For additional information, see our Resources section

September 2015

UK’s Legal Rationale for Drone Strikes Differs Fundamentally From US Rationale

Kate Martin in Just Security.

July 2015

“New Lawsuit Tests Hillary Clinton's Claim Private Email System Was Legal”

Josh Gerstein, Politico

June 2015

“Exclusive: U.S. Tech Industry Appeals to Obama to Keep Hands Off Encryption”

By Richard Cowan, Reuters

May 2015

“A Further Note on the Second Circuit, the DC Circuit, and Section 215”

By Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare

April 2015

“House To Vote On Cybersecurity Data-Sharing Bill”

By Hamza Shaban, Buzzfeed

"Why the Islamic State War Authorization Might Be Dead"

By Susan Ferrechio, The Washington Examiner

March 2015

Writing in The Hill, CNSS Warns Congress That Not Voting on War Authorization Against ISIL Is the Real Blank Check for War

In The Hill's Congress Blog, Director Kate Martin urges Congress to consider and vote on the president’s war authorization against ISIL to uphold its constitutional responsibility and reject the over broad interpretation of the 2001 war authority. 

January 2015

CNSS Applauds Privacy Watchdog Report Tracking Implementation of Surveillance Reforms

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released its Recommendation Assessment Report evaluating the Obama Administration’s progress in implementing the Board’s recommended surveillance reforms contained in its Section 215 and Section 702 reviews.  CNSS urged the PCLOB to “undertake an examination and prepare public reports on the status of its recommendations… in time for consideration of the upcoming sunset of 215 authority in June 2015” in comments submitted in August 2014. 

November 2014

“N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Could Go On, Even if a Law Expires”

By Charlie Savage, The New York Times

“The FBI's Secret Memos Show an Agency Obsessed with "Neutraliz(ing)" MLK”

Jen Christensen, CNN

Amicus CNSS Argues NSA Metadata Program Violates Section 215

On November, 4, 2014, the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in one of three cases challenging the legality of the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata.  In the D.C. case, Klayman v. Obama, the plaintiff and amici EFF and ACLU argued that the bulk collection violates the Fourth Amendment.  CNSS filed an amicus brief arguing that the program was never authorized by Congress and violates section 215.  CNSS represented by Paul Smith of Jenner and Block, argued that Congress never intended to give the NSA the authority to continuously collect the telephone records of all Americans.  Section 215 on its face is limited to the FBI, not the NSA, and is limited to records relevant to investigations, which by definition must be something less than all records.  A similar challenge is pending before the Ninth Circuit, Smith v. Obama, and CNSS also filed an amicus brief in that case arguing that the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata collection wasn’t authorized by Congress.  The third civil pending case, ACLU v. Clapper was argued before the Second Circuit in September 2014 and in that case, plaintiff ACLU challenged the program as a violation of both the statute and the Constitution. 

September 2014

“White House Invites Congress to Approve ISIS Strikes, but Says It Isn’t Necessary”

By Charlie Savage, The New York Times

August 2014

“Problems With the Bill Limiting Surveillance”

By Andrew Rosenthal, The New York Times Editorial Blog “Taking Note"

July 2014

Privacy Board Issues Findings on Communications Surveillance Under § 702 of FISA

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has released its report on communications collected pursuant to § 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  Read CNSS' statement in response here.  Prior to the report’s release, CNSS and other civil liberties organizations sent a letter to the Board urging it to endorse a probable cause requirement to search all U.S. person communications collected under the program.  See also CNSS’ Comments on the 702 program and prior Comments regarding secret surveillance

April 2014

“Spy Court Hears First Anti-NSA Argument”

by Julian Hattem, The Hill

March 2014

“What’s a Logical Drone Strikes Policy? Hint: Not the Current One”

The New York Times’ Andrew Rosenthal highlights the Center’s paper on U.S. drone strikes, written in partnership with the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights. 

January 2014

CNSS Welcomes End to NSA Bulk Metadata Program

President Obama promised to end the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata collection program in a speech on intelligence reforms. He also issued a Presidential Policy Directive promising to respect the privacy rights of foreigners abroad, the first such commitment by any President.

“Snowden Gets His Answer From Obama”

by Stephen Collinson, AFP

December 2013

Make Your Voice Heard: Urge the White House to Support ECPA Reform

Sign the petition and show your support for reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require a warrant for government to access electronic communications. 

