LAW 987 - Research Seminar: Human Rights, Corporate Responsibility, and Information Communications Technology
Fall 2013, Thursdays, 4:30 - 6:30PM, Tanenbaum Hall 320
(Last revised November 10, 2013 )
IMPORTANT SCHEDULING NOTE: The classes originally scheduled for Nov. 14 and Nov. 21 have been re-scheduled. Makeup classes have been scheduled for November 18 and December 4 at 1:30pm. Both makeup classes are in Tanenbaum 253, Rare Book Room.
Course Description and Requirements:
In light of recent revelations on NSA surveillance and the ensuing global debates about their implications, this new research seminar is especially timely.
How can Information Communications Technology (ICT) companies meet their responsibility to respect human rights around the world in the face of national laws, regulations, and law enforcement demands related to surveillance and censorship that often contradict international human rights law? This research seminar examines such cutting-edge questions - from an analytical as well as a practice-oriented perspective - at the intersection of emerging communications technologies, national law, international human rights law, and corporate responsibility.
New information and communications technologies like the Internet and networked devices can connect and empower people in unprecedented ways. Yet companies’ business practices, engineering and design decisions, and government relationships can also result in serious violations of citizens’ right to free expression, assembly, and privacy by governments as well as private commercial entities. International human rights norms related to this problem are only just emerging: in 2011 the UN affirmed that while states have a duty to protect human rights, companies also have a responsibility to respect human rights. In 2012 it further affirmed that protection of human rights in the digital sphere is now essential to the protection and realization of physical rights. The multi-stakeholder non-governmental Global Network Initiative has developed global principles for ICT companies on upholding free expression and privacy rights. But what do these emerging digital human rights norms mean in practice for individual companies operating in specific markets?
Lecturers Cynthia Wong (Human Rights Watch) and Rebecca MacKinnon (Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation and Visiting Affiliate at Annenberg's Center for Global Communications Studies) are both active practitioners in the field of ICTs, human rights, and corporate responsibility.
This research seminar will be open to graduate students from across the university. The first several weeks will be devoted to readings and discussions of core concepts, followed by exploration of initiatives, issues and cases. Students will conduct in-depth research projects focused on specific companies operating in specific markets, examining difficult questions of how these companies can uphold their human rights obligations in the face of commercial pressures and government demands that contradict international human rights law. Research conducted for this course can potentially be submitted to academic or law journals, considered for integration into Human Rights Watch publications, or published as a white paper for the Ranking Digital Rights project (http://rankingdigitalrights.org)
The course aims to equip students with a practical understanding of the relationship and frequent contradictions between domestic laws and regulations governing ICT sector businesses on the one hand, and international human rights law related to free expression and privacy on the other.
Students should come away from this course with: a grasp of relevant international human rights principles particularly in relation to free expression and privacy; an understanding of general concepts and developments related to business and human rights; a specific understanding of free expression and privacy related challenges faced by the ICT sector around the world; a working knowledge of existing efforts to address these challenges; experience conducting multi-disciplinary research that addresses specific questions related to these challenges as faced by specific companies in specific jurisdictions; experience communicating the results of that research - and its real-world implications - both verbally and in writing.
This course has 13 sessions. The first 11 weeks will be devoted to lectures and class discussion of weekly readings, starting with a broad overview and growing increasingly specific over the course of the semester.
By the middle of the term, students will select the topic and format of their reseach papers (details below). The last 2 classes will be devoted to student presentations on research findings and major questions encountered during the research process. Final papers are due at the end of exam period.
Students should come to class prepared to discuss issues raised in the readings. Each week, students will take turns as discussion leaders, pointing out key questions that have arisen from assigned readings as well as any relevant developments that have arisen in the news that week. The day before class the week’s designated discussion leader(s) will e-mail a concise memo (500-800 words) to the class e-mail list summarizing their key reactions and questions from the readings, and sharing any recent, relevant news items or links that they have identified.
Guest speakers will be invited via Skype or in person as feasible and appropriate.
By Week 2, students will be provided with a list of possible research topics and several possible formats: academic paper, advocacy white paper, or company case study. Depending on which option the student chooses and the nature of the research (technical research tends to result in shorter papers while social science/law research tends to result in longer papers), the length can be anywhere between 15-30 pages, pending discussion and agreement between student and instructor once the student's choice of topic is finalized.
Students must submit a proposal for their chosen topic and format by the beginning of class in Week 6.
Examples of possible topics and formats include:
Examination of legal and regulatory obstacles faced by [insert up to 3 companies here] if they wanted to protect user/customer rights to free expression and privacy in [insert name of country here]. Suggest what sort of legal/regulatory reform would be necessary to better protect the digital rights of citizens in that country.
