Riana Pfefferkorn is the Cryptography Fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Her work, made possible through funding from the Stanford Cyber Initiative, focuses on investigating and analyzing the U.S. government's policy and practices for forcing decryption and/or influencing crypto-related design of online platforms and services, devices, and products, both via technical means and through the courts and legislatures. Riana also researches the benefits and detriments of strong encryption on free expression, political engagement, economic development, and other public interests.
Prior to joining Stanford, Riana was an associate in the Internet Strategy & Litigation group at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she worked on litigation and counseling matters involving online privacy, Internet intermediary liability, consumer protection, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets and was actively involved in the firm's pro bono program. Before that, Riana clerked for the Honorable Bruce J. McGiverin of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. She also interned during law school for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Riana earned her law degree from the University of Washington School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Whitman College.
High Res Photo of Riana Pfefferkorn
Yesterday, the Center for Internet and Society filed a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to uncover the U.S. government’s legal strategies for defeating encryption in law enforcement investigations.
Right now, all eyes are on Riverside, California, where a federal magistrate judge issued an unprecedented and dangerous order to Apple on February 16 compelling the company to create and cryptographically sign a special, crippled version of its iOS software that disables certain iPhone security features.
The Berklett Cybersecurity Project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University has just released a new report on the so-called “going dark problem” that is fueling law enforcement demands for access to encrypted information. The report, “Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the ‘Going Dark’ Debate,” concludes that new consumer technologies will increasingly provide a wealth of data to governments about individual movements and activities.
In October, we covered a significant case in Brooklyn federal court that tackles the hot-button issue of whether tech companies should be compelled to provide law enforcement with the ability to access information that’s protected by encryption.
In the name of saving cybersecurity, a new bill before Congress would kill cybersecurity. On April 13, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released an official draft of their long-awaited anti-encryption bill. The sponsors of the “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016” (CCOA) call it an innocuous law-and-order measure to ensure that American companies comply with court orders. In truth, it is a technologically tone-deaf and downright dangerous piece of legislation.
FBI Director James Comey recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee that encryption routinely poses a problem for law enforcement. He stated that encryption has “moved from being available [only] to the sophisticated bad guy to being the default. So it’s now affecting every criminal investigation that folks engage in.”
Here’s the latest in the encryption case we’ve been writing about in which the Justice Department is asking Magistrate Judge James Orenstein to order Apple to unlock a criminal defendant’s passcode-protected iPhone. The government seized and has authority to search the phone pursuant to a search warrant.
Pending before federal magistrate judge James Orenstein is the government’s request for an order obligating Apple, Inc. to unlock an iPhone and thereby assist prosecutors in decrypting data the government has seized and is authorized to search pursuant to a warrant.
"Riana Pfefferkorn, a cryptography fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, noted that the FBI signed similar agreements with a third party to use so-called “Stingray” technology, which, in effect, impersonates a cellphone tower to pick up phone calls.
"Riana Pfefferkorn, the cryptography fellow at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, believes the Justice Department will continue to pursue a multi-pronged strategy, pressing the encryption issue on lawmakers, in meetings with tech companies, and in the courts. But following San Bernardino and New York, it will mount litigation below the public’s radar.
Please join us this Wednesday, Apr. 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. PDT for a discussion on encryption.
What's the latest on encryption? Stanford University's Riana Pfefferkorn will share what's at stake, what could happen next, and what you should know about the FBI's ongoing dispute with Apple over encrypted iPhones.
"Like the California case, the New York fight is ending "not with a bang, but with a whimper," said Riana Pfefferkorn, a cryptography fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.
"The government has repeatedly insisted that Apple's help is utterly necessary in multiple matters involving access to locked iPhones," Pfefferkorn said. "Going forward, courts should refuse to keep rubber-stamping government efforts to dragoon third parties into doing law enforcement's job for it.""
Today, the debate over encryption is making headlines in nations around the world. Together, we’re working toward solutions at Crypto Summit 2.0.
The first Crypto Summit, held in July 2015 in Washington, D.C., brought together technologists, lawyers, and policy professionals from different sectors. Since then leading experts have considered proposals that would legislate the future of encryption — and the future of privacy and security online.
What's all this hullaballo about encryption? What's the latest in the FBI's ongoing dispute with Apple over encrypted iPhones? What's at stake? What could happen next? Find out all this and more at April's
Our Speaker will be Riana Pfefferkorn:
BIPLA Presents Riana Pfefferkorn: "Apple vs. the FBI: Where Does It Come From? What Is It? Where Is It Going?"
Monday March 7th
12:45pm-1:45pm - 170 Boalt Hall
Lunch will be served
Over the course of two days in February 2016, the Strauss Center at the University of Texas-Austin will host a unique and timely conference focused on the legal and policy dimensions of cybersecurity.