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.
Right now, a battle is underway to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a statute that can transform innocuous workplace behavior into a federal crime, simply because a computer is involved. The CFAA is a bludgeon that Big Business and the Department of Justice have willingly used against the American worker, and its time for that to stop.
The first part of this article outlined the mechanics of the Megaupload website, and the novel questions of criminal inducement on which the government's indictment is premised. Here, we explore two more extensions of existing law on which the indictment is based, and the impact this prosecution is likely to have on Internet innovators and users alike.
Days after anti-piracy legislation stalled in Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice coordinated an unprecedented raid on the Hong Kong-based website Megaupload.com. New Zealand law enforcement agents swooped in by helicopter to arrest founder Kim Dotcom at his home outside of Auckland, and seized millions of dollars worth of art, vehicles and real estate. Six other Megaupload employees were also arrested. Meanwhile, the Justice Department seized Megaupload's domain names and the data of at least 50 million users worldwide.
"“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.
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."