Overseas Surveillance in an Interconnected World: Understanding Executive Order 12333 and Its Reach

March 17, 2016 4:00 pm

Presented by: Just Security & The Brennan Center for Justice

SpeakersNeema Singh Guliani, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union; Deborah Pearlstein, Associate Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law;Rebecca Richards, Director, Office of Civil Liberties and Privacy, National Security Agency; Amos Toh, Legal Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and former Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice; and Harlan Yu, Principal, Upturn.

Time & Location: 4:00pm; Dirsksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC

Details & RSVP: available here

Despite the success of last year’s surveillance reform legislation (the “USA FREEDOM Act”), the U.S. retains the ability to collect millions of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a warrant— and without any oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—under Executive Order 12333 (EO 12333). The order underlies the intelligence community’s most expansive surveillance authorities. It generally governs the interception of electronic communications overseas, but as a new Brennan Center report shows, its broad scope has significant implications for Americans.

Under EO 12333, the National Security Agency (NSA) engages in “bulk collection” overseas. In a different era, such surveillance might not have affected Americans very much. But in today’s digital world, Americans’ communications are routinely routed and stored abroad, making them vulnerable to NSA surveillance. While EO 12333 practices remain shrouded in secrecy, publicly available guidelines indicate that there are very few constraints on how the government uses Americans’ communications and data swept up in overseas collection. And a recent New York Times article reports that these constraints are about to become even weaker.

Join a panel of leading policy and legal experts for a wide-ranging discussion of the questions surrounding EO 12333 surveillance at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 17th. 

Dirsksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC

Add new comment