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.

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...

CIA: We Do Not "Concede or Not Concede" that Waterboarding is Illegal

CIA: We Do Not "Concede or Not Concede" that Waterboarding is Illegal

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 1:45pm

On Friday, the ACLU appeared before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to argue that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires the CIA to release documents describing its use of waterboarding. The simple question at the heart of…

FBI: If We Told You, You Might Sue

FBI: If We Told You, You Might Sue

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & at 1:02pm

Often when the government tries to suppress information about surveillance, it cites national-security concerns. But not always. A few years after the Bush administration's warrantless-wiretapping program was revealed for the first time by the New York Times, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act. That act authorizes the government to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans' international communications without meaningful oversight. As we've explained before (including in our lawsuit challenging the statute), the FISA Amendments Act is unconstitutional.

Court Orders Release of Detainee Abuse Photos

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & at 1:18pm

Yesterday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the government to release 21 photographs depicting the abuse of detainees by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The decision comes as part of the ACLU's long-running battle to expose government…

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...

Rhetorical Support Is Not “Material Support”

Rhetorical Support Is Not “Material Support”

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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…

Appeals Court Says CIA Can Hide Torture Evidence from Public

Appeals Court Says CIA Can Hide Torture Evidence from Public

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 1:52pm

Earlier this week, a federal appeals court ruled that the CIA can effectively decide for itself what Americans are allowed to learn about the torture committed in their name. At issue in the ACLU’s long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit…

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 Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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…

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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…

Book Review: "Hard Measures"

Book Review: "Hard Measures"

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:03am

In an email sent to potential supporters a few days before releasing his book on CIA torture, Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and its former Deputy Director of Operations, complained that his book, Hard Measures,…

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