High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Yesterday's report from the independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, or PCLOB, confirms what Christopher Sprigman and I said back in June of last year in our New York Times Op Ed “The Criminal NSA”. The NSA’s telephone record metadata program, in which it collects the calling records of almost everyone inside the United States, is illegal. Amend that: it’s screamingly illegal. Flat out.
When should courts follow legal precedent and when should the law change? This is a debate that underlies this month’s contrary decisions about the constitutionality of government collection of telephone call metadata under section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. And despite this week’s dual holdings in favor of the government—on this issue and on the issue of laptop border searches—a judicial consensus may be emerging that the Fourth Amendment must evolve along with technology and government surveillance capabilities.
Yesterday, I wrote that the report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies--"Liberty And Security In A Changing World”—suggests reforms that would improve U.S. surveillance law’s protection of the rights of foreigners. My non US-person friends seem underwhelmed, so I thought I’d take a moment to elaborate on the changes I’m talking about. Read More.
Last week’s big cybersecurity news was that the FBI obtained a court order to force Apple to develop new software that would bypass several iPhone security features so the FBI can attempt to unlock the work phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple plans to challenge that order. (Full disclosure: I am planning on writing a technologists’ amicus brief on Apple’s side in that challenge.)
On Friday, Congress will vote on a mutated version of security threat sharing legislation that had previously passed through the House and Senate. These earlier versions would have permitted private companies to share with the federal government categories of data related to computer security threat signatures. Companies that did so would also receive legal immunity from liability under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and other privacy laws.
Here’s the latest in the encryption case we’ve been writing about in which the Justice Department is asking Magistrate Judge James Orenstein to order Apple to unlock a criminal defendant’s passcode-protected iPhone. The government seized and has authority to search the phone pursuant to a search warrant.
Pending before federal magistrate judge James Orenstein is the government’s request for an order obligating Apple, Inc. to unlock an iPhone and thereby assist prosecutors in decrypting data the government has seized and is authorized to search pursuant to a warrant.
Last week, we wrote about an order from a federal magistrate judge in New York that questioned the government’s ability, under an ancient federal law called the All Writs Act, to compel Apple to decrypt a locked device which the government had seized and is authorized to search pursuant to a warrant.
"It can be tempting to try to hide information or use technological tricks such as 'duress passwords' that, if used instead of the genuine one, unlock the device but keep a portion of the data hidden and encrypted. But Jennifer Granick, who studies cybersecurity law at Stanford University in California, warns against such strategies. “You don't want to lie to a government agent. That can be a crime.” And border guards are not likely to be sympathetic to the argument that a researcher has a legal duty to prevent anyone from seeing confidential data.
"Jennifer Stisa Granick is an attorney, educator and the director of civil liberties for the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at Stanford Law School. A prominent advocate for intellectual property law, free speech and privacy, she has represented a number of high-profile hackers, including internet activist Aaron Swartz.
"Not only will it likely reveal more about the secret NSA surveillance program, but it could also potentially end such surveillance, explained Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. “This is a chance for a real challenge to the programmatic nature of the surveillance.”"
"Cyber law professor Jennifer Granick of Stanford University suggests auto-industry style liability is not appropriate for software.
"While it is true that companies need to start to prioritize security in coding, it is unreasonable to ask Microsoft to be liable for anything that can be done with the 50 million lines of code in Windows 10," Granick told Fortune by email."
"In re: Petition of Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn to unseal technical-assistance orders and materials began last year, when the two Stanford University-affiliated lawyers sought to shed light on how the government conducts domestic snooping and exerts pressure on companies to aid federal efforts to thwart cryptography.
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.
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.