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Changes to Export Control Arrangement Apply to Computer Exploits and More

Last month, changes to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (“Wassenaar Arrangement”) placed “zero-days”, other computer exploits, and potentially more categories of software under this multilateral export control regime. These changes take place following reports that the U.S. government purchases “zero day” computer security vulnerabilities—previously unknown exploits—for use by the NSA’s targeted hacking team. Read more » about Changes to Export Control Arrangement Apply to Computer Exploits and More

2013: The Year of Privacy

If there ever was a “year of privacy,” surely it was 2013. A year that ends with dictionary.com selecting “privacy” as “word of the year;” with privacy making front-page headlines in The New York Times and The Washington Post—not to mention The Guardian—on a weekly, indeed almost daily, basis; with cross-Atlantic ties stretched to the limit over privacy issues, the UN passing a privacy resolution and armies of lobbyists spinning BCRs and Do-Not-Track in Washington bars and Brussels cafes—ladies and gentlemen, 2013 was the year of privacy. Read more » about 2013: The Year of Privacy

Prediction for 2014: The Fourth Amendment Evolves to Regulate Mass Surveillance

When should courts follow legal precedent and when should the law change?  This is a debate that underlies this month’s contrary decisions about the constitutionality of government collection of telephone call metadata under section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act.  And despite this week’s dual holdings in favor of the government—on this issue and on the issue of laptop border searches—a judicial consensus may be emerging that the Fourth Amendment must evolve along with technology and government surveillance capabilities. Read more » about Prediction for 2014: The Fourth Amendment Evolves to Regulate Mass Surveillance

Spy on Your Metadata

Co-authored with Patrick Mutchler. This is a project of the Stanford Security Lab.

Just over a month ago we launched MetaPhone, an Android app for crowdsourcing phone metadata. Our results have already confirmed that phone activity easily reveals private relationships, is deeply interconnected, and can trivially be identified.

We’ve received lots of great feedback on the study from researchers and participants. One request has been especially consistent: show me my metadata!

Starting today, the MetaPhone app will provide personalized results about your phone metadata privacy. Read more » about Spy on Your Metadata

Hearsay Culture to Celebrate Show #200

As I've recently mentioned on a few shows, despite my reservations about not making the show "about me," Show #200 will be guest host Denise Howell's, of This Week in Law, interview with me. So that there's no confusion, I'm not giving in to rank narcissism; rather, because several guests and listeners suggested that this would be a good way to celebrate this anniversary, I went along -- and I'm glad that I did! Read more » about Hearsay Culture to Celebrate Show #200

Tool Without a Handle: “Getting A Grip”

In my last post, I explored how law influences use of information technology through both rules and a concomitant degree of social consensus that a particular behavior creates undue risk or otherwise warrants a response. In this post, I’ll explore this point further in the context of two areas: legal obligations regarding data security, and attempts to regulate the use of “cookies.”

My point though, is the same in both cases: effectively regulating the use of information technology tools effectively requires a degree of social consensus on critical points. Whether a moral or social obligation exists is only one of several considerations. This, in turn, points out an advantage for thinking of information technology as tools, rather than as a “space” or as a thing analogous to a sovereignty unto itself. Read more » about Tool Without a Handle: “Getting A Grip”

Foreigners and the Review Group Report: Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote that the report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies--"Liberty And Security In A Changing World”—suggests reforms that would improve U.S. surveillance law’s protection of the rights of foreigners.  My non US-person friends seem underwhelmed, so I thought I’d take a moment to elaborate on the changes I’m talking about.  Read More.
  Read more » about Foreigners and the Review Group Report: Part 2

President's Review Board Says Protect Thy Neighbor’s Privacy

Today’s report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies–”Liberty And Security In A Changing World”—is impressive in a number of ways.  Importantly, it pushes consideration of the privacy and civil liberties rights of non-U.S. persons into the policy debate. Old-school national security wonks commonly express distain for the idea that the U.S. Read more » about President's Review Board Says Protect Thy Neighbor’s Privacy

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