Arik Hesseldahl

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Jennifer Granick, Lawyer to Hackers, Joins Zwillinger Genetski

San Francisco lawyer Jennifer Granick, until recently civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is joining the Washington D.C.-based law firm of Zwillinger Genetski.

The firm’s clients include several prominent Internet companies, including Yahoo, social gaming giant Zynga, Myspace (a unit of News Corp., parent of this Web site) and Cablevision.

Granick gained a reputation as a lawyer willing to defend accused computer hackers. Her clients have included the hacker-turned-journalist Kevin Poulsen. I wrote this profile of her for Forbes.com in 2000, describing her as the person you might call if your day begins with an FBI raid.

About the same time, she gave a heavily attended talk on “Hacking and the Law” at the DEF CON 8 hacker conference in Las Vegas. She went on to become executive director at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society. She also taught at Stanford.

I caught up with her yesterday, and she said part of her role will be to help establish ZwillGen’s office in San Francisco. The firm has been adding legal talent at a rapid clip. In June it added three lawyers: Elizabeth Banker, a former associate general counsel at Yahoo; Bart Huff, a former assistant United States attorney in Chicago with a history of prosecuting computer crime; and Leota Bates, a former associate at Perkins Coie in Washington, D.C. Granick is the firm’s eighth attorney.

Will she still have time to take calls from hackers staring down FBI agents? “I think I’ll still be able to do that,” she said. “They wanted me because of my experience and because of who I’ve represented.”


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle