American Spies

JENNIFER STISA GRANICK

"American democracy cannot survive modern surveillance."

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U.S. intelligence agencies—the eponymous American Spies—are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance. Written for a general audience by a surveillance law expert, this book educates readers about how the reality of modern surveillance differs from popular understanding. Weaving the history of American surveillance—from J. Edgar Hoover through the tragedy of September 11th to the fusion centers and mosque infiltrators of today—the book shows that mass surveillance and democracy are fundamentally incompatible. Granick shows how surveillance law has fallen behind while surveillance technology has given American Spies vast new powers. She skillfully guides the reader through proposals for reining in massive surveillance with the ultimate goal of surveillance reform.

Upcoming Events

February 20, 2017 @ Seattle, WA: American Spies w/ Jennifer Granick @ The Lab at Ada’s Technical Books., 6pm to 9pm. After party at Harry’s Bar. Details and reserve your spot here.

February 21, 2017: TechLab @ University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

March 2, 2017 @ 5:30pm-7:00 pm: Just Security Blog sponsored event at Abramson Auditorium, NYU Washington Center, 1307 L Street, NW Washington D.C. (cocktails and light refreshments to follow). With introductory remarks from Senator Ron Wyden. CLE Credit Available

March 17, 2017: Nicola’s Books, 7pm, Author Appearance, Westgate Shopping Center, 2513 Jackson Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

May 19, 2017: ISSA-LA Ninth Annual Information Security Summit, Universal City Hilton, Los Angeles, CA

About Jennifer

Jennifer Granick is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society (CIS). She is the author of American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What To Do About It from Cambridge University Press. From 2001 to 2007, Granick was Executive Director of CIS and taught Cyberlaw, Computer Crime Law, Internet Intermediary Liability, and Internet Law and Policy. From 2007 to 2010, she served as the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Granick practices, speaks, and writes about computer crime and security, electronic surveillance, vulnerability disclosure, encryption policy, and the Fourth Amendment. In March of 2016, she received Duo Security’s Women in Security Academic Award for her expertise in the field as well as her direction and guidance for young women in the security industry. Before teaching at Stanford, Granick spent almost a decade practicing criminal defense law in California. She earned her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her undergraduate degree from the New College of Florida. Jennifer also blogs at Just Security and CIS.

Video

CPDP 2017 Panel organized by Member of EU Parliament Marietje Schaake: One week after Trump: what can we do to protect the open internet?

Cato Institute Surveillance Conference 2016

Does privacy have a future?

Learn more about Jen's 2015 keynote

In the early days of the public internet, we believed that we were helping build something totally new, a world that would leave behind the shackles of age, of race, of gender, of class, even of law. Twenty years on, “cyberspace” looks a lot less revolutionary than it once did. Hackers have become information security professionals. Racism and sexism have proven resilient enough to thrive in the digital world. Big companies are getting even bigger, and the decisions corporations not just governments make about security, privacy, and free speech affect hundreds of thousands, or millions, of people. The Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse: terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers are driving online policy as governments around the world are getting more deeply involved in the business of regulating the network. Meanwhile, the Next Billion Internet Users are going to connect from Asia and developing countries without a Bill of Rights. Centralization, Regulation, and Globalization are the key words, and over the next twenty years, we’ll see these forces change digital networks and information security as we know it today. So where does that leave security, openness, innovation, and freedom?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is being used to weld the hood of cars shut to keep engine software safe from mechanics. Will we still have the Freedom to Tinker even in the oldest of technologies? What does it mean that the U.S. is a big player in the zero-day market even as international agreements seek to regulate exploit code and surveillance tools? Will we see liability for insecure software and what does that mean for open source? With advances in artificial intelligence that will decide who gets run over, who gets a loan, who gets a job, how far off can legal liability regimes for robots, drones, and even algorithms be? Is the global Internet headed for history’s dustbin, and what does a balkanized network mean for security, for civil rights?

In this talk, Granick discussed the forces that are shaping and will determine the next 20 years in the lifecycle of the revolutionary communications technology that we’ve had such high hopes for.