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  • Rubio and Cruz spar over domestic surveillance program

    Date published: 
    December 16, 2015

    "To remedy this, the new law is "technology neutral," said Jeffrey Vagle, executive director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Under the law, the NSA can compel any phone company to provide records in whatever format the government desires, per the warrant. Before, there were some limits on how responsive phone companies had to be.

  • What Will It Take to Build a Virtuous AI?

    Date published: 
    December 15, 2015

    "“I’d agree that AI is a very powerful tool, and some designs and uses can be better or worse than others,” says Patrick Lin, a philosopher at Cal Poly who studies the ethics of automation and artificial intelligence. But, he adds: “OpenAI says that it aims at ‘a good outcome for all’ and to ‘benefit humanity as a whole,’ but who gets to define what the good outcome is?”

  • Patent reform group says new Texas patent office will have no effect on "patent trolls"

    Date published: 
    December 15, 2015

    "“The trend of the Eastern District of Texas favoring patent plaintiffs more than other districts has lead to extreme forum shopping,” Daniel Nazer with EFF told the Southeast Texas Record.

    Texas has a record of rejecting 73 percent of pretrial challenges, while the national average is 29 percent, according to data published by the EFF.

    Nazer says the disparity in those numbers causes plaintiffs to file cases where they think they can get an advantage.

  • The 4 worst patents of 2015

    Date published: 
    December 14, 2015

    "To give just a sense of just how out of touch the law has become, I askedDaniel Nazer, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to highlight the worst patents he’s come across this year. Nazer, who holds the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents (yes, really), had little trouble coming up with these four, culled from a monthly “Stupid Patent of the Month” post he writes for the EFF site.

    As Nazer says, “In a world with 400,000 software patents, everyone is an infringer.”"
  • Founder of Google’s Stealthy Surgical Robotics Project Speaks

    Date published: 
    December 14, 2015

    "Other robotics experts are not so sure. Ryan Calo is a law professor at the University of Washington, and teaches a class on Robotic Law and Policy. “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved robotic surgery relatively quickly because it made an analogy between robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery,” he says. Makers of robotic surgical systems claimed that their devices were essentially an extension of traditional laparoscopic instruments.

  • Net-Neutrality Proponents Warn of Loopholes

    Date published: 
    December 13, 2015

    "“If this isn’t addressed…it will send the signal that this kind of behavior is OK, and I think that will encourage other [Internet-access providers] to start zero rating their own television offerings,” said Barbara van Schewick, a Stanford Law School professor."

  • Will Fear Change the Internet? Self-Policing Has Already Started

    Date published: 
    December 13, 2015

    ""The Internet is moving away from a place where anyone can say anything and find any information they want," Jennifer Granick, director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, told NBC News. "My hypothesis is that the Internet will become more like TV.""

  • Ease of hiding terror plots online intensifies Web debate

    Date published: 
    December 12, 2015

    "Because their livelihoods depend on it, technology companies are developing more secure encryption, which safeguards the lawful and unlawful alike, said Brian Nussbaum, a former senior intelligence analyst with the New York state homeland security office and now a professor at the University of Albany, State University of New York.

    “The technology is only moving in one direction,” Nussbaum said. “Encryption is only becoming more widely available, less expensive, more effective and — the really important driver is — easier to use.”"

  • Buy Buy Privacy

    Date published: 
    December 7, 2015

    Planning to do some online holiday shopping? LSA Ph.D. student Darren Stevenson explains how advertisers get and use your personal data to predict what you’ll buy—and, sometimes, even what you’ll pay.

    You finally dug out the snow pants and scarves, paired the stray gloves and mittens, and found your son’s snow boots that are at least two sizes too small. The next time you’re at your computer, you type “boys winter boots” into a search engine and scan through dozens of websites that probably sell exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Prison Telecom Giant Securus Awarded Patent for Billing Inmate's Relatives

    Date published: 
    December 1, 2015

    "“There’s this perverse thing where sometimes the more obvious a thing is, the harder it is to prove it’s been awarded a patent improperly because it’s so obvious that no one would write it down so there’s no documentation,” said EFF staff attorney Daniel Nazer. “No one is going to write in a technical article, ‘hey it might be a good idea to reach out to people to pay for services,’ because that’s so obvious.”

  • Judiciary chairman wants warrant exception in email privacy bill

    Date published: 
    December 1, 2015

    ""It unfortunately appears to be the case that some law enforcement officials make emergency disclosure requests because it is easier than getting legal process, with the checks that come with it, even though legal process is available in a timely manner," Google's Richard Salgado said in prepared remarks. "

  • Lawmakers take up government's ability to get old emails without a search warrant

    Date published: 
    December 1, 2015

    "Google's law enforcement director, Richard Salgado, told lawmakers that provisions under the old law "do not reflect the reasonable expectations of privacy of users."

    He also noted that the Justice Department has said there is no reason under privacy law for criminal investigators to treat old emails differently than newer emails. The Supreme Court ruled last year that law enforcement officers generally need a warrant to search the contents of a cellphone."

  • Breaking Down Cox's Trial Over Subscriber Music Piracy

    Date published: 
    December 1, 2015

    "Annemarie Bridy, a University of Idaho law professor and affiliate scholar at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society, co-wrote a law professors' amicus brief on behalf of YouTube Inc. in the Viacom v. YouTube case, which raised some similar issues. She says she has been following BMG v. Cox and that the court's decision on the DMCA safe harbor provision is the issue in the case that is most likely to have wider-reaching implications.

  • House panel considers bill to protect email privacy

    Date published: 
    December 1, 2015

    "The head of law enforcement for Google, Inc. said the giant tech company supports the bill as a way to protect the privacy of its customers.

    "Users expect, as they should, that documents they store online have the same Fourth Amendment protections as documents stored at home," said Richard Salgado, Google's director of law enforcement and information security."

  • Battle over 1986 email-privacy law heats up in House debate

    Date published: 
    December 1, 2015

    "But in his prepared testimony, Richard Salgado, Google's director for law enforcement and information security, argued that such an exemption for civil agencies made no sense. 

    "The power to compel [Internet service] providers to disclose the content of users' communications should be reserved for criminal cases," he said. "Congress should be deeply skeptical of efforts to draft around the Fourth Amendment, which is what some governmental entities are asking it to do."

  • SEC, Google at Odds Over E-Mail Privacy Bill

    Date published: 
    December 1, 2015

    "“H.R. 699 represents an overdue update to ECPA that would ensure electronic communications content is treated in a commensurate manner to other papers and effects stored in the home, which are protected by the Fourth Amendment,” Richard Salgado, Google's director of law enforcement and information security, said in testimony written for the hearing. “It is long past time for Congress to pass a clean version of H.R. 699.”

    Salgado said Congress should reject proposals that would create a civil agency carve-out."

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