May 21, 2022

Research Article: “When Westlaw Fuels ICE Surveillance: Ethics in the Big Data Policing Era”

The following article (preprint) has been accepted or publication in the N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change.


When Westlaw Fuels ICE Surveillance: Ethics in the Big Data Policing Era


Sarah Lamdan


N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change (Forthcoming) via SSRN


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 vendors that build 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.

Access/Download Full Text (Free) via SSRN

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.