I’m pleased to post Show # 246, November 6, my interview with Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake on democracy and technology in Europe. Recommended by former Hearsay Culture guest Lousewies van der Laan of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Marietje is a leading EU public official focusing on technology policy and the impact of technology on democracy. Her work is a perfect fit for Hearsay Culture, as it spans issues including Internet freedom, dual use technology, copyright policy, international trade agreements like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the EU’s Digital Single Market. In our wide-ranging interview, we covered all of these topics, and even got into a discussion about EU-US relations and the impact of Edward Snowden’s revelations on that relationship. Marietje was an outstanding guest, and we had a terrific discussion. I look forward to having her back on the show in the future.
I’m pleased to post Show # 245, October 9, my interview with author David Brin, on transparency, reciprocal accountability, cyber-utopianism and the preservation of excitement in an age of cynicism. David was an early guest on Hearsay Culture, having been on show # 30 back in early 2007 discussing his now-classic Transparent Society. In the intervening eight years, our sense of utopianism has continued to wane, even as technology’s ability to positively confront the world’s ills has improved. David’s prolific writings on this and other topics was the subject of our far-ranging discussion, from transparency today to how to teach children to maintain energy and optimism despite life’s seemingly hyper-complex challenges. As in 2007, David was a fascinating and engaging guest, and I greatly enjoyed our talk.
I am pleased to post Show # 238, May 27, my interview with Prof. Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University on Bitcoin, cryptography, privacy and web transparency. Arvind does a range of information policy-related research and writing as a professor affiliated with Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP). [Note: I am a Visiting Research Collaborator at CITP]. Through studying the operation of and security challenges surrounding the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, Arvind has been able to assess cryptography as a privacy-enhancing and dis-intermediating technology. To that end, we had a wide-ranging discussion, from the varied roles of cryptography to commercial surveillance and transparency. Because Arvind is such a dynamic and interdisciplanary scholar, we had a wonderful discussion that I hope you enjoy!
I am pleased to post Show # 229, February 11, my interview with Prof. Stephanie Pell of the Army Cyber Institute and Chris Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union on StingRay and their newly-published Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article entitled Your Secret Stingray’s No Secret Anymore: The Vanishing Government Monopoly over Cell Phone Surveillance and Its Impact on National Security and Consumer Privacy. Stephanie and Chris have taken on the fascinating and disturbing problem of intentional exploitation of known security flaws in cell phone operations by governments (and, if you’d like, the private sector) to monitor private individuals (i.e., StingRay). From law enforcement on down, the issue is as much about the technology itself as it is about the lack of discussion about that technology, exploits and its implications. Based upon their backgrounds in law enforcement and the security worlds, respectively, they approach this issue with a deep depth of knowledge and balance. We discussed StingRay from policy and technological perspectives in this broad discussion. I hope that you enjoy it!
On a day when there is yet another revelation about the extent of the NSA’s efforts to collect all of the world’s communications, I’m pleased to post Show #204, February 19, my interview with Prof. Peter Swire of the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a member of President Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. As one of the members of the President’s panel, Peter had the opportunity and the privilege to both assess the NSA’s programs and make recommendations about how to scale them back under the law. Because the range of the programs is yet to be known (assuming that the public will ever know the full extent of the NSA’s activities), the interview reflects a snapshot of what could be discussed on February 17, 2014. Nonetheless, Peter’s insights and reflections on the scope and impact of these programs should help inform the public and policymakers as we grapple with what has occurred, and is occurring. Thanks to Peter for taking the time, and I greatly enjoyed the interview.
At long last, I am posting several new shows from the end of last quarter and the beginning of this quarter.
The first show, Show 170, August 7, is my interview with Prof. Woodrow Hartzog of Cumberland School of Law, Samford University and Fred Stutzman of UNC on their article, The Case for Online Obscurity. In their article, Woody and Fred conceptualize “obscurity” as an area on the information flow spectrum from publicity to privacy. Although people often interact with technology from the perspective of something other than complete privacy or publicity, Woody and Fred note that the parameters of that activity — obscurity — has not been theorized. In our discussion, we explore the theory and practice underlying obscurity. They were great guests.
