Private Sector Exchange and Election Interference Reports

The Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 may be the first step in establishing a “voluntary exchange program” between the intelligence community and tech entities in the private sector.

Section 1506 of House Resolution 6237, titled “Report on cyber exchange program,” proposes that the Director of National Intelligence discuss the establishment of an exchange program that would “detail” an intelligence community employee with cybersecurity experience to volunteer at technology companies. The report also details the benefits and challenges that would follow the establishment of this exchange.

Implications and suggestions of this section could coincide with and supplement propositions in H.R 5094, which discusses strengthening national defense against terrorist threats by sharing related information with and training the private sector to respond to suspicions of terrorist activity.

Section 1502 of the Intelligence Authorization Act proposed that the director of National Security provide an “assessment of significant Russian influence campaigns directed at foreign elections and referenda.” The assessment would address the following,

(1) a summary of such significant Russian influence campaigns, including, at a minimum, the specific means by which such campaigns were conducted, are being conducted, or likely will be conducted, as appropriate, and the specific goal of each such campaign;

(2) a summary of any defenses against or responses to such Russian influence campaigns by the foreign state holding the elections or referenda;

(3) a summary of any relevant activities by elements of the intelligence community undertaken for the purpose of assisting the government of such foreign state in defending against or responding to such Russian influence campaigns; and

(4) an assessment of the effectiveness of such defenses and responses described in paragraphs (2) and (3)

The House Resolution passed in the House of Representatives on July 12, 2018 and is awaiting review by the Senate.

Local Presentation on Net Neutrality

EFF-Austin President, Kevin Welch, will be discussing the importance of Net Neutrality on June, 28th, 2018.

Though a hot topic, it may help to freshen up on the who, what, when, where and why of the subject.

Who/When/Where

The idea of Net Neutrality was developed by American lawyer Tim Wu, in his 2003 paper, Net Neutrality. Since then, the FCC as adopted its principles and used them as guidance for regulating Internet Service Providers.

In 2017, FCC chairman Ajit Pai argued that Title II, another piece of legislation in the evolutionary line of Net Neutrality,  had hampered infrastructure investment. “Among our nation’s 12 largest Internet service providers, domestic broadband capital expenditures decreased by 5.6% percent, or $3.6 billion, between 2014 and 2016, the first two years of the Title II era,” he stated. “This decline is extremely unusual. It is the first time that such investment has declined outside of a recession in the Internet era.”

Pai and his cohorts proceeded to begin repealing Net Neutrality Laws that same year, thus bringing us to the ongoing battle to keep it alive.

Why

Essentially, the goal of Net Neutrality is to ensure that the internet remains a fertile grounds for innovation and growth.

Wu explains that in the habit of ignoring long-term growth ISPs have “shown a tendency” to ban new and emerging applications/network attachments, out of “suspicion or an interest in price discrimination.”

He stresses that ISP operators and prospect holders have a cognitive bias that makes it unlikely for them to come to the ‘right decisions,’ in terms of the development for the optimal path of innovation, that could minimize the excesses of innovative competition.

What

Net Neutrality is an attempt at striking a balance, as Wu states in the original paper: “To forbid broadband operators, absent of a showing of harm, from restricting what users do with their internet connection, while giving the operator general freedom to manage bandwidth consumption and other matters of local concern.”

Plain and simple, this translates to making sure that users and customers are able to continue using their service without ‘discrimination’ against their apps, programs etc, while ISPs are able to still police only their own local network.

Wu explains that ISPs have every right to police their local networks, but most importantly, that there shouldn’t be ‘restrictions’ across the ‘inter-network’.

Because of Net Neutrality regulations, we are able to freely and efficiently use the internet as the public utility that its become. Join us for our presentation, for these ideas help uphold the structure of the internet and its ability to nurture growth and development. Information on the event can be found here.

February 6th – Unwarranted Surveillance – A JOLTT panel featuring EFF’s Shahid Buttar

The Journal Of Law And Technology At Texas (JOLTT – http://jolttx.com) is proud to present the panel Unwarranted Surveillance, featuring Shahid Buttar of EFF and Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck of The UT School of Law. Shahid will be visiting Austin as a guest of EFF-Austin, a long-time local affinity group of EFF and a member of their Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA).

Congress recently reauthorized, extended, and expanded NSA surveillance without a judicial warrant requirement to restrain documented (and potentially recurring) abuses. Why does domestic surveillance prompt concerns from across the political spectrum? How does it relate to constitutional norms and principles? And how does it connect a recurring debate in the federal policy arena to local policing—and policy opportunities available to grassroots networks and local policymakers in cities across the country? All this and more will be discussed at this panel.

Shahid Buttar is an artist, writer, organizer, and lawyer. He works at the Electronic Frontier Foundation as the organization’s Director of Grassroots Advocacy, offering him opportunities to work with organizations and affinity groups around the country fighting mass surveillance and corporate control over science and culture. Shahid also serves on the boards of Defending Rights and Dissent and the Fund for Constitutional Government, served as the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee from 2009-2016, and graduated from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as Lawrence Lessig’s teaching assistant for Constitutional Law.

Robert M. (“Bobby”) Chesney is an American lawyer and the Charles I. Francis Professor in Law at The University of Texas School of Law, where he serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and teaches courses relating to U.S. national security and constitutional law. In addition, he is the Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, a University-wide research unit bridging across disciplines to improve understanding of international security issues, as well as cyber-security and AI-related issues. Chesney addresses issues involving national security and law, including matters relating to military detention, the use of force, terrorism-related prosecutions, the role of the courts in national security affairs, and the relationship between military and intelligence community activities. He is a co-founder and contributor along with Benjamin Wittes and Jack Goldsmith to the Lawfare Blog.

Stephen Vladeck is a Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law, where he specializes in national security law, especially with relation to the prosecution of war crimes. Vladeck has commented on the legality of the United States’ use of extrajudicial detention and torture.

Open to the public.

Location Details: UT School of Law is located off of Dean Keeton St & Robert Deadman Dr. The meeting will be held in Townes Hall (TNH) Room 2.140 which is on the Ground Floor near the North Patio and Courtyard.


Unwarranted Surveillance – A JOLTT panel featuring EFF’s Shahid Buttar

Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018, 3:30 PM

Townes Hall (TNH) 2.140
727 E Dean Keeton St Austin, TX

14 Activists Went

The Journal Of Law And Technology At Texas (JOLTT – http://jolttx.com) is proud to present the panel Unwarranted Surveillance, featuring Shahid Buttar of EFF and Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck of The UT School of Law. Shahid will be visiting Austin as a guest of EFF-Austin, a long-time local affinity group of EFF and a member of their Electronic F…

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