Constitutional lawyer and civil liberties advocate talks about “Going Dark”
TORONTO, August 23, 2016—The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will present its annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture on November 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm featuring Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. In his talk, Going Dark, Jaffer will explore the phenomenon of official secrecy and the legal, political, and social repercussions of allowing democratic governments to withhold information about national security policy from the public.
Since 9/11, the impulse to protect “national security” has led democratic governments to become increasingly secretive. With many of their most consequential decisions—about war, interrogation, detention, and surveillance—being made behind closed doors, democratic governments are “going dark.” Should we accept official secrecy as a necessary response to new security threats—or has official secrecy itself become a threat? With new wars abroad, and new surveillance programs at home, the question is more pressing than ever.
As Deputy Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union, Jameel Jaffer argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as multiple appeals courts, and supervised the organization’s work on national security, free speech, privacy, technology, and international human rights.
He has litigated challenges to the National Security Agency's call-tracking program, the Patriot Act's "national security letter" provision, and “targeted killing” by the CIA. He also litigated a landmark case under the Freedom of Information Act that resulted in the release of the Bush administration's "torture memos.”
Tickets to the Eva Holtby Lecture are available at rom.on.ca and priced at: ROM Members ($18.00 plus HST), General Public ($20.00 + HST) and Teachers and Students ($15.00 + HST).
Jaffer's new book, The Drone Memos Targeted Killing, Secrecy, and the Law will be for sale and signing during the post-talk reception.
The Eva Holtby lecture is generously supported by the Holtby and Schury Families.