High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Today’s reporting by the Intercept calls into question whether the NSA minimizes so-called metadata relating to Americans’ digital communications and telephone calls. This is one of the questions I implored the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to get to the bottom of. It is a question that PCLOB Chairman David Medine thought the Board had a definitive—affirmative--answer to. But today’s story shows doubt still plagues our understanding of how the NSA’s information collection affects American privacy.
TL;DR: A little bit, but not enough.
Yesterday, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) issued a massive report about the legally and technologically complicated government surveillance program operating under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act
Today, the Eleventh Circuit rejected the exceedingly common law enforcement practice of warrantlessly tracking suspects’ physical location using cell phone tower data. The opinion, United States v. Davis, is both welcome and overdue. Defendants who have and will be physically tracked without a warrant have new legal support to challenge that surveillance.
In the wake of a recent appellate court’s decision that the NSA’s domestic dragnet collection of phone call records is illegal, political support for maintaining the legal provision that the government used to justify the program has all but vanished. For the first time in a dozen years, we have a real chance at ending one of the most abused and misused parts of US surveillance law. Congress should allow section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act to expire.
Last week’s dramatic Second Circuit decision in ACLU v. Clapper, invalidated the alleged legal basis for the NSA domestic phone call dragnet, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, just weeks before that provision is about to expire.
"“There’s a secretive process with no real appeal where people are making extremely difficult subjective calls that have to do with politics, culture and religion,” said Jennifer Granick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. “This example shows why it is dangerous. If I want to find good information about vaccines, I can’t find it.”"
"Jen King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, thinks it's a sign Facebook may be ready to actually take privacy seriously. "It's possible that Facebook has finally gotten the memo and is really trying to make change," King told WIRED.
"Some cyberlaw experts fear a ruling against Grindr will put the creativity of the internet as we know it at risk. They say that requiring platforms to more closely monitor users would give an advantage to tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google while hindering smaller startups with niche audiences, including Grindr. It would be more expensive to start new businesses online because of the cost of hiring watchdogs, said Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.
""So far, we've likely only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the government’s use of hacking in criminal and immigration investigations,” Jennifer Granick, the ACLU's surveillance and cybersecurity counsel, said in a statement after the suit was filed."
"Jennifer Granick, the ACLU’s surveillance and cybersecurity counsel, said the public “deserves to know why the government thought it could dismantle measures that protect their right to privacy online.”
Eight years ago, Barack Obama arrived in Washington pledging to reverse the dramatic expansion of state surveillance his predecessor had presided over in the name of fighting terrorism. Instead, the Obama administration saw the Bush era’s “collect it all” approach to surveillance become still more firmly entrenched. Meanwhile, the advanced spying technologies once limited to intelligence agencies have been gradually trickling down to local police departments.
Join Mozilla and Stanford CIS for the second installment in a series of conversations about government hacking. Information from our first event, discussing the upcoming changes to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41, are available at that event’s page here.
On December 1, 2016, significant and controversial changes to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 are scheduled go into effect. Today, Rule 41 prohibits a federal judge from issuing a search warrant outside of the judge’s district, with some exceptions.Traditionally, federal judges may only issue warrants that will be executed within their own districts. The revised Rule 41 would permit judges to issue search and seizure warrants for computers outside their jurisdictions, in two circumstances: if the computer’s true location has been hidden through technological means (such as Tor), or, in a computer-hacking investigation under the CFAA, if the affected computers are located in five or more districts.
Stanford CIS brings together scholars, academics, legislators, students, programmers, security researchers, and scientists to study the interaction of new technologies and the law and to examine how the synergy between the two can either promote or harm public goods like free speech, innovation, privacy, public commons, diversity, and scientific inquiry. Come hear CIS Directors Jennifer Granick + Daphne Keller and Resident Fellows Riana Pfefferkorn + Luiz Fernando Marrey Moncau talk about our work, and the assistance CIS provides to students in learning about these issues, selecting courses, identifying job opportunities, and making professional connections.