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Date: 
Monday, April 18, 2016
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Accepting Applications 

November 25, 2015 – April 11, 2016 

Course Starts Online: 

April 18, 2016 

Come to Stanford: 

May 31-June 3, 2016 

Fee and Application. 

This course is offered through Worldview Stanford. Worldview Stanford is an innovative Stanford University initiative that creates interdisciplinary learning experiences for professionals to prepare them for the strategic challenges ahead. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION 

What's driving big data? We increasingly live our social, economic, and intellectual lives in the digital realm, enabled by new tools and technologies. These activities generate massive data sets, which in turn refine the tools. How will this co-evolution of technology and data reshape society more broadly? 

Creating new knowledge and value: Big data changes what can be known about the world, transforming science, industries, and culture. It reveals solutions to social problems and allows products and services to be even more targeted. Where will big data create the greatest sources of new understanding and value? 

Shifting power, security, and privacy: The promise of big data is accompanied by perils—in terms of control, privacy, security, reputation, and social and economic disruption. How will we manage these tradeoffs individually and in business, government, and civil society? 

FEATURED EXPERTS 

Learn from a variety of sources and Stanford experts, including: 

Lucy Bernholz, philanthropy, technology, and policy scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society 

Sharad Goel, computational scientist studying politics, media, and social networks 

Margaret Levi, political scientist specializing in governance, trust, and legitimacy 

Jennifer Granick, attorney and director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society 

Michal Kosinski, psychologist and computational scientist studying online and organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business 

Margaret Levi, political scientist specializing in governance, trust, and legitimacy 

John Mitchell, computer scientist, cybersecurity expert, and Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning

 

Big Data

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Date: 
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 to Monday, March 9, 2015
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About the Course

It’s easy to be cynical about government surveillance. In recent years, a parade of Orwellian disclosures have been making headlines. The FBI, for example, is hacking into computers that run anonymizing software. The NSA is vacuuming up domestic phone records. Even local police departments are getting in on the act, tracking cellphone location history and intercepting signals in realtime.

Perhaps 2014 is not quite 1984, though. This course explores how American law facilitates electronic surveillance—but also substantially constrains it. You will learn the legal procedures that police and intelligence agencies have at their disposal, as well as the security and privacy safeguards built into those procedures. The material also provides brief, not-too-geeky technical explanations of some common surveillance methods.

Course Syllabus

I. Introduction
We will begin with a brief overview of how surveillance fits into the American legal system. We will also discuss how surveillance issues can be litigated. 

II. The Basics of Surveillance Law
Next, we will review established police surveillance procedures. Using telephone technology as a simple starting point, we will work through various sorts of data that investigators might seek to access—and the constitutional and statutory safeguards on that data.

III. Applying Surveillance Law to Information Technology
Having learned the basics, we will turn to more modern technologies. We will discuss snooping on email, web browsing, and mobile phone location, as well as hacking into devices.

IV. Compelled Assistance to Law Enforcement
What happens when data is technically protected? In this section, we will talk about the government’s (limited) ability to mandate backdoors and to require decryption.

V. The Structure of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Law
The law that applies to foreign intelligence activities runs parallel to the law that applies to police activities. We will compare the two systems of law and review key distinctions. The section places particular emphasis on Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act,Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, and Executive Order 12333.

VI. Controversial NSA Programs
In the final section, we will review the conduct and legality of controversial National Security Agency programs. We will discuss in detail the domestic phone metadata program, PRISM, and “upstream” Internet monitoring.

Suggested Readings

There is no required textbook for the course. All readings will be provided online.

Several tomes discuss electronic surveillance in detail. For further reading, you might consider Dragnet Nation and No Place to Hide. If you'd like a more lawyerly take, we highly recommend the (free and public) Department of Justice manual on electronic evidence. A number of casebooks also touch on government surveillance, including Computer Crime LawCriminal Procedure: InvestigationInformation Privacy Law, and Internet Law

Much of the best legal writing on electronic surveillance is posted to blogs. You might also take a look at The Volokh ConspiracyLawfare, and Just Security

Keep in mind that this area of law is evolving rapidly. If you encounter an explanation that seems outdated, it probably is. When this material was last offered at Stanford, for example, the law changed multiple times during the course.

Course Format

The class will consist primarily of lectures, each about 5-10 minutes long. There will be occasional assigned quizzes; they are intended to make sure you understand the material and should not be too tricky. You will also be expected to participate in forum discussions.

Instructors

Jonathan Mayer,Stanford University

 

FAQ: 
  • Why are you offering this course? 
    Understanding government surveillance requires a blend of arcane law and computer science; even senior policymakers routinely botch specifics. We want to provide a comprehensive, accurate, and accessible explanation of current practices. Our aim is to raise the level of discourse on government surveillance.

