About the ACLU's Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology
The ACLU’s Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology (SPT) is dedicated to protecting and expanding the First Amendment freedoms of expression, association, and inquiry; expanding the right to privacy and increasing the control that individuals have over their personal information; and ensuring that civil liberties are enhanced rather than compromised by new advances in science and technology. The project is currently working on a variety of issues, including political protest, freedom of expression online, privacy of electronic information, journalists’ rights, scientific freedom, and openness in the courts.
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Ben Wizner is the Director of ACLU’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, which is dedicated to protecting and expanding the First Amendment freedoms of expression, association, and inquiry; expanding the right to privacy and increasing the control that individuals have over their personal information; and ensuring that civil liberties are enhanced rather than compromised by new advances in science and technology. He has litigated numerous cases involving post-9/11 civil liberties abuses, including challenges to airport security policies, government watchlists, extraordinary rendition, and torture. He has appeared regularly in the media, testified before Congress, and traveled several times to Guantanamo Bay to monitor military commission proceedings. Ben is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law and was a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Chris Hansen is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. Chris has been a civil liberties lawyer for over 30 years, arguing cases in the United States Supreme Court and federal and state courts all over the country. His most prominent cases include the effort to reform Willowbrook, a New York State institution for mentally retarded citizens (NYSARC v. Carey), the remedy phase of the original school desegregation case (Brown v. Board of Education), and a series of cases seeking reform of state or county child welfare agencies. Chris led the ACLU’s litigation effort to ensure that the strongest free speech protections apply to the new communications medium of the Internet. He was lead counsel for the ACLU in ACLU v. Reno, the case holding unconstitutional an effort by Congress to criminalize constitutionally protected speech on the Internet.
Jay Stanley is Senior Policy Analyst with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, where he researches, writes and speaks about technology-related privacy and civil liberties issues and their future. He is the Editor of the ACLU's "Free Future" blog and has authored and co-authored a variety of influential ACLU reports, white papers and fact sheets on such topics as government and private-sector surveillance, network neutrality, scientific freedom, privacy-enforcing institutions, data mining, NSA spying, the Patriot Act, video surveillance, and airline passenger security. Jay was co-chair of the successful 2009 Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP) conference in Washington DC. Before joining the ACLU in 2001, Jay was an analyst at the technology research firm Forrester, where he focused on Internet policy issues. He also served as the American politics editor of Facts on File’s World News Digest, where he covered Congress and presidential politics, and as national newswire editor at Medialink. He is a graduate of Williams College and holds an M.A. in American History from the University of Virginia.
Christopher Soghoian is the Principal Technologist and a Senior Policy Analyst with the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. He completed his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2012, which focused on the role that third party service providers play in facilitating law enforcement surveillance of their customers. Between 2009 and 2010, he was the first ever in-house technologist at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, where he worked on investigations of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Netflix. Prior to joining the FTC, he co-created the Do Not Track privacy anti-tracking mechanism now adopted by all of the major web browsers.
Catherine Crump is a Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. She specializes in free speech and privacy litigation, particularly regarding the impact of new technologies on First and Fourth Amendment rights. She is lead counsel in Abidor v. Napolitano, a challenge to the government’s suspicionless searches of laptops at the international border, and is litigating a series of cases challenging the government’s claim it can track the location of people’s cell phones without a warrant; and was counsel in Morse v. Frederick, the Supreme Court’s most recent case addressing the free speech rights of public school students. Catherine is a non-residential fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining the ACLU, Catherine clerked for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is a 2004 graduate of Stanford Law School, served as a Fulbright Fellow from 2000-2001, and was a 2000 graduate of Stanford University.
Nathan Freed Wessler is a staff attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, where he handles cases involving both free speech and privacy issues. He previously served as the National Security Fellow in the ACLU’s National Security Project, where he was involved in litigation seeking transparency and accountability for targeted killing and challenging unlawful detention at the U.S. prisons in Bagram and Guantanamo. Mr. Wessler is a graduate of Swarthmore College and New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Fellow. Prior to law school, he worked as a regional and national field organizer for the ACLU. Mr. Wessler served as a law clerk to the Hon. Helene N. White, United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, before rejoining the ACLU.
Lee Rowland is a Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. Lee has extensive experience as a litigator, lobbyist, and public speaker. Prior to joining the ACLU, Lee was a voting rights counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice, where she successfully represented the League of Women Voters of Florida and others in constitutional challenges to Florida’s 2011 election law creating new restrictions on voter registration. Lee previously ran the Reno office of the ACLU of Nevada, where she regularly argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Nevada Supreme Court, and served as class counsel to over 1,000 Nevada inmates denied proper medical care. Lee is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Law School, where she served as President of the Harvard Defenders and staffed the Harvard Human Rights Journal and the Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice.
Brian Hauss is the William J. Brennan Fellow with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. At the ACLU, he has been involved in litigation challenging the federal government’s suspicionless search and seizure of laptops and other electronic devices at the international border. Brian is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. After graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marsha Berzon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.