November 2013

“Independent Board Preparing NSA Recommendations"

by Amber Corrin, Federal Computer Week

August 2013

“Expecting the Unexpected From Jeff Bezos”

by David Streitfeld and Christine Haughney, The New York Times

“Senate Intelligence Panel Could Seek to Declassify Documents; It Just Doesn’t”

by Ali Watkins, McClatchy Washington Bureau

July 2013

“NSA Spying Row in Congress Ushers in Debate on Managing Big Data”

by Chris Strohm and Timothy R. Homan, Bloomberg News

“House Rejects Restricting Spy-Agency Access to Telephone Records”

by Timothy R. Homan and Chris Strohm, Bloomberg News

House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on NSA Surveillance

Kate Martin testified on the second panel of the House Judiciary Committee Hearing on “Oversight of the Administration's use of FISA Authorities.” Read her written statement here.    

“NSA spying under fire: 'You've got a problem'”

by Pete Yost, The Daily Reporter

“Microsoft to Google Input Sought in Probe of NSA Programs”

by Chris Strohm, Bloomberg

“NSA FISA Controversy: Intelligence Officials Face Bipartisan Opposition to Surveillance Programs”

International Business Times

“Surveillance Hearing: House Judiciary Committee Invites Obama Officials To Testify”

by Pete Yost, Associated Press

“More Questions on Government Surveillance from Both Dems and Republicans”

by Pete Yost, Associated Press

“Experts Debate Legal Questions Surrounding U.S. Surveillance Efforts”

By Alexi Alexis, Bloomberg

“Former Judge Calls for FISA Court Improvements”

by Jennifer Martinez, The Hill

“Controls Over NSA Spying Considered by U.S. Privacy Board”

by Chris Strohm, Bloomberg

“Bipartisan Privacy Board Hears Conflicting Reports on NSA Programs”

by David G. Savage, The Los Angeles Times

June 2013

“Remember When the Patriot Act Debate Was All About Library Records?”

by Justin Elliot, ProPublica

“Patriot Act Critics Never Had a Clue”

by Justin Elliot, Salon

“Government Surveillance of Citizens Raises Civil Liberty Concerns”

PBS Newshour Extra

"U.S. Is Secretly Collecting Records of Verizon Calls"

The New York Times coverage of the Verizon FISA court order features analysis from Kate Martin: “absent some explanation I haven’t thought of, this looks like the largest assault on privacy since the N.S.A. wiretapped Americans in clear violation of the law...On what possible basis has the government refused to tell us that it believes that the law authorizes this kind of request?”

May 2013

CNSS' Statement on the President's Counterterrorism Speech

From Kate Martin:  

"We welcome the President’s historic commitment to ending the war against al Qaeda: his commitment that military force must be the last resort in preventing terrorist attacks; and his recognition that respect for civil liberties and commitment to constitutional governance makes the country stronger."    

Senate Holds Hearing on 2001 AUMF

The Senate Armed Services Committee held an oversight hearing on the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force and the administration's interpretation of its war authority. Read the Department of Defense written testimony here and law Professor Geoffrey Corn's prepared remarks here. CNSS sent a letter to the committee urging it to carefully examine these issues and press the administration for more transparency. Likewise, Professors Jennifer Daskal and Steven Vladeck wrote an op-ed in the New York Times warning against any premature congressional expansion of current war powers.    

April 2013

"Does A Rebel Group's Allegiance To Al Qaeda Change Obama's Choices In Syria?"

by Hayes Brown, Think Progress

February 2013

"To Kill an American"

The New York Times editorial criticizing the Justice Department White Paper quotes CNSS Director: "The white paper 'is a confusing blend of self-defense and law of war concepts and doesn't clearly explain whether there is a different standard for killing a senior Al Qaeda leader depending on whether he is a citizen,' said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies. 'Its due process analysis is especially weak.'"

December 2012

"An Appeal to President Obama's Better Side"

Andrew Rosenthal, "Taking Note" blog of The New York Times highlights CNSS' letter urging judicial review of the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen in Yemen.

"Two Developments in Hedges"

by Wells Bennett, Lawfare, discussing CNSS' amicus brief in Hedges v. Obama

October 2012

"Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board Invites Public Input"

At the first meeting of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, Kate Martin outlines recommendations on the role of the Board and and how it should set its priorities.

