Blog of Rights

Jameel
Jaffer

Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) is a deputy legal director of the ACLU and director of its Center for Democracy, which houses the organization's work on human rights, national security, free speech, privacy, and technology. He has litigated many cases relating to government surveillance, including challenges to the Patriot Act's "national security letter" provision, the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program, and the National Security Agency's call-tracking program. He has also litigated cases relating to targeted killing and torture, including a landmark case under the Freedom of Information Act that resulted in the release of the Bush administration's "torture memos" and hundreds of other documents relating to the Bush administration's torture program. He is currently working on a book about individual privacy and official secrecy, a project he began as an Open Society Fellow in 2013. Before joining the staff of the ACLU, he clerked for Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. He is a graduate of Williams College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School.

Will You Stand Up for Them?

CIA Agents Said "No" to Torture

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:34am
The Senate report released earlier this week is mainly about the CIA personnel who authorized and used torture.

The Surveillance Memos, and a Suggestion for Jack Goldsmith

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:55pm

As I noted in a previous post, the two Bush administration surveillance memos we obtained last Friday are very heavily redacted. They’re interesting nonetheless.

The first memo, written by Office of Legal Counsel lawyer John Yoo…

America's Real Patriots Fought to Expose and End Torture

America's Real Patriots Fought to Expose and End Torture

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 1:39pm

This was originally published in The Los Angeles Times.

After more than a decade of denial and concealment on the part of our government, President Obama's recent acknowledgment that "we tortured some folks" felt like a milestone. Even in its…

Obama's NSA Proposal Reveals a Broken Oversight System

Obama's NSA Proposal Reveals a Broken Oversight System

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 2:41pm

This piece originally ran at the Guardian.

To anyone who criticized the National Security Agency's phone-records dragnet over the last nine months or so, the American intelligence community had this stock response: all three branches of government…

American Torture and the 'Heroic Imagination'

American Torture and the 'Heroic Imagination'

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Larry Siems, The Torture Report at 11:55am

This was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

Trained in the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military…

Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn't Be Above the Law

Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn't Be Above the Law

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:23am

This piece originally appeared at MSNBC.com.

The Senate report released earlier this week makes clear that the CIA tortured more men, and far more brutally, than anyone outside the intelligence community previously understood. Given the report's…

Calling Abroad? Then Your Privacy Rights May Be "Eliminated"

Calling Abroad? Then Your Privacy Rights May Be "Eliminated"

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:14am

Modern American privacy law begins with Charles Katz, an accused gambler, making a call from a Los Angeles phone booth. In a now-famous opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan concluded that the US Constitution protected Katz's "expectation of privacy"…

"There Have Been Some Compliance Incidents": NSA Violates Surveillance Rules Multiple Times a Day

"There Have Been Some Compliance Incidents": NSA Violates Surveillance Rules Multiple Times a Day

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 2:21pm

The Washington Post reported last night that the NSA has been violating...

First the 'targeted killing' campaign, then the targeted propaganda campaign

First the 'targeted killing' campaign, then the targeted propaganda campaign

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:10am

Originally posted on The Guardian.

A story in last week's New York Times painted a remarkably detailed picture of the US government's so-called "targeted killing" campaign, a campaign that involves the use of unmanned aerial vehicles…

Further Reflections About John Brennan's Targeted Killing Speech

Further Reflections About John Brennan's Targeted Killing Speech

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:48am

The president's chief counterterrorism advisor delivered a speech yesterday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. We issued a first reaction here. Here are some further thoughts:

1.…

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