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Center for Internet and Society - undefined





 



SOPA, PIPA and Internet Freedom - Where Do We Go From Here? Video

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 21:38:44 +0000

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An evening conversation with CIS Executive Director of the Fair Use Project Anthony Falzone and Congressman Darrell Issa where they will discuss topics about SOPA, PIPA and internet freedom.

 
About Darrell Issa
Congressman Darrell Issa represents the people of California's 49th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, a seat he has held since 2001. As a Congressman and leader in California grassroots politics, Issa has championed the cause of smart, efficient government, and has pushed legislation to balance the federal budget and promote transparency across the federal bureaucracy. In 2003, Issa was the architect behind the successful popular uprising to recall former Democratic California Governor Gray Davis. Issa currently is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he serves as the Chairman. Previously, Issa served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and the Small Business Committee.
 
As the holder of 37 patents himself, Issa has been vigilant about protecting the intellectual property rights of artists and other entrepreneurs to help protect America's position at the forefront of innovation and creativity in the entertainment and technology industries. Recognizing his success as a Congressional watchdog of taxpayer dollars, at the beginning of the 111th Congress House Republicans tapped Issa to serve as the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is the main investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives charged with the protecting the interests of U.S. taxpayers and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. Issa has opposed the rise of out-of-control government spending and fought tirelessly for the responsible, transparent use of taxpayer dollars. He's pushed to achieve more whistleblower protections for those who report waste, fraud and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. And he's offered substantive reform initiatives to open up government so that Americans know what's happening in Washington and can become more democratically engaged in the day-to-day oversight of their government.
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Health and Medical Privacy - The Privacy Paradox: Privacy and Its Conflicting Values (Audio)

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 21:55:57 +0000

Download audio from iTunes or download mp3 directly from CIS.    2012 Stanford Law Review SymposiumFebruary 2-3, 2012Co-Hosted by the Center for Internet and Society Video Version.  February 3, 2012Health and Medical Privacy Dr. Russ Altman, Stanford University Department of BioengineeringGeff Brown, MicrosoftDeven McGraw, Center for Democracy and TechnologyKevin Milne, US Department of Health and Human Services—Office for Civil RightsModerator: Hank Greely, Stanford Law School More info about the 2012 Stanford Law Review Symposium: The Privacy Paradox.  Focus Area: PrivacyTerms: undefined[...]



Free Speech Architecture – Legislated Spaces (#4)

Mon, 06 Feb 2012 22:04:02 +0000

Cross posted from Marvin Ammori's post at Concurring Opinions. The previous post in this series discussed the First Amendment’s requirement that individuals have access to at least some minimal spaces for reflection and discourse. But access to speech spaces doesn’t stop at these limited areas required by courts interpreting the First Amendment. State and federal governments frequently choose to designate additional spaces as special zones for speech, and they do so with the intent of promoting specific speech goals. Far too often they attempt to close spaces for speech, something that Tim Zick has highlighted in his very important work. But, at the other end, when governments attempt to promote additional spaces for speech, the Supreme Court has sanctioned the pro-speech policies. With judicial approval, the government has a long history of promoting access to speech spaces. Under the designated public forum doctrine, a state or federal government can open up additional publicly owned spaces for speakers. A government may also pass a statute guaranteeing free speech on certain privately owned spaces generally open to the public. In 1980, the Supreme Court held that states may declare private shopping malls essentially to be designated forums for speech. While the owner of the mall claimed that its speech rights were infringed by opening the space to others’ speech, and while the case conflicts with a notion of “negative liberty,” the decision was unanimous.   That is just physical spaces. The Court has permitted government to open “virtual” spaces as well. While we used to talk about the Internet as “cyberspace,” and recent articles discuss “flaneurs” walking about in real or cyberspace, we can think of any means of connecting two people to speak as a virtual speech space. (Tim Zick’s post on this point is far more eloquent than I could be.) The first virtual space for newspapers was the postal service—the nation’s most important distribution tool for over a century, including during its founding. Legislative rules allowed newspapers to enjoy special access to the U.S. postal network. Postal carriage of the papers was heavily subsidized, and rules decided by Congress favored nonprofit and public affairs speech through these spaces over commercial advertising. The government affirmatively used complex rules to ensure some types of speakers had preferred access to these spaces—though government generally did not favor viewpoints so much as broad classes of content, as Brett notes in his recent post. A modern-day equivalent of newspaper-access rules in the postal network is Congress’s imposition of common-carrier rules on privately owned telephone carriers. Both traditional land lines and mobile phone service must remain open to all speakers under “common carrier” rules. Private phone companies generally have no “editorial discretion” over the speech that takes place on their lines, though they often assert such First Amendment rights, including when a phone company refused to deliver text messages from a pro-choice organization. This designation of phone lines is not, of course, required by the First Amendment. The policy is, however, constitutionally permissible. Imagine a world in which AT&T could decide not to carry the calls of speakers it deemed offensive or politically sensitive. Under the conventional model of the First Amendment, which views mandatory access to private networks as government interference with the private speech of network owners, such conduct would be permissible. But we generally assume government can in fact impose rules providing access for all to such virtual speech spaces, even for privately owned property. The courts have generally agreed. The Internet, broadcast television, and cable systems have also been targeted as speech spaces with special affirmative access rules. For many years, Internet service providers (such as AOL or Earthlink) relied on phone lines, which were subject to the same [...]



Negative Liberty and What the First Amendment Ought to Be

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 22:00:00 +0000

Cross posted from Marvin Ammori's post at Concurring Opinions. Two days ago, I posted about a law review article I’m presenting next Friday at a symposium. The symposium is dedicated to “First Amendment Challenges in the Digital Age.” Danielle was generous enough to host a little blog-athon about the topic and invite me and some of our friends. (If I may speak for Marc, Tim, Brett, Greg, and Zephyr on one thing: thank you Danielle! And thank you Concurring Opinions.) I planned to write a few “readable” posts about the article I’m presenting. This is the first. I’ll begin with a few basics obvious to most CoOp readers but maybe not to everyone. The First Amendment of the Constitution forbids government from abridging the freedom of speech. Because no law passed by Congress can violate the Constitution, courts will not enforce government acts (state or federal, legislative or executive) that abridge the freedom of speech. But the term “freedom of speech” is pretty vague, as is the word “speech” itself—for example, silent flag burning is protected speech but verbal death threats are not. Because the Constitution is vague on this point, courts have developed something of a common law to interpret the First Amendment and have erected complex doctrines, exceptions, tests, and standards of scrutiny. Scholars or lawyers then review that common law and, for both practical and theoretical reasons, will debate which underlying principles animate that common law. My article’s core argument is that the First Amendment precedent reflects (and, in fact, should reflect) an important, but overlooked, substantive commitment to ensuring that Americans have adequate physical and virtual spaces available for speech, particularly for public discourse. This argument, however, conflicts with a widely held assumption. Academics and other lawyers often assume that First Amendment precedent reflects a core negative-liberty principle. “Negative” liberty refers to a freedom “from” government interference, a “hands-off” approach for speech, not a freedom “to” particular substantive outcomes. (For evidence that the First Amendment is generally believed to reflect a negative liberty, see page 9 and its notes.) If the central principle of the First Amendment is promoting negative liberty, then government must stay out of “speech,” and should not regulate, for example, campaign finance, or the “speech” transmitted by large media conglomerates and telecommunications companies. But, you might believe that, as a matter of fact, keeping government “out” of the speech market will only ensure that a few powerful speakers have access to the avenues of speech while closing out many other speakers. You might believe, as a matter of principle, that government should be able to intervene in the speech market to open additional avenues of speech for all citizens, particularly if those citizens support such intervention. But a negative-liberty model of the First Amendment would consider such intervention problematic: the government should keep its hands off of speech, even when promoting speech opportunities. Stick with me for a moment. You decide you’d like to convince others that the First Amendment should be concerned with ensuring that all Americans have access to plentiful spaces to engage in speech. You think the Constitution should permit—and sometimes even require—governments affirmatively to ensure spaces remain open for speech. You recognize that the right to freedom of speech would be meaningless without some place to exercise it. You noticed the importance of speech spaces, not only from the Arab Spring’s Tahrir Square and Occupy Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park, but also from the use of digital spaces to connect protesters and revolutionaries around the world, from Tunisia to Silicon Valley. So, to convince others, you make an “ought” argument. You argue that the First Amendment ought to be concerned with more[...]



2/4: Barbara van Schewick - The FCC’s Open Internet Proceeding – Implications for Political Speech

Tue, 02 Feb 2010 22:41:56 +0000

February 4, 2010 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Barbara van Schewick's research focuses on the economic, regulatory, and strategic implications of communication networks. In particular, she explores how changes in the architecture of computer networks affect the economic environment for innovation and competition on the Internet, and how the law should react to these changes. This work has made her a leading expert on the issue of network neutrality. Her book "Internet Architecture and Innovation" will be published by MIT Press this spring. Professor van Schewick is the Faculty Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society and an assistant professor of electrical engineering (by courtesy) at Stanford's Department of Electrical Engineering. Who should decide how users can use the Internet? users or network providers? Should network providers be allowed to block certain applications or content on their networks? Triggered by changes in Internet technology, these questions over network neutrality have moved to the center of the regulatory and legislative debates surrounding the Internet worldwide. They are at the core of the Open Internet Proceeding, launched by the Federal Communications Commission in October 2009 to explore what rules are needed to secure the Internet's openness. The talk will give an overview of the draft rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission and explain how the alternative options under consideration would affect the environment for political speech in the United States.

Presented by the Program on Liberation Technology, pary of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.
For further information regarding the series:
http://cddrl.stanford.edu/research/program_on_liberation_technology/

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11/2: CIS Speaker Series - Betsy Masiello, Google Policy Analyst

Mon, 26 Oct 2009 18:40:58 +0000

November 2, 2009 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

Betsy Masiello is a Policy Analyst on Google’s public policy team and is one of the internal leads for Google’s privacy engineering efforts. Prior to joining Google she was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she served global telecommunications companies on new business strategies around emerging technology. Academically, Masiello holds a BA in Computer Science from Wellesley College, a MSc in Economics from Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and an SM from MIT’s Technology & Policy Program.The Web has enabled unprecedented levels of communication and sharing, expanding access to information around the globe, while also raising broad concerns about the future of individual privacy. This talk will explore a range of frameworks that can be used to understand privacy today, and the fundamental engineering challenges that follow in designing privacy into information products.

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