"Enhancing the ability to evaluate evidence"

Territorial Rights Versus Globalized Surveillance

Posted by Aidan on Tuesday, November 12, 2013
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Date(s) - 11/12/2013
1:40 pm - 3:00 pm

Moot Court, 6th Floor, New Building, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

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The National Security Agency (“NSA”)’s upstream and PRISM programs are based on technology that enables analysts within the United States to intercept the Internet and telephone communications of people throughout the world. The legal basis for the programs, however, is a territorial distinction. The FISA Amendments Act authorizes warrantless surveillance of the contents of communications if the target of the surveillance is not a United States national and is reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. Through an analysis of the NSA’s upstream and PRISM data collection programs, this paper explores the question: when technology erases territorial limitations on a nation’s surveillance power, should individuals’ legal rights against such surveillance depend on their nationality and geographical location?

Adina Schwartz received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Rockefeller University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. Before becoming a faculty member in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College in 1993, she was a federal public defender and, before that, an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Yale University. Currently, Professor Schwartz’s research focuses on the legal and policy issues raised by Edward J. Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance, and is posted on the website of John Jay’s Center for Cybercrime Studies, of which she is assistant director. This research builds on her longstanding interests in Fourth Amendment law and science and the law, which has led to articles cited by state and federal courts and in two reports by the National Academy of Sciences.