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New Whitepaper: Security Risks of Government Hacking

Today, CIS is publishing a whitepaper called “Security Risks of Government Hacking.” Also called “equipment interference” or “lawful hacking,” government hacking allows investigators to exploit hardware and software vulnerabilities to gain remote access to target computers. We hope our new publication will make a valuable contribution to policy discussions about this important topic.

Stanford Law School Appoints Judge Stephen Smith as Director of Fourth Amendment & Open Courts at the Center for Internet and Society

Stanford Law School today announced the appointment of retired Federal Judge Stephen Wm. Smith as Director, Fourth Amendment & Open Courts at the Center for Internet and Society (CIS). Smith will focus on the constitutionality of digital search and surveillance, as well as public access to court records authorizing those investigative techniques.

Tool Without a Handle: Tools and the Search for Meaning

“Tool Without a Handle”: Tools and the Search for Meaning

In a New York Times review of Edward Tenner’s book The Efficiency Paradox, Gal Beckerman observes that a key point is not simply to watch how much time we spend using technology, but to remember that “the tools we’ve invented to improve our lives are just that, tools, to be picked up and put down. We wield them.”

Which pretty succinctly states the main point of this entire series of blog posts: that human agency matters. Or, perhaps more directly, that while we all know human agency matters, we all too frequently overlook that point. This post (on Labor Day, 2018) thus asks what is the real value of human agency? By identifying value in it, I hope to set the stage for future posts on the urgency of fostering greater awareness of it.

CRYPTO 2018: “Middle Ground” Proposals for a Going-Dark Fix

On August 19, the CRYPTO 2018 conference on cryptographic research hosted a one-day workshop in Santa Barbara called “Encryption and Surveillance.” The goal of the workshop was to “examine how encryption and related technologies pose both challenges and opportunities for surveillance and reform of surveillance.” I was fortunate to be able to attend this workshop, listen to the panelists’ presentations, and observe the intelligent discussion between speakers and attendees about the topics at hand.

Google privacy. Oxymoron?

If you use Google, have you ever read their privacy policy? If you haven’t, please keep reading. The policy delineates under what circumstances Google can peruse your information, including your e-mails, for disclosure to third parties.

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