Before they continue their campaign to strongarm tech firms into abandoning secure systems that customers clearly desire, or installing a so-called “back door” available to government agents, they should read a new report from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University on the encryption debate.
Tech companies and privacy advocates have been in a stalemate with government officials over how encrypted communication affects the ability of federal investigators to monitor terrorists and other criminals. A new study by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society convened experts from all sides to put the issue in context.
The natural question, of course, is which state’s jurisdiction applies. If the caller is in New York, for example, which has a one-party consent law, but the person being called is in Washington, which requires all-party consent, there isn’t necessarily a clear default. Andy Sellars, a staff attorney and fellow at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic, told The Verge that the case’s users should probably err on the more conservative side. Getting consent from all parties is always a safe bet.
Primavera De Filippi, a research fellow at Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, said that bitcoin networks can be constructed to be “agnostic of any jurisdiction” and that people can operate the network without disclosing their identity.
“Many believe that data mining is the crystal ball that will enable us to uncover future terrorist plots. But even in the most wildly optimistic projections, data mining isn’t tenable for that purpose,” wrote Bruce Schneier, prominent cryptologist and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, in 2006.
The fact is that we don’t yet know what kind of relationship humans will have with their robots, sexual devices or not. Robot ethicist Dr. Kate Darling, a research specialist at the MIT Media Lab and a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center, who studies the way robots affect human empathy, told me that human feelings for robots will be “a different type of thing… I don’t think that it’s ever going to rival human relationships, because we’re so complex and we’re so far away from building that type of AI.”
“It’s sometimes information from several sources, not just one other source, but three or four different public records sources,” said David O’Brien, a researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, referring to how someone might re-identify someone whose name was scrubbed from the dataset by Yahoo.
Come join the conversation about how we can all work to protect student data and privacy without sacrificing the benefits of learning and working in the cloud.
Clark, and Harvard professor Yochai Benkler, one of the legal experts that shaped the Internet’s development, have issued a warning in joint papers published in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ magazine, Daedalus. More than three decades after the worldwide communications network was born, Clark and Benkler say they’re deeply concerned that the Internet is headed in a dangerous direction that its founders never intended.