Kevin Bankston

Director, Open Technology Institute

Kevin Bankston is the director of New America’s Open Technology Institute, where he works in the public interest to ensure that all communities have equitable access to an internet that is both open and secure. He previously served as OTI's policy director.

Prior to leading OTI’s policy team, Bankston was a senior counsel and the director of the Free Expression Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. From that position, he spent two years advocating on a wide range of internet and technology policy issues both international and domestic, most recently organizing a broad coalition of companies and civil society organizations to demand greater transparency around the U.S. government’s surveillance practices. He also has served since 2005 on the board of the First Amendment Coalition, a non-profit public interest organization dedicated to advancing free speech and a more open and accountable government, and previously was a nonresidential fellow at the Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society.

Prior to joining CDT, he worked for nearly a decade at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in free speech and privacy law with a focus on government surveillance, internet privacy, and location privacy. As a senior staff attorney at EFF, he regularly litigated issues surrounding free expression and electronic surveillance, and was a lead counsel in EFF’s lawsuits against the National Security Agency and AT&T, challenging the legality of the NSA warrantless wiretapping program first revealed in 2005. He originally joined EFF as an Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis First Amendment Fellow, studying the impact of post-9/11 anti-terrorism surveillance initiatives on online privacy and free expression. Before joining EFF, he litigated internet-related free speech cases at the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York City as a Justice William Brennan First Amendment Fellow. He received his JD at the University of Southern California Law School after receiving his BA at the University of Texas at Austin.

All Work

OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Deciphering the European Encryption Debate: France

Of the three countries that OTI studied in its transatlantic encryption series, France’s encryption debate is perhaps the most dynamic.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Deciphering the European Encryption Debate: France

With a new president who has taken an aggressive stand on encryption, it seems that the encryption debate in France is just beginning.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Deciphering the European Encryption Debate: Germany

OTI came away with six major lessons from our analysis of the intersection of Germany’s encryption policy and hacking legal structure.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Deciphering the European Encryption Debate: Germany

Germany has a unique relationship with encryption that stands in stark contrast with that of the U.K. and France.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Deciphering the European Encryption Debate: The United Kingdom

Can and will the U.K. government require companies that currently offer unbreakable encryption to undermine that encryption?


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Deciphering the European Encryption Debate: United Kingdom

This paper, the first of a four-part series, assesses the state of the encryption debate in the United Kingdom.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Ending The Endless Crypto Debate

Kevin Bankston wrote for Lawfare about what it really means to have the "adult" conversation on encryption.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Prototyping a Better Tomorrow

Kevin Bankston wrote for Future Tense about how we can use science fiction to envision a positive future.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
May's Open Letter from the OTI Director: After the First Hundred Days

A look at OTI's “Silver Linings Playbook” for defending the internet in dark times.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
March's Letter from OTI Director Kevin Bankston

Over the past month, the attacks on internet openness & security that we have been preparing for since the election finally began in earnest


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
February's Open Letter from OTI's Director

Kevin Bankston shares the latest letter from the OTI newsletter.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Getting Internet Companies to Do the Right Thing

Our mission here at OTI is to make sure that you, and everyone else around the world, has access to an internet that is both open and secure