August 2012

National Security Principles and the Right to Information

The Open Society Justice Initiative is collaborating with partners world-wide to draft a set of Principles on National Security and the Right to Information. CNSS work over the last fifteen years is contributing to this effort

July 2012

"Senate Proposals Are Less About 'Leaks,' More About Shutting Down Whistleblowers"

by Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake The Dissenter

"Anti-Leak Measures in Senate Bill Target Press, Public"

by Steven Aftergood, FAS Secrecy Blog

"Insider Threats: Experts Try to Balance the Constitution with Law Enforcement to Find Terrorists"

Interviews with Kate Martin and Gordon Lederman discussing their essays debating "The Threat from Within: What is the Scope of Homegrown Terrorism?" published in Patriots Debate: Contemporary Issues in National Security Law, ed. Harvey Rishikof, Stewart Baker, and Bernard Horowitz , American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security, 2012.

April 2012

"New Bush-Era Torture Memo Released, Raises Questions About What Has Changed And What Hasn't"

by Dan Froomkin, The Huffington Post

March 2012

"Kate Martin on Military Commissions and the Historical Record"

CNSS director Kate Martin responds to a blog post on Lawfare by Jack Goldsmith regarding the history of military commissions in the United States.

"U.S. Relaxes Limits on Use of Data in Terror Analysis"

by Charlie Savage, The New York Times

July 2011

"In Secret, Senate Panel May Re-Up Vast Surveillance Dragnet"

by Spencer Ackerman, Danger Room

March 2011

"Obama Creates Indefinite Detention System for Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay"

by Peter Finn and Anne E. Kornblut, The Washington Post

January 2011

"A Warning to Obama on Guantanamo"

by Charlie Savage, The New York Times

"Obama Aides Lean Against Bypass of Guantánamo Rules"

by Charlie Savage, The New York Times

December 2010

"Detainee Review Proposal is Prepared for Obama"

by Charlie Savage, The New York Times

November 2010

"A New Milestone in Intelligence Budget Disclosure"

by Steven Aftergood, FAS Secrecy Blog

September 2010

Stand for Religious Freedom and Against Intolerance

Several advocates, in individual capacities, had the idea for this pledge because of concern about anti-Muslim rhetoric that had been spreading across the country, from opposition to mosques in places like Tennessee and California to voices calling September 11 "Burn the Koran Day."

June 2010

"UN Proposes 'Good Practices' for Intelligence"

by Steven Aftergood, FAS Secrecy Blog

April 2010

"Intel Chief Concedes That Legal Authorities on Military’s Cyber Command Need Clarification"

by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent

February 2010

"The Trial: Eric Holder and the battle over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed"

by Jane Mayer, The New Yorker

"Hill, Critics Eye CIA Moonlighting"

by Kasie Hunt & Josh Gerstein, Politico

January 2010

"Intel Chief Presents Obama With Another Headache"

by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent

November 2009

"Alleged Sept. 11 Planner Will Be Tried in New York"

by Peter Finn and Carrie Johnson, The Washington Post

October 2009

"9/11 Masterminds Could Face Trial in Federal Court"

by Daphne Eviatar, The Washington Independent

September 2009

"Did Bush Continue to Secretly Operate Total Information Awareness?"

by Jason Leopold, Truthout

August 2009

"Gitmo 'Grrls"

by Diane Marie Amann, IntLawGrrls Blog

July 2009

"Detainee Policy: Inside the Task Force"

by Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic Monthly Blog

"Obama Military Commissions Vision Takes Shape"

by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent

"The Real Test for Obama on Indefinite Detention"

by Daphne Eviatar, The Washington Independent

"Human Rights First’s Rona Dissents From Kate Martin’s Detention Position"

by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent

"What Is 'Battlefield' Detention, Anyway?"

by Daphne Eviatar, The Washington Independent

"Debate Intensifies Over Preventive Detention"

by Daphne Eviatar, The Washington Independent

"Kate Martin: Well, Preventive Detention for Whom?"

by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent

"Fight Brews Between Civil Liberties Groups and Obama"

by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent

June 2009

"Uh, Which Civil Liberties Groups Want a ‘Prolonged Detention’ Executive Order?"

by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent

May 2009

"Legal Experts Debate National Security"

by Nick Wilson, Courthouse News Service

"Detainee to Be Transferred to U.S. for Trial"

by William Glaberson, The New York Times

April 2009

"NSA Revelations Spark Push to Restore FISA"

by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent

"The Senate’s Cyber Lightning Rod'

by Andy Greenberg, Forbes

December 2007

"Wider Spying Fuels Aid Plan for Telecom Industry"

by Eric Lichtblau, James Risen and Scott Shane, The New York Times

October 2007

"Terror Watch List Swells to More Than 755,000"

by Mimi Hall, USA Today

August 2007

"Domestic Use of Spy Satellites Set To Widen"

By Joby Warrick, The Washington Post

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