January 2007

Symposium Graphic

This symposium is free, and you get eight MCLEs for it. See you there!

Beyond a Physical Conception of the Fourth Amendment:
Search and Seizure in the Digital Age

Stanford Law School
January 26th, 2007

* Can the government search your computer without a warrant?
* Can they obtain your personal information from your Internet service provider?
* Is it constitutional for the cops to track your movements?

Hear what the experts have to say, and let them know your opinions, through our symposium: Beyond a Physical Conception of the Fourth Amendment: Search and Seizure in the Digital Age. Top technology and privacy experts from across the country will argue about the Internet, criminal procedure, RFID, and the Constitution.

Best of all, you can participate! Five authors’ drafts will appear on the symposium website for commenting before (and after) the live event. Read, respond, and be heard in the live discussion!

Where: Stanford Law School
When: Friday, January 26th, 8:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Admission: free, and open to everyone!
Website: http://stlr.stanford.edu/symposium.html
Sponsors: the Stanford Technology Law Review, Center for Internet and Society, and Criminal Justice Center

Registration: let us know your name and whether you’re coming at techsymposium @ gmail.com!

Victory in Poulsen FOIA case | Stanford Center for Internet and Society

In April of 2006, Wired News editor Kevin Poulsen sued the United States Customs and Border Patrol under the Freedom of Information Act. Poulsen won the case, and yesterday the trial court granted Poulsen $66,000 in attorney’s fees.

Poulsen had asked CBP to disclose under the FOIA documents about a computer failure suffered by the US VISIT system, which was established to screen foreign nationals entering the country against terrorist watch lists. CBP refused, then asked Poulsen to drop his request, then denied the request. claiming that if the public knew what caused the outage, it would harm national security, among other reasons. Poulsen believed that if the problem was fixed, as it should have been, the public had a right to know why the US VISIT computers were malfunctioning.

Poulsen, represented by the Center for Internet and Society and the Cyberlaw Clinic, filed suit. CIS attorney and Associate Director Lauren Gelman was the primary supervisor and lead attorney on the project.

On summary judgment, Judge Illston in the Northern District of California ordered CBP to release documents and the documents revealed that the computers were infected with the Zotob worm, a common Microsoft Windows vulnerability.

Poulsen published two articles on the problem as a result of receiving the documents. (April 12, 2006) (November 2, 2006), (also redacted and unredacted document comparison).

The Zotob infection and CBP’s management of it was one of many technological and bureaucratic problems that ultimately led the government to abandon the US VISIT program, after almost two years and $1.7 billion dollars. Talk about information the public has a right to know.

Cyberlaw Clinic student Megan Adams did fantastic work on this part of the case, writing the complaint and the summary judgment pleadings. Gelman successfully argued the Summary Judgment motion.

Having prevailed, the FOIA says Poulsen is entitled to attorney’s fees, but CBP continued to fight him every step of the way. Poulsen had to file a motion for fees, which Cyberlaw Clinic student Jeff Laretto wrote and prepared to argue at the hearing originally set for Friday, January 19th. The hearing date was vacated with Judge Ilston ruled for Poulsen based on Laretto’s moving papers, granting $66,000 in attorney’s fees. Judge Ilston’s order included findings that Poulsen’s reporting created a public benefit, and that the CBP was not reasonably justified in denying him the documents in the first place.

In addition to Gelman, Adams and Laretto, and of course, Mr. Poulsen, thanks for their help with various aspects of the case goes to our legal assistants Lynda Johnston and Amanda Smith, CIS residential fellows David Olson and David Levine, Fair Use Project Exec. Dir. Tony Falzone, and students in the Cyberlaw Clinic in the Spring 2006 and Fall 2006 semesters.

Computer Privacy in Distress, my latest Wired News Circuit Court column, discusses three trends in Fourth Amendment law that will determine what, if any, privacy rights in computers the constitution will protect. I’m optimistic, but there’s reason for concern, particularly about warrantless, suspicionless searches at the border, and about a lack of workplace privacy vis a vis the government. (I’ve accepted it wrt your boss.) I am not a big fan of legislation for rights-protection. I believe its watered-down, full of loopholes, inflexible. I don’t enjoy reading statutes, and I’m not sure Congress knows how to write a clear one. But given the way the Fourth Amendment is going, statutes may be the only way we can protect privacy while allowing appropriate and reasonable government access.

This is an excerpt from an email I wrote to the friends we went with to Michael Mina, recommending other restaurants in the City and beyond.

The place I like the best right now is Myth. I think the food is consistently fantastic, the place looks nice and the sommalier is talented.
Lots of people agree, so it can be hard to get a reservation at a reasonable hour. Open Table is a good website for seeing what’s available reservation-wise.

I think Gary Danko is excellent. The food is really good, and the cheese cart is amazing. Its up near Ghiradelli Square. The service can be a little stiff, but the dining room is warm.

Also yummy, but more prim, is The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton. They have a champagne cart, as I was telling Wakiko, and that won me over. The food is dramatic and delicious. A bit expensive, tho, even for what it is.
Some pictures.

There’s a lot of other good places in the city that are less fancy. Delfina in the Mission, Universal Cafe near Potrero area and Thang Long (garlic crab place) in the Avenues are all favorites. I also adore Ti Couz, a Breton crepe place that’s really special, on 16th Street in the Mission. Also fun for crabbing is to go to Half Moon Bay and buy crabs and boil them up yourselves. We should think about doing that over here sometime, if they are still in season.

In New York, we went to WD50, a “molecular gastronomy” place. Photos. The cocktails are handcrafted, too. This is a trend, and we have a gourmet cocktail place in SF now, too. Its Bourbon and Branch, in the Tenderloin. You can’t go without a reservation, but they aren’t hard to secure. The drinks are good, but the best thing about the place is its never too crowded or loud.

Also in NY, we had a great experience at Tides, on the Lower East side. The restaurant is tiny, and the ceiling is decorated with those wooden picks you get when you buy a lobster roll on Cape Cod. The service is attentive and the people are clearly into making dining there a good experience. The wine list is small but varied and the food is good. Another place I really like in NY is Payard. The food is fantastic. I’ve been there twice by myself and both times had a lovely meal. You have to get dessert. I always get chocolate.

My latest Wired News column is a few 72394-0.html?tw=wn_technology_2″>Legal Predictions for 2007, in which I go out on a limb to say that contract law is the new copyright law, and mass surveillance is the privacy issue of the new year.

In the Boof: Laughing Squid Anniversary

Originally uploaded by Ms. President.

Todd, David and I goof in the Photoboof at the Laughing Squid 10th Anniversary party a few weeks ago.

Mr. Boodles

Originally uploaded by Ms. President.

Brad and his colleague Damon Darlin have an article about the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in today’s paper. (link)

This has nothing to do with Mr. Boodles. He’s just the spokesmodel. Where’s his $300 a day plus agency fees? (You’ll get this joke if you read the article.)

My latest Wired News column is a few 72394-0.html?tw=wn_technology_2″>Legal Predictions for 2007, in which I go out on a limb to say that contract law is the new copyright law, and mass surveillance is the privacy issue of the new year.

New Years Day 2007

Originally uploaded by Ms. President.

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