The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
Transparency has always been essential to the rule of law and the legitimacy of our court system. But government secrecy has grown dramatically over the last few decades, especially in the realm of electronic surveillance (often court-approved) by law enforcement. CIS is a forceful advocate for greater transparency in government use of surveillance technology overall, and in particular for greater public access to court records showing the nature and extent of law enforcement intrusion into our digital lives.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rebuffed my attempt to unseal information about the Department of Justice's unsuccessful secret effort to force Facebook to change the encryption of its Messenger app so that it could wiretap criminal suspects' voice calls. Read more about We Won't Find Out How the DOJ Tried to Force Facebook to Change Its Encryption
For further insights on managing misinformation, we should look to the ways in which humans form identity through imitation, purge enmity through scapegoating, and often lack the inability to internally generate a clear sense of preferences or make choices that align with them.
One of the mechanisms worth analyzing is the human tendency to assign trajectories to immediate observations and, similarly, to be attracted to "trend stories" wagering predictions. This tendency contributes to misinformation problems as it assigns undue weight to both the ability of the predictor and the probability the prediction will come to pass.
I prefer to think, though, that rightness demands we protect the right of humans to so choose, even if it means they reject truth for fantasy. And even if free choice is inhabited with a bit of illusion, one created by subconscious beliefs that control our thinking, and thus our actions, without our immediate awareness.
Generating shared perspectives is an important component of this response. Misinformation flourishes in environments where shared perspectives are weak. Art can help illustrate, in ways that argument and evidence cannot, shared qualities of experience and perspective. Read more about Tool Without A Handle: Tools, Trends, Technology
In our democratic system of government, the legislature passes laws, the executive branch enforces them, and the courts interpret them when disputes arise about their meaning. Read more about You Have the Right to Know What the Law Is