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.

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:55am
This post was first published by Just Security.
Checks, Balances, and the National Security Agency

Checks, Balances, and the National Security Agency

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:14am

Over the course of three days, the usually invisible National Security Agency has become ostentatiously visible and many Americans...

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…

The Justice Department’s White Paper on Targeted Killing

The Justice Department’s White Paper on Targeted Killing

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:04pm

Michael Isikoff at NBC News has obtained a Justice Department white paper that purports to explain when it would be lawful for the government...

How the NSA's Surveillance Procedures Threaten Americans' Privacy

How the NSA's Surveillance Procedures Threaten Americans' Privacy

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 2:33pm

Documents obtained by the journalist Glenn Greenwald and released yesterday by The Guardian show how the National Security Agency...

Secrecy and Surveillance

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

Over the last decade, lawyers for the Bush and Obama administrations have contended, controversially, that many government surveillance programs are effectively immune from judicial review. They’ve argued that surveillance programs can’t…

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…

Limitless War

Limitless War

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:49am

This originally appeared in a Politico feature collecting responses to President Obama's recently announced military plan against ISIS.

It's strange to think of it now, but when Congress authorized President George W. Bush to use military force…

ACLU on the Hill: NSA Surveillance "Intrusive and Unconstitutional"

ACLU on the Hill: NSA Surveillance "Intrusive and Unconstitutional"

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:28am

This morning, I am testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on why the recently revealed NSA spying programs are unconstitutional and what Congress can do to rein in these unlawful and intrusive programs. Read my opening statement below. You…

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…

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