Case study of TeliaSonera (the Swedish-Finnish telecommunications company) [or another telco] in its home market and at least two other markets where it operates. If the company wanted to adhere to basic criteria on free expression and privacy grounded in international human rights norms, what are the main obstacles to doing so?
Advocacy white paper on Blackberry’s [or another company’s] policies and practices related to free expression and privacy as it operates across a range of different markets and regulatory regimes. Provide concrete recommendations for what Blackberry should do to remedy problems surfaced by the analysis.
Transparency reporting and telecommunications companies: Why aren’t any telecommunications companies publishing data about government demands for data pertaining to user communications? What are the unique challenges that might make it harder for telcos than it is for Internet companies to issue transparency reports?
What changes in laws, corporate structures, and business norms would be required in order for companies in [insert country here] to publish regular transparency reports?
Comparative analysis of Samsung and Apple smartphones based on free expression and privacy criteria. (For a student with strong technical background.)
Examination of the privacy-related choices that a company committed to maximizing privacy protections could make in the deployment and use of IPv6 (for an engineering student).
A longer list of suggested topics will be provided in September. Students are naturally welcome to come up with their own topics. More details about required specifications of the written paper will be provided in early September. Work of sufficient quality may be considered (if the student wishes) for publication by the Ranking Digital Rights project, submission to an academic journal, or integration into Human Rights Watch publications.
In the final 2 classes, students will present the results of their research and raise key questions for discussion. Final written papers are due on December 20, the final day of exam period.
This component of the class is an opportunity to gain valuable experience giving presentations similar to those that are commonly made at academic and professional conference panels. The class will be divided in half, with half of the students presenting on Week 12 and the other half presenting on Week 13. Each 2-hour class will be divided into two 1-hour panel sessions. Each presentation should be no longer than 10 minutes, focusing succinctly on key research findings as well as questions that surfaced during the course of research. Time remaining will be devoted to Q&A and discussion.
Students can choose whether to use Powerpoint, Keynote, Prezi or other common presentation software/platforms, or whether they prefer to use a paper flipchart, whiteboard, or refer to printed handouts, or some combination thereof. Further parameters and guidelines for presentations will be issued by the middle of the semester. Presentations will be evaluated on the clarity of their content, professionalism, and effectiveness of delivery - which is not necessarily the same thing as having the most elaborate graphics or using the most advanced software features.
Two textbooks have been assigned for the class: MacKinnon’s Consent of the Networked and John Ruggie’s Just Business. Other weekly readings - most if not all in digital format - will be assigned via the syllabus or through the class e-mail list. In addition, students may be asked to consult various Internet websites. The materials listed on the syllabus will be updated or changed and the topics altered to reflect current events, new publications, and guest speaker opportunities that may arise.
Potential modifications of/additions to listed assignments:
The readings listed on the syllabus should be regarded as tentative. Because this course is about rapidly-developing issues across multiple disciplines and technologies, we may need to add subjects and/or substitute newer materials during the semester, or change the order in which certain subjects or cases are addressed. Students will be notified by the preceding Friday at the latest about changes and additions to reading assignments for any given week.
Final research paper - 60%
10-minute research presentation (delivered in Week 12 or 13) - 20%
Class participation including each student’s turn as discussion leader - 20%.
Student input and participation:
We believe that active and thoughtful class participation will contribute directly to the success of students’ research presentations and final papers.
While this is a law school class, graduate students from all parts of UPenn are encouraged to apply. We hope that students with diverse academic backgrounds including not only law, but also possibly including engineering, business, communications, economics, political science, and regional studies can learn from one another. Active participation of students from different disciplines with different perspectives will enhance everyone’s understanding of the issues.
Discussion will also help us to determine how readings and lectures should be modified in future weeks to address specific cases and issues that students may be interested in pursuing for their research papers.
We welcome student ideas for improving the course and enhancing the learning experience. If class members decide that a current development, concept, or issue not on the present syllabus deserves attention, this can be taken into account. Among other things, when students identify informative source materials, websites, and speakers, they are invited to bring these to the attention of the class and the lecturers.
Attendance policy & make-up work:
Regular attendance is necessary for active and thoughtful class participation. Should you need to miss class due to illness, religious observance, or other unexpected and unavoidable circumstance, please notify us via email. In addition, if you miss class, we ask that you email us a short response (300-500 words) to the readings within one week of the missed class, to be considered as your participation for the missed class. The short response could include your reactions to the readings or identification of key, unanswered questions raised by the readings.
Contact information & office hours:
The best way to reach us is via email:
Both instructors are based in Washington DC and travel to UPenn only on teaching days, or in MacKinnon’s case also on one or two other days per month when project meetings are scheduled. We will not hold regular on-campus office hours and email will be the best way to reach us with questions or concerns. However, it is possible to arrange to meet on-campus before class (or on one or two other days each month when MacKinnon will be visiting campus for project meetings) or to discuss issues by phone or Skype, as needed. Please contact us via email to set up a time.
Academic integrity & citations
For reference, here are links to relevant law school and university-wide policies on academic integrity. If you are not a law student, please also consult other program-specific policies that may apply to you.
Univeristy-wide Code of Academic Integrity: http://provost.upenn.edu/policies/pennbook/2013/02/13/code-of-academic-integrity
Law School Policy on Plagiarism: https://www.law.upenn.edu/students/policies/conduct-responsibility-the-law-school-policy-on-plagiarism.php
When using or building on the work of others, we expect acknowledgement and clear attribution of third party sources, even when not quoting such sources directly. Exact citation format is flexible. However, if a source is available online, please include a URL in your citation to facilitate ease of access. Law students considering future academic publication of material developed in this class may wish to use Bluebook format by default.
(Note: on some weeks both instructors will be present and on other weeks the class will be led by either Wong or MacKinnon. Weeks that do not indicate the instructor name in the subject description will either be taught by both, or a final determination has yet to be made.)
Week 1 (Sept 5) - Introduction. When we combine international human rights norms, international and domestic laws, growing public and market demands for corporate responsibility, and globally networked ICT sector companies, what are the key challenges for practitioners in business, government, civil society and technical communities? What are the major research questions for scholars and educators across the fields of law, business, computer science and engineering, social science, and communications among others? We offer an overview of the key issues to be addressed and how these issues are becoming increasingly important for scholars and practitioners in a wide range of disciplines. Instructors Wong and MacKinnon will also describe how the issues addressed in this course relate to their own work as advocates and researchers.
- Short 1993 TV news story introducing the Internet to a broader public: http://youtu.be/fxfhInhkvtM
- MacKinnon TED talk: Let’s take back the Internet! http://www.ted.com/talks/rebecca_mackinnon_let_s_take_back_the_internet.html
- Jeffrey Rosen, “Google’s Gatekeepers” and “The Delete Squad”
- Rory Caroll, "Microsoft and Google to Sue over US Surveillance Requests" http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/aug/31/microsoft-google-sue-us-fisa
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Articles 12 and 19) http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?docid=3ae6b3aa0
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 17 and 19) http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?docid=3ae6b3aa0
- Peruse and bookmark these websites and subscribe to their updates:
Week 2 (Sept 12) - The Internet and human rights: It’s complicated. The Internet has empowered citizens all over the world to speak out and organize to defend their rights and fight injustice in (sometimes literally) revolutionary ways. At the same time, new networked technologies do not automatically produce a more human rights-compatible world. Networked technologies can also be used to promote terrorism, commit crimes, and facilitate the violation of rights. The dynamics of digital power among citizens, governments, and ICT companies are complex and contentious.
- MacKinnon, Consent of the Networked, Chs 1-7
- Miles Townes, “The Spread of TCP/IP: How the Internet Became the Internet” Millennium - Journal of International Studies-2012-Townes-43-64.pdf
- Ethan Zuckerman, “Cute Cats to the Rescue? Participatory Media and Political Expression” http://ethanzuckerman.com/papers/cutecats2013.pdf
- Hillary Clinton’s Internet freedom speeches http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/01/135519.htm and http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2011/02/156619.htm
- UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Human Rights and the Internet http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2012/07/201207058545.html#axzz2Zi40rR7D
- Dunstan Hope, Protecting Human Rights in the Digital Age (This is a very helpful guide to the issues according to different types of technologies, which will help you begin to think about your specific research focus over the coming weeks.)
Week 3 (Sept 19) - Networked sovereignty vs. nation-state sovereignty (MacKinnon) What new challenges are created by the globally interconnected Internet - and the companies that provide the products, services, and platforms that make it function and create much of its value? Are modern-day domestic and international legal frameworks capable of addressing questions of defending and protecting human rights across globally interconnected networks that are mostly owned and operated by private sector companies?
- John Perry Barlow, “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” https://projects.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html
- Lawrence Lessig, Code v2.0 http://www.codev2.cc/download+remix/Lessig-Codev2.pdf Chapters 1-5
- Goldsmith and Wu, Who Controls the Internet? (2006) Chapter 5 Goldsmith and Wu_Who controls the internet.pdf (also on reserve in the library)
- Consent of the Networked chapters 9 & 10
- MacKinnon, "The United Nations and the Internet: It's Complicated," Foreign Policy, Aug.8, 2012 The United Nations and the Internet_ It's Complicated - By Rebecca MacKinnon _ Foreign Policy.pdf
- Council on Foreign Relations Expert Brief: "Cybersecurity and Internet Governance" http://www.cfr.org/cybersecurity/cybersecurity-internet-governance/p30621?cid=rss-scienceandtechnology-cybersecurity_and_internet_gov-050313
- Global Partners, Internet Governance: Mapping the Battleground (2013) http://www.global-partners.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Internet-Governance-Mapping-the-Battleground.final_1.pdf pp. 1-5; (Browse the rest to get a sense of all the organizations and activities taking place.)
