Privacy & Surveillance

Privacy & Surveillance

Protecting the privacy vital to free thought and expression

Our laws restricting surveillance and data collection are struggling to keep pace with new technology that can track and reveal our expressive lives in ever more detail, and with new business models that rely on the aggregation and exploitation of this information.

Our work is meant to illuminate the scope and impact of surveillance by government and private corporations, promote stronger legal protections for privacy, and enrich public understanding of the interplay between privacy and the freedoms of inquiry, speech, and association.



  • Lawsuit

    Doc Society v. Blinken

    A lawsuit challenging the State Department’s social media registration requirement

  • FOIA Lawsuit

    Knight Institute v. CIA

    A FOIA lawsuit seeking records on the government’s use of “spyware”

  • Amicus Brief

    United States v. Sultanov

    An Eastern District of New York case addressing the constitutionality of warrantless cellphone searches at the border



In-person and online

Secret Surveillance

Countering spyware’s threats to freedom of the press and expression

10:00 am - 12:00 pm ET 

Columbia Journalism School - Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall

Spyware and the Press

A discussion about the threat that malicious surveillance technology poses to press freedom around the world

New York, NY

A Conversation with Edward Snowden

A post-event video featuring Snowden talking about surveillance, security, and whistleblowers