Today marks the first of the four-day-long confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Most coverage of Kavanaugh’s views addresses his opinions on abortion rights, gun control, and environmental issues. But what about cybersecurity?
In the cyber-realm, Kavanaugh’s stances are largely based on privacy and surveillance. According to The Washington Post, Kavanaugh has a history of advocating for government surveillance without obtaining a warrant. Critics from both parties worry that at a time of sophisticated data collection tools, the confirmation of Kavanaugh would mean a voice against increased privacy protections.
In 2015, Kavanaugh penned an opinion piece after the U.S. Court of Appeals declined to rehear a case affirming the legality of the NSA’s warrantless phone metadata collection program – otherwise known as the program that Edward Snowden exposed. Kavanaugh argued that the operation was “entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.” Politico reports, “Kavanaugh wrote, citing the ‘third-party doctrine’ that says records collection from a service provider like a phone company does not constitute a search of the customer.”
In 2010, Kavanaugh dissented from the court’s decision regarding Fourth Amendment rights when he argued that authorities did not violate a suspect’s rights by placing a GPS tracker on his car without a warrant.
Kavanaugh has also spoken out against Net Neutrality, arguing that it violates First Amendment rights by restricting “the editorial discretion of Internet service providers.”
Get more of Kavanaugh’s cyber stances at Wired.