When Westlaw Fuels Ice Surveillance: Legal Ethics in the Era of Big Data Policing
39 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2018 Last revised: 29 Jul 2019
Date Written: August 14, 2018
Legal research companies are selling surveillance data and services to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and other law enforcement agencies. This Article discusses ethical issues that arise when lawyers buy and use legal research services sold by the same vendors responsible for building ICE’s surveillance systems. As the legal profession collectively pays millions of dollars for computer assisted legal research services, lawyers should consider whether doing so in the era of big data policing compromises their confidentiality requirements and their obligation to supervise third party vendors. With new companies developing legal research services, lawyers have more legal research options than ever. Lawyers can choose to purchase legal research services from socially responsible vendors.
Keywords: surveillance, immigration, legal research, ethics
JEL Classification: K37, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation