Jameel Jaffer

Executive Editor

Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) is Executive Editor at Just Security. He is also inaugural 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.  Since joining the staff of the ACLU in 2002, he litigated many cases relating to security and human rights, including challenges to the CIA’s targeted killing program and the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program.  He also represented the ACLU and other human rights organizations in ACLU v. Department of Defense, litigation under the Freedom of Information Act that resulted in the release of thousands of records about the Bush administration’s torture policies, including the “torture memos” written by the Office of Legal Counsel.  He is a graduate of Williams College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School. Jaffer is also on LinkedIn.

Areas of ExpertiseHuman Rights, National Security, Privacy, Targeted Killing, Surveillance, Torture, Military Commissions

Selected Media Appearances
Obama Declares The Beginning Of The End Of The War On Terror – MSNBC (The Rachel Maddow Show)
President Obama Preserves Abuses – MSNBC (The Rachel Maddow Show)
Jameel Jaffer On National Security – CBC (George Stoumboulopoulos Tonight)

Government Surveillance and YouWNYC (The Leonard Lopate Show)
ACLU Sues U.S. – CBC Radio (The Current)
ACLU Pushes For Answers On Drone Strikes
– NPR (Morning Edition)

Sensenbrenner wants tweaks to his own Patriot Act – MSNBC
NSA violated the law and misled its court chaperone – MSNBC
N.S.A. Often Broke Rules on Privacy, Audit Shows – The New York Times
Former judge admits flaws with secret FISA courtCBS News
Sources: US intelligence agencies tap servers of top Internet companies
– NBC News
NSA data-gathering deja vu for privacy hawksCBS News

Articles by this author:

TikTok and the First Amendment


Mar 24th, 2023

Supreme Court Should Address Prior Restraints on Former Gov’t Employees

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May 19th, 2022

Reclaim the First Amendment — Harvard Law Review Address


Apr 5th, 2022

Video: Roads Not Taken – Reflections on the 9/11 Anniversary

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Sep 14th, 2021

In the “War on Terror,” What Did Rights Organizations Get Wrong?


Sep 7th, 2021

A New Consensus Around Transparency and National Security Surveillance

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May 27th, 2021

How Biden, Congress, and US Business and Civic Leaders Can Deliver Justice for Jamal Khashoggi

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Feb 26th, 2021

The Biden Administration Should Drop the Assange Case


Feb 8th, 2021

How a New Administration—and a New Congress—Can Fix Prepublication Review: A Roadmap for Reform

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Nov 24th, 2020

Trump’s Executive Order on the ICC is Illegal, Not Just Shameful

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Oct 13th, 2020

It’s Assange in the Dock, But It’s National Security Journalism on Trial


Sep 30th, 2020

A District Court Endorses a Broken Prepublication Review System

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Apr 21st, 2020

John Bolton’s Silence — Here’s how he could lawfully break it

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Jan 31st, 2020

Assange Indictment Is Shot Across the Bow of Press Freedom

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Apr 11th, 2019

Digital Journalism and the New Public Square – Or’ Emet Lecture


Nov 13th, 2018

A Call to Former Intelligence Community Employees Who Are Subject to a Prepublication Review Requirement

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Sep 4th, 2018

New Series: Perspectives from Impacted Countries

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Mar 19th, 2018

The Office of Legal Counsel and Secret Law


Jul 18th, 2017

Censorship at the Border Threatens Free Speech Everywhere


Apr 14th, 2017

Judge Gorsuch and Executive Power


Mar 22nd, 2017

Philip Bobbitt’s War Without Tears


Nov 29th, 2016

Donald Trump’s Drone War


Nov 15th, 2016

The Drone Memos—The Book


Oct 31st, 2016

“A First Amendment in the Digital Age”—Peter Zenger Lecture


Oct 11th, 2016

A Less-Secret Drone Campaign


Jun 27th, 2016

Drone Disclosures, Official and Not


Oct 19th, 2015

The CIA Can’t Keep Its Drone Propaganda Straight

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Jun 20th, 2015

Scaremongering about the Patriot Act Sunset


May 24th, 2015

What ACLU v. Clapper Means


May 12th, 2015

The Unreal Secrecy About Drone Killings


Apr 9th, 2015

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos


Jan 20th, 2015

The Torture Report, the CIA’s “Work of Fiction,” and a Friday-afternoon Letter From DOJ


Jan 18th, 2015