About the ACLU's Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology
The ACLU’s Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology (SPT) is dedicated to protecting and expanding the First Amendment freedoms of expression, association, and inquiry; expanding the right to privacy and increasing the control that individuals have over their personal information; and ensuring that civil liberties are enhanced rather than compromised by new advances in science and technology. The project is currently working on a variety of issues, including political protest, freedom of expression online, privacy of electronic information, journalists’ rights, scientific freedom, and openness in the courts.
Ben Wizner (@benwizner) is the director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project. For more than fifteen years, he has worked at the intersection of civil liberties and national security, litigating numerous cases involving airport security policies, government watch lists, surveillance practices, targeted killing, and torture. He appears regularly in the global media, has testified before Congress, and is an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law. Since July of 2013, he has been the principal legal advisor to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Ben is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law and was a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
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Jay Stanley (@JayCStanley) is senior policy analyst with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, where he researches, writes and speaks about technology-related privacy and civil liberties issues and their future. He is the editor of the ACLU’s Free Future blog and has authored and co-authored a variety of influential ACLU reports, policy papers and fact sheets on such topics as government and private-sector surveillance, police body cameras, drones, network neutrality, scientific freedom, and airline passenger security. Before joining the ACLU five weeks before 9/11, Jay was an analyst at the technology research firm Forrester, where he focused on internet policy issues. He is a graduate of Williams College and holds an M.A. in American History from the University of Virginia.
Lee Rowland (@berkitron) is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. Lee has extensive experience as a litigator, lobbyist, and public speaker. She has served as lead counsel in federal First Amendment cases involving public employee speech rights, the protection of online speech, and state secrecy surrounding the lethal injection process. She also authors amicus briefs and blogs on topics including the intersection of speech and privacy (e.g., restrictions on mug shots and nudity, the right to be forgotten, copyright injunctions), student and public employee speech, obscenity, and the Communications Decency Act. Lee serves as an adjunct clinical professor for NYU Law’s Technology Law and Policy Clinic, and is a member of the New York Bar Association’s Communications and Media Law Committee. Prior to joining the ACLU, Lee was a voting rights counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice. She previously ran the Reno office of the ACLU of Nevada, where she regularly argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Nevada Supreme Court. Lee is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Law School, where she served as President of the Harvard Defenders and staffed the Harvard Human Rights Journal and the Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal.
Nathan Freed Wessler (@NateWessler) is a staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, where he focuses on litigation and advocacy around surveillance and privacy issues, including government searches of electronic devices, requests for sensitive data held by third parties, and use of surveillance technologies. In 2017, he argued Carpenter v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to establish that the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement to get a search warrant before requesting cell phone location data from a person’s cellular service provider.
Nate was previously a legal fellow in the ACLU National Security Project, where he was involved in litigation seeking transparency and accountability for targeted killing and challenging unlawful detentions at the U.S. prisons in Bagram and Guantanamo. Prior to that, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Helene N. White of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Nate is a graduate of Swarthmore College and New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern public interest scholar. Before law school, he worked as a field organizer in the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office.
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Esha Bhandari (@bhandari_esha) is a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, where she focuses on litigation and advocacy relating to online speech, academic freedom, privacy rights, and the impact of big data. Esha was previously an Equal Justice Works fellow with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, where she was involved in litigating cases concerning a right to counsel in immigration proceedings, detainer policies, and discriminatory state and local laws. She has also been a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she worked on two trials challenging a Texas law limiting women’s access to reproductive health care. Esha is a graduate of McGill University, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and Columbia Law School, and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Daniel Kahn Gillmor is a senior staff technologist with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. He is an active developer for Debian, one of the oldest and largest free software operating systems, in addition to many other free software projects. Daniel is also a participant in the development of Internet protocols for secure communications with the IETF. He has served on the Leadership Committee of May First/People Link, a mutual aid Internet organization for social justice advocates, and has led discussions on cryptography and data sovereignty issues at conferences from Banja Luka to Hong Kong. Daniel is a graduate of Brown University’s computer science program.
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Jennifer Granick fights for civil liberties in an age of massive surveillance and powerful digital technology. As the new surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, she litigates, speaks, and writes about privacy, security, technology, and constitutional rights. Granick is the author of the book American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What To Do About It, published by Cambridge Press and winner of the 2016 Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. Granick spent much of her career helping create Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. From 2001 to 2007, she was Executive Director of CIS and founded the Cyberlaw Clinic, where she supervised students in working on some of the most important cyberlaw cases that took place during her tenure. For example, she was the primary crafter of a 2006 exception to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which allows mobile telephone owners to legally circumvent the firmware locking their device to a single carrier. From 2012 to 2017, Granick was Civil Liberties Director specializing in and teaching surveillance law, cybersecurity, encryption policy, and the Fourth Amendment. In that capacity, she has published widely on U.S. government surveillance practices, and helped educate judges and congressional staffers on these issues. Granick also served as the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation from 2007-2010. Earlier in her career, Granick spent almost a decade practicing criminal defense law in California. Granick’s work is well-known in privacy and security circles. Her keynote, "Lifecycle of the Revolution" for the 2015 Black Hat USA security conference electrified and depressed the audience in equal measure. In March of 2016, she received Duo Security’s Women in Security Academic Award for her expertise in the field as well as her direction and guidance for young women in the security industry. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore) has called Granick an "NBA all-star of surveillance law.”
Vera Eidelman is the William J. Brennan fellow with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Vera is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. During law school, she worked in Yale’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, interned with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was a member of Yale’s San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project. Before joining SPT, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Beth Labson Freeman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. PGP: 94D42DB66BE669A0876E18F6BD78D419AE72B204
Jacob J. Hutt is the William J. Brennan Fellow with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Jacob is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law. During law school, Jacob worked in the Family Defense Clinic at Brooklyn Defender Services, interned over the summer at the ACLU of Ohio in Cleveland, and provided tax counsel to indigent clients as an IRS-certified tax preparer. After his fellowship, he will serve as a law clerk to the Hon. Ronnie Abrams of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and to the Hon. Karen Nelson Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Jenna Bitar is the paralegal with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Jenna is a 2014 graduate of Hampshire College, where she designed her own concentration in Social and Political Theory, Cultural Studies, and Art. Prior to joining SPT, she was an active student political organizer and activist. She has worked with multiple human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International USA and Global Exchange. She has worked most extensively with the American Friends Service Committee based out of Western Massachusetts where she researched and reported on the role of surveillance in local law enforcement. Jenna continues her work as a NYC grassroots organizer.
Thaddeus Talbot (@TalbotThaddeus) is a Legal Assistant with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project and Human Rights Program. Previously, Thaddeus interned at The Southern African Institute for Policy and Research in Lusaka, Zambia, the Legal Aid Society's Brooklyn Housing Court Office and the Legal Department of Goldman Sachs & Co., where he was awarded their Scholarship for Excellence. He is a 2018 Fellow in the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service at the NYU Wagner School and mentors young men of color at an education non-profit in Harlem called Brotherhood Sister Sol. Thaddeus graduated from Cornell University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations.