The Politics of Privacy

Despite growing demand from US citizens for privacy protections, the federal government has failed repeatedly to enact basic privacy laws. However, one US state – California – has led the charge on privacy and passed regulations that have benefited people outside the state. Today I’ll speak with Ernesto Falcon who is currently running for California State Senate in District 7. He has decades of experience in public policy, particularly in the realm of privacy rights, both in politics and with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. We’ll talk about how the legislative sausage is made, why we can’t seem to pass privacy regulations, how lobbyists influence policy, and much more.

Disclaimer: Views, opinions, or statements expressed are solely those of the candidate and not of his employer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Interview Notes

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:00:16: Interview prep
  • 0:02:40: Tell us about your CA Senate campaign
  • 0:10:56: How have CA privacy laws impacted the greater US?
  • 0:15:45: How do we regain control over our data?
  • 0:17:59: What is preventing a good federal privacy law?
  • 0:24:36: What are the dangers of all this personal data being hoarded?
  • 0:31:01: How does HIPAA actually work? What doesn’t it cover?
  • 0:33:01: What is the EARN IT Act and why does EFF oppose it?
  • 0:37:58: How do child safety laws undermine privacy?
  • 0:40:41: How are legal wire taps different from backdoors in encryption?
  • 0:43:10: Won’t repressive regimes abuse encryption backdoors?
  • 0:44:45: Is on-device scanning a valid compromise solution?
  • 0:47:07: Will we ever win the Crypto Wars?
  • 0:48:59: How can we best support the privacy cause?
  • 0:52:00: Would more privacy transparency be a good first step?
  • 0:54:35: Are monopolies part of the problem here?
  • 0:58:53: What’s next for you and your senate campaign?
  • 1:00:42: Post interview wrap-up
  • 1:01:46: Go talk to your representative!
  • 1:02:55: Dragon Challenge Coin Promotion!