Position / Title:
jennifer at law dot stanford dot edu
High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
In the public debate over secret NSA spying, we keep hearing three refrains to justify, or at least accommodate people, to the U.S. government's surveillance practices. These are, "the spying is legal, so there's nothing improper", "mass surveillance is the price we have to pay for national security" and "I have nothing to hide so why should I worry?"
On Wednesday, news broke that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had been routinely collecting all call metadata on every Verizon (and presumably other telco) customer for the past seven years.
This has been a busy Internet law week. I'd like to sum up some of the more interesting developments:
I am a signatory to a letter to Rep. Robert Goodlatte and other legislators critiquing draft legislation reportedly slated for consideration this month that would amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by increasing penalties and expanding the scope of conduct punishable under the statute. The letter points out that the draft under discussion is a significant expansion of the CFAA at a time when
public opinion is demanding the law be narrowed. This language would, among other things:
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals said no this week to tracking your movements using data from your cell phone without a warrant when it declared that this information is constitutionally protected.
Reed Hundt proposes democratic action in response to our government’s secret infrastructure for monitoring and controlling modern communications. “Citizens,” he writes, “should be encouraged to take action on behalf of their own privacy and security.”
Yesterday afternoon, the White House put out a statement describing its vulnerability disclosure policies: the contentious issue of whether and when government agencies should disclose their knowledge of computer vulnerabilities. The statement falls far short of a commitment to network security for all and fails to provide the reassurance the global public needs in the midst of the NSA’s security scandal.
"“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.
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 appears at 46:44.
Ask Americans what the Constitution’s most important feature is, and most will say it’s the guarantees of liberty enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments of the Constitution.
Americans are fiercely proud of their freedoms but they continue to argue about what those basic rights are and how they can be sustained in a changing world. Are our rights unchangeable, or should they evolve over time? What is the proper role for the courts in interpreting rights?