- YouTube video about Bitcoin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um63OQz3bjo
Optional resources for students interested in learning more about Bitcoin:
- Politico: "Decoding Bitcoin" http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/decoding-bitcoin-95595.html
- Jery Brito and Andrea Castillo, Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers http://mercatus.org/publication/bitcoin-primer-policymakers
- Nikolei Kaplanov, "Nerdy Money: Bitcoin, the Private Digital Currency, and the Case Against its Regulation" http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2115203
Week 4 (Sept 26) - Business and human rights: Emergence of global norms, codes, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and other soft-law governance structures (Wong) This week we examine the emerging field of business and human rights across a number of sectors, industries, and issues. The rise of multi-national corporations created new governance challenges, especially where companies expanded to markets with fragile regulatory regimes or weak human rights protections. Laws that regulated corporate practices in “home countries” failed to address corporate abuses of rights in “host countries.” We will examine the factors that lead to the creation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as a base-line standard for how companies should respect human rights around the world, along with key critiques from members of the human rights community who believe they are too weak. We will also look at several voluntary corporate responsibility initiatives created to close gaps in regulation and governance.
John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative on business & human rights: Just Business: Multinational Corporations and Human Rights, Chapters 1-3.
OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises (2011 ed.): Read only Preface, Concepts and Principles, and General Policies (pp. 13-26); Section IV. Human Rights (pp.31-34); Section V. Employment and Industrial Relations (pp. 35-41), http://www.oecd.org/daf/inv/mne/oecdguidelinesformultinationalenterprises.htm
(Skim only) 1997 Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of the International Labour Organization (ILO): http://www.ilo.org/declaration/thedeclaration/textdeclaration/lang--en/index.htm
Also skim descriptions of Four Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which you can find on the left-hand navigation menu: http://www.ilo.org/declaration/thedeclaration/textdeclaration/lang--en/index.htm
Criticism of Guiding Principles:
Christopher Albin-Lackey, Human Rights Watch: "Without Rules - A Failed Approach to Corporate Accountability", Feb 2013,http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/essays/112459
[response] John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative on business & human rights: "Progress in Corporate Accountability", Feb 2013, http://www.ihrb.org/commentary/board/progress-in-corporate-accountability.html
"Joint Civil Society Statement on the draft Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights" [PDF], 14 Jan 2011, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Joint_CSO_Statement_on_GPs.pdf
Human Rights Council: Resolution on International Business Needs Strengthening, Joint Civil Society Statement on Business and Human Rights to the 17th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, June 15, 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/06/15/human-rights-council-resolution-international-business-needs-strengthening
Fair Labor Association:
Richard Locke, Matthew Amengual & Akshay Mangla, Virtue out of Necessity?: Compliance, Commitment, and the Improvement of Labor Conditions in Global Supply Chains, 37 POL. & SOC’Y 319 (2009) [PDF] Read: 319-339, 342-347, PDF in files section
Browse the Fair Labor Association website to get a sense of its approach: http://www.fairlabor.org/our-work; http://www.fairlabor.org/our-work/our-methodology; 2012 Annual Report (pp. 2-3 only): http://www.fairlabor.org/report/2012-annual-public-report; http://www.fairlabor.org/benefits-joining-fla
Week 5 (Oct 3) - Freedom of expression: domestic law, international law, soft law, and emerging standards. (Wong) This week we take a close look at emerging legal standards and the challenges of regulating speech on the Internet. Historically, governments could easily regulate expression within a country’s borders through laws that governed print and broadcast media. The Internet now enables instant, cross-border communications and access to information in a way that defies territorial boundaries. In addition, social media, blogging websites, and other platforms for “user-generated content” have empowered individual users to become publishers themselves. Governments are increasingly seeking to reign in online expression, for both legitimate and illegitimate reasons, and are often doing so by enlisting the help of the private sector. We will examine global trends around “intermediary liability” and the pressure placed on companies to address “bad speech” online. What role should Internet and telecommunications companies play in policing user content or behavior?
Frank La Rue, Report of the Special Rapporteur to the General Assembly on the right to freedom of opinion and expression exercised through the Internet, A/66/290 (2011),http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Opinion/A.66.290.pdf
Frank La Rue, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression - hate speech, A/67/357 (2012), [, and also here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomOpinion/Pages/Annual.aspx]
Articles 19 and 20 of the ICCPR: http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx
Jillian York, Policing Content in the Quasi-Public Sphere, https://opennet.net/policing-content-quasi-public-sphere
CDT, Shielding the Messengers (v.2 2012 update), https://www.cdt.org/files/pdfs/CDT-Intermediary-Liability-2012.pdf
- Saul Levmore, Martha C. Nussbaum, The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy, and Reputation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2010; chapters 9-10, [trigger warning: chapter 9 contains direct quotations of offensive language and racist, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic speech].
