Blog Posts

Speech & Surveillance

First Amendment | Fourth Amendment | Criminal Procedure

Government searches implicate speech. Throughout history, those who speak out have also often been those the government seeks to search. This line of research looks at interactions between the First and Fourth Amendments and how technology is poised to alter each. See also my paper on whistleblowers & First Amendment rights.

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) Reform

Criminal Procedure | Fourth Amendment | International Law

Obtaining evidence for criminal investigations gets more difficult when that evidence is electronic data held by foreign companies in another country (Google, etc.). Updating the somewhat archaic “Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty” between countries emerged as a frontrunner way to alleviate this problem. An agreement between the UK and the US started this process, approved in 2019, following 2018 legislation (CLOUD Act). See also my White Paper explainer and a view from African experts on the limits of MLAT reform.

Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

Fourth Amendment | International Law | Cybersecurity

Zero-day vulnerabilities – software flaws unknown to the maker and public – present several cybersecurity and legal problems. The blog posts below address two of these issues: how and when U.S. government agencies that use zero-days for intelligence or law enforcement purposes disclose them to industry so they can be fixed to improve broader cybersecurity. Second, the posts address the debate about mechanisms for international control of trade or sale of these vulnerabilities, which revolve around the Wassenaar Arrangement.

African Internet Law

African countries have been developing Internet policies in a political context shaped by post-colonial forces and regional dynamics. I have been tracking these policy developments since 2014; see African Cyber Research tab in menu for full information.