Surveillance

Hustvedt / Cncplayer (background)

With the rise of modern technologies, the scope and scale of government surveillance has exploded. The use of digital communication has made communication more efficient, but also much more vulnerable. Governments, meanwhile, are increasing their capacity to exploit these vulnerabilities, and companies, their ability to thwart them. Both the PATRIOT act and the Snowden disclosures pushed the issue to the front of the national conversation. Today, the legal and policy debate—over what kind of surveillance tools are acceptable, against whom, and with with whose authorization—continues in full force.

Latest in Surveillance

Documents

Document: Inspector General Report on DEA Bulk Data Collection

The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice has released a report on the Drug Enforcement Agency's use of administrative subpoenas for bulk data collection and exploitation, without comprehensive legal review, in drug investigations involving Americans. The full report is available here and below.

Encryption

Perspectives on Encryption and Surveillance

In August 2018, the leading international academic conference on cryptography hosted a Workshop on Encryption and Surveillance. The workshop explored both legal and technical aspects of the ongoing debate over the impact of strong encryption and law enforcement surveillance capabilities. The workshop was co-chaired by Tim Edgar (Brown University), Joan Feigenbaum (Yale University), and me. As we described it at the time:

Documents

Document: Privacy Oversight Board Report on Signals Intelligence Policy

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from New York Times reporter Charlie Savage, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has declassified its implementation report on Presidential Policy Directive 28: Signals Intelligence Activities (PPD-28). PPD-28 was signed by President Obama in January of 2014 and provides principles guiding “why, whether, when, and how the United States conducts signals intelligence activities.” The report was sent to Congress in early 2017.

Intelligence Oversight

Summary: Big Brother Watch and Others v. the United Kingdom

On Sept. 13, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the United Kingdom’s bulk data-collection programs violate human-rights law by failing to incorporate adequate privacy safeguards and oversight—but that mass surveillance and intelligence sharing did not violate international law.

surveillance

The ‘Big Brother Watch’ Ruling on U.K. Surveillance Practices: Key Points from an American Perspective

Last month, a divided chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) (that is, a panel of seven judges from ECHR’s “First Section”) issued an opinion declaring several aspects of British surveillance law to be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case is called, perhaps inevitably, Big Brother Watch and Others v. The United Kingdom. The opinion is ponderous, to say the least.

Subscribe to Lawfare

EmailRSSKindle