Optional reading: for a history of Internet filtering and other means of controlling expression and access to information online, see Ronald Deibert, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, and Jonathan Zittrain, ONI, Access Contested, chapter 1: Toward the Fourth Phase of Cyberspace Controls,http://access.opennet.net/contested/chapters/
Case studies: For the last hour of class, we will be discussing two case studies. Each half of the class will be responsible for researching and coming to class prepared to discuss one of the case studies. I have arbitrarily assigned the cases according by the first letter of your last name. I have not provided an exhaustive reading list for these cases, nor do you need to read everything below---instead, I have provided some introductory links to materials and each student should research the case further from an angle that you find most interesting.
Last names A-K: Case study #1: Innocence of Muslims video:
U.N. chief says anti-Islam filmmaker abused freedom of expression, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/19/uk-film-protests-un-idUKBRE88I1CZ20120919
UN chief wrong to say anti-Muslim filmmaker abused free expression, says Middle East rights group, http://www.ifex.org/international/2012/09/28/anhri_v_ban/
It’s OurTube: Religion-based censorship will only fuel hate speech, http://content.bytesforall.pk/node/69
Did a Ban on Facebook and YouTube Save Lives in Kashmir?, http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/did-a-ban-on-facebook-and-youtube-save-lives-in-kashmir/
Andrew Brown: there is good reason to ban the hateful anti-Muhammad YouTube clips, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2012/sep/12/libya-anti-muhammad-youtube-clips?CMP=twt_gu
Other responses from around the world: http://globalvoicesonline.org/?s=%22innocence+of+muslims%22
Steve Coll, Days of Rage: http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/10/01/121001taco_talk_coll
Jillian C. York, Further Reading on YouTube and the “Innocence of Muslims,” http://jilliancyork.com/2012/09/16/further-reading-on-youtube-and-the-innocence-of-muslims/
Benesch & MacKinnon, “The Innocence of YouTube,” http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/05/the_innocence_of_youtube?page=0,1
Last names L-Z: Case study #2: #FBrape campaign [trigger warning -- see **note below]:
BBC’s World Have Your Say, Is there content that shouldn't be allowed on Facebook?, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p018r008 (radio debate)
Women, Action & the Media (WAM), Examples of Gender-Based Hate Speech on Facebook, http://www.womenactionmedia.org/examples-of-gender-based-hate-speech-on-facebook/;
Facebook statement: Controversial, Harmful and Hateful Speech on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-safety/controversial-harmful-and-hateful-speech-on-facebook/574430655911054
Vega, “Facebook Says if Failed to Bar Posts With Hate Speech,” NYTimes, May 28, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/business/media/facebook-says-it-failed-to-stop-misogynous-pages.html?_r=2&
Hill, The Futile Quest to End Rape Jokes on the Internet Continues, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/05/29/the-futile-quest-to-end-rape-jokes-on-the-internet-continues/
York, Facebook Should Not be in the Business of Censoring Speech, Even Hate Speech, http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/05/30/facebook_and_hate_speech_the_company_should_not_be_in_the_business_of_censorship.html;
Ramilo, #FBrape is about gender-based hate speech, not about censorship, http://www.genderit.org/feminist-talk/fbrape-about-gender-based-hate-speech-not-about-censorship
**note about trigger warning: Case study #2 involves a campaign organized by feminist groups to convince Facebook to take down “gender-based hate speech.” This content involves violent and misogynistic imagery and language, which can be disturbing. If you are assigned this case study and would prefer to cover case study #1 instead, please feel free to do so. Also, the discussion of case study #2 will be confined to the last half hour of class. Please contact me if you have concerns about participating in the discussion.
Week 6 (Oct 10) - Privacy in an age of pervasive surveillance. (MacKinnon) Why is it particularly difficult to balance the protection of human rights with security and law enforcement needs in a digitally networked and interconnected world? Is it possible to constrain the abuse of surveillance power by governments through legislative reform at the national level - or do solutions need to be coordinated globally? If the latter, how?
(Note: The case study readings for this week will be divided up and assigned to two different groups of students and two different discussion leaders.)
Daniel Solove, “Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle Review, May 15, 2011. http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Privacy-Matters-Even-if/127461/
Fred Cate, James Dempsey, and Ira Rubenstein, “Systematic Government Access to Private Sector Data,” International Data Privacy Law (special issue) Volume 2 Issue 4 November 2012http://idpl.oxfordjournals.org/content/2/4/195.full.pdf+html
(NOTE: This journal issue contains a series of articles about surveillance laws in specific countries which will be very useful for some students’ research projects.)
