March 4, 2021

Senate Testimony

I’ll be testifying tomorrow morning at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on “Consumer Privacy and Government Technology Mandates in the Digital Media Marketplace.”

The hearing is really about two topics: the DMCA subpoena process that allows copyright owners to learn the identities of Internet users (“Consumer Privacy”), and the impact of regulations that would require technology makers to build anti-copying technology into their devices (“Government Technology Mandates”). I’ll be on the panel discussing the second topic. Other witnesses on the panel will be Lawrence Blanford of Philips, Jack Valenti of the MPAA, and Chris Murray of Consumers Union.

I’ll post my written testimony here later. I’ll also post my impressions of the hearing afterward.

UPDATE (4:50 PM): It appears that a live Internet audiocast of the hearing will be available on, starting at 9:30 AM (Eastern). The hearing starts at 10:00 with a panel discussing the subpoena issue; I’m on the second panel.


  1. One issue that has not received enough (any?) notice is the interrelationship between ‘searching techniques’ employed by the ‘bounty hunters’, on behalf of the ‘content owners’; and part of the holding provided by the U.S. Supreme Ct in the Kryllo case. In Kryllo (Kryllo, 121 S.Ct. 2038, 2043 (2001). the court held: “use of a sense-enhancing technology to gather any information regarding the interior of home that could not otherwise have been obtained without physical intrusion into constitutionally protected area constitutes a search at least where the technology in question is not in GENERAL PUBLIC USE”. [emphasis added]. In other words, where there is no ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ because of said “general public use”. If searching end users’ computers is becoming something done, ‘generally’, to the ‘public’ (and I am postulating that is exactly what is happening) what is to stop the govt, relying on the ruling in Kryllo, from searching PC’s ABSENT a warrant? Very little…..Perhaps, to quote Willy Loman’s wife in Death of a Salesman: “Attention should be paid here…”