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.
"“Normally we think of the judiciary as being the overseer, but as the technology has gotten more complex, courts have had a harder and harder time playing that role,” said Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. “We’re depending on companies to be the intermediary between people and the government.”"
"“Courts and police are increasingly using software to make decisions in the criminal justice system about bail, sentencing, and probability-matching for DNA and other forensic tests,” said Jennifer Granick, a surveillance and cybersecurity lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project who has studied the issue.
"“Its role in enabling a certain kind of technical innovation is unambiguous,” says Daphne Keller at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. “It made it possible for investors to get behind companies who were in the business of transmitting so much speech and information that they couldn't possibly assess it all and figure what was legal or illegal.”
"Storing passwords in an encrypted format is “not just best practice, it’s something that industry should always do,” said Jennifer Granick, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. “Facebook’s failure to do that will really upset the FTC,” she said"
"Jennifer Granick, attorney with ACLU, points out that the arguments, or those engaging in them, are often paradoxical. The same people who don’t want Facebook to restrict job searches to people of certain age or housing by ethnicity may want Facebook to remove what they consider hateful speech. The social media companies also talk from both sides of their mouth, arguing like media companies that they need to cover both sides of, say, political issues, but then pooh-poohing calls for the kind of regulation media companies have.
Three dimensional printing turns bits into atoms. The technology is simply amazing. These machines draw on programming, art and engineering to enable people to design and build intricate, beautiful, functional jewelry, machine parts, toys and even shoes. In the commercial sector, 3D printing can revolutionize supply chains as well. As the public interest group Public Knowledge wrote once, "It will be awesome if they don't screw it up."
Jennifer Granick will be presenting her paper Principles for Regulation of Government Surveillance in the Age of Big Data.
For more information visit: http://law.scu.edu/hightech/2013-internet-law-wip.cfm
Solutions to many pressing economic and societal challenges lie in better understanding data. New tools for analyzing disparate information sets, called Big Data, have revolutionized our ability to find signals amongst the noise. Big Data techniques hold promise for breakthroughs ranging from better health care, a cleaner environment, safer cities, and more effective marketing. Yet, privacy advocates are concerned that the same advances will upend the power relationships between government, business and individuals, and lead to prosecutorial abuse, racial or other profiling, discrimination, redlining, overcriminalization, and other restricted freedoms.
Have you ever borrowed a smartphone without asking? Modified a URL? Scraped a website? Called an undocumented API? Congratulations: you might have violated federal law! A 1986 statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), provides both civil and criminal remedies for mere "unauthorized" access to a computer.
The Journal of National Security Law & Policy and The Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law proudly present "Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data: National Security in an Age of Unlimited Information".
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.
""What was remarkable was that the public hadn't seen the argument surfaced," says Jennifer Granick at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. She says Judge Orenstein was trying to stoke a public debate. "Judge Orenstein had concerns about whether the government's legal argument was a valid legal argument."