tv Book Discussion on Dragnet Nation CSPAN September 1, 2014 11:00am-11:56am EDT
>> host: one minute the end of the employer-sponsored health insurance in the end of the healthcare information and finally the transformation of medical education. i find that very interesting. >> guest: and frustrated by the fact that it is the same as it was 100 years ago despite all the change in how we deliver care and i don't think it's kept up in any dimension so if you look at the timing we take too long to train doctors. we could train them in three years and medicals school and we could do a job in training specialists. when i was an oncology trainee training to become a cancer doctor we did one year of clinical work taking care of patients, learning how to take care of breast cancer and leukemia and all the rest and then we did two years of research. not many of us stayed in research. you don't need the training if all you are going to give people is one year with one year of clinical care.
15, 20% you don't need to train everyone in research. similarly, i think what we teach me to change. we need to have more management, learning how to work in teams. after all the future of healthcare is with nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, physical therapists. we don't train the teams. similarly when you are a resident where do you train? future of medicine is not in hospital care. it is in the care at home in the nursing facilities and we need to train doctors so i think this is good to be a contest in terms of how long we take it and where we are training people and what we are educating them about. i see that happening again medical education hasn't changed radically in 100 years but i think the next decade is going to see a big change. >> host: thanks very much. >> guest: thank you for having me. >> host: reinventing american
health care. it really is a tour de force. >> guest: thank you very much. appreciate it. she talks about the many ways that governments private businesses and criminals can and do collect our private data and she argues due to the pervasiveness of the dragnet system we live in today we are in danger of becoming a society that censors itself instead of demanding the right. this is just under an hour
>> ladies and gentlemen welcome to the national constitution center. it's a pleasure to see you here. i am the president of this wonderful institution the national constitution center is the only institution in america chartered by congress to disseminate information about the u.s. constitution on a nonpartisan basis and as a part of this wonderful mandate we have three goals and in october we will be displaying a copy of the bill of rights and we are a center for civic education and we are america's town hall, the one place that summons all sides of the debate edwards at the society into mouths citizens to make up their own mind. in the weeks and months we have had such a remarkable exciting time in the program. last week we had a debate between others whether the
president has the constitutional power to target and kill american citizens abroad and after a rousing speech by alan dershowitz the audience changed its mind to yes. tomorrow jeffrey toobin is going to come in for a great discussion on whether the constitution is broken and in the spring we are handing out the latest and i'm so excited i am so excited about this array of programs from justice john paul stevens making one of his few appearances on james madison about the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act and the history of the second amendment here it is constitutional constitutional head in every day of the week and we are so proud to share it with you. finally please look at the new website constitution center.org all of these programs can be found on the home page and we hope you will enjoy them as much as we've enjoyed presenting them
put it out of all of the topics i am privileged to discuss at the national constitution center there boozman i'm more excited about than privacy or that i've been looking forward to meeting in person than julia angwin. we are soldiers in the trenches. we've written about privacy and there is no reporter i've learned more than julia. your pathbreaking reports in "the wall street journal" and elsewhere about the harm of online tracking and especially the details about how much is being collected are unparalleled. the three finalist finalists in 2012 because of your incredible wall street journal series on the subjects that revealed for the first time something that many pageant go and people charge though the people charged different prices online based on the profiles that the algorithms
they send the knowledge of consent. she was a reporter from 20 as you go to 2013 into the finalist for the pivot surprise at the 2011. she was on the team of reporters that won the pulitzer in 2003 and in the coverage of the corporate production and is the author of stealing my space the battle to control the most popular website in america. we are so thrilled to have julia here to discuss the latest book dragnet niche in the quest for privacy, security and to the world of the system. welcome. ask a [applause] we have so much to does this i'm going to start with the obvious question what surprised you the
