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.

The Basis for the NSA's Call-Tracking Program Has Disappeared, If It Ever Existed

The Basis for the NSA's Call-Tracking Program Has Disappeared, If It Ever Existed

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

There's a significant discrepancy, one that deserves more attention, between what the NSA...

An Ally or a Spy Target, But Not Both

An Ally or a Spy Target, But Not Both

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:48am

The revelation that the National Security Agency is engaged in dragnet surveillance of American allies is just another indication...

Selective Disclosure About Targeted Killing

Selective Disclosure About Targeted Killing

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:47am

This piece was originally published on JustSecurity.org on October 7, 2013.

For several years, the ACLU has been pressing the Obama administration to be more transparent about the targeted-killing program. I'm starting to wonder whether it…

NSA Surveillance: No Checks, No Balance

NSA Surveillance: No Checks, No Balance

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:18pm

About two weeks ago, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asking questions about the court's operations in advance…

ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Reject Government's Effort to Block Judicial Review of Surveillance Law

ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Reject Government's Effort to Block Judicial Review of Surveillance Law

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:15pm

In 2008, Congress enacted a statute that authorized the National Security Agency to carry out dragnet surveillance of Americans' international communications. Almost four years later, the statute — called the FISA Amendments Act — has…

Sens. Wyden and Udall Weigh in on ACLU Patriot Act FOIA Case

Sens. Wyden and Udall Weigh in on ACLU Patriot Act FOIA Case

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 6:09pm

"Contrary to core principles of American democracy." That's how two U.S. senators describe the Justice Department's refusal to release a secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act.

Last year, we filed a request under the Freedom…

A Brewing Battle Over Warrantless Wiretapping

A Brewing Battle Over Warrantless Wiretapping

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:14pm

It's almost certain that we'll have a hard-fought battle over domestic surveillance this year, both in the courts and in Congress.

RIP Hitch

RIP Hitch

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 3:53pm

Christopher Hitchens had many rare qualities – he was contrarian, original, devastatingly brilliant, skeptical of almost everything – and I take pride in the fact that he was once an ACLU client.  He was a plaintiff in our 2006 challenge…

A Framework for Impunity

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 6:04pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Since 2003, the ACLU and other U.S. human rights organizations have filed dozens of cases relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners. Some of these cases seek to enforce requests under the Freedom of Information…

The Torture Report

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:25am

(Originally posted on Huffington Post.)

Since 2004, the ACLU and its partners — the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace — have been litigating under…

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