India McKinney is the director of federal affairs at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Prior to joining EFF, India spent over ten years in Washington, DC as a legislative staffer to three members of Congress from California. Her work there primarily focused on the appropriations process, specifically analyzing and funding programs in the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and Justice. Her biggest legislative accomplishment was authorizing, funding, and then naming a new outpatient VA/DoD clinic that will serve over 80,000 people. India's passion has always been for good public policy, and she's excited to be using skills developed during legislative battles to fight for consumer privacy and for robust surveillance oversight.
Ask the EFF: The Year in Digital Civil Liberties
Get the latest information about how the law is racing to catch up with technological change from staffers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the nation's premiere digital civil liberties group fighting for freedom and privacy in the computer age. This session will include updates on current EFF issues such as:
Congress' EARN-IT legislation (designed to mandate backdoors in encryption);
Van Buren v. U.S., the upcoming Supreme Court case on the CFAA (federal anti-hacking law)
Law and policy for COVID-19 tracking/quarantine/immunity passport apps;
The growing trends to limit government use of facial recognition technology;
as well as updates on EFF's technology projects, cases, and legislation affecting security research, and much more. Half the session will be given over to question-and-answer, so it's your chance to ask EFF questions about the law and technology issues that are important to you.
Reform or Expire? The Battle to Reauthorize FISA Programs
On March 15, 2020, Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act - a surveillance law with a rich history of government overreach and abuse - expired. Along with two other PATRIOT Act provisions, Section 215 lapsed after lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a broader set of reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
In the week before the law expired, the House of Representatives passed the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act, which would have extended Section 215 for three more years, along with some modest reforms. After negotiations, the Senate passed a slightly amended version of the bill, but after a veto threat from the President, the House of Representatives failed to pass it. The bill currently remains expired, but the question remains - for how long? And what will reform look like?
In this discussion, India and Andrew will explain the political factors behind this unusual legislative journey, as well as the policy implications of these proposals.