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Office of Legal Counsel Reaffirms Legality of Einstein 2.0

The Office of Legal Counsel has released two opinions regarding Einstein 2.0, the federal cyber-security initiative that monitors network activity. The Bush administration opinion concluded that Einstein 2.0 complied with the Constitution and applicable federal laws, provided that users are properly warned that it is operating. The Obama administration opinion, signed August 14, 2009, concurred with the earlier opinion, and also concluded that the system does not violate “state wiretapping or communications privacy laws.” EPIC has stated that Einstein should be subject to the Privacy Act. Also, documents previously obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that network monitoring tools often exceed their legal authority. For more information, see EPIC Carnivore (FBI tracking tool).

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