Next, Show 171, August 21, is my interview with Dr. Deborah Peel. Deb is one of the nation’s leading advocates on patient privacy rights and the rights associated with the distribution of health information. In our interview, we discussed her work and views on the challenges facing both patients and the healthcare industry as we confront the explosion of information stored in electronic format. I greatly enjoyed the discussion.
Show 172, August 28, is my interview with Prof. Madhavi Sunder of UC Davis School of Law, author of From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Global Justice. Madhavi has written a fascinating book arguing that the process of production, and not just the outputs, should be a value that intellectual property law encompasses. In her book, she explores the implications of such a shift on communities in developing economies and other groups who are not generally considered in intellectual property’s utilitarian scheme. I learned much and we had a fun interview.
The fourth show, Show 173, October 3 is my interview with Prof. Chris Sprigman of Virginia Law, co-author of The Knockoff Economy. Chris and his co-author Kal (who did not join us on the interview) have written a fascinating account of industries and communities, like fashion and comedy, where intellectual property law is non-existent and/or unenforced. They found, somewhat surprisingly to those who view intellectual property law as a necessary requirement to spur innovation and economic activity, that these industries thrived despite the absence of intellectual property rights. We had a broad and high-energy discussion.
Finally, Show 174, October 10, is my interview with Prof. Shubha Ghosh of the University of Wisconsin School of Law, author of Identity, Invention, and the Culture of Personalized Medicine Patenting. Shubha is a prolific scholar who has written a study of the law surrounding and implications of personalized medicine from a patent law perspective. Given the advances in technology that allow for a vast array of data to be used in the treatment of patients, patent law is at the center of the questions as to the parameters of this activity. Shubha was able to discuss a challenging area in a clear and concise way, and I greatly enjoyed the interview.
A final note: since the show began in May 2006, Joe Neto, Stanford Law School’s wonderful creative services specialist and Funkranomicon lead vocalist, was responsible for posting the shows onto CIS’ server. After six years and 170 shows, he has handed that job over to CIS’ Elaine Adolfo. Thanks much to Joe for his work, and to Elaine for taking over the reigns!
I am pleased to post the first four shows of the summer quarter.
The first, Show #166, July 10, is my interview with Prof. Brett Frischmann of Cardozo Law, author of Infrastructure: The Social Value of Shared Resources. Brett has written a thoroughly-researched and thought-provoking account of the benefits and challenges of viewing our infrastructure, from the energy grid to the Internet, as a commons/shared resource. Drawing on his (and others’) writing on the topic of the cultural commons going back over 10 years, Brett’s book was a great topic and I very much enjoyed the discussion.
The second show, Show #167, July 17, is my interview with Profs. Francesca Coppa of Muhlenberg College and Tisha Turk of the University of Minnesota at Morris on vidding. Vidding is a massively creative effort on the part of many artists who reinterpret video to reveal/highlight/interpret their political and social moorings. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the purpose, meaning and technology of vidding, and I learned much in a fun conversation!
The third show, Show #168, July 24 is my interview with Mike Masnick of Techdirt. Techdirt is one of my go-to news sites for all issues surrounding technology law policymaking and challenges, and Mike’s reporting is always well-cited, sharp and entertaining. Indeed, he regularly covers a number of technology issues that are simply ignored in almost all other technology news sites, like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. I learned much from the interview!
The fourth interview is Show #169, July 31, my interview with Berin Szoka of TechFreedom, co-editor of The Next Digital Decade. Berin is a leading thinker on technology policy and writes from a libertarian perspective. He amassed a stellar group of commentators for his book, and we discussed several of the questions that he posed to his contributors. I’m a fan of Berin and his work and was excited to have him on the show!
Look for the last three shows of the summer within the next week or two, and please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions for future guests!
I’m pleased to post the last three shows of the spring quarter.
