DHS Network Monitoring: 4th Amendment Problems?

An intrusion detection program that the federal government uses to protect its computer networks could raise privacy concerns under the Fourth Amendment, Congress' policy research organization said in a recent report.

In a March report, the Congressional Research Service said that the federal government's monitoring of network traffic under the Einstein network monitoring and intrusion detection and protection program could constitute unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment, though it noted that the government has strong arguments that the program is constitutional. Einstein, operated by the Department of Homeland Security with some help from the National Security Agency, is a cross-government effort to monitor federal networks for cyberattacks. As part of those efforts, the system monitors all communications, including federal employee communications with private citizens, which, according to the report, "may trigger Fourth Amendment guarantees to the right to be free from unreasonable searches and excessive government intrusion," despite the steps the government has put in place to mitigate privacy concerns.


DHS Network Monitoring: 4th Amendment Problems?