Of Interest

  • Researchers ask federal court to unseal years of surveillance records

    Date published: 
    September 30, 2016

    "Two lawyers and legal researchers based at Stanford University have formally asked a federal court in San Francisco to unseal numerous records of surveillance-related cases, as a way to better understand how authorities seek such powers from judges. This courthouse is responsible for the entire Northern District of California, which includes the region where tech companies such as Twitter, Apple, and Google, are based.

  • Stanford Researchers Seek Court Documents Ordering Companies to Help Government Defeat Encryption

    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.

  • Correcting the Record on Section 702: A Prerequisite for Meaningful Surveillance Reform, Part II

    Jennifer Granick
    Publication Date: 
    September 22, 2016
    Publication Type: 
    Other Writing

    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.

  • Is Police Use of Force About to Get Worse—With Robots?

    Date published: 
    September 22, 2016

    "Ryan Calo, a professor at the University of Washington who’s a leading expert on the intersection of robots and law, said making law enforcement agencies draft policies about how and when they can use robots and drones forces them to think through scenarios in advance. “If you want to put a Taser on a drone and tase a mentally ill person,” Calo said, “or if you want to follow someone around with a drone, that’s where you need to have a process in place that you’ve properly vetted with the leadership.”"


  • Germany to create world’s first highway code for driverless cars

    Date published: 
    September 21, 2016

    "Driverless cars may end up being a form of public transport rather than vehicles you own, says Ryan Calo at Stanford University, California. That is happening in the UK and Singapore, where government-provided driverless “pods” are being launched.

    That would go down poorly in the US, however. “The idea that the government would take over driverless cars and treat them as a public good would get absolutely nowhere here,” says Calo."

  • Cybersecurity and the Ballot Box

    Emails of the Democratic National Committee were leaked this summer. Last year, a Chinese hack of the US Office of Personnel Management exposed the personal data of millions of Americans. So, how safe is the ballot box? Cybersecurity expert Dr. Richard Forno, Assistant Director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, walks us through the potential vulnerabilities of voting systems in America.

    Image Credit smysnbrg/Flickr via Creative Commons

  • Influencers: Calling it 'critical infrastructure' won't protect the vote

    Date published: 
    September 21, 2016

    ""Local election boards also need access to top tier security experts to assist them in their selection and implementation of voting systems," says Andrea Matwyshyn, a law professor at Northeastern University. "Justice Department oversight and enforcement is urgently needed to ensure that suboptimally conscientious jurisdictions are forced to remediate vulnerable voting systems expeditiously.""

  • Why Unions Should be Concerned about Driverless Cars

    Date published: 
    September 21, 2016

    "“Automation is something anybody who works in or gets income from the transportation sector should be aware of and should be thinking about,” Stanford Law School Scholar Bryant Walker Smith told InsideSources. “There will be profound changes. There will be some opportunities but a lot of challenges for those employed.”


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