“Tool Without A Handle”: Privacy and Regulation – An Expanded Rationale

In the previous blog, I noted that the logical next step in understanding “privacy as fairness” was to examine if it is possible to identify principles that would effectively guide regulation based on "privacy as fairness." In this blog post, I observe that debate about regulations based on "privacy as fairness" should be oriented by three considerations: 1) regulations should be linked back to legitimate concerns about human emotional and physical well-being, not just abstract concepts such as "autonomy"; 2) regulations should enjoy a broad consensus as to both the harm to be addressed and the effectiveness of the proposed rule, and 3) “privacy as fairness” should not be confused with the protection of privacy as “solitude.” In this light, I note favorably regulations that are demonstrably necessary to ensure access to economic opportunity, while suggesting caution when considering official legal intervention aimed at balancing power among economic actors. Read more » about “Tool Without A Handle”: Privacy and Regulation – An Expanded Rationale

New Year's Resolution: Be better at blogging

I've been a CIS non-resident fellow (or now faculty afflilaite) now for a decade, beginning in 2004.  I love being associated with CIS, and many of my closest friends have come from my connections with CIS.  Whereever we've moved--Tuscon, London, Seattle, or New Orleans, CIS has always been a constant.  When I was on the job market in 2006, I felt part of a crowd that year that included David Olsen and David Levine, as well as others connected to Stanford.  CIS is an anchor. Read more » about New Year's Resolution: Be better at blogging


United States

The MLAT roadmap - visualizing how the process actually works

When I first started working on mutual legal assistance treaties (MLATs), they were seen as the less glamorous, hard-working cousin of extradition treaties.  An international fugitive being flown back under armed guard to face justice is a satisfying conclusion to a long-running extradition case.  By contrast, when the mail room delivers a series of boxes stuffed with bank records or electronic files in response to an MLAT request, it’s hardly a Law and Order scene in the making.  With the frenzy of interest in the Microsoft Ireland cas Read more » about The MLAT roadmap - visualizing how the process actually works

Congress quietly expands surveillance (again)

As Congress winds down for the holidays, it delivers yet another lump of coal for the American people.  

Contained in the 2015 Intelligence Authorization Act is a provision quietly inserted by the US Senate (just prior to voting) that authorizes the “acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of all communications data from U.S. citizens without a court order and then transferred to law enforcement for criminal investigations. Read more » about Congress quietly expands surveillance (again)


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