Frank La Rue, Report “on the implications of States’ surveillance of communications on the exercise of the human rights to privacy and to freedom of opinion and expression” to the Human Rights Council, April 2013. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session23/A.HRC.23.40_EN.pdf
International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillancehttps://necessaryandproportionate.org/
Danny O’Brien “The United Nations meets 13 principles against unchecked surveillance,” EFF.org, Sept. 20, 2013 https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/09/united-nations-meets-thirteen-principles-against-unchecked-surveillance
Browse the latest “transparency reports” on government data requests by Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo
Case Study: NSA surveillance:
G. Alex Sinha, “NSA Surveillance Since 9/11 and the Human Right to Privacy,” Loyola Law Review (Forthcoming) Focus on Part 3. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2327806
Seeta Peña Gangadharan, “From COINTELPRO to Prism, Spying on Communities of Color,” New Amerca Media, June 19, 2013. http://newamericamedia.org/2013/06/from-cointelpro-to-prism-spying-on-comm-of-color.php
Comments from the Global Network Initiative to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, August 2013: http://globalnetworkinitiative.org/sites/default/files/GNI%20Statement%20to%20PCLOB.pdf
Case Study: Privacy regulation and litigation in the U.S. and Europe
Kenneth Bamberger and Deirdre Mulligan, “Privacy in Europe: Initial Data on Governance Choices and Corporate Practices,” George Washington Law Review, Vol. 81, 2013. Focus on parts 1, 2, and 5. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2328877
Cyrus Farivar, “How one law student is making Facebook get serious about privacy,” Ars Technica, Nov 16, 2012. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/11/how-one-law-student-is-making-facebook-get-serious-about-privacy/
Joel Rosenblatt and Karen Gullo, “Google Must Face Most Claims in Gmail Wiretap Lawsuit,” Bloomberg News, September 26, 2013. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-26/google-must-face-most-claims-in-gmail-wiretap-lawsuit.html
Actual court ruling: http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2013/09/GoogleGmailOrder092613.pdf
Critique of ruling: Timothy B. Lee, “No, Gmail’s ad targeting isn’t wiretapping,” The Washington Post, Sept 28, 2013 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/28/heres-whats-wrong-with-this-weeks-ruling-that-google-may-be-wiretapping-its-customers/
Week 7 (Oct 17) - Public event: “Scholarship After Snowden” - Implications of the NSA surveillance revelations for the Academy Penn Law and Annenberg’s Center for Global Communications Studies are co-organizing a 2-hour event at the same time of day as this class on what the latest revelations about pervasive NSA surveillance mean for research, teaching, and professional practice across the many disciplines taught at Penn: Law, Communications, Engineering, the various Arts & Science departments, etc. Students are required to attend and participate actively in conference discussion in lieu of class.
NOTE LOCATION: Gittis Hall 214 Haaga Classroom
Event link: http://cgcs.asc.upenn.edu/events.html#153
Below are writings by several of the speakers:
Cynthia Wong, "Surveillance and the Corrosion of Internet Freedom" Huffington Post, July 30, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cynthia-m-wong/surveillance-and-the-corr_b_3673037.html
Bruce Schneier, “The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back,” The Guardian, September 5, 2013. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/05/government-betrayed-internet-nsa-spying
Joseph Turow, “A Guide to the Digital Advertising Industry That’s Watching Your Every Move,” The Atlantic, Feb 7, 2012 http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/a-guide-to-the-digital-advertising-industry-thats-watching-your-every-click/252667/
Week 8 (Oct 24) - Software, hardware, and human rights (MacKinnon - with visitor Ben Wagner) How can companies do a better job of preventing their software and hardware from being used by governments to violate human rights? What can engineers and programmers do? What is the appropriate - and feasible - role of law and regulation in addressing and preventing abuses?
(Note: Case study readings for this week will be divided up and assigned to 3 different groups of students and 3 discussion leaders. See this week's announcement for details.)
- Helmi Noman and Jillian York, West Censoring East: The Use of Western Technologies by Middle East Censors, 2010–2011, Open Net Initiative, March 2011.