most about how much the companies and government know about you? >> in my book dragnet nation i decided to take a privacy investigations at "the wall street journal" a step further by investigating myself. what is known about me and what can i protect and so i thought as many places i could find which was very few places so for instance i identified 200 data brokers but only a dozen but let me see the file because there is no law requiring them to but even in that setup files it was shocking how wrong some of them were and how right some of them were. some companies were completely wrong. none of those things happened to be true. others were incredibly detailed and have every address going
back to the number in my member in my dorm room in college, which i do of the forgotten and every member of my family associated to me and offered the purchases i made including the ones i made fairly recently so on the whole they knew a lot about me and occasionally they knew all sorts of wrong things about me and i i couldn't could then decide what outraged me more. >> were you surprised at the depth of the searchers ask >> it was incredibly shocking to me. they had been storing all of my searches and that is a long time and when i started to look at the searchers i realized how revealing they were because there was a map every single day i would wake up in the morning and google the weather and
something with my kids school and then i would look what article i was researching then i would start shopping for kids clothing and you could see my mind making little weeks and the idea that there was a mad miss that goes on disturbed me and i quit using google search after that. >> there was more that struck me. you've got your records that found the description of why you are going abroad was reported. >> it's one of the few files you can obtain in the government and if it means three months and writing letters. it was comprehensive of "the
wall street journal" used a travel agency which used a system that basically automatically send some of the internal communications i had with my boss about why was i traveling, etc. and my boss would approve it and that's how my travel would get approved. by virtue of no one is paying any attention to communications were swept into the government file so they understandably flipped out because the advanced knowledge of where they were going so they stopped working with the travel agency that it took quite a bit of time and this is one of the many problems in this age we live right now people don't even know where it's going. it's right here. they didn't know.
>> the inaccuracies it would seem very hard to get a sense of control of how much was out there. >> it was difficult and i'm sure i don't have a handle on it. i've seen the same year at the top because most companies don't have to share it into the archive of what they had on me. it's what i thought was less than what they have because the file had. it's what i saw with a more sanitized version. >> we are going to discuss the steps you take to protect your privacy but i want to ask a
question both of us get all the time when we speak about privacy people say what is the harm nothing to hide nothing to fear i'm not doing anything wrong why should i care. the great virtue of the book is that you can enumerate the harms and give a specific example. let's start with government surveillance. you talk a lot about edward snowden and collecting the metadata as well as the content of the conversations. i'm not a terrorist. why should i care? >> usually i get that but it was a pleasure for me to ask you. [laughter] >> it's interesting that we have this conversation because it is worth noting that in in europe in your biggest enemy to justify this. it's a human right and it's
getting. you don't have to have a
conversation. putting aside, you want to debate this so let's debate. the biggest harm for government surveillance is that it leads us to the left free without speech. i write about this guy in the books are available by survey of by the fbi. he and his friend were teenage young man in santa clara and his friend had written a sassy post on the social network reddit. he said i don't know why the tsa is so crazy i could just go to a mall and a bonnet which is actually true. a couple of weeks later this guy and his friend were at a car shop getting an oil change and the officers author was something in the car and it was a tracking device and the fbi put this on his car to survey him and he later found out it was because of his friend's
comment. but i got a really disturbing is what happened afterwards. after they found out they were being surveyed by the fbi friendship apart. she didn't want to be friends with a guy that might put him in danger and he became a circumspect in his actions and he doesn't feel free to talk about anything subversive and he's muslim american and now uses a different name because he feels like it is less muslim and he's still detained when he comes across national borders and he doesn't feel like he has the same free speech rights that i have as a central part of our country. >> it's not just privacy but free speech and what the framers were concerned about was enough practical obscurity to be able to engage in the political dissent and as you say they haven't been sympathetic to the claims that it violates free-speech.
