Publications

Spying on Muslims is bad policy

Author(s): 
Brian Nussbaum
Publication Date: 
May 23, 2016
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

During the presidential primary, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz suggested increased surveillance and policing of Muslim neighborhoods in the United States. This suggestion has rightly provoked the ire of many people across the political spectrum. Even more than being out of step with American values, these strategies are counterproductive to good counterterrorism policy.

Should You Be Allowed to Prevent Drones From Flying Over Your Property?

Author(s): 
Ryan Calo
Publication Date: 
May 22, 2016
Publication Type: 
Other Writing
NO: It Is the Way to Kill Innovation

By Ryan Calo

The year is 1910. Orville and Wilbur Wright are testing their plane and happen to fly hundreds of feet over a stretch of land you own. Could you sue them?

Technically, you could. In 1910, your property rights extended ad coelum et ad inferos—up to heaven and down to hell. Anyone who flew over your property without permission was trespassing.

Online tracking: A 1-million-site measurement and analysis

Author(s): 
Arvind Narayanan
Publication Date: 
May 22, 2016
Publication Type: 
Academic Writing

Online tracking: A 1-million-site measurement and analysis is the largest and most detailed measurement of online tracking to date. We measure stateful (cookie-based) and stateless (fingerprinting-based) tracking, the effect of browser privacy tools, and "cookie syncing". 

This measurement is made possible by our web measurement tool OpenWPM, a mature platform that enables fully automated web crawls using a full-fledged and instrumented browser.

There Is No Such Thing as “Public” Data

Author(s): 
Woodrow Hartzog
Publication Date: 
May 19, 2016
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Are you an OkCupid user? Would you consider the data on your profile public—fair game for anyone to download and share with the rest of the world?

This is how the new Captain America movie gets global politics wrong

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
May 8, 2016
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

The directors of Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” say they wanted to create a movie that reflects some of the ambiguities of real-world politics. The movie is very good and highly entertaining. However, its understanding of politics ducks the real political issues that superheroes would pose.

Nobody elected the superheroes

Inefficiently Automated Law Enforcement

Author(s): 
Woodrow Hartzog
Publication Date: 
May 4, 2016
Publication Type: 
Academic Writing

For some crimes the entire law enforcement process can now be automated. No humans are needed to detect the crime, identify the perpetrator, or impose punishment. While automated systems are cheap and efficient, governments and citizens must look beyond these obvious savings as manual labor is replaced by robots and computers.

When Selfies Become Surveillance Beacons

Author(s): 
Woodrow Hartzog
Publication Date: 
May 4, 2016
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Few things repre­sent the age of social media better than posting a selfie. We share these ubiq­ui­tous self-portraits with such an urgency you’d think we’d cease to exist if we stopped producing them at a rapid and ongoing rate. Think about taking a trip to a gorgeous loca­tion. If you exer­cise “selfie-control” and don’t post a picture of your­self at a place like the beach, did the exquisite voyage really happen? 

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