Blog of Rights

Alex
Abdo

Alex Abdo (@AlexanderAbdo) is a staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project.

CIA to Promote Head of "Black Site" Where Torture Occurred?

CIA to Promote Head of "Black Site" Where Torture Occurred?

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:23am
Update (5/7/2013): CIA Director John Brennan has replaced the acting head of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, who is also the subject of this blog post. This important news hopefully signals Brennan’s commitment to enforcing the letter and spirit of President Obama's executive order banning the use of torture, abuse, and secret prisons.
Government Increasingly Invoking National Security to Circumvent FOIA

Government Increasingly Invoking National Security to Circumvent FOIA

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security 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…

Google’s Report on NSLs: What we still don’t know

Google’s Report on NSLs: What we still don’t know

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:44am

Every year, the FBI issues tens of thousands of “national security letters”—or NSLs—demanding that internet service providers, telephone companies, credit card companies, and others hand over information about their customers if it is “relevant”…

Rhetorical Support Is Not “Material Support”

Rhetorical Support Is Not “Material Support”

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 2:37pm

We Americans cherish few rights more than the right to speak our minds. And yet that right often comes under attack. Most recently, the federal government has used laws criminalizing the “material support” of foreign…

Step One in Data-Mining America: Build a Big Database

Step One in Data-Mining America: Build a Big Database

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:14pm

A few days ago, we highlighted the drastic privacy implications of new guidelines issued to govern data-mining by the National Counterterrorism Center (“NCTC”). Yesterday, we testified to Congress about the problems with the guidelines,…

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:10pm

In Guantánamo Bay last week, I had an enlightening opportunity to talk with Brigadier General Mark Martins—the Chief Prosecutor of the military commissions—along with a handful of other NGO observers of the commissions. There…

Reporting From Guantanamo: “Why Not Get It Right the First Time?”

Reporting From Guantanamo: “Why Not Get It Right the First Time?”

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:08pm

At the Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay this week, military commission proceedings have resumed in the capital case against Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri, a 47-year-old citizen of Saudi Arabia, who is facing a possible death sentence for his…

The White House's Blemished Record of Disclosure on Bush-Era Torture

The White House's Blemished Record of Disclosure on Bush-Era Torture

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:46am

Of the thousands of now public documents related to the Bush administration's experiment with torture, a particularly remarkable one is a Justice Department memo from 30 May 2005 analyzing whether the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques" violate the Convention Against Torture.

ACLU Launches Torture Database in Recognition of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

ACLU Launches Torture Database in Recognition of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:41pm
In recognition of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we launched the Torture Database, a compilation of over 100,000 pages of documents related to the Bush administration’s rendition, detention, and interrogation policies and practices. The database is our effort to provide meaningful public access to the primary documentation of torture and abuse during the years following September 11, 2001.
More Transparency Needed For Government's Use of National Security Powers For Data Requests From Companies

More Transparency Needed For Government's Use of National Security Powers For Data Requests From Companies

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 2:27pm

Google's transparency report reveals that the U.S. government asked Google for data on its users 6,321 times during the second half of 2011—a 75% increase from two years ago.

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