>> there are a number of reasons they've taken that path but largely it's been over the issue of standing that you can't prove or show any harm. we have an interesting case coming up that is now after snowden people can prove they were surveilled. it
will be interesting to see. but one thing i talked about in the freedom of association even more than speech i was concerned about these because he was afraid to associate with his friend anymore. what the big data is is a way to build the associations. people who crossed the data say what they love about it is is you suddenly realize that people that by so fast that under under their furniture are a credit risk and you would never see that in the other data because it was too small. but we do have a history of protecting the freedom association. in the alabama case they wanted
the list of numbers and the naacp and if he upheld the right to keep the list private. now the thing is they are no longer private because you have the young muslim man of santa clara who was entering into
that by the digital trail that he left behind. >> in addition to those concerns cummings was identified fourth amendment concerns and you actually went to the former east germany and found out what they knew about its citizens and how much more was left to ban google knows about you. >> if they really wanted you, there were a couple of people that they had dozens of binders and they measured the binders so some people have 30 or 50 binders. but i looked at average files which were 20 to 50 pages long and hand written they were not as robust as a typical facebook profile because nowadays in the
timeline it dates back several years. that isn't to say they didn't know how to be repressed it. they were far more repressive and i always want to be cautious with this which is we are better at surveillance but not as good as repression and i think we want to make sure that we keep it that way. >> you tell the story the government offered as an example through the prison surveillance and yet it isn't clear that the surveillance itself was the cause and he might not have been caught without it. >> that is the one the government uses the most defensible surveillance programs ever since the snowden revelations. and as ozzy delete or zazi wanted to blow up the subways. they identified him because he'd
written in an e-mail overseas to a known terrorist. and they did go back through the prison program. now you will read a program to monitor communications to the known terror arrests. we have a process for that. basically they caught him by literally chasing him across the country in cars. he was driving from denver to new york and they had a team trailing him. it was incredibly old-school. >> about gps device that was followed by was the search the supreme court struck down in the case that said you are not allowed to put the device on the bottom of a car and track people's movements 24/backs have been. what about the future of the amendment as you talk about the fascinating cell phone tracking cases and see that it's currently open whether or not
the government is allowed if they can no longer put a device on the bottom of my car they can subpoena the geolocation all information stored by at&t or verizon or whatever it is and some folks say you need a warrant for that and the government is pushing back. you are the best tracking device. they would love their targets to carry such a thing. the problem in the fourth amendment with the court has interpreted it is it's been very much about the boundaries of your actual home. if you get your information to somebody outside of the home and the third-party you have a lesser expectation of privacy in those records and said that allows the government to get
your cell phone record was less of a legal standard and that was known as the third-party doctrine. in the case that you referenced where we basically store all of the papers in the third-party servers that hasn't yet been opened up by the court. >> i don't know the answer but i'm interested in, because the alternative what is the alternative to the third-party doctrine? the justices we have a problem. what's with the supreme court say if i took the data and i stored it in the database held by the third-party but i had no expectation of privacy that means none of us have any privacy but she didn't say what the court should do as an alternative. >> well, i mean i don't know that i know the answer but it's worth pointing out that all of the companies from at&t to google and facebook are lobbying to get back that particular wall
changed and they want a search warrant could to be the standard for the record e-mail and sensitive data that currently because of the third-party doctrine is easy for the government to get. >> so congress could pass a bill saying you need a warrant to get access to that information that would help things. i'm going to throw it out there and you can push it as well but i love the first amendment argument so much and whenever i have a privacy question i ask what would brandeis do because he is my privacy hero and i think that he would have insisted the framers. the degree of the practical obscurity and anonymity was necessary for their participation the participation if the forms of pubic is tracking that defeat that expectation are unreasonable searches. i heard an argument recently that was interesting that maybe
they should protect us the right to bear counter surveillance. it was a great idea because i have kind of armed myself with countersurveillance. and that's it's been on a suspicious list. there is a level of anonymity needed for political discourse that would be prevented, that would be allowed. >> told about the accessory all fashionable privacy advocates would carry them. >> it is basically a bag that is lined with something metal and the manifold prevents any signals from getting in and out so when my phone is in the bag it is not communicating with cellphone towers or any networks it is just off the grid and it saves me from having to constantly think of k. have i
have i got my location sitting on. i throw it in the bag and then i not tractable. it's worth pointing out you could turn the phone off to do this but the head of the cia chief technical officer went public a year ago saying you know, we can track you even when your phone is off which basically probably means remotely activating the microphone or some other part of it. so true privacy paranoids put their phone in a bad and this bag and this is something protesters do because they want to know who protest and it is a commonly used by occupying another people. >> just because you're paranoid -- [inaudible] [laughter] >> that is a far more stylish alternative to your original approach wrapping your phone in tinfoil.
