Blog of Rights

Alex
Abdo

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

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” to a counterterrorism or counter-intelligence investigation. That information could include the web sites we visit, the email addresses of our contacts, or even information linking us to our anonymous political speech online. This practice has been shrouded in secrecy, though, because the FBI gags recipients of NSLs—preventing companies from telling their customers that the government has asked for records about them.
National Security Letters: A Little Less Secret?

National Security Letters: A Little Less Secret?

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project & Hannah Mercuris at 4:37pm

The government’s surveillance of Americans in the name of national security remains overwhelmingly secret. Some of the secrecy is legitimate, but much of it is not.   The ACLU has been chipping away at secrecy and “gag order”…

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 National Security 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…

In Court Today: CIA Claims That Torture Technique Is an “Intelligence Method” Exempted From FOIA

In Court Today: CIA Claims That Torture Technique Is an “Intelligence Method” Exempted From FOIA

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 9:29am

Today I will argue the CIA must release cables describing its use of waterboarding.

Congressional Representatives Support ACLU Push for Transparency in Secret Surveillance Court

Congressional Representatives Support ACLU Push for Transparency in Secret Surveillance Court

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:41pm

Sixteen members of Congress have come out in support of the ACLU's motion...

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 National Security 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...

Book Review: "Hard Measures"

Book Review: "Hard Measures"

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security 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,…

10 Years Later: Our First Step Toward Torture

10 Years Later: Our First Step Toward Torture

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 2:44pm

Our country’s embrace of torture after 9/11 may have seemed like a quick one: one day we didn’t torture, and the next we did, with the so-called “torture memos” to blame for the rapid shift. But the reality is that proponents…

ACLU: If We Ran the CIA...

ACLU: If We Ran the CIA...

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project & at 12:23pm

Michele Bachmann announced on Saturday night that the ACLU is "running the CIA." Not true, of course, but it got us thinking: what if we did run the CIA?

Blue Ribbon Task Force: U.S. Tortured Detainees—Leaders Responsible

Blue Ribbon Task Force: U.S. Tortured Detainees—Leaders Responsible

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 2:39pm

Nearly two years ago, a non-partisan, constitutional think tank called the Constitution Project assembled its blue-ribbon Task Force on Detainee Treatment to examine the treatment of detainees in the years following 9/11. Today, the Task Force released…

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