High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Today’s report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies–”Liberty And Security In A Changing World”—is impressive in a number of ways. Importantly, it pushes consideration of the privacy and civil liberties rights of non-U.S. persons into the policy debate. Old-school national security wonks commonly express distain for the idea that the U.S.
Today, the federal District Court for the District of Columbia held that the NSA's bulk telephone metadata collection program under the USA PATRIOT Act violates the 4th Amendment. This is a tremendously important ruling--the first time a public court has had the chance to rule on programs revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Given the program's constitutional infirmities, it is more important than ever that Congress end this misuse of the USA PATRIOT Act. However, Deputy Attorney General James Cole testified earlier this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the NSA might continue its bulk collection of nearly all domestic phone call records, even if Congress does just that. The USA FREEDOM ACT has bipartisan sponsorship from dozens of lawmakers, all of whom agree that the core purpose of the bill is to end NSA dragnet collection of Americans’ communication data. Yet, Cole said that the reform legislation wouldn’t necessarily inhibit the NSA’s surveillance capabilities because “it’s going to depend on how the court interprets any number of the provisions that are in [the legislation].” Comments like this betray a serious problem inside the Executive Branch. The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat. Read more.
In the latest news report based on documents revealed by Edward Snowden, we’ve learned that the NSA creates profiles of porn viewing, online sexual activity and more from its vast database of Internet content and transactional data as part of a plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through speeches promoting disfavored—but not necessarily violent—political views.
In a new post over at Just Security, I look at the recently declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions on bulk collection of Internet "metadata". These opinions show that, once again, the NSA has conducted illegal spying. The new documents reveal the National Security Agency’s (NSA) systemic violation of rules for domestic collection and use of Internet metadata.
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.
Today, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced that it would stop some of the surveillance it conducts on the telecommunications backbone under authority granted by section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.
On Wednesday, the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-CA), gave a press conference in which he reported that Trump transition team members’ communications were intercepted by US intelligence agencies through “incidental collection.” This follows on Nunes’ concerns, after Michael Flynn stepped down following intelligence reports that he had talked to the Russian ambassador.
"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."
"“Congress has subpoena power, of course,” says Al Gidari, the director of privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, who previously represented several big tech companies in national security cases.
"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.
"It can be tempting to try to hide information or use technological tricks such as 'duress passwords' that, if used instead of the genuine one, unlock the device but keep a portion of the data hidden and encrypted. But Jennifer Granick, who studies cybersecurity law at Stanford University in California, warns against such strategies. “You don't want to lie to a government agent. That can be a crime.” And border guards are not likely to be sympathetic to the argument that a researcher has a legal duty to prevent anyone from seeing confidential data.
Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties, will speaking at the ISSA-LA Summitt.
More information: https://issalasummit9.wpengine.com/?page_id=285/#Granick
Title: American Spies, Modern Surveillance, and You
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.
US intelligence agencies - the eponymous American spies - are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance. Written for a general audience by a surveillance law expert, this book educates readers about how the reality of modern surveillance differs from popular understanding.
If you attended a recent march to protest, wrote a check to the ACLU, or recently visited a politically leaning website, consider yourself an activist, says Stanford legal scholar Granick. Not only might the government be watching you, but your digital footprint could end up being visible to people and organizations you never imagined would care. Know your risks and take safety precautions, advises Granick, or don’t be surprised at the troubling outcome.
In the post-Snowden era, we don't have to tell you how important it is to stay engaged with (and vigilant about) the surveillance state in America. Jennifer Granick is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, and author of the new book American Spies — and this week she joins us for an in-depth discussion about the surveillance sta
Intelligence agencies in the U.S. (aka the American Spies) are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance.
The Snowden revelations, while dramatic, have done little to amp up public concern about personal surveillance.
After all, thanks to technology, electronic spying is cheap — so cheap the government can’t afford not to do it.
The internet makes access to information incredibly easy, and we normally see that as a good thing. But what if the information being accessed is details of our private lives? And what if the person accessing them is a government intelligence agency? This week we speak with Jennifer Granick, author of "American Spies" and director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, about the quest for privacy in the age of surveillance.