It has been nearly three years since Edward Snowden’s disclosures revealed the massive scope of our government’s bulk surveillance of global telecommunications. The first document to be published from Snowden’s trove showed that the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had ordered Verizon to turn over logs of all calls made to and from its customers. Of the many bulk surveillance programs Snowden brought to light, this “phone records” program has continued to attract the most attention, in part because its features – surveillance of everyone in a well-defined set of American customers, under an identified statutory authority (section 215 of the PATRIOT Act) – were tailor-made to be challenged in court. Two such challenges were successful and provoked, after years of vigorous debate, a piece of reform legislation: last summer’s USA Freedom Act, which nominally shut down the phone records program four months ago. But how much has really changed? Notwithstanding some amount of hysteria about the reforms during primary season, this presentation will argue that next to nothing has changed (either last summer or during the preceding decade), that the scope of mass content and metadatasurveillance remains nearly unbounded, and that the focus of civil libertarians ought to be on self-help given the limited possibilities for legislatively or judicially led reform.
U.S. Counsel for WikiLeaks Publisher Julian Assange &
Senior Managing Attorney
Center for Constitutional Rights
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
UC Davis School of Law, King Hall Rm 1301
Shayana Kadidal is a Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he has worked on several significant cases arising in the wake of 9/11, including the Center’s challenges to the indefinite detention of men at Guantánamo and domestic immigration sweeps. He has been counsel in major CCR cases, including Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, United States of America and Vulcan Society, Inc. v. City of New York, and legal challenges to the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program. Along with others at the Center for Constitutional Rights, he currently serves as U.S. counsel to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in connection with potential Espionage Act charges, extradition, and the funding embargo. In 2012, he led litigation on behalf of several journalists that ultimately resulted in public release of over 550 previously-withheld documents during the court-martial of Chelsea Manning. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Judge Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.