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Leading Authority On Federal Electronic Surveillance Law Mark Eckenwiler Joins Perkins Coie

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 15, 2013) – Perkins Coie is pleased to announce that Mark Eckenwiler has joined the firm’s Privacy & Security practice in its Washington, D.C. office as Senior Counsel.  Eckenwiler, one of the country’s leading authorities on electronic surveillance law, was most recently Associate Director for Technology with the Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO) in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, where he oversaw all federal law enforcement applications for Internet wiretap orders and advised all Department offices and the FBI on surveillance law and policy. 

“Mark is simply the national authority on the laws that define the government's ability to require service provider cooperation in the conduct of electronic surveillance such as wiretaps,” said Al Gidari, a senior partner in Perkins Coie’s Privacy & Security practice, who has represented clients responding to electronic surveillance demands for two decades.  “Our clients will benefit immensely from Mark’s storied time at the DOJ.  We represent the nation’s leading online providers, wireless carriers and application providers, and Mark will help our clients find that delicate balance between protecting user privacy and meeting their obligations under the law,” Gidari said. 

Eckenwiler joins Michael Sussmann and Todd Hinnen, former DOJ Computer Crime Section colleagues, whose practices center on privacy law and law enforcement and national security issues.

“With Mark joining Michael and Todd, Perkins Coie has a trifecta — and experience in these areas that is unmatched at any law firm,” added Gidari.

Before joining Perkins Coie, Eckenwiler served as the Justice Department’s primary authority on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).  His responsibilities also included developing department-wide guidance and policy for sensitive investigative techniques and emerging technology issues, especially concerning GPS tracking and wireless location data.  In that capacity, Eckenwiler successfully argued and/or briefed several groundbreaking federal appellate cases, including United States v. Skinner (6th Cir. 2012) and In re Application of the United States (3d Cir. 2010).

Eckenwiler also was a Deputy Chief in DOJ’s Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) where he supervised a wide range of activities, including complex online criminal investigations, legislative initiatives, and policymaking on electronic privacy and surveillance issues.  During his nine years with CCIPS, he provided expert guidance to federal prosecutors nationwide on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and ECPA.  His amicus curiae brief for the Department in Konop v. Hawaiian Airlines led a panel of the Ninth Circuit to vacate its prior opinion and reverse its position on a novel question arising under the Wiretap Act.

As the organizer and an instructor for DOJ’s Basic and Advanced Cybercrime courses, Eckenwiler was responsible for training hundreds of Assistant U.S. Attorneys and FBI agents nationwide.  He also served for three years on the National Steering Committee of the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Labs.

Eckenwiler has been honored with a variety of awards for his commitment and service, including the Justice Department's Exceptional Service Award — the Department’s highest honor — for his work on legislation; the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service; a Special Commendation from the Criminal Division; and the Director’s Appreciation Award from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.

Eckenwiler earned his J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law, where he won the Orison Marden Prize (Appellate Advocacy) and was Editor of the NYU Law Review; his M.A. in Classics (Ancient Greek) from Boston University; and his A.B. cum laude from Harvard in History and Literature.  After graduating from law school, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge I. Leo Glasser in the Eastern District of New York.

Eckenwiler is also a former Jeopardy! champion (2005).

About Perkins Coie: Founded in 1912, Perkins Coie has more than 950 lawyers in 19 offices across the United States and Asia. We provide a full array of corporate, commercial litigation and intellectual property legal services to a broad range of clients, from FORTUNE 50 corporations to small, independent start-ups, as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.