Timothy Edgar


Timothy H. Edgar is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies and Public Affairs at Brown University. He was the first-ever director of privacy and civil liberties for the White House National Security Staff during President Obama’s first term, focusing on cyber security, open government, surveillance, and data privacy. He is a contributing editor to Lawfare. Under George W. Bush, Edgar was the first deputy for civil liberties for the director of national intelligence, from 2006 to 2009, and the national security counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, from 2001 to 2006.  Edgar clerked for Judge Sandra Lynch, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Dartmouth College.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Go Big, Go Global: Subject The NSA’s Overseas Programs To Judicial Review

by Timothy Edgarvia Lawfare
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The next round of surveillance reform is a time for the United States to go big – and to go global. We should get out of our defensive crouch and show the world how to balance robust intelligence capabilities with rules to protect privacy and civil liberties in the digital age.

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Go Big, Go Global: Subject the NSA ’s Overseas Programs to Judicial Review

by Timothy Edgarvia Aegis Paper Series
Thursday, June 30, 2016

Congress should use the debate over section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to think big.  Section 702 brings some NSA programs directed at foreign targets under judicial review, showing such review is feasible even for complex programs of transnational surveillance.