Of Interest

  • Tool Without A Handle: Guerilla Information Warfare

    “The enemies of liberal democracy hack our feelings of fear and hate and vanity, and then use these feelings to polarize and destroy" - Yuval Noah Harari.

    The security of our news and media information systems matters as much as the security of personal and commercial information systems. "Information warfare" shows that harms can arise even when there is no unauthorized access, when tools are used as intended, and when there’s no compromise of user privacy settings. In both cases of cybersecurity and news/media security, the threats are asymmetric, the tools readily available, usable for many purposes, and threats are easily disguised as benign. Whether it is a business conference used for economic espionage, or a product order form email used to inject malware, the tools of everyday information exchange are capable of use as a weapon.

    Robust resistance to phishing and social engineering, as well as “fake news” and disinformation campaigns is unlikely to be fully achieved on the basis of refinements to the tools (including information platforms). It will require users to, to the extent possible, acquire greater understanding of themselves as sorters and interpreters of information. If there is a territory to explore in addressing issues of information warfare, let it be the territory of the mind.

  • Open Letter to GCHQ Regarding Threats Posed by their Ghost Proposal

    Today I join several cybersecurity, civil liberties, civil society organizations and researchers in responding to the United Kingdom's GCHQ recent proposal to silently add 'ghost' users from law enforcement or the security services to online chats and calls, including those conducted via encrypted messaging tools like WhatApp, iMessage, or Signal.

  • Order Denying Petition to Unseal

    Publication Date: 
    May 20, 2019
    Publication Type: 
    Litigation Brief

    Opinion and order affirming magistrate judge's report and recommendation (R&R) to deny the Petition to Unseal filed by Riana Pfefferkorn and Jennifer Granick, and overruling our objections to the R&R.

  • What the Loss of Net Neutrality Means for Democracy and Innovation (Past Event)

    May 30, 2019
    Stanford Law School

    In 2017, the FCC voted to abolish net neutrality protections, which ensure that we, not the companies we pay to get online, get to choose what we do online. This event will explore what we lost, why it matters, and what’s happening with efforts to restore those protections in the courts, the states and Washington, D.C.

  • Democracy's Dilemma

    Author(s): 
    Riana Pfefferkorn
    Publication Date: 
    May 15, 2019
    Publication Type: 
    Other Writing

    The key term that recurs throughout Henry Farrell’s and Bruce Schneier’s essay is “trust.” That is no surprise, as the concept unites both authors’ bodies of work: Schneier, a security expert, and Farrell, a political scientist, have each written books about it. Security enables trust, and trust enables a functioning democracy.

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