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News and past events

Protecting the Freedom to Encrypt

Widespread availability of advanced encryption technology has improved security for consumers and businesses. But as digital products and services have become more secure, some in the law enforcement and intelligence communities have voiced concerns that encryption inhibits their ability to prevent terrorism and prosecute crimes.

For example, the Department of Justice is exploring a potential legal mandate requiring companies to design their technologies to allow law enforcement to access consumer data during criminal investigations. While it is important for law enforcement to have the right tools to prevent and solve crimes, history suggests that attempts to limit encryption are impractical, impede progress in information security, create new cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and make it more difficult for U.S. companies to compete abroad.

The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) held an expert panel discussion on how policymakers can protect consumer and business access to encryption and put in place policies that both encourage advances in cryptography and protect the rule of law. This event featured opening remarks by Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

PANELISTS INCLUDED:

  • William A. Carter, Deputy Director and Fellow, Technology Policy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
  • ModeratorDaniel Castro, Vice President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
  • Mike Godwin, Distinguished Senior Fellow, R Street Institute
  • Robyn Greene, Policy Counsel and Government Affairs Lead, Open Technology Institute, New America
  • Riana Pfefferkorn, Cryptography Fellow, Stanford University, Center for Internet and Society
  • Amie Stepanovich, U.S. Policy Manager, Access Now

* Opening remarks by Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

WHEN: Thursday, June 28, 2018, 10:30am
WHERE: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, HVC-200

The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee hosts these panels to bring experts to DC and in the interest of presenting Congressional staff with informative discussion.

Pierce Stanley
Zero Tolerance: Rights at the Border and Ports of Entry
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At Zero Tolerance: Rights at the Border and Ports of Entry, experts who know exactly what's going on at the border discussed the current situation and what Congress can do about it. The panel explored the Fourth Amendment implications of border prosecutions, the surveillance provided for by immigration bills that purport to solve immigration issues, what the zero tolerance policy looks like in practice, and the competing immigration bills and policies at play. 

PANELISTS INCLUDED:

  • Julie Yihong Mao, Staff Attorney, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG)
  • *Moderator, Jumana Musa, Director, Fourth Amendment Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • Ofelia Calderón, Founding Partner, Calderón Seguin PLC
  • Sameera Hafiz, Senior Policy Strategist, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)

WHEN: Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 10am
WHERE: Longworth 1310

The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee hosts these panels to bring experts to DC and in the interest of presenting Congressional staff with informative discussion.

Pierce Stanley
The CLOUD Act: Rain or Shine?
 Image courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation,  Creative Commons Attribution License

Image courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons Attribution License

International law enforcement's access to private information is contentious and complicated. The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in U.S. v. Microsoft, and the CLOUD Act was introduced in the House and Senate. This panel discussion examined the CLOUD Act, reviewed issues before the Supreme Court, and discussed the role of Congress in the cloud.

PANELISTS INCLUDED:

  • Alex Berengaut, Partner at Covington & Burling (Microsoft)
  • Neema Guliani, Legislative counsel at ACLU
  • David Lieber, Senior privacy policy counsel at Google
  • Naureen Shah, Senior director of campaigns at Amnesty International USA, invited
  • Moderator, Alexis Collins, Senior attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School

WHEN: Monday, March 19, 2018 at 11 a.m.
WHERE: H-122, U.S. Capitol

Pierce Stanley
What to do about HPSCI?

Congressional oversight of intelligence agencies is broken, and the ongoing debate over HPSCI's memos proves that changes are necessary. At this briefing we heard from bipartisan experts on what must be done to fix intelligence oversight, including how HPSCI should be reformed and what information the public and members of Congress need to ensure the process is functioning well. The panel took place on Friday, February 9 at 3 p.m. in Rayburn 2456.

PANELISTS INCLUDED:

  • Patrick Eddington, policy analyst in homeland security and civil liberties at the Cato Institute
  • Daniel Schuman, policy director at Demand Progress
  • Mandy Smithberger, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project On Government Oversight

The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee and Demand Progress have joined partners from across the political spectrum in calling for critical reforms to intelligence oversight, in particular within the House. These common-sense reforms would help resolve the many concerns that have come to light in recent days. Read more about what needs to change.

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m.
WHERE: Rayburn 2456

The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee hosts these panels to bring experts to DC and in the interest of presenting Congressional staff with informative discussion.

Pierce Stanley
Section 702 Under Review: How Can Congress Address Warrantless Surveillance? (Panel 2)

Congressional offices leading efforts to reauthorize and reform Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Act of 2008 re-convened at a second, staff-only panel discussion hosted by the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union. It took place Monday Jan. 8, 2018 at noon in Rayburn 2456.

Section 702 is the authority under which the government acquires hundreds of millions of communications annually, including the incidental collection of Americans' communications without a warrant. A vote to reauthorize Section 702 occurred a week after this panel.

PANELISTS INCLUDED:

  • Nima Binara, Counsel for Sen. Leahy, co-sponsor the Senate version of the USA Liberty Act
  • ZJ Hull, Legislative Counsel for Rep. Lofgren, co-sponsor of the USA Rights Act
  • Neema Guliani,  ACLU Legislative Counsel
  • Moderator Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior fellow at the Open Technology Institute and former executive director of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
  • Additional panelists were invited

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 at noon
WHERE: Rayburn HOB 2456, Washington, DC

Pierce Stanley
Section 702 Under Review: How Can Congress Address Warrantless Surveillance? (Panel 1)

Congressional offices leading efforts to reauthorize and reform Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Act of 2008 joined a staff-only panel discussion hosted by the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Section 702 is the controversial authority under which the government acquires hundreds of millions of communications annually. It expired at the end of 2017 and was re-authorized by Congress at the beginning of 2018.

PANELISTS INCLUDED:

  • Nima Binara, Counsel for Sen. Leahy, co-author the Senate version of the USA Liberty Act
  • Patrick Day, Counsel for Sen. Feinstein, who offered an amendment at a SCCI markup to close the backdoor search loophole
  • Liza Goitein, Co-director Liberty and National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
  • Aaron Hiller, Chief Oversight Counsel for Rep. Conyers, co-author of the House version of the USA Liberty Act
  • Christopher Soghoian, Congressional Innovation Fellow for Sen. Wyden, co-author of the USA Rights Act
  • Moderator Neema Guliani,  ACLU Legislative Counsel

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 at noon
WHERE: S-115, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC

Pierce Stanley