Jameel Jaffer

Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) is founding director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.  He previously served as Deputy Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, which houses the ACLU’s work on human rights, national security, speech, privacy, and technology. 

Articles by this author

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Friday, April 14, 2017
Censorship at the Border Threatens Free Speech Everywhere
Defending one’s political and religious beliefs to government officials is an obligation we associate with life in authoritarian regimes, not open societies. It’s becoming common, though, for foreign citizens who visit the United States—and even for Americans returning home after travel abroad—to...
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Tuesday, December 01, 2015
A Decade-Old Gag Order, Lifted
More than a decade ago, a man named Nick Merrill approached the NYCLU and ACLU with an unusual request for help. At the time, Nick ran a small Internet access and consulting business, called Calyx, in New York City. A few days earlier, an FBI agent had come by Calyx’s offices and handed Nick a “...
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Drone Disclosures, Official and Not
As many already know, last week The Intercept published a series of fascinating stories about the US drone campaign. The stories, and the official documents that accompany them, supply new details about the way the government chooses its targets, the way drone strikes are authorized, the way the...
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Thursday, May 28, 2015
On Patriot Act Renewal and USA Freedom Act
Even in the security- über alles climate that followed 9/11, the Patriot Act was recognized as an extreme and radical expansion of government surveillance powers. That’s why “sunset provisions” were attached to several of its key provisions: meaning they would expire automatically unless Congress...
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Sunday, May 24, 2015
Scaremongering About the Patriot Act Sunset
In a last-ditch effort to scare lawmakers into preserving unpopular and much-abused surveillance authorities, the Senate Republican leadership and some intelligence officials are warning that allowing Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset would compromise national security. (One particularly...
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Monday, December 15, 2014
Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn’t Be Above the Law
The Senate report released last 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 findings, the attorney general should appoint a special prosecutor who can conduct a comprehensive...
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An effigy of a U.S. drone is burned during a protest in Sanaa, Yemen last year. (Photo: Hani Mohammed/AP) Views
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Americans Deserve an Explanation for Targeted Killings
The most important parts of the drone memo are the parts you can’t see. The memo , released by a federal court on Monday in response to lawsuits filed by the ACLU and The New York Times , addresses the government’s authority to carry out “targeted killings” of American terrorism suspects. Written...
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Obama is Cancelling the NSA Dragnet. So Why Did All Three Branches Sign Off?
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Thursday, December 19, 2013
How the Government Misled the Supreme Court on Warrentless Wiretapping
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Thursday, June 07, 2012
'Targeted Propaganda' Campaign Follows 'Targeted Killing' Campaign
A story in last week's New York Times painted a remarkably detailed picture of the US government's so-called "targeted killing" campaign, a campaign that involves the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to kill suspected insurgents and terrorists and, it turns out, many, many others, as well.
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