Pro Bono For Veterans

Welcome to the 2nd Institute Podcast! I’m Christy Leos and with me today is Jeffrey Aresty, President and Founder of IBO, and Retired Master Sgt. Jeffrey L. Thompson. Our mission: to build the Justice Layer of the Internet as a community of equals.

Today we’re examining the origins of Starbucks’s Military Mondays and the development of local pro bono initiatives to benefit those with military service.

Photo: Starbucks by Bill Lile [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

JusticeHub.Tools Veterans: How do we help veterans now?

Welcome to the first Institute Podcast! I am Christy Leos and with me today is Jeffrey Aresty, President and Founder of IBO. Our mission: to build the Justice Layer of the Internet as a community of equals.

Today we are going to kick off the Veterans Awareness Campaign and talk about Stateside Legal, Veterans Legal Checkup, Veteran’s Will Center, and finish with thoughts on what 2018 could hold for veteran access to justice technology.

Photo: 170527-A-MQ748-013 by West Point – The U.S. Military Academy [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]



OUR VISION: A world where music takes an active role in reducing political, social and ethnic conflict.

OUR WORK: PeaceTones® recognizes that musicians play a powerful role in local community building, which in turn contributes to global peacemaking. We enable musicians to develop and disseminate their art by bringing crucial legal, technology, and business skills to historically unheard musicians, empowering them as leaders and shapers of positive social change.

OUR MODEL: Implementing a social entrepreneurship model, PeaceTones® also operates as a nonprofit record label for musicians that exemplify positive voices for social justice and demonstrate distinguished musical talent as determined by PeaceTones® fans via a worldwide online competition. With these musicians, we create fair trade business relationships coupled with mentor relationships to amplify their voices and talent. With the far majority of profits going directly to the musician and a community development project of their choosing, PeaceTones® is reducing poverty and injustice and creating an arts-led movement for peace, social change and economic development.

Jeff Aresty on Shaping the Rule of Law Online, via Huffington Post

I was recently published on The Huffington Post examining the concept of trusted online communities, online identity and the shaping a global democracy online. The chance to establish norms for justice over the Internet that transcend international boundaries is something the world, and the legal community in particular, can drive to secure rights both on and offline:

Shaping the Rule of Law, Trust And Resolution in The Online Justice System

Jeff Aresty, President, Internet Bar Organization

The changes resulting from the rise of the Internet are taking hold, and the legal community has yet to catch up to the way the world is now interacting. As our modes of business and daily interactions take place increasingly over the Web, the world is beginning to define the ways in which those exchanges will be characterized. This presents a new range of challenges for us in the legal field and as a global community, but it also presents an opportunity. Bringing the rule of law online will be an essential part of determining how we shape the future of global normative behavior and present an opportunity to redefine what we believe to be the right way to act, based not only on the multiplicity of laws as they stand, but rather based on a new organic democracy that will define itself in an harmonized way. The ability to negotiate, reach consensus, and resolve disputes online will be an essential set of skills for all who participate. But why does this new system of norms need to be defined in an haphazard fashion as countries everywhere come up with their own sets of laws to govern online behavior, leading to conflict and confusion?

Individuals from the online dispute resolution community have met regularly to examine the newest technologies and issues that are affecting justice in online interactions, and come this year to the United States to discuss topics like the role of privacy, identity and trust on the internet, and how they relate to justice.

This is where the role of trusted online communities comes into play. And one of the biggest factors in trust in online interactions is verification of and trust in identity. Just as a democracy depends upon the right of each citizen to their vote, access to justice for each individual in a globally based justice system depends upon being able to verify who is accessing the system, and making sure that the system is trustworthy in all respects, from the users to the design itself. Many individuals have spoken on the need to develop an “identity” layer of the internet that verifies user identity on top of the interactive web as a step toward solidifying trust in exchange and communication online. I believe this is the case, and that it will go hand in hand with the creation of what I call a “justice” layer — a new definition of normative behavior for how we relate to one another, including trust in identity. This will be supported not only by the legal complex, but also by global consensus and collective action toward what we define as justice. The resolution of disputes online will become a knowledge set that the legal community and others will need to understand.

But for every answer, there appear to be many more questions, particularly when dealing with the cultural technicolor fabric of our planet. For example, how do we balance the necessity of democracy through digital identification with, as the European Commission has defined, the right to be forgotten? How much control can and should we have over the information compiled online about our person? How much control should our government have?

Innovation has been helping to address some of these questions. Start-ups like Qredoand Wickr are taking steps to develop technology that will allow users access to secure platforms and close to complete control over their online identity and information. Checks and balances, peer review and transparency will also play a part in any viable system.

The creation of a technology-enabled system of effective democracy will require all segments of society to participate. Industry has the opportunity to play a leading role in helping shape a “justice layer” of internet communication on top of the internet communication protocol it helped to build over 20 years ago. It will also require the participation of academia, a non-fearing legal system, and the global community as a whole to create a truly “we the people” system of online governance.