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.

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 Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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.
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…

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 Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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 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…

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 Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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 Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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 Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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 Speech, Privacy, and Technology 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.

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…

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,…

Statistics image