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Interviews: Ask Jennifer Granick What You Will 58

samzenpus (5) writes "Jennifer Granick was one of the primary crafters of a 2006 exception to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and served as the EFF's Civil Liberties Director. She has represented many high profile hackers during her career and was sought out by Aaron Swartz after his arrest. She currently serves as the Director of Civil Liberties for the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. Jennifer has agreed to answer your questions about security, electronic surveillance, data protection, copyright, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please limit yourself to one question per post."
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Interviews: Ask Jennifer Granick What You Will

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  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:39AM (#47066761) Journal
    What do you think about slashdot beta?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:44AM (#47066815)

    As pretty much anyone who has ever used YouTube (or any similar service) knows, the DMCA has a lot of issues. For one, there's the fact that individuals or companies who file false DMCA claims, which are supposedly punishable under the law, are never punished. Another would be the unfair application of the DMCA - partners and other monetized channels on YouTube will (almost) never have their videos taken down from a single DMCA claim, even if a video made under the same circumstances and containing similar content would be taken down on a non-partner channel if a DMCA notice was ever filed.

    Is the EFF planning to do anything lobbying-wise to fix the DMCA? If so, what in your opinion would be the way to go about fixing it?

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:49AM (#47066867)
    What are your views on the European "right to be forgotten"? Is the recent court ruling that search engines should filter results to outdated or irrelevant information workable? Is freedom of speech more important than an individual's freedom not to be talked about?
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      " individual's freedom not to be talked about?"
      there is no freedom or right to not be talked about. Basically you are saying if the government should prevent people from talking about other people. i.e. censorship.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Could you explain the "right to be forgotten" concisely and effectively so that people don't assume it grants "freedom not to be talked about"? Every story on Slashdot and every other news site with comments gets hundreds of angry responses from people who have completely the wrong idea about it.

  • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:50AM (#47066881) Journal

    Ms. Granick, thanks so much for taking the time, your expertise on this issue is very valuable!

    I was an intern on Capitol Hill and was able to sneak into the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on updates to the DCMA where Metallica and Shaun Fanning testified.

    My question: On issues of digital technology and freedom how can we, the people of the US, fight harder & win?

    What represents a "win" against the RIAA/MPAA or a "win" for net neutrality? If all we need is Congress to pass Common Carriage why is it so difficult to get done?

    Ever since I attend that Senate Judiciary hearing, and I learned the issues, I realized it's always the same groups opposing digital freedom. What do we have to do to fix these issues forever so we can move on to better problems?

  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @11:52AM (#47066899) Homepage Journal

    Is the US approach to the internet fixable within the confines of the political system we have?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    With the collection of metadata that a user intentionally or even unwittingly divulges is individual privacy even possible online?

    • by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @12:38PM (#47067441)
      a follow on to this that is more personal. Without a doubt EFF has been owned 20 times over by NSA, not to mention anybody who works as a director of internet civil civil liberties. Personal stuff too. emails, bank records. Email accounts of your family, friends, and friends of friends (3 hops)! And unlike most NSA snooping which seems to be captured for the glee of capturing, your stuff is probably pretty closely monitored.

      do you think about this or worry about this? does it change your online behavior, or relationships with friends and family?
  • Do you see our government acting in the interest of the ( individual / corporation ) with regards to mergers of TV & Internet providers?
  • by xavdeman ( 946931 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @12:12PM (#47067105)
    Hey Jennifer,

    You must deal with the clash between freedom of information (and expression), like in the Schwartz-case, and the right to privacy (and to be forgotten, even by agencies such as the NSA), every day.
    What is your opinion on the Court of Justice of the European Union's Grand Chamber judgement in C-131/12 (Google Spain v AEPD and Mario Costeja Gonzalez)? The court ruled that the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection should, ‘as a rule’ override ‘not only the economic interest of the operator but also the interest of the general public in finding that information’. However, in certain circumstances, there may be a preponderant interest of the general public (for instance, if the individual concerned was a public figure) [97].[...], this is an assessment which must be made by the national court [98].
    One commentator (Guy Vassall-Adams []) noted that: "It appears that the court never asked itself if these large corporations can be relied on to protect the public interest in freedom of expression, taking a principled stance in response to unmeritorious complaints, as opposed to simply following the easy (and cheap) course of erasing information on request. Across the Atlantic and around the world other countries will look on us with bemusement as they read information which we are denied. This judgment is profoundly harmful to the operation of the internet and a betrayal of Europe’s great legacy in protecting freedom of expression."
    Do you think the Court struck a good balance between the rights to privacy and freedom of expression? Can we expect a similar ruling by the US Supreme Court?
    What is your opinion on circumventory measures such as ChillingEffects [], which Google uses in the US, and lists all DMCA-takedowns, and in which Stanford is also involved, in the context of personal data (as opposed to MP3s of copyrighted music)?
    What is your opinion on the Streisand effect of such cases (everybody knows that Mario Costeja Gonzalez was at one time involved in bankruptcy proceedings, because this is in ECJ case).
    Thank you for doing this interview.
    • by xavdeman ( 946931 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @12:22PM (#47067249)
      Hey Jennifer, I just thought of another question.

      What is your opinion on cyber bullying and litigation?
      E.g. a bully posts sensitive personal data about someone, and he or she wants that data to be "forgotten" by search engines, web hosts etc. (data processors).
      To obtain this result, he or she would have to go to a court, and because of the fact that most court proceedings are public and published (in the EU, at least, and let's assume this is concerning an adult, because in most countries, court cases involving minors are closed), this information would be even more widely broadcast, through the public records of the courts.
      Is this a legal catch 22, do you see any solutions for these kinds of victims?
  • by JohnnyComeLately ( 725958 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @12:12PM (#47067119) Homepage Journal

    Do you see free market innovation thriving with DMCA despite the apparent lack of innovation?

