High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Over at Just Security, I have a new piece on the Washington Post's interesting story about the increasingly aggressive role some federal magistrate judges are playing in policing criminal investigations involving digital media.
Today the Fourth Circuit refrained from deciding the first legal challenge to government seizure of the master encryption keys that secure our communications with web sites and email servers. Nevertheless, the Court upheld contempt of court sanctions, because of the Lavabit owner’s foot dragging during proceedings. Lavabit had failed to raise the substantive issues below, it decided, thus precluding appellate review.
Today I filed comments with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) in connection with its hearing on section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. That law 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. I've written previously about questions the PCLOB should investigate with regards to section 702.
Last week, the New York Times reported that the U.S. is spying on router company Huawei to get information about the Chinese government and to learn how to surveil our allies and other countries that might purchase Huawei routers. On Just Security, I refute the argument of some that it is not “in the public interest to reveal how democracies spy on dictatorships”.
Does the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence understand intelligence gathering?
After all, that committee is charged with oversight over the United States’ vast surveillance bureaucracy. And yet, comments from the chair of the committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), suggest that he is unclear on the concept.
In our previous posts, we’ve argued that the NSA is collecting massive amounts of data about US citizens under conditions that have nothing to do with terrorism or national security, thanks to the authorities granted to the US government by section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
"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.
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.
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.