High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
The Internet is under threat, mostly from governments. We need companies to help people stand up to government threats, but companies cannot solve the problems for us. This is what I told the audience on Thursday, at an event co-hosted by CIS and the Program on Liberation Technology.
Tomorrow, all five members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about their recent report concluding that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of phone records under section 215 is illegal and ill-advised. Meanwhile, the PCLOB is gearing up to report in a few months its conclusions regarding mass surveillance of the content of Internet transactions under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act
Today, Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society joins Greenpeace, Mozilla, Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Libertarian Party, and an array of ideologically diverse groups in The Day We Fight Back against mass surveillance.
Yesterday, I wrote generally about the problems with section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). Today I focus on categories of information—including content—that NSA collects under section 702 but maybe never minimizes—meaning one of the few safeguards for U.S. person privacy is non-existent. In short, since the thirteen-page 702 minimization procedures only apply to communications, and since today's NSA probably excludes unshared cloud-stored data from the definition of communications, it's possible no minimization rules apply to protect American privacy.
I've written a lot about the problems with the FISA Amendments Act and section 702, which is the legal basis for the PRISM surveillance program and involves warrantless collection of communications contents via targeting non-U.S. individuals or entities reasonably believed to be located abroad.
Encryption helps human rights workers, activists, journalists, financial institutions, innovative businesses, and governments protect the confidentiality, integrity, and economic value of their activities. However, strong encryption may mean that governments cannot make sense of data they would otherwise be able to lawfully access in a criminal or intelligence investigation.
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.
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.
"“We are thinking very much about functionality. What happens if the box is taken? Then obviously, if the box is taken we have technological concerns about the contents escaping,” Granick said. She added, “if someone does either subpoena or hack their way into the box we need to make sure that they’re not going to be able to see anything, without any opportunity for us to get into court to challenge it."
"“YouTube as a private company is well within its rights,” said Jennifer Granick, a speech and technology expert at the American Civil Liberties Union. But “YouTube will make mistakes, and over-censor.”"
"Jennifer Granick, a surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the ACLU, explains that the purpose of the law “isn’t necessarily to protect the tech companies, but to protect the American people in having a platform where you can post information and post our stories, because if the platforms were liable for information that their users publish, then they wouldn’t be able to publish that information. They would have to go through some kind of advanced review process.”"
"In a Stanford CIS blog post, Pfefferkorn said she found hope in the opinion. “For one, the court rejected the government’s unfounded attempt to argue that we lack standing to seek to unseal these records at all,” she wrote. “It is well-established that members of the public have standing to seek to unseal sealed court records, and the court refused to depart from that settled law.
"Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, told USA TODAY Sports that delayed-notice warrants often lack guidelines to protect bystanders caught during surveillance under a provision of the Patriot Act.
Come meet CIS and hear about our exciting work and ways to get involved.
On January 19, 2012, Kim DotCom was arrested in a dramatic raid after being indicted on federal criminal charges that he knew that his website, MegaUpload, was a haven of piracy and counterfeiting. In the days that followed, the media commented on the presumed guilt of MegaUpload. In this debate, Jim argues that the law and evidence clearly point to MegaUpload's officers being found guilty, while Jennifer will argue that the MegaUpload case is built on unprecedented and wrongheaded interpretations of copyright law, and thus the principles should be found not guilty.
Prompted by the Google Street View WiFi sniffing scandal, the question of whether and how the law regulates interception of unencrypted wireless communications has become a hot topic in the courts, in the halls of the FCC, on Capitol Hill, and in the security community. Are open WiFi communications protected by federal wiretap law, unprotected, or some strange mix of the two? (Surprise: it may be the last one, so you'll want to come learn the line between what's probably illegal sniffing and what's probably not.)
Has it really been 15 years? Time really flies when keeping up with Moore's law is the measure. In 1997, Jeff Moss held the very first Black Hat. He gathered together some of the best hackers and security minds of the time to discuss the current state of the hack. A unique and neutral field was created in which the security community--private, public, and independent practitioners alike—could come together and exchange research, theories, and experiences with no vendor influences. That idea seems to have caught on. Jeff knew that Black Hat could serve the community best if it concentrated on finding research by some of the brightest minds of the day, and he had an uncanny knack for finding them.
In the realm of big data, privacy is a significant, and often controversial, issue. In this clip, Jennifer Granick takes on the alleged trade-off between “privacy versus security,” and proposes an alternate framing. She is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.
This video is a preview of Worldview Stanford's unique online and on-campus course, Behind and Beyond Big Data. We are currently accepting applications for the course. Learn more and apply here: worldview.stanford.edu/course/behind-and-beyond-big-data
The director of civil liberties for the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School discusses net neutrality, privacy and the NSA.
"State of Surveillance" examines new technologies police departments are using to fight crime and the civil liberties concerns raised by these tools.
Law enforcement agencies say that many of the technologies make it easier to solve and, in some cases, even prevent crime. But privacy advocates warn that expanded databases could become dragnets that are increasingly populated with information about law-abiding citizens.
The following is audio of the conference last week in Austin hosted by the Intelligence Studies Project, a joint venture of the Strauss Center and Clements Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The conference was entitled, “The National Security Agency at the Crossroads.”
The Internet makes lives better, around the world, in ways people couldn't have imagined not even a decade ago. It sparks prosperity, inspires dissent, improves education, and encourages freedom. But all of the good it does is under threat, largely from governments. David Drummond will discuss where those threats are coming from, and the critical importance for us all that we overcome them. Drummond joined Google in 2002, initially as vice president of corporate development.