High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
The recent Department of Justice decision to indict Megaupload for copyright infringement and related offenses raises some very thorny questions from a criminal law perspective. A few preliminaries: I’m responsible for the musings below, but I thank Robert Weisberg of Stanford Law School for taking the time to talk through the issues and giving me pointers to some relevant cases. Also, an indictment contains unproven allegations, and the facts may well turn out to be different, or to imply different things in full context.
DMCA SAFE HARBOR: BELIEVE IT AND IT WILL BECOME REAL: As a matter of criminal law, the discussion of whether Megaupload did what it needed to do to qualify for the DMCA Safe Harbor misses the point. Did they register an agent? Did they have a repeat infringer policy? These are all interesting CIVIL questions. But from a criminal law perspective, the important question is did Defendants BELIEVE they were covered by the Safe Harbor? This is because criminal infringement requires a showing of willfulness. The view of the majority of Federal Courts is that “willfulness” means a desire to violate a known legal duty, not merely the will to make copies.
Happy new year, Friends. It is starting out to be a great 2012 for me. I've taken a position as General Counsel for Worldstar LLC and its flagship website worldstarhiphop.com (WSHH), voted top hip hop and urban culture website two years running by BET. In addition to the website, Worldstar operates a talent agency, video production company, dating site and is growing rapidly. They were a client of mine at ZwillGen PLLC, so I'm honored and thrilled to come on board full time.
Additionally, my new position allows me to continue work on the internet freedom and privacy issues so important to me: electronic surveillance, government privacy, computer security, coder's rights and free speech .
On October 28, the Department of Justice will argue to a District Court Judge in Arizona that neither the public nor criminal defendants should learn about a special investigative tool it uses to track individuals’ location via their cellphones. According to the Wall Street Journal, law enforcement and the military are regularly using such devices, called “Stingrays”. In the Arizona case, United States v. Rigmaiden, investigators used the technology to assist them in locating the suspect. That defendant is now asking the court to order the government to turn over information about how stingray functions and how it was used in his arrest so that he can litigate whether use of the device violated his Fourth Amendment rights.
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Isn’t it great that when your car, or phone, or laptop gets lost or stolen, you can use modern technology to find your stuff and get it back? One might think only paranoid Luddites or the thieves themselves would oppose such an innovation. But the joy of a ubiquitous communications/tracking network is tempered by the threat to privacy — and potential liability — for enlisting SkyNet to peer into our cars, purses and bedrooms.
Part One: The Wiretap Act and Find My Computer
Last month, in Clements-Jeffrey v. Springfield , a quirky case involving sex and a stolen laptop, a U.S. District Court judge in Ohio ruled that a laptop-tracking company could be liable for intercepting sexually explicit communications in an effort to identify thieves who stole the computer one plaintiff was using to communicate with the other.
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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.
"If Facebook’s allegations in the civil complaint are accurate, the federal government could have grounds for a criminal case against NSO Group, said Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. Facebook, in the court filing, said “the NSO group had a level of awareness about how the software was being used by its customers and maybe also where or what the target devices were,” she said.
""You can pull a lot of information off of a device with Bluetooth," Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project told Mashable over the phone. "There are a lot of identifiers on phones and ultimately you can aggregate and find out who people are and other details about their lives. The potential for privacy invasion is really big there.""
""The technology that flags these things doesn't know the truth," said Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. "Whether someone goes to jail or is put in a mental health facility, that takes a level of review and sensitivity far more than something that reviews a billion posts can actually accomplish."
"Riana Pfefferkorn, associate director of surveillance and cybersecurity at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society, said the strategy provided a false choice. "There’s this fundamental gut-level disgust that basically everyone has for the abuse of children,” Pfefferkorn said. “So, you can paint people who are trying to protect security and enhance [digital] protections as unsympathetic to preventing child sex abuse. I think it’s extremely cynical.”
Concerns are growing around privacy and government surveillance in today’s hyper-connected world. Technology is smarter and faster than ever — and so are government strategies for listening in.
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
Join Just Security for a fireside chat on the current state of U.S. surveillance and a celebration of Jennifer Granick‘s new book, American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, And What to Do About It. Opening remarks by Senator Ron Wyden.
US intelligence agencies - the eponymous American spies - are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance. Written for a general audience by a surveillance law expert, this book educates readers about how the reality of modern surveillance differs from popular understanding.
If you attended a recent march to protest, wrote a check to the ACLU, or recently visited a politically leaning website, consider yourself an activist, says Stanford legal scholar Granick. Not only might the government be watching you, but your digital footprint could end up being visible to people and organizations you never imagined would care. Know your risks and take safety precautions, advises Granick, or don’t be surprised at the troubling outcome.
In the post-Snowden era, we don't have to tell you how important it is to stay engaged with (and vigilant about) the surveillance state in America. Jennifer Granick is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, and author of the new book American Spies — and this week she joins us for an in-depth discussion about the surveillance sta
Intelligence agencies in the U.S. (aka the American Spies) are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance.
The Snowden revelations, while dramatic, have done little to amp up public concern about personal surveillance.
After all, thanks to technology, electronic spying is cheap — so cheap the government can’t afford not to do it.
The internet makes access to information incredibly easy, and we normally see that as a good thing. But what if the information being accessed is details of our private lives? And what if the person accessing them is a government intelligence agency? This week we speak with Jennifer Granick, author of "American Spies" and director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, about the quest for privacy in the age of surveillance.