High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Today’s reporting by the Intercept calls into question whether the NSA minimizes so-called metadata relating to Americans’ digital communications and telephone calls. This is one of the questions I implored the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to get to the bottom of. It is a question that PCLOB Chairman David Medine thought the Board had a definitive—affirmative--answer to. But today’s story shows doubt still plagues our understanding of how the NSA’s information collection affects American privacy.
TL;DR: A little bit, but not enough.
Yesterday, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) issued a massive report about the legally and technologically complicated government surveillance program operating under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act
Today, the Eleventh Circuit rejected the exceedingly common law enforcement practice of warrantlessly tracking suspects’ physical location using cell phone tower data. The opinion, United States v. Davis, is both welcome and overdue. Defendants who have and will be physically tracked without a warrant have new legal support to challenge that surveillance.
Last week, we argued that the public discussion surrounding two of the government’s most controversial mass surveillance programs – PRISM and Upstream – has not sufficiently acknowledged the broad scope of collection under these programs, which take place under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In short, hiding behind the counterterrorism justifications for section 702 is a broad surveillance program that sucks up massive amounts of irrelevant private data.
The legal authority behind the controversial PRISM and Upstream surveillance programs used by the NSA to collect large swaths of private communications from leading Internet companies – Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2017. In recent months, Congress began to review these programs to assess whether to renew, reform, or retire section 702. Unfortunately, it appears the debate has already been skewed by misconceptions about the true scope of surveillance conducted under the contentious provision.
Slides from the BlackHat 2016 presentation by Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn titled "When the Cops Come A-Knocking: Handling Technical Assistance Demands from Law Enforcement."
"“The anonymous account holder is safe, for now,” said Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. “Perhaps the Department of Justice has learned a lesson. Perhaps the Trump administration may try to find the poster another way, for example by monitoring the government’s INS network.”"
"Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, called the government’s behavior “craven” and described the CBP summons as a “classic case of abuse”.
“For the government, a federal law enforcement officer, to not understand the very basics of protecting free speech and following the rule of law is egregious,” she said.
"“It seems like the government lied to Twitter about why it wanted the information,” says Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. “It’s not entitled to the information under the statutory authority it cites.”"
The Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes has just said that Donald Trump’s communications were likely picked up by US intelligence agencies through “incidental collection.” Before Nunes’ statement, I interviewed Jennifer Stisa Granick, the director of civil liberties at Stanford University’s Center for the Internet and Society, about her new
"Some people writing on intelligence and surveillance note that close working relations such as this can allow intelligence agencies to evade domestic controls. Jennifer Granick, in her new Cambridge University Press book, American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What To Do About It, notes that Five Eyes countries aren’t supposed to spy on one another’s citizens. However, she says that the NSA has prepared policies that would allow it to spy on Five Eyes citizens without permission. She furthermore suggests that:
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Stanford Cryptography Policy Project, we are holding an afternoon event highlighting our research and accomplishments over the past year. As our keynote speakers, it is our pleasure to welcome the Honorable Stephen W. Smith, Magistrate Judge of the Southern District of Texas, and Paul S. Grewal, former Magistrate Judge of the Northern District of California.
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).
On Wednesday, February 17, The Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford, The Center for International Governance Innovation, and the Research Advisory Network of the Global Commission on Internet Governance will present an all-day conference entitled "New Alliances in Cybersecurity, Human Rights and Internet Governance." The conference will discuss the challenges of creating a regime of internet governance that pays attention to security and human rights in the digital context.
Over the course of two days in February 2016, the Strauss Center at the University of Texas-Austin will host a unique and timely conference focused on the legal and policy dimensions of cybersecurity.