The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
The bombing of a mosque and community center in suburban Minneapolis 10 days ago and the horrific events in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend are just the most recent examples of hateful violence that has become all too common in America.
Yesterday, President Trump took a break from his 17-day vacation to threaten North Korea. His words:
North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.
Thomas Wright is the director of the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe, and a senior fellow at Brookings. His new book, “All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and the Future of American Power,” looks at the prospects for the United States in a world where other countries are increasingly disaffected from the global order that America built. I interviewed him about his book by email.
The last two days have seen two major developments regarding Russian hacking. First, Russian President Vladimir Putin tacitly admitted that Russian hackers might have influenced the U.S. election, but claimed that any hackers were just patriots, acting independently of the Russian government. Then The Intercept published a leaked NSA report stating that Russian military intelligence had tried to penetrate U.S. voting systems.
U.S. President Donald Trump can be accused of having many faults, but hypocrisy is not one of them. To be sure, Trump is wildly inconsistent. His critics have found great sport digging up old tweets in which he condemns political rivals for doing something that he himself blithely does today. But hypocrisy requires a minimal degree of self-awareness.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a crowd Sunday in southern Germany that Europe can no longer rely on foreign partners.
Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week, saying that Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands.”
The Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes has just said that Donald Trump’s communications were likely picked up by US intelligence agencies through “incidental collection.” Before Nunes’ statement, I interviewed Jennifer Stisa Granick, the director of civil liberties at Stanford University’s Center for the Internet and Society, about her new
"We don’t have nearly enough information to see the big picture and know what speech platforms are taking down. For the most part, we only find out when the speakers themselves learn that their posts or accounts have disappeared and choose to call public attention to it. But the idea that platforms’ rules are biased — and that this undermines democracy — isn’t new, and it isn’t unique to conservatives.
"Any effort to regulate social media companies and search engines would run up against a bevy of constitutional free speech questions. Legally, Trump doesn’t have any authority to change how Google displays search results, said Daphne Keller, director of intermediary liability at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.
“By dictating what a private company does with search results, it legally would be like dictating what The Chronicle does with news reporting,” Keller said. “It would be a First Amendment violation.”"
"Neil Richards, a law professor at Washington University School of law, says the case is particularly important because it seeks to assess how the internet actually works in the real world. "When we’re thinking about the First Amendment, it’s important that we recognize the internet that we have in practice, rather than an idealized version of the internet that we might want to have or that Silicon Valley might sell us," he says."
"“This would be the case of a president overruling literally the most rudimentary advice given by the communications agencies,” said Andrew McLaughlin, who served as deputy chief technology officer under Obama and helped develop the former president’s specialized phone."
"“The unabashed white nationalism of the president isn’t new, nor is his policy of collective punishment of entire nations of people. What’s new is the growing awareness of a larger and larger group of people that presidential bias has become national policy,” said Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice in Oakland."
"Jennifer Granick, a lawyer with the ACLU’s technology division, said that abuses of power will become unavoidable if companies continue to face pressure to moderate their content.
“It's not a surprise that Twitter employees have this capability,” Granick said. “The public and Congress have been demanding that the platform companies create the ability to ban people from the platform or delete particular messages.”"
"“There’s always been employees who have misused the keys,” said ACLU surveillance and cybersecurity counsel Jennifer Granick. She pointed to the tension among some who would prefer that tech platforms censor users' content, whether that’s policing Russian-planted accounts and ads or kicking Trump off Twitter for what they perceive as hate speech. “They’re under extreme pressure from Congress,” she said."
""This new policy adjusts the tone but continues much of the substance of last year's document," according to Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of South Carolina."
"Albert Gidari, Director of Privacy for the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, told us he agrees with the EFF’s argument:
Asking for metadata on everyone that visits a particular website implicates more than just the particularity required by the 4th Amendment. It implicates the 1st Amendment rights of anyone that visited the site.
"“For our democracy, I think we should all see what Trump is saying,” says council member Danielle Citron, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law who studies online harassment. She has advised Twitter since 2009."
Join Just Security for a fireside chat on the current state of U.S. surveillance and a celebration of Jennifer Granick‘s new book, American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, And What to Do About It. Opening remarks by Senator Ron Wyden.