Andreas Weigend | Social Data Revolution | Fall 2016
School of Information | University of California at Berkeley | INFO 290A

Wiki Lead: Josh Woznica,
Contributor: Prathyusha Charagondla



1. Who is David Holtzman?
2. Q&A between Nicole Ozer (ACLU) and David Holtzman – moderated by Dr. Weigend
3. Who is Shaun Maguire?
4. The STEALTH (& surveillance) simulated experiment
5. Money Laundering
6. Example Money Laundering Scheme
7. Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

1. Who is David Holtzman?

David Holtzman met Dr. Weigend in the 1990's and the two had done business together (around work with pseudonyms) in Washington DC. Hotlzman became the CTO of Network Solutions in the late 1990’s where he built domain and registration systems; he considers himself as one who has worked in Data for his whole life. He believes that privacy isn’t binary, rather thinks it is something very complex. He explores these ideas in his 2006 book, Privacy Lost.


Holtzman is one who feels very skeptical of the law due to the lag time. He sees the law dealing with things that were “current” 30 years ago. He mentioned the fact that there is tons of innovation currently happening in the Silicon Valley area. The issue, however, is that according to Holtzman, is that the lag time is great and legislators don’t hear about these innovations until after the fact. Holtzman claims that “legislators aren’t very smart. They are smart only at what they do – getting elected”.

Holtzman is a strong believer in the idea that consumers should have the appropriate tools and technologies to protect their data and ‘get’ the data they deserve access to. He gave the example of how both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were ‘hiding’ data from the public – their emails and tax records, respectively. At the end of the day, the public tried to (and successfully did) get their hands on that data.


2. Q&A between Nicole Ozer (ACLU) and David Holtzman – moderated by Dr. Weigend

While the primary focus of this portion of the wiki is topic 16, it seems appropriate to share the insights from the conversation that was held at the end of topic 15 – featuring David Holtzman and Nicole Ozer (of the ACLU). In a panel where Dr. Weigend asked the pair questions, it seemed that Holtzman responded as the role of the eternal pessimist while Ozer played the role of the optimist. Questions were discussed surrounding privacy, data rights, tradeoffs, the future of our data, etc.

As we transitioned into topic 16 more formally, we began the exercise guided by Shaun Maguire coupled by Igor Rostropovich (formerly David Holtzman).

3. Who is Shaun Maguire?

Shaun Maguire was a student of Dr. Weigend at Stanford University when he first taught the Social Data Revolution course. Maguire has worked in a number of positions that have explored the connection between data and safety; most recently his work brought him to Afghanistan to try to use data to predict when the next incident would be occurring within the country. Maguire is on track to getting his Ph.D. at Caltech.

4. The STEALTH (& surveillance) simulated experiment


Bringing Maguire into the room set us up for the following simulated experiment - one which concerns ideas of 'stealth' and our ability to hide from the government. The goal was to get a USB flash drive to JFK airport by Nov 9 (with the flash drive originating from the city of San Francisco) so that the flash drive could catch a flight (with an individual) and be taken to Moscow - where it would be taken to Mr. Edward Snowden. On the flash drive is presumably some important information that Mr. Snowden wants.

For this experiment - the students were split up into two teams:
TEAM A (HIDERS): Goal is as stated above. To figure out how to get the flash drive to JFK airport by 11/9. If the team does this successfully, the individual can board the plane and take the data on the drive to Mr. Snowden.

TEAM B (FINDERS): Simply put, stop team A. Team B is effectively "the government". They have to consider all possible things team A could think of and be a step ahead.

After having time to meet and discuss as a team, each team got a chance to share some of their suggestions as to how they would act. Below are some things they mentioned and/or were concerned about. More ideas can be found here.

  • Hide your identity such that you won't be reconized
  • Use public transportation
  • Physical disguise via facial prosthetics
  • Possibility of using identical twins
  • Getting money by selling things at pawn shops
  • Putting money into bitcoin

  • Tap into people's relationships & social networks - consider both strong and weak ties; recognize that the hiders often fall back on these people in times of crises
  • Analyze traffic data (cameras, fastrack systems. etc.)
  • Analyze voice and emotions of people in certain spaces
  • Monitor gas station cameras using gait recognition to look for the unique style of the way the individual walks

This experiment was directed toward something greater, considering how much or how little the government knows about us at any given time. Both teams were trying very hard to estimate what the other would do - making it much of a chicken and egg game.

Some broader ideas about surveillance can be seen in the image below - with further information in the PEW Research Center's piece on "The state of privacy in post-Snowden America".


5. Money Laundering

What is it?

In class, Maguire mentioned Money Laundering. It is the process of taking money illegally, concealing it and then converting it into “clean money.”
external image business-commerce-counterfeit-money_laundering-laundering-bank_note-crime-jfa0177_low.jpg
There are three stages to this process: Placement, Layering, Integration.

  1. Placement: when cash is introduced into the financial system
  2. Layering: the property or money is made legal, through a series of transactions that camouflage the original source of the money, typically through the use of foreign banks
  3. Integration: the property or money is reintroduced into the economy. At this stage the money or property is considered “clean.”


6. Example Money Laundering Scheme

Smuggling and Selling Used Cars

On December 15, 2011, an press release was release by the FBI about a civil suit being filed that seemed more than $480 million from those involved in the Hizballah-Related Money Laundering Scheme. Hizballah is a terrorist group in Lebanon founded in about 1982. In early 2011, US linked the Hassan Ayash Exchange Company and the Ellissa Exchange Company and several foreign banks to a scheme, where used cars were shipped from Benin to US, where they were later sold. Afterwards the money gained was smuggled to Hizballah.

7. Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

AML is a set of laws and regulations that implemented to stop money laundering. The AML compliance programs that are designed and implemented to prevent money laundering include Know-Your-Customer (KYC), a process where the banks are supposed to identify, as well as, verify the identity of their clients.
All AML compliance programs also include the Customer Identification Program (CIP), which has a set of requirements, including the 6 below:
  1. Getting Customer Information
    • Getting minimum information from customers before opening an account
      • Name
      • Date of Birth
      • Address
      • Identification Number
  2. Verifying the information
    • Through documentation (such as passport, driver's license)
    • Other methods (such as financial records, public database, etc.)
  3. Requiring the maintenance of records
    • Keeping the documentation or methods used for verifying individuals for 5 years
  4. Checking with the Government Watch Lists
  5. Giving Customers Notice why information is being requested
  6. Using third parties
    • Perform services such as verifying a customer, maintaining its records, etc.

An Infographic highlighting the different aspects: anti-money-laundering.