Publications

The Risks of “Responsible Encryption”

Author(s): 
Riana Pfefferkorn
Publication Date: 
February 5, 2018
Publication Type: 
White Paper / Report

Abstract. Federal law enforcement officials in the United States have recently renewed their periodic demands for legislation to regulate encryption. While they offer few technical specifics, their general proposal—that vendors must retain the ability to decrypt for law enforcement the devices they manufacture or communications their services transmit—presents intractable problems that would-be regulators must not ignore. 

Comments to Article 29 Working Party on Transparency Under the GDPR

Author(s): 
Daphne Keller
Publication Date: 
January 23, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

These comments address the issue of transparency under the GDPR, as that topic arises in the context of Internet intermediaries and the “Right to Be Forgotten.” CIS Intermediary Liability Director Daphne Keller filed them in response to a public call for comments from the Article 29 Working Party – the EU-wide umbrella group of data protection regulators established under the 1995 Directive, soon to be succeeded by the European Data Protection Board established under the GDPR.

Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
January 16, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

This is not the dystopia we were promised. We are not learning to love Big Brother, who lives, if he lives at all, on a cluster of server farms, cooled by environmentally friendly technologies. Nor have we been lulled by Soma and subliminal brain programming into a hazy acquiescence to pervasive social hierarchies.

Now we can cheaply sequence DNA, how do we store all that data?

Author(s): 
Neil Richards
Publication Date: 
January 15, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

In 2003, the international consortium of scientists working on the Human Genome Project completed the final first draft for the human genome - a DNA blueprint for human life. This monumental achievement involved thousands of dedicated people, took more than a decade, and cost over $2.5 billion (£1.95bn). The public availability of a completed human DNA map ushered in the genomics era, giving rise to personalised, or precision, medicine.

EFF to Court: Don’t Let Trolls Get Away With Asserting Stupid Software Patents

Author(s): 
Daniel Nazer
Publication Date: 
January 9, 2018
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

If trolls don’t face consequences for asserting invalid software patents, then they will continue to shake down productive companies. That is why EFF has filed an amicus brief [PDF] urging the court to uphold fee awards against patent trolls (and their lawyers) when they assert software patents that are clearly invalid under the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v.

Here’s how Google is helping, not hurting, democracy

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
December 22, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Sean Richey and J. Benjamin Taylor have a new book on how Google searches affect democratic knowledge, “Google and Democracy: Politics and the Power of the Internet.” I asked them questions about what they found. Richey is an associate professor of political science at Georgia State University, while Taylor is assistant professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

The benefits of police body cams are a myth

Author(s): 
Harlan Yu
Malkia A. Cyril
Publication Date: 
December 20, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

In the three years since Michael Brown’s fatal shooting in Ferguson, police body-worn cameras have been sold to the public as a tool that would primarily deter police misconduct.

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