you just wrap your phone in tinfoil. [laughter] it was embarrassing. by the end of the day it looked like that if my colleagues that i know someone that can get you a bad. you can get them on amazon. this one i got from a guy who does this with countersurveillance art in new york. >> i think that is a great idea. >> based on the conversation so far, who in the audience would buy a bag?
and who thinks that this is just too much and would not? that is almost two thirds. we have more work to do to persuade what the harms harms are so big and the great virtue of the book there are stories and practical tips about how to protect your privacy that gave us the harm so we talk about the harm of the government surveillance. let us talk about the harm of the private-sector surveillance and being tracked by online companies. and i mentioned the great contribution of "the wall street journal" articles was to reveal people may be charged different prices online based on who the companies think they are. tell us a good example of the differential pricing. >> the computer transmits information about you than you would think. you imagine yourself being anonymous but when you arrived
on a website where someone is trying to sell you something they already have quite a bit of information and they can change the page to tailor exactly to you. this is the marketed personalization as a benefit and sometimes it is. when amazon tells you what books you which books you might want i'm fine with that although we already have them all. what i wanted to find out if some of the investigations how is this being used to provide different prices because i think that is ultimately what i would want to do if i was a retailer. so we did find in 2010 that capital one was using this information to change the credit card and we went to the website and they've never seen you before and it was like here is the card for you. if sent in the traffic the instant analysis like low income or middle income and how much
education they thought you had. the choice isn't being fully limited it is just being scoped to what you think you might want but then in 2012 what we found is we found that the staples were changing the prices for everybody and it wasn't optional. as soon as they identified the physical location they made an instant assessment to the competitor store and if you look close enough they will give you a better price because you might go to the competitor and they would give you a higher price. so that was if you wanted to buy an actual stapler, we ought to have the same exact one from the two different locations for two different prices. what does that mean because of course it is competitive and legal to discrimination we go to discrimination and economies
argue it's the perfect pricing. people near the competitive stores are getting a higher price and moving further away from the stores from the competitors so they are doing the higher prices and i think we need to rethink what is redlining and what do we consider fair in the system because the ability to be unfair is going to increase technologically and so light raise the question of where to we want to draw the line in the society of how willing we are for people who charged different prices to stay on their individual attributes. >> and you say this is a little classification you were put in one category that nielsen or someone thought was a high costs to do or something and the others were the blue-collar blues who are charged permanently different prices because who we'll send thinks they are. should that be illegal quick >> that is the question we need to confront.
we have technical definitions mostly having to do with credit and loan applications and racial minorities and we need to think a little bigger about warehouse we want to draw the lines because the thing about the digital world is that although it seems like when you go on the internet you can see anything in the whole world it is also true that you can be tracked in what i call the hall of mirrors where all you see is what all think you are and think you want to see and think about the price that you should have. >> talk more about this. you get so powerful that people of the people of the last election who visited the website only getting romney and people on the obama website visiting the obama ads and describes how literally you visit the website and a cookie placed america's future is auctioned off in real-time to a company that earns the right to send you these ads forever and the result is that we are living in a
the story about toothpaste is going to have obama's views on toothpaste. we would literally be strung up, okay? [laughter] the algorithm found that people who read obama news want more obama news x the people who -- now, that might actually be true, because obama won. but is it fair? is it fair for google to make that assumption for us? >> is it, back to brandeis, is it consistent with democratic values? can you live in a society in which we only hear one side of the story? >> right. well, that is the challenge. that's why i really felt at the end of all my reporting that the key issue here was fairness, right? it doesn't make you feel like you live in a fair society if you're not seeing news presented fairly, right? i think we need to figure out ways to make sure that we can keep all the fabulous technology, which i love. i love all of it, i want all of it. i want to be able to, you know, log on to my, you know, remotely
