Educating decision makers, engaging the public, and facilitating solutions that protect our right to privacy.

News and past events

The Color of Surveillance: Disproportionate Impacts of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance

The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Center for Media Justice, Free Press, and New America's Open Technology Institute co-hosted:

The Color of Surveillance: Disproportionate Impacts of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance

As Congress considered renewal of a powerful government surveillance authority, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, this panel offered perspectives on the long-standing disproportionate impacts of foreign intelligence surveillance.

Some of the experts and advocates at the center of this discussion joined the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee for a conversation on how foreign intelligence surveillance intersects with race, class, and policy.

Archived video is available here, courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


  • Alvaro Bedoya, Executive Director, Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown Law Center
  • Jake Laperruque, Senior Counsel, The Constitution Project
  • Steven Renderos, Organizing Director, Center for Media Justice
  • Sarah St. Vincent, Researcher, Human Rights Watch
  • Xiaoxing Xi, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Physics, Temple University, and plaintiff alleging the government unjustly investigated and surveilled him
  • Moderator: Rainey Reitman, Activism Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 28th, 2017 at 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Rayburn HOB, Room 2226, Washington, DC

Pierce Stanley
Privacy, Incorporated

Companies' ability and responsibility to keep people's information private has massive consequences on individuals' privacy rights. As the kinds and volume of data they hold about us continue to grow so does the significance of their role as a steward of the public's information.

The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee hosted a conversation with some of the companies and organizations at the center of this discussion, including Google, the i2Coalition, Mozilla, and Twilio.

What privacy issues do they see as most in need of Congressional attention? What vulnerabilities pose the greatest risks to the public? Topics covered included cross-border data sharing, encryption, ECPA, and Section 702.


  • David Lieber, Senior Privacy Policy Counsel at Google
  • Christian Dawson, Co-Founder and Executive Director at i2Coalition
  • Heather West, Senior Policy Manager at Mozilla
  • Richard Seiersen, Chief Information Security Officer at Twilio
  • Moderator: Austin Carson, Executive Director, TechFreedom

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 19th, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Rayburn HOB Room 2226, Washington, DC

Pierce Stanley
Cost of Admission: Your Right to Privacy at the Border and at Ports of Entry

What does it cost to enter the United States? For American citizens and immigrants alike, people are increasingly being asked to leave their right to privacy at home. From biometric scanning to detention, your rights function differently at borders and airports -- and that can change even more based on your race and nationality.
The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee and the Niskanen Center hosted an expert panel discussion exploring the privacy costs of entering the United States. Representatives Farenthold and Polis also made remarks during the event.

  • Kristie De Peña, counsel, Niskanen Center,
  • Joshua Dratel, founder and president, Law Offices of Joshua L. Dratel, P.C.,
  • Laura Moy, moderator, deputy director of the Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown University Law Center,
  • Jumana Musa, senior privacy and national security counsel, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and
  • Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project, National Lawyers Guild.

With remarks from Representatives Farenthold and Polis

WHEN: Wednesday, May 3rd at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Rayburn HOB Room 2226

Sean Vitka
Section 702 vs. The Fourth Amendment

On April 26th, the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee hosted a panel of experts to discuss Section 702, the controversial authority governing PRISM and Upstream surveillance that is set to expire at the end of 2017.

The event, in Rayburn HOB, was put on in concert with the Fourth Amendment Caucus. Caucus co-chair Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) joined to make statements, which can be viewed at 32:10 in the video below.


  • Alex Abdo, senior staff attorney at Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University,
  • Austin Carson, moderator, executive director for TechFreedom,
  • Josh Withrow, director of public policy for Free the People, and
  • Kate Tummarello, policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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

We thank the panel and Representative Poe for joining us.

Sean Vitka
The Usual Suspects: Bias in Government Surveillance

At The Usual Suspects: Bias in Government Surveillance, our expert panel discussed the profound impacts of the government's immense surveillance practices and the different ways it affects different people. The event took place on November 30th, 2016, in Rayburn HOB, room 2226.


  • Alvaro Bedoya, moderator, executive director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law;
  • Sakira Cook, counsel at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights;
  • Chinyere´ Tutashinda, national organizer at the Center for Media Justice;
  • Xiaoxing Xi, professor and former chairman of Temple University's Physics Department and an innocent target of government surveillance; and
  • Harlan Yu, principal and technologist at Upturn.

If you don't have time to watch the whole panel, be sure to listen to Professor Xi's story — one of unjust prosecution, spying, and raids. The audio of Professor Xi's introduction is louder in this version, as well.

Sean Vitka
Hacking the World, a discussion of changes to Rule 41

Rule 41 is a Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure that governs when judges may issue warrants. On December 1st, absent action from Congress, a change will go into effect that will dramatically expand the authority of the government to hack into computers. In short, the changes would allow law enforcement to apply for a warrant that allows agents to hack into any number of computers in any number of jurisdictions in certain circumstances.

What happens if FBI malware damages innocent people’s computers? Would this change increase forum shopping? Is such hacking even lawful? On September 28, 2016, our panel of experts discussed what’s going on and what they believe Congress should do about it.

The Fourth Amendment Caucus was created to defend the Fourth Amendment, which protects the privacy of people against unreasonable government searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee was founded to support the caucus’s goals by educating Congress, engaging the public, and convening discussions about how to protect Americans’ right to privacy.


  • Nate Cardozo, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation;
  • Peter Goldberger, Attorney, co-chair of Rules of Procedure Committee, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers;
  • Robyn Greene, Policy Counsel and Government Affairs Lead, Open Technology Institute; and
  • Sascha Meinrath, moderator, Director of X-Lab, Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State University, and Chairman of the Board of the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee.

WHEN: September 28th, 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2226

Sean Vitka