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.

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 Heinrich (D-N.M.) — in a challenge to the NSA’s mass collection of the phone records of virtually all Americans.
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…

ACLU Challenges Government’s "Fiction of Deniability" on Use of Drones for Targeted Killing

ACLU Challenges Government’s "Fiction of Deniability" on Use of Drones for Targeted Killing

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 4:56pm

On Friday, the ACLU asked the federal district court in Washington, D.C. to reject the Central Intelligence Agency's argument that it cannot provide any information in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about the use of drones…

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…

GRAPHIC: How the Government Simultaneously Confirms AND Denies Targeted Killing

GRAPHIC: How the Government Simultaneously Confirms AND Denies Targeted Killing

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 3:59pm

Today, ProPublica published an important and illuminating news article and accompanying interactive web feature that demonstrates just how duplicitous the government is being regarding the CIA’s targeted killing program.

As we’ve…

How a Secret Court's Backwards Logic Opened the Floodgates for NSA Spying

How a Secret Court's Backwards Logic Opened the Floodgates for NSA Spying

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project & Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 2:55pm

This was originally posted at The Guardian.

After yet another avalanche of documents showing how the NSA has spied on our communications for years, Americans should be asking, how did we get here?

The answer is simple: secrecy poisoned…

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…

Victory in Court: CIA Can No Longer Refuse to "Confirm or Deny" on Drones

Victory in Court: CIA Can No Longer Refuse to "Confirm or Deny" on Drones

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 1:48pm

In an important victory for transparency, a federal appeals court today put an end to the CIA's absurd claims that it "cannot confirm or deny"...

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…

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…

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