Jennifer Urban

Why Twitter gave a woman’s home address to her cyberstalkers

Jennifer Urban quoted in The Washington Post, June 8, 2016

“No system will ever be able to stop all abuse,” said Jennifer Urban … who studies the DMCA. “But it should take into account this kind of abuse and improve procedures to avoid it. It’s a challenge and a balance, because as a matter of legal process, people in a dispute need to be able to know who their accusers are and what the claims are. But agents, proxies, etc. are possibilities if done correctly.”

Blame the robots for copyright notice dysfunction

Jennifer Urban quoted on, March 29, 2016

“There is a lack of transparency in the system, which is based on private notices that go to private parties and are dealt with outside of the public dispute system,” Urban said. “It’s a black box, and that by itself will always raise questions about what the public effect of the system is.”

How we’re unwittingly letting robots censor the Web

Jennifer Urban, Brianna Schofield and Joe Karaganis study cited in The Washington Post, March 29, 2016

Karaganis, Urban and Schofield find that the vast majority of all sites still use humans to do this sort of processing. But among large social networks, search engines and file-hosts—in other words, the ones that get the most complaints—it’s increasingly common to rely on automated triage-and-escalation systems, similar to the ones used by third-party rights-enforcement organizations.

Two law professors’ plan to downsize patent litigation

Jennifer Urban and Jason Schultz cited in Bloomberg BNA, May 8, 2015

“We want them to put their money where their mouth is,” said Schultz, in an interview. To do this, he and Urban have proposed the Defensive Patent License:  It creates a legal framework for a network of companies that want to share their patents, and have agreed not to initiate patent lawsuits.

The moral hazards and legal conundrums of our robot-filled future

Jennifer Urban quoted in Wired, July 17, 2014

“We’re poised at the cusp of really being surrounded by robots in daily life,” said Jennifer Urban, the Berkeley law professor who moderated the panel. That’s why now is the time to start grappling with these questions, Urban says. A future filled with robots may be inevitable, but we still have an opportunity to shape it.

Supreme Court debates police permission to search cell phones

Jennifer Urban quoted in CNET, April 29, 2014

“When you’re talking about a contemporary smartphone, you’re not talking about a phone. You’re talking about a computer,” said Urban. “Because data on the phone is so rich, the reasonable burden on the police may look more like the burden of obtaining information on a computer in a house.”

Experts on the NSA’s history of abuses: There they go again

Jennifer Urban’s Samuelson Clinic brief cited in The Atlantic, November 21, 2013

“Recent surveillance activities, and the executive’s justifications for them, share core features with surveillance programs that operated from the 1930s into the 1970s,” they write. “These features include: expansion of surveillance programs beyond their original purpose; a tendency to collect as much information as possible, with the result that surveillance expands as technology advances; and a preoccupation with secrecy that thwarts an effective evaluation of these programs’ effectiveness or legality.”