  • What background is expected for enrolling in this course? 
    None! Just be willing to learn some law. And a little computer science.
  • Is the course technically robust against surveillance? 
    It can be! If you’d prefer to follow along without creating an account, you can access the “preview” version of the course. For even greater protection, you can load the preview using the Tor anonymizing network. 
  • Can I suggest material for the course? 
    Absolutely, feedback is very welcome. Please reach out to @jonathanmayer.
  • What areas of law does this course cover? 
    Most of the material draws on the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), theCommunications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). We will also briefly discuss the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Fifth Amendment.
  • Does the course advocate for or against government surveillance? 
    Neither. Course staff have worked with law enforcement agencies and civil liberties groups. Our aim is to present the law as it stands, with the best articulation of competing views. We expect there will be vibrant accompanying discussion. 
  • Why is the best (i.e. the NSA) saved for last? 
    The course begins with police surveillance for several reasons. First, the surrounding law is much better developed—it’s much older, much more transparent, and much more frequently litigated. Second, foreign intelligence law builds upon the framework of police surveillance law; understanding the latter is essential to understanding the former.
  • Is Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit available to attorneys? 
    We're working on it, stay tuned!
  • Will the course include discussion of current events? 
    Definitely. Surveillance practices frequently make headlines; we will share our thoughts throughout the course.
  • What if the law changes during the course? 
    We will post an update. There is a good chance that it will happen.
  • Can I repurpose the course materials? 
    Absolutely. The entire course is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  • Does the course remix work by others? 
    Yes. We have compiled a table of remixed content, with sources and licenses.
  • Can you help me with a legal problem? 
    Course staff are not acting as your lawyers and do not provide legal advice. If you need legal assistance, you should retain an attorney.
Surveillance Law

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Date: 
Monday, January 12, 2015 to Friday, March 20, 2015
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Course topic: 

THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH STANFORD CONTINUING STUDIES.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

This course explores our nation’s founding charter and the seminal Supreme Court cases interpreting it. Using Supreme Court opinions as our guide, we will focus on the Constitution’s basic structure and design, investigating the principles of judicial review, federalism, and separation of powers. After a brief refresher on the American legal and judicial system, we will begin with Chief Justice John Marshall’s foundational opinion in Marbury v. Madison, debating the Supreme Court’s role in reviewing legislative enactments. We will next discuss the executive branch’s role in foreign affairs, including what constitutional protections—if any—detainees held in Guantanamo Bay possess after Boumediene v. Bush. From there, we will explore the commerce clause, focusing on recent challenges to the Affordable Care Act. Together, we will unravel the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, wading into some of the Court’s more controversial pronouncements on race and gender discrimination, abortion rights, and same-sex marriage. Finally, we will examine basic First Amendment principles concerning freedom of speech and religion.

Thanks to the flexibility of the online format, this course can be taken anywhere, anytime— a plus for students who lead busy lives or for whom regular travel to the Stanford campus is not possible. While necessarily structured differently from an on-campus classroom course, this course maintains a similar level of instructor engagement through videos, interactive exercises, and discussion with fellow students, as well as optional online video conferencing sessions.

Tuition Applies.

INSTRUCTOR

Cody S. Harris, Attorney, Keker & Van Nest

Cody S. Harris is an attorney practicing in San Francisco. He previously clerked for the Hon. Judge David S. Tatel on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, and has also served as a Deputy District Attorney in Santa Clara County. He received a JD from Stanford. - See more at: http://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/detail/20142_LAW-200-W#sthash.txCTsJcF.dpuf

Constitutional Law

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Date: 
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 to Tuesday, December 9, 2014
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About the Course

It’s easy to be cynical about government surveillance. In recent years, a parade of Orwellian disclosures have been making headlines. The FBI, for example, is hacking into computers that run anonymizing software. The NSA is vacuuming up domestic phone records. Even local police departments are getting in on the act, tracking cellphone location history and intercepting signals in realtime.

Perhaps 2014 is not quite 1984, though. This course explores how American law facilitates electronic surveillance—but also substantially constrains it. You will learn the legal procedures that police and intelligence agencies have at their disposal, as well as the security and privacy safeguards built into those procedures. The material also provides brief, not-too-geeky technical explanations of some common surveillance methods.

Suggested Readings

There is no required textbook for the course. All readings will be provided online.

Several tomes discuss electronic surveillance in detail. For further reading, you might consider Dragnet Nation and No Place to Hide. If you'd like a more lawyerly take, we highly recommend the (free and public) Department of Justice manual on electronic evidence. A number of casebooks also touch on government surveillance, including Criminal Procedure: InvestigationInformation Privacy Law, and Internet Law

Much of the best legal writing on electronic surveillance is posted to blogs. You might also take a look at The Volokh ConspiracyLawfare, and Just Security

Keep in mind that this area of law is evolving rapidly. If you encounter an explanation that seems outdated, it probably is. When this material was last offered at Stanford, for example, the law changed multiple times during the course.

Course Format

The class will consist primarily of lectures, each about 5-10 minutes long. There will be occasional assigned quizzes; they are intended to make sure you understand the material and should not be too tricky. You will also be expected to participate in forum discussions.

 


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