2021 Webinars

Below, you can find the Fourth Amendment Center's webinars from 2021. 

Litigating ShotSpotter: The Science and the Law

ShotSpotter’s forensic gunshot detection systems, deployed in over 100 cities in the U.S., are designed to provide police with real-time alerts of possible gunfire.  But the use of ShotSpotter evidence in criminal trials raises important questions about the reliability of the ShotSpotter forensic method and about the use of ShotSpotter alerts as justification to detain and search people. 

In this webinar from November 10, 2021, Brendan Max, the Chief of the Forensic Science Division of the Cook County Public Defender Office, discusses the reliability of ShotSpotter evidence as well as the legal and 4th amendment strategies that defense lawyers can use to challenge ShotSpotter evidence.

When Google Searches for You: Challenging Geofence Warrants

In 2020, Google received over 11,000 geofence requests from law enforcement agencies across the country, a dramatic increase from just 941 requests in 2018. Geofences, which create a virtual perimeter around a given area, allow law enforcement officers to access critical location information of individuals in a targeted region. The growing use of geofence warrants in investigations raises deep concerns over Fourth Amendment and privacy protections. What strategies can defense lawyers use to challenge this new and invasive investigative technique?

This webinar from November 10, 2021 features Michael Price, the Fourth Amendment Center’s Litigation Director, Laura Koenig, an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Richmond Virginia, and Spencer McInvaille, a Digital Forensic Examiner at Envista Forensics. Jumana Musa, the Director of the NACDL’s Fourth Amendment Center served as moderator for the panel.

Search, Seize and Extract: Challenging Law Enforcement Use of Mobile Device Forensic Tools and Technologies in Criminal Cases

Last October, a report from the technology and justice non-profit Upturn found that over 2,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states had purchased mobile device forensic tools (MDFTs) to search, access, and extract sensitive information from cell phones for use in criminal investigations, often without a warrant and with little to no oversight. The widespread availability and use of MDFTs allow law enforcement access to an immensely broad range of data, such as call activity, texts, photos, videos, passwords, geolocation history, and even content that has been deleted or hidden.

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This webinar from May 11, 2021 featured Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, Jerome Greco, a public defender in the Digital Forensics Unit of the Legal Aid Society in New York City, and Harlan Yu, Executive Director of Upturn.

Racist by Design: How Systemic Racism and Inherent Biases Manifest in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Beyond

From policing and sentencing to incarceration and parole, every step of the criminal legal process can now be outsourced to algorithmic decision-making systems. Social media monitoring tools, risk assessment instruments, facial recognition software, and data-driven policing technologies are now being designed and deployed at a rapid pace, with little to no interrogation of the ways in which such technologies can reproduce social hierarchies, amplify discriminatory outcomes, and legitimize violence against marginalized groups that are already disproportionately overpoliced.

This webinar from April 1, 2021 featured Rashida Richardson, Visiting Scholar at Rutgers Law School and Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law, Cathy O’Neil, author, mathematician, and founder of ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company, and Cierra Robson, a doctoral student in the Sociology and Social Policy program at Harvard University and the Inaugural Associate Director of the Ida B. Wells JUST Data Lab at Princeton University.

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Unlocking the Black Box: Challenging the Use of Secret Algorithms and Technologies in Criminal Cases

Increasingly, technology is being used in the criminal legal system to identify DNA samples, assess risk factors in release decisions, match images in face recognition technology and even determine where or who the police should be patrolling and investigating. From probabilistic genotyping to “risk assessment” software, the recent explosion of emerging technologies has transformed almost every aspect of the criminal legal system. Increasing amounts of data and evidence are being interrogated and generated using software systems that are kept from defense teams, the courts, and the general public. The assertion of “trade secrets” by the companies who develop these tools deprive defense lawyers of access to information on how the software was constructed and the opportunity to assess its accuracy, credibility and reliability. How can criminal defense attorneys understand and confront the limitations of software-based evidence and machine learning algorithms in criminal proceedings? 

This webinar from February 17, 2021 featured Megan Graham, Clinical Supervising Attorney in the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley, School of Law; Joanna Kloet, Assistant Federal Defender in the Western District of Michigan; and Nitin Kohli, PhD candidate at the UC Berkeley School of Information.