The official position of the Department of Justice—according to a legal brief filed in February—is that association with a terrorism charge is so stigmatizing that defendants should not be publicly identified, even after conviction. Doing so would lead to “harassment, embarrassment, barriers to reintegration and renewed public attention.” It might even expose defendants to “the potential for violence or renewed contact” by extremist groups “plotting future terrorist attacks or intimidating witnesses.”
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In this surveillance-heavy episode [Please use that link; we're still having trouble with the embed code], Professors Chesney and Vladeck dig into a raft of news about foreign-intelligence collection authorities. They open with an overview of how Section 702 collection authority works, and then unpack the recent news that NSA is dropping the “about” collection component of Upstream collection under 702.
The next in our series of book soirees at the Hoover Institution will take place from 5-7 pm on Tuesday, April 18, when Ben will join Russell Miller (professor of law at Washington & Lee University School of Law) and Ralf Poscher (professor of law at University of Freiberg) to discuss their contributions to a new book of essays, Privacy & Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair. All three contributed to the volume, and Russell Miller is the editor.
Pixelization can't protect privacy. Tech improvements make privacy harder all the time. "Google Brain, an offshoot of the Silicon Valley behemoth working on a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning, is finding ways around" pixelization.
With this week’s White House announcement of an intent to nominate additional leadership officials at the Department of Justice, one of whom is current Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) member Rachel Brand, the PCLOB is one step closer to conducting its business with a lone remaining member, Elisebeth Collins. Board members may not serve in separate U.S. government positions.
On Friday morning, I will be releasing a new Brookings paper that readers may find interesting. Stewart Baker of Steptoe & Johnson and Amie Stepanovich of Access Now will be discussants on the paper, which I wrote with Emma Kohse.
Here's how Brookings is describing the event:
Yesterday, the EU’s highest court issued a major judgment that effectively invalidates a significant portion of the UK’s recently-passed Investigatory Powers Act (aka the “Snooper’s Charter”). The European Court of Justice (CJEU) judgment holds that “general and indiscriminate” data retention laws are inconsistent with the EU’s privacy directives.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect the circumstances under which a defense intelligence component may collect U.S. personal information inside the United States.
Long before recent reports on the (very probable) Russian intelligence-led hack of the Democratic National Committee and public exposure of internal emails, political campaigns were already faced with cybersecurity threats. This post offers some preliminary thoughts on why political campaigns are at risk, and how that risk compares to the risks faced by the private sector.
Yesterday, the Second Circuit released its long-awaited opinion in the Microsoft Ireland case, ruling that the DOJ cannot compel Microsoft to produce emails stored on its Irish servers, because to do so would be an extraterritorial application of the Stored Communications Act (SCA), and nothing in the Act rebuts the presumption against extraterritoriality. I will have more to say about the case in the coming days, but I wanted to share a few initial reactions here.