High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
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.
"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:
"Although it would be “unheard of” for the federal government to prosecute a company for using leaked classified information to improve its products, there “are some issues with the fact that the information is classified,” said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School’s Center for internet and Society.
Given uncertainty about the views of the Justice Department, “I can see why legal counsel at big companies might hesitate to reach out to Julian Assange to negotiate access to classified information,” she said."
"While WikiLeaks has often been criticized for releasing sensitive data without regard for the consequences, Mr. Assange is acting responsibly this time, said Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. WikiLeaks redacted the actual computer code for C.I.A. exploits from its initial release to avoid spreading such cyberweapons.
“He is trying to do the right thing,” Ms. Granick said."
"“Spying is thriving” because little is understood about how pervasive it is.
Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties, will speaking at the ISSA-LA Summitt.
More information: https://issalasummit9.wpengine.com/?page_id=285/#Granick
Title: American Spies, Modern Surveillance, and You