High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Today’s report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies–”Liberty And Security In A Changing World”—is impressive in a number of ways. Importantly, it pushes consideration of the privacy and civil liberties rights of non-U.S. persons into the policy debate. Old-school national security wonks commonly express distain for the idea that the U.S.
Today, the federal District Court for the District of Columbia held that the NSA's bulk telephone metadata collection program under the USA PATRIOT Act violates the 4th Amendment. This is a tremendously important ruling--the first time a public court has had the chance to rule on programs revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Given the program's constitutional infirmities, it is more important than ever that Congress end this misuse of the USA PATRIOT Act. However, Deputy Attorney General James Cole testified earlier this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the NSA might continue its bulk collection of nearly all domestic phone call records, even if Congress does just that. The USA FREEDOM ACT has bipartisan sponsorship from dozens of lawmakers, all of whom agree that the core purpose of the bill is to end NSA dragnet collection of Americans’ communication data. Yet, Cole said that the reform legislation wouldn’t necessarily inhibit the NSA’s surveillance capabilities because “it’s going to depend on how the court interprets any number of the provisions that are in [the legislation].” Comments like this betray a serious problem inside the Executive Branch. The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat. Read more.
In the latest news report based on documents revealed by Edward Snowden, we’ve learned that the NSA creates profiles of porn viewing, online sexual activity and more from its vast database of Internet content and transactional data as part of a plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through speeches promoting disfavored—but not necessarily violent—political views.
In a new post over at Just Security, I look at the recently declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions on bulk collection of Internet "metadata". These opinions show that, once again, the NSA has conducted illegal spying. The new documents reveal the National Security Agency’s (NSA) systemic violation of rules for domestic collection and use of Internet metadata.
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.
"How long have you operated with that assumption?
Probably 20 years. I had an incident occur in my hotel room at Black Hat. My room was broken into, and my tech was compromised. They pulled the hard drive out of the wall safe, plugged it into my Linux laptop, booted it up off of a different drive, and then accessed files and copied it. Then they put the drive back in the safe.
"“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, CIS Director of Civil Liberties will be a speaker at World Affairs 2014.
“The best venue for a timely, honest discussion about our world and where it is going.”
WorldAffairs offers fresh insights and new perspectives on current global topics. This year's program will spotlight the critical issues and countries poised to impact our world and affect our decision making.
Come meet CIS and hear about our exciting work and ways to get involved.
RSVP for the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/520390394700141/
Come out to rally for your privacy and learn about surveillance from a distinguished group of speakers this Sunday afternoon at Embarcadero Plaza!
This Conference is cordially hosted by Stanford Law School and Peking University, and is sponsored by Tencent, China’s largest Internet company and one of the largest worldwide, and Microsoft, the largest software maker in the world. The main organizers include the China Guiding Cases Project, the Stanford Program in Law, Science, & Technology, the China Law and Policy Association, and the Stanford Law School Programs.