from here and get my be files from home, but i want to mitigate the unfairness that is right now completely legal and i ubiquitous. >> another arm, virtual police line-ups and google glass. what's going to happen there? >> so i talk about what i call virtual police line-ups which is, essentially, the idea that before all this surveillance was really ubiquitous, there was no reason that a normal person would have a file at their local police department or would be on file kind of anywhere. but now, for instance, local police departments have these license plate readers. and so they drive around, and they scan all the license plates that they're driving by and keep them in a file forever in some cases, and that means that they have kind of a history of your location; where you've been parked for the past three years or if -- they also have take pictures where you're driving on the street. they photograph the oncoming traffic and the traffic in front and behind. and so what we found was a guy
in california who foiaed his -- he filed a freedom of information act request for his automatic license plate records, and his little town had photographed him, including his kids getting in and out of the car in the driveway, and that was on file in the police department, and they're going to keep it forever, right? so this has changed the principles of innocence in my -- the presumption of innocence in my mind. no longer do you have to be a suspect to be surveilled. and i think the challenge there is that then the police can go fishing. well, did they get out of the car -- did the kids get out of the car in his driveway in a way that disobeyed some law? there's so many laws on the books that you don't know. it might be illegal to park your car one wheel over the edge onto the sidewalk. who knows, right? so now they have a way to find something on everybody. >> like the guy with the gps device on the bottom of his car who was stopped because he turned without using his signal. the supreme court has said even if it's a pretext, the stop is
okay if you violate some minor law, and you're saying with all of this data, we're all vulnerable to being -- >> right. and i tell the story of a guy who is a really compelling example of this. he's a boiler repairman up in massachusetts, in western mass, and he basically one day got a notice in the mail that his dreier's license had been -- driver's license had been suspended, and they said you had to come to a hearing. they said we have this facial recognition program, and your photo looked very similar to this guy's, so we think it's identity theft. right? so he was presumed guilty and had to prove his innocence. well, he was who he was, and their program flagged the wrong people, and they actually accused him, they said you don't even look like your photo. he's like, yes, that photo was taken 13 years ago, and i'm 100 pounds heavier. this is the debate he's having with the dmv. that's what happens in this world where the algorithms are sort of unchecked, and i want to build due process into that, right?
he needed the right to be informed far earlier. >> digital due process is a very powerful theme of this book. >> yes. >> you, in order to dramatize the difficulty of protecting privacy, spent a year doing a privacy audit on yourself, coming up with a threat model and then enlisting every available technology to protect your own privacy. we've seen the farraday bag, let's talk about some of the other rigors that you end doored for the sake of discourse -- [laughter] one of the most dramatic of which is you left google and went to a web site called duck duck go. what was that like? >> yeah. i quit using google search because i saw how my searches were so revealing, and i didn't want them stored. even if you don't have gmail, they're still storing them based on your ip address which is a level of anonymity, but in my case, if you go to a web site and look up my ip address, it basically locates me right in my home, so they can be very revealing. so i decided to switch to a search engine that's based here in philadelphia called duck duck
go that is privacy protecting. they don't store any ip addresses or searches. every time i go to them it's like a fresh, new experience. they don't know who i am. it actually took me a while to learn how to use it because with i was used to google finishing my sentences. you start typing, and they already know what you want, and they fill it in for you. once i realized it wasn't that hard to add the word new york at the end of the search just to make sure it wasn't the natural a history museum in london, i really appreciated the fact that my searches weren't tailored because i had the control myself over what i was looking for. >> you have many useful tips about creating secure passwords, and i thought, oh, my god, i'm never going to be able to remember them. like everyone else, i have the obvious one with an exclamation point at the opened of it -- [laughter] what do i know? i just write about privacy. what's the takeaway? >> passwords are a terrible situation right now.
