Search Mailing List Archives

Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] Stanford course: Surveillance Law

Yosem Companys companys at
Sat Jan 2 12:17:08 PST 2016

*From:* Richard Forno <rforno at>

FYI, my Stanford CIS colleague (a securitylegalgeek rockstar) is offering a
6-week online course on surveillance law.  Well worth checking out, if
you're able and/or interested!   -- rick

Surveillance Law

Learn how police and intelligence agencies can access your data, and how
the law (might) protect you! Hackers, attorneys, and concerned citizens are
all welcome.

6 weeks of study
1-3 hours/week
Jonathan Mayer / Stanford University

It’s easy to be cynical about government surveillance. In recent years, a
parade of Orwellian disclosures have been making headlines. The FBI, for
example, is hacking into computers that run anonymizing software. The NSA
is vacuuming up domestic phone records. Even local police departments are
getting in on the act, tracking cellphone location history and intercepting
signals in realtime.

Perhaps 2014 is not quite 1984, though. This course explores how American
law facilitates electronic surveillance—but also substantially constrains
it. You will learn the legal procedures that police and intelligence
agencies have at their disposal, as well as the security and privacy
safeguards built into those procedures. The material also provides brief,
not-too-geeky technical explanations of some common surveillance methods.

Course Syllabus

I. Introduction
We will begin with a brief overview of how surveillance fits into the
American legal system. We will also discuss how surveillance issues can be

II. The Basics of Surveillance Law
Next, we will review established police surveillance procedures. Using
telephone technology as a simple starting point, we will work through
various sorts of data that investigators might seek to access—and the
constitutional and statutory safeguards on that data.

III. Applying Surveillance Law to Information Technology
Having learned the basics, we will turn to more modern technologies. We
will discuss snooping on email, web browsing, and mobile phone location, as
well as hacking into devices.

IV. Compelled Assistance to Law Enforcement
What happens when data is technically protected? In this section, we will
talk about the government’s (limited) ability to mandate backdoors and to
require decryption.

V. The Structure of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Law
The law that applies to foreign intelligence activities runs parallel to
the law that applies to police activities. We will compare the two systems
of law and review key distinctions. The section places particular emphasis
on Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments
Act, and Executive Order 12333.

VI. Controversial NSA Programs
In the final section, we will review the conduct and legality of
controversial National Security Agency programs. We will discuss in detail
the domestic phone metadata program, PRISM, and “upstream” Internet

< - >

It's better to burn out than fade away.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the liberationtech mailing list