NACDL - Fourth Amendment Center

Fourth Amendment Center

NACDL's Fourth Amendment Center offers direct assistance to defense lawyers handling cases involving new technologies and tactics that may infringe on the privacy rights of people in America. The Center is available to help members of the defense bar in bringing new Fourth Amendment challenges.

           

 To request assistance or additional information, contact 4ac@nacdl.org.

 

Launched in April 2018, the Fourth Amendment Center seeks to build a robust legal infrastructure to challenge outdated legal doctrines that undermine privacy rights in the digital age. To this end, the Center is available to provide litigation assistance in cases raising new Fourth Amendment concerns, including:

        

        

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Defense lawyers with cases involving any of these issues are encouraged to contact the Center. The Center is available to provide consultations and litigation resources as well as direct assistance in support of a defendant’s Fourth Amendment claims. Specifically, the Center may assist in motion practice, preparation for suppression hearings, appellate strategy, brief writing, and oral argument. The Center also provides group trainings for defense lawyers around the country and upon request.

 

Learn more about the Center's history, staff, and tech advisory board here.

 


Featured

 

Jewel v. National Security Agency (2019)

NACDL has filed an amicus brief in support of the Jewel v. NSA case (9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 15-16133). The government's mass interception and scanning of Americans' Internet communications is a search and seizure, triggering the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement. The "special needs" exception to the warrants requirement cannot justify the government's surveillance program. Foreign Intelligence is not the "primary purpose" of the NSA's dragnet surveillance program. The impact of the intrusion from the NSA's Internet surveillance outweighs the government's need. The privacy interests harmed by upstream surveillance outweigh the government's interest in the program. Indiscriminately seizing and searching communications will include attorney-client communications and therefore impact individuals' Sixth Amendment rights.

 Read the rest of our amicus work here.

 

Digital Hygiene for Defense Lawyers: A Digital Security Checklist​

From encrypting your documents, texts and emails to using a private Internet browser, this webinar walks through a curated list of tools and tricks designed to protect your work product, your technology, your clients, and your cases. The webinar featured Matt Mitchell, a hacker, civil rights advocate, and the director of digital safety & privacy at Tactical Tech.

Find the rest of our webinars and video trainings here.

 


Resources

 

 

Find the rest of our resources here.

 


Video Training

 

Combatting the Surveillance State in Criminal Proceedings

This two-day CLE conference discussed the government's use of technologically advanced investigative techniques in criminal cases, and the issues raised by those techniques under the Fourth Amendment and other federal law.  

This CLE was co-sponsored by NACDL and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT), and held at International House, the University of California - Berkeley from November 29 to 30, 2018. 

All of the videos from the conference are free and can be viewed in this playlist.

 

Face-Off: Recognizing and Challenging the Use of Facial Recognition Technology

With an increasing number of police departments across the country turning to unregulated, untested, and flawed facial recognition technology to identify suspects, it is vital defenders understand the technology, its limitations, and how to challenge its use in their cases. This webinar explored these issues with the Georgetown Law Center of Privacy and Technology's Clare Garvie, Bronx Defender's Kaitlin Jackson, and computer scientist Joshua Kroll

This webinar was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K014 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

 

Find the rest of our webinars and video trainings here.

 


Amicus Briefs

 

NACDL provides amicus assistance on the federal and state level in those cases that present issues of importance to criminal defendants, criminal defense lawyers, and the criminal justice system as a whole. A selection of NACDL's amicus briefs that address the Fourth Amendment in the digital age are offered below. 

 

     United States v. Henderson                       United States v. Ackerman
       
                                   Dahda v. United States                         United States v. Lambus, et al.        
          United States v. Owens                    Carpenter v. United States

 Read the rest of our amicus work here.

 


Litigation Support

 

Need help with a case?

 

The Center is available to provide consultations and litigation resources as well as direct assistance in support of a defendant’s Fourth Amendment claims. Specifically, the Center may assist in motion practice, preparation for suppression hearings, appellate strategy, brief writing, and oral argument. The Center also provides group trainings for defense lawyers around the country and upon request.

To request assistance or additional information, contact 4ac@nacdl.org.