so what i ended up doing was basically using a password manager because there's software that will just generate passwords for you because it's impossible for anyone to try to come up with these passwords themselves. and then i hired my daughter to pick up a special technique where she rolls dice and picks words out of a dictionary. and i use those for my super secure accounts, my e-mail, bank and password manager. just change it to the longest possible thing and write it down. the myths that you can't write this down, the likelihood someone's going to break into your house and figure out that's your gmail -- >> you just take a long word you remember like super cally percentagey listic exbyally doashes? >> they're designed to try each
letter, so the longer the better. but if it's a well known phrase like that, they're more likely to get it. that's why i do random words from the dictionary because those rams are not likely to guess. also i would just point out we think we have a good ability to create random words, but our minds are not that random. so it is really better to try to come up with a way to find really random words. >> and, again, just for those who are not privacy paranoids, why is this important? what's the mud puddle test? why should people take the trouble -- >> passwords are actually really important even if i don't believe a single thing about privacy, and it's becoming incredibly common. and so it's just really important, particularly your e-mail account could be used to reset all of your other passwords and to get into all your accounts. and so criminal hacking games are expert at breaking passwords. even if you don't believe in privacy, change your password. >> would you have taken all
these steps if you hadn't been writing the book, and will you continue to use these technologies? >> you know what's interesting is i definitely started this as an exercise to see if i could do it and if i could educate myself and to investigate how hard it was to protect my privacy. but what i found is it's sort of like becoming a vegan, it's a way of life. [laughter] it's like every day i have to wake up and choose not to use bad passwords and to choose to put my phone in a bag and not give my real name at the barista. everything. it has become a way of living, and it is kind of a pain, to be honest. but one, i really actually think that it's important for myself, for my kids. i've taught them all these techniques so they won't wander into the digital world sort of building a long trail that will always be with them. so i think it's worth doing. but some of it is impossible. the phone be, basically -- phone, basically, even i admit this is not a good solution. in fact, the reason i do this is to show that maybe we need another way to block tracking
other than technological means. >> we should get to questions -- >> yeah. >> -- because there they're so excellent, there are a whole lot of them. so let's jump right in. why is the average person so unconcerned about privacy rights? we all seem so willing to give up personal information. >> well, that's because we don't know the true cost of it. we're getting all these free services, and we love -- everyone loves free, right? and what we're now waking up to 10, 20 years into the internet revolution is that they weren't really free be, we're paying with our personal data. and now what we don't know is how much is that data worth. and it's a very uncertain time. we just don't have a way to quantify it. we can't tell how it will be used against us in the future, so i think it's perfectly rational to be confused about whether you should care, because this is an opaque market. it's like the bond market, you don't know what the prices are, and it's only the true experts who can really evaluate the
price of their data. >> google claims it never shares a person's search history with nip else, true? >> yes -- with anyone else. true? >> they have so much data themselves that they don't want to share it. they don't sell it. they keep it for themselves. they buy other data from the data brokers to enhance their profile so that they have the best profiles out there. the problem with that is that the government is always at google's door. we have seep that they come to them -- seen that they come to them with these secret requests for data. we also saw they hacked into google's data centers when they couldn't get it through the front door. i like google, i'd like to trust them, but i don't know that they can defend themselves from the nsa. >> here's a great related question. if the fourth amendment requires a search warrant to search my home, why isn't a warrant required for the nsa to search any computer in my home? >> right. it's because of the third party doctrine. basically, you pit it on -- if
they go into your house and take your computer physically, they still need a warm. but these days it's so easily to get the remote information from your computer that there's many ways to circumvent that search warrant requirement. >> you talk in the book about this exciting case from california, the ninth circuit just last year said computer searches even if they're done at the border or outside the home can potentially reveal so much about us that they have to be minimized, and the police should only be able to look for specified bits of information and not seize anything in plain view. might that go with anywhere? >> yeah. that was a ray of hope, right? that was the first time we'd seen any sort of limits. right now what happens at the border, this happened to the wikileaks volunteer, you know, they basically knew he was coming back to the country from an international trip. took him aside, took his computer, copied the entire contents and let him go on. there's an exception at the border, they didn't have to get a warrant, so it's been a tool that they've used to find
