Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

Patrick Gudridge ALS Ice Bucket

Patrick Gudridge is our Vice Dean and a really smart legal academic.

Several years ago I suggested we dress up the faculty in Halloween costumes, take a group photo, and publish it online with the caption “A Serious Faculty that Doesn’t Take Itself Too Seriously”. This met with no approval at all.

Posted in Law School, U.Miami | Leave a comment

Business as Usual During Alterations

In order to debug some very odd behavior under the hood, I’ll be doing odd things to the site theme in the next day or two. While it may temporarily change the looks, it shouldn’t change the content.

Posted in Discourse.net | Leave a comment

The Rumors Were True

Donna Shalala will ‘step down’ as U.Miami President at the end of the school year.

It is with gratitude and affection for the University that I share with you my decision to step down at the end of the 2014-2015 university year. A long time ago a friend advised me to always leave a job when you still love it. That is certainly the case here.

Despite her reaction to the strike, on balance President Shalala has been an excellent leader for the University of Miami. She will be a very tough act to follow.

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Gripe (Small)

WordPress released a new version of its TwentyTen theme.  Would it kill them to include a changelog?

Posted in Software | 2 Comments

Dan is Blogging Again

Froomkin-Hi-Res-Original_350

Dan Froomkin

In most folks’ opinion, including mine, my brother Dan’s most successful media work was when he blogged about the White House at White House Watch from 2004-2009. Now Dan’s back with an expanded brief at The Intercept.

See the inaugural post, Froomkin Blogs Again: Obama Makes Bushism the New Normal. Lots of good stuff about how Obama doubling down on Bush-era policies that destroy privacy, and sweeping torture under the carpet, will make it harder than ever to eradicate either. Plus, there’s a summary of Dan’s new orientation (which, happily, intersects with some of my scholarly interests):

Even in a flawed press climate, a pretty compelling picture emerges when you connect the dots. I’ll be doing that relentlessly, and with a particular focus on the areas that concern me the most. Among them: National security issues and whistleblowing; the collapse of oversight; media failure; political exploitation of fear; torture; the corrupting influence of money; and the moral bankruptcy of the major political parties.

I also want to spend a lot of time exploring issues related to privacy policy in an era of ubiquitous data. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s primary and most admirable goal was to spark a national conversation about surveillance and privacy. But the conversations that have ensued have been relatively narrow and muted.

I’ll be doing original reporting — from the Snowden archive, and elsewhere. I’ll be asking lots of questions. And I intend to serve as a megaphone for sometimes insufficiently heard people who have great ideas — and who have a track record of being proven correct over time, rather than, say, consistently wrong. (Nominees welcome!)

And I’ll be depending on readers to do it all. There’s so much more to keep track of than there was even five years ago — heck, keeping abreast of Twitter lately has been nearly a full-time job — so I’ll need help finding the newest, the most intriguing, the best and the worst. There will be new ways for informed readers to make important contributions to the discussion.

Most significantly, this is a work in progress. The principal goal that seems to be emerging at First Look Media — the umbrella organization financed by Pierre Omidyar that publishes The Intercept — is experimentation in the pursuit of accountability.

It’s great to see Dan back in this harness. Just one cavil: the title of his first post is “Froomkin Blogs Again”? What have I been doing here for the last decade plus?

Posted in Dan Froomkin | 1 Comment

Should I Require HTTPS?

I think I’ve pretty much got https working on this blog. At present it will serve up both unencrypted or encrypted versions depending what you ask for. The encrypted version is, at least on my computers, noticeably slower to turn up.

So the question is, What do I do now? Should I turn of http and forward all traffic to https? If I do so, should I remove the remaining insecure items, which I take to be the counters and the little map that shows where visitors come from? Is there a free counter somewhere that is https compliant? If I don’t force https, what’s the point of having the encrypted version there if almost no one other than the people running EFF’s great https-everywhere plugin will ever see it?

Posted in Cryptography, Discourse.net | 1 Comment

Secured?

I’ve purchased a certificate for the blog so it can run on SSL/TLS, ie have an https address.

Little did I know how much grief this would cause. However, I only locked myself out of the blog once, and with the help of of a WordPress https plugin I am gradually reducing the number of mixed-content errors.

Security really shouldn’t be this hard …

Posted in Cryptography, Discourse.net | Leave a comment