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
"“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."
"When considering whether words constitute a true threat versus protected speech, “the threat has to be credible and the person has to intend to make the victim fear imminent physical harm,’’ said Danielle Citron, a University of Maryland law professor and author of a book on online harassment.
""It's to the credit of these companies that they have—without admitting it in court—taken the responsibility of the custodians of public debate," said Neil Richards, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who specializes in the First Amendment. "We have to decide if that's a question we want to have left to a publicly traded corporation.""
"Morgan Weiland, an affiliate scholar with Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, says the blocked tweeters’ complaint could air key questions if it ends up in court. Does the public forum concept apply in privately run social media? Does it matter if an account is a politician’s personal account, not an official one?"
""The question of whether the President’s Twitter feed is a public forum is a more complicated question," says Neil Richards, a professor at Washington University's Law school, specializing in First Amendment theory. "The law here is famously muddled, because it’s trying to prevent the government from discriminating against people who speak on public streets and parks, but it’s trying to fight the urge to make everything a public forum.""
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.