information from people who they want to track but don't want to get a warrant for. so that was a great moment that maybe there will be a legal standard required at the border, but so far that's only in one circuit. >> you injoke the general warrants that -- invoked the general warrants that sparked the revolution, so concerned about these pieces of paper that allowed the king's agents to search anyone's house to search for seditious material or evidence of people not paying taxes that they fought the revolution because of it. is nsa surveillance like a general warrant or because it's just metadata, is it not like a general warrant? >> i mean, i don't see how you could look at the collection of every single phone-calling record for the past seven years in the united states as anything other than a general warrant. it was the, it's the hugest database of connections and associations possibly ever mapped, and that's what the nsa was doing with their 215 program. now, they say that they didn't actually collect it, it's just
sitting there, and they only collect it when they do a search in that data. and i think that's like a legal technicality that needs to be sorted out by the courts and, and maybe they're right that it just doesn't exist. it's sort of like a tree falling in the forest. if it's sitting there and never touched, maybe we're okay with that. what's the level of oversight to make sure that somebody isn't getting it? right now we're in a world where there's no data it seems is safe. edward snowden walked out of nsa with a lot of files he wasn't supposed to have, so it's hard for me to trust no one is looking at them. >> and just to to be consistent, the lower courts are split on this. one judge in washington says james madison would have been appalled by the prison surveillance program, he would have been aghast about the slow incursions of liberty. another judge in new york has reached the opposite conclusion and said because of the third party dock trip, we don't
have -- doctrine, we don't have expectations of priest. justice scalia says he expects the supreme court to hear this at some point. >> yes, it will. [laughter] it will. so we saw in some of the early snowden documents that by using encryption, for instance, which is something i use as much as i can, you know, putting my messages into secret codes that can't be with be read by the government or, hopefully, will be really hard to read, i guess -- we don't know yet whether they've broken it entirely -- that it puts you on a suspicious list, and it allows them to store your data longer and keep it for analysis. and so i recognized early on in my project to protect my privacy that many of the things i was doing were likely to actually raise red flags. but i did it as a way of protest in some sense because i basically felt that isn't fair. just because i want to have a conversation that isn't read by someone else with my mother, i don't want see that that should put me on a list.
and i sort of protest that assumption. so it might raise suspicions, but i expect it to happen anytime, and i think we just have to think about whether that's the right standard. they do work for us, after all. is that what we want them to do? maybe. >> and then the secondary patdowns are a pain, but they haven't led to more trouble so far. >> i do patdowns every time, i don't want do the body scanner. they don't need my naked body picture too. [laughter] >> that was the one victory for privacy in this whole -- >> yes. >> -- sorry tale. the government initially had these choices between the naked machine and the blog machine, one shows you naked, the other makes you a nondescript blob which for most of us is a mercy. [laughter] it took that great political protest, the guy who explained
at the border don't touch my junk. [laughter] patrick henry of the body scanner movement. [laughter] they went back to the drawing board, and president obama was shocked to discover discover he could actually refit the naked machines as blob machines, and now we're all blob. >> i'm still not blobbing. [laughter] >> as a matter of principle -- >> i just don't blob as a matter of principle because there's so few opportunities to vote on this topic, i want it to be about metrics. i was at denver which said 95% of people opt in to the body scammer. i want there to be numbers. you know? in some ways a lot of what i'm doing is sort of calling the bluff on the opt-in and opt-out. oh, you choose. okay, i'm choosing, right? count me. >> who else would opt out of the body scanners? this is a very pro-privacy crowd. yeah.
isn't google a hypocrite for complaining about the nsa when google is more ip vasive? invasive? >> well, google's still not putting anyone in jail. [laughter] so i think that google has a right to be upset. i mean, when they found out that their data centers were being hacked into by the government, after that microsoft came out with this incredible statement. they said we now consider the government, the u.s. government to be our largest threat. previously it had been chinese hackers. so they're basically like we're putting the nsa at the top of our hacking concerns. and so the tech companies are in a difficult position which is they're in the u.s., they have to comply with the law, but i think they seem to be legitimately outraged that there was a lot of covert stuff going on. they were complying with these secret court orders on the front end, but they were unaware that the stuff was going on on the back end, it seems. >> does the current supreme court understand enough about
technology to make an effective ruling? [laughter] the most tech-savvy justice remembers playing pong as a child. [laughter] >> i have to say, the oral arguments, there was this great moment where chief justice roberts said, wait, you mean they could track my car with it? [laughter] and i was like, yea. so i think they're starting to wake up to this. i mean, how can you live in today's world and not be aware that this thing is transmitting information about you all the time? >> they are reading briefs on ipads, they're understanding text messaging. i mean, how -- do you have to be really tech-savvy or, basically, the principles are broad enough that you can understand them without getting into the weeds? >> i think that, no. i mean, look, the level of tech literacy in this country,s i think, should increase. people are still a little too confused about the level of tracking that happens behind the scenes on web sites, but there's been so much press about it that you don't have -- you'd have to be living under a rock, i think, not to know -- which may be with
