Blog of Rights

Brett Max
Kaufman

Brett Max Kaufman is the National Security Fellow in the ACLU's National Security Project. Mr. Kaufman is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Texas School of Law, where he was Book Review Editor of the Texas Law Review and a Human Rights Scholar at the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. After graduation from law school, Mr. Kaufman spent one year in Israel, serving first as a foreign law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Asher Dan Grunis and then as a volunteer attorney at Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement. He next completed two clerkships in New York City—with the Hon. Robert D. Sack of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and with Judge Richard J. Holwell and (after Judge Holwell’s resignation) Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

How the Phone Dragnet Slipped Through Cracks in Oversight

How the Phone Dragnet Slipped Through Cracks in Oversight

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 4:34pm
Last week, the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) issued a scathing report about the government's use of Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect the phone records of every American for the last seven years. While much attention has rightly been paid to the Board's ultimate recommendation that the government end this bulk-collection program, the report also gives a comprehensive factual account of how the program began.
NYU–Stanford Report Documents U.S. Government’s False Narrative on Drone Strikes

NYU–Stanford Report Documents U.S. Government’s False Narrative on Drone Strikes

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 4:18pm

Today, researchers at the law schools of New York University and Stanford University published an important and comprehensively documented report about the human and strategic costs of the United States’ drone program in Pakistan. The report marshals…

PCLOB to Examine Legal Underpinnings of NSA Surveillance

PCLOB to Examine Legal Underpinnings of NSA Surveillance

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 10:54am

Today, the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer will appear before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board as its members question government officials, privacy advocates, law professors, and policy experts about the government’s surveillance programs…

ACLU and Yale Clinic Seek Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA’s Bulk Collection of Americans’ Records

ACLU and Yale Clinic Seek Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA’s Bulk Collection of Americans’ Records

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 3:00pm

Today, we filed our second motion in five months in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) asking for public access to secret court opinions authorizing government surveillance en masse. The motion seeks to uncover the original and complete…

The FBI Derails the 9/11 Hearings at Guantánamo

The FBI Derails the 9/11 Hearings at Guantánamo

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 5:20pm

The oft-delayed, secrecy-plagued 9/11 military commission hearings came to an abrupt halt today before the scheduled arguments surrounding the competency of defendant Ramzi bin al Shibh even began. Just minutes after Army Col. James Pohl called the…

Echoing Dirty Past, NSA Sought to Reveal Porn Habits to Discredit Targets

Echoing Dirty Past, NSA Sought to Reveal Porn Habits to Discredit Targets

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 12:06pm

In the five months since the world first learned of Edward Snowden, story after story based on documents disclosed by the young whistleblower have filled out a picture of the National Security Agency (NSA) as an organization with a limitless — and…

Finally, a Day in Court to Challenge Mass Surveillance

Finally, a Day in Court to Challenge Mass Surveillance

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 11:11am

For more than seven years, the government has collected the phone records of every American under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, without ever having to justify the program's legality in a public and adversarial court hearing — that is, until this…

Senators Say Bulk Collection Unnecessary to Fight Terrorism

Senators Say Bulk Collection Unnecessary to Fight Terrorism

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 12:45pm

The ACLU and the ACLU of Northern California filed a friend-of-the-court brief yesterday on behalf of three of Congress’s most staunch defenders of Americans’ privacy rights — Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), and Martin…

In Court Today: Challenging the CIA's Targeted-Killing "Secrets"

In Court Today: Challenging the CIA's Targeted-Killing "Secrets"

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 11:08am

Disclosure of secrets has been in the air these last few months. We've witnessed a remarkable stream of revelations about the National Security Agency's vast and invasive surveillance apparatus, followed by government disclosures concerning hidden…

In Court Today: Fighting the CIA's Secrecy Claims on Drones

In Court Today: Fighting the CIA's Secrecy Claims on Drones

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 7:41am

This morning the ACLU will appear before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records about the CIA’s use of drone aircraft to carry out targeted killings around the world. We will argue that the court…

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