    Articulation of my question: When I buy a car, I can modify it. If people like my modification they can view it at my leisure and tinker themselves. GM doesn't sue me, and if I open a business to work on other GM cars to do similar GM vehicle modifications, then I have little legal exposure. However, with DMCA, GM can shut down a video if it's "suspected" I've infringed on a digital asset, and I can't legally sell modifications of their digital asset. This is why we see every new technology for digital streaming of data run a gauntlet of legal hurdles, which in turn stifles new innovation in the area of digital property.

  • We appear to slowly lose our formerly-well-established pre-digital rights at every turn; with every small victory such as your own DMCA exemption, we suffer another huge loss such as ACTA. Given that, what do you see as the best attainable outcome for our current struggle to preserve privacy and fair use rights for the general public? I don't expect us to reach "GNU/Utopia", of course, but do we have any real hope of avoiding Stallman's Right to Read [] as the only possible long-term outcome?
  • Do Not Track? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @12:15PM (#47067145)

    Hello, Ms. Granick.

    Just a few articles below this one is a story from Computerworld bemoaning the "shattered" state of the Do Not Track header. As I recall, the EFF was a proponent behind Do Not Track, and if I remember right participated in the initial creation of the standard. The EFF is quoted in the Computerworld article as saying that Do Not Track was too weak of a standard.

    My question is this: What would need to go into Do Not Track to make it widely acceptable, both by privacy groups like the EFF and by advertisers and web hosts, as well as effective in stopping tracking cookies as a means of surveillance?

  • Why do American companies seem to think that the DCMA applies outside of the USA, when it is only for Americans in America..?!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What are the pros and cons of amending the Constitution to enshrine the right to privacy?

  • by twocows ( 1216842 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @12:30PM (#47067349)
    I think most of us here agree with the EFF's mission, but we don't really know what to do aside from donate to the EFF to help. What would be the most important thing that we can do to help change things for the better?
  • LOL ... Will you go to Prom with me?

    I kid, I kid. I'm sure my wife wouldn't approve.

  • by OSULugan ( 3529543 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @12:40PM (#47067475)

    Slashdot has had a lot of discussion recently with regard to the (perception of the) Supreme Court justices (apparent) lack of technological savviness due to their age. This is pervasive throughout all of our government, from federal to local and throughout all three branches. Classically, this was desirable for the wisdom that comes with age, the prevention of coercion for the independent Supreme Court and/or the perks that could come from having a representative with seniority.

    How do you see evolution of our government in a future where technological advances come at an ever increasing pace?

    I.e., how does our government reconcile the need for wisdom in governance with the need for an understanding of the technology in the modern world, and the application of laws against it?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What are your thoughts on Google's filings in court that claim email users "have no reasonable expectation of privacy", as well as recent admissions that they have been data mining student emails for several years?

  • by Spyder ( 15137 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @12:56PM (#47067701)

    Ms Granick, I'd really appreciate your perspective of where you think the personal privacy equilibrium will be.

    What personal privacy protections do you believe will survive the next 20 years in the US?

    Do you believe that there will be individual control of personal information that will have suffice force of law to be functional meaningful in the US?

    Do you believe those protections will be useful if the information is stored outside the US?

    Thanks for the ./interview.

  • Please limit yourself to one question per post.

    What if I don't want to? Hmm?

  • Why is it that web sites like FaceBook, and or Pinterest do not suffer web site duplications?
  • Is it time to water the tree of Liberty?
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      First of: Your petition expired, so I could read what it was about.
      Read the whole quote.

      The most important and relevant part today is:
      "The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty"

      That is what is going on. there is a growing segment of the population are being giving incorrect

      • I'm not angry over something in government; I'm dismayed at the entire movement of society. This isn't "I don't understand 9/11 so I think it was an inside job!" time.

  • It seems that no matter which party we vote for, we get either corporate-funded stooges or patronizing paternalists, like Dianne Feinstein of California. The media are complicit in this miscarriage of justice with their anointed "serious" candidates and "wasted" votes, for various reasons probably including the high amounts of money that they receive during campaigns.

    So, what do you think about Larry Lessig and his change of focus from free culture to Congressional corruption?

  • When will public libraries be allowed to go fully digital? Put the entire Library of Congress and more online, for free, no copyright restrictions. Research would be freely available and easily found, not locked behind paywalls. It would be a huge public good. But I can't see this ever happening while copyright law exists. Seems like the law is slower than glacial, and lawmakers' thinking is stuck in the 1950s and turned towards money, not the public good. I think it would be best to abolish copyright,

  • Ms. Granick can you say why there is no penalty for false claims (often repeated and obvious false claims) about ownership of content. This seems to be one of the biggest issues of contention, if people were to accept that the DCMA itself is acceptable
  • Is it feasible to legally obligate all entities operating in the USA to abide by all safeguards and regulations required of HIPAA data if the data they have could be so classified?
  • As you will probably have read, Slashdot readers in general are not a fan of the DMCA (and rightly so).

    However, the DMCA also has the Safe Harbor provision, which essentially means a service can say "it wasn't me", drop the content being complained about, and have that be the end of it unless the user decides to challenge the claim - which is either quickly granted if it's reasonable (e.g. 'fair use') or the user just shrugs it off and re-uploads the video (using a new account, if their existing account get

  • What do you think about MayOne [], aka MaydayPAC, Lawrence Lessig's attempt to reform US democracy (on the Federal level)? Were you surprised how quickly it reached the initial funding goal? Do you think it has a chance of actually making a significant change?

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill