In a recent report published by Havard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a team of experts pointed out that some powerful trends will continue to “facilitate government access” to personal information.
“Apple may never discover the vulnerability, and the government is not compelled to disclose it either,” says David O’Brien, senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard.
“Courts look very unfavorably in circumstances where the government forces a private citizen or an organization perhaps to speak, to say something—especially if it [is] a view that they don’t side with,” said David O’Brien, a senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, in Forbes.
“The goal is to make the documents so modular that much of the text disappears, leaving parties with only specific deal points and clear relationships,” according to Primavera de Filippi, a research fellow at Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. “These relationships can be ‘rendered’ at any time into full legal documents, for verification and enforcement.”
With the withdrawal of the San Bernardino case, no resolution is possible and it’s going to take time for the government to have such a strong case again, said David O’Brien, a senior researcher with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Much of Silicon Valley’s dream work “is not really clearly governed by any well-defined existing bodies of law,” says Vivek Krishnamurthy, clinical instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw clinic.
They create “points of control” in what used to be largely an “open system”, as Yochai Benkler of Harvard University puts it in a recent article in Daedalus, an American journal.
“The security of a product used by so many people – including and especially Americans – is part of national security,” said Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law and computer science at Harvard Law School. “While it is appropriate for law enforcement, with a warrant, to use a security flaw to gain access to which it is legally entitled, the flaw should be patched as soon as possible for everyone else’s sake.”
As to the plan itself, the US government has selected Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society to carry out an assessment of it and report back. A contract shows the Center being engaged for five months to do the job.
The forum was hosted by Healey’s office, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Internet Policy Research Initiative at MIT and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.