A Beginner’s Guide to Surveillance, Digital Security, and the Privilege

Lawyers cannot neglect their duty to protect the attorney-client privilege merely because their professional communications are immersed in a multiplex of digital surveillance technologies. It is essential for defense counsel to protect communications, documents, and Internet usage from bulk surveillance and targeted attacks. How can one communicate securely via text messages and instant messaging apps? Is email automatically encrypted? What, if anything, does it mean when a software company describes its product as “military grade”? First steps for counsel include using strong passwords and encrypting files that are on counsel’s computer and smartphone. To maintain the security of attorney-client communications and defense work product, criminal defense lawyers must keep alert for news of evolving surveillance threats and new privacy countermeasures. The only constant is constant change.