High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
In September 2016, we filed a Petition in the Northern District of California (the federal district court for the Bay Area and much of Northern California) asking the court to unseal years’ worth of surveillance matters filed there. We had our first hearing before the court on May 4.
Senator Chris Coons, Democrat from Delaware, offered a bill today that would delay implementation of proposed changes to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 for six months. Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society and Mozilla have been studying issues related to government hacking including the Rule 41 changes.
Researchers at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society (CIS) filed a petition yesterday seeking to unseal judicial records in San Francisco federal district court. Their goal is to reveal how the federal government uses U.S. law to obligate smartphone manufacturers and Internet companies to decrypt private user data, turn over encryption keys, or otherwise assist law enforcement with digital surveillance.
On Monday, I wrote a post for Just Security where I reflected on last week's news concerning the FBI's attempts to coerce Apple into creating a forensic bypass to the iPhone passcode lockout. I wrote that we live in a software-defined world. In 2000, Lawrence Lessig wrote that Code is Law — the software and hardware that comprise cyberspace are powerful regulators that can either protect or threaten liberty. A few years ago, Mark Andreessen wrote that software was eating the world, pointing to a trend that is hockey sticking today. Software is redefining everything, even national defense.
Last week, we argued that the public discussion surrounding two of the government’s most controversial mass surveillance programs – PRISM and Upstream – has not sufficiently acknowledged the broad scope of collection under these programs, which take place under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In short, hiding behind the counterterrorism justifications for section 702 is a broad surveillance program that sucks up massive amounts of irrelevant private data.
The legal authority behind the controversial PRISM and Upstream surveillance programs used by the NSA to collect large swaths of private communications from leading Internet companies – Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2017. In recent months, Congress began to review these programs to assess whether to renew, reform, or retire section 702. Unfortunately, it appears the debate has already been skewed by misconceptions about the true scope of surveillance conducted under the contentious provision.
At one point, Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, asked the large audience of security professionals who they trusted less, Google or the government? The majority raised their hands for Google.
A few days ago, my colleague Eric Jackson wrote a post on speculation that recent changes to Skype’s architecture may have made it easier for Microsoft to tap the service’s VoIP calls. The piece was hyperbolically headlined, “It’s Terrifying and Sickening that Microsoft Can Now Listen In on All My Skype Calls.” There are several problems with this piece.
Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford University, asked the crowd to raise their hands for a quick straw poll: “Who is more afraid of Google? The government?” The crowd overwhelming raised their hands to signal their fear of Google.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Black Hat Conference here, a panel of experts got together to expound on what they see as the privacy and security mess of our times, and they had plenty to say about the U.S. government, cyberwar and Google.
The American Bar Association White Collar Crime Committee Presents:
The Internet’s Own Boy: A Discussion Of U.S. v. Aaron Swartz And The Prosecution And Defense Of Cyber-Crime
Featuring Brian KNAPPENBERGER, Filmmaker And Director Of The Internet’s Own Boy, Jennifer GRANICK, Director Of Civil Liberties For The Center For Internet And Society At Stanford Law School, And More.
Only LLM and SPILS students are invited.
Lunch will be provided.
Please join Giancarlo Frosio and Jennifer Granick on Tuesday for a presentation on the activities of the Stanford Intermediary Liability Lab (SILLab).
Because of Edward Snowden’s remarkable public service, we know that the National Security Agency, with the cooperation of some large firms, has amassed an unprecedented database of personal information. The ostensible goal in collecting that information is to protect national security. The effect, according to Reed Hundt, is to undermine democracy.
Come meet CIS and hear about our exciting work and ways to get involved.
You will meet:
Barbara van Schewick - Associate Professor of Law and Helen L. Crocker Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law School, Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, and Associate Professor (by courtesy) of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
Jennifer Granick - Director - Civil Liberties
Aleecia McDonald - Director - Privacy