Blog of Rights

Alex
Abdo

Alex Abdo (@AlexanderAbdo) is a Staff Attorney in the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. Prior to joining SPT, Alex was an attorney with the National Security Project, where he was involved in the litigation of cases concerning the Patriot Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and the treatment of detainees in Guantánamo Bay, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Navy brig in South Carolina. Alex is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. Prior to working at the ACLU, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Barbara M.G. Lynn, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, and to the Hon. Rosemary Barkett, United States Circuit Judge for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:56am
A few weeks ago, a U.N. Special Rapporteur solicited comments for a report on the relationship between free expression and the use of encryption and anonymity online. The report that he is writing will be submitted to the Human Rights Council in June and could help shape the international discussion surrounding the role of encryption and anonymity today.
VIDEO: Yes, Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Constitution

VIDEO: Yes, Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Constitution

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:05pm

EDITOR'S NOTE: A resounding win! A Philadelphia audience sided squarely with team civil liberties in a debate hosted yesterday by Intelligence Squared. Arguing for the motion, "Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Constitution," were…

iPhone by Karlis Dambrans

Securing Our Data Should Come First

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 9:08am

This post was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Apple vs. the Law," which asked: How much should tech companies cooperate with the government on data access?

Apple's new encryption policy…

NSA Headquarters

New Documents Shed Light on One of the NSA's Most Powerful Tools

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:00am

Today, we're releasing several key documents about Executive Order 12333 that we obtained from the government in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the ACLU filed (along with the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale…

Challenge to NSA’s Mass Surveillance Inches Way Up Court System

Challenge to NSA’s Mass Surveillance Inches Way Up Court System

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:00am

This morning, we're heading back to court to challenge the NSA's phone-records program, this time in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

Several district courts have already ruled on the program, with one calling it "almost Orwellian."…

The NSA's Other Privacy Loophole

The NSA's Other Privacy Loophole

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:26pm

Earlier today, a former State Department civil servant named John Tye published an important op-ed in the Washington Post, explaining that the NSA has created a giant loophole in Americans' right to privacy. While we now know a good deal about the…

Large billboard reading "notice"

How the NSA Got Away with Spying on American–Muslim Civil Rights Activists

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 2:20pm

An article published by The Intercept this week revealed that the government has conducted surveillance of several prominent American Muslims—including a former official in the Department of Homeland Security, a professor at Rutgers University, and…

Fix FISA

The Privacy Oversight Board Should Have Listened to Senator Obama

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:20pm

In 2008, Barack Obama, then a U.S. senator, realized that if an important surveillance law were to pass, Americans’ right to privacy in their international communications would be (in the later words of the Department of Justice) “significantly…

Photo source: Chelsea Gomez from Flickr

Are "Two Hops" Too Many?

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:07pm

This is the second blog in a three-part series.

Less than a year after the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Americans was first exposed to public scrutiny, the president has formally issued a proposal to end the bulk collection of our phone records.…

Three Things to Know About the Government Privacy Report on NSA Spying

Three Things to Know About the Government Privacy Report on NSA Spying

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 1:43pm

This piece was originally published on Slate.

On Thursday, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released its long-awaited report on the NSA's phone-records program. That's the program in which the NSA collects—and…

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