Jennifer Stisa Granick is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. She is the author of a forthcoming book from Cambridge University Press entitled American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What To Do About It. From 2001 to 2007, Granick was Executive Director of CIS and taught Cyberlaw, Computer Crime Law, Internet intermediary liability, and Internet law and policy. From 2007 to 2010 she served as the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Granick practices, speaks, and writes about computer crime and security, electronic surveillance, security vulnerability disclosure, encryption policy, and the Fourth Amendment. In March of 2016, she received Duo Security’s Women in Security Academic Award for her expertise in the field as well as her direction and guidance for young women in the security industry. Before teaching at Stanford, Granick spent almost a decade practicing criminal defense law in California.
High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Senator Chris Coons, Democrat from Delaware, offered a bill today that would delay implementation of proposed changes to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 for six months. Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society and Mozilla have been studying issues related to government hacking including the Rule 41 changes.
Researchers at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society (CIS) filed a petition yesterday seeking to unseal judicial records in San Francisco federal district court. Their goal is to reveal how the federal government uses U.S. law to obligate smartphone manufacturers and Internet companies to decrypt private user data, turn over encryption keys, or otherwise assist law enforcement with digital surveillance.
On Monday, I wrote a post for Just Security where I reflected on last week's news concerning the FBI's attempts to coerce Apple into creating a forensic bypass to the iPhone passcode lockout. I wrote that we live in a software-defined world. In 2000, Lawrence Lessig wrote that Code is Law — the software and hardware that comprise cyberspace are powerful regulators that can either protect or threaten liberty. A few years ago, Mark Andreessen wrote that software was eating the world, pointing to a trend that is hockey sticking today. Software is redefining everything, even national defense.
Last Friday, a New York federal judge joined in the contentious current debate over whether tech companies should be forced to provide law enforcement the ability to decipher encrypted data stored on smartphones and in the cloud.
Arguing that a defendant’s conviction for website hacking should be overturned because legitimate, highly valuable security and privacy research commonly employs techniques that are essentially identical to what the defendant did and that such independent research is of great value to academics, government regulators and the public even when – often especially when — conducted without a website owner’s permission.
Arguing that if the court should not compel Apple to create software to enable unlocking and search of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, it will jeopardize digital and personal security more generally.
After the Estate of James Joyce refused to allow a scholar to quote Joyce in her book, we successfully defended her right under the fair use doctrine to use the quotes she needed to illustrate her scholarship. After we prevailed in the case, the Estate paid $240,000 of our client’s legal fees.
In this case, two archives challenged statutes that extended copyright terms unconditionally—the Copyright Renewal Act and the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA)—as unconstitutional under Copyright Clause and the First Amendment.
Last week’s big cybersecurity news was that the FBI obtained a court order to force Apple to develop new software that would bypass several iPhone security features so the FBI can attempt to unlock the work phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple plans to challenge that order. (Full disclosure: I am planning on writing a technologists’ amicus brief on Apple’s side in that challenge.)
On Friday, Congress will vote on a mutated version of security threat sharing legislation that had previously passed through the House and Senate. These earlier versions would have permitted private companies to share with the federal government categories of data related to computer security threat signatures. Companies that did so would also receive legal immunity from liability under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and other privacy laws.
Jennifer Stisa Granick, the Director of Civil Liberties at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, is an expert in computer crime and security, electronic surveillance, security vulnerability disclosure, encryption policy, and the Fourth Amendment.
The 2016 Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize has been awarded to Laura K. Donohue for her book The Future of Foreign Intelligence: Privacy and Surveillance in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press 2016) and to Jennifer Stisa Granick for her book American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What to Do About It (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2017).
"Jennifer Granick, director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, explained that separating the needs of law enforcement from the public’s rights under the Constitution is not as simple as it might seem. She calls this policy battle the third “crypto war.”
"“This is another example of how the government is pushing secretly novel or innovative interpretations of surveillance law” to conduct wiretapping in broader ways than the public realizes, said Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society."
Eight years ago, Barack Obama arrived in Washington pledging to reverse the dramatic expansion of state surveillance his predecessor had presided over in the name of fighting terrorism. Instead, the Obama administration saw the Bush era’s “collect it all” approach to surveillance become still more firmly entrenched. Meanwhile, the advanced spying technologies once limited to intelligence agencies have been gradually trickling down to local police departments.
Join Mozilla and Stanford CIS for the second installment in a series of conversations about government hacking. Information from our first event, discussing the upcoming changes to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41, are available at that event’s page here.
Stanford CIS brings together scholars, academics, legislators, students, programmers, security researchers, and scientists to study the interaction of new technologies and the law and to examine how the synergy between the two can either promote or harm public goods like free speech, innovation, privacy, public commons, diversity, and scientific inquiry. Come hear CIS Directors Jennifer Granick + Daphne Keller and Resident Fellows Riana Pfefferkorn + Luiz Fernando Marrey Moncau talk about our work, and the assistance CIS provides to students in learning about these issues, selecting courses, identifying job opportunities, and making professional connections.
It’s nearly impossible to know if you're having a truly private, unmonitored conversation today. Big data and online communications open the door for widespread surveillance. But even if you feel like you personally have nothing to hide, surveillance is about much more than individual privacy – it’s about the necessary conditions of a free and just society, and protecting a space to criticize the status quo and the powers that be.
Jennifer Granick talks about how notions of privacy have changed over the years and where she thinks things are headed in the future. She is a professor at the Stanford School of Law and Director of Civil Liberties at the Center for Internet and Society, where she specializes in the intersection of engineering, privacy and the law.
What kind of surveillance assistance can the U.S. government force companies to provide? This issue has entered the public consciousness due to the FBI's demand in February that Apple write software to help it access the San Bernardino shooter's encrypted iPhone. Technical assistance orders can go beyond the usual government requests for user data, requiring a company to actively participate in the government's monitoring of the targeted user(s).
In this week's feature interview we're chatting with Stanford's very own Jennifer Granick about a recent ruling in a Virginia court that appears to give the FBI permission to hack into any computer it wants, sans warrant. Well that's what the headlines are screaming, anyway. But as you'll hear, it's not quite that black and white.