April 27, 2017

The New Freedom to Tinker Movement

When I started this blog back in 2002, I named it “Freedom to Tinker.” On the masthead, below the words Freedom to Tinker, was the subhead “… is your freedom to understand, discuss, repair, and modify the technological devices you own.” I believed at the time, as I still do, that this freedom is more than just an exercise of property rights but also helps to define our relationship with the world as more and more of our experience is mediated through these devices. I also believed that the legal tide was running against the freedom to tinker, as creative uses of technology were increasingly portrayed as illegal or deviant behavior. Now, at last, things may be starting to change.
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Welcome to the new Freedom to Tinker

Welcome to the new, redesigned Freedom to Tinker. Beyond giving it a new look, we have rebuilt the site as a blogging community, to highlight the contributions of more authors. The front page and main RSS feed will offer a combination of posts from all authors. We have also added a blog page (and feed) for each author, so you can read posts by your favorite author or subscribe to your favorite author’s RSS feed. Over time, Freedom to Tinker has evolved from a single-author blog into a group effort, and these changes better recognize the efforts of all of our authors.

Along with the redesign, we’re thrilled to add three authors to our roster: Tim Lee, Paul Ohm, and Yoshi Kohno.

Tim Lee is a prominent tech policy analyst, journalist, and blogger who has written for sites such as Ars Technica, Techdirt, and the Technology Liberation Front. He is now a computer science grad student at Princeton, and a member of the Center for Information Technology Policy.

Paul Ohm is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado, specializing in computer crime law,criminal procedure, intellectual property, and information privacy. He worked previously as a trial attorney in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice; and before law school he worked as a computer programmer and network administrator.

Yoshi Kohno is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. His research focuses on assessing and improving the security and privacy properties of current and future technologies. In 2007 he was recognized by MIT’s Technology Review magazine as one of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35. He is known for his research on the security of implantable medical devices and voting machines, among other technologies.

Finally, Freedom to Tinker is now officially hosted by Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. A major goal of CITP is to foster discussion of infotech policy issues, so it makes sense for CITP to host this kind of blog community for CITP members and friends.

We hope you enjoy the new Freedom to Tinker. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.