- Pratap Chaterjee, "The State of Surveillance," The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, November 30, 2011 http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/11/30/the-state-of-surveillance/
- Duncan Campbell, "Inside the shadow world of commercialised spook spyware," The Register, December 1, 2011 http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/01/security_firms_compete_to_sell_snoopware_to_repressive_governments/
- Reporters Without Borders, "Companies that cooperate with dictators must be sanctioned," September 2011 http://en.rsf.org/companies-that-cooperate-with-02-09-2011,40914.html
- Electronic Frontier Foundation, "Human Rights and Technology Sales: How Corporations Can Avoid Assisting Repressive Regimes," April 2012, https://www.eff.org/files/filenode/human-rights-technology-sales.pdf
Case study: Cisco in China:
- Glenn Kessler, “Cisco File Raises Censorship Concerns,” Washington Post, May 20, 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/19/AR2008051902661.html
- Loretta Chao and Don Clark, “Cisco Poised to Help China Keep an Eye on Its Citizens,” Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2011. Download at: https://pennlaw.instructure.comhttps://pennlaw.instructure.comhttps://pennlaw.instructure.comhttps://pennlaw.instructure.com/courses/1092631/files/43352964/download?verifier=7pymVWTHHPHLdjnXggmlnGLHmVWmznDuT3D6zarb
- Mark Chandler, “Cisco Responds to Wall Street Journal Article on China,” Cisco blog, July 6, 2011.
- Mark Chandler, “Cisco Supports Freedom of Expression, an Open Internet and Human Rights,” Cisco Blog, June 6, 2011.
- EFF, “Cisco and Abuses of Human Rights in China,” August 22, 2011 https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/08/cisco-and-abuses-human-rights-china-part-1
Case study: abuse of security products - Finfisher:
- Vernon Silver, “Cyber Attacks on Activists Traced to FinFisher Spyware of Gamma,” Bloomberg, July 25, 2012 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-25/cyber-attacks-on-activists-traced-to-finfisher-spyware-of-gamma.html
- Privacy International: Our OECD complaint against Gamma International and Trovicor https://www.privacyinternational.org/blog/our-oecd-complaint-against-gamma-international-and-trovicor (February 2013)
- Full CitizenLab report “For Their Eyes Only: The Commercialization of Digital Spying” (April 2013) https://citizenlab.org/2013/04/for-their-eyes-only-2/
Case study: abuse of security products - BlueCoat:
- John Markoff, “Rights Group Reports on Abuses of Censorship and Surveillance Technology,” The New York Times, January 16, 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/business/rights-group-reports-on-abuses-of-surveillance-and-censorship-technology.html
- Full CitizenLab report Planet Blue Coat: Mapping Global Censorship and Surveillance Tools. (January 2013). https://citizenlab.org/2013/01/planet-blue-coat-mapping-global-censorship-and-surveillance-tools/
- Ellen Nakashima, "Report: Web monitoring devices made by U.S. firm Blue Coat found in Iran, Syria," Washington Post, July 18, 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/report-web-monitoring-devices-made-by-us-firm-blue-coat-detected-in-iran-sudan/2013/07/08/09877ad6-e7cf-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_story.html
Week 9 (Oct 31) - Protecting rights in the privately-run quasi-public sphere: Law versus voluntary mechanisms (Wong) What are the unique challenges for the law and lawmakers in protecting citizens’ digital free expression and privacy rights? How did various efforts at soft-law and voluntary regulation emerge and how have they fared so far in addressing global threats to citizens’ digital free expression and privacy? We examine legislative efforts like the Global Online Freedom Act, the voluntary Global Network Initiative, and other emerging efforts as well as debates about how to address the problem.
MacKinnon, Consent of the Networked, Chapter 11, “Trust but Verify”
Chander, A. (2011). Googling Freedom. California Law Review, 99(1), 1-45. [PDF available in files]
Ian Brown, “The Global Online Freedom Act” http://journal.georgetown.edu/2013/05/16/the-global-online-freedom-act-by-ian-brown/ [PDF link]
Text of the Global Online Freedom Act of 2013, available at http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/491 [PDF of text]
GNI principles, http://www.globalnetworkinitiative.org/principles/index.php
GNI Implementation Guidelines, http://www.globalnetworkinitiative.org/implementationguidelines/index.php
- GNI Governance, Accountability, and Learning Framework, http://globalnetworkinitiative.org/governanceframework/index.php
“Digital Freedoms in International Law: Practical Steps to Protect Human Rights Online” by Dr. Ian Brown and Professor Douwe Korff, https://globalnetworkinitiative.org/sites/default/files/Digital%20Freedoms%20in%20International%20Law.pdf
EFF “know your customer” guidelines, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/it%E2%80%99s-time-know-your-customer-standards-sales-surveillance-equipment
Sections II-VI (pp. 4-18): Elizabeth Umlas, Human Rights and SRI in North America: An Overview (January 2009), http://www.reports-and-materials.org/Umlas-Human-Rights-and-SRI-Jan-2009.pdf
Week 10 (Nov 7) – The Telecommunications Industry Dialogue (Wong) Telecommunications companies have historically operated under very different regulatory regimes and remain subject to licensing requirements that Internet companies may not face. In addition, many telecom firms were formerly state-owned or remain partially state-owned. The nature of telecom services means that firms have invested a great deal in physical infrastructure inside a country and have many employees working locally. What are the implications of these differences for how the UN Guiding Principles, GNI principles, and other standards might apply to these companies? Should telecommunications join GNI or do they need a different type of organization or mechanism in order to make meaningful human rights commitments and be held accounable to them?