The first, Show #163, May 22 is my interview with Prof. Lea Shaver of Hofstra Law regarding her article Illuminating Innovation. Lea focuses on the story of Edison’s invention of the lightbulb, but draws some surprising conclusions about its import to intellectual property law and, through discussion of less well-known aspects of the story, reaches some surprising results. Drawing on Lea’s deep knowledge of the issues surrounding one of the seminal inventions of the modern era, I very much enjoyed the discussion.
The second show, Show #164, May 29, is my interview with Christopher Soghoian and Stephanie K. Pell, co-authors of Can You See Me Now?: Toward Reasonable Standards for Law Enforcement Access to Location Data that Congress Could Enact. Chris and Stephanie discuss the largely unknown (and not understood) issues surrounding the use of technological location data (think, GPS on your cell phone) by law enforcement. Their combined knowledge, drawn from the worlds of technology/security and law enforcement, respectively, makes for an unusually thorough examination of this challenging issue. We discussed the technology, how its used, and what to do about it. I learned from and enjoyed the interview.
Finally, the last show of the spring quarter, Show #165, June 5, is my interview with Marvin Ammori, author of First Amendment Architecture. Marvin has written an exhaustive analysis of how architecture, be it technological or physical, or as Marvin calls them, “spaces,” play into the law surrounding the First Amendment. This important but under-theorized issue is critical to the ability to maintain and protect the ability to speak in a technologically unstable time. The issue of spaces is thoroughly analyzed in Marvin’s article, and we discussed his theories and their ramifications going forward in this fun and enlightening discussion.
I am in the process of finalizing the schedule for the summer quarter, so look for that on Monday!
Happy new year! A hectic December has led me to the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting, where I’ll be discussing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement tomorrow. Meanwhile, posted are the last four shows of the Fall 2011 quarter.
The first show is Show #152, November 3, my interview with Prof. David Perlmutter of the University of Iowa, author of Blogwars and Tenure and Promotion Confidential. We discussed the media industry surrounding blogs as well as a more provincial topic of interest to a narrower range of Hearsay Culture listeners, namely, how to get tenure. David’s work spans a variety of areas, and I greatly enjoyed the interview.
Show #153, November 10 is my interview with Prof. Ethan Leib of Fordham Law School, author of Friend V. Friend. Ethan has written a fascinating book about the regulation of friendships and whether the government should play a role in encouraging friendship. The obvious relevance of this issue as manifested in social networks is explored, as well as more nuanced questions like whether government has a role in this fundamental area of private ordering. A great discussion.
The third show, Show #154, December 1 is my interview with Dean Saul Levmore and Prof. Martha Nussbaum of The University of Chicago Law School, co-editors of The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy, and Reputation. Saul and Martha have edited and contributed to an excellent volume on the impact of the Internet on one’s ability to protect and control one’s reputation and identity. As eminent scholars I was thrilled to have them on the show and they offered their unique perspectives on wide range of topics, from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to social media.
The last show of the quarter, Show #155, December 8 is my interview with Prof. Helen Nissenbaum of New York University, discussing Privacy in Context. Helen’s newest book focuses on her idea of “contextual integrity” that conceives privacy through the prism of its social constructs. An outstanding guest and scholar, I greatly enjoyed the conversation.
The schedule for the next quarter, which begins during the week of January 16, will be posted next week.
I am pleased to post two more shows for the Winter Quarter. The first, Show #129, January 11, 2011, is my interview with Ryan Calo, Director, Consumer Privacy Project at Stanford CIS. Ryan focuses on issues revolving around privacy and technology, and I was pleased to have him on the show discussing his article Privacy Harms . In this article, Ryan seeks to delineate the boundaries of what we might call a privacy harm, and what the ramifications are for such line-drawing. His work advances our understanding of what we mean by privacy, and I greatly enjoyed the conversation.
The second show, Show #130, January 18, is my interview with Sarah Rose, author of For All the Tea in China. Sarah has written a very readable and enjoyable account of the British effort to export (read: steal) tea from China (read: trade secrets) in the 18th Century. As a significant and largely unknown event in the history of the tea trade, and trade secrecy, I very much enjoyed having Sarah on the show to discuss her work.
More shows to be posted soon!