where the supreme court is located. >> well, but the jones decision was 9-0. that surprised a lot of people. >> yes, right. >> not a single justice accepted the obama administration's position that we have no expectation of privacy in public against ubiquitous surveillance. >> right. and i'd also point out there does seem to be an incredible movement across the country against drones. so i think we are coming to conclusion that when we're in public just because you can attach a tracker to our car doesn't necessarily mean we've given up our privacy. >> to care about privacy, people have to be able to relate it to their own lives. >> it's very visceral, i think. >> yeah, absolutely. these are completely great questions. does the nsa and the government make an extra effort to get privacy information about reporters? >> well, i wish i knew that, right? [laughter] since i'm a reporter. i mean, i think the evidence is unfortunately leaning towards the answer being yes because there was an inspector general
report a few years back about the fbi's use of national security lettedders targeting journal -- letters targeting journalists and we have seen in the jim risen case who said his phone records were to obtained for a leak case. so we have to say that reporters are probably in a very difficult situation right now. >> and threatened prosecutions under the espionage act of 1917 more than all other administrations come blinded, including the question about whether or not publishers themselves could be charged. >> yeah. you know, if you don't care about braves, that's -- about privacy, that's fine, but i think it's also worth thinking about the challenge to journalists as an issue for our democracy because journalists are supposed to be the watchdogs of democracy, and if we cannot have contact with a source confidentially because everything is surveilled and we can only rely on sources who are
basically willing to move to russia and give up their entire lives like edward snowden, we're not going to have as much ability in our government. >> have there been any legal cases where information has been used qeps job applicants? >> i'm not sure if there have been explicitly. one of the problems with this information is often times if you're denied a job, you wouldn't know why. the but it's pretty difficult for an employer, i would imagine, to get online browsing data in most cases. >> based on first amendment issues and surveillance concerns, why should we discuss this issue on twitter with the constitution center? [laughter] >> that's great. you know, that's a good question. people ask me all the time why i'm on twitter, because i quit facebook and linkedin. i didn't quite quit facebook, i
left a little page that says i'm not here, i'm on twitter. i think that twitter's a little more clear about its issues. it's public broadcast. it's like publishing in the newspaper to me. i put on there exactly what i would write to consumption of the whole world. what i don't want like about facebook and linkedin is that your associations, your list of friends and contacts are basically public. and we all think we're incredibly unique but, in fact, we basically like the same movies, music and have the same political beliefs as our friends, so our associations can be very revealing. >> and twitter and facebook and google all have different standards for free speech and what they'll remove. twitter is the most speech protected will only take down speech that threatens and is intended to provoke limited lawless action. whereas facebook and google have community standards that allow more speech to be suppressed if it to if fends a religious group, for example, although not a religious leader.
>> yes. twitter has an incredibly aggressive defense be of its users' right to free speech. >> we're living in a world where google and facebook have more power over who can speak and who's private than any president or supreme court justice. and yet the first and fourth amendments apply only to the government and not to google. do we need a constitutional amendment to protect free speech and arrives in the digital age? >> wow. i hadn't thought about that before, but that is an interesting question. i do think that we have to sort of evaluate when we go on to facebook and google, we think of ourselves sometimes as being in, like, the public square at a town hall, and in a way we're really not. we're kind of in north korea, we're in a totalitarian dictatorship where whatever they decide is the rule for speech. and we have to think about whether we -- i mean, personally my decision is let's not have the speech there, you know?
i'm sort of opting out to a different way, but you could also force them to try to have free speech standards. and there is a precedent for telecom companies having to abide by some standards for first amendment. so that's a possibility. >> we, unfortunately, have to end. i could continue this all afternoon. you and your book by talking about reforms, you're skeptical about the consent model because you think people might sell their privacy in exchange for a toaster, and once they sell it for a quarter of a cent, they might not be able to get it back. but you like transparency as louis brandeis did, and you like the fair credit reporting act, and you have five questions that should be asked of every digital dragnet to decide whether it's fair or even legal. shall i read them, or -- >> yes, you can read them, because i might get them wrong. >> does it provide individuals with legal rights to access