(Note: Case study readings for this week will be divided up and assigned to different groups of students.)
Chris Tuppen, Opening the Lines: A Call for Transparency from Governments and Telecommunications Companies, July 24, 2013,http://globalnetworkinitiative.org/news/new-report-calls-transparency-governments-and-telecommunications-companies
Human Rights Watch, Reforming Telecommunications in Burma: Human Rights and Responsible Investment in Mobile and the Internet, May 2013, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/05/19/reforming-telecommunications-burma
- Industry Dialogue materials
Case study: Teliasonera in Eastern Europe/Central Asia:
Video: Uppdrag Granskning [Mission Investigation]: The Black Boxes,http://vimeo.com/41248885 Summary of the video on Slate:http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/04/30/black_box_surveillance_of_phones_email_in_former_soviet_republics_.html
Andrei Soldatov & Irina Borogan, “In Ex-Soviet States, Russian Spy Tech Still Watches You,” Wired, December 12, 2012,http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/russias-hand/all/
Access, Telco Hall of Shame: TeliaSonera AB, February 7, 2013, https://www.accessnow.org/blog/telco-hall-of-shame-teliasonera
Teliasonera human rights paper: http://www.teliasonera.com/Documents/Public%20policy%20documents/Freedom-of-expression-and-privacy-international-frameworks.pdf
Case study: Internet cutoff in Egypt
- Background on shutdown:
- PBS Newshour Analysis, “How Did Egypt’s Government Halt Internet Access?”, February 16, 2011,http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june11/egypt2_02-16.html
- James Glanz & John Markoff, “Egypt Leaders Found ‘Off’ Switch for Internet, FNew York Times, February 15, 2011,http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/technology/16internet.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all.
- Statements from Vodafone Egypt, http://www.vodafone.com/content/index/media/press_statements/statement_on_egypt.html
- Vodafone Human Rights Policy + FAQ (click through at bottom): http://www.vodafone.com/content/index/about/about_us/privacy/human_rights.html
- Access profiles:
- Access, Telco Hall of Shame: Vodafone, January 29, 2013, https://www.accessnow.org/blog/2013/01/29/hall-of-shame-vodafone
Access, Telco Hall of Shame: France Telecom, January 30, 2013,https://www.accessnow.org/blog/2013/01/30/telco-hall-of-shame-france-telecom-orange
- Human Rights First letters and responses:
- Human Rights First Asks Egyptian Telcos, Internet Service Providers on Service Cut-Off, Press Release, February 3, 2011,http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/02/03/human-rights-first-asks-egyptian-telcos-internet-service-providers-on-service-cut-off/
Meg Roggensack, Learning from Egypt's Internet and Cellphone Shutdown, Human Rights First Blog, January 30, 2012, www.humanrightsfirst.org/2012/01/30/learning-from-egypts-internet-and-cellphone-shutdown
Week 11 (Nov 18) – Where next? (MacKinnon) Are the approaches discussed in the previous week sufficient to get companies to make meaningful human rights commitments and be held accountable to those commitments? This week we will revisit the phenomenon of “transparency reporting” by some U.S. based Internet companies and ask whether the practice can be globalized. We will examine new efforts to get the ICT sector to follow the Guiding Principles with some more ICT-specific guidelines. And we will explore MacKinnon’s new project which is developing a methodology for ranking ICT sector companies on free expression and privacy criteria.
NOTE THIS IS A MAKEUP ON A MONDAY 1:30-3:30pm IN A DIFFERENT ROOM: Tanenbaum 253
- Consent of the Networked, Afterword to the Paperback Edition
- "Apple Issues first Transparency Report," EFF.org, Nov. 7, 2013: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/apples-first-transparency-report-gets-warrant-canaries-right
- Video from last semester’s transparency reporting event at Annenberg:http://cgcsblog.asc.upenn.edu/2013/05/16/video-internet-censorship-surveillance-and-corporate-transparency-with-dorothy-chou/
- European Commission ICT Sector Guide on Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- Ranking Digital Rights project Phase 1 Draft Criteria: https://rankingdigitalrights.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/phase-1-criteria-research-draft-aug12.pdf
Week of Nov 21 - No Class
Week of Nov 24 - No Class (Thanksgiving)
Class 12 (Dec 4 - MAKEUP SLOT AT 1:30PM, Tanenbaum 253) - student presentations
Class 13 (Dec 5 - USUAL TIME AND PLACE) - student presentations
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