168: Globalizing Censorship
Episode 168 features the Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance of global censorship, as Filipino contractors earning minimum wage delete posts in order to satisfy US tech companies who are trying to satisfy European governments. In addition to Maury Shenk, our panel of interlocutors includes David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, and Karen Eltis, Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa. Even if you think that reducing Islamic extremist proselytizing on line is a good idea, I conclude, that’s not likely to be where the debate over online content ends up. Indeed, even today, controls on hate speech are aimed more at tweets that sound like President Trump than at extremist recruiting. Bottom line: no matter how you slice it, the first amendment is in deep trouble.
In other news, I criticize the right half of the blogosphere for not reading the FISA court decision they cite to show that President Obama was spying illegally at the end of his term. Glenn Reynolds, I’m talking about you!
The EU, in a bow to diplomatic reality, will not bother trying to improve the Safe Harbor deal it got from President Obama. Instead, it will try to get President Trump to honor President Obama’s privacy promises. Good luck with that, guys!
Wikimedia’s lawsuit over NSA surveillance has been revived by the court of appeals, and I find myself unable to criticize the ruling. If standing means anything, it seems as though Wikimedia ought to have standing to sue over surveillance; whether Wikimedia should be wasting our contributions on such a misconceived cause is a different question.
Finally, David Sanger, in his characteristic broad-gauge fashion, is able to illuminate a host of cyber statecraft topics: whether the North Koreans are getting better at stopping cyberattacks on their rocket program; how good a job did Macron really did in responding to Russian doxing attempt; and what North Korean hackers are up to in Thailand.