At Home with EFF: An Online Discussion of COVID-19 and Digital Rights
Is. This the kind of test you need. Hannah. Thanks. So much for watching and participating, and for staying, vigilant in these tough times e. FF. Relies on its members were over half supported. By individuals, and over half of that is from donations of less than $1,000. So, it's because of you that we can stand tall and in, the last few weeks our membership, support is meant we could we've been able to pivot and focus our attention, on this new crisis, both, celebrating, the good ideas and communities, that, are arising online, and standing, vigilant, against those who would use this crisis, to undermine our rights. So. Now more than ever your financial, support means, that we can be on patrol then, we can stand up for what's right so if you have the ability I hope you will join with us by, giving your financial, support and if, you are already a member I hope you take this opportunity, to double down on freedom. If. You're. An e FF member or you want to renew or double down go, to EFS org slash join is. That. The right URL. As we. Head further into these difficult, times GFF is standing strong to make sure that we both take advantage, of how technology can help us now and equally. Importantly, ensure, that we emerge from this time with our freedom and democracy as, strong, if not stronger, than when we went in, experience. Teaches, us that civil liberties are at their most crucial and most vulnerable in times of crisis and now, is no different this. Is when EF ever doubles our commitment, to protecting your privacy, your free speech and your innovation, for all EF. FS 30 years old, we're proven ready and strong and with the support of members new and old we'll be there with you every step of the way thanks. Again for joining us and see you next time. You. Thanks. Everybody for listening to my little practice session talk to you all alive in a few. You. Hi. Everybody welcome and. Thanks. For joining us my, name is Cindy Cohen and I'm the executive.
Director Of the Electronic, Frontier Foundation um, thank. You so much you're at. Home with the FF and. Tonight, we're gonna be talking about the Cova 19 crisis, and your digital rights. If, you have questions, please put, them in the twitch TV, chat that's where my team will be monitoring, the chat and can get the questions to me, and. Others so that we can get them answered that's um twitch.tv. Slash. E FF live one, word EF f live we'll. Get to them as we go and, also if you look in the twitch chat you can see the link for the closed captioning, we're gonna be closed captioning, this event we want everybody to be able to hear it so. We will post that link there, periodically. So that if you want, the closed captioning, you've got easy access to it. So. This. Is an experiment, thank, you so much for for coming along with us at like I like all of us were we're, working hard to find ways to keep, in touch and more importantly to keep you informed about, your digital rights in this strange, new timeline we find ourselves in. So. I. Hope, you'll you'll, join us in the spirit of adventure here. This. Is a scary time but I think we can take a time together and, learn a lot and think a lot and go out of this stronger. So. Tonight. We're gonna have three segments, we're gonna talk about the opportunities, created by the coab in nineteen crisis, we're. Gonna talk about some of our bigger worries, about the crisis, and in between, we're gonna have some trivia so it's gonna be hopefully fun and informative, and. I hope you'll enjoy it um before. We get to the Cova 19 thing I want to make two starter. Points, first. I want, to note that one of our oldest, fights the one for your basic ability, to have a private conversation online. Is, happening. Right now and it's happening hot in our Congress, just. As everyone, in the world is. Holding. Extremely, private confidential, and, sensitive conversations. Online since, we can't be together physically. A, bill, in Congress called, the ernit Act threatens, to create an internet where, everything. We say online will, be read by government. Scanning, software. Now. To be clear this bill which is sponsored by senators, Graham and Blumenthal. Existed. Before the Koba 19 crisis, but. I think that the, increasing. Amount that all of us are relying on our digital networks, for basic, communication. Should. Give, us all pause before, we start trying to undermine the security of it and. And. That's exactly what this bill would do. Basically. The. Companies. That handle, your, messages, wouldn't, be allowed to securely, encrypt, them if this bill passes because, if they do they, lose the legal protections, that allow them to operate now. Ultimately while, this bill presents itself as a sheep that it's only presenting. Best. Practices, there, is no question that this bill is a wolf a wolf. With the goal of preventing, you from having a, private conversation online, and, right. Now when. We're all worried, about governmental. Cyberattacks, and political, malware, and personal, spouse we're all the way from from. The home all the way up to the. Issues of straight craft we are suffering from the lack of security online, this. Bill would actually make you even. Less secure. Really. Oh. And. It's unconstitutional, so. If it passes we're, gonna unleash EFS, litigators, on it but honestly we've all got better things to do let's just not do the dumb thing rather than have the dumb thing happen and we have to sue to stop it so. On its face the ernit Act would create a 19, person, Commission that's controlled, by the Attorney General and law enforcement, and it's, supposed to set best practices. For those who host or carry the speech of others any. Host who doesn't comply with these best practices. Will. Be, held legally responsible for. The content, of all the message that flow through, that, they host that flow through their systems, in. Lawyers, speak the, bill would remove CDA, 230s, protections, against civil, liability, for anyone, who doesn't implement, the so-called best practices, the, Commission is stacked with encryption haters, who.
Are Already on the record is intending, to use the law to, require this, kind of mass screening and elimination. Of end-to-end encryption, as my. Colleague Joe Mullen wrote recently you. Can't have an Internet where messages are screened on mass and also. Have n to end encryption any, more than you can build a backdoor, that. Can only be used by the good guys and not by the bad guys in both, cases the two are mutually exclusive but. Congress seems to be doubling down on bad ideas, these days. We. Need to tell Congress don't, fall for the sheepy clothing, this. Bill is aimed, at our privacy, and our security you, can go to act AFF. Gorg the. E FF Action, Center and send the message loud and clear tell. Congress, that we need a secure and private, internet now more, than ever and. And. Reject. And to reject the, ernit Act also known as the graham Blumenthal. Bill so you can see our action Center their act on EFS org it's easy to go there please, take a moment send the message tell your friends, encryption. Is one of those geeky things that EF f members understand, pretty deeply but a lot of other people don't but they need security and privacy just as much as those, who understand, technology and. And you know support the F F do, so, make sure that your friends know about this it's it's there's a lot going on right now and we don't want this bill to slide in in the confusion. So. Second I want, to talk about the elephant in the room zoom, as you. Can see we're using zoom for this event and we're. Also streaming it on Twitch on Facebook, and on YouTube just so. There's no confusion EF. F uses, many, tools but, we do not endorse any, this. Has been true for 30 years and it's, not about to change so. What. We're seeing right now with zoom is interesting, for those of us who digital, security we're, seeing in real time what happens, when, security. Experts, took a close. Look at a sufficiently. Complicated tool, bugs. Security. Flowers all everywhere. You look now. As a, society, I think we should embrace those who are telling us the truth about the security flaws and also, work hard to close. Them but. Also this. Could give somebody a competitive. Edge we need people, to be racing, to try to make better tools so. For, e FF choosing, to use zoom for this is a reasonable, choice given, the lack of equivalent, services, and our need to keep connected, with you and everybody right now. We. Urge doom to do better and especially, to increase their transparency, about what they're doing right now but. We've seen that their recent responses, and updates are at least encouraging. They're certainly starting to say some of the right things but. You know we're e FF we don't just take what you say we're gonna watch and we're gonna see what they actually do, and.
We're, Gonna continue to keep the pressure on them so whether you're looking on Twitch which is an Amazon company Facebook, or YouTube or, zoom you. Can go on the FF website we hold them all to the same standards, of being reliable the, tools that we use are the tools we think will reach you best they're, not an endorsement. So. Next. But. Let's. Just not stop there you, know many, people who are FF members you're the kind of people who can build better systems so, please, beat. The pants off them build a better system build, one that's user friendly, that's reliable the, scalable, and that has better privacy, and security concessions. What. We need to do right now is we need to launch the race to the top so I say race to the top engage. But. Now back, to our scheduled program, PFF. And its members work to ensure that technology. Supports. Freedom, justice, and innovation, for all the people of the world the. Cova 19 pandemic, has made obvious, how important, the internet and digital tools are to our lives and how vital it is that, we maintain an, open and secure approach, to them so as I said in the beginning are. Thinking, about code 19, kind of has two main parts first, we think about the, opportunities. That could be presented. Here to make the world better and and. How, digital technology, could help us solve some of these problems or at least make them better but. We also are very very. Worried we're very aware that, times, of crisis, often create, situations. That are where. We, don't use, the kind of careful. Thinking we do about the things that we deploy so, tonight, we're gonna focus a little on both of those but I want to talk. A little bit about both of them first first. On the, opportunity. Side my colleagues, Elliot Harmon and Corey are gonna do, a deeper dive in a moment but, really we've seen an explosion, of creativity online. For, those of us living under quarantine shelter. And place orders or just staying home voluntarily, to help protect our communities, we. Now rely on the internet and digital tools more, than ever we're sharing information and advice we're. Creating art and hilarious. And often. Awesome, memes or listening, to our famous favorite, musicians, perform, live in their living rooms um. And. We're using it to feel less alone, we. Are seeing now in real time how technology. Can, help us cope with the. Loss of in-person contact. Many, others, are using digital, tools to organize mutual, aid for their neighborhoods and communities, in this time of crisis, and to, support those who have fallen ill and their loved ones that's, the opportunity we, see here and and, and it's exciting. As. Elliot. And Corey are gonna drill down a little deeper, thanks, to open acces science, scientific, and medical teams are able to instantly, share their work and build on efforts to track this virus.
Study, Its effect on people and develop further tests, and potentially, also a vaccine. Others. Are developing, ways to create and repair vital medical equipment, using open tools we're, coming together online, now in new and creative ways, in. Some. Ways the, explosion, of open creativity, online to keep us connected and saying during these scary times is really one of the bright side, spots. And what is otherwise a pretty dark time, but. Especially in the United States it, also shows, how this crisis, disproportionately. Impacts. Those who are already marginalized in, our society, the. Unsheltered, those. Who cannot afford or, access, reliable, broadband, services, to. Continue their school or their work the. Consultants, and retail workers who have little reserves, and all, of those falling, through our frayed social, safety. Net, innovation. Is needed here too like, ensuring, that robust, broadband, access is, available and, works for everyone it's. Not just for the wealthy it is something we all need and shouldn't, be dependent, on the temporary, largesse, of a couple giant companies, so. We're pushing hard for that at efo and. Now, on the ungood, side which. My colleague Saira hussain will tell us about in the third segment of our show we. Know that, the virus requires. Us to, take. Steps, that would be unthinkable in, normal, times. Staying. Inside, limiting. Public gatherings, and cooperating, with medically, needed attempts, to track and treat the virus our when approached properly, reasonable. And responsible things, to do but. We must be as vigilant as we are thoughtful, we, must be sure that measures, taken in the name of responding. To the Cova 19 crisis, are in. The language of international human, rights law, necessary. And proportionate. To the needs of society and, fighting the virus, above. All we. Need to make sure that these measures, end. We. Also must ensure that the data collected, for these purposes, is not repurposed. For either governmental. Or commercial, ends we've seen all of those happen, in the past due, to societal. Panic and a, lack of will we, need to double, commit. That we will not do it this time. So, while we all recognize, the needs we. Also see that this moment brings an old familiar risk, that. Forces, that seek to limit our rights and freedoms we'll take advantage of this situation to, put in place more surveillance of us limit. Transparency. And set, in place new norms, that will reduce our civil liberties, this. Is because we know the times of great public fear come, with great public risk. Public. Fear has driven some of the worst human rights atrocities and, given opportunities. For those who would seek power from us and reduce. Or even erase, our hard-won. Human, rights and civil liberties. Already. We've seen efforts to use this public health crisis, as an excuse to place a rational, blame, on our, Asian communities, and direct, even more pressure and discrimination, against, refugees and immigrants, we, also see calls from. Companies seeking to cash in on this crisis, for. Unchecked, space surveillance social. Media monitoring, and other efforts far beyond what medicine, or epidemiology. Require, so. When fear threatens, to undermine, our rights and pervert justice. That's where EF F and you come. In as. We. Head further, into these difficult, times, EF. F is standing, strong to make sure that we both take advantage, of how technology, can help us now and. Equally. Importantly that we emerge from this time with our freedom and our democracy as strong if not stronger, than when we went in because. We at EF F have a committed membership, people, like you as our, primary support, we are able to pivot our. Attention, to these issues even as we continue our ongoing fights. Our, lawyers are scrutinizing, proposed, laws and regulation, and corporate privacy, moves especially. The, growing and concerning, raft of joint, corporate, government, surveillance efforts, our, technologists. Are digging into the digital tools we rely on during, this crisis, to make sure that your privacy and security are protected, and we're, pushing to lower artificial, barriers to information sharing, and working, to make sure that access to knowledge is one of the things we keep as we emerge these times and more, so. We have an issue page dedicated to, our Cova 19 focused, work and we're, going to continue to highlight efforts, there as well, as publish, little things that can help you along on the way like how how. To avoid Cova 19 phishing, attempts, and show, your EF f support, as we head into our 30th year of standing, strong for your rights so.
Thank. You very much for listening if you joined late where, at home with the FF talking, about the Cova 19 crisis, and if, you have questions please write them into the twitch TV chat, that's twitch.tv. Slash. PFF, live and, also. In there is in the twitch chat is the link to the closed captioning, version of that if that helps you. So. Next up let's. Take a deeper dive into the opportunities we're, seeing as a result of the Cova 19 crisis. With EFS activism, director, Elliot, Harmon in conversation. With EF f special, advisor Cory, Doctorow. Thank. You so much Cindy. As, Cindy said my name is Elliot, Harmon I am the activism director, here at EF F, and. I'm here with Cory Doctorow who, among, other things is, a special, advisor TFS, hi Cory hi, Elliot, how are you doing washing your hands i I just did, before this I hear. I hear, that this is the third online. Conference, that you've spoken at today oh yeah, and I've been high-fiving, the camera the whole time so I've been washing my hands too. So. I like. The way that Cindy started this discussion by, saying, that we're here to talk about the opportunity, is and we're also here to talk about the threats, and. And and I guess you and I are here to talk about the opportunities, but I think we're probably going to be talking a little bit about both. The. Way that I see it what we're really here to talk about is, the. Potential, of the Internet, as a place for cooperation. A place for knowledge sharing, and. I think over the past four weeks we've. Seen examples, of the Internet at its best as a tool for knowledge. Sharing and, we've also seen it at its worst we've also seen, the. The. Old culprits. Of creating, friction to, cooperation. And sharing online, rearing. Their heads at the worst possible time. But. On the side of sharing, at its best we've, seen as, Cindy, mentioned. Open. Access research, kind of taking on a new urgency, and, a new, vibrancy. With. These big commercial. Academic. Publishers, often, are enemies, in the fight for open access stepping. Up and doing the right thing and sharing, widely, the. The papers that will. Be most useful to, people trying to fight kovat 19 of course, we hope that we see that as the foundation. On which to build more progress, once we get out of this. We've. Also seen. Medical. Professionals, sharing. Information with each other in real time sharing, information. About. How to repair, medical devices. Which, of course brings, us to the worst is bad, actors, using. Copyright. And other tools in, order to stop, that knowledge, sharing why. Don't you lead, us into that a bit tell us about right. To repair and why it's important, and what, it means right now sure. Well you know to give you a little background on right to repair it's kind of a weird idea because, it implies that you don't have the right to repair your stuff now and it's, not like Congress ever passed a law that said you know having. Bought a thing from a manufacturer. You have to promise that manufacturer. You won't fix it or that you'll only have let them fix it not quite the opposite Congress passed a law that said you buy a thing for a manufacturer, you can get it fixed by an independent repair store and they can't void your warranty because, you know there, is an interest in being able to fix your own stuff but. As industry, has gotten more concentrated, as firms have got bigger as they've had more, money to kick around on weird socially, useless projects, one. Of those socially, useless projects has been figuring, out sneaky, ways of expanding copyright. Patent, trade secrecy, and other, laws that are really not about repair. To. Make it so that you have to get your stuff fixed by then and them using. Their parts and also, like throwing, their stuff away when they decide it's not fixable anymore and they want you to go and buy another one and so. These. Laws can take and tactics, can take all kinds of different shapes the, one that I work on the most is, related. To section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, that's a law that Bill Clinton signed into, into, being in 1998. Primarily. As a way to make sure that you didn't like D regionalize, you're a DVD, player and watch European, DVDs, in America, before they've been released here. And that, law has been repurposed by manufacturers. To say if you, repair, a device and that device, has, a lock, that stops, it from recognizing. The repair like say you put, a part in a phone or a car and that part. Doesn't, talk. To the engine until you've given it an unlock code to say I am an authorized technician, and I just, did this repair and I'm not just the person who owns it or a third party repairer, then.
Bypassing, That lock under the DMCA is, a crime in fact giving, someone a tool to bypass that lock is. A potential, felony, punishable, by a five year prison sentence, and a five hundred thousand dollar fine we're actually suing, the US government, on behalf, of a cup of clients bunny Wang and Matthew Green to overturn this but, in the meantime you. Know the people who fought hardest, for right to repair have, been farmers, because farmers, have this you know funny thing they've got to make hay while the Sun shines right, if your tractor breaks and there's a hailstorm, coming that's gonna destroy your crops or, you things, are ripe and they need to come in or whatever it is um, you, need to fix your tractor now not. Fix your tractor now and then wait up to 72 hours for a John Deere to send a technician out to collect, $200, from you and type an unlock code into your keyboard which is the status, quo and. So you know these days we're basically all farmers, right we are all sitting. At the end of a lonely country road with. No one around to help us because all the places we would go to get our help they've shut down and, all the supply chains we would use to get the regular parts, they've shut down too and and. So right repairs become very urgent, especially, for doctors, who you know you talk about the urgency of bringing in the crops before the before. The the hailstorm comes, the urgency of fixing the ventilator, before your patient stops breathing that's, a pretty white-hot, emergency. And the idea that you can only do that if it doesn't make the shareholders, of a distant manufacturer, sad well, that's just pretty gross and so right to repair has become very salient, this moment um. So let's talk a little bit about what, happened, in Italy, with. With the the ventilator, parts, that people were sharing, information about this. Is one of those like feel good then feel bad then feel uh uh stories, so. The feel good part is there's a busted ventilator, obviously. In Italy they need all the ventilators, they can get the, part was and available the, docs in the hospital, called the local 3d printing outfit or, that you know they made contact with the makerspace made contact with the 3d printing outfit they showed up with their printer measured, the part figured it out printed, it out on the spot got it working tested, it the. Patient lived the device is still working as far as anyone knows the feel bad part is that depending, on which of the three people involved you ask.
The. Company, either just, refused, flat-out, to help in any way or, threaten to sue them for patent infringement or the third guys not talking so, I either. None, of those are a great look you know the the very minimum we would expect from a firm you, know even under the best of circumstances if. You bought a thing from them is to help you keep it running but especially an emergency, that they would go the extra mile, to, help. Independent. Repairers affecting, field expedient repairs, on the ground in a matter of life or death to, give them all the information they need I mean one of the skeptical, things that people quite rightly ask is like what, if this part doesn't work that's a great question because if the part doesn't work someone might die well. How do we make sure the part works the, the best way we can think of to make sure that part works if you can't actually get the part from the manufacturer, is for, the manufacturer, to do everything, they can to, help the independent, repairers, got, that and. We would it would be great if all of these med tech firms. That whose field, material. Is out of the field and experienced. In mechanical failures we're, just preemptively publishing. Shapefiles and everything, else that the independent. Repair sector needed to, keep this stuff running well the supply chains are hobbled. I I. Feel, the need to interject here, that of course, you and I are not doctors, we're. Not medical, professionals at all we, have we have no way of evaluating. The. Quality of, these, diagrams, that people were sharing with each other. The. Way that I sort of think about it it's, like yes, medical, professionals. Should be the one making those assessments, absolutely. And not, copyright. Lawyers right and not whoever, wrote the Terms of Service Agreement, well. And you know like this is this is not a an, unusual. Circumstance like the urgency, and the widespread Ness and the you. Know the salience, of it is higher than ever, but hospitals. Are full of mechanical, things that and electronic, things that break down all the time and sometimes, there isn't time for people to come and do the official repair doctors. Engineers medical, technicians, they, do this kind of thing all the time and, they're. The ones who should be making that call and you, know sometimes it isn't safe right like sometimes it is not the best thing that you could possibly do sometimes the best thing you could do is get in a time machine go.
Back A week earlier or an order the part that just broke but in the absence of that time machine this second, best thing which is keeping, someone alive using ingenuity, and field expedient repair, that's, the right thing to do and the person who makes that call should, be the person who is at the coalface at the patient's bed who, knows. And appreciates the, consequences, and has, experience, with the equipment mm-hmm. Um. This might be a good time, to turn a little bit to talking about patents. Which. Have also if. There is ever a good time to talk about patents. One. Of the the, weirdest, stories. To come out of this entire crisis. Is. About this patent troll called Labrador. Diagnostics. That. Was suing, a company that made and distributed kovat, 19 tests, now, Labrador, Diagnostics. Despite, its name is not a practicing, company, it does not do, anything. But, one, of the weird thing is about this story is where the patents, actually, came from which. Is if people, remember Thera knows that weird scammy, fake. Blood, testing, company, that went under and now, i think is being investigated. By the SEC for, fraud, it was the Pharos patents, that have now become this. Weapon, being wielded, against, the people who are actually trying, to fight covert 19 yeah. You, know it is it's, like a. Matryoshka. Of terrible. You know where each layer has got another one so you know start with like a grifter. Who pretends, to invented, a blood. Testing machine then, go to the US Patent and Trademark Office, granting. A patent on a thing that doesn't exist and that they don't know how to make and then, to Softbank, the, company that brought you hoover and we work. This entire. Patent, troll division, let me get their name for you oh they're called the fortress, Investment Group, fortress. Investment Group spins, out this sub company, called. Labrador. Labrador. Then, goes after bio fire who actually, make a co bid test and Sue's. Them or. Threatens to sue them for for. Patent infringement on, these garbage, patents, granted to this con, artist, that. Who, sold her patents, to these you, know financial. Engineers. Who are busily. Destroying, the world one bad tech company at a time and and, and you know you you, add it all up together and then you get the fact that after, the story broke their. Lawyers tried to spin that they were just, that. That they had. Offered. A royalty-free license. To this technology, and there was no problem except they weren't law, furring a loyalty, free license to the part of the technology, that, this, company that made the test was using and. There were also all the other possible, companies that might come into existence that would make tests because it seems pretty unlikely that the very best test you could possibly make would, be invented, by the first person to make one so, yeah it's, just it's just a whole, mess of terrible, to. Me it's such a kind, of perfect like reverse, image, of the, way that the patent system is supposed to work like when, you strip it down to everything else patents are supposed, to be about knowledge sharing, like the idea is you. Have created this invention, that is useful, to society it's. More beneficial. To society, if you share that information with the world about how that invention works so, we create this legal incentive, for you to share that information with the world this, is the exact opposite, it's an invention that didn't work in the first place that was kind of the center of this entire fraud. And. Now, this this patent, is being. Used not, for for, pairing knowledge or or for for. Incentivizing. Innovation, but, for the exact opposite, it's being used against. The people, who are who are trying to fight kovat 19 you. Know there's. This progress clause, in the Constitution, you know Congress is allowed to grant exclusive rights, for the promote the progress of the useful arts and sciences that's the basis of these these regimes and you, know here you have someone who's engaged in the most socially, useless thing you can imagine right a company whose sole product is lawsuits, soon, a company, whose sole product is helping. Us figure out if we have Corona by crest. This. Does not seem like it's promoting the useful Arts and Sciences, may be full employment for patent, lawyers. There's. Now, I do want to kind of before we turn to questions, I want to end this on a little bit of a hopeful note which. Is there, is something that the. That, the public can, do, right now, about. Patent, of you steering kovat nineteen i co-wrote. A blog post with, our colleague alex moss about this maybe maybe somebody can put it into the chat there. Is a law that, lets the government essentially, step, in and license. An invention to others. So. The government, could step in and say, okay. Now we are granting, a license, to the. The the, fairness, patents. To. The public for the purposes, of fighting, Ovid 19.
The. Owner Labrador. Diagnostics, would still be able to sue but they'd be suing the government instead, of suing, the. The. Company. Is creating, Ovid 19 tests yeah. You know in Canada where I'm from Parliament's, at really early in this emergency, and passed a an, act that. Effectively. Nationalizes. Patents related to kovat including for PPE and and other related, systems. Where, they create a compulsory license regime that sets a price the. Government collects that money and disperses, it to the patent holders but the patent holders don't get to pick and choose right, if you've got a cool. Idea that. Would save lives and, get equipment. Into people's hands you just get to execute on that idea and there's a price schedule you pay the price you get your stuff Costa, Rica has petitioned, the World Intellectual Property Organization, which is a specialized, UN body but I was a delegate, to for a while for EF F has, petitioned them to make this the global norm. There's. A proposal that, I'm a big fan of called, the open Kovan pledge. That. That protects. Folks working. On fighting kovat 19, against. Any kind of IP enforcement, be a copywriter patents or whatever it is until. It's, been a year. After. The. WH, o is stops calling it a pandemic and just to be clear it's not that a year later they get to sue you it's that you get a you you are immunized, from liability for, the duration of the emergency and then twelve months more exactly. I would like to see governments, and other funders of research start. Making something, like the open Kovac condition. Of funding yeah, I let's, turn to some questions cuz we just have about 12, more minutes before we get to the break the, first question is from IRS's, Bay, and. It is should we be equipping, every. Hospital, in the world especially, in the developing world with. 3d printers so they can print the equipment, they need in real time so. Look I love, 3d printers I wrote a book about 3d printers I am all over 3d, printers I have to say they aren't like, there. They're cool but they're not the ones doing the workhorse work. In these in this situation, you. Know laser cutters, might be better that that's, where you're seeing like really, high speed, high-volume. Manufacturing. And. Unlike, 3d printers laser cutters need. Some, pretty heavy-duty ventilation, and stuff and. But. I don't, think that it's the worst thing at all to imagine small-scale, manufacturing. Migrating. To all kinds of places you, know it's a there. Are lots of places that have machine shops in the basement that, aren't that aren't manufacturers. That are just places that have equipment that needs to run you know I used, to work for. Imagineering. And there are there's you, know shops that Disney, keeps on-site at the theme parks to fix their rides because of course they do I mean they're, amazing rides and they have to be in good repair you, know so yeah I definitely, think we should see lots of, small. Scale manufacturing equipment, machining, equipment and so on spread. More widely and. I'm hospitals, already have you know repair shops. Here's. A question from curve summit, which. Is do, we need to think about hospital. Software. And interoperability. As well as hardware, and. Then you know what, what's that mean for free and open source software yeah. You know I I have. Spoken. To. Medical audiences, about this, a specific, question, about whether free and open-source software should. Be mandatory for a hospital and I would say like look, if you. Asked, a firm of engineers to build you a hospital. And you know like most modern hospitals, you had a great sweeping. Atrium, for your entryway and the firm of engineer said we are gonna build you a really good atrium, but, we're not gonna tell you like we're in the walls the wiring, is we're not gonna give you an as-built diagram, and we won't reveal the math we use to make sure the ceiling doesn't fall down because, that's our proprietary. Advantage, and if we let you know that stuff then, we wouldn't make as much money like they would be lying right you definitely, would make more money if you had proprietary, math that work better than your competitors math but, as a hospital administrator you shouldn't buy that hospital, and.
As We learned during the ransomware epidemics, if you have a hospital whose. Software stops, working you don't have a hospital anymore I do you have a place where people just go to die right. And so I. Do. Think, that at a very at the very minimum the people, who run and own the hospital should. Be able to scrutinize audit. And improve. Their software in the same way that they shouldn't have to like call. The firm of architects over if they want to change the signs or knock. Out a wall. And. You know I'm not under, any illusions. That that will make the software work right you could you could have open source software that's bad, but, I think that it's a big stretch to say that the software gets better if, you. Don't have to show your work and expose, any dumb mistakes you might have made to, your customers, you know at the very least this, affords, the opportunity which may or may not be seized upon to. Audit, and hold to account firms, that do bad or substandard work. Here's. An interesting question which, is how, do we make sure that. Those who are temporarily. Relaxing. Their DRM, / copyright restrictions. During this crisis, aren't. Simply reputation. Laundering, and then proceed to go back to business as usual well. I don't know that we can make sure of it III think that like with a lot of the questions that are awry out of this emergency, in which restrictions. That we had grown accustomed to are being suspended, whether that's liquid bands on airplanes, or data, caps for ISPs. Or restrictions. On on, how, copyrighted. Works are used or how. You can, interact with software and other tools on your computer, that. At. The very least what comes out of this is our ability to say you. Told us before that you had to do this at the sky would fall then. There was an emergency and you didn't do it anymore and the sky didn't fall can, we talk about why you're really doing it like maybe you even believe the sky would fall can, we adjust your priors now because, the sky didn't fall let's let's figure it out um some. Companies are doing this not, because their mustache twirling villains, but because they think it's an existential issue, others. Are doing it because it's a smoke screen either way. Having. Evidence in hand instead, of a hypothetical, discussion about what might happen is, you're, gonna help us to the extent that we are on the side of right and I think the evidence has been that we are to. Me this question makes me think about the little. Controversy. That there was over, Gilead and and, its patents on REM. Des aveer which is one of the experimental. Drugs that people are talking about a lot and. You. Know ultimately Gilead. Backed away from, from, requesting, the, Orphan Drug status, for its patent. Which. Is good. It it, it's not good for, for. Us to rely on you. Know PR, crises, as. The. Way to make progress, and. I think that you know these are the hard questions, that we should be asking as we're thinking about reform.
Going Forward you, know Albert. Camus quote, right sometimes you execute, an admiral to encourage, the others right you, know the lesson of Gilead may be taken to heart by, all the you, know shkreli, esque patent. Trolls out there who are you know are. Twittering, their moustaches, and thinking, about how they can jack, up prices on life-saving, drugs in this moment of global. Crisis, and. And, maybe make them reconsider, the kind of reputational, damage that will be inflicted on them yeah, here's, a question from eggs, biscuits, which is do you think there will ever be. They do not pay equivalent. For patent trolls to, automatically, shut them down on smaller cases or is that impractical. You know I I've, wondered about this that you know this is a question that like really lawyers, should be answering, and so I'm gonna be really careful here but, it strikes me that the core, of the troll problem is that. It's. A collective action problem, right if you've got a patent troll that's going around and shaking down a bunch. Of little sites so like there was a there was a troll, who was who asserted a patent on video, streaming right, this what we're doing now who started off by going to tiny little porn sites back before they were all consolidated. And saying I want a hundred bucks from you for a license and a hundred bucks is cheaper than it would cost to ask a lawyer right, and so then they collected a bunch of these hundred dollars and they stuck them in the bank but more importantly, what they did was they shirt heads are going to larger site and saying, I have. A thousand, of your competitors, who just paid for a license to my patent how much do you want a bet a court will find that it's valid I want a thousand bucks from you right then they racked up some thousand dollar license, fees and then they started going after bigger and bigger broadcasters, now the reality is that of, all of those companies or even a substantial, portion of those companies had gotten together and said.
None. Of us will pay if we all agree that we will give that hundred dollars or a thousand, dollars of ten thousand dollars to a firm of really good white shoe lawyers to, sue these guys into, a smoking, hole well. Then it wouldn't have been worth the, while of the patent troll to shake people down in fact if there was like a fund somewhere, where. You you know when you googled what do I do this patent troll is shaking me down the, first link was we're, being shaken down by this patent troll and we have all agreed that if he ever sues us we'll, come back to him and and, sue and you know and and and fight this patent and get it invalidated, well, then you know the, patent troll like the harder they push the, harder the more people there would be joining, this pool of people willing to pay to litigate, their patent I called. It the Magnificent, 7 business model you know after that movie where, you have the people who live in the sleepy town and every year the Bandidos come in and they demand tribute, and one, year they're like you know what's cheaper than tribute hiring, seven totally badass mercenaries. To just kill these bandits, and they do it and they win you know Gil Brenner it was great. And and so you know for, me I wonder, if there isn't a way to use these, threshold, things like Kickstarter where, no, one has to pay any money until everyone agrees but once everyone agrees everyone pays in as a, way to. Create. This like pre-emptive. Defense right, to show, that the harder they push the more they'll get pushed back and and, basically, end rolling and this the sociable useless practice, I mean, I wrote about this 10 years ago no one's done it since so it, may be that there are that. There are hidden problems, with it that I'm not seeing but you. Know III think that might be at least one way out it, is inspiring, when people do stand up to trolls. Some. People watching this might be familiar with the story of a patent troll called my health which. We've we've, gotten. Quite a bit of mileage out of them over the years we gave them our stupid patent of the month award a couple of years ago you. Know this is a a, patent, on, the. Idea, of a doctor diagnosing. A patient remotely. That. Are. Utterly, routine, practices. In telehealth, and they, just went through and demanded, licensing, fees from all of the different telehealth, companies. Until. One, of them finally did fight back and it was this this guy in Nebraska, named justice Dekker who ran this small, telehealth, company. And. Like, the, my health patent is interesting. In the context, of the Cova 19 discussion, too because it's an example of, how we're. Not just, talking, about pharmaceutical. Patents here we're. Talking about a whole kind, of ecosystem. That, can be. That. Can have a pretty big wrench thrown into it by a bad actor with a patent, yeah, I mean if there's one thing we're learning from the from the pandemic it's, just how many moving parts there are in a supply chain that that you know getting food, onto your table is not a matter of merely keeping the grocery stores open, right you also, have to keep the deliberate, arisen you need to get the agricultural. Workers and the Packers and the you, know like like all of the people in between and so when we talk about what. We're going to need to do to and your supply chains of life-saving, equipment, the. Things that will keep our children's education going. You. Know the provision of health, and. So on you. Know it's important to not just narrowly construe, this as dumb. Ther knows patents on on a, diagnostic. Tech but you know the the entire scale of things that, serve, the. Emergency, response. We. Have just a minute before we we, go to the next segment, but I have one last question for, you which is when, is your book coming out and when are you when are you coming to our town oh my. Goodness well I have three, books coming out in 2020, because I picked a great year to have three books coming out but.
The First one is a reissue, of little brother and homeland from tor books that's, coming out on July the 7th and it has a new introduction by Edward Snowden and then, a week later on July the 14th, my first picture book Posey the monster slayer comes out a little girl who's like a maker and really. Into monsters, and at night she refuses to go to bed because it's more fun to tear, apart her super girly toys and turn them into fuel expedia monster killing weapons and. And then. The third book I've got out is the third little brother book which is a book for adults called. A tack surface, that we just, finished recording the audio book for yesterday, with, amber Benson from Buffy and and sky boat media we were all zoomed into a, collective. Session while amber read in her basement studio, and, it's. About Masha who appears at the beginning in the end of the little brother books and who is a surveillance contractor. Who in this book has. To have a reckoning, with the life choices that she's made to make technology that, takes away people's freedom. Thanks, a lot for joining me in this discussion Cory have really enjoy. You. Too used to assistive, okay. Now I think we're gonna turn it over to, Cooper. Cyber, tiger, Quinton, who. Is going to lead us in a little bit of trivia. Hello. Hi. Cooper hi. Elliott and, indeed, I have gonna leave you all some trivia. Let. Me get, my screen sharing going and there, we are. So. Hello everybody I hope. You've all been, enjoying. The, excellent, talks so far I'm. Going to leave in just a quick round of trivia this. Is a small, version of the tech trivia event that, we do every year as an EFS fundraiser in San Francisco and Def Con we'll. Be doing it this year at some point later in the year it has been postponed for now but, if you are in the Bay Area definitely. Please come check it out, it's a really fun time and, I now, know. How the all, the late night hosts feel doing. Their shows from their houses without any audience, to laugh at them because normally, I tell. A lot of jokes and, get really involved and it's fun and ask everybody how they're doing and I feel. Like that's gonna follow a little bit flat here just talking to my screen or at least it feels really awkward so, but. Enough with that let's get into the trivia a. Couple, of rules please don't google the answers, just. Because it's no fun that, way and, also you shouldn't. Be able to Google this first round hopefully. Secondly. If you do know the answer go ahead and type. It in the twitch chat, you. Will win nothing, other than a hearty, pat on the back from everybody else in the twitch chat if you get first but. We're. Not here to Wayne we're here to have fun so, yes, DuckDuckGo, the, answers not Google, the answers that's what I meant I met duck the answer is it was a typo. Okay. So. So. The, first round is named, the surveillance company we'll. Have five questions here I'm gonna show you the emojis and you, have to name the surveillance company that these emojis, represent, so. This first one is kind of a softball, if, you know the answer go ahead and type it in chat and somebody. Yep somebody already got it right it looks like the runner on got it right with ring, that's. Correct Amazon's, ring maker of cameras, we have a lot of particles. Of about them next, one. What, is this surveillance company this. One's a little bit harder. Give. It a little harder now but if you sound it out I, think that it shouldn't be too. Hard to figure it out. Too. Bad duck duck goes into burden yeah it's I mean you could duck things I feel, like I feel, like we can make that happen go go, duck that you know that's that shouldn't. Be too hard to do right we just have to start saying it over and over and over again. Yeah. You got a. False. Mirror wins it is Palantir, indeed. Next. One this. One's a little harder once again. So. Yeah. Congratulations, looks. Like a lot of people guide at the same time well Barbara sure, site false mirror, Mary. Very well no. Biscuits, oh yeah. Okay, good job. The runner, on and flex libras got it roughly about the same time again that one this one is indeed clear, the ua i next. One. So. I'm actually really. Annoyed, I didn't come up with these questions. Somebody. Else did and they're. Fantastic questions. I think I'm gonna have to come, up with some new ones for. When. For. When we do the tech trivia in person. So. So. Let's see if anybody got this one here be your honey doc is unfortunately, not a real, you. Are you are, information. Superhighway, you're getting close. But. Also still not a real. Yeah. No they're not beer I'll give, you that hint nobody. Puts ice and beer may. Very well be is indeed, correct. Okay. I'm only going to give it another 30 30. Seconds, because we only have about 15 minutes for this.
They, Found that no text file out there caught the frustrations, emissions of computer hackers saddled, with responsibility. More, than the BOF h-series, the, initial vfh, i've become, one of the better kept inside jokes of the system and in trade what, does Bo of H stand, for. Yep. That was an easy one and archaic. Oh W got it cos, H stands for bastard. Operator, from hell. Which. Is probably. What many of your since admins are turning into me right now keeping your networks up so, if, you notice, if, you work with this is that men don't, go give them a hug because that violates social distancing rules but. You know maybe, order. Them a pizza or or. Have. You a drone fly the beer over to them. Yeah. I'm really I'm really dating. Myself with, this one but faster. Operator from hell is great and if you can go find the old text files you should read them because they're really a treat. Okay. And, the final question of the night which of the following famous. Essays was written by late the ffs founder, John Perry Barlow a, a. Declaration. Of the independence of cyberspace be. A cyborg, manifesto, see. The conscience, of a hacker or D, a cyberpunk, man. Cypherpunks. Manifesto. I'll. Give you all a. Few. Seconds. To answer because. It looks like I have, a. Few. Seconds left. Okay. So we have a couple of votes for a vote for be a vote for D a, vote. For e-tron. And vaporwave diary. Which. Is unfortunately. Not the right answer but could you send me a link to that because I would love to read it, and. Yeah. Nice. And. Yes the correct answer is a. The. Declaration, of Independence of cyberspace, which he wrote well attending the World Economic Forum. Good. Job good. Job everybody, else. This. Is the, end, of the trivia round thank. You all so much for coming if, you like this check. It out at Def Con if Def Con is not cancelled and check. Us out in person. Later. This year details, will be up on the e FF website thanks everybody and bye bye see you later enjoy. Your social isolation. Hey. Thanks. Cyber tiger, if, you joined Lee we, are at home, with the F F talking. About the Cova dine crisis, and if you have questions.
Please Write them into the twitch TV chat which is twitch TV / EF F live, that. Was great fun. So, we. That, was a really fun conversation, with Cory and Elliott. Thinking. About the opportunities. And kind of the way especially intellectual. Property law could either help or really get in the way right now but. We all know that this is a particularly, dangerous time, -, of. Course we're all worried, about the health of our loved ones but, we also know, that people, can try to take advantage of that worry and that fear, and. That there's really, tremendous, opportunities. For the forces of repression and we also know that once put into place, reductions. And our freedoms are notoriously, hard to remove, within. 20 days of the horrific 9/11 attack Congress, rushed through a set of changes to our laws. Including. A set of hidden changes, that. Reduced our privacy affected. Our freedom of expression, and disproportionately. Impacted. Already, marginalized people, in our society. The. FF has now been trying to undo, the central pieces of some of those laws especially, in the USA PATRIOT, Act um, since. 2006. We, started and. That's five years after they got in put into place so things were kept secret for five years and now, we're, headed into. 15, years of trying to undo them in the courts and in the court of public opinion now, it's, not all bad we've been able to roll back lots of it and, currently some of the pieces of the Patriot Act of actually, lapsed, so. It's another area where we need to keep our vigilance, up but what we specially. Don't need to do now is make it worse and go backwards, so, now more than ever we need to stay vigilant and, keep our heads about us so. I'd like to bring on my colleagues IRA Hussain, who. Is a staff, attorney on, AFF civil liberties team and part, of our team focusing. On racial, justice and surveillance, and specifically. Focusing, right now on. Surveillance. And racial justice in, the context, of the Cova 19 crisis. Welcome, Saira, Thank. You Cindy yeah, so. Zaira could you give us an outline of how a FF thinks about the, many. Of the proposed, technological. Responses. To help with the Cova 19 crisis. Sure. And just, from the outset you know I want to reiterate something that you said earlier on that, this, is an unprecedented, time that. We, are gonna have to think, really crucially. And critically about, the ways in which the good of society may. Interact. In uncomfortable, ways with, civil liberties so. The way that we think about it here at EF F is sort of a three-part framework, the, first is that, if the government is proposing some sort of surveillance powers, to. Enact, during, this time the, first question we want to ask is does it work is this a proposal that has been thoroughly vetted is that, something that we. Think. Is actually going to help, during this crisis or is this just another way of increasing surveillance, powers that, will remain after, this crisis, has abated then. We move on to are the freedoms are. The harms too great there, are going to be some proposals, during this time that may help, but, may also end, up heavily. Burdening. Our individual, liberties in a way that's not compatible, with a democratic society and, if. It, the proposal, happens to pass, those first two tests we then ask how. Are we ensuring that surveillance, powers are limited, what types of safeguards are we putting into place. Thanks. So, right. Now there, are seemingly, thousands. Of ideas about how to use cell phone location data, to try to help with the Cova 19. Crisis. It. Seems like no. Matter what your issue, is cell. Phone location data seems like the nail that people are trying to hit or the hammer maybe so tell. Me how, are we thinking specifically, about this this issue. Traditionally. AFF has been opposed to cell phone surveillance we've written about it in our. Many amicus briefs we bought affirmative, litigation, on it and. There are many reasons good, reasons for why we oppose it you know it chills, and deters free speech and Association, think, about the amount of information you can get about somebody base on what type of health. Clinic they visit or whether, they're in whether.
They Go to a religious, institution often, or they're visiting an immigration, law office that's all very, revealing information it. Also disproportionally, impacts communities of color and there's, always the, threat of breach right if it gets in that hand if it gets into the wrong hands so in, this particular instance, when, we're looking at all, these proposals on, cell. Phone location, we. Believe. That the government has not yet demonstrated that, cell phone location would be helpful, to solving, this crisis, in. There's, been all kinds of proposals around the world there have been some that are really privacy, invasive and here in the u.s. what we've heard most often relates, to did nfid, aggregated. Data but. De-identified. Information, can. Often. Be re identified, and that's when it's really revealing, when. We're looking at you know the different, proposals that I've come out but. I think one of the main questions is exactly why we why, the government, would need this information, and, in many cases location. Records are not sufficiently. Granular, so if what you're trying to do is enforce for example social distancing. It's going to be very hard to determine, when people are actually six feet apart based, on the cell phone location. Information, especially, because information like cell, site location information is. Shows. A range from half, a mile to two miles, in urban areas and even larger. Ranges, in rural areas. This. Type of information often, excludes. Older people and low-income people who may not have smartphones, and it's, also unclear at this time whether contact, tracing through cell phone location data would be helpful, because, if the, disease has, spread to. Sufficiently. Large. You. Know a large number, of the population in, a given area it's, gonna be very hard to then make, sense, of cell phone location information as a means, of contact, tracing and then. You know lastly, I think this is really important to mention when. We're talking about surveillance. And. Enhanced. Surveillance powers that. May prevent, people from actually seeking health care when they need it during this time and it's, really important to remember that during. Times, of crisis like this pandemic punitive. Measures, like surveillance, may strip, people's trust in government when, it's the, most important, time for people to have trust, in the government. Great. Thank you, are, there any. Technologies. That we kind, of know right now or are just gonna fail this test that we should just kind of put, off the table for now and. Turn to ones that might, present harder. Question so what what do you think is kind of already just off the table, you. Know for us what's already off the table is face, recognition and. We've heard of these. Proposals existing, long, before, this pandemic came on and now people are trying to say this is the Silver Bullet if we can just identify people, who may. Be positive, then we can go back and sort of identify, others who may be around them and warn them that way and, you. Know we, have said time and time again that face recognition look. The burdens that it imposes are just too great to be compatible with a democratic society especially.
If You have real time face recognition and, you're able to identify where, people go and. And link that up with CCTV. Systems. That are already in place in many places in this country it, just, poses. Too, great of a risk to. Our freedoms, so. Let's flip it around or there's something that you think my the thinking. About our framework, might be reasonable, things to do in, response to the crisis yeah. And it's really important, to look at these on a case-by-case basis. Something. Like the CDC's, proposed. Program, for, contact, tracing on international, air travel may pass muster, that's, where the, government has suggested that Airlines, maintain, names and contact information for, passengers, and then if somebody on the flight tests positive and the airline can give those that passenger contact information, to the CDC, and the CDC. Can then reach out and inform of the, risk and. In that situation you know it's it's limited, to a group of people it's limited, in time, but. We we also would need to see what types of safeguards there are we haven't seen that mention, as of yet so for example we wouldn't want the airline or. The government to keep the passenger, info in perpetuity right once. The crisis hasn't abated again, it's really important to make sure that the government surveillance, powers that, have been enacted during this time and, are, also curtailed. That's, great and so let's talk about guardrails, so you know assuming, we're gonna go forward with some of this stuff we think it's it's past the efficacy test, we think it's gonna help. While, we are not comfortable, with it there's a long term problem. On our freedom if it's gonna help in the short term we think the trade-off is right what are the guardrails, what are the things that people when, they're hearing about these proposals ought to ask themselves, in. Order to evaluate whether something is a good idea because too often once. Somebody gets the big idea. We. Skip that part so, and, that that's kind of where we come in so what are the things that people should be asking themselves when, they hear about these proposals. So. When we're talking about guardrail, is there are a number of things that come up over and over again and this isn't only here during this pandemic we have pointed, to these guard