National Security

NACDL recognizes that under the banner of the “war on terrorism,” America’s fundamental constitutional protections have been under unprecedented attack.  Since the tragedy of 9/11, the government has engaged in unparalleled assaults on a range of constitutional rights, including the right to due process and the right to privacy. NACDL seeks to resist this trend on both on a systemic and case-by-case basis to expose and combat the ongoing incursions into our civil rights in the name of national security.


The Open Technology Institute published an excellent visualization of all recorded compliance violations of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. View "A History of FISA Section 702 Compliance Violations" at the New America website here. NACDL recently signed a letter in opposition to the first version of the USA Liberty Act, a House Section 702 reform bill that fails to strengthen the warrant requirement for searching databases containing Section 702 content. The USA Liberty Act also increases sentences for knowingly removing classified documents and creates a new crime of negligently removing such documents. Use NACDL's tool to contact your Representative today to urge them to strengthen the USA Liberty Act or let Section 702 sunset! 

NACDL has published a guide on challenging evidence seized by government-installed computer malware, authored by the American Civil Liberties Union with input from NACDL and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The guide, “Challenging Government Hacking in Criminal Cases,” examined recent court decisions on the government’s use of malware in the context of Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches. NACDL hosted a webinar on the guide featuring the expertise of Colin Fieman, an Assistant Federal Public Defender and lead counsel in the first “Operation Pacifier” cases, and Paul Ohm, a law professor and specialist in information privacy, computer crime law, intellectual property, and criminal procedure. 

     Government hacking webinar 
Watch our new webinar "Defending Government Hacking Cases" here. 
Read the guide “Challenging Government Hacking in Criminal Cases" here. 

Surveillance Self Defense - A Series of NACDL Primers

The Fourth Amendment is being redefined in the digital age. Surveillance programs and technologies that were ostensibly created and implemented to combat terrorism are being used in every aspect of the criminal justice system. NACDL is producing a series of primers to introduce different surveillance programs and techniques to defense lawyers and provide strategies and resources to combat them in cases. This is an ongoing project and will be updated periodically.

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