Can a US warrant compel Microsoft to give the Justice Department customer data stored in Ireland? The Obama administration thought so, but last week, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of Microsoft’s challenge of such a warrant. Evan is joined by Greg Nojeim, Director of the Freedom, Security and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology to discuss the case. What does the decision mean for email privacy? What alternatives does the U.S. government have in investigations involving data stored abroad?
Political speech has flourished on the Internet, thanks in large part to the First Amendment and a lack of regulation from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). But is the longstanding “Hands Off the Net” consensus in danger? Evan is joined by FEC Commissioner Lee Goodman to discuss how digital political speech is currently regulated and what threats exist for digital speech.
A couple highlights:
Goodman: “We can either recognize and embrace free speech on the internet and its wholly constructive democratic effects, or we can start regulating it, impeding it, and discouraging it, and causing everyone who wants to communicate on the internet to look over their shoulder and decide ‘am I going to be punished by my government for speaking freely on my home computer.’”
Swarztrauber: “While the first amendment does protect all kinds of speech, I think there was a particular premium on political speech. That was the real goal.”
While Trump hasn’t said much specifically about tech policy, the GOP platform does, believe it or not, have a tech section. There’s plenty to like, plenty to dislike, and plenty to scratch your head at. Is Obama really throwing the Internet to the wolves? Has the GOP changed its mind about net neutrality? Can encryption be both good and bad at the same time? Without further ado, here’s TechFreedom’s guide to the 2016 GOP Tech Platform. For more, see here.
The GOP’s 2016 platform says that Obama “threw the internet to the wolves, and they — Russia, China, Iran, and others — are ready to devour it.” Well, that’s a little harsh, but there are serious concerns about the United States transferring control of the Internet’s domain name system to an international, multi-stakeholder body: the so-called “IANA transition.” Is the transition a good idea? Does the plan have the safeguards needed to protect free speech, ecommerce, and the hallmarks of an open Internet? Brett Schaefer, Research Fellow in International Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, joins the show to discuss.
Is encryption really a problem for law enforcement? If so, what’s the solution? In recent months, the FBI has faced legal pushback over its use of hacking to obtain evidence. What do these legal challenges mean for the future of law enforcement hacking? Evan is joined by Adam Klein, Visiting Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. They discuss the FBI’s legal woes and whether “legal hacking” is the future of the crypto debate. Does a defendant have a right to know how law enforcement hacked them? Does the government have a legitimate interest in keeping its methods a secret?
Imagine a broadband network that's smart. It teaches itself. It repairs itself. And maybe, it's even self-aware. No, we're not talking about Skynet, but software-defined networking (SDN) has the potential to completely transform our Internet infrastructure. Since the birth of the commercial Internet, network upgrades, modifications, and repairs almost always involved on-the-ground engineers and technicians making changes. But companies are already working on virtualizing those functions. Soon enough, it may all be in the cloud. A transformation like this is hardly simple, so who would make such a massive investment? Who would take such a gamble? Evan is joined by Mazin Gilbert, Assistant Vice President of Intelligent Services Research at AT&T Labs. They discuss how AT&T is approaching SDN and what it means for customers, businesses, and the world.
Should the FBI need a warrant to look at your browser history? What about other records about how you use the Internet? Recently, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) proposed an amendment dubbed the “ECTR fix” that would allow the FBI to access electronic communication transactional records, such as email metadata, without a court order. Evan is joined by Jadzia Butler and Gabe Rottman of the Center for Democracy & Technology. Is the ECTR fix really just about correcting a typo? Are there any problems with the current system for obtaining these records? For more, see Jadzia and Gabe’s blog post.
When it comes to the Internet of Things — think connected cars and coffee makers — is there a role for government? If so, what should that be? Increased interconnectivity has the potential to transform our economy, but it also poses serious questions around cybersecurity and interoperability. Evan is joined by Joshua New, a policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. They discuss government’s role in the Internet of Things and how regulation can be effective without hindering innovation. For more, see Joshua’s white paper.
Here's to 100 episodes! Evan and Berin discuss their big milestone, their recent travels to Europe, and fallout from the court decision on net neutrality. Are the FCC's regulations now written in stone? Is there any hope for an appeal? What can Americans learn from Europe's approach to net neutrality? Will the podcast finally get cancelled? Will Berin finally fire Evan? All that and more on today's special episode.