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
What Can DC Learn From Sci-Fi?

Join us for a conversation over drinks with one of the 21st centuries most influential science fiction authors, Charles Stross.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Encryption is Key

Join us to discuss the value of strong encryption.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
The Next Encryption Battleground: Congress

Kevin Bankston was quoted in NPR News about the battle for encryption in Congress.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Critics Slam Draft Senate Encryption Bill as 'Dangerous,' 'Misguided'

Kevin Bankston was quoted in the US News & World Report about the Senate's draft encryption bill.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
The Senate’s Draft Encryption Bill Is ‘Ludicrous, Dangerous, Technically Illiterate’

Kevin Bankston, the director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, goes even further.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Congress's New Encryption Bill Just Leaked, And It's As Bad As Experts Imagined

Kevin Bankston was quoted in Vice about the Senate's draft encryption bill.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Unlocking justice? Breaking into iPhones may help law enforcement solve cases

Kevin Bankston joined PBS Newshour to discuss encryption and digital safety.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
The Transparency Reporting Toolkit

The Transparency Reporting Toolkit is a project by New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) and Harvard University’s Berkman Center for


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Influencers: FBI Should Disclose San Bernardino iPhone Security Hole to Apple

Kevin Bankston was quoted in Christian Science Monitor about the San Bernardino iPhone security hole.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Encryption (HBO)

Kevin Bankston provided background information for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver's recent segment explaining encryption.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Where European Countries Stand on Privacy Versus Security

Kevin Bankston was interviewed in Public Radio International about privacy and security after the Paris attacks.


OPEN TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE and NEW AMERICA
Privacy Groups Wary of Compromise Encryption Bill

Kevin Bankston was quoted in the Hill about the draft Senate bill on encryption.