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.

Government Confirms That It Has Secret Interpretation of Patriot Act Spy Powers

Government Confirms That It Has Secret Interpretation of Patriot Act Spy Powers

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:59pm
The government has just officially confirmed what we've long suspected: there are secret Justice Department opinions about the Patriot Act's Section 215, which allows the government to get secret orders from a special surveillance court (the FISA Court) requiring Internet service providers and other companies to turn over "any tangible things." Just exactly what the government thinks that phrase means remains to be seen, but there are indications that their take on it is very broad.
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…

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.…

Annotated: The Most Important Passage from President Obama's NSA Speech

Annotated: The Most Important Passage from President Obama's NSA Speech

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:41pm

President Obama just gave a landmark speech about NSA surveillance and the future of digital privacy...

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…

The Most Important Surveillance Order We Know Almost Nothing About

The Most Important Surveillance Order We Know Almost Nothing About

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:53pm

Over the last seven months, we have learned an incredible amount about the government's post-9/11 surveillance efforts. But there is a crucial gap...

WATCH: Condoleezza Rice Defends Torture Program and Confirms Bush's Role in It

WATCH: Condoleezza Rice Defends Torture Program and Confirms Bush's Role in It

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:48am

A video meant to be presented at yesterday's dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum featured Condoleezza...

Government Increasingly Invoking National Security to Circumvent FOIA

Government Increasingly Invoking National Security to Circumvent FOIA

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:23pm

The government is increasingly relying on a national security pretext to bolster its secrecy claims, an Associated Press report released yesterday reveals. Analysis conducted by the news agency shows that the Obama administration cited legal exemptions…

Flashback: Biden Agrees Access to Metadata Is 'Very, Very Intrusive' (VIDEO)

Flashback: Biden Agrees Access to Metadata Is 'Very, Very Intrusive' (VIDEO)

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 9:50am

In the wake of revelations that the Obama administration is tracking virtually every single phone call of every single American, the administration...

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