Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, July 25), from 8-10 am, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse -- along with DOJ’s former Assistant Attorney General for National Security, David Kris and DOJ’s former Principal Attorney General, David Bitkower, among others -- will be on the hill to launch CSIS’s new report, Low-Hanging Fruit: Evidence-Based Solutions to the Digital Evidence Challenge, co-authored by the two of us. The report focuses on the range of challenges with accessing and utilizing digital evidence in criminal cases, separate and apart from the issues associated with encryption. The premise – as the report name suggests – is that there are a number of relatively common-sense, low-cost, and needed changes to better facilitate law enforcement’s access to digital evidence, that these can and should be done in ways consistent with privacy and civil liberties, and that they are needed no matter the outcome of the separate and ongoing debates about encryption and ephemerality of data.
The report includes survey results from federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the results of interviews with a range of law enforcement officers (at all levels of government), service providers, and privacy and civil liberties groups. It includes several findings of note -- all of which will be discussed at Wednesday's event. And it calls for the creation of and adequate resourcing of a New National Digital Evidence Policy Office to identify and help fill the gaps in training, resources, and knowledge -- so as to better facilitate the effective accessing of digital evidence, consistent with civil liberties.
The report's recommendations have received support from a wide range of former officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI General Counsel and Assistant Attorney General, Ken Wainstein, and former Deputy Assistant Generals of DOJ, Jamie Gorelick and Larry Thompson, among many others.
The event will take place at SG-Dirksen and live steamed. There will be breakfast goodies for those who show up in person. Hope to see all you readers there!