Posts Under: Surveillance

Myths in Student Privacy and Advertising

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) recently released a report entitled Learning to Be Watched: Surveillance Culture at School. In making claims about how student data is being protected, the report conflates the issues of student data privacy and advertising. The truth is that strong, multi-layered protections now exist to protect student information and ensure it is used only for educational purposes. In addition, current law and subsequent regulation forbids the use of student information for targeted advertising.


What are the Responsibilities of Tech Companies in an Age of International Terrorism?

Yesterday, at George Washington University, an energetic panel of government officials, scholars and policy advocates from business and civil society discussed the role of tech companies in an age of international terrorism.  There is more to this thorny issue, but the panel began with a good outline of the issues at stake. The panel met at a sad time when the world is mourning the loss of life from the attacks in Brussels.  Coming after attacks in Paris, San Bernardino and Istanbul, we are clearly at a critical junction in the struggle against violent extremism.  And that made today’s topic tragically timely and relevant. So what are the responsibilities of tech companies in an age of international terrorism?  I’d say that they have three:


The Economist Supports Strong Encryption

Welcome news arrived over the holidays in the form of editorial support for strong encryption from the Economist magazine. The opinion piece entitled, When Backdoors Backfire, observes pointedly: “Without encryption, internet traffic might as well be written on postcards.” It concludes: “Rather than weakening everyone’s encryption by exploiting back doors, spies should use other means…That is harder and slower than using a universal back door—but it is safer for everyone else.”