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NSA Mass Surveillance: Turning the Fourth (and First) Amendment on its Head

October 28, 2013 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
MIT CSAIL, Stata Center, Bldg 32 Kiva Conference Room, 4th Floor, G449
Speaker Name: 
Cindy Cohn, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Cindy Cohn, Legal Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, will walk us through the NSA Mass Surveillance activity  that has been now confirmed by the government in light of the revelations of Edward Snowden.  She'll discuss the history of the spying revelations, up to and including the recent revelations, and review the legal challenges that EFF and others have been mounting since 2006.  She'll discuss the government's changing legal justifications for the spying and its claims of oversight by the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, and the Constitutional implications of mass surveillance.  Finally, she'll review how EFF and others are  trying to bring the rule of law back to the NSA and what the implications are for all Americans, especially those who seek to develop and market technologies.


Ms. Cohn is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa and the London School of Economics. For 10 years prior to joining the EFF, she was a civil litigator in private practice handling technology- related cases. Before starting private practice, she worked for a year at the United Nations Centre for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Ms. Cohn also served as counsel to the plaintiffs in Bowoto v. Chevron, two lawsuits in San Francisco arising from Chevron's involvement in human rights abuses against environmental protesters in Nigeria. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit the and the Verified Voting Foundation.