Blog of Rights

Patrick
Toomey

Patrick Toomey is a Staff Attorney in the ACLU’s National Security Project, where he works on issues related to electronic surveillance, national security prosecutions, whistle-blowing, and racial profiling. Mr. Toomey is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. After graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Nancy Gertner, United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and to the Hon. Barrington D. Parker, United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

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It Sure Sounds Like the NSA Is Tracking Our Locations

It Sure Sounds Like the NSA Is Tracking Our Locations

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:36pm
The drumbeat of “non-denial denials” is getting louder as the NSA continues to refuse to directly state whether it is using cell phone information to track Americans’ whereabouts. When NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander was asked again about the NSA’s cell phone location tracking on Thursday — at a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — this is how the exchange went:
"Let's Put The Whole Elephant Out There": President Obama's Speech and Bulk Searches of Americans’ Emails

"Let's Put The Whole Elephant Out There": President Obama's Speech and Bulk Searches of Americans’ Emails

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 6:21pm

In his news conference last Friday, President Obama acknowledged the need for critical reforms to the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. Yet despite his nod toward greater transparency — what he called an effort to "put the whole elephant…

Who Did the NSA's Illegal Spying Put in Jail?

Who Did the NSA's Illegal Spying Put in Jail?

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:53am

Last week, the ACLU joined a constitutional challenge to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), the statute that allows the NSA to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans' international phone calls and emails. With the Federal Defenders Office,…

NSA Spy Target Challenges Warrantless Wiretapping Law

NSA Spy Target Challenges Warrantless Wiretapping Law

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:36pm

The ACLU today joined a new challenge to the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) — the surveillance law that gives the NSA virtually unfettered access to the international phone calls and emails of U.S. citizens and residents.…

In Reversal, DOJ Poised to Give Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping

In Reversal, DOJ Poised to Give Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:01pm

On Wednesday evening, the New York Times reported that for five years the Department of Justice had a policy that deprived criminal defendants of notice that they had been surveilled under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) — the 2008 law that authorized…

The NSA's Shadow Database

The NSA's Shadow Database

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:58pm

Last week saw the release of yet another independent report condemning the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records. In its report, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) called for an end to the program, concluding that it…

The NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance system

The NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance system

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project & Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:13am

Now we know all Americans' international email is searched and saved, we can see how far the 'collect it all' mission has gone...

Raiding the "Corporate Store": The NSA's Unfettered Access to a Vast Pool of Americans' Phone Data

Raiding the "Corporate Store": The NSA's Unfettered Access to a Vast Pool of Americans' Phone Data

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:10am

The director of National Intelligence declassified three documents on Wednesday related to the NSA's mass collection of Americans' telephone records. One of these — a so-called "primary order" issued by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance…

NYT: Government Failing to Keep Promises to Supreme Court on Warrantless Wiretapping

NYT: Government Failing to Keep Promises to Supreme Court on Warrantless Wiretapping

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 11:09am

Adam Liptak of The New York Times yesterday brought new public attention to the government's troubling failure to make good on its statements to the Supreme Court last fall, in Clapper v. Amnesty. In that case, the Supreme Court rejected the ACLU's…

The NSA's Spying On Americans: Not As "Inadvertent" As It Claims

The NSA's Spying On Americans: Not As "Inadvertent" As It Claims

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:19am

Another week, another trove of documents detailing the inner secrets of the NSA's massive spying program. Recent revelations have finally provided a look at the procedures that the NSA uses to target and retain communications under the FISA Amendments…

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