Trevor Timm

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and legal analyst who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian and has also contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift, and Politico. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorTimm

Articles by this author

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 4:15pm
Stop Believing the Lies: America Tortured More Than 'Some Folks' – and Covered It Up
It wasn’t that bad, we’ve been told, over and over again, for more than a decade. “We only waterboarded three people” goes the line American officials have been force-feeding the world for years. “We tortured some folks,” Barack Obama admitted recently, still downplaying war crimes committed in...
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Monday, November 24, 2014 - 3:00pm
Obama's New Leader at the Pentagon Will Mean More War – Not Less
Chuck Hagel resigned as US defense secretary on Monday morning , and the Obama administration must be ecstatic that the Washington press is agrip with the perennial Beltway question: “Was he fired or did he quit?!” After yet another weekend of news that the administration is expanding its war...
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Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 6:30am
Mark Udall's Loss Is a Blow for Privacy, But He Can Go Out with a Bang: 'Leak' the CIA Torture Report
merica’s rising civil liberties movement lost one of its strongest advocates in the US Congress on Tuesday night, as Colorado’s Mark Udall lost his Senate seat to Republican Cory Gardner . While the election was not a referendum on Udall’s support for civil liberties (Gardner expressed support for...
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Stingrays “emulate a cellphone tower” and “force” cell phones to register their location and identifying information with the stingray instead of with real cell towers in the area. Views
Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 8:00am
The US Government Doesn't Want You to Know How the Cops Are Tracking You
All across America, from Florida to Colorado and back again, the country's increasingly militarized local police forces are using a secretive technology to vacuum up cellphone data from entire neighborhoods – including from people inside their own homes – almost always without a warrant. This week...
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Journalist James Risen and President Obama. 'This is the latest victory of the Obama administration in their crackdown on sources, and in turn, investigative journalism,' say Timm. (File) Views
Monday, June 2, 2014 - 1:15pm
Make No Mistake, This Case Is a Direct Attack on the Press
The Supreme Court today rejected New York Times reporter James Risen's appeal of a 4th Circuit decision that ruled the government can compel him to reveal his source under oath. The case, one of the most important for reporter's privilege in decades, means that Risen has exhausted his appeals and...
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Given the NSA's talent for distorting the plain meaning of the English language, it's always possible the agency will find a way to subvert the will of the people it allegedly serves. But a bill could get to Obama's desk soon. (Photo illustration: DonkeyHotey / Flickr via Creative Commons) Views
Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 12:15pm
The Battle to Retake Our Privacy Can Be Won in the Halls of Congress – Really!
After months of inaction – and worries that real change at the National Security Agency was indefinitely stalled – there was a flurry of action in Congress this week on the most promising NSA reform bill, as the USA Freedom Act unanimously passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and then,...
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James Clapper's policy will inevitably leave journalists in the cold when trying to explain complex government policies, top-secret or not. Photograph: All the President's Men / The Ronald Grant Archive Views
Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 1:15pm
DC Thinks It Can Silence a New Snowden, But the Anti-Leak Hypocrisy is Backfiring
After Edward Snowden caught the US government with its pants down, you would think the keepers of this country's secrets might stand up for a little more transparency, not bend over backwards trying to control the message. Instead, this week we found out the Most Transparent Administration in...
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FBI director nominee James Comey oversees a growing part of the US surveillance state. (Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters) Views
Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 8:45am
The Mentality of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI Undergirds Today’s Surveillance State
The new documentary 1971 , about the formerly anonymous FBI burglars who exposed the crimes of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, debuted to a rapt audience at the Tribecca film festival last night. As the filmmakers noted in an interview with the AP, the parallels between Nixon-era FBI...
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(Image via Mother Jones) Views
Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 8:30am
Silicon Valley Could Force NSA Reform, Tomorrow. What's Taking so Long?
With Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras triumphantly returning to the US to accept the Polk Award with Barton Gellman and Ewan MacAskill yesterday, maybe it's time we revisit one of their first and most important stories: how much are internet companies like Facebook and Google helping the National...
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Photo: Justin Norman/cc/flickr Views
Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 10:00am
Leak the CIA Report: It's the Only Way to Know the Whole Truth About Torture
In a seemingly rare win for transparency, headlines blared on Thursday that the Senate Intelligence Committee had voted to declassify key findings of its massive report on CIA torture. Unfortunately, most news articles waited until the final two paragraphs to mention the real news: the public won't...
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