High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Julia Angwin’s blog post today is incorrect. Stanford never promised not to use Google money for privacy research.
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.
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.