January 2017 Q&A

American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What To Do About It Q&A with Jennifer Stisa Granick by Stanford's Sharon Driscoll

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Modernizing Technology Law for Constitutional Surveillance Reform

The utopian Dream of Internet Freedom will never become a reality, but it doesn’t have to be a dystopian cautionary tale either. Technology has thrown the balance of power in surveillance out of alignment, and the law has either stagnated or been weakened in the face of this challenge. Constitutional values are at stake. The “reasonable expectation of privacy” protected by the Fourth Amendment is in flux. It was always a fuzzy standard and inconsistently applied. But now, there are serious questions about whether and how the doctrine will apply to the technological realities of the modern world. The Supreme Court is years away from answering fundamental questions about our government’s relationship with its citizens through expanding technological usage. By building both technology and regulatory law for privacy and security, we can ensure the values behind constitutional freedoms without stripping intelligence and law enforcement of tools to protect national security. To begin this process, we must broaden warrant requirements to cover access to most electronic data, place limits on the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to ensure citizens’ data is not swept up in surveillance of foreign targets, and let privacy and encryption technology continue to evolve for use by average citizens.

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Who Sets the Rules of the Privacy and Security Game?

Last week’s big cybersecurity news was that the FBI obtained a court order to force Apple to develop new software that would bypass several iPhone security features so the FBI can attempt to unlock the work phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple plans to...

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