today, Mike is at the opening of the Consumer Technology Association's CES 2019 show — which means we'll have one of our CES post-mortem podcasts coming up soon! But before that, for this first episode of 2019, we've got a discussion with CTA CEO Gary Shapiro, whose new book Ninja Future takes a look at how people and businesses are dealing with innovation and rapid technological change.


Can Anyone Disrupt The Disruptors?

Can Anyone Disrupt The Disruptors? by Techdirt


Section 230 And Political Bias

We've got another panel discussion from the Lincoln Network's Reboot conference this week, all about the law on everyone's minds lately: Section 230 of the CDA. The debate includes law professor Eric Goldman, the EFF's Corynne McSherry, and Dr. Jerry A. Johnson from National Religious Broadcasters, offering up a wide spectrum of opinions on Section 230 and political bias.


Free Speech Disorder, With Mike Godwin

Last week, we published a series of posts by Mike Godwin looking at Our Bipolar Free Speech Disorder And How To Fix It (check out part one, part two, and part three). But with a topic like this, there's always more to dig into, so this week we've got Mike Godwin joining the podcast to take a closer look at his ideas about free speech in the digital era.


Should We Break Up Big Tech?

A few weeks ago, we featured a panel discussion with Mike and others at the Lincoln Network's Reboot conference on the podcast. This week we're doing something a little different and featuring another panel discussion from that conference, but one in which Mike wasn't involved. Instead, it's an interesting — and at times contentious — debate about one big question: do the big tech firms need to be broken up?


What The Hell Is Initiative Q?

By now, there's a good chance you've received an invitation to join Initiative Q, and also a good chance that you took one look at it and thought "wow, this seems extremely sketchy." And indeed, there's little reason (other than hopefulness) to see the strange new proposed payment system as anything but a pyramid scheme. But it's got people talking, thanks in no small part to its viral marketing scheme, so this week's episode is all about trying to figure out just what Initiative Q really is.


Government, Activism & Silicon Valley

In late September, Mike joined a panel at the Lincoln Network's Reboot conference to tackle the question "will rising activism limit government’s access to Silicon Valley?" along with Trae Stephens, Pablo E. Carrillo, with moderator Katie McAuliffe. For this week's episode, we've got the full audio from that panel plus an additional introduction from Mike with some thoughts after the fact. Enjoy!


AI, Free Speech & Human Rights

As artificial intelligence technology marches onwards, it's raising a lot of complicated questions about free speech, privacy, and important rights. One person who's been thinking a lot about these questions is David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, who recently published a thorough report [pdf] on the subject. This week, David joins us on the podcast to discuss artificial intelligence and its implications for...


Free Speech & Content Moderation (Panel Discussion)

For this week's episode of the podcast, we're featuring a recent panel discussion from Mozilla's Speaker Series. Mike Masnick sat down with Guillaume Chaslot from Algo Transparency, hosted by Mozilla Fellow in Residence Renée DiResta, to talk about the challenges of online content moderation and its implications for freedom of expression. Enjoy!


Building New Senses (Plus The Possible End Of The World)

This week, we've got a special cross-post from Rob Reid's excellent After On podcast. After a conversation between Mike and Rob about the possible end of the world, we pivot to the full episode of After On in which Rob talks to neuroscientist David Eagleman about his fascinating work using technology